U.S. Democracy is DEAD

  • tokugawa

    Posts: 945

    Dec 02, 2009 7:33 PM GMT
    U.S. Democracy is DEAD, says Former Reagan Administration Official. Powerful U.S. Interest Groups - Military-Industrial Complex, Wall Street Lobby, Israel Lobby, Insurance Lobby - Not President Obama, Decide U.S. Policy

    December 2, 2009

    The World's Least Powerful Man
    The Obama Puppet
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts12022009.html

    It didn’t take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.

    Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so.

    The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.

    President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order.

    Essentially, Obama is irrelevant.

    President Obama can promise that he is going to bring the troops home, and the military lobby says, “No, you are going to send them to Afghanistan, and in the meantime start a war in Pakistan and maneuver Iran into a position that will provide an excuse for a war there, too. Wars are too profitable for us to let you stop them.”

    And the mere president has to say, “Yes, Sir!”

    Obama can promise health care to 50 million uninsured Americans, but he can’t override the veto of the war lobby and the insurance lobby. The war lobby says its war profits are more important than health care and that the country can’t afford both the “war on terror” and “socialized medicine.”

    The insurance lobby says health care has to be provided by private health insurance; otherwise, we can’t afford it.

    The war and insurance lobbies rattled their campaign contribution pocketbooks and quickly convinced Congress and the White House that the real purpose of the health care bill is to save money by cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits, thereby “getting entitlements under control.”

    Entitlements is a right-wing word used to cast aspersion on the few things that the government did, in the distant past, for citizens. Social Security and Medicare, for example, are denigrated as “entitlements.” The right-wing goes on endlessly about Social Security and Medicare as if they were welfare give-aways to shiftless people who refuse to look after themselves, whereas in actual fact citizens are vastly overcharged for the meager benefits with a 15% tax on their wages and salaries.

    Indeed, for decades now the federal government has been funding its wars and military budgets with the surplus revenues collected by the Social Security tax on labor.

    To claim, as the right-wing does, that we can’t afford the only thing in the entire budget that has consistently produced a revenue surplus indicates that the real agenda is to drive the mere citizen into the ground.

    The real entitlements are never mentioned. The “defense” budget is an entitlement for the military/security complex about which President Eisenhower warned us 50 years ago. A person has to be crazy to believe that the United States, “the world’s only superpower,” protected by oceans on its East and West and by puppet states on its North and South, needs a “defense” budget larger than the military spending of the rest of the world combined.

    The military budget is nothing but an entitlement for the military/security complex. To hide this fact, the entitlement is disguised as protection against “enemies” and passed through the Pentagon.

    I say cut out the middleman and simply allocate a percentage of the federal budget to the military/security complex. This way we won’t have to concoct reasons for invading other countries and go to war in order for the military/security complex to get its entitlement. It would be a lot cheaper just to give them the money outright, and it would save a lot of lives and grief at home and abroad.

    The US invasion of Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with American national interests. It had to do with armaments profits and with eliminating an obstacle to Israeli territorial expansion. The cost of the war, aside from the $3 trillion, was over 4,000 dead Americans, over 30,000 wounded and maimed Americans, tens of thousands of broken American marriages and lost careers, one million dead Iraqis, four million displaced Iraqis, and a destroyed country.

    All of this was done for the profits of the military/security complex and to make paranoid Israel, armed with 200 nuclear weapons, feel “secure.”

    My proposal would make the military/security complex even more wealthy as the companies would get the money without having to produce the weapons. Instead, all the money could go for multi-million dollar bonuses and dividend payouts to shareholders. No one, at home or abroad, would have to be killed, and the taxpayer would be better off.

    No American national interest is served by the war in Afghanistan. As the former UK Ambassador Craig Murray disclosed, the purpose of the war is to protect Unocal’s interest in the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline. The cost of the war is many times greater than Unocal’s investment in the pipeline. The obvious solution is to buy out Unocal and give the pipeline to the Afghans as partial compensation for the destruction we have inflicted on that country and its population, and bring the troops home.

    The reason my sensible solutions cannot be effected is that the lobbies think that their entitlements would not survive if they were made obvious. They think that if the American people knew that the wars were being fought to enrich the armaments and oil industries, the people would put a halt to the wars.

    In actual fact, the American people have no say about what “their” government does. Polls of the public show that half or more of the American people do not support the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan and do not support President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Yet, the occupations and wars continue. According to General Stanley McChrystal, the additional 40,000 troops are enough to stalemate the war, that is, to keep it going forever, the ideal situation for the armaments lobby.

    The people want health care, but the government does not listen.

    The people want jobs, but Wall Street wants higher priced stocks and forces American firms to offshore the jobs to countries where labor is cheaper.

    The American people have no effect on anything. They can affect nothing. They have become irrelevant like Obama. And they will remain irrelevant as long as organized interest groups can purchase the US government.

    The inability of the American democracy to produce any results that the voters want is a demonstrated fact. The total unresponsiveness of government to the people is conservatism’s contribution to American democracy. Some years ago there was an effort to put government back into the hands of the people by constraining the ability of organized interest groups to pour enormous amounts of money into political campaigns and, thus, obligate the elected official to those whose money elected him. Conservatives said that any restraints would be a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

    The same “protectors” of “free speech” had no objection to the Israel Lobby’s passage of the “hate speech” bill, which has criminalized criticism of Israel’s genocidal treatment of the Palestinians and continuing theft of their lands.

    In less than one year, President Obama has betrayed all of his supporters and broken all of his promises. He is the total captive of the oligarchy of the ruling interest group
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14380

    Dec 03, 2009 10:20 PM GMT
    It doesn't really matter if a democrat or a republican are US president. The powerful lobbies that you listed in your posting are the ones who decide all domestic and foreign policy. Obama is in with the rest of them because he is a politician. He is supposed to lead the US Government but it is all the powerful lobbyists that decide what he can take a stand on and what he must follow like a sycophant. It does not matter who is in office and that is very sad. This is why I am questioning why I should bother to continue voting when all the political candidates end up being basically the same old thing.