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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Delusions of empire

Grave of Vera Smith of New Orleans, who died in the aftermath of the hurricane. Neighbors buried her.  Read the story at http://www.abqtrib.com/albq/nw_national/article/0,2564,ALBQ_19860_4055315,00.html/
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." Thus spake "a high ranking Bush administration official," according to Ron Suskind, in 2002.

The "New American Century" had a short life. Cooked up by "Neo-conservatives," the American empire was going to make the whole world shudder at the overwhelming power of the United States. Our military was supposed to be able to pre-emptively attack any country on the planet for whatever reason we wanted. This would cause them all to fall in line with the empire’s dominance. We would control the world’s resources, choose the rulers and forms of government of as many countries as we wanted, and would establish military bases all over the world.

As we are now becoming painfully aware, this plan was doomed from the start. It was inevitable that some power-mad group of people would concoct a scheme for world dominance, but the time has passed for such nonsense. In the case of the Project for the New American Century, the main problem is at the very root of the plan: the planners.

According to what information we have, the architects of the plan are Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and several others. These are not some of the great minds of history. Not Archemedes, not Pythagoras, not Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle, not Jesus, not Copernicus, not DaVinci or Galileo, not Shakespeare, not Newton or Einstein, not Stephen Hawking, and certainly not Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

What they are is a motley collection of political hacks, academic hacks, media hacks, diplomatic hacks, and a former director of the CIA. They do not think, speak, or act in the interest of the American people, but for themselves. It is for their own power, wealth, fame, and privilege that they cooked up their scheme for world dominance. Richard Perle is reported to have said "Our grandchildren will be singing songs about us." Most likely they will be singing Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

Enter reality. The attacks of September 11, 2001 were the direct result of the negligence and/or complicity by the empire builders of the New American Century. The Iraq invasion and occupation was the direct result of lies and manipulations by the empire builders of the New American Century. The planned invasion of Iran is being cooked up by the empire builders of the New American Century. The threats to Syria and North Korea are the work of the empire builders of the New American Century. The threats and attempted overthrow of Venezuela's democratically elected president Hugo Chavez are the work of the empire builders of the New American Century.

Now we have Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The hurricane was not planned by the empire builders of the New American Century, but the aftermath is the direct result of their irresponsible and criminal schemes. It has been known for at least a decade that New Orleans was vulnerable to massive flooding from a hurricane. Just last year funding was cut for levee repairs and shifted to build a $230 million bridge in Alaska to serve 50 residents. Read about it here,
here
, here, and here. By its active and passive negligence, the Bush crime family is guilty of mass murder, and of leading the economy to depression.

So much for the great empire. The bumbling Bush regime is the shame of America, a gang of criminal incompetents and pretenders. But what does this mean for the rest of us, for the everyday citizens of the U.S. and the planet at large? "Leftists" would have us believe that these evil schemers are all-powerful, with plans in place for all that is happening, just ready to foist a police state on us.

I would not be so sure. Like I said before, these people are not Einstein, Archemedes, or Copernicus. They think they have all the answers, but of course, they don’t. Their downfall is that they are criminals, and therefore think like criminals, and as such, think in pretty short-sighted ways. There may be many people in the Bush crime family, but they are still relatively few, and they are trying to control the entire world. They get older every day, their bodies deteriorate, they get sick, and they have to be physically able to pull off the greatest criminal operation in history. When Hitler made his attempt to control the world, he and his fellow-conspirators were relatively young. The Bush gang is, for some weird set of circumstances, and old gang.

But whether the gang is old or young, events will overtake. The power of the military threat to the entire world hinged on success in the Iraq war. That was to be the springboard to a succession of wars. Instead it has turned into a debacle that has turned the whole world against us. The only option available now for attacking Iran is to do it as a surprise attack, getting approval from no one - not the Congress, the U.N., NATO, the American people, or anyone else. This will not only be a blatant war crime, but will call for retaliation from Russia, China, and the entire Mideast, to say nothing of Europe and the rest of the planet. At the very least, these countries are likely to react with economic sanctions, including cashing in on their holdings of American debt.

With our economy poised for collapse, carrying out a worldwide outrage will likely cause the martial law the Bush gang would so dearly love to have. But then they have to administer that martial law, a not-so-easy task. They may enjoy the carnage that will result, but that is not the power of an empire. It is the power of afraid little men trying to save their own skins, and it won’t last. Killing people depletes the national stock of human capital that is necessary for the empire itself. In other words, a sustainable empire cannot eat itself. And of course, people will resist, and resist creatively, as we are seeing in Iraq. Or, as Louis L’Amour used to say, the criminal mind always underestimates the forces it is up against.

The real backbone of any empire is its propaganda network, and the control the Bush crime family has had over the mainstream news media appears to be weakening. People actually on the scene are continually contradicting the lies of the Bush gang about the rescue efforts on the Gulf Coast. Bush’s Friday visit to New Orleans has been revealed as a stage managed hoax, with the food distribution center he was heralding being dismantled immediately after he left. Bush, his Homeland Security "czar" Michael Chertoff, and his totally incompetent FEMA director Michael Brown ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." - Bush) are being caught in lie after lie. Read about Brown’s qualifications here. Alternatives to the mainstream media are springing up all over the place, particularly on the Internet, but also on radio and television. Even though the corporate-controlled major network news operations are still playing along with the Bush gang, they are starting to rebel. For anyone who watched "Meet the Press" yesterday, it was a masterpiece of dissent. A synopsis is available here. The genie is out of the bottle, and is not likely to be put back in.

But these are all human variables. What will really sink the empire builders of the New American Century are physical events. Like the hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, the multiple environmental effects of the industrial era are finally coming home to roost. It is fair to say that what we are now beginning to experience is only the beginning of a period of exponential growth of the results of human intervention on the planet. In the face of global warming, ocean contamination and depletion, air pollution, desertification, erosion, soil poisoning, forest depletion, proliferation of garbage, invader species, resource depletion, and contamination of the gene pool, the machinations of a few power-hungry men pales to insignificance. Or, as I have said before in this blog, the best laid plans of mice and men often gang awry (apologies to Robert Burns).

So there is, in this hour of darkness, a glimmer of light. This gang of teenagers out in daddy’s car is about to crash into a tree. We can mourn for the tree, but not for the gang. They should have been wearing seat belts.

So who wins? One winner for sure is Osama bin Laden. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Or maybe not. He seems to understand the American system and its vulnerabilities very well. Whether the attacks had the cooperation of the Bush crime family or not, the direct results of the attacks are the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the enmity of the entire Muslim world, the alienation of our allies, the diversion of funds from social and conservation projects - most glaringly the protection of New Orleans, the bloating of the Federal deficit, and its resulting burden on the National Debt.

Osama bin Laden has said that his intention is to bankrupt the United States, and he is succeeding because of the corruption and stupidity of the Bush criminal organization.

Vanquished by a guy hiding out in umm, somewhere. I suspect he’s in Saudi Arabia, basking in luxury, laughing all the way to the mosque. Thanks to the stupidity, greed, lust for power, callousness, and homicidal rapaciousness of George W. Bush and his gang of nincompoops, Osama bin Laden has achieved mythical stature. "Dead or alive," as Bush declared he wanted him, he has led the defeat Russian imperialism, and now the U.S.

The worst part of it is that he made it look so easy.

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