Yes, finally. It's about time that Americans begin to witness what has been happening right under their noses for the past 8 years or so. That is, the obvious falling apart of what was once the American empire. Arguably, it should have never existed in the first place, because if we were a country that actually learned from its historical mishaps, we would not even seek to become an empire in the first place. Alas, there are always a bunch of moneyed buffoons like Project for the New American Century and other adherents to silly philosophies like "free market" capitalism and global hegemony. In our case, those fascistic loons became the controllers of government, bolstered by the multinational corporations and mega-churches - which we might as well call propaganda machines - that benefited financially from the new economics of the American right.
We now have the largest separation of the rich and poor we have ever seen anywhere in the industrialized world, for sure, and possibly in the entire world. The two largest mortgage banks in the world just had to be taken over by the government. And that's a big one, because the new Republicans are absolutely allergic to any kind of regulation or public ownership of anything at all. The reality is that they have now silently admitted failure by allowing these banks to become government entities. And now, the government will still have control of them when the new government is sworn in next year. Perhaps we will make the smart decision and keep control of those banks and actually use them to put people into homes at affordable interest rates and all that communist mumbo-jumbo. I kind of doubt it, but we'll see.
Back to the list of evidences that Rome is burning.
Iraq, you know the country our military is occupying, just canceled six no-bid contracts. (1) This is the country that we have built what the American government refers to as an "embassy" that includes a shopping mall. The same country that we are spending over $200 million per day to occupy, for what we all know is oil, has just given the finger to George W. Bush and his military by saying, no thanks, we'll get someone else to do these contracts. Perhaps the Russians, or the Iranians, or the Brits, or whatever. After all, the other no-bid contracts that were supposed to be bringing Iraqis fresh water, working sewers, rebuilt pipelines, rebuilt schools (because we bombed many of them), new hospitals (because we bombed them too), new power lines, etc, have for the most part failed in providing the basic goods they were paid handsomely for. So, it should come as no surprise that the Iraqi government, and certainly the people, are not interested in making America richer by cutting them in on oil deals. In fact, I would argue it makes a lot more sense for Iraq to offer no-bid contracts to places like Venezuela, China, Japan, Cuba, Brazil, and maybe even Russia. I mean, after all, none of those countries illegally and bombastically attacked and occupied a sovereign nation in a very very long time. Well, Russia and Georgia is debatable. I'll save that one for another blog entry.
Anyway, point is, America's global influence is now dwindling, and it comes as a direct result of the same kind of careless policies that every empire in history has displayed just previous to its grand collapse, Rome being greatest example. In order for Rome to become the powerful empire it was, it had to rape and pillage its way to the top. Ring a bell America? Well, the American empire has now reached its pinnacle. There is no middle class to speak of. Education is at an all time low point. The separation of the rich and poor is a joke. Houses that were selling for $200,000 a few years ago are now selling for less than $100,000. And there are countries all over the world, even poor ones like Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela, are pointing at us and saying, "Karma is a bitch, ain't it?" You see, they all learned their lessons a long time ago: Don't waste your time trying to become an empire. Empires are the biggest targets in the world.
America is now the big target, and for good reason. We are hegemonic, exceptionalist, chauvinistic, and our foreign policy is structured in such as way as to - by its very design - leave out the humanistic concerns of the other countries we deal with. Will Obama matter? I don't know, maybe. Maybe people around the world will not equate the actions of the American government with the minds and hearts of the American people. But as an American, I am prepared to be tarred and feathered, for we all bear the responsibility for what our government has done in our name.
Let the burning begin, so that we can rebuild this nation in a way that makes the world a better place.
-Christopher Robin Cox