Saturday, 27 December 2008

Obama Is A Hawk

By John Pilger

(14/06/08) In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: "The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it." What has changed? The terror of the rich is greater than ever, and the poor have passed on their delusion to those who believe that when George W Bush finally steps down next January, his numerous threats to the rest of humanity will diminish.

The foregone nomination of Barack Obama, which, according to one breathless commentator, "marks a truly exciting and historic moment in US history", is a product of the new delusion. Actually, it just seems new. Truly exciting and historic moments have been fabricated around US presidential campaigns for as long as I can recall, generating what can only be described as bullshit on a grand scale. Race, gender, appearance, body language, rictal spouses and offspring, even bursts of tragic grandeur, are all subsumed by marketing and "image-making", now magnified by "virtual" technology. Thanks to an undemocratic electoral college system (or, in Bush's case, tampered voting machines) only those who both control and obey the system can win. This has been the case since the truly historic and exciting victory of Harry Truman, the liberal Democrat said to be a humble man of the people, who went on to show how tough he was by obliterating two cities with the atomic bomb.

Understanding Obama as a likely president of the United States is not possible without understanding the demands of an essentially unchanged system of power: in effect a great media game. For example, since I compared Obama with Robert Kennedy in these pages, he has made two important statements, the implications of which have not been allowed to intrude on the celebrations. The first was at the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the Zionist lobby, which, as Ian Williams has pointed out, "will get you accused of anti-Semitism if you quote its own website about its power". Obama had already offered his genuflection, but on 4 June went further. He promised to support an "undivided Jerusalem" as Israel's capital. Not a single government on earth supports the Israeli annexation of all of Jerusalem, including the Bush regime, which recognises the UN resolution designating Jerusalem an international city.

His second statement, largely ignored, was made in Miami on 23 May. Speaking to the expatriate Cuban community – which over the years has faithfully produced terrorists, assassins and drug runners for US administrations – Obama promised to continue a 47-year crippling embargo on Cuba that has been declared illegal by the UN year after year.

Again, Obama went further than Bush. He said the United States had "lost Latin America". He described the democratically elected governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua as a "vacuum" to be filled. He raised the nonsense of Iranian influence in Latin America, and he endorsed Colombia's "right to strike terrorists who seek safe-havens across its borders". Translated, this means the "right" of a regime, whose president and leading politicians are linked to death squads, to invade its neighbours on behalf of Washington. He also endorsed the so-called Merida Initiative, which Amnesty International and others have condemned as the US bringing the "Colombian solution" to Mexico. He did not stop there. "We must press further south as well," he said. Not even Bush has said that.

It is time the wishful-thinkers grew up politically and debated the world of great power as it is, not as they hope it will be. Like all serious presidential candidates, past and present, Obama is a hawk and an expansionist. He comes from an unbroken Democratic tradition, as the war-making of presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton demonstrates. Obama's difference may be that he feels an even greater need to show how tough he is. However much the colour of his skin draws out both racists and supporters, it is otherwise irrelevant to the great power game. The "truly exciting and historic moment in US history" will only occur when the game itself is challenged.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20095.htm

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 27th, 2008.]

19 comments:

steven andresen said...

I like this paragraph,

"...It is time the wishful-thinkers grew up politically and debated the world of great power as it is, not as they hope it will be. Like all serious presidential candidates, past and present, Obama is a hawk and an expansionist. He comes from an unbroken Democratic tradition, as the war-making of presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton demonstrates. Obama's difference may be that he feels an even greater need to show how tough he is. However much the colour of his skin draws out both racists and supporters, it is otherwise irrelevant to the great power game. The "truly exciting and historic moment in US history" will only occur when the game itself is challenged..."

The writer supposes the "wishful thinkers" were deluded. They thought one thing. I suspect they think that there's one game going on involving nations and fair play and God's rules, and so on, when underlying all that is another game. That game, supposedly, is the real game. That's the "power game." I take it that game follows different rules. Those rules involve survival in any way one can. The having and acquiring of power seems to be the most reasonable means to that end.

It's an interesting statement because of the last part about challenging the game. What does that mean?

I ask this question because that's not the question that most people who confront the "power game" ask themselves. They wonder, what can be done to stop the wars? What can we do to get a peace candidate elected? What can be done to further a humane agenda enacted? It seems people are interested in what'ds thought to be practical concerns.

If McCain is the war party's candidate, how do we keep him from being elected?

I imagine that when one challenges the game, one is thinking that the game itself can be stopped.

How is that going to happen?

I ask it because it is a topic close to my own agenda.

SpookyPunkos said...

It has been said that there is only one party in the US and it is the elitist/corporate war party. The Republicans and the Democrats are different marketing divisions of the same corrupt institution.

I hope that in drawing attention to the recent and very the blatant criminal acts of the Bush administration the corruption will be exposed revealing the game for what it is.

In this regard the attacks of 911 really go to the heart of the matter. 911 is a massive boon in terms of providing hard evidence pointing to a mind boggling conspiracy. Cracking people's preconditioned aversion to accepting that anything like this can actually happen is key. Thankfully, the evidence is so strong there is little choice in the matter.

steven andresen said...

Exposing particular criminals and their acts of criminality has never exposed the "power game" for what it is.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult for many people to consider your efforts at exposing the 9-11 murders as an inside job is their unwillingness to first consider the evidence for this "power game."

That is, since they are unwilling to consider the possibility that the world is run like the mafia, they are in no position to consider that Bush would do what a Don would do. They cannot allow that one of the "good guys" would kill thousands of his own people for any reason.

Hence, the majority who are duped in this way are left with having to believe whatever story Bush tells them. They are left with no real alternative.

You want them to look at the evidence of explosives within the Towers. You think this evidence will prove there had to be pre-planning, and hence, a conspiracy.

I'm sure that that evidence exists and does show what you say it does. But why have people not been curious about this and shown the same kind of mob aggressiveness to get at the truth that they show when O.J. is involved in some crime. Or, when Britney has no underwear? Or when some other starlet might have a bump?

It isn't just that the Media play up the trivial and play down the significant because they are told to do so by their handlers. The Media along with most people would wonder why they were directed in one direction instead of another.

Well, they are being directed, and a few do wonder. But, ..most are not very curious at all.

I think a better explanation is their unwillingness to consider the possibility that the world really is run like the mafia, despite all the evidence that it is.

I suspect I am wanting to disagree with your strategy. As I see it, you think that exposing the small stuff, i.e., the 9-11 crimes, for example, as inside jobs, and examples of rampant criminality, you will be able to challenge the "power game." You think this can be done without expoosing and challenging the fact there's a "power game" to begin with.

I think that you will never get anywhere with this effort because the existence and truth that there is this "game" has not been exposed first. No one will believe that Bush or any American would assassinate a President, or kill thousands at the Towers, because "Americans just don't do that," or "the terrorists radical Islamists did that."

The presumption of American innocense works against you. That is, the presumption that Americans aren't thugs by nature, works against you being able to show that they are guilty of any individual act of thuggery.

It's only Italians who make up mafias. It's only Germans in fashion designer military uniforms who goose step around city squares that could be Nazis or fascists. It's only muslims who could kill thousands of innocents in a single act.

You have to be able to challenge the "exceptionalism" first. You have to be able to show their world view involving Americans as the good guys, or the bumbling good guys, or the seriously ignorant bumblers with hearts of gold good guys, is false first.

Then, they would be willing to consider that the President or some of his agents could do sucha thing as 9-11 and cover up their crimes.

SpookyPunkos said...

Steven,

I respectfully disagree.

I think your implied strategy is backward, or at least unworkable and that you overrate the "presumption of American innocense".

The question is how will you break through to people. I believe that hard physical evidence, like what so many people have seen in CSI-type TV shows, presented as such, will strike a cord.

Using the forensic evidence as a spear we can address all the issues that go with it. As I said previously, the 911 evidence is a "gift" in the fact that the material is so blatant and relatively easy for people to understand. Although most folks can be easily lead around, I have some faith in them. People are not totally stupid, I'll give them credit.

And explaining the evidence about 911 is not an overly complex matter if you are using the same strategies one might use in a marketing campaign-- except this one will not be aired through the mainstream media.

911 is not a "small crime" whose exposure as an inside job will be limited only to "Bush". Its very complexity and the players who are involved make the implications of its exposure far reaching. It's like opening a Pandora's box.

In the past small scale events like assassinations could be seen in a limited way, but now with the bias of the corporate media being recognised, and the power of online information sources rising, we can see the questioning about 911 going to a deeper level very fast (and I fail to see how 911 could be construed only as a plot by White House and Airforce insiders (et al)- the whole establishment is under threat here on many levels).

One point I wish to highlight, although I favour the scientific 911 evidence, to provide an evidentary base with which to get people onto the first step, I am not unaware, nor completely neglecting other facets of the world situation.

I think that if I push an argument that begins with "drop your assumptions and let's look at the world as a mafia run enterprise etc etc", most people would reject such a big notion. Even if I showed them documents pertaining to the bigger game not many would come on board. That's just my view of things.

However if I go step by step, starting with a question like "did you know that there is concrete evidence about 911 being an inside job and literally hundreds of scientists and engineers agree with it ..." then I might make some progress.

This is the choice I have made in the campaign, and I'm sticking to it. You're free to choose whatever strategy you like.

steven andresen said...

spook,

My thought here is that our understanding of the evidence is about the same, though your grasp of it is deeper and broader. I mean I am impressed with all the details that you have been showing, and on a lot of different angles.

I also suspect that our conclusions about what the evidence shows are about the same. That is, I was impressed with the idea of the "power game." Although, I believe Chomsky's formulation of it as the "mafia principle" is closer to how I would characterize it.

The difference is in what can be done to overturn the game, in your words.

As I understand your strategy, you would place the evidence that you have, or can develop, before the masses of people, and expect that they will come to see the existence of the "game" and then work, along with you, to overturn it.

With respect to the 9-11 murders, you think the conspiracy and the power game behind it can be unravelled like a sweater. You first show them the evidence of explosives in the Towers, then argue that there must have been inside planning, then on to the conspiracy in as much of its scope as you can, and then work your way into how the world works as a "power game." Once it starts unravelling, as I understand your strategy, the weight of the evidence will undo the whole corrupt system.

My strategy is different. You tell me that my recommendation to "expose the mafia principle" is backward, or unworkable, and it presumes the attitude that America can do no wrong, as a hindrance to your strategy, is overrated by me.

Fair criticism.

However, I want to add a few arguments to my criticisms or your strategy. Frankly, I think this issue is crucial.

Suppose a prosecutor is bound and determined to bring a case of murder to court. The guy's developed his argument, he has a ton of evidence, there are witnesses. But, unknown to the prosecutor, or at least, unknown to the general public outside the criminal justice system social circle, the judge has been bought and the juries are always laced with mobsters and other dupes. The prosecutor brings his case, but the system is set up to acquit the real crooks, and comes down on the small time hoods, just to let everyone know that the system still works.

What is the prosecutor going to do? If he brings a case to court with this level of inside corruption still going on, he's never going to undermine the real "power game" going on in his city. The corrupted judges and jury system will let the real mobsters off, while crushing the small time hoods whose convictions look good, but don't really mean much in the big picture.

This predicament for the prosecutor is your predicament. So long as you do not address the fact that there is a power game, and that people are unaware of it's influence on the administration of justice in individual cases, you as a prosecutor will never get anywhere no matter how good your evidence or arguments are.

I think a few examples will support my case here. I think it's apparent that there were a few pieces of evidence that were available that showed that one lone nut didn't kill JFK. For example, Did the one bullet do all the damage? Then there is evidence of a cover-up. But, given the problems with that case, was there any effort to change the way government works or deals with high profile murders of inconvenient political leaders? No.

When Robert Kennedy was killed, did the cover-up of what happened there spur people to think something was rotten in Denmark?

Then there was MLK.

Then John Kennedy Jr's plane goes down. Then Wellstone's plane goes down. Then anthrax was sent to Dems after 9-11. Was it a warning? Were all these warnings?

These cases support my claim that the judges and juries are rigged and no prosecutor can bring a case against the players of the "power game." The prosecutors who are any good tend to fly in small planes. Or, they inconveniently stand in open spaces. The evidence gets carted off to China or deep sixed before any curious prosecutor would have a chance to see it. And the investigative process, the special prosecutors, or the congressional commissions, like the criminal justice system, is corruptable.

You said that you believe the American people are not stupid. I don't believe they are either. It's not their naivete that makes the corruption work, it's the fact that people are committed to so many myths about what they are doing and how things work.

So, for example, there is a lot of conflict over the left and the right battling it out over the direction the country should go on a table full of issues. But, is there really any point to a lot of those kinds of debates if the real decisions about where the money will go are decided by mobsters where the world is run by crime families, or, as with your words, players of the game?

I'm questioning whether you overrate the ability of prosecutors and their evidence.

SpookyPunkos said...

Ah, yes - I agree completely with you in terms of the problems we are facing. Yes, the whole system is corrupt !

I guess I have not overtly stated my position in terms of a complete strategy with regard to how things might unfold. I believe I have implied it, but I have not been at all clear.

For example, I use the term Forensic Evidence a great deal but I mean for this information to be directed to the public at large, including various "good" individuals in the corrupt system, so that there can be a public debate when a case is brought forward. I did not mean for this language to be seen as reflective of evidence to be presented first up in a court of Law. I mean for the evidence to used in a public education campaign.

I see the 911 truth fight as primarily a propaganda war. This is why I used the term "marketing campaign" in the previous reply. Yes, I do want to see people in authority take action, but not just to launch a legal case, but to wake up people in general to the issues. Any half decent research will reveal the pandora's box of corruption. Advertising the facts of 911 to the public will come from developments such as these, especially high level arrests, or criminal probing.

There will be investigations of some sort, and there will be people trying to pull the strings, but it is my hope that the information the public is given will derail attempts to enforce the coverup.

As people move from the physical evidence onwards they will learn about the corrupt system, and not trust it. Most cops and soldiers are not inherently bad and would be very angry, along with the general population, if any criminal case was sunk.

We have some experience from the the 911 Commission and NIST investigation frauds, so that repeat acts would find themselves in trouble. The fact that the forensic evidence has proven an inside job places the public, not in a case to establish whether a crime was committed, but in a position to discover WHO was responsible. That's the key. No investigation is needed to confirm what we already know. The trick is to follow up on suspects and this is where the ties to a corrupt system will become very apparent.

Yes, I have neglected to emphasise the primary public education aspect of the 911 postings here. I have also neglected to air some of my assumptions about the course of proceeedings after the public education has been successful. I made assumptions on my project here without spelling it out. I tended to skip to the part about figures in authority acting. In my defence, under my blog heading I do write "educating the public" but that does not do justice to the situation... my apologies.

You might like to know I am actually looking to set up a pamphleteering campaign, directed to EVERYONE, so that a court action (or military investigation after a coup) will be so stuck with awareness of the evidence that any effort to downplay the proceedings would fail (I hope)! Unfortunately this project is stalled ...

Thanks for your comments !

steven andresen said...

spook,

I want to thank you for the work you have been doing on your blog to raise awareness on the issues of 9-11, the financial crisis, and so forth. It makes for an informed read.

When I have here raised the question about strategy, I do this because it is my issue. I have wanted to put out the details and arguments of my own strategy. This way I have an impetus to clarify my own thoughts.

I have been torn about the project of exposing and vanquishing the "power game." On the one hand, I have thought that someone could argue that there have been great crimes, including the assassinations of our leaders, the 9-11 murders in order to justify military expansion of the empire, and the financial meltdown as the natural result of the looting of the wealth of the citizenry. But, whatever crimes have been done there has been a relatively small number of people responsible. We could find them and they would be different from the rest of us. They could be seen to be evil. They might wear black hats. They would sneer. And the rest of us would be able to seperate them out from us and we would then be safe from them.

But, there is another view which says the evil is a lot deeper. This view says that the problem with these people isn't that they are different from us, and evil. but ...they are just like us and we would think to do the same thing as they have done if we were in their position. What they do is in accordance to their values, and their values are our values.

It's all about survival by any means necessary.

I think if the first account of the problem were true your strategy might work. There might be some way to convince people to support a criminal investigation of what Bush and his mob have done.

But, I think people look at what it would take to protect the American people, or to run one's own business, or to think about people who would take away the world's resources for themselves, instead of allowing us to take the stuff for ourselves, come to the conclusion that there may not be anything wrong with what Bush has done, except he did it thoughtlessly, or too aggresively, or maybe with poor speech.

I think the second account of the problem is more likely. The problem is that people think that the goal in life is to survive by any means necessary and that if that is so, then they would do the same as Bush, or Nixon, or Hitler, or the German General staff, or whichever "evil" crime lords in history. There is a certain acceptance of "cultural relativity" in this.

And so, I think my own strateguy is a better one. One has to have an argument that is directed to the people who we think are evil, addressed to them, to the effect that they have to change their minds about what needs to be done.

I have no confidence in any argument that says we can build a movement aganst the system without first being able to persuade those within the system to give it up.

My own argument has to do with what seems to be religious and philosophical themes. I think, historically, that's where the argument to do this has always been.

SpookyPunkos said...

Take no offense, but it sounds like you have been watching the Zeitgeist films.

In those films they deflect blame and any hope for making an immediate difference by saying the perps are also victims and we should look to make the system irrelevant by building a new society and convincing people we can manage the earth without having to restort to using conflict.

I strongly disagree with this strategy. I think that this method is too difficult to achieve and that people won't go for it over an approach that aims for a criminal trial or revolutionary "witch hunt". The people who did 911, and other crimes, don't give a damn about having a nicer world and I don't see that they are merely trying to survive - as far as I can tell.

You can appeal to system, try to undermine it - I'm all for that- but I'd go for an outcome that sees them end up in jail. A lot of people, if exposed to 911 and the corrupt world system, would not want to accomodate the small very wicked group at the top. People like justice.

Fundamentally I also think that the Zeitgeist approach lets people get away with murder (and other crimes). I cannot excuse murdering people for being victims of a corrupt system when they deliberately plan to murder thousands and kill millions through illegal wars.

I do think that the system can be taken on, and that some real measure of justice, via education and action, can come about.

We can still move to make a better society, I respect that, but I'll be working hard to make sure those that have committed crimes will be targeted and face exposure and eventual prosecution.

Have you seen the movie Black Robe, particularly the closing information ? In a war-like North American native population the ones converted to Christianity and told to be peace loving were wiped out. Whether this is accurate I do not know, but it's food for thought. I think you would agree that we all want peace, justice and a transparent society, but to have peace we must also be strong and ready to defend it for it is in human nature (at present) for some among us to be greedy and take advantage. Most people are reasonably moral, but there are many that would seek to manipulate any society to serve their own "ends." Jefferson was right when he said we must be vigilant.

steven andresen said...

Spook,

I'm sorry, but I have not been watching any zeitgeist films and from what you have here told me, I probably would reject their premise about responsibility and having a world without conflict.

I am persuaded that the problem is that people are commited to trying to shirk their responsibilities. I think the effort to resolve conflict should be our central goal.

You said,

"...The people who did 911, and other crimes, don't give a damn about having a nicer world and I don't see that they are merely trying to survive - as far as I can tell..."

I don't understand what you mean. I think their main concern is survival at the expense of other priorities and it's that sense of what is important that makes them unable to make a nicer world. They'd like nice things, peace, prosperity. But, when all they can think about is survival and what they have to do to achieve it, a nice world is impossible.

You said this,

"...I do think that the system can be taken on, and that some real measure of justice, via education and action, can come about."

I understand this is your position. This is the position that I criticized before when I said that I thought you overrated the ability of prosecutors and their evidentiary arguments.

A friend of mine, in hearing about our dispute, put in his two cents worth. He thinks the system cannot be rectified from within. He thinks the only thing you can do is fight fire with fire. He would try to create his own mafia in order to fight the mafias that you think have caused the current problems with 9-11, the financial meltdown, etc.

His analysis, by the way, is that there are several mafias involved, each one in conflict. The important ones for his explanation have been the Israeli mafia and Bush's mafia. There are others involving the establishment corporations, but, the important ones for 9-11 and the oil and the middle east are these forst two.

Where you think institutions can be reformed by first prosecuting rule breakers of crimes and then persuading people that their laws and rules need to be tightened up so that such murders and thievery can not be done so easily. He thinks such a process cannot be done.

In my way of thinking, you pretty much have adopted Chomsky's theory of social betterment. You just think that it is important to go after the Don's law breaking, whereas Chomsky thinks that's a waste of time and effort.

I believe you are both wrong and neither strategy will get very far.

My position is that you have to address the argument that is about the ends and means of life. It's that argument that gets them to adopt thuggery in the first place. By going there, you have to be able to persuade the mafia members themselves that there is a better way than survival by means of thuggery.

As I see it, all you will do is try to persuade people who are convinced they need to use force to survive to become defenseless in the face of their enemies. They will not do that.

My friend thinks that, as you can't beat the mafias, become like them. This of course is to agree that the terrorists have won.

I understand that there is a great deal of work to do any of our strategies. The question is whether we think one will be more successful than the others.

SpookyPunkos said...

Steve,

I have a problem with the terminology that the mafia people at the top are trying to "survive".

I don't accept that as a valid lne of thinking. The word "survive" implies much, and I don't agree with it. Yes, they are trying to advance their goals and strengthen their positions of power, but I don't see it as a matter of survival. I do not give any weight to their plight here.

Also I don't think it's a matter of convincing them of their "responsibilities", if that is part of your goal. As I said before, I don't think these people give a damn and I don't think there is anything legitimate about them trying to survive- that they just have to realise there is a better way. They've acted criminally and the rest of us should expose them and put them in prison.

I sympathise with your friend who wants a good mafia to take on the existing mafia. I have little sympathy for these people. I would be all for a military coup, a mass round up of suspects, or an Elliot Ness style attack on the current mafia (except larger scale, with more support from independent/trustworthy people in authority etc -- all done in the open, and under protection).

Also, a lot of these mafia people, as far as I can tell, consider ordinary people as worthless, overabundant slaves. I don't think they'd really listen if given an "alternative" view of living. If exposed I don't want to see them given any free ticket - few would. I expect them to fight back, but such is the way of things here. It's hardcore.

Remember, they don't really care about you or other people being killed left right and centre. They don't care.

I usually fall back on the position that the US Constitution is a good thing and that our goal should be to restore the rule of Law here. I think this can be done and that the people can save their Constitution. This is an idea that can catch on, and there is a basis for making it happen.

A strategy to follow the Constitution is an easy sell for the American people. We just have to educate them about the corruption and fire them up with the 911 evidence (or anything else that may be effective. ie the deliberate nature of the Iraq War lies).

Do me a favour and listen to the Alex Jones Radio Show. You might not agree with everything he says, and I don't necessarily, but I do agree with his strategy (and premises), his view on the people at the top and his views on the Constitution.

steven andresen said...

spook,

Good question about those in power. Are they different in major ways from the rest of us?

You want to say that they are. You indicated a few specifics. You think my suggestion that they share the same goals as the rest of us is wrong. They want to pursue their own goals, like we do, but their goal is to strengthen their own positions of power and position. To you, this can no longer be considered a matter of survival.

For you, they do not care for the welfare of the rest of us, and this is what sets them apart from us. You recognize that just as we have an opinion about them, that they don't care, they can have an opinion about us, that we don't matter.

You sympathize with my friend who goes toward the alternative mafia solution, that is, fight fire with fire.

But, instead of just beating out a solution in the streets, you tell me the Constitution and the rule of law is your real solution.

I think you express many of the views that have been in the heads of social reformers since the 1700's...a long history.

You think that the rulers are just criminals and there's been no excuse for them. Round them up and treat them like the murderers and thieves they are. Down that road, I believe, is the French and Russian Revolutions and the beheading of Kings and shooting of Czars. The revolutionaries thought there was nothing similar between them and their terrible leaders. Killing the top guys and their supporters was almost too good for them. In fact, the more different they made the King and the owners, the easier it was to eventually kill them.

I also think that it was therefore easier for them to be blind to how similar they were, and so be unable to prevent the problems with the Napoleonic era or the Soviet. I don't think one can make the leaders so different in their goals and the way they therefore feel about others as to cover over the evidence that they are just like us.

You think that the rule of law and the Constitution are a great base for us, so that we can make common cause with the masses of Americans who would support it. Then, you think, the evidence of the criminal acts in the bombs and whatnot, will spur people to take back their country.

I think this presumption that people will be better off ruled by laws than by men, and evil men at that, is the traditional view. So long as there are wise people at the helm, one has some kind of tolerable situation.

However, by going for this option, you are in no way challenging the "power game" or the "mafia principle" in Chomsky's terms. So long as the mafias follow the rules, rules that they make because they control the institutions, then people who are committed to follow the rules will not try to challenge them.

The point of the Constitution and the stress on the rule of law is just to prevent challenging the powers that be by means of violence and the kind of strategy that my friend sometimes advocates. The Framers wanted to avoid a violent revolution in their own nest, even though they allowed one to seperate from the English.

The rule of law and Constitution strategy for scial stability makes the goals and feelings of its leaders pretty much irrelevant. The only thing that it stresses is that whatever your goals, one should follow the rules so as to keep your place.

I think you want to say that the powers that be have different goals and say they do not care for us as part of an argument that they deserve to be removed. They are evil, so the rest of us have to expose that fact and take their power away.

I think that they have the goal of survival in another sense. I agree that survival might not be the right word for people living a plush life. But, it's survival for themselves as opposed to trying to solve problems, or to resolve conflicts. I'm saying most of us are committed to survival instead of resolving conflicts, and that's what makes us similar.

I'm not sure how to get ahold of the alex jones show...internet radio?

SpookyPunkos said...

I think you are trying hard to emphasise the similarities between us and our corrupt leaders rather than looking to hold them accountable.

Yes, I believe the rule of Law and the Constitution is the way to go. It's the best approach and the easiest to pitch to the public at large.

I think you are overly "pessimistic" about how things might play out, that things will resort to another corrupt system (that absolute power corrupts absolutely).

Previous comments by yourself show a tone that follows closely to how things have been, but not to how things may turn out and the factors that will play a hand in changing the future.

The difference today is awareness. We are much more aware of ourselves than ever before. A New government, following the Constitution, with the lessons of 911 in mind, shold establish a highly transparent system in which secrecy cannot be allowed, since it provides cover for the corrupt.

Post "revolution" those running for public office, and those in government will be seen strongly as servants of the people and will be expected to be transparent.

Similarly there will also be controls against corporate corruption and priviledge.

I am much more positive about the course things will take once 911 truth is widely accepted in society and post the criminal trials.

Transparency will help to stop the mafia re-establishing a hold. There have been good lessons from the past that have not been properly applied. We need to try this Rule of Law thing one more time.

You can listen to the Alex Jones Show at the link I have at the top right hand column.

steven andresen said...

spook,

I like the work of Greenwald. His arguments on the media and the Bush administration show the kind of mentalities in the players that we have to give an account of, i.e., explain, and then try to correct. Greenwald does this , as is his strategy, by showing their hypocracies and lies, and so forth, much as a lawyer in a court, or a journalist might attempt. His stuff is here,

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

His recent post is about the contrast between how the media traets others and international crimes as opposed to how they defend the Bush people from the same crimes. see here,

"...Acts which, when ordered by Liberians, are "criminal torture" meriting life imprisonment magically become, when ordered by Americans, mere "aggressive interrogation techniques." And while not all of the "techniques" used by the Liberians were authorized by Bush officials ("hot clothes irons" and "biting ants shoveled onto people's bodies"), many of the authorized American techniques are classic torture tactics and resulted in the deaths of many detainees and the total insanity of many more.

Worse, AP -- with canine-like subservience -- mindlessly recites the Bush administration's excuses (Abu Ghraib was due to low-level rogue bad apples and "there has been no systematic mistreatment of detainees") without even mentioning the ample evidence proving how false those government claims are. That's standard American "journalism" for you: "Our Government says X, and even if it's false and even if it's intensely disputed, we'll just leave it at that." Doing anything more -- as NBC News' David Gregory pointed out -- is "not their role."

There's something beautifully illustrative about this torture prosecution. Apparently, it's not just appropriate, but necessary and urgent, for American courts to be used to prosecute the leaders of small African nations who order torture exclusively in their own land. Doing that is necessary to uphold what the Bush DOJ calls "respect for and trust in authority, government and a rule of law."

But -- say Bush loyalists and our pliant political class in unison -- the one thing that we cannot tolerate is for American courts to be used to impose accountability on American leaders who authorized illegal torture. And, of course, the only thing worse than doing that would be to subject them to prosecution by another country or, creepier still, an international tribunal. That would be an intolerable infringement of our sovereignty, we say as we prosecute the son of Liberia's President for acts he undertook exclusively inside Liberia.

In Liberia, the Taylor regime, for many years, was genuinely threatened by numerous rebels and revolutionary factions -- ones supported by other countries -- seeking to overthrow the Liberian government. The torture which Taylor, Jr. was accused of ordering occurred during a brutal civil war.

Liberia undoubtedly has its own Jack Goldsmiths and Stuart Taylors who insist that the torture which the Taylors ordered -- though perhaps "crossing a line or two" -- was done for the Good and Safety of the Liberian People and to defend the Government against these foreign and domestic threats. The Taylors undoubtedly have their loyalists who echo our own Cass Sunsteins and Ruth Marcuses, urging that it would be so much better for the country if everyone just let bygones be bygones and looked to the pretty future and the challenges Liberians face and not get distracted by litigating the unpleasant and partisan fights of the past.

But, like most of the alleged principles to which our political elite professes allegiance, America and its leaders are entitled to a different set of standards and better treatment. Thus, Charles Taylor belongs at the Hague, being prosecuted as a war criminal. His son belongs in an American criminal court being prosecuted by the Bush DOJ for torture. And George Bush and Dick Cheney belong on their "ranches," enjoying full-scale immunity for the crimes they committed and a rich and comfortable retirement, treated as the esteemed and well-intentioned (even if sometimes misguided) dignitaries that they are."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/31/torture/index.html

You are right. I may be pesamistic about the way things could play out. I am impressed that Greenwald's arguments might actually make a difference and make people realize that the Bush people, and others like them, should be punished and not just be let go into a pleasant retirement.

I will say, your strategy is probably much like Greenwald's who does not argue that the miscreants should be let go because it would take too much time and effort to convict them. He does not say that criminal prosecutions are a waste because the miscreants replacements in the institutions are just going to do the same.

However, I still think, though Greenwald and you could make society pay attention to the rule of law, and the constitution, that does not get at the "power game." or the "mafia principle.

I am wanting here to question my own argument. Is there more to it than just a large number of people who think thay are too important to obey the law?

steven andresen said...

spook,

After having thought about this some more, I have to tell you I am still wanting to say that just because we could get people to obey the law does not mean we would be challenging the "power game" or the "mafia principlle" as we began speaking about.

The article that this discussion began with claimed that Obama is a hawk. Pilger could easily be speaking of any number of issues. Obama's position on Israel, his not being clear about negotiating with Iran first before pushing hostilities, and his being silent about Gaza, are all evidence that Pilger is correct.

Chomsky claims that our beligerance toward Iran has to be understood in light of the fact, according to him, that the world is run like the mafia. When a storekeeper refuses to pay his protection money, the Don has to rough him up a bit, break his daughter's legs, or run over his cousin, in order to make sure the guy falls in line. The Don has to do that in order to teach a lesson.

Being a hawk with respect to Iran is just making sure the storekeepers don't get any ideas they can go out and be independent at all.

Just because Greenwald or you might be able to get everyone to obey the rule of law does not mean that the people in power would have to treat Iran or the American people any differently. We would still be under their thumb, but in a legal way. American foreign policy has been aggresive and thuggish, much as Chomsky has described, over decades, when they were obeying the law much better than Bush. But, then again, Nixon, for example, didn't obey the laws that much. Though then, the mobsters in government thought he had to be reigned in a little for appearences sake.

I want to appeal to a distinction that Marx made between "political rights" and "human rights." He thought that political rights were a good thing to have because in the system the way it was, where owners trashed workers whenever they could, the system was in a position to protect "political rights." If this was something that the owners would agree to, then the workers and other innocent bystanders, would have some kind of protection. The owners could not just kill the workers whenever they wanted to.

Marx thought that there was something better than "political rights" where once one was able to eliminate the oppression caused by the owners, people would not need "political rights."

So, in a way, the system and the false sense of security that "political rights" gave workers, worked against their ever getting "human rights."

I'm saying Greenwald and you are working to assuree our "political rights" in this Marxian sense.

I'm wanting to say that the maintenance of our "political rights" also maintains the system and the "power game" that we started out wanting to challenge.

Marx thought that "political rights" were O.K. in that people had some protection from the treacheries of the mafias.

I'm wanting to expose that and argue we should go for "human rights."

SpookyPunkos said...

I think the exposure of 911, and the subsequent changes made to society will go beyond establishing "political rights" and go further in strengthening "human rights" with more responsiblities put onto people in "power."

The application of the US Constitution will move closer to its ideal.

People in situations of "control" or "oversight" will be subject to a very high level of accountability. Measures will be taken to make this happen.

I could be wrong, but I see an improved version of our current society with the rule of Law applied more thoroughly and a huge level of transparancy. People will be aware of the dangers of secret and corrupt groups and how their actions have led to 911 and other events that were previously dismissed as unproven conspiracy.

I also see measures taken in our education systems to help prevent a return to the past. Learning "history" will involve psychological elements, about how people used to not believe in various conspiracies because of the deliberate campaign to -ridicule- these things. History students (everyone) will be taught about how their views can be moulded by their peers and to watch out and look towards details. They will understand that beliefs are mostly formed, not from facts but general consenus.(Note that the founding fathers mentioned the importance of a highly educated population)

The outcome of all this will be our level of self awareness being greatly expanded and a more egalitarian society.

If we can crack through the 911 cover up, using the rule of law, I think you might find a massive change in our society as the world that spawned 911 is unravelled during the very public inquiry.

steven andresen said...

spook,

Its New Years and we are supposed to look forward to a New Year with the possibility of things being better and better.

I've noticed some good work to publicise some worthwhile investigations. But, to think that any of this will actually make a difference is optimism.

I see Obama as a house slave, in the sense that he's been elected to argue for better shoes for the field hands so that the plantations will be more profitable. He's not going to challenge the slave system. He does not have an abolitionist bone in his body.

Going along with that fact, he will not challenge the general understanding that the world is run like the mafia. If you want something done, you have to knock heads.

In order for the powers that be toi continue their profit-making in these times, he's gotta smash down on our expectatiuons. He's gotta diminish our expectations that we have rights. He has to make us work more productively while living like slaves.

So, I think your expectation there will be any investigations or prosecutions about 9-11 or any other of their crimes is unrealistic given the dominant agenda.

I'm sorry to be this way,...pessimistic. I'd like there to be an effort to make things right. But, I just don't see it.

Obama will say that in these tough economic times we need all our leaders to work together, we can't be fracturing government by trying to seek who's to blame.

He will not say that the Dems and the Repubs are in on the cover up. He'll just say that the future of the government as we know it requires we move forward.

steven andresen said...

spook,

You have shown us on Dec. 24th post,

"...When asked by ABC host George Stephanopoulos if top level Bush administration officials would be prosecuted for mandating prisoner abuse, Biden said that he and Obama would be “focusing on the future,” adding “I think we should be looking forward, not backwards.”..."

This goes to support my pessimism.

Let me say that I only disagree with you about strategy. I am not saying, by the way, that the evidence and the investigations should not be done because they are futile. I think we should know what was done and who did it and hold them accountable.

I'm just saying that exposing them has to involve more than just a prosecution, say.

They will think you are the terrorists and the evil-doers. They didn't imprison Debs because they thought he was a noble if misguided person. They thought he was going to harm the good people of the United States.

They didn't go about the 9-11 murders because they were in it for personal gain, although I'm not sure I understand their thinking. I think there was a large element of moral rationalization to it. They were killing folks for a noble cause kind of thing.

So, they think, in a way, they have God on their side...

I do not think people plan such evil because they're just going to make bigger bucks out of it.

SpookyPunkos said...

Steve,

I'm very optimistic about how things will turnout- although I realise we might see a serious disaster or two occurring before we fix the system.

Yes, making a difference in these times, especially with Obama as the figurehead, will be very very difficult- but it's not impossible. All I can say is you must trust that the wall of censorship is not so strong as you think. Given the right strategy and tools you will see some real action.

And it's not up to Obama to make the changes, it's up to us. It's always been up to lower level people to act using the law and by raising public awareness. Our mission here is to inform everyone. Our leaders will be exposed and the remaining ones will be forced to act lawfully and in a highly transparent manner.

Steve, I think you will find, regarding the 911 attacks, that with a general public awareness (and further education coming from open trials and prosecutions) the can of worms will be so much bigger than can be contained by Mr Obama and his backers.

No matter what happens, Obama won't be able to stop the continued dissemination of 911 information. Something will give.

And the 911 trials won't be so limited as I have said before. The evidence trail implicating a corrupt overall system is too obvious to avoid. Everyone at home on their computer will find the research that is already out there. It's not too hard to do once you are aware of the sitution (ie. about false flag terror).

In the meantime we must keep up the effort. As Churchill said, "Let us keep our minds on victory." I firmly believe a victory on the 911 front will bring down the whole house of cards.

SpookyPunkos said...

One other thing,

Just imagine what would happen if everyone you knew, including cops, lawyers, soldiers, and politicians understood that 911 was an inside job, had that these people all had grasp of the evidence, knew about the likely suspects and were very angry about the cover-up.

They'd all be aware of attempts to derail a criminal investigation, and would act to protect the process, doing whatever was necessary.