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  • Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

    By John Pilger

    The BBC's American television soap Mad Men offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving dreamt up by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged and sold.

    It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalized mass-level automated technological community organizing that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”. Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarized from the Latino union organizer César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.

    No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.

    Perhaps the Obama brand’s most effective advertising was supplied free of charge by those journalists who, as courtiers of a rapacious system, promote shining knights. They depoliticized him, spinning his platitudinous speeches as “adroit literary creations, rich, like those Doric columns, with allusion...” (Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian). The San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote: “Many spiritually advanced people I know... identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who... can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

    In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush’s gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On 24 April, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not “persons”, and therefore had no right not to be tortured. His national intelligence director, Admiral Dennis Blair, says he believes torture works. One of his senior US intelligence officials in Latin America is accused of covering up the torture of an American nun in Guatemala in 1989; another is a Pinochet apologist. As Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out, the US experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of “defence”, Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, has been retained by Obama.

    All over the world, America’s violent assault on innocent people, directly or by agents, has been stepped up. During the recent massacre in Gaza, reports Seymour Hersh, “the Obama team let it be known that it would not object to the planned resupply of ‘smart bombs’ and other hi-tech ordnance that was already flowing to Israel” and being used to slaughter mostly women and children. In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office.

    In Afghanistan, the US “strategy” of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the “Taliban”) has been extended by Obama to give the Pentagon time to build a series of permanent bases right across the devastated country where, says Secretary Gates, the US military will remain indefinitely. Obama’s policy, one unchanged since the Cold War, is to intimidate Russia and China, now an imperial rival. He is proceeding with Bush’s provocation of placing missiles on Russia’s western border, justifying it as a counter to Iran, which he accuses, absurdly, of posing “a real threat” to Europe and the US. On 5 April in Prague, he made a speech reported as “anti-nuclear”. It was nothing of the kind. Under the Pentagon’s Reliable Replacement Warhead programme, the US is building new “tactical” nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war.

    Perhaps the biggest lie – the equivalent of smoking is good for you – is Obama’s announcement that the US is leaving Iraq, the country it has reduced to a river of blood. According to unabashed US army planners, as many as 70,000 troops will remain “for the next 15 to 20 years”. On 25 April, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, alluded to this. It is not surprising that the polls are showing that a growing number of Americans believe they have been suckered – especially as the nation’s economy has been entrusted to the same fraudsters who destroyed it. Lawrence Summers, Obama’s principal economic adviser, is throwing $3trn at the same banks that paid him more than $8m last year, including $135,000 for one speech. Change you can believe in.

    Much of the American establishment loathed Bush and Cheney for exposing, and threatening, the onward march of America’s “grand design”, as Henry Kissinger, war criminal and now Obama adviser, calls it. In advertising terms, Bush was a “brand collapse” whereas Obama, with his toothpaste advertisement smile and righteous clichés, is a godsend. At a stroke, he has seen off serious domestic dissent to war, and he brings tears to the eyes, from Washington to Whitehall. He is the BBC’s man, and CNN’s man, and Murdoch’s man, and Wall Street’s man, and the CIA’s man. The Madmen did well.

    - John Pilger, a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.johnpilger.com
    John Pilger offers great insight into the corruption of American politics and goverment. His most notable work was an excellent documentary called "The War On Democracy" and can be viewed Here.
    |TG-X| mp40x



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  • #2
    Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

    Nothing new. All politicians will say or promise (not do) anything to get a vote for power.

    Won't lie though. I started off extremely opposed to Obama before the campaign really hit. His advertisements and clever slogans and elegant speeches definitely swayed me more in support of him toward the end of the campaign. To sum up how powerful and to such an extreme I swayed my stance, I originally supported Ron Paul, a Republican and extreme Constitutionalist.

    A quote from John Pilger I found on Wikipedia:

    "During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. 'I have to tell you,' said their spokesman, 'that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?"

    Very powerful quote. Have to say I can see what he's talking about from my swaying experience in the 2009 Presidential Elections. Good article.
    |TG-Irr| JWG

    Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

      I agree that Obama has not been a flower giving hippie peacenik. He sounds very much, at times, like Bush. Almost word for word as the Daily show has mocked.

      But what exactly would make some of these people happy?

      The fact he continues to piss off both far right and far left individuals lead me to believe he is, overall, doing pretty good.
      I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
        The fact he continues to piss off both far right and far left individuals lead me to believe he is, overall, doing pretty good.
        This.

        Also, I stopped reading the article where he coins in on the continuing efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He doesn't know what the **** he's talking about.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

          Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
          This.

          Also, I stopped reading the article where he coins in on the continuing efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He doesn't know what the **** he's talking about.
          Got to agree. This particular article was very distasteful in it's bashing of America's lash back after 9/11. Almost sympathetic to the Taliban in it's tone. America was the one that was attacked on 9/11. We are only biting back and eliminating a threat to our nation. Just hope Barrack doesn't tax bullets for our armed forces. Hope every shot meets it's mark on those jihad'ers in the sandbox. (How ironic? lol).
          |TG-Irr| JWG

          Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

            it's the SAME bush-bashing I've heard for 8 years now. The same bandwagon journalism with nothing unique or new to say.

            ...the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.
            No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding.
            Warmongering?

            What heavy persuasion! I suddenly feel like the entire populace of America simultaneously opposed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.
            Because power is directly tied to military domination. I think China demonstrates this clearly enough.

            ...the US experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of “defence”, Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, has been retained by Obama.
            Yes. Obama should have completely replaced the entire high-leadership of our military all out ONCE - to suddenly change strategy in a grand Hasbro Risk tag-team technique. While there may be problems with strategy by high leadership, you cannot just up and out swap Generals around willy nilly.

            ...and being used to slaughter mostly women and children. In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office.
            This is a result of military error, not presidential.

            I wish the author could separate the two.

            In Afghanistan, the US “strategy” of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the “Taliban”) has been extended by Obama to give the Pentagon time to build a series of permanent bases right across the devastated country where, says Secretary Gates, the US military will remain indefinitely.
            "see ya Afghanis! What? Echoes of the past? What are you talking about? We didn't fund your fight for freedom against the Soviets, leading you to self-determination! We didn't cut all funding as soon as the war was over! We didn't leave you destroyed, with 1.5 million dead and at least 300,000 suffering life altering wounds. "

            I believe in retribution for what we did to the Afghan people in the Soviet years. We provided them with the means but never a method to recover from the war. And look where it got us? I am not saying that America directly contributed to the 9/11 attacks; What I am saying is that if we had helped the Afghanis after the war, things could have been so much better off. 9/11 was an isolated attack by sick individuals with no real justification.

            Bases could provide security in the years to come for Afghans rebuilding after the dust settles.

            Obama’s policy, one unchanged since the Cold War, is to intimidate Russia and China, now an imperial rival. He is proceeding with Bush’s provocation of placing missiles on Russia’s western border, justifying it as a counter to Iran, which he accuses, absurdly, of posing “a real threat” to Europe and the US.
            Uh, Georgia. Chechnya...?

            Russian victory day celebration

            Those are NUKES being PARADED.

            And I suppose Putin isn't a threat, either? I mean, what's an Ex-KGB turned post-cold war politician? And who cares if he appoints himself into one of the highest offices of the Russian government. Good thing he handpicked his own replacement!

            I don't care about communism vs. capitalism. I care about the friendly tyrant that smiles and kisses children on the belly. Meanwhile, dominating and wrecking everything in Georgia...

            O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
            My tables—meet it is I set it down
            That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—
            At least I am sure it may be so in Russia.

            Much of the American establishment loathed Bush and Cheney for exposing, and threatening, the onward march of America’s “grand design”, as Henry Kissinger, war criminal and now Obama adviser, calls it.
            What?

            You want to know what the American establishment is?

            Originally posted by Marine featured in Evan Wright's Generation Kill
            The self-less sacrifice of day to day military personnel, especially combat veterans, is under appreciated. And you got the American society wanna run as fast as they can to the counter tops, to the [explicative] newsstands, and grab mother [explicative]' Us Weekly's and [explicative]' People Magazine just to see what [explicative]' Jake Gyllenhaal did on Thursday afternoon. You know what I did Thursday afternoon? I put one of my '[explicative]' Marines on a plane. I put that [explicative] on the bird to [explicative]' nowhere. I picked his lifeless ass up body, put him on a stretcher, and put him off. Why don't they put that, why don't that be in a mother [explicative]' magazine? Or how 'bout let's put a day in the life of [explicative]' any average Marine out here, going through the streets of Ramadi. Their biggest concern is that, you know, they couldn't buy a mocha latte at [explicative]' Starbucks because it was under construction. Our biggest mother [explicative]' concern is getting blown up on [explicative]' 2 9er 5 in Michigan. But we're gonna go home and they're gonna say, wave their little flag, and say "Welcome Home, thanks for, thanks for preserving our right to go on not giving a [explicative]".
            America duped itself. Not the other way around.
            Last edited by Skud; 05-24-2009, 08:30 AM.
            Skud


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

              Meh....

              It takes a long time for a single person to make changes in their life. Government is millions of people on top of mountains of bureaucracy. I don't understand what's expected after 100 days. Any fifth grader who's read Animal Farm knows changes can't happen overnight. Obama is still learning how to navigate within the system. Only after 3 to 4 years would I try to evaluate the work he's done.

              Obama did not say gitmo prisoners are not persons. It came from the courts.

              http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/curre...ul-v.-rumsfeld

              Leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq is a recipe for exactly the same quagmire we have been in for the last 7 years. They are simply going to need reinforcements. This endgame strategy needs to be revised.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                Its this type of scathing editorial against the US war on terror that gets most Americans quickly on the defensive. But, what I got from this article was that there is little or no difference in the foreign policy of the Democrats and Republicans. Allow me to remark on some of the comments though.

                Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
                This.

                Also, I stopped reading the article where he coins in on the continuing efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He doesn't know what the **** he's talking about.
                Or, his ideology is just on the other side of the spectrum from yours. Take your pick wich one is right. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all.

                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                it's the SAME bush-bashing I've heard for 8 years now. The same bandwagon journalism with nothing unique or new to say.
                I too was against the Bush-bashing because it was politically motivated. But putting a label on it, "Bush-bashing", wich is often what Americans do, does not take away from its truth.


                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                Warmongering?

                What heavy persuasion! I suddenly feel like the entire populace of America simultaneously opposed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
                Most Americans did support the war until they fully realized the cost financially and in human lives on both sides. And warmongering pretty much sums up the entire Iraq conflict.

                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                Yes. Obama should have completely replaced the entire high-leadership of our military all out ONCE - to suddenly change strategy in a grand Hasbro Risk tag-team technique. While there may be problems with strategy by high leadership, you cannot just up and out swap Generals around willy nilly.
                I dont think the author was advocating the replacement of the entire military leadership. But rather the replacement of Robert Gates.

                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                This is a result of military error, not presidential.

                I wish the author could separate the two.
                This is military error in its attempt to fulfill its mission laid out by the Executive Branch of goverment.

                Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                Uh, Georgia. Chechnya...?

                Russian victory day celebration

                Those are NUKES being PARADED.

                And I suppose Putin isn't a threat, either? I mean, what's an Ex-KGB turned post-cold war politician? And who cares if he appoints himself into one of the highest offices of the Russian government. Good thing he handpicked his own replacement!

                I don't care about communism vs. capitalism. I care about the friendly tyrant that smiles and kisses children on the belly. Meanwhile, dominating and wrecking everything in Georgia...

                O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
                My tables—meet it is I set it down
                That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—
                At least I am sure it may be so in Russia.
                The Georgia situation was caused by the American sponsored expansion of NATO. Did you really think that Russia would allow NATO to be that close to its border? Would the USA allow Mexico or Canada, hypothetically speaking, to enter into a military alliance with Russia in direct opposition to US policy? I think not. As far as Putin being ex-KGB, George Herbert Walker Bush was head of the CIA, wich is nothing more that the American version of the KGB. And why does the US believe we should be the only ones with nuclear weapons? Russia is no more a threat to the US than the US is a threat to Russia. Its the warmongering hardliners on both sides that keep this fiction going.


                Originally posted by JWG View Post
                Got to agree. This particular article was very distasteful in it's bashing of America's lash back after 9/11. Almost sympathetic to the Taliban in it's tone. America was the one that was attacked on 9/11. We are only biting back and eliminating a threat to our nation. Just hope Barrack doesn't tax bullets for our armed forces. Hope every shot meets it's mark on those jihad'ers in the sandbox. (How ironic? lol).
                I dont think anyone in their right mind could be sympathetic to the Taliban or its ideology. I think the real question is how many arabs, muslims, insurgents, Taliban, whatever you want to label them as, have to die? 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000? Before America feels absolved of our loss on 9/11.
                |TG-X| mp40x



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                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                  The posted article seems mostly correct to me, although it comes across as a little over-opinionated and too tongue-in-cheek to actually be taken too seriously.

                  I think that Obama is a far better President (in the formal sense) than Bush mostly in the sense that he is more empathetic towards the population. I think this is illustrated by the fact that he often comes up somewhere in the center of most issues - he does make an effort (though hard liners on either side will say he doesn't) to compromise on many things - something that Bush simply did not do, as a matter of executive privilege or simple operation.

                  It therefore shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who really pays attention to American politics that Obama's presidency hasn't delivered any major reversals in policy beyond such external gestures like the closing of Guantanamo Bay, the funding of stem cell research and the staging of more purposeful environmental regulation. It has surprised many that he has upheld some aspects of Bush policy, especially with regard to the two ongoing wars and the handling of past military and intelligence official conduct - but did anyone honestly expect him to clean house and pull the covers off of government - especially the most secretive parts? I didn't, but I do hope he constructs future policy much more carefully than the previous administration did.

                  The only people misled by Obama were those who misunderstood him in the first place. He's not a savior, but he is a good president so far - and we should all keep in mind that it's not too far at all. I recall requests to hold off on judgement of Bush after he'd been in office for as much as six years - why is it that Obama can't even get 100 days?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                    Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                    I dont think anyone in their right mind could be sympathetic to the Taliban or its ideology. I think the real question is how many arabs, muslims, insurgents, Taliban, whatever you want to label them as, have to die? 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000? Before America feels absolved of our loss on 9/11.
                    Taliban attacked us and killed thousands of Americans. Join the Taliban, be eliminated. Simple. :)

                    No one in their right minds would be sympathetic to the Taliban or their IDEOLOGY? How about countless arabs, muslims, and the MANY PEOPLE IN THE TALIBAN who despise America? You're right, they are nuts. That is why we are there fighting them, defending this nation from them.
                    |TG-Irr| JWG

                    Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                      I took offense in the tone of the author's message in regards to efforts in Afghanistan. He alluded to some sort of strategy of mass-murdering civilians and labeling them all "Taliban". That's false.

                      All the other stuff... well, I took it as a bunch of raging and whining that our president hasn't given the Arabic world the proverbial handjob it was expecting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                        Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
                        I took offense in the tone of the author's message in regards to efforts in Afghanistan. He alluded to some sort of strategy of mass-murdering civilians and labeling them all "Taliban". That's false.

                        All the other stuff... well, I took it as a bunch of raging and whining that our president hasn't given the Arabic world the proverbial handjob it was expecting.
                        Better words than I could muster myself. Thank you, well spoken Sir. :)
                        |TG-Irr| JWG

                        Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                          Originally posted by mp40x View Post

                          Most Americans did support the war until they fully realized the cost financially and in human lives on both sides. And warmongering pretty much sums up the entire Iraq conflict.


                          ...


                          I dont think anyone in their right mind could be sympathetic to the Taliban or its ideology. I think the real question is how many arabs, muslims, insurgents, Taliban, whatever you want to label them as, have to die? 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000? Before America feels absolved of our loss on 9/11.
                          Arabs are people who live in Arabian countries.
                          Muslims are practitioners of Islam.
                          Taliban are organized militia whose only ideology seems to be "Death to America"

                          How many guilty parties have to die? Well, that's up to the guilty party to decide.

                          They pick up the weapon. They detonate the IED's.

                          They seem to have full control of whether or not these things happen.

                          Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
                          I took offense in the tone of the author's message in regards to efforts in Afghanistan. He alluded to some sort of strategy of mass-murdering civilians and labeling them all "Taliban". That's false.

                          All the other stuff... well, I took it as a bunch of raging and whining that our president hasn't given the Arabic world the proverbial handjob it was expecting.
                          I'll buy you a beer, sometime.

                          OK, I'm just going to put it straight:

                          My job, in the grand scheme of things, is to kill people. Yep, I'm weather, and that's my job. I directly contribute to whether or not that bomb drops or not. Go or No Go. Fly or No Fly. People are going to die, transversely, because I do my job. I don't lie to myself and think of being in the military as a "job." I have no disillusions about being in the military - bombs and troops are going to inflict casualties on the enemy downrange.

                          Keep in mind, this is the grand scheme of things.

                          Do people in the military enjoy ending other human lives? Never.
                          Do bad things happen to innocents in the field? Yes.

                          People can bicker all they want. Try living in America ONE DAY without the military they love to hate.

                          And I know people will read this and convince themselves that a forecaster has no real impact on sending rounds down range or bombs dropping. And you can think that all you want - but every single DoD job contributes, in some way or another, down the line, to someone's unfortunate end.

                          I'll next be stationed with a bomber wing. Take a guess what bombers do?

                          tl;dr version: Blame the military all you want. We hold ourselves accountable.
                          Skud


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                            Amen, Skud. Thank you for your service. I'm heading to the Marines next June. Can't wait.
                            |TG-Irr| JWG

                            Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Obama's 100 Days - The Mad Men Did Well

                              Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                              Arabs are people who live in Arabian countries.
                              Muslims are practitioners of Islam.
                              Taliban are organized militia whose only ideology seems to be "Death to America"

                              How many guilty parties have to die? Well, that's up to the guilty party to decide.

                              They pick up the weapon. They detonate the IED's.

                              They seem to have full control of whether or not these things happen.
                              But this would not be happening if we were not over there. This article by Ron Paul basically sums up my position.

                              The Original Foreign Policy

                              by Ron Paul

                              It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.

                              ~ George Washington

                              Last week I wrote about the critical need for Congress to reassert its authority over foreign policy, and for the American people to recognize that the Constitution makes no distinction between domestic and foreign matters. Policy is policy, and it must be made by the legislature and not the executive.

                              But what policy is best? How should we deal with the rest of the world in a way that best advances proper national interests, while not threatening our freedoms at home?

                              I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. In other words, noninterventionism.

                              Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Nonintervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not mean that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.

                              Thomas Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” Washington similarly urged that we must, “Act for ourselves and not for others,” by forming an “American character wholly free of foreign attachments.”

                              Yet how many times have we all heard these wise words without taking them to heart? How many claim to admire Jefferson and Washington, but conveniently ignore both when it comes to American foreign policy? Since so many apparently now believe Washington and Jefferson were wrong on the critical matter of foreign policy, they should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

                              Of course we frequently hear the offensive cliché that, “times have changed,” and thus we cannot follow quaint admonitions from the 1700s. The obvious question, then, is what other principles from our founding era should we discard for convenience? Should we give up the First amendment because times have changed and free speech causes too much offense in our modern society? Should we give up the Second amendment, and trust that today’s government is benign and not to be feared by its citizens? How about the rest of the Bill of Rights?

                              It’s hypocritical and childish to dismiss certain founding principles simply because a convenient rationale is needed to justify interventionist policies today. The principles enshrined in the Constitution do not change. If anything, today’s more complex world cries out for the moral clarity provided by a noninterventionist foreign policy.

                              It is time for Americans to rethink the interventionist foreign policy that is accepted without question in Washington. It is time to understand the obvious harm that results from our being dragged time and time again into intractable and endless Middle East conflicts, whether in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine. It is definitely time to ask ourselves whether further American lives and tax dollars should be lost trying to remake the Middle East in our image.

                              December 19, 2006

                              Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
                              Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                              I'll buy you a beer, sometime.

                              OK, I'm just going to put it straight:

                              My job, in the grand scheme of things, is to kill people. Yep, I'm weather, and that's my job. I directly contribute to whether or not that bomb drops or not. Go or No Go. Fly or No Fly. People are going to die, transversely, because I do my job. I don't lie to myself and think of being in the military as a "job." I have no disillusions about being in the military - bombs and troops are going to inflict casualties on the enemy downrange.

                              Keep in mind, this is the grand scheme of things.

                              Do people in the military enjoy ending other human lives? Never.
                              Do bad things happen to innocents in the field? Yes.

                              People can bicker all they want. Try living in America ONE DAY without the military they love to hate.

                              And I know people will read this and convince themselves that a forecaster has no real impact on sending rounds down range or bombs dropping. And you can think that all you want - but every single DoD job contributes, in some way or another, down the line, to someone's unfortunate end.

                              I'll next be stationed with a bomber wing. Take a guess what bombers do?

                              tl;dr version: Blame the military all you want. We hold ourselves accountable.
                              I personally love the US military and its history. And the American soldier always performs brilliantly to complete their mission. But, do we really need *over 700 bases in over 130 countries world wide? I would be in favor of relocating these installations stateside. It would keep us from meddling in foreign affairs and help stimulate the US economy.
                              *reference this article
                              |TG-X| mp40x



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