Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Best We Can Do?

Economically, politically, and philosophically, the election of Obama has signaled the complete conversion of the United States into a military state. This was reflected in Obama’s war speech which he made before the marines not the American public. This seemed a clear message from Obama that he considered the military to be above all else in importance. And it seems to me that in abrogating the responsibility for “health care reform” (wink, nod) to a thoroughly corrupt congress he chose to concentrate on his foreign policy or in other words his continuation of the war on terror which says to me that for Obama what is more important than anything going down on the home front is the war on terror.

I’d love to see a list of the members of congress who are heavily invested in defense industry stocks. I understand that Pelosi’s husband has been making a killing in the defense industry. No wonder Pelosi who speaks against escalation in Afghanistan always votes to fund the wars there and elsewhere. With the huge cost of the terror wars there is no money to help kick-start our collapsing economy. The only people who are allowed to run for president are those who are willing and enthusiastic about continuing our military adventurism. But what is ultimately worse, at least from my view, is that Americans meekly accept what our government does as “normal.” And why not? America has been at war constantly somewhere in the world for the last one hundred years. We are born into it; we grow up hearing and reading about it or seeing it on the television and all through our adulthood. No wonder it seems normal even if it isn’t.

The very same people who say that Obama is doing realistic things, things that can only be realistically done in the face of a republican resurgence, which is bound to happen at some point, whatever the democrats do, are investing in pure fantasy. This is part of the alarming acceptance of a dreary and particularly frightening variety. We really should not accept these wars of choice or meekly accept that Wall Street has stolen our money with the government’s blessing but that’s what many Americans do. It’s the realistic view, just like Obama was the “realistic” candidate for the donkeys. It’s what we hear time and again, that the people in charge are making the best possible decisions based on political realities that we laypeople know nothing about and is just too complex for us dopes to understand. In other nations people hit the streets big time when their government does the wrong thing (which is almost always). In contrast when our government does the wrong thing Americans are just completely understanding and brimming with empathy. We say “well it may not be great but it is the best we can do.” The problem with that is that I really don’t believe that it is the best we can do because if it is we might as well curl up in a ball and die.

However all that may be what is most telling is that the military has become sacred in eyes of Americans. People love to dwell on the honor and duty of the military even if the reality is that honor and duty have nothing to do with the business of war. We are in effect being socially engineered to be reconciled with the fact that we must get used to the idea that we are an underclass to the privileged few who incite war and that if our standard of life, indeed our very liberty, is destroyed in the pursuit of those wars why it is the best we can do.


At January 06, 2010 1:33 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I’d love to see a list of the members of congress who are heavily invested in defense industry stocks.

Rob, speaking of winks and nods, I'm reminded of the skepticism I've always had for 'blind trusts' whereby politicians and other prominent figures have somebody else manage their stock portfolios and they supposedly never know what they own.

At January 06, 2010 10:00 AM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

"Republican resurgence"?

I'm not sure how anyone tells apart the Republicans and Democrats these days.

Is there a difference beyond the nominal one?

At January 06, 2010 10:43 AM, Blogger rob payne said...




None what-so-ever.

At January 06, 2010 11:34 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Now I realize I've said this before, but the democrats are the secular wing of the republican party, or at least they aspire to that status.

At January 07, 2010 7:19 AM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

The better question is how the defense industry is invested in members of Congress.

Here's the thing. The political machinery is incapable of doing much more than fetching for their masters. "Go get me more FISA powers. Give me a tax break. Bail us out. We need to send a billion in spare parts to Georgia. We need a trade agreement with Colombia. Send troops to support a regime over there."

Now occasionally the Dems and Repubs will argue over how hard a boss can cane his employee, with the Repubs justifying hard whacks based on Biblical quotations and free market theories and the Dems will argue back with... not much. That's the difference, and the show would go on with or without Obama or any other specific personality on the stage.

At January 07, 2010 4:19 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


That reminds me of what Molly Ivins used to say, “You got to dance with those what brung you.” A reference to the influence of the religious right on the republican party.


Well that’s certainly a good question and I have no argument with what you said. Perhaps my question should have been “why do we put up with it?”


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