Thursday, May 18, 2006

America The Bully

"The time has come to redesign the American flag with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by skull and crossbones." So spoke Mark Twain after news leaked out of the atrocities committed by American troops during the U.S. takeover of the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century. The American people do not know their own history and thereby fail to see the pattern of the takeover by force that our government has engaged in since the Queen of Hawaii was deposed in 1893 with the help of a U.S. gunboat offshore. The Americans who promoted the annexation of Hawaii were sugar growers who were the children of missionaries and who wanted their sugar to enter the U.S. free of tariffs. The annexation by the U.S. would achieve that. Because business interests wanted to make more profit, a whole culture lost its ability to manage the resources and laws of their nation. The U.S. government supplied the force, which could legitimately be called an act of terrorism, to threaten the Hawaiian people with attack should they resist.

Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines came next. All were forced to submit to the will of the U.S. government and faced terrible physical retribution from a stronger military force. All were forced to allow U.S. military presence on their soil and U.S. business to control their resources, land, labor and laws. Any nation who stood up and fought against this takeover in an effort to keep or regain control of their country, has been subjected to covert actions to remove effective or democratically leaders, military interference to subdue popular movements, embargo, financial penalties and human rights abuses by the strongest, biggest, baddest military in the world, directed by the leaders in the U.S. government.

In his book Rogue Nation, William Blum lists 54 pages of U.S. military interventions just since 1945! Stephen Kinzer, in his book Overthrow, details 14 U.S. interventions which destroyed democratic governments. Marine General Smedly Butler laid it on the line in his book War is a Racket! in which he lamented that he and his Marines had made the world safe for (and opened to) the bankers and the corporations at the expense of young blood. Soldiers have died and suffered for generations to expand business interests.

The American people fail for the most part to see us as others see us. We have been fed lies about the people and nations our government has used military force against. Covert actions have been kept secret from us. Those who are trying to free their country are declared enemies and labeled communists, socialists, terrorists evil and whatever.

The facts show that the true agenda of our government, using our blood and money, is to expand it's control with more military bases and to open those countries to the multi-national banks and businesses. No democracy is spread, no freedom or better life, those who are forced to follow the rules imposed by the US lose their rights to manage their country for the benefit of their people and make their own laws. Our government uses the terror of force to impose its' will and has done so for 113 years. There you have it.

I know this is not what the American people envision as the American Dream. We do wish the world well and want every person to be free and have food, clean water, shelter and the opportunity to live in security to live one's potential. We believe that government should be by the people and for the people. We must recognize that ours has not and does not function by us or for us. We need only look around us to see that our own nation is looking pretty shabby right now. Our debt is out of sight, $8 trillion dollars, which we the people are responsible for. Meanwhile the very rich 10% have increased their wealth, funded by those very tax dollars we are in debt for. Our debt is their tax break. Huge profits are being made by the oil companies which receive equally huge tax breaks and subsidies from the government. War businesses like Haliburton and arms manufacturers are reporting record profits from the taxes allocated to pay for the war. The "War on Terror" what a laugh, how did we ever fall for that one? An endless war against an unseen enemy used to keep the tax dollars flowing into the coffers of the very rich, very powerful businesses who are in bed with our government.

If we truly were directing our government wouldn't we have a decent health care system, a clean environment, great education for all our people, all our people fed and housed, healthy food to eat, a prosperous economy and a foreign policy that was fair, just and peace seeking? You bet we would.

Given the increasing secrecy of our government and the imposition of laws that seek to gag, monitor and control us, we must recognize the situation we are in and resist and reject a government which does not function on our behalf and does not follow the ideals we believe in.

We must revoke the laws that give corporations the rights of "personhood" and strip them of the right to interfere in politics and lawmaking. We must take charge of our voting system and determine the design of our voting machines, ballots and how we want to "interview" the candidates and maybe even test them to see if they are mentally and experientially competent. Popular elections and run-off voting would be two steps to open elections up to more than the two party system. There are solutions to reclaiming our government, but first we have to recognize the problem.

Sue Dyer
Guest Essayist