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October 7, 2007

We'll Be Paying for Empire Expansion Till the End of Time

This Just In: Paying for war when it occurs is fiscally irresponsible. That is, if you believe the mouthpiece of the administration, the White House press secretary. If the war hawks have their way, we'll be paying for this empire expansion till the end of time.

But that's okay, because the surge is making Iraqis safer. The Public Editor of the NYT makes the case that maybe there's been a decrease in the number of civilian casualties since the surge began. Then again, he ends the column by reminding us that it is still unsafe to live in Baghdad, according to an article written by 15 NYT reporters (never mind what's happening elsewhere in Iraq - it's too unsafe for US writers to venture beyond Baghdad).

Let's not get bogged down in details. It's important to remember the frame through which the occupation of foreign countries became acceptable to the US public: by creating a culture of fear that blames the ills of the world on so-called "Islamofascists." Nevermind that the word is meaningless. Pay no attention to reality: fascism is alive and well in the Western world. Even university courses on political science in the US have a difficult time defining fascism. Perhaps because the core of fascism is simple: the military & corporations taking control of the levers of political power. Instead of allowing this simple definition of fascism to be understood, Western leaders propel a a blurry, fearful understanding of a combination of racism and authoritarianism as the only "true" definition of fascism. Furthermore, instead of debating people who recognize the full scope of power held by the military industrial complex, Western political and intellectual "leaders" dismiss us as crazy left-wing nut cases.

Military force must always be the last resort of states and the international community. As Albert Camus said:

Mistaken ideas always end in bloodshed, but in every case it is someone else’s blood. That is why some of our thinkers feel free to say just about anything.
Do not be persuaded by the rhetorical flourish of individuals who believe democracy and freedom can be created through bloodshed and military occupation. The monolingual, jingoist armed forces of the US are even less capable of building peace in the Middle East than the biased State Department.

The safety of the world relies on more individuals becoming engaged in the political process, supporting international institutions, creating dialog with people in other countries, and demanding that the international political and economic structures be based on human security and human needs rather than on corporate greed.

Camus quote from this Op-Ed piece in today's NYT.

Posted by cj at October 7, 2007 11:21 AM


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