Saturday, February 13, 2010

Expanding The American Empire & Obama's Poor Record on Human Rights & Update Israeli War Crimes

UPDATE: 1:09 PM Feb. 13


Nemesis was the ancient Greek goddess of revenge, the punisher of hubris and arrogance in human beings. You may recall she is the one that led Narcissus to the pond and showed him his reflection, and he dove in and drowned. I chose the title, because it seems to me that she's present in our country right now, just waiting to make her -- to carry out her divine mission.

...“The Last Days of the American Republic.” I’m here concerned with a very real, concrete problem in political analysis, namely that the political system of the United States today, history tells us, is one of the most unstable combinations there is -- that is, domestic democracy and foreign empire -- that the choices are stark. A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can't be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, like the old Roman Republic, it will lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.

...It seems to me that this is also the same warning that Dwight Eisenhower gave in his famous farewell address of 1961, in which he, in quite vituperative language, quite undiplomatic language -- one ought to go back and read Eisenhower. He was truly alarmed when he spoke of the rise of a large arms industry that was beyond supervision, that was not under effective control of the interests of the military-industrial complex, a phrase that he coined. We know from his writings that he intended to say a military-industrial-congressional complex. He was warned off from going that far. But it's in that sense that I believe the nexus -- or, that is, the incompatibility between domestic democracy and foreign imperialism comes into being.
FROM:“Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" An interview with Chalmers Johnson at Democracy Now!Feb. 27,2007

Update on Goldstone Report on Israeli War Crime- Israel & US say "SO WHAT? Should we give a damn- well didn't Jesus tell you should or did He preach Hate everybody?
Goldstone Report Real News Network Feb. 12,2010

Obama's Poor Performance on Human Rights

Concerns over major suppression of "Dissent" in America
Warrantless wire-taps broadened
The Patriot Act in US still active
Indefinite detention continues
Preventive Detention scheme
Guantanamo still operating
Secret Prisons still operating
Renditions kidnapping suspects in foreign countries continues
Rules of engagement leads to Free Fire Zones Use of Done Attacks
Building mega military bases in Iraq Afghanistan Only partially banned torture

Obama's human rights record Pt.2 One year later, Michael Ratner assesses President Obama's human rights record-Failing Grade? Pt.1

Obama's human rights record Pt.2 Ratner: Obama declared end to torture and secret prisons, but rights in US still threatened

Given the size of the US armed forces in total as being 1.8 million- why then has the US military been using an unjustifiable policy such as Stop-Loss surely the US could re-deploy 15 thousand or more troops from bases in stable countries or does Obama or the Pentagon insist on US presence in over 150 nations to prove it is a force to be reckoned with. So the US needs to decide whether it is going to continue building its empire which is just a way to make sure all these nations Kow-Tow to the Americans.But if America wants others to trust them they should at least reduce these numbers in countries where troops are not needed besides the few needed to protect any embassy.The more the US expands its military presence around the globe the more blow-back should come as no surprise. For someone living in a country with an oppressive regime in place the presence of US forces merely seems to prove that the US is backing that particular oppressive regime. Given US history it is no stretch of the imagination or credulity to suggest that US has in the past and is currently supporting a number of Authoritarian Oppressive Regimes around the Globe. The United States spends about the same amount on military spending each year as equal to or more than most of the rest of world's nations military spending combined. So Conservative and even Neo-liberal Americans would prefer spending billions mor on the military and on armaments rather than take a small percentage of that spending and spend it on an improved over-hauled Health Care sysytm which would provide decent affordable health care for all Americans and not just the elites and the Upper Middle Class.

President Obama when he first came into office he could have at the least set up a study group or committee to investigate the military expenditures and to question the need for some 750 to over 1,000 bases world-wide. Many people had hoped that once the Berlin Wall came down that the US & NATO etc. would begin to draw down from their battle ready stance which were maintained they claimed for decades as a precaution and in preparation for an attack by the Soviet Union. Part of the problem for Obama or any US president is that the US Military and its aligned corporations need for more growth in order to maintain and even increase their profits. So America unfortunately has become a militarized state to protect its over-seas assets. Which means those corporations need not abide by US rules regarding labor and to ignore any rules they don't like which are made into law in these foreign countries since the United States and its hundreds of large corporations are afterall a law unto themselves.This is just 19th century rapacious rabid anti-regulations capitalism at work at its best or its worst. 737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire by pakalert.wordpress, 2009 March 22
With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it’s time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire. The following is excerpted from Chalmers Johnson’s new book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic” (Metropolitan Books). Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America’s version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial “footprint” and the militarism that grows with it. It is not easy, however, to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records available to the public on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department’s annual inventories from 2002 to 2005 of real property it owns around the world, the Base Structure Report, there has been an immense churning in the numbers of installations. The total of America’s military bases in other people’s countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737. Reflecting massive deployments to Iraq and the pursuit of President Bush’s strategy of preemptive war, the trend line for numbers of overseas bases continues to go up. Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 – mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets – almost exactly equals Britain’s thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty. Using data from fiscal year 2005, the Pentagon bureaucrats calculated that its overseas bases were worth at least $127 billion — surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic products of most countries — and an estimated $658.1 billion for all of them, foreign and domestic (a base’s “worth” is based on a Department of Defense estimate of what it would cost to replace it). During fiscal 2005, the military high command deployed to our overseas bases some 196,975 uniformed personnel as well as an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employed an additional 81,425 locally hired foreigners. The worldwide total of U.S. military personnel in 2005, including those based domestically, was 1,840,062 supported by an additional 473,306 Defense Department civil service employees and 203,328 local hires. Its overseas bases, according to the Pentagon, contained 32,327 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and 16,527 more that it leased. The size of these holdings was recorded in the inventory as covering 687,347 acres overseas and 29,819,492 acres worldwide, making the Pentagon easily one of the world’s largest landlords. These numbers, although staggeringly big, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2005 Base Structure Report fails, for instance, to mention any garrisons in Kosovo (or Serbia, of which Kosovo is still officially a province) — even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel built in 1999 and maintained ever since by the KBR corporation (formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root), a subsidiary of the Halliburton Corporation of Houston.
and from: "Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire and 10 Ways to Do It The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment will condemn the U.S. to a devastating trio of consequences." by Chalmers Johnson at Tomdispatch via AlterNet,July 31, 2009
However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union. According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. In just one such country, Japan, at the end of March 2008, we still had 99,295 people connected to U.S. military forces living and working there -- 49,364 members of our armed services, 45,753 dependent family members, and 4,178 civilian employees. Some 13,975 of these were crowded into the small island of Okinawa, the largest concentration of foreign troops anywhere in Japan. We are like the British at the end of World War II: desperately trying to shore up an empire that we never needed and can no longer afford, using methods that often resemble those of failed empires of the past -- including the Axis powers of World War II and the former Soviet Union. There is an important lesson for us in the British decision, starting in 1945, to liquidate their empire relatively voluntarily, rather than being forced to do so by defeat in war, as were Japan and Germany, or by debilitating colonial conflicts, as were the French and Dutch. We should follow the British example. (Alas, they are currently backsliding and following our example by assisting us in the war in Afghanistan.)

and so it goes,

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