Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger
Those who’ve read my comments here through the last two Presidential elections, know that I supported and voted for Barack Obama twice. Yet President Obama has been a disappointment to me throughout his Administration. His continuing support of what I consider extra-Constitutional intelligence gathering is a terrible thing. That Guantanamo Bay is still functioning is a continuing human rights violation. The continued American troop presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan is as disgraceful as the reasons that caused us to be there in the first place. Bradley Manning is an American hero that this country is illegally torturing with this President’s approval. The entire issue of the rising deficit and of a mythical “Fiscal Cliff” is one the President gives credit to, thus making it seem real to the public, while those decrying it merely are using it as a means of destroying America’s already frayed “social safety net”. The escape from criminal prosecution of the Bush Administration for War Crimes time has passed. The financial titans who collapsed our economy with their fraudulent manipulations will not be brought to justice, only become wealthier. The continuance of prosecuting the “War on Drugs” after we’ve seen marvelous public initiatives legalizing marijuana at State Levels, is a cruel hoax that destroys the lives of people in the name of protecting the citizenry. Need I go on to make the point of how disappointing this Administration has been? It would take tens of thousands of more words to do so, but then in this erudite group of those readers of this blog, it would be unnecessary, because so many here could do it on their own and perhaps better than I can.
Where I get confused at times here is in the continuing surprise that is expressed with each new violation of our rights, with each new foreign incursion and with the continued militarization of this country as it “goosesteps” towards the creation of an Empire. I get confused because I fail to understand why people who know better, would think that someone else as President could prevent all of these atrocious occurrences. This confusion is re-enforced by the fact that this blog has continually presented evidence that this country is no longer, if indeed it has been, under the aegis of our beloved Constitution. Leading the evidence presented here was Jonathan Turley’s blog post ”10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free”. http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/15/10-reasons-the-u-s-is-no-longer-the-land-of-the-free/ As our esteemed proprietor followed up this post was selected as one of the top ten articles in the Washington Post’s Outlook Section for 2012. At the end of this piece I will give links to my own guest blogs which have also reinforced the idea that we are no longer the country of freedom that our establishment claims we represent. Thus comes my somewhat confused question as to why would we the denizens of this blog think that barring action by the people, that our President, or any other governmental officials could single-highhandedly return us to the ideals of our constitution.
My working for and voting for President Obama had nothing to do with a belief that he could effect anywhere near the change that is needed to make this country free, to level the economic playing field, or finally end our march for world hegemony. I firmly believe that this country is ruled by a Plutocratic Corporatocracy and this has at least been the case since the assassination of JFK. http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/
What I wrote about in that guest blog was the JFK murder represented a turning point where the Corporate Military/Industrial Complex assumed control of U.S. foreign affairs and sent the chilling message to all future Presidents that they ought not to interfere with the will of this group in foreign matters. Richard Nixon believed himself to be a foreign policy expert par excellence and demanded to run his own foreign policy and he too was removed from office, albeit less violently, but in my opinion with the same complicity from those who disposed of JFK. As I wrote succinctly about Richard Nixon in the guest blog linked above:
“Nixon further escalates Viet Nam War. He names Poppy Bush Ambassador to China despite lack of qualification. Nixon/Kissinger cut “Experts” out of Foreign Policy and negotiate détente with China, decried by Defense/CIA/”Experts who are all “Cold Warriors”. “Plumbers” unit formed in White House, members all tied to CIA and Poppy Bush. Amateurishly bungled Watergate Burglary performed by intelligence professionals. Nixon reelected but Watergate becomes big deal. Bob Woodward, with past CIA ties, begins investigation with Carl Bernstein. Woodward gains information from “Deep Throat” that is damning. John Dean, who also has ties to Poppy Bush blabs to Congress. Andrew Jaworski, an old friend of Poppy Bush, becomes Special Prosecutor after Cox fired. Poppy Bush becomes head of Republican Party. Poppy Bush advises Nixon to resign for the good of the Party. Gerald Ford becomes President and surprises Poppy Bush by not naming Poppy Bush Vice President. Ford pardons Nixon before full charges are brought and so many details lost as the investigation stops.”
I believe the full story is that Nixon overstepped the foreign policy limits of the Presidency, drawn in the sand by JFK’s murder and was removed as punishment. President Obama when he ran in 2008 mad the promise that he would abolish Guantanamo Bay, via Presidential Decree, during his first day in office. I have no reason to doubt he believed this, but I think that after the election when he was being briefed by the Foreign Policy/Military/Intelligence establishment he was given the message as to just how far he could go and today Guantanamo still thrives, we still have troops in Iraq and are still prosecuting a war in Afghanistan. We also see a steady barrage of pressure to attack Iran and intervene in Syria. As we already have done in Libya. Our defense budget is already larger than the defense budgets of all the countries in the rest of the world combined and with all our supposed economic woes nobody with any power dares to question it remaining so high.
Prior to Obama’s 2008 election our economic system was trashed and a hasty bi-partisan coalition backed the moves of our Federal Reserve head, our Treasury Secretary and our putative President to bail out these huge Investment Banks with a blank check. Pro forma efforts at investigation were made, enough details coming out to show that the crisis was the result of their own mismanagement and of indeed outright fraud. Not only were there no major prosecutions, but in fact many responsible for the crisis received even larger bonuses the following years. It’s true that Bernie Madoff was sent to jail for what will be his life, but then Bernie Madoff preyed upon the same class of people who caused the banking crisis. The plain truth is we are powerless when it comes to the Plutocrats of the world and only those who attempt to take from them are the ones who suffer.
While I’ve only scratched the surface above of the President’s impotency in the face of the interlocking power of the Plutocratic class intertwined with the Corporate Military/Industrial Complex, almost all who will read this are already there with their own insights. This devolves into two questions then which I will attempt to answer. The first is of course why did I even bother to support President Obama if I think he lacks the power to change anything substantive?
My answer is simply that I refuse to give up hope that we the people can rise up and make a difference. While I believe we are ruled by a Plutocracy, I also believe that this Plutocracy is not a homogeneous group. There are insatiable egos in play and there is disagreement in how to manage us “the people”. For purposes of ease let me break that up into two groups, although the reality I think is far more diverse. The first group can be called the “let them eat cake” group and they could care less about the lives of us peasants as long as we continue to serve them well. The second group are those that believe in “noblesse oblige” and believe in their power, yet feel that they owe something, though not that much, to the teeming masses yearning to breathe free. Each National election is a reflection between these two theories of social control. In the election past Romney represented the “eat cake” group, while Obama represented the “noblesse oblige” group. Since I refuse to give up hope that we can find a way to overthrow this Plutocracy, for now I must support the “noblesse oblige” group to minimize the effects of the pain being inflicted upon the people.
The second question is what I think can be done to change things. The answer in my mind is so broad that I would have to write a manifesto, which I’m not yet prepared to do. Here then are my ten suggestions for how we can regain our freedom done schematically and in random order.
- Organize opposition to both parties from the ground up by forming a third party willing to build over the span of years and not needing the immediate gratification of instant success.
- Understand that ideology is the enemy of equitable solutions and that humanity’s ills are those of a psychological rather than political basis.
- Do everything in our power to maintain internet freedom, since it has become the only remaining source of information untainted by propaganda (if you look diligently enough).
- Educate people as to the reality of their desperate situations.
- Educate people about how they have been manipulated by mythology and propaganda.
- Stop believing in leaders no matter how attractive and start believing in our own competence.
- Protest injustice wherever you encounter it.
- Understand that you must convince people of your cause, before you can advance your cause.
- Examine your own prejudices and expunge them
- Treat other human beings as you would have yourself treated.
Those are my ten as counter point to the ten ways we are no longer free. What are yours? First though let me give my own “political” views succinctly:
Every human being shall have the right to adequate: Food; Water; Shelter; Clothing; Free Education and the means to find meaningful occupations. They should have freedom of speech, thought and movement. This is what needs to be accomplished for the Human Race to evolve to its full potential. The mechanisms for this should be developed pragmatically, not through political philosophy. The sociopaths, the psychopaths and the narcissists must somehow be segregated from the rest of humanity, or at least denied meaningful power.
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger