Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Che Guevara and Manifest Destiny

I have been listening to the biography of Che Guevara on tape as I drive an hour to and from work each day. Che’s life, even so many decades ago, sounded very modern and little different than the lifestyle we enjoy in this United States. The author portrays Che, and his buddy Fidel, as products of their environment. Both were descendants of the wealthy, privileged class, and were bothered by the social injustices brought about by the invasion of Europeans to the Americas. The European settlers confiscated the land from the indigenous people and treated them worse than dirt. In addition, the United States came in and exploited the natural resources for their own exclusive profit at the expense of the citizens of each country.

The United Fruit Company, and companies that owned the coffee plantations, the mines, and the forest products made huge profits and collaborated with oppressive militias to enrich themselves and keep the locals in servitude. Beginning with Guatemala in 1953, every time a populist leader was elected, the CIA would assassinate him and install a dictator who protected the North American industrialists. A few Caucasian locals who collaborated with the North American companies got filthy rich while the rest of the population lived in squalor. Both Che and Fidel descended from such wealthy landed families.

I mentioned this to T.A., an acquaintance of mine at the post office the other day. He replied that if the indigenous people weren’t organized enough to manage their own natural resources, it is only right that the North Americans would come in and take the natural resources, just like they did with the Native Americans. I am aware that T.A. is a Christian and I supposed he was referring to the Christian belief of “manifest destiny” which justified the robbery and exploitation of Native Americans in the USA.

I didn't reply to this at the time because I am slow on the uptake and try to think about things before I speak. The more I think about what T.A. said, the more I realize how immoral it is to take what someone else has just because I am bigger, stronger, more organized, or believe it is my manifest destiny. T.A. was partly referring to historical patterns; when rich natural resources exist, historically someone comes in to exploit it. But, just because the historical record illustrates the pattern, that doesn’t make it right.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pawn Fodder for Endless War

What amazes me is that the American public all realize that we were led into a war on false pretenses, and they all want the illegal war to end, but they vote for warmonger candidates and consider the peace candidates not viable.

Another thing that amazes me is that the Democrats continue to vote to fund the illegal occupation of Iraq. That they all know that the war funding is being drained into mercenary expenses yet choose not to discuss it. That they pretend that having voted to authorize the use of force, that they didn't know force was going to be used. And that the war in Afghanistan was obviously to protect the natural gas pipeline that now crosses Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq was to get control of Iraqi oil, yet our Congress pretends the wars were to apprehend terrorists.

I am amazed again and again at how the neo-cons can force their spin of the issues, and the Democrats and the American public accept the neo-con definitions of the issues as if carved in stone.

For example, the immigrant issue. This issue, from the start, has been for greedy businesses to be able to undercut minimum wage laws and worker rights and protections. The same folks who wink winked and looked the other way while millions of undocumented sweat shop and agricultural workers poured across the border to be exploited by the greedy businesses, are now using the very same issue that they created to be their bigoted hate-fomenting campaign issue. At the same time that their greedy policies have kept American food prices artificially low, the factories and farms have become dependent on undocumented immigrant labor. As the neo-cons talk about building border walls to keep the undocumented laborers out, factories and farms are going out of business due to the inability to pay legal wages to legal workers and still sell their products at a competitive price. It leaves the only survival strategy being to relocate their business over the border.

Our dear neo-cons who seem intent on collapsing the American economy are delighted when businesses move abroad. That furthers their agenda to eliminate birth control, education, and jobs in order to breed an endless supply of youths who have no other recourse than to join the military. The neo-cons want more pawn fodder for endless wars.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Presidential Candidates for War Profiteering

Now that all the progressive peace candidates have been eliminated from the presidential primaries by the war profiteering big media companies, I was pondering on which corporate sell-out candidate I would choose to support in the upcoming primary, Clinton or Obama. Although I would love to see a woman president, Clinton is a warmonger and neo-con Democrat. Therefore, my heart goes toward Obama.

Obama has charisma but lacks a platform. He is walking a narrow line, self-censuring lest he rub anyone the wrong way with any definitive statements. His track record has voted unanimously for every war resolution and war-funding package that has passed through Congress. His platform of change was the exact same platform that George Bush ran on in 2000. We are all now reeling in shock with all the anti-democratic changes that George Bush has put through which has brought the 232 year-old American experiment to its knees. Can we tolerate more change? Change from what to what?

I looked into the future today and gagged with nausea at what I saw. If Barak Obama wins the Democrat (I hate to call it “Democratic” since it is anything but democratic when it excludes the voices of peace candidates and sabotages its own members) Party nomination, then the neo-con Republicans will play the race card and foment race hatred to frenzy levels to win the White Supremacist votes. And our neo-cons on the Supreme Court will ignore or eliminate penalties for hate crimes. The hate-mongering neo-cons will successfully divide the non-white majority of the population so that the White Supremacist minority will overpower the people of color majority. Although McCain isn’t necessarily a racist, he will collaborate with the neo-con racists to fulfill his need for power. He just can’t wait to be the new neo-con front man. We then may see another neo-con Republican having stolen the White House with a platform of hate and division.

If Clinton wins the Democrat Party nomination, the macho-chauvinist card won’t have as much weight with white voters as the race card. Dirty politics will ensue but Clinton will have a better chance of beating a neo-con Republican. If Clinton wins the presidency, she might consult with Bill to help pull the nation out of the economic pit the neo-cons have left it in. He has already successfully done this the last time the neo-conservatives left our nation deep in debt. Beside the chance of pulling the nation out of an economic slump, the rest of business will be as usual set in the precedent of the Bush presidency. I wonder how many signing statements Hillary might compose? Clinton is a neo-con, corporate sell-out. Under Clinton we still have more wars and more war profiteering at the expense of the people of our nation.

That leaves me and the American public in a real quandary as to which candidate to support in the upcoming primary. I still don't know who to vote for....