As immoral as anything put forward by Bush/Cheney, this plan differs only in the distribution of booty. Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force would conspire to further enrich the robber barons of big oil, themselves now war criminals under international conventions to which the US is legally bound whether Bush likes it or not! The alternative plan is a 'neat' rationalization and equally reprehensible.
We should create a taxpayer-owned oil company (Perhaps, call it US Oil?). It would require a long-term (maybe a 99 year) lease on a portion of Iraq’s oil fields. The price of such a lease?...The spilled blood of American servicemen!Since the oil fields are up and running, that oil should be sold on the open market for $20 a barrel. The revenues from the oil sales would go directly and solely to pay off our debt. In addition, with a large volume of the world’s oil being sold at $20 a barrel, the price would plummet worldwide, translating into affordable fuel prices once again.The taxpayers would be repaid for the treasure we have lost in Iraq, and a long-term solution to our growing need for oil would be accomplished without any further drilling in this country. It would also provide time to increase long-overdue and meaningful fuel efficiency standards in our automobiles, as well as making alternative energy solutions practical to most Americans.--Dave Gibson, Analysis with Political and Social CommentaryAmerican Daily has proposed the immoral theft of resources that do not belong to the United States. Bluntly, Mr. Gibson, what you have proposed is a war crime.
b) War crimes:Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave-labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war, of persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.--Declaration of the Jury of Conscience, World Tribunal on Iraq - Istanbul, June 23 - 27, 2005Secondly, Dick Cheney's cronies --consisting of Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil, BP America Inc, having lied, schemed and waged bloody war --would never agree! Dick Cheney and George W. Bush did not invade Iraq in order to pay off the national debt; nor did Dick Cheney and George W. Bush conspire with the elite base in order to lower the price of gasoline at the pump. Moreover, the transcript of US Ambassador April Glaspie's 'interview' with Saddam Hussein proves that the US 'lured' Saddam into attacking Kuwait because Saddam had wanted to lower the price of oil. Hussein's attack of Kuwait was the pretext needed by Bush. Bush was determined to wage war on Iraq. Nothing could have been done to prevent it. The UK Daily Mail reported that Hussein had agreed to exile for a paltry $1 billion but Bush, hellbent on war, refused. It was, in fact, the inevitable result of war fever and greed. Investors, smelling 'oil profits' and 'defense contracts', bid up the prices of Boeing and Raytheon stocks. It was a heady time for war profiteers and robber barons. That the author of the 'American Daily' article believes that his proposed 'oil lease' is already paid for with the 'blood of American soldiers misses the point that aggressive war is aggressive war, that the theft of a nation's resources is a war crime whether it is perpetrated by Dick Cheney's consortium or by a collective of 'the people'! Theft is theft and, in this case, it is also a war crime. That the US finds itself in a position in which it must scheme to plunder is proof that the US is poised for collapse as was Rome when its mercenaries sought out the foreign booty to be looted in Briton, Dacia, and other resource rich targets of conquest. As Gore Vidal pointed out in his book --The Decline and Fall of the American Empire --the founders sought to create an oligarchical state in which two wings of a single party would preside over the distribution of 'bread an circuses'. That's certainly what we got. The only issue of concern to a ruling class, Vidal writes, is whether 'to coerce or to bribe' a powerless majority. Vidal is correct. The fall of American empire will resemble that of Rome in every major trend.
- Like Rome, American society is increasingly characterized by absurd inequalities of wealth and income
- Like Rome, modern America is beset by weird and kooky cults
- Like Rome, America's biggest export is conquest and death
- Like Rome, America distracts its teeming citizenry with 'bread and circuses'
- Like Rome, America's currency, by the time of its ultimate fall, will be utterly worthless
In 1968, Robert Kennedy sought to rescue the party and his own ambitions from the threat of real change that came from an alliance of the civil rights campaign and the anti-war movement then commanding the streets of the main cities, and which Martin Luther King had drawn together until he was assassinated in April that year. --From Kennedy to Obama: Liberalism’s Last FlingThat 'threat' of real change is as close as this nation had come to real revolution. I am asked if 'ailing' empires ever recover. The fate of western empires indicates --no! The 'nation' might 'recover' ---but not the empire. Rome, for example, is often said to have 'survived' but in the form of the Catholic Church. America will not be that lucky. There is no 'American' church to survive its fall. There is no analogous American institution that might survive a total economic melt-down. When a future 'Gibbon' writes a multi-volume, analytical history of America's short-lived empire and precipitous fall, the 'religious establishment' will share the blame but will not survive as an institution. The fall of American empire shares many characteristics with that of Rome. Like Rome, 'America' has become an enterprise for which death is a 'product'. Our Praetorian Guard is called 'Blackwater'. It is in the Military/Industrial complex that one finds the larger analogy to Rome.
It had been able to dominate the Italian peninsula. But Rome as the ruler of the entire civilized world was a political impossibility and could not endure. Her young men were killed in her endless wars. Her farmers were ruined by long military service and by taxation. They either became professional beggars or hired themselves out to rich landowners who gave them board and lodging in exchange for their services and made them “serfs,” those unfortunate human beings who are neither slaves nor freemen, but who have become part of the soil upon which they work, like so many cows, and the trees. --Hendrik van Loon, The Story of MankindOf America's fall, Gore Vidal implies that the manner of our fall is implicit in our beginning.
Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams [Brooks' older brother] figured all that out back in the 1890s. 'We have a single system,' he wrote, and 'in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses.'"--Gore Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American EmpireRome as a military power house was finished by the time the last emperor was driven off the 'throne' in the year 475. Rome was in serious decline by the time the Battle of Adrianople was fought almost one hundred yeas earlier in 378. The Emperor Valens could not even raise an army of Romans; the battle consisted of pro-Roman barbarians under Valens command vs anti-Roman barbarians arrayed against him. Adrianople was Rome's worst defeat since Hermann's German victory of AD 9 in the Teutoburg forest. For many it seemed as if the world had ended. St. Ambrose called it "the end of all humanity, the end of the world."Adrianople is often said to have been the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire though there is evidence that Rome's decline had begun much earlier. In Nero's day, the slums of Rome were a picture of a top heavy society in decline, dependent upon conquest to sustain a spoiled 'nobility'. By the time the Praetorian Guard (Blackwater of its day) auctioned off the empire to a 'nobleman', one Didius Julianus, the sale was completed in Greek Drachmas --not worthless Roman sestercius. These several 'themes' are found today in Bush's America. It was said of Nero that he 'fiddled' while Rome burned. In fact, there were no 'fiddles' at that time; Nero played a lyre and often boasted that, if forced to, he could make a living at it. While New Orleans drowned, Bush cannot be said to have 'played' a guitar. He punished it but punished New Orleans worse.
Long before starting this blog, I wrote elsewhere that 'terrorism' was a tactic --not an enemy that could be defeated militarily. 'Terrorism' is not a nation against whom war can be waged and won. 'Terrorism' is not an ideology against which propaganda may or may not be effective. 'Terrorism' is the means by which those who have been marginalized, robbed, made helpless or shut out fight back!
Events have borne this out. Bush's ham-fisted Bush approach, like that of every other GOP regime, has made terrorism worse and I have the cold, hard verifiable stats to prove it. [See: Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes] But those facts mean nothing to Straussians and neocons and other cults embraced by the GOP. The Bush administration is, rather, a 'hologram' controlled by a 'man behind a curtain'. The goal was the theft of oil and the 'plan' is now openly discussed in the wake of Bush's trillion dollar blunder in Iraq. Like that of Rome, America's imperialist establishment is dependent upon conquest. The US, a nation once rich in resources, no longer leads the rest of the world in the production of steel, cars, electronics or even service 'industries' like computer programming. In most areas, we now pull up the rear. How then are the lifestyles of the rich and famous to be paid for? The old fashioned, Roman way. Conquest and plunder.
2,973 humans died with the attacks of 9/11. "Bin Laden" and "Al Qaeda", the Bush clan cried. The world believed themm. In the meantime even scientists doubt the Bush version. Now, Swiss university professors Albert A. Stahel and Daniele Ganser raise new questions."Something is not correct", says strategy expert Stahel in "World Week", and here he refers to the "incomplete" official US Government 9/11 Report of 2004.The university professor confirms his criticism in BLICK: "Osama Bin Laden cannot be 'the large godfather' behind the attacks. He did not have enough means of communication".Dr. Stahel doubts that a passenger airliner crashed into the Pentagon: "For trainee pilots it is actually impossible to crash into the building so exactly. Seven hours after the Twin Towers collapsed, the World Trade Center Building 7 next to it also collapsed. The official version: It burned for a long time. Nothing at all is clear."Raising questions along with Stahel is historian Dr. Daniele Ganser, his colleague at the University of Zurich. Dr. Ganser also calls the official US version "a conspiracy theory".--Largest Swiss Newspaper Asks if Bush Was Behind 9/11
The L-Curve graph represents income, not wealth. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed. Quoting from a recently-published book by political philosopher David Schweickart, "If we divided the income of the US into thirds, we find that the top ten percent of the population gets a third, the next thirty percent gets another third, and the bottom sixty percent get the last third. If we divide the wealth of the US into thirds, we find that the top one percent own a third, the next nine percent own another third, and the bottom ninety percent claim the rest. (Actually, these percentages, true a decade ago, are now out of date. The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%.)See: US Income Distribution, 'The L-Curve'.