Today before the United Nations General Assembly POTUS mused that "we" may have "no choice" other than to blow North Korea off the face of the earth. It sounded a lot like wishful thinking to me. Surely there is always choice although the most palatable selection invariably wins out. In any case megalomaniacs characteristically see others as inferior and seem inherently unwilling to waste time in discussions with ancillary beings.
POTUS also claimed that the U.S. is not driven by ideology but rather by outcomes. Presumably he was alluding to the beloved outcomes of regime change activities—power vacuums, chaos, and devastation—in countries whose leadership thinks less of U.S. leadership than U.S. leadership thinks of itself. That's the general direction in which Yankee taxpayers throw their money anyway. We certainly are not driven by democracy, peace, or goodwill.
The U.S. Senate just approved a 692 billion dollar budget for the Department of Defense (D0D) while surreptitiously reconsidering repeal of the Affordable Care Act—in part since, after feeding DOD, the nation won't have pecuniary leftovers to squander on foolishness like ensuring America's residents have both accessibility and affordability of medical treatments regardless of financial means or circumstance.
Because of skewed legislative priorities millions of Americans are likely to lose any semblance of medical insurance and possibly die prematurely while millions more non-Americans definitely will die even sooner by importing our greatest worldwide exports which are war and the implements and technologies of war.
Nowadays political and media minions have so bamboozled the citizenry that many befuddled Americans actually believe that DOD defends something other than congressional appropriations directed toward military coffers. To protect the illusion of DOD purity U.S. officials have begun actively demonizing selected outstanding media organizations who offer intellectually superior alternative narratives.
Back in 2015 we were somewhat skeptical when Serbian director and musician Emir Kusturica predicted that WWIII would begin with the Pentagon's bombing of an extraordinarily successful RT news organization. Now we're beginning to understand that Kusturica is simply prescient.
Yesterday former-President Jimmy Carter spoke at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the New York Daily News (NYDN) he insightfully opined that contemporary America has descended to oligarchy from nominal democracy, and suggested that the nation's leaders ideally might strive to "Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth"—something we all might try but nothing ostensibly palatable to POTUS or key members of any Neanderthal administration.
Also the NYDN said "The North Koreans ... want a treaty that guarantees the U.S. will not attack unless North Korea attacks the U.S. or an ally, particularly South Korea. 'Until we talk to them and treat them with respect—as human beings, which they are—I don't think we're going to make any progress' Carter said". Mr. Carter also mentioned shortcomings of present U.S. approaches in providing "justice to the Palestinians" and mentioned the inflexibility of both Israeli and Palestinian positions in that perpetual boundary dispute.
Of course all nations desire to be treated well. Lack of respect for human dignity may well prove to be America's ultimate downfall. U.S. alienation accelerates worldwide with each questionable use of economic sanctions and/or military force during characteristically vain attempts to dominate critics who are best approached with respect, diplomacy, and detente.
Kim Jong-un watches the U.S. propagandize North Korea as contemptuous and knows that similarly touted nations consistently are invaded by the home of the brave when they are not nuclear powers. Consequently the best safeguard against U.S. invasion appears to be nuclear capability, something North Korea aggressively pursues in the interest of genuine defense. Perhaps a treaty might be struck truly to everyone's satisfaction. It's certainly worth a shot.
Unfortunately U.S. policy makers seem to believe that unchallenged brute force is more desirable and conclusive. They still appear to consider thus-far-futile belligerence to be "progress". In spite of beliefs to the contrary, war is quietly becoming incrementally unfashionable—and eventually obsolete we hope. We believe those who practice large scale violence with gusto are destined to become pariahs.
Yesterday our favorite online magazine, In These Times, published an article by Oakland-based activist Brooke Anderson. The work showcases an interview with a California domestic worker identified as "Maria". That interview highlights selected struggles of Maria and her workplace compeers with incidental emphasis on unregulated exposure to toxic chemicals. It's a very worthwhile read.
Therein Maria is billed as "a leader in the Los Angeles-based workers' center, the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA)" and near the end of the text she is quoted as saying "We want clean water, clean air to breathe, healthy children, accessible education, physical and mental health for all and respect for all living things". Wow! Who possibly could espouse otherwise?
Immediately of course the answer came to mind: "the government of the United States of America. That's who." In aggregate our "authorities" tacitly espouse the accumulation of wealth at the expense of all things sacred.
From Vietnam all the way to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, and everywhere else, Yankee government demonstrates total disregard for physical and mental health and all living things. "Too harsh" you say? Perhaps, but check out a few facts from the continuing and uncompensated legacies of Vietnam's Agent Orange1 and America's unrestrained use of depleted uranium2 in Iraq and likely throughout the Middle East and elsewhere—maybe you'll eventually become more critical.
America's arguably illegal invasions of sovereign nations not only created but also fueled the rise of ISIS. Chaos, regime change, and undisputed spheres of influence are, and always have been, primary goals of U.S. foreign policy. Informed readers know that the U.S. is behind virtually all contemporary large scale violence worldwide and despite any official narratives to the contrary all that belligerence has its genesis in greed.
Domestic policy too favors corporate bottom lines at the expense of clean air and water, healthy children, physical and mental health, and respect for all living things. We recently witnessed most of that in the high-profile conflict between Native Americans and big money over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Of course wealth once again steam-rolled sacredness.
Try to imagine the world's richest nation with goals other than evermore wealth accumulation and forcibly remolding the rest of the planet into the image of insatiable avarice. What if America's leaders could sincerely say "We want clean water, clean air to breathe, healthy children, accessible education, physical and mental health for all, and respect for all living things. We want greater universal good so henceforth we will put people, planet, and peace before profits."
Pertinently this site's favorite question has always been: "How can a nation devoid of humanitarian goals, dismissive of human rights, and primarily exporting war be considered the 'leader of the free world'?"
1much more HERE about Agent Orange in Vietnam.
2more HERE about depleted uranium in Iraq.
Currently under U.S. Senate consideration, this bill is the annual allocation of funding for "intelligence" activities.
Section 623 at the end of the bill reads as follows: "It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States."
Note that "the sense of Congress" is speculative and the wording "non-state hostile intelligence service" was first used by CIA director Mike Pompeo in an April 13th speech in which he said it is ".. time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is -- a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia," Most likely the CIA director knows that the alleged external Russian "hacks" were actually internal "leaks" as satisfactorily shown technically by VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Nevertheless America's collusive mainstream press still reports the "Russian hacks" as fact..
As for the bill's accusatory claim that Wikileaks is "often abetted by state actors" informed readers can only surmise this reference to mean U.S. government employees supplying "Vault 7" information to Wikileaks for publication. Vault 7 reveals methodologies for a number of CIA hacking capabilities, like the ability to control target hardware while making it difficult to discern the source of the breach. In any case as Senator Ron Wyden has noted, the novel term "non-state hostile intelligence service" easily can be applied tyrannically.
The revelation of truth cannot harm benevolent enterprise. Entities harmed by factual revelations need review their motives and intent with an eye towards change. Julian Assange and Wikileaks have 100% unblemished track record in revealing truths substantiated with fact. On the other hand U.S. government officials frequently lie to the world in public with impunity.
It seems ludicrous and hypocritical that Congress might name Wikileaks as an enemy of the State while allowing ex-National Security Agency head Keith Alexander to retire unscathed after publicly inviting senators to a "special briefing" that would "prove" that mass surveillance of U.S. citizens thwarted 50 or so terrorist attacks—a claim now thoroughly debunked. And ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper slid off the hook following 100% fabricated testimony before Congress about that very issue.
The U.S. NEEDS involuntary transparency.. If it were not for Edward Snowden the general public would not know that top U.S. "intelligence" officials lied unmercifully to protect their turf at the expense of Constitutional values they swore to protect and defend. And nowadays arguably de facto domestic enemies would severely punish the "Collateral Murder" messenger, Julian Assange, in order to dissuade others from "unauthorized" revelations.
From a U.S. citizen's perspective both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are far more hero than villain.
1After posting, the original 09/04/2017 entry was edited significantly and replaced 09/05/2017. Substantive editing of an entry after site publication is a first for this site.