The country that was
The United States is sinking deeper and deeper into the poisoned slough of their own making. Moral turpitude goes hand-in-hand with naivete and arrogance. And nothing seems to have changed if it's not that there is now a president with acute intellectual abilities rather than an insensitive and illiterate clown who couldn't hold a book right side up.
Both men are devoted to the belief that the United States is the savior of the planet and anything goes in the interest of keeping their country number one, including invasions of countries harboring supposed or invented enemies and cold-blooded support of dictatorships that are willing to do the bidding of Washington.
Rather than doing something productive to get out of the impasse that we are presently in, the new President has been a big disappointment. He is digging the nation and thus the world deeper and deeper into an increasingly insoluble situation where the United States is never willingly going to give up on its presumed status as a world leader. As the U.S. is sinking, it is most likely going to drag the rest of the world along, or the parts of it that are not clever enough to take steps to assure their independence.
As far as the environment goes, there is no escaping the ecological disaster that was created by the Big Corporations, the pharmaceutical and chemical giants in the first place. Industrialized farming is wreaking havoc on small farmers and on the environment. So far the government agencies that are supposed to deal with anti-trust laws, financial regulation and environmental safety are turning their attention to Big Instant Money rather than to lasting benefits for the people and for the nation. And for the world.
Looking at the situation from my side of the Ocean, I see Europe getting increasingly anxious to do Washington's bidding, from Gordon Brown, to Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi, even though Angela Merkel often wants to have her own way. The Western world is going more and more neoliberal and anti-democratic. But there are countries and even continents where attention is being paid to the oncoming downfall of the presumed superpower. It is both the richest and the most breathtakingly mean and narcissistic country in the world with a people and an administration who go on firmly believing that they are the saviors, the moral strength of the planet.
The previous administration managed, as nobody ever before, to make enemies out of a huge portion of the rest of the world, and not just the Muslim countries. Some things have changed with the new administration's taking the reins. Europe now seems desperately eager to think well of the new President, but they are nevertheless putting stops to many attempts by U.S. and multinational corporations to heavy-foot it through the world, poisoning the environment in the process. European countries are all more than willing to play the game when it comes to the free market and neoliberalism, since it's the politicians who make the rules and they and their corporate buddies are the ones who make fortunes out of the neoliberal system. But enough is enough and the people take to the streets to show their opposition to cold-blooded profiteering and cutting back on job security and social spending the welfare safety net that is more badly needed than ever in times of economic crisis such as we are seeing today. In Europe people at least make their voices heard, which, not amazingly, in view of the thorough brainwashing through non-stop propaganda, is not the case in the United States. News is entertainment and the people never really get to see the truth from the media of what is going on in the world.
The approval figures of the European leaders are falling into the sewers. The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, can well go on hopping around the globe believing that he's the savior of the rich world. People don't even laugh any more. He is not just a clown, he is an ill omen, a foreboding of what is to come if the world leaders are left alone in their destruction of a civilized world.
The drugging of 'America'
U.S. citizens have been drugged to oblivion about what is implied in a good life. And yet; they are the ones who should be the most concerned. It's the United States that is so sorely in need of real improvement of healthcare, an improved educational system, good-quality public transportation systems as well as support for a great number of social programs on the state level. Those programs are badly needed for the educational and cultural as well as esthetic and artistic stimulus of all strata of the U.S. citizenry. They are also essential for the good functioning of society on the family level, daycare centers, after-school activities for young people, free school lunches and much more. These essential entitlements have been steadily cut back ever since the beginning of the Bush/Cheney era.
As long as there is a so-called war going on, it will always be possible, or so it seems, to silence any possible opposition from Mainstream America. As long as there is an administration that sets as its major goal the continuation of the United States as a superpower, they will always depend on inventing one or several wars, such as 'the war on terror'. And as long as there are wars to spend money on for the profit of the military-industrial complex there will obviously not be enough funds left over for the urgent peaceful needs in the U.S. of today. Add to this the fact that, during the neocon regime, the quite visible policy was the starving of the beast, the dumbing-down of the people so that they would be easy to fool into a state of religious-patriotic fervor that would squeeze out all traces of possible tolerance and broadmindedness. Knowledge and the development of a critical mind are essential to create a powerful opposition to a ruling run-away clique, blinded by hubris and greed. Deprive the people of good education and authentic news and they will never know what is going on in the real world, what is being done to fool them. Drug them with propaganda and infotainment and they will become sleepwalkers who work, eat, have sex and watch Fox news.
Is there any such thing as democracy?
Democracy was a beautiful thought, but did it ever get to be more than a utopia, a chimera, such stuff as dreams are made on? Greed will always get in the way of compassion and rational thinking, which ought to bring us to fight for a livable and a durable world for everyone. What we have now is a short-lived amassment of goods and spectacular high living for the obscenely wealthy, who must be thinking 'AprÃÂ¨s nous le deluge' if they are thinking at all, which is doubtful. Instant profit, instant pleasure and the world be damned! To even whisper the word democracy in the context of the destruction and remaking of Central Asia in their own image is obscene. Democracy is a lost dream in the world of today and we can ask ourselves if it ever did exist.
The fire in Central Asia
Washington is still today doing its best to pour fuel on the fire in Central Asia. In spite of assertions to the contrary, Iraq is still a powder keg with regularly occurring mass killings taking place between different factions of the splintered Iraqi society. And even if, by some magic, Washington decided to let the Iraqis work out a solution to their own conflicts, the way most countries do, we still see the flaring up of violence and mass killings in Afghanistan, with Pakistan having been dragged into the conflict to an ever increasing extent since the new U.S. President began his clone bombing campaigns in the border areas where the Pashtun Taliban are holing up. The Karzai government is at a loss for a working solution, walking a tightrope between their natural solidarity with the Pashtun anti-American fighters (the Pashtuns are the largest of the many ethnic minorities in Pakistan, the Punjabis being the majority ethnic group) and the demand from Washington that they strike down on the rebel areas along the Afghani-Pakistani border.
Pakistan was given a chance to get a civilian government under Asif Ali Zardari, the current president and the husband of Benazir Bhutto, a former president who was assassinated in December, 2007. He is totally corrupt, like most other political leaders in that part of the world, and maybe everywhere, but it still looks like an improvement after the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf who came to power in a military coup in 1999 and ruled the troubled country in a dictatorial way. The Pakistani people themselves actually very recently protested so strongly against this form of rule that Zardari saw himself forced to reinstate the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, who had been ousted by Musharraf, to his former post on March 16, 2009.