Saturday, May 04, 2019
Reflections: A Look At Our World
The world was divided into two camps---the Pro-Soviet and the Pro-West, which meant the Pro-American. There was, of course, the Non-Aligned Nations who tried to play the two sides off each other for economic gain, but when push came to shove, even they had to pick a side. The US political world view was based on the "domino effect"; if one country was allowed to fall to the "godless" Communists, it would lead to the toppling of an adjacent country, then another and so on. Of course, we grossly overestimated the Soviet and Chinese economies just like we confused their massive quantity of weapons with quality. However, as Stalin was said, "quantity has a quality all its own", and they had a lot of it.
Both sides engages in a long series of proxy wars and indirect conflicts in places like Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Panama, Argentina, Nicaragua , Iraq and Iran, India and Pakistan, the Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, and dozens of other "hot spots' with strange and exotic sounding names. Both sides tried to edge out the other through the supply of arms, intelligence, training, and promises to help rebuild the infrastructure, economic trade and aid packages (which were defacto bribes) as well as political and military support to help maintain their grip on political power.
A classic example was Manuel Noriega of Panama. A military strongman who was helped into power by US intelligence agencies with the understanding that he would protect US government and corporate interests in the area. Other than that, he was free to do as he pleased. However, after he became a bit too greedy and his usefulness faded, he was ousted like so many other strongmen that we've propped up over the decades like Hussein, Batista, Mubarak, Marcos, Ngo Dinh Diem, or Mohammad Reza Pahlevi (the Shan of Iran). If you look back of the last 75 or so years, we seem to love coups and juntas. President Franklin D Roosevelt is credited with once saying, "He may be a son of a bitch, but at least he's our son of a bitch", which seems to sum our foreign policy pretty nicely.
Since "winning" the Cold War, many expected to see the whole world embrace democracy, specifically American style democracy. After all, since World War II, the US has been engaged in a "blow 'em up build 'em, up" nation building foreign policy. It has repeatedly engaged in overthrowing governments and underwriting assassinations, propping up military juntas and dictatorships in the name of "making the world safe for Democracy", which generally translates to unrestricted economic and military imperialism. Little wonder then that no new post-WWII government has modeled itself on the American model, preferring instead the British parliamentary system.
However, things didn't quite worked out as planned. Lacking an enemy, our economy stumbled and we seemed to lose our national sense of direction. It didn't take long before we found a new enemy to replace the Soviets. Before then, the military and intelligence agencies muddled along to find a new purpose and politicians tried to figure out how to keep the economy on a upward trajectory. All that changed on 9/11 and we found the perfect enemy, and so was launched the "War on Terrorism" and a perpetual wartime economy was born. Our "freedom fighters" had morphed into the terrorists who made this all possible.
This new "war" was partially the result of post-World War I colonialism, when maps were redrawn to suit the colonial powers without regard to history or tradition, and partially the product of the Cold War where each side tried to pit some country or group against the other not just for military advantage, but mainly for economics. This fanned the flames of long suppressed nationalism, tribalism and religious zealotry; something the West and East were woefully, if not willingly, ignorant of. What mattered was access to natural resources, a cooperative government, and profits.
In addition, because of timid politicians, these "migrant" invaders increasingly demanded change and a new conformity such as all women being covered, prohibition on the sale of pork products or alcohol, restrictions on owning pets, and so forth. They have been making increasing demands for the capitulation of democracy in favor of their more repressive religious laws. Amid all of this, violence has been rampant with both the police and government authorities terrified to respond, so they blame and punish the victims. Worse, they knowingly lie and/or suppress the facts about the crimes as well as prohibit negative reporting. Thus, we are witnessing the willing suicide of the West, at least in Europe, due primarily to political cowardice, which has imposed a form of self-punishment of anyone who chooses not to go along with the suicide.
Part of the problem is the native population of Europe itself. They have the real power here. Not the migrants groups. Not the news media which cooperates in hiding the truth. Not the government and its spineless politicians, who are both short sighted and afraid to act. So they cover up the truth and bully the victims. The people have the ultimate power and no government can stop that. The only thing which will save Europe, as well as the West as a whole, are the people themselves. The same thing can be said for the East as well. There has been some progress such as banning burqas in some countries, but that seems to have come too little too late.
Some claim that the 2nd Amendment was created in lieu of a professional military. Others think the government can do a better job in protecting us than we can ourselves. A few even believe that if guns are outlawed, the criminals will surrender theirs! Mind numbingly naive. The 2nd Amendment was put in place not just a means for the individual to protect themselves, but for the citizenry to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. It was aimed at giving the people the means to fight and remove a government which no longer represented them. Now, why do you think government would like to get their hands on our guns? Hint: it's not to protect us.
The people of Europe are unable to defend themselves the way Americans are. There are those who would like us to look more like Europe. More "migrants", fewer guns, not to mention restrictions on free speech (censorship), higher taxes, and all with less public input. They have the means to push through their demands. After all, they own the news and entertainment media, which tells us what they want us to know and think. They literally own both corporate political parties, so their political and economic interests are protested. They have made it nearly impossible for third parties and Independents (the nation's largest political bloc) to run for office through ballot restrictions, limited or no participation elections, and access to campaign financing. Of course, with the added aid of "Citizens United", which gives corporation a freehand in financing their favorite party, gerrymandering, and a lack of term limits, they have rigged the election process to the point where they can ignore the voters with near impunity.