Laugh. It’s okay. I’ll wait. I thought it was darkly funny too. Then I thought deeply about what it really meant. And this is what I came up with:
America’s Imperialist Policies: “Freeing” People Since the Revolutionary War
Or so they would have you believe. When I saw this graphic, I realized much of what has bothered me about the United States military is the very existence of that military and how it has been used since the forming of this nation. The military is the ultimate expression of “cognitive dissonance” and freedom.
- How free are we if we spend more than the next 14 nations who are our allies to maintain our military superiority?
- How free are we if we are free to starve in the streets, while millionaires look on at the starving masses from their helicopters?
- How free are we when we look down at the chicken we just bought from the market and have to wonder: “Is it safe to eat?”
- How free are we when our students leave school with more debt and less to show for it than any generation in 100 years.
To have a chance at a decent job, some of them will leave school with what we once spent on a house.
You remember those. Where people who live in tent cities across America used to live, in homes. Homes they have lost due to the collapsed financial market. A market where we have finally gotten around to slapping fines out but no executives of these banks who knew they were engaged in what should have been considered illegal activities have been sent to jail yet; if ever.
If you want to see a jail cell, then protest appears to be the way to go. Executives have to be caught eating a live human baby, on camera with at least 12 reliable witnesses and even then a good lawyer gets them “time served” and a napkin.
We say our military might is about maintaining our freedom. Freedom appears pretty expensive to me.
The need for the military and its purchases certainly appears to be more important than:
- schools – we don’t seem to value education anymore; no money? No education. We don’t plan on you making any decisions anyway so who cares if you learn anything?
- bridges – we haven’t had enough collapse to make anyone care, yet. With over 2,000 in a dangerous state of repair, its just a waitin’ game.
- roads – we are turning them back to gravel. FDR would be so proud.
- updating our electricity infrastructure – parts of the nation spend more time in the dark than the Amish
- water – no one is mentioning this number one hard to come by resource, nationwide
- waste management – take it to the landfill, no plan after that
- research and development – we don’t do that here, anymore
- manufacturing – precious little of this either
- plumbing and city-wide sewer and sanitation for every major metropolis in the US.
Thank God [sarcasm] we are still privatizing prisons. American innovation at its finest. [/sarcasm]
Did I miss anything important? Wait:
- industrialized food production – or how to create foods that will eventually kill us
- genetically modified foods – no useful or specific testing before human use
- dying bee populations likely due to pesticide overuse
- antibiotic resistant disease management – welcome back to the age of dying-from-a-scratch. Penicillin we hardly knew ye…
- overpopulation – no need to stop now, we can break 10 billion by 2040.
- climate change – yes, I know, its a myth, like Creation, right?
- fracking and its poisoned waste water – we don’t need fresh water; fracking scientists assure me, flammable water IS still drinkable.
- oil production, oil sand extraction – moonscape anyone?
- lack of transition to non-oil based technologies – solar panels? We don’t need no stinking solar panels, or wind farms or biogas facilities. Peak oil is a myth too.
The US maintains over 600 military bases around the world. We have more fighters and bombers than we will ever use. We have cargo planes coming off the assembly line and being scrapped in the same year. We have so much military hardware, we are selling it to the police in our local communities.
Just what we need, antipersonnel vehicles on Main Street.
The military is a jobs program with a $600 billion dollar price tag. Yes, I said it.
That is the American way. We starve our schools while our fighter bomber programs roam free across the countryside, ensuring powerful defense contractors continue to get their piece of our “ignorant nation” pie.
American Imperialism is dead, hear tell it. Now that there are almost no nations we can destabilize and then attack under the guise of “freedom.” We are being told that our president has no sense of foreign policy. In conservative speak: no sense of foreign policy means any policy which does not put boots on the ground and food in a defense contractors mouths.
It has been the American way for so long to deliver freedom from the barrel of a gun or the bomber bay of attack aircraft if your country needed “freedom”. Freedom meant we bombed you into freedom and then you spent twenty five years “recovering” and not being an economic threat to our hegemony.
Clever plan, eh?
I would say our experimentation with a Democratic Republic has had a rocky road and almost no one who has tried to embrace our freedom, particularly after we send them a dose of HE has been successful in its implementation.
Could it be our brand of freedom comes at too high a price?
A friend of mine had this to say about the secrets a government must keep to maintain its control:
by H Wolfgang Porter
The thing that a staggering amount of people in the US cannot comprehend is how the government works on a multi-level, multi-tiered, multifaceted framework nationally and internationally simultaneously. Few people ever get to see the ‘whole picture’ and even fewer can comprehend it when they do!
Most folks see one small aspect of what the country does and support or flip out over it based upon the limited info they get from news sources (often singular.) What the government does is crazy deep. When you get things going at such ‘depths’, there’s a lot of ‘dark’ activities going on. Rarely are those activities stuff you’d want to shine a light on.
What’s jacked though is the people of the US benefit quite a bit from those things ‘done in the dark’. For everything perceived as ‘good and above board’, an unknown (probably for the best) amount of shadowy events went down to push that ‘light event’ into being.
No one in this country wants to acknowledge or admit that the US is an Empire. You don’t get to be an empire or ‘superpower’ in the world without a lot of people getting covered in blood and dirt. It’s jacked up because we want the country to present the best face and intentions possible at all times. But, in the real world it doesn’t work that way.
At best, ‘We the People’ should be working towards keeping our government ‘honest as possible’. It will never be 100% above board because other nations aren’t playing by those rules. Plus, we’ll always have people in power who have their own agenda and those folks with the money and influence to push them along. We counteract those factors by being well informed as possible and do our individual best to not look at everything through ‘tribal filters’.
There is No Future – A cheery film talking about why we need to start changing how we do things around here. Or else.
Is this a bad time to mention we still have 20,000 nuclear weapons rusting away quietly all across this nation, ready to keep us free (or begin to quietly fail) and be unable to launch with hunks of active plutonium waiting at the maybe secure launch facility.
Nothing to worry about. What’s the worst that can happen? An explosion of Freedom…
© Thaddeus Howze 2013, All Rights Reserved
© H. Wolfgang Porter 2013, All Rights Reserved