Unity in 2011
As 2010 comes to a close, I'm reflecting on everything that has happened. In my personal life, it really hasn't been a bad year. I've had two books published, a novel and a political book. I guess that seeing my novel in print (Kimchee Days or Stoned-Cold Warriors) after 15 years of rejections, it was the best thing that has happened this year. People that are closest to me are healthy so I'm happy about that also.
I can't really say that the entire year has been a
joyride. This has probably been the most frustrating year I've ever experienced.
I knew that the Democrats were going to let us down, but knowing they would
didn't make the experience any better. I was amazed at the way Obama continued
Bush's foreign policy.
The only good thing that came out of 2010 was that most of the people who still believed in this fractured two-party system finally understood just how corrupt and deceitful the system is. I can only surmise that those who still believe that the Democrats are the "party of the people" and that there is any significant difference between the Republicans and the Democrats only do so because they have nothing else to believe in.
The United States has become "An evil empire".
Everything we said that we stood against we have become. The National Security
State has replaced the Democratic Republic we once had. The Constitution has
been torn to shreds. There is no longer any guarantee of "Freedom of Speech".
The case of Bradley Manning is a perfect example of this. When the My Lai Massacre
came to light, the Army gave us formal classes on what was expected of every soldier.
They taught us that it was not only immoral to follow orders that were against the
Geneva Conventions or International Law, it was also illegal. They taught us
that if we carried out illegal orders, we would be prosecuted. It didn't matter
if you were a General or a Private.
This is one reason I have a hard time with the treatment Bradley Manning is receiving from the Army. If he would have taken a different route and took his concerns about the illegal use of deadly force to his chain of command, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have put himself in mortal danger. We see him locked up in solitary confinement with no blankets or pillows and no exercise or human contact except for maybe an hour long visit every other week. This happens even though he has become the center of attention throughout the nation and the Army. Could you imagine how they would have reacted towards him if it were only the Army that knew the story? If you believe that what I'm saying is overreacting, just think about Pat Tillman, shot in the forehead at point-blank range.
Every day I read about yet another nation that we have signed a military pact with. This nation not only has the most massive military on the planet, we are now the World's largest arms dealer. This month the president signed off on the largest military budget in our history. There s almost nothing that surprises me anymore. Almost all of the former member States of the Soviet Union are now either NATO members or are on the waiting list under the "Partnership for Peace" program.
We now supply India with most of their military hardware. We have a military presence in almost every nation in Southwest Asia. One development that has evolved is that now we have tactical nuclear weapons under the "Command and Control" of regional commanders. Now a decision to use a nuclear weapon in a theater of war is left up to a military commander in the field.
We are a nation that has replaced our manufacturing sector with a military industrial complex, indulging in a practice that President Dwight D. Eisenhower specifically pointed out in one of his last speeches as the single greatest threat to our democracy and world peace. Somehow this situation is no longer considered to be something we should be wary of. Maybe there is something happening somewhere that negates all the warnings Eisenhower believed was the greatest threat to our republic.