America is weak, but not because of Obama or Trump or ISIS or even because of the Iraq war...
America is weak because it is so easily scared and manipulated.
And until Americans realise that - like some guy once said -"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" America is at risk...from itself.
Those of us with a brain in our heads and a willingness to fight for America need to start pushing back - hard - at the fear mongering, and the racism and xenophobia, and - most importantly - the fear.
All of those things are being pushed around by two sorts of people:
- cynics who want to manipulate Americans
You know that old saying, when you see a guy with a sports car, that, "he's compensating"? Well the same is true about soooo many Americans that project hatred and bigotry and xenophobia and intolerance: They compensate. They act incredibly aggressive and puff out their chests, BECAUSE they're scared.
Stand up to them and make your country strong by pushing back against fear and the cowards and cynics who are foisting it on our society.
Our ability to survive - and thrive - is contingent on our ability to look at the future without fear.
On 9/11, 2001, 2,977 people died.
Bush, who was - if anything - barely elected and a President with no mandate, siezed on 9/11 - like any President would - and went to work trying to do what he thought was appropriate as a response.
The two wars it spawned dragged on and largely helped him be re-elected. It also largely dismantled US citizen's civil liberties and rights to due process, and wreaked god only knows how much damage on the country via tax cuts for the 1%.
Those wars were predicted to top out at about 6 Trillion dollars, but that was before ISIS. Now - who knows.
The implementation of the Patriot Act was supposed to "only" cost, 1 Trillion up through 2006, but again, that's got to be a very low estimate in 2015.
Between all of this, and the endless other chicanery involved when a country goes to war, I don't think it's a stretch to say that 9/11 cost the country close to 10 Trillion dollars, if not more.
And when I say 9/11 I really mean: the reaction to 9/11.
But what of the human cost of the reaction to 9/11?
Well, as far as Americans are concerned, 6866 troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many thousands more have been wounded irreparably - including many that are homeless or who have committed suicide.
So, 9/11 killed less that half - 44% - as many people as the reaction to 9/11 has.
Have we accomplished our goals? Is Iraq no longer a "threat" to American interests? Is Afghanistan now free from the tranny of the Taliban?
Have Islamic extremists been stopped from committing brutal acts of mass terror around the world?
And now, after Paris, we are seeing the same sort of talk, the same sorts of planning to over react and curb freedoms, the same swing to the right and the same nonsensical march towards war.
Apparently we just can't be taught as a species to avoid making the same mistakes time and time again.
And btw: we lose as many Americans at the end of a gun every 33 days as we did on 9/11. We lose as many Americans to cars every 5 weeks as we did on 9/11.
Ask yourself why those deaths are totally fine, and just the cost of doing business, but 9/11 required 10 Trillion dollars, a loss of many freedoms and many thousands more human deaths. The answers aren't great, because they reflect the fragility of humanity.
Wise up folks. Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem.
A former C.I.A. officer with experience in Turkey wrote a provocative essay this summer about the deep state. The phrase refers to a parallel secret government embedded in the military and intelligence services, whose purpose is to provide a check on electoral democracy.
But Turkey wasnt the target of the essay, written by Philip Giraldi. He was aiming, as his headline declared, at Deep State America.
Mr. Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, a foreign-policy advocacy group in Washington, called the American deep state of today an unelected, unappointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes.
In contrast to Turkey, where Mr. Giraldi said a covert deep state had taken root in the security realm, the American deep state of his description consists of visible people like the Clintons and the former C.I.A. director David H. Petraeus, concentrated around New York and Washington, who live at the fertile nexus of government and corporate power: Capitol Hill aides and legislators who cash in as lobbyists; former politicians who earn millions speaking to banks, or landing sinecures with them; technocrats who ricochet between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury Department; billionaire kingmakers dangling political donations; thinkers whose tanks are financed by corporations with a financial stake in their research.
Deep State America
Democracy is often subverted by special interests operating behind the scenes.
Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an establishment. All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep States protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.
Just sayin' like.
Considering the amount that Americans love to bash France. And considering that the worst offenders are politicians who will now be publicly brown-nosing the French in an attempt to make Obama do more militarily in Syria... considering all of that maybe it's time the US permanently renamed French fries, freedom fries. Because if Americans are allowed to show their support for France by eating fast food, well...watch out Syria here we come.
A lot of people are calling the recent Paris terror attacks, "France's 9/11," or even, "Europe's 911," so I think it makes a lot of sense to go back and have a look at how we responded after 9/11 and see what can be learned/avoided/done differently this time around.
The first thing we did is declare war on the perpetuator. Depending on how you look at it, Bush declared war sometime between Sept 12 and Sept 20.
France declared war within 24 hours.
We declared that we'd have to work with some bad people to get the results we wanted.
Today Putin and Assad are being reformed in the media and embraced - again - by the west.
We suspended or discarded many of our civil liberties.
France is already in a state of siege, and god knows what the intelligence and police are doing. Certainly they raided over 100 homes already, installed a curfew and want to extend there "emergency powers" for up to three months... so far.
The rightwing and hyper-militaristic amongst us gained power - and deep public support in America, after 9/11.
The same is happening across Europe today.
I could go on, but I think my point is clear: we have learned NOTHING from the mistakes we made after 9/11, have we?
Even on DU people are openly telling the NSA that they can take away their freedom to communicate privately.
I had an Irishman tell me today that, "we need another Bush/Rumsfeld...another strongman" to solve our problems, oblivious to the fact a huge chunk of today's problems were caused by the actions of the neocons in response to 9/11. And that 9/11 was itself largely in response to the behaviour of right-wing hawks in the ME.
We are slipping right back into the militaristic mindset, that we can bomb or kill our way out of these issues, which were themselves caused by trying to bomb and kill our way out of other problems. We can't.
NOW - not in 10 years - is when we need to stop a repeat what happened after 9/11.
Without understanding our history there will be no real foreign policy success, and no end to terror
I see a lot of posts discussing Iraq and 9/11 and ISIS as if they occurred in a vacuum...and that's likely because US citizens are - as a rule - so ignorant of their own countries foreign policy through the years that is essentially did.
And guess what: unless Americans make a REAL effort to understand what their tax dollars are funding, and have been funding, for decades, this isn't going to stop.
The US has lied to itself for too long.
I know people think it's too depressing or difficult, but hey, imagine how depressing it has been for all the families whose lives have been ruined by immoral US activity that's been happening for decades. If any other country treated America the way it's treated the majority of the world, Americans would consider that country evil. And yet Americans believe that it is some sort of shining beacon of morality.
From coups, to assassinations, to mass civilian killings, to funding and propping up dictators, to medical experiments on it's on civilian population, the US has a LOT to answer for ... and the REST OF THE WORLD knows all about this stuff - even if we choose to be ignorant.
Americans aren't bad - individually - but at the same time, they ARE RESPONSIBLE for their government and it's representatives worldwide.
So my fellow Americans, go learn your history, and start demanding that your politicians acknowledge it.
How sad is it that no one - no politicians, no media outlets, no one - had the courage to discuss the US roll in Iran for decades, in context of the Iran nuclear deal. How pathetic are we as a nation that we don't even google the history of the US in Iran before we latch onto fear mongering BS our politicians spew - from both sides of the aisle. And those lies that we're told, that we support tacitly, those are the cause of so many of our problems. In other words, it is literally our fault.
But if we educated ourselves and forced out politicians to be honest, we could also be the solution.
Make yourself a force for real change: learn your own countries history and the history of it's foreign policy.
I just saw the photos of Ben Carson's house and I can't decide if I should laugh or cry.
The best, almost as good as anything Herman Cain did - almost - is the bible verse chiseled into his wall, with Proverbs neither capitalised or spelled correctly.
Though this is also pretty amazeballs.
Aren't we having fun? Doesn't this remind us of the lunacy of a certain Pokemon quoting philosopher?
There's a lot more to the story though, and the media either hasn't copped on to it yet, or is refusing to run with it, due to concerns about a backlash.
You see, Carson's beliefs are inextricably tied up with his religion, and the media can't be seen to be attacking a candidates religion, right?
But we're getting ahead of ourselves, how is this connected to his religion?
Well, grab a beer and settle in; this is gonna take some explaining.
Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. One of the founders of his religion was a woman, who SDA venerates as an actual prophet, named Ellen White. White prophesied alllll sorts of things and SDAs believe these are all factual, that she is, "inerrant" or even that god directly spoke through her. Proving her prophecies to be true would mean that their faith is real.
Back in the 1990s, there a very famous - in some religious circles - SDA pseudo-archaeologist named Ron Wyatt. He made it his life's work to use "archaeology" to prove the bible was right, but to SPECIFICALLY prove that certain Ellen White prophesies were right.
Here's some of the things he claimed to have discovered:
- Noah's Ark (the Durupınar site, located approximately 18 miles (29 km) south of Mount Ararat)
- Anchor stones (or drogue stones) used by Noah on the Ark
- The post-flood house, grave markers and tombs of Noah and his wife
- The location of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other Cities of the Plain: Zoar, Zeboim and Admah
- Sulfur/brimstone balls from the ashen remains of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- The area of Djoser's pyramid complex believed to be the remains of Joseph's grain distribution bins used during the 7 year famine.
- The Tower of Babel site (in southern Turkey)
- How the Egyptians may have built the pyramids.
- The site of the Israelites' crossing of the Red Sea (located in the Gulf of Aqaba)
- Chariot wheels and other relics of the army of Pharaoh at the bottom of the Red Sea
- The site of the biblical Mt. Sinai (in Saudi Arabia at Jabal al Lawz)
- A chamber at the end of a maze of tunnels under Jerusalem containing artifacts from Solomon's Temple (including the Ark of the Covenant).
- The site of the Crucifixion of Jesus
- Christ's blood, dripped onto the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant beneath the Crucifixion site.
You might have noticed something on that list, but if you didn't I'll type it again:
- The area of Djoser's pyramid complex believed to be the remains of Joseph's grain distribution bins used during the 7 year famine.
You see, Ron Wyatt invented a wonderful new theory, that Imhotep, who made the pyramids, was in actual fact the biblical Joseph.
This idea was quite popular in the late 1990s, among the SDA, and surely Carson heard this idea from Wyatt, who was very well known in the church.
And - almost certainly - Carson believes Imhotep was ACTUALLY Joseph.
Wyatt was a serial liar though... and a conman. His wife carries on his, "work" with the "Wyatt Archeological Research" organisation... which is a for profit entity.
Here's a choice quote about Ron:
'Archaeologist Joe Zias of Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has stated that "Ron Wyatt is neither an archaeologist nor has he ever carried out a legally licensed excavation in Israel or Jerusalem. In order to excavate one must have at least a BA in archaeology which he does not possess despite his claims to the contrary. ... His claims fall into the category of trash which one finds in tabloids such as the National Enquirer, Sun etc."'
The last link is insane, but worth a read as it does explain some things not in the other links... the author is a rabid anti-semite though - be warned.
So, media, why haven't you asked Carson about Wyatt, and about... Joseph and Imhotep?
There so many questions to ask, if Carson is a Wyatt supporter - and the answers could end his campaign.