Sunday, February 22, 2009

Have we learned nothing?

Gandhi Quotes

I have to say I find myself incensed by the casual and complicit views on the United States ongoing engagement in wars.
Have we become numb to the atrocities, that we accept continued warfare, even when the country is financially bankrupt?


Christopher said...

The USA doesn't get it and I fear President Obama is taking down the all too familiar path of American, military adventurism in Afghanistan.

Our economy is broken and the U.S. Treasury is empty of coin. We're printing paper money, a la, Argentina circa' 1971 which is worthless.

We're much like a dying elephant flailing about, stomping our giant feet on the earth and making it shake, running in circles before crashing to the ground and taking in one final breath of air before all goes silent.

D.K. Raed said...

I'm with you. I wish we could've left Afghanistan with better infrastructure (where are all those schools and roads and functioning communities that Laura Bush supposedly toured?). At this point, we can't afford it. Our foreign policy has to contract to leading by example and plenty of diplomatic arm-twisting to get more global agencies involved. I hate going out on a bad note there, but when we as country open our wallets & moths fly out, well that's the end of that effort.

Fran said...

That is the element that makes additional wars even more unimaginable-- we learned nothing from the Iraq experience, and still moving ahead with 2 more wars, even though moths are flying out of the U.S. treasury vault.

The question is- How do we get this president to listen & respond?

Christopher said...

Obama appears to be wimping out on repealing Bush's tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.

I guess he's thinking ahead to 2012 and reelection.

Instead, Obama is expected to let the Bush tax cuts on income, dividends and capital gains lapse after 2010 for individuals who make more than $250,000 a year. But while the top rate for income would rise to 39.6 percent, the top rate for capital gains and dividends would be 20 percent.

Candidate Obama called for immediately repealing those tax cuts. He decided instead to keep them in place through 2010, as scheduled, reflecting the widespread belief that raising taxes further depresses economic activity.

Bill Clinton, to his credit, saw things differently after he was elected and inherited the start of a recession from Poppy Bush. Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans and the effect was immediate.

Spadoman said...

In response to the matter of the post, that is, Americans' ongoing engagement in wars, it certainly merits mentioning that no war was ever started, continued or fought on this soil in modern times. Yes, the attacks of the World Trade Center in 2001 was an attack on the United States, but it was not a war.

The higher power of the universe has not allowed this to happen. In a spiritual sense, I don't know why. But in a realistic sense, it is a fact that no countries' army and military might is as strong as ours and our shores are protected from land, air and sea assaults.

That being said, if the tables were turned, and this country was attacked like Iraq was attacked by the USA with a shock and awe bombing campaign, or like any of the countries America has attacked over the last 100 years or so, there might be a different sentiment as it refers to getting involved in wars by the American public.

The tanks never have been seen rumbling down your street and into your driveway. Your women and children have never been seen being raped and butchered dead by bombs. Our water has always been running. For God's sake, we flush our toilets with potable water! Our electric grids are powerful, our stores are chock full of food and even the poorest of the poor shop amongst the elite with food stamps.

If our country where to have the infrastructure devastated and allowed the people to be hungry, sick and without dignity, maybe there would not be so many wars that we allow our country to get involved in.

I wish these atrocities on no one. I pray every day that war comes to an end in the world. I wish the people would realize what havoc we have wrought on others with our war policies, but it isn't the way the population thinks of it. Just a few caring individuals, as compared to the millions too busy to care, who decry the actions of the country and government we are born into.

Peace to all?

Fran said...

Christopher-- I think D Cap recapped it well- instead of it being a "trickle down" theory, it's more of a "pissed on" theory- the very wealthy getting huge tax breaks.
But the truth is we desperately need the money- because as Bush did not think beyond the "surge" and his obsession with war-- there are now a huge amount of Veterans who need medical care, support, and all kinds of resources- not to mention
our country has so many people without health care, just to name two major items that need funding.
The money has to come from somewhere.
Obama should not be breaking such important campaign promises. Clinton did leave a budget surplus- unlike the party that claims to be fiscally responsible.

Spado~ You make some good points-- "it is a fact that no countries' army and military might is as strong as ours and our shores are protected from land, air and sea assaults."
That "might" comes from the fact this country spends inordinate amounts of the total budget for military expenses- ignoring other things, such a health care or education? Yet we are so spread out with being the world police, we found ourselves shorthanded for Ntl. Guard in natural disasters, like Katrina & the CA wildfires. The manpower & equipment had been shipped to Iraq.

As a person who served in & survived the Vietnam war, I think you know firsthand, of what you speak-
"if our country were to have the infrastructure devastated and allowed the people to be hungry, sick and without dignity, maybe there would not be so many wars that we allow our country to get involved in."

We are too far removed from it, in our comfort zones, and the fact this country continues to have ongoing wars and militia, almost constantly engaged in some assault. As if we'd forgotten other avenues even exist. AS if one formula applies to all regions & ethnicities - regardless of history & geography.

Michael Moore has begun calling it *Obama's War*
because although Bush 2 started it, the fact that Obama plans to escalate and now involve Pakistan, it has become his war.

When Obama said MLK jr. was a major influence on him, I had hoped that meant he was going to embrace his foundational philosophies- meaning non-violence. Gandhi was a major influence on MLK jr. who took the non-violence element to heart & very seriously. We look back at them as very powerful leaders with great respect that they dedicated their lives to change through civil resistance. I had high hopes that he would not continue the war monger ways, and really embrace diplomacy & working with other alliances to force necessary changes.

Obtaining peace through war, or installing democracy at gunpoint are so counter active.
So intent on warring, we are borrowing money to continue the wars, as we have wielded so much pain & suffering in Iraq, $600 billion dollars worth,
and no end in sight.

Here we are, on the brink of the 6th year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, in March.
The only change they can come up with is a few more wars?