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Is America Worth Saving? Part 3

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This is the third part of a three-part series aimed at focusing on the above question and the possible answers to it. In the first part, I focused on America's recent history. I presented the current events that the US helped create and change, the foreign policy of the US and its implications on the global stage, and the hypocritical human rights policy that the US uses to blind its own people while knowing full well that the rest of the world sees it for what it is.

In the second part, I focused more on the current domestic policies of the US, the involvement of Americans in those policies, and the daily diet of propaganda that has been spoon fed to Americans over this same period.

In this part, I will focus on the other important aspects pertaining to the United States, give a small recap of previously discussed topics, and provide what I feel are the most probable outcomes going forward, using the title of this trilogy as the guideline for my discussion. I will also add a few alternatives that could improve the situation here in the US on both an immediate and long-term level.

We must accept that the US is also ...

A one-party system with two party names. Gore Vidal said it best in an interview with David Barsamian in the August, 2006, issue of Progressive Magazine. "I have been saying for the last thousand years that the United States has only one party -- the property party. It's the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican." Vidal is very critical of the US and has even christened it, "The United States of Amnesia." And it's quickly evident how right he is.

On August 23, 1971, future Supreme Court justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. wrote an historic memo that urged the Republican Party to move aggressively towards a pro-business and anti-citizen stance. Then, in 1985, the Democratic Leadership Council was founded by conservative Southern Democrats to do the same for the Democratic Party. Ever since, we have had an unchecked and growing governance by the country's oligarchs who have ensured that a steady stream of propaganda, fed to the American people through an ever narrowing number of media companies, would move the country in the following direction:

1. Americans believe that government is bad for the nation. Not that all government is bad, just that part which improves the general welfare of the citizens and protects them from abuse by greedy oligarchs.


2. According to many neocons, libertarians, mainstream pundits, and a large portion of the supposed progressive group, the only good part of government is the military. Americans need to spend more and more on guns, bullets, bombs, missiles, jet fighters, aircraft carriers, and anything related to killing people in foreign countries. For most Americans, that is the only positive purpose of the government, to ensure that we can destroy the world ever more quickly and efficiently.

We have been moving steadily towards a system of perpetual war and during the Bush administration it seems we have finally achieved it. If the US continues along this path, there is little hope that the US will change its policy of open-ended military incursions in several different countries at the same time and without support from any other nation, until the US economy finally collapses under the weight of tens of trillions of dollars of unmanageable debt and billions of people wanting our immediate destruction.

Currently, we are not only engaged militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan, where several American soldiers were recently killed, in Yemen and in Somalia. At the same time, we have increased our bellicose rhetoric against Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and other nations with a possible goal of a future military role there.

And this is not a Republican admin policy vs a Democrat admin policy. Just a cursory view of American foreign and domestic policies since WWII has shown that there is very little difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Under the Dems, the US illegally invaded the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, and elsewhere. Under the Reps, the US illegally invaded Iraq twice, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, Somalia and elsewhere. Under the Dems, the US participated in coup d'etats that toppled the legitimate governments of Indonesia, Brazil, Zaire, Greece, and elsewhere. Under the Reps, the US participated in coup d'etats that toppled the legitimate governments of Iran, Guatemala twice, Ecuador, Cambodia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Panama, Haiti and elsewhere.

A closer look at the adbuster timeline of American aggression in foreign countries shows that the use of US military in other countries is nothing new, and the US is far from the only country to engage in this practice. The difference, however, is that nearly every other nation on the planet has stopped this practice, especially those who were the main offenders over the past few centuries.

It used to be that Great Britain would act whenever and wherever it wanted, alone or in concert with other nations. France would do the same, along with other European powers. But since WWII, only the US has continued this practice on a global scale. Oh, I'm sure others will quickly point out regional conflicts in Africa, or cross-border skirmishes in South America, but outside of the Falkland Islands war between Argentina and Great Britain, there are few skirmishes and none with a global reach. Only the US has made it a practice to be engaged in war, alone or in concert with others, during every single decade since WWII.

3. Any part of the government that relates to stopping pollution or improving the living standard of Americans is bad. Over the past three decades we have seen the EPA become a useless organization with fewer inspectors and a diminishing role. The popular theme now is, "Hands off our industries." Companies are freer now to pollute to their hearts' content without fear of huge penalties. Selling guns on the open market to anyone and everyone, legally or illegally, is common practice. The ATF Bureau has fewer inspectors and a general mandate to turn a blind eye to this practice.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Americans are jailed annually for smoking or possessing marijuana. The trend here is, if you get high you go to jail, but if you sell a lethal weapon illegally, you are considered a model citizen. And this can even be presented as a pure class issue, since White kids snorting coke or taking crack at locally organized parties, and even in the presence of police, are seldom molested, but the poor and minorities who are found with less than a joint are often incarcerated and punished as a result.

Health care in the US, once the at the vanguard of world health care systems, was rated no better than 37th in 2000. Today, we have 50 million people without health care and the trend is for that number to increase. Patients in the US have longer waits than 40 years ago, have more costs to pay for the same service even after adjusting for inflation, and are being denied service at an ever increasing rate. And to top it all off, the US health care is the costliest in the world. Again, this is a class issue as well since the rich can afford the best services and the great majority of Americans must pay ever increasing rates for ever decreasing services until they are finally denied coverage altogether and put out to pasture. Even so, the US propaganda machine tells everyone that any modification to the current system would only worsen it.

Americans are told that Medicare and Social Security benefits for the retired, poor and handicapped are bad. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda that these are some of the main causes for our current deficit and that, by eliminating this help, we could reduce our deficit spending tremendously. There is little news on the importance of these programs and their raison d'être.

4. Americans are told that greed is good. They have been separated from the old definition of greed, "An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth." It is now fashionable to desire and procure that which others need to survive.

During the recent economic meltdown, many Americans blamed those who took out ninja loans to finance their home purchases rather than the banks and mortgage institutions who coerced them and approved their loans, knowing full well that these same home buyers were going to be thrown out into the street in a few years when the loans came up for review. US propaganda is to demonize the average American while deifying the role of the banksters who steal our money.

5. Americans are turning against other Americans. During this same meltdown the media tone was decidedly anti-American and pro-American big business. Time and again they would decry the treacherous lepers who preyed on banks and mortgage institutions forcing them to provide loans to unworthy buyers. The absurdity of this concept is obvious, yet many Americans believe that the banks are innocent and just unfortunate victims of other Americans' desire to cheat the system.

Americans who demand more control over pollution, gun crimes, greedy bank policies, and corrupt government practices are demonized, hated, and attacked in the press, on the internet as well as in real life. Those who flaunt their guns, especially when fully loaded, and who crow that they have stolen money from others through fraudulent practices are labeled "ingenious," "thinking outside the box," "forward moving," and "proving the American Way."

Fox News talk show host Bill O'Reilly is famously quoted from his February 26, 2003, show, "Once the war against Saddam begins we expect every American to support our military and if they can't do that to shut up." Yet, we have Thomas Jefferson who spoke of this as well, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

More and more we have the main stream media denouncing the wisdom of our founding fathers to replace it with fear mongering, lies and hatred towards anyone else who thinks differently. The Patriot Acts I and II removed habeas corpus protection for us, as well as other liberties now lost forever, yet there is almost no public outrage at this. It appears that fake "reality shows" on TV are far more important than the reality we actually are living on planet Earth.

6. Those in government are being forced to spend much more of their time fund-raising for their next election than governing the nation. Elections are becoming more expensive every year and these politicians are being forced to seek more and more money just to stay in office. As with everything, nothing comes for free. Every dollar supplied by a corporation comes with obvious strings attached. A company will not waste its money on politicians who do not send tax dollars their way. Such a company would simply take its money and support the other candidate. Thus, our politicians must kowtow to corporations who pay for their elections and not the people who vote for them. Benito Mussolini described this type of system by saying, "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

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57 year old Californian male - I've lived in four different countries, USA, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela - speak three languages fluently, English, French, Spanish - part-time journalist for Empower-Sport Magazine. I also write four newsletters.
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An excellent summation of what's wrong and right i... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:31:09 AM