July 21st, 2007 08:36 EST
The Disease of Imperialism
Americans have never liked bullies. So why do we always get suckered by them when it comes to waging war in behalf of a capitalist elite? I mean the kind of schoolyard punk who cries, He started it first! and then walks away smirking. You know who I mean.
Richard Sanders, coordinator of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, has written a short, cogent indictment of American wars started on a pretext, such as the Spanish-American War and today`s Iraq war.
Mark Twain (inset), whose humor and common sense delight and comfort us, died brokenhearted because he believed he had seen his country contract the disease of imperialism. What would he say of the current debacle?
The men who cook up pretexts for war "whether it be the so-called Tonkin Gulf incident, the sinking of the battleship Maine or Saddam Hussein`s weapons of mass destruction "are not only bullies but stooges of the people who stand to profit from war. The servile press day after day reports the bloody result but never the underlying cause "profiteering at the cost of human life.
We stood more than two hundred years ago to be the nation that would no longer do this, no longer do the bidding of the few, a nation that would stand up to imperialism. But by Twain`s time we had clearly betrayed this noble hope, and in our own time we are wallowing in disgrace.
What has the war in Iraq done for us but break our army, beggar our treasury, stuff the coffers of a favored few corporations who for the most part didn`t even have to bid for contracts, bring down on ourselves worldwide opprobrium, and feed lines to Al Qaeda like feckless straight men? An administration blathering about tax relief has siphoned billions of dollars in tax money to enrich its buddies.
Now we have candidates, like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, who want to be our president to protect us from the bogeyman, hoping to distract us from the plain fact their minds, so short on ideas, are scarier than our enemies. We need protection from their fear-mongering and their phony obsessions. But nothing will protect us from them, or from Osama ben Laden and his stupid, murdering ilk, but our own common sense and decency. We must ask ourselves why his beautiful country broke Mark Twain "s heart, why this man who gives us so much pleasure and makes such sense, believed we had gone astray. It is our country; we do not have to give it to corporados. We do not have to abandon capitalism, but we must insist it be decent and compassionate.
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