FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Superpower Status Supersedes Domestic Tranquility

by HENRY PELIFIAN

dElected politicians from the two sole political parties are enamored with America’s superpower status and keeping the moniker of sole superpower at any and all costs is the name of their game. It is their pride and their power and self-esteem, but it is built on the backs of others, the increasing poor, dwindling lower middle class and the one percent whose wealth has increased substantially since the bailout of 2008 costing the U.S. economy $22 trillion dollars.

Our superpower prestige rests on the backs of 90% of American households that earn $30,000 annually.  When 90% of the citizens’ earnings are meager supporting a national security state that cripples or harms or impedes the economy by pouring the resources of the nation into war and war preparedness/national security at the expense of jobs, the nation withers away benefiting a chosen few.

Many Americans with the highest incomes with the most opportunities embrace this moniker without challenge while the majority of Americans do not have full time jobs in an economy managed by the two sole political parties which have been unable and unwilling to create a level playing field in legislation in which all Americans can participate effectively.

Large campaign donors have influenced the two sole political parties to enact and pass legislation that benefits them creating a system of crony capitalism making favoritism in legislation a hallmark of the United States Congress.

The quid pro quo in American two party politics is often delayed compensation in lobbying jobs or lucrative speech-making for retired elected and appointed officials.  Former presidents and their high ranking cabinet members go on speaking tours amassing millions of dollars when not one word that they utter is worth much, for they often lacked effectiveness or wisdom doing their jobs.

Some have called our system a kleptocracy, “a government where officials are politically corrupt and financially self-interested” defined by the American Heritage Dictionary.  Washington, D.C. is a paradise for lobbyists.  Why, there are over 12,000 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. spending $3.2 billion dollars annually.

The largest expenditure in the U.S. federal budget is neither Social Security nor Medicare, but the entire panoply of the national defense and security apparatus including pensions, salaries and hardware/software for national security.  The U.S. Congress has approved military expenditures for 900 bases around the world in 130 countries.  

The relentless push for military and national security supremacy has allowed trillions of dollars to be expended without proof that it has been essential, necessary and proper. Instead, it has allowed the nation to engage in many unnecessary wars because the mantle of overall military supremacy emboldens political and military leaders to do so in one disaster after another: Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan ultimately costing tens of trillions of dollars.  There is no evidence that this has benefited the nation in any way.

Although elected leaders have repeatedly said that war is the last option their actions show that war is the first and only option that they will entertain.  The national irony rarely, if ever, mentioned in the mainstream press or television news is that our most recent three war-maker presidents scrupulously avoided active military service.

When the primacy of the status quo is the objective of national political leadership it means change becomes the enemy when change is essential for the benefit of all Americans.

Prerogatives of power are often abused unless there are effective checks and balances and transparency in government.

The most momentous Congressional decisions like the Wall Street bailout and voting for war were implemented with rashness without deliberation.  Matters regarding the health and welfare of the citizenry are often condemned by representatives as too expensive or mangled badly by legislation written by the industry it affects, yet rarely, if ever, are expenditures of a massive military/security state questioned.

When national polls show for 20 years with successive governments of Democrats and Republicans are on the wrong track it means effective change for the citizenry has been abandoned, neglected and discarded.

The ultimate irony rarely reported by the mainstream press, especially television news, is the obvious failure of the immense and costly national security state on 9/11.  Eighteen amateurs with box cutters and visas from the U.S. government allowing them to study how to fly commercial aircraft inflicted tremendous damage in lives and buildings.  What was the outcome of this government failure?  Pouring enormous public funds into security without proof it is it necessary or effective.  Were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan convenient collusions and diversions from the failure of two political parties to protect the nation on 9/11?

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  Has the mainstream press acted like a watchdog in the interest of the American people, especially television news, for an informed citizenry to check government malfeasance?

Excessive spending on military power and national security does not make a country great or free; more importantly it is how a country is governed creating domestic tranquility for all of its citizens that determine a country’s greatness.

The heritage of the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers for checks and balances, justice and freedom of the press is embedded in our national history which needs to flower to meet new challenges for a nation founded on freedom and economic prosperity to establish domestic tranquility which has been smothered by an unquenchable appetite for superpower status.

Henry Pelifian received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Geneseo, NY in English/Drama and Education, an MBA in International Managment from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, AZ.. He served in the U.S. Army with one year in Qui Nhon, South Vietnam. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, he worked for several more years overseas, primarily in Thailand in the U.S. Refugee Program. He is now writing novels, plays and short stories. You can visit his Amazon page here.

 

 

 

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
David Yearsley
Reading Room Blues
February 04, 2016
Scott McLarty
Political Revolution and the Third-Party Imperative
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail