By William Hanna | Global Research
“There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world. We have the opportunity to set an example of generous understanding in our relations with China, of practical cooperation for peace in our relations with Russia, of reliable and respectful partnership in our relations with Western Europe, of material helpfulness without moral presumption in our relations with the developing nations, of abstention from the temptations of hegemony in our relations with Latin America, and of the all-around advantages of minding one’s own business in our relations with everybody.
Most of all, we have the opportunity to serve as an example of democracy to the world by the way in which we run our own society; America, in the words of John Quincy Adams, should be ‘the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all’ but ‘the champion and vindicator only of her own.’”
U.S. Senator James W. Fulbright (1905-1995) The Arrogance of Power, 1966.
Despite having met and befriended some fine Americans over the years, my long-held opinion of the U.S. in particular and the American people in general — an opinion confirmed after I read Senator Fulbright’s book in the late 60s — has not only remained doggedly unchanged, but has in fact become more entrenched and pessimistic. Such entrenched pessimism stems from the inescapable truth that regardless of an illusory concept of the “American exceptionalism” that arrogantly presumes to present itself as the “superpower” champion of democracy and human rights, the U.S. is in reality the world’s biggest violator of the very ideals it so hypocritically claims to champion.
This superpower which straddles the world with some 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad — Britain, France, and Russia combined have only about 30 foreign bases — has been responsible for the killing of more than 20 million people in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War Two.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address to the nation.
Needless to say, Eisenhower’s warning fell on deaf ears and the latest Congressional homage to the military-industrial complex was recently payed in September to the tune of a $700 billion defence policy bill designed to maintain America’s position — with an endless War on Terror and military interventions including regime changes — as a global military power.
As a consequence of such largesse to the military-industrial complex and billions more in aid to a brutal Apartheid Israeli state bent on an expansion policy of Palestinian land grabbing to build more settlements for Jews only, the U.S. has become a nation where more than 50 million Americans live below the poverty line; where 48 million of them receive food stamps; where more than one in five children is on food stamps and living in poverty; where an astounding 15% of senior citizens live in poverty; where ethnic poverty rates are 28% for Blacks, 24% for Hispanics, 10.5% for Asians, and 10% for Whites; were being Black lowers one’s credit score by 71 Points; where a new AFL-CIO study on corporate salaries found that CEOs made 335 times more than the average employee who earned $36,875 while the the big company CEOs got approximately $12,400,000; where according to a Forbes survey 56% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their combined cheque and savings bank accounts; and where an observation once made in 1967 by Martin Luther King Jr. has become a stark reality:
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
To make matters even worse, according to the most recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults (14 percent of the population) in the U.S. can’t read; 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level; and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read at all. The prevalence of such illiteracy in the U.S. may explain why 62,979,984 Americans voted for Donald Trump — an egocentric mentally disturbed racist illiterate with psychopathic tendencies — to become President of a nation whose government’s first allegiance is not to the welfare of the American people, but to the Apartheid policies of an Israeli state guilty of barbaric crimes against humanity. Some of the wide ranging downsides of illiteracy — the U.S. Federal Outlay on education is only 3% — are outlined on this link. . .
To know the “character” of the US Power Elite one must look at the Neocon Think Tanks:
“A Reminder: Neocon Think Tanks and Fascism – Zur Erinnerung: Neocon Think Tanks und Faschismus”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/a-reminder-neocon-think-tanks-and-fascism-zur-erinnerung-neocon-think-tanks-und-faschismus/
Thanks for the link Schluter.
I read the entire article and the author goes on to state that his skepticism that Americans will wake up and actually do something about their plight has been realized since he recently enjoyed a meal with a couple from Colorado who were vacationing in England and when the conversation got around to how bad things were in America, the American couple stated that though they too, thought that things were dismal indeed, there is really nothing that can be done about it.
Now Dr. Bramhall, you yourself stated that one of the reasons you fled this mess over here is because you got sick and tired of standing on street corners with your protest signs all by your lonesome. Americans are not going to get up off their ass and do a thing about a thing. That is a known fact for if it were not true, we would have done something by now.
We are waiting on someone else to do something for us. What? I don’t know. And who? I don’t know because the firebrands of the hippie era and Civil Rights era are either elderly, in prison or deceased and nothing has of yet been produced to succeed them. And if we intend to launch a revolution via Twitter and Facebook, then all I can say to that, is “Seriously??!!!!”
We quite obviously have no problem with 50 million Americans living below the poverty line. The 50 million don’t have a problem with living below the poverty line or we would have heard from them by now. But I am quite sure that they are busily perusing Facebook. I have seen, with my very own eyes, people loading items at a food shelf while holding a brand, spanking new smartphone. Apparently, there is poverty and then, there is poverty. You see, Dr. Bramhall, the poor are only as poor as some statistic states they are and you could not tell them that they qualify as poverty-stricken because they’ve got the latest gadgets that came down the pike. They’re wanting for nothing especially seeing as how food banks and food shelves are there to supplement their food stamps if they can be standing in line for the latest smartphone and don’t forget, someone has to pay for the smartphone plan even if it’s a pay-as-you-go plan.
The only group that I feel sorry for are the seniors because they asked for none of this. The seniors paid their dues and they paid into pension plans only to see their pensions wiped out and that is truly a tragic situation to be in at their age.
Also a fact, here in Hillbilly Hollow, there are so many illiterate people, you cannot turn around without bumping into one of them and they are doing just fine marking an X for their name. I know a man who bought a house and he could not tell you what his name looks like written down on paper. So, they’re getting along. There are many illiterate people here and many are not homeless. They’ve been in their falling down houses for years and since no inspector has deemed the place, condemned, what’s the problem? There is none.
Try not to feel too concerned for us because no matter what anyone else may think of our plight, millions of us don’t think we have one. Ask ’em. They’ll tell you. They’d vote for Donald Trump all over again!
You raise some really important questions, Shelby. Unfortunately I’m not just concerned about life in the US. I’m very concerned about life here in New Zealand. Both Australia and New Zealand are part of the 5-eyes spy network and as such our future very much depends on the fate of the US. It really amazes me that despite China being our major trading partner, the NZ prime minister isn’t allowed to sneeze without getting permission from the US. Besides doing all the spying on email and phone communications in the South Pacific (thanks in part to a NSA-funded position in Wellington), I think there are real fears that if the NZ government gets too far out of line with US interests, the CIA will destabilize their government like they did in Australia in 1972 (see https://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2017/05/01/the-1972-us-coup-against-australia/).
On top of this secretive political control, New Zealand also suffers greatly from cultural colonization by the Wall Street pr machine – our young people are constantly bombarded by the same propaganda that they have to have the latest smarthpone and post every minute of their existence on Instagram.
The only real advantage I feel in being here is that I am not alone in fighting US corporate dominance – instead of standing alone on corners handing out leaflets, I have a number of people fighting beside me.