Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Where is America headed?

Where are we (America) headed? As far as the international and perpetual war on terrorism is concerned, we seem to have adopted policies similar to Israel, such as shoot first and ask questions later and launching airstrikes against the neighborhoods of suspected terrorists.

Considering Israel's results in stemming the terrorist threat over the last 30+ years, is that a good idea?

An intriguing story you probably haven’t heard these days is floating around some news sites. The story goes like this:

Apparently, a man named Doron Almog, a retired Major General with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has been charged with war crimes in Britain. He was due to land in Britain on Sunday for a charity event, and he did in fact land, but he never got off that plane because an ambassador informed him he would be arrested when he set foot on British soil.

From 1993-1995, Almog served as the IDF commander in the Gaza Strip, moving to head the Southern Command in 2000. He retired in 2003.

The charges were prompted by Daniel Machover, an Israeli citizen and lawyer who lives in Britain, and a group in Israel called Yesh Gvul, which is apparently well known in that nation.

Not being an expert on Israel and its affairs, I hesitate to draw strong conclusions from the few stories which I have come across regarding this event without further investigating the sources.

But one response to the charges caught my eye in a story reported by The quote is from Yigal Yasinov of the Shinui Party.

“There is a limit to the chutzpah of traitors as well. I expect the members of Yesh Gvul to give up their Israeli citizenship, assume Palestinian Authority citizenship, and to live on the other side of the border.”
He said he plans to ask the Attorney General and Justice Minister to declare Yesh Gvul a terror-sponsoring organization, outlaw it, and open investigations against its members.

(an aside: it becomes clear upon consideration that we Americans generally know little if anything about Israel, its creation, its politics or its leaders, despite the fact the nation is one of America’s closest strategic military allies. All most people know are vague headlines of retaliatory suicide bombings and retaliatory airstrikes, back and forth, and even then, the river of knowledge is so dry there is no context within which to frame these violent stories)

Peace activists (or war protesters, if you prefer) already are equated with terrorists by many influential sources in America. Even Senators and Representatives who dare speak too hastily or too critically against the administration and its agenda are portrayed as “aiding and abetting the enemy.”

I’m afraid this is where America is headed, if we’re not fully there already. Those who dare to question the authority will be declared the enemy. They’ll be lucky if they’re ever heard from again, let alone forced to publicly renounce citizenship.

I’d like to believe otherwise, unfortunately, the facts lead to depressing conclusions. Unless the Supreme Court says otherwise in upcoming cases, it is now legally acceptable to lock up indefinitely American citzens on American soil without charge as long as the proper vocabulary "enemy combatant" is used.

There are numerous documented instances in recent years of FBI and/or other “intelligence services” infiltrating, spying on, and labeling as threats peaceful dissident groups under the guise of national security.

Furthermore, It is established fact U.S. intelligence provocateurs as a matter of policy infiltrated mainstream and alternative media and other reactionary anti-administration forces during the Vietnam era with the goal of sparking conflicts and disseminating disinformation. What makes you think that has changed?

These days, the American Sheeple are distracted by things like gay marriage, family values, abortion, welfare, affirmative action, evolution, the estate tax, gas prices, hurricanes, etc.

The most important (as in immediate and challenging) issues are shoved to the side and irrelevant and frivolous arguments are pushed to the forefront. Sure, politicians talk about national security and illegal immigration and privacy rights, but they still confiscate my nail clippers at the airport while thousands of illegal immigrants pour across the border each year.

This is not to say that things like gay marriage and abortion don’t deserve discussion, but we have no real discussion on these issues in governmental forums - only he-said/she-said - and we have graver things to deal with right now.

Whether or not two homosexuals down the street, or two homosexuals you’ve never met, should or should not have a legally recognized marriage, should not be your first concern.

Every American citizen, white, black, gay, straight, christian, muslim, hindu, transgendered, zombie, vampire, should be concerned about the TRILLIONS ($1,000,000,000,000; exponential form, $1x10^12) dollars of national DEBT the Congress, White House and Pentagon (our “representatives”) have authorized in our name. According to the Constitution, federal debts are valid and payable by the CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES and us only.

We should all be concerned with the BILLION dollar deficit the country is running right now. DEFICIT means we’re spending money we don’t have, on top of the DEBT we already have. We’re borrowing money, most of it FROM CHINA, which is a major trade partner of the U.S., yet also and conspicuously a designated military, industrial and political threat.

Chinese investment is one of the few pillars holding up the bloated federal budgets. A Republican Congress and President who claim to stand for small government, states' rights, and fiscal responsibility have expanded federal powers beyond belief and have rocketed this nation into the most overwhelming debt we have ever faced.

I’m not generally a betting man, but I imagine if you totaled the entire NATIONAL DEBT and the real and projected ANNUAL DEFICITS for the next 10 years, and compounded that with the average INDIVIDUAL DEBT in credit cards, education loans, auto loans and mortgages of each person or household, balanced against projected revenue, considering current and planned tax manipulations, you would find most of the average American’s wealth is imaginary; i.e. on credit. We’ve leveraged our existence against our image. We’ve pledged immense future resources just to get by today with 142 TV stations and Minivans.

If our debtors were to come calling for collection tomorrow, we would have no choice but to default.


America is (compared to many others) a prosperous nation; there is no argument against that. But I defy anyone other than a politician to explain how a country which has a TRILLION DOLLAR CREDIT CARD BILL can continue to consider itself wealthy.

At some point we will have to pay the debt. If that moment comes suddenly rather than gradually, horrendous things will result.

But don’t worry, TAX CUTS ARE THE ANSWER to American debt. I don’t understand how. But Politicians never lie, do they?

Many people say this is all depressing stuff, and they avoid politics for that reason.
They’re right, it is depressing. But I don’t believe ignorance is bliss.

It’s like ketchup or alcoholism or drug addiction.
You can’t get better until you admit you have a problem.

We have a perspective problem which demands correction.
If we don’t take action to correct our perspective, it WILL correct itself, regardless of our personal biases.



At 3:15 AM, Blogger Unsane said...

I'm very interested in how you think perspectives can self-correct, despite personal biases. I think they often do as well. Global warming (and the floods in New Orleans) are the beginning...

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Mentalgongfu said...

in brief,
Experiences shape perspective.
Much of the American people (and i'm sure this applies elsewhere,) particularly the middle and upper class, lead very insulated lives.
Insulation is the enemy of empathy and understanding. We have many walls and very few bridges.
But, as you implied, events like natural disasters can be a catalyst to destroy personal biases and force a perspective shift.
New experiences = new views.
If everything you own is destroyed, your life is threated, and you have to band together with your neighbors to survive, you are sure to develop a new perspective on yourself and your world.

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'a funny you should compare the national debt to credit card debt. Come October, the federal government will no longer allow credit card debt and many medical bills to be dissolved under bankruptcy rules. Debt is the American way of life. Don't afford everything you want, and get it all anyway.


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