These elections and the associated conventions have taken our country so far down into the murky waters of greed, lies and hypocrisy, I am hard pressed to see how we could sink any lower.
The American people, like the team players that we are, hop on the bandwagon and are carried along by the speeches and fanfare. If you believe one view, then Trump is the good guy. If you believe the other view, then Hillary is the good woman.
Finally, we have reached that wonderful fairytale world, where good and evil are clearly defined and we know what we are fighting for.
There is a bogey-man and it is, most definitely, the other side.
Watching these elections on television, I keep remembering the Iraq War, delcared in 2003.
Everyone now seems to admit that it was a terrible “mistake.” The intelligence information was all wrong.
Oops. Oh, well!
Words fail me as I watch the insanity of this election and how easily we have fallen into it. As easily as we fell into the Iraq War.
John Tirman, the principal research scientist at MIT Center for International Studies has said that an average figure “suggests roughly 700,000” Iraqis died in the Iraq War. That figure does not include deaths among the millions of displaced Iraqis, which accounted for 20% of the population. Those statistics were repressed by the media. What we saw on television wasn’t anything like what was really happening.
When war was declared, no one dared to question the Shock and Awe campaign. I was president of InsideOUT Writers at that time. I sent out an email to my contacts saying that weapons of mass destruction was surely a lie and this war was a disaster. I wish I could find that email and review it now. It seemed so clear. I thought surely the majority of people in my mostly liberal circle would agree with me.
Much to my surprise, I was bombarded by vitriolic responses. I was labeled unpatriotic. I was told to keep my thoughts to myself at such a sensitive time, when we should show a united front and support for our leaders.
Now we know the truth. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein did not present a threat to the United States of America.
The decisions made in 2003 are directly responsible for the bloodbath in Syria, which is now spreading up through Turkey and into Europe. Those decisions are directly responsible for the rise of ISIS, and for the rise of terrorism in general.
Yet, no one is taking responsiblity. No one is standing trial for these crimes. The terroists are the evil ones, who somehow rose out of hell all on their own, without any provocation. We are pure in our righteous indignation.
If journalists do not toe the line and report what they are supposed to report, they are blacklisted.
Carne Ross, once known as “Mr. Iraq’ by the UN, was a senior British official and a leading figure in sanctions against Iraq. He has since apologised for that stance. In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “We would control access to the foreign secretary as a form of reward to journalists. If they were critical we would not give them the goodies of trips around the world. We would feed them factoids of sanitized intelligence, or we’d freeze them out.”
The public is quite used to being fed water-down or even made-up stories and accepting them. Slightly varied versions might be given to appeal to different segments, but the underlying story is the same. I think by now everyone knows that this is what happens. But, somehow, it just doesn’t matter. If the story appeals to us, we will believe it.
When all of our recent presidents are photographed together, there are both Bushs smiling along with the others.
The Iraq War is only one of many lies and manipulations. Why aren’t the American people demanding that our leaders speak the truth? Silence on the part of our leaders is collusion. Bush should be tried for this crime, as should a silent Senate. We as a nation should bow our heads in horror that we stood by.
But no ones does this. It would cause unrest. It would make us look weak and vulernable to our enemies. And so, we perpetuate the lies and manipulation. As a result, the world becomes more unstable and dangerous–the very results we fear will happen if we admit the truth.
NO LEADER IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GOT INTO A POSITION OF POWER BY TELLING THE TRUTH.
If you want to see things in a negative light, you vote for Trump. And if you want to see things in a positive light, you vote for Clinton. It’s okay, the marketing experts know how to appeal to consumers so that they think they are getting a different product. It is slightly different, but it is made by the same manufacturer. Give Americans the story they want; make them feel the way they want to feel and they will faithfully line the pockets of the rich and powerful, whether they be Republican or Democrat.
It doesn’t matter which one wins.
In fact, Clinton might well prove to be a greater mass murderer than Trump. In her 2008 bid for president she threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons. That is only one example of her eagerness to kill. We have yet to see.
Obama was a classy guy. And Michelle was super classy. People who like classy are going to miss them. I liked that Michelle included in her speech about slaves building the White House. It helped me see this fact in a new light. I had never imagined how incredible it must be for her and her daughters to wake up every day in the White House.
It made me think about the greater truth that this nation was built upon genocide, slavery and dishonesty. It was not built on the premise that “all men are created equal.” Slavery, genocide and dishonesty continue to this day. I never learned any of this in school. I never heard the statistics. I wasn’t given any tests on these subjects. I was never asked what it might mean to stand up against the lies of my own govnerment.
Democrat and Republican are two sides of the same coin.
“The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.” John Pilger
If the cost is 1 trillion, you better believe the profit for defense companies who are building and selling these weapons is at least double that. As always, war is big business. Making money is the American ideal.
Nothing has changed since the Iraq War of 2003 began. Nothing will change as long as humans are so easily bought for a dollar.
As Kurt Vonnegut so aptly said, “War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the First World War so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, the barbed wire and the machine gun.”
And now, we have the presidential election. One one side the police. On the other side the disenfranchized. Yet, wasn’t it Hillary Clinton who, in her 2008 bid for president labelled certain children as “super-predators.” Her words, “We can talk about how they became that way. But first, we have to bring them to heel.”
The Republican and Democartic conventions were carefully orchestrated. Like a sitcom, the audience laughed and clapped as instructed. It held up the appropriate signs that had been handed out ahead of time.
The world watches our hypocritical displays in disgust but without surprise.
Hillary Clinton is not a better choice than Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton represents the status quo, the way it has always been, the entrenched establishment. Donald Trump is unpredictable. I think he has some kind of wild idea that he can make independent decisions. But then, he isn’t a career politician.
Whoever wins, the polarization of the people of the United States will continue to escalate. With each faction believing the other is evil.
No president ever got to that position without selling themselves to the highest bidder. At that level of power, there is no more room for the ideal. There is no more room for kindness or generosity or understanding. There is only a slicker facade and an emptier soul.
Where are the mainstream journalists asking the question of why? Where are the journalists probing the build-up of American troops around the world, in aggression against Russia, China, not to mention the Middle East?
A map should be on display so we can see exactly how many American troops, how many nuclear warheads, how many military aircraft and ships are amassed on borders far from our own. And it should be compared to how many Russian troops and Chinese troops are amassed on borders far from their own.
Is it not imperative to have this information? Is it not imperative to know what is really happening?
Perhaps such information in front of our faces will help us to see how the United States, thanks to its own fundamentalist history as a Christian nation, has the dangerous idea that its “values,” must be embraced by all nations and all people. Even if it is done by force. As the Messiah will come back on his white horse and run all the infidels through with the sword–his Christian army beside him–so, too, the United States of America will lead the world as its Messiah, bringing to heel all who do not bow to our God-given rule.
Americans are fed just enough information to make us believe we are free to decide the fate of our nation and of ourselves.
We can “like” something. We can sign a petition. We can demonstrate. We can vote. We can publicly trash a politician or make jokes about them. It makes us feel as if we, as ordinary citizens, are influencers on this global stage. But we are just “liking” our way into World War Three. In fact, there are plenty of people in plenty of countries who would tell you a world war has already begun.
We are too distracted by the media lies to understand this.
Freedom of speech is a scam. But it doesn’t matter. As long as we are presented with a spectacle, we will watch it.
The more we can debate and take sides, the more we will be duped into thinking our involvement matters. It is clear with this election that people are being expected to take a side. As if by doing so, we are all doing our part. We are all making a commitment to either bring about change or to uphold the status quo.
It is all lies.
Nothing has changed since the Iraq War of 2003 began.
Nothing will change as long as humans are ruled by selish greed and are so easily bought by the highest bidder.
Nothing will change as long as humans are ruled by fear and are so easily intimidated by those in power.
Nothing will change as long humans are ruled by self-deceit and are so easily manipulated for the sake of entertainment.
We are not right (whoever “we” may be), and everyone else is not wrong (whoever “everyone else” may be).
In 1917, David Loyd George, the British Prime Minister, said of World War One, “If people knew the truth, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don’t know and can’t know.”
Some have said it is a lack of education. It is not. Our leaders are educated and they are the ones who send us to war.
Almost 7,000,000 Russians died in the “Great War.” The estimated total number of people killed is 20,000,000.
Yet we continue to glorify war and elevate our nation as if we have some God-given right to kill.
Here is one of many powerful statements Kurt Vonnegut made about war, “Perhaps when we remember war, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.”
There is no bogey-man onto which we can turn our hatred. There is no scapegoat to blame. The bogey-man is inside each of us.
It is called human nature.
And until we change the nature of humanity, nothing else will change.