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Drones Enable Corporate Power

By       Message Mark Biskeborn     Permalink
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Several articles have recently appeared in the news about the legality of using drones to assassinate U.S. citizens and foreigners. The article by Jean MacKinzie at the Global Post (1) recently considered the question, "Are our drone attacks legal?" The article provides insight into the legal justifications or lack thereof. However, as attorneys go, they look mostly at the laws on the books or the precedence or juris prudence. This view certainly has its limits.

The military does not need new laws to allow the assassination of people by drones or by any other clever means. As many times in recent events, the Patriot Act allows the U.S. to capture and/or kill anyone considered a terrorist and without a fair trial, due process of the law, or even solid evidence.

Roll up the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta and bury them in the dust on a dark shelf. These "patriot" laws greatly expand the powers of the president, the military and law enforcement with the ability to assassinate or detain anyone considered associated with terrorism. The laws make it convenient for "authorities" to identify just about anyone as a terrorist by relatively vague criteria and, without due process or evidence, to kill people from a remote control, virtual reality video gaming seat.

This includes the several recent cases in which the FBI coaches and coaxes vulnerable individuals. "Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack"only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI." (2)

These dark and dubious FBI sting operations (3) are now being used to trump up justifications to impose sanctions against Iran. For various political reasons, President Obama has jumped on this bandwagon with such casus belli--justifications for aggression. The use of trumped up justifications for U.S. sanctions and military invasions has become a cookie cutter process for presidents throughout American history. (4)

Laws are overwhelmingly made to protect those in power--call it "national interests." Money provides power and power protects those with the money.

U.S. government policies are overwhelmingly skewed to protect the investors and owners of wealth, especially for those dealing in fossil fuels which provide unprecedented returns on investments and even more so as the crude reserves diminish and the profits increase.

Unfortunately, fossil fuel is flagrantly obsolete simply because it causes endless wars for the resources and it destroys the environment on which life depends. Climate change and oil spills cause ecological catastrophes, which in the long, and also in the short run, have begun to destroy the planet. The only way to avoid these lethal and toxic events is to develop alternative technology.

Alas, the country's power elite avoids rapid changes in energy technology because the investments to develop new energy sources, renewable and clean, might require a short-term reduction on their returns on investments. This is a simple rule of capitalism, especially in the "free" and unregulated capitalism in the United States.
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If the United States were to develop alternative, renewable, clean energy sources on a massive scale--wind, hydrogen, solar, etc.--and be the first and most advanced in this technology, the investors would gain a huge and global competitive advantage. But this change in technology requires short-term reductions in returns on investments before the profits increase.

While spending trillions of dollars in futile, endless wars in order to control access to fossil fuels, our elected officials ignore the opportunity to invest public resources to develop the renewable energy sources and so too, create more good jobs.

Instead of a national and rational energy policy, our elected officials, motivated by Big Money corporations, cater to the ruling class, which wants to use any type of military actions, drones or otherwise, to defend their access to the highly profitable fossil fuels.

Faceless corporations are ready to stop anyone who stands in their way to harvest the profits from the crude and this applies to any other industry such as healthcare or finance. The owners of wealth--the 1 percenters--are reluctant to reinvest into new energy sources. It's a lot easier to maintain the current and highly lucrative status quo, even when that means the ruling class needs to kill anyone standing in the way of their profits.

The financially powerful ruling class--however irrational their policies--writes the laws that enable the owners of wealth to carry on with their business and maintain their short-term and enormous profits. Or they simply ignore laws such as the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. Their irrational and greedy operations reveal just how short-sighted unregulated, unguided capitalism is. Big Money corporations like Koch and Exxon serve as just one of many examples how the U.S. system favors the rule of powerful men rather than the rule of rational laws that benefit the greatest good of the entire country. Koch and Exxon write state legislation repealing climate change laws.
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The purpose of government--at least in a democracy--is to allow rational use of resources for the greatest good of the nation.

Since the Big Oil barons want to control their grip on petroleum no matter where it's found, the U.S. government's policy, by default, is to support their wishes, despite any democratic process. The simple and obvious truth is that the U.S. government offers the country's people no rational energy policy for the greatest good of the country. On the contrary, the U.S. elected officials take their commands from the large and financially powerful corporations which, in turn, compensate the elected officials by large campaign contributions.

Since the death of FDR and the New Deal, U.S. elected officials--Democrats and Republicans--have turned their functions away from democracy. (5) The United States has become an inverted totalitarianism--a corporate ruled state--as the government provides services first and foremost to the wants and needs of the 1 percenters, the owners and investors of corporations. (6)

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Mark Biskeborn is a novelist: Mojave Winds, A Sufi's Ghost, Mexican Trade. Short Stories: California & Beyond. Poetry & Essays. For more details: See Mark's stories on or wherever books are (more...)

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