Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This Empire Must Fall

We will know people, Jesus said, by their fruit. There is no more obvious indication of a persons’ disposition than their outward manifestations, in the same way that an apple tree can only produce apples. It should be obvious to anyone watching the events in Egypt that Mubarak and his regime are every bit as vicious and vile as the protesters have been claiming in their demonstrations over the last nine days.  Not only has the Egyptian president refused to acknowledge that his time is at end as leader of that nation, but he has basically toyed with the peoples’ aspirations for change by tinkering with his cabinet and offering not to run for re-election in September. Such “concessions” are clearly little more than lip service, but of more than passing interest is the manner in which he finally spoke to the people late on Wednesday night.
In Tahrir Square, Cairo, in the midst of the anti-government protests, a large screen television was put up and at 11 pm Egypt time President Mubarak gave his ten-minute speech. It was late at night and delivered during the “curfew” that he has imposed to try to end the protests. At seven hours behind Egypt time, it was 4 pm on the US east coast—Washington time—when the speech came, and clearly the timing was meant to appeal to western interests, likely more especially European as their hour would have been closer to prime time.  Yet what occurred in the hours after the speech did more than anything else to expose the tyranny that Mubarak represents.
Suddenly, busloads of pro-Mubarak supporters arrived at Tahrir Square armed for confrontation. What ensued was prolonged street fighting between pro- and anti-government mobs and a clear resort to violence on the part of the Mubarak regime that left three dead and 1,500 injured. It is the way of the tyrant to resort to force when all else fails—that is, when you have failed to deceive, obstruct, or swindle your opponent, you must attack him. Now it will be a struggle not of words but of force, and it seems that Mubarak will simply weaken the will of the protesters enough to permit the military to finally act in sweeping them away.
The fruit of this US-backed dictator is clear to see.
Likewise, the fruit of the US leadership is also clear. These are the types of people the United States employs in order to maintain their global empire. Mubarak is certainly not the worst of the puppets the US has supported over the years. Latin America has had its’ share of murderers who held presidential office after violent military takeovers, ushering in years of brutal rule under the thumb of US corporations and death squads trained by the American military. This is the nature of US economic policy outside the US. This is the standard operating procedure for US interests to gain control of valuable resources in foreign countries and not only harness those resources but subject the civilian population to virtual slavery as “employees” of those corporations. It is no different in the Middle East where oil is more precious than gold and the lives of the people only that much more expendable. This is illustrated clearly by the US invasion of Iraq in 1991 and the twelve year operation conducted by the “western allies” to cripple, humiliate, starve, and some say decimate via genocide the Iraqi population.
When, after the 9/11 attacks, the US decided to launch their coup de grace against a sufficiently crippled and defenseless state, it was under the guise of “bringing democracy” to Iraq. The years 2003-2008 give no better indication of the US attitude toward democracy and Arabs as the ensuing events revealed the US to be a brutal and indifferent force for oppression and corruption. Instead of democracy, the Iraqi people were given bombs, cancer, starvation, torture, desolation, and fear.
This is the kind of empire that is run from Washington, DC. It is an empire that serves corporate power. It is an empire that has spent decades sacrificing the lives of working people for corporate profit and using its vast resources of money and guns to bolster one corrupt and hideously brutal regime after another, whether it is in Indonesia, Haiti, the Philippines’, Israel,  Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, or Saudi Arabia. The US Empire occupies 177 countries and has surface fleets patrolling every major ocean on the planet. Even when US leadership is professing its support of democracy and human rights it is busy torturing jihadists at Guantanamo Bay or protecting the interests of leaders they need in other nations who do the same—such as China, Russia, Great Britain, and Pakistan.
The United States may well think of itself as the guardian of peace and democracy to the world, but the world knows better. It may think of itself as a tree bearing the fruit of prosperity, freedom, and human rights, but all that the world can see is the rotting fruits of greed, corruption, exploitation, fear, violence, deceit, hate, humility, brutality, and destruction.
For America’s own people, this is becoming only more apparent. After approving trillions of dollars of bailouts for criminally active financial entities such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, AIG, and Wells Fargo, against the demands of millions of voters, the US government has ignored the 27 million workers unemployed, the millions of families foreclosed upon, and the 46 million people on food stamps. Instead, the government has gone ahead with more money for failing banks, more US dollars invested by the Federal Reserve in stocks to create the illusion of recovery, and more deficit spending for Wall Street and the Pentagon to continue draining the American people and perpetuating wars of greater violence and cost overseas. This continues even as the US steps up spying on its people, restricting their rights through more legislation that makes more and more people “terrorists” or “national security threats”, and doing little or nothing to create jobs and a better future for the millions of homeless, poor, unemployed, and under employed who have ALL been swindled by the big banks and corporations. Meanwhile the Gulf of Mexico has turned to toxic stew and hydraulic fragging has continued to poison the waters of lakes, rivers, and streams across the United States, all with the approval of US legislators and bloated energy companies.
Even the American people can see the truth, with or without the Egyptian example.
This Empire must fall.