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American Vice

In his comment on the mass shootings at the Oregon community college, President Obama said:  “This has become routine.”

So have police shootings of unarmed and unresisting Americans.

So have numerous other undesirable and deplorable happenings, such as the foreclosure on the homes of millions of Americans, while the “banks too big to fail” are bailed out with trillions of dollars, and such as foreign policy lies that have destroyed seven countries, bringing the US and Europe millions of refugees.

In addition there are the foreign policy lies that have brought the US and Europe into conflict with Russia, and the economic lies that shield the extraordinary concentration of income and wealth of the One Percent.

Also routine is Washington’s obliteration of weddings, funerals, and medical centers with bombs and drones.  Two days after Obama expressed his despair, frustration and anger over the Oregon mass shootings, a US air strike hit a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. According to numerous news reports, at least 19 people were killed, including 12 members of Doctors Without Borders, and another 37 wounded. The US air strike killed one person on the operating table, and intensive care patients burned to death in their beds.

For Washington, these mass murders are only “collateral damage,” nothing warranting a presidential statement displaying despair, anger, and frustration.

Obama says he can do nothing about mass shootings, but he could certainly call off his illegal wars and deep-six his reckless and coercive approach toward Russia before we are incinerated.  As Vladimir Putin said at the UN, “We [meaning Russia] can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world.”

Putin does not lie.  When he says something, he means it.

Somebody in Washington had better listen to this man, because Washington is no longer The Unipower.  There are now three superpowers—Russia, China, and the US—and probably in that order.

In America all forms of evil and corruption have become routine.  Bob Dylan told us that vice and corruption have become routine:  “People’s lives today are filled on so many levels with vice and the trappings of it. Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. . . . We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of vice on a daily basis—everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life and the mockery of it, everywhere we look.”

Vice is Washington’s signature.  A fish rots from the head, and Washington has led our country into vice, greed, selfishness and the mockery and destruction of human life.

The Golden Rule is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Allegedly, America is a Christian country.  This means that Christian America is following Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in a masochistic way. Do we really want other countries to bomb and invade us, to reduce our towns and cities to rubble, to destroy our social and economic infrastructure, to kill millions of us and make most of the rest of us into refugees?

This is what America has done to the world.  This is why Vladimir Putin said Russia can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world and why he asked America, “Do you realize what you have done?”

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Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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