With each passing day, and each new stock market low, it has become increasingly apparent that the US is no longer in charge of its own destiny. We obviously gave that mantel up a long time ago.
We have been aware of discrepancies in past elections for a long time now. Who hasn't heard of the famous hundred thousand dead votes in Chicago, or the quote wrongly attributed to Chicago Mayor Richard Daly when discussing the 1960 presidential elections and John F. Kennedy's somewhat surprising victory, "In Chicago we vote early and often."- He had promised the Kennedys that he would deliver Chicago, and therefore, the state of Illinois, and he did not disappoint.
Certainly we cannot put every single presidential into the category of tainted victories. President Lyndon Johnson had Senator Barry Goldwater for lunch during the 1964 elections. Ronald Reagan's election in 1984 was equally boring, but many of the other elections are tainted with strange occurrences and unusual tidings. Reagan was first elected in 1980 in a very tight race against the President Jimmy Carter. Yet, amazingly enough, the American hostages who had been held for over a year in Iranian jails after being taken hostage by angry Iranian students just after the fall of the Shah of Iran, were released within hours of President Ronald Reagan's inaugural speech. It was later found that a deal between the Republican Party's nominee for president, Ronald Reagan, and the new Iranian government headed by the Ayatollah Khomeini, had reached an agreement in October of 1980 to release the hostages on the day of President Reagan's speech.
Former National Security Council member Gary Sick's book, October Surprise: America's Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan, explores the fact that the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign negotiated with the Iranian government before the elections in November, 1980, to delay the release of 52 American hostages until after Reagan's 1981 inauguration. How can it be possible that a "candidate"- can dictate foreign policy of his country even before he's elected? This certainly wasn't the blowout results from four years later. The 1980 election was fought tooth and nail to the very last day, at least in front of the American media.
But that's not the only unusual election occurrences in recent history. President Richard Nixon was in charge of a nation heavily divided with anti-war protests growing steadily and his own credibility was being eroded internationally. His megalomaniacal side wanted to ensure victory at all costs. Through his tamperings, legally and illegally, he was able to get one of the weakest opponents of all, George McGovern. However, in so doing, he laid the foundation of the very structure that would eventually mark him as the only president to resign while in office.
But for those who feel that it's merely the person running, or perhaps his close group of supporters, who taint the American presidential elections with improprieties, recent events have brought forth a very disturbing reality. In the presidential elections of 2000, the race between both parties had rarely been closer. Early on in the evening the anticipation boiled down to only a handful of states teetering between the two candidates. One by one they were called for one or the other until only the state of Florida remained. Governor Jeb Bush, George's younger brother, had promised to deliver the state for his sibling, and it looked like he might have bit off more than he could chew. Initially, the major media stations began calling the state for Al Gore, the Democrat. But soon, the new upstart among the main stream media big boys, Fox News, claimed that new data had shown that Bush had actually won the state by one of the closest margins in history.
Within minutes all other major news media outlets proclaimed Bush as the winner, switching their call which had seemed so final just minutes before. Nevertheless, the margin of victory was indeed slim and a recount of possibly uncounted or miscounted votes began in earnest. As the counting went forth, day after day, the apparent lead that George Bush was clinging to shrank. Even though only a few districts were in question, the reversal trend of the vote count steadily eroded Bush's lead until there were a scant 500 or so votes separating the two rivals. Suddenly, by mid December, the national political machine kicked into high gear and the election results were turned over to the Supreme Court of the United States, and George Bush was declared the winner of Florida and therefore, the new president.
Looking back on that election today, nearly everyone agrees that Al Gore won the election outright, and it was the illegal hand of Bush's team, obviously coupled with their apparent manipulation of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, that ensured the wrong result. Mountains of evidence now show how Bush's people had removed tens of thousands of legal citizens from exercising their right to vote. The ever astute BBC sleuth, Greg Palast, in his book, Armed Madhouse, has proven that there were vote riggings, and forced delays in several states across the US with nearly all of them aimed at making it more difficult if not impossible for a Gore supporter to cast their vote. He pointed to the 3 million votes that were never counted, surely a sum that could have been fatal for the Bush campaign had they been counted.
That same book exposes in detail the evolution of the same in the 2004 election. The same group of Bush supporters were able to manipulate not just one state, Florida, but several states. They fixed it so that tens of thousands of Kerry supporters were denied the right to vote in Florida. They set up defective machines in Cleveland and elsewhere to discourage the poor and minority from voting. And even the Native Americans weren't spared the trials and tribulations of this team of vote riggers who ensured that New Mexico would not fall the wrong way. It is plain and obvious to all who have studied either election that the loser won, and the winner went home empty handed.
So that brings us to the election of 2008. In less than a week, Americans will go to the polls to vote for their candidate. Again, we will be treated to machine glitches, long lines, illegal lists of felons, and ballot spoilage that will climb into the millions. It is a pretty safe bet at this point that a clean and fair election is impossible in the US. Our latest president has shown to the entire world how the "New"- America does business, and it has nothing to do with honesty, integrity, or "American values,"- whatever that might have meant to our ancestors. The modern America is all about manipulation, media control, propaganda that would make Goebbel's blush, and a constant Chicken Little mentality that will spell imminent doom of "the other guy"- is elected. With such blatant and emotional trappings to fill our airwaves, few Americans will bother to look behind the curtain to see who is really calling the shots.
But it is now truly obvious that the American voter is merely a symbol of bygone years when people's votes actually counted and an informed decision was used as their criteria. These days, it's whoever has the hand in the till who decides the winner. Especially with the current economic debacle that is crumbling the ivory towers of the once invincible American economic juggernaut, we can see how this election, indeed any election going forward, will be fought and won between the economic titans of the world, and the American voter will be relegated to the position of a cute Norman Rockwell photo for the following year's November calendar picture.
So who are these titans? Who are the ones who hold sway over this battle-weary nation embroiled for far too long in illegal wars it cannot win, world policies that are no longer acceptable, and a domestic economy on the verge of total annihilation? Who has their finger on the future of the USA and the overly-indebted occupants who live there? Who holds final sway over the future of the land of the free and home of the brave? Perhaps the question should be rephrased, "Hu holds final sway."-
For the past decades, the relationship between the US and China has gone from icy cold, to boiling hot. Ever since President Richard Nixon latched onto the famous Ping-pong diplomacy in the early 1970s, China and the US have grown steadily closer and more interdependent. The ravishing appetite of the American consumer has become more and more accustomed to his or her favorite knickknacks being manufactured in abundance in China and shipped to the US for consumption. After all, China is the land of cheap labor, limitless workers and giant factories. America's appetite for stuff may have grown exponentially over the years, but China has stepped up to the plate every time and hasn't missed a beat yet.
This match made in free enterprise heaven has not come free of charge, however. The trade deficit that the US increases year after year with China has always been offset with China's continued agreement to purchase US Dollars aplenty. Over the years this one way ticket has reached epic proportions. China now has more US Dollars in its portfolio than any other nation. According to the Congressional Research Services report to Congress on January 8, 2008, titled, "China's Holdings of U.S. Securities:
Implications for the U.S. Economy,"- China's projected US Dollar holdings as of January 1, 2008, were over $1.5 trillion. That number is expected to continue to rise to almost $2 trillion by the end of 2010. In fact, China is the fastest growing economy in the world, constantly achieving double-digit growth year after year.
They go on to state that "some U.S. policymakers have expressed concern over China's large holdings of U.S. securities, including Treasury securities, contending that China could use it as a political tool against the United States. To illustrate, an August 7, 2007 article in the Telegraph (an online British newspaper) cited interviews with officials from two leading Chinese government think tanks who reportedly stated that China had the power to make the dollar collapse (if it chose to do so) by liquidating large portions of its U.S. Treasury securities holdings--And to illustrate just how scared the current administration is of a possible dumping by China of US Dollars. It surfaced during the Summer Olympics of 2008 held in Beijing, China. Just before leaving for China's opening ceremonies of the Olympics, President Bush informed the White House press corp. that it would be an insult to the Chinese government if he didn't attend the games.