By Jim Clune
I read an article recently that reviewed a book based on the premise that the America we now know as the USA was founded in 1619 when the first boatload of slaves arrived and not 1776, as we have been taught. Its definitely an arguable point. 1619 is seen as the real beginning of the business enterprise that became a nation and then a world power. Slaveholding set the pattern of business under the principle that some are privileged and others are subjugated. This pattern of dominance that we see today is how the US treats the world.
Full spectrum dominance is the military doctrine of complete power over all arenas by land, sea, and sky, with biological, and cyber space and outer space arenas thrown in. There is a direct line from having and threatening to use nuclear bombs, to having a police officer kneel upon an arrestee’s neck for over 8 minutes till he dies. It’s a matter of depraved indifference to human life because the pathology of complete power of life and death has taken over.
I remember being told while on a visit to El Salvador by an American Jesuit that US politics is a matter of the Republicans generally being the iron fist of the empire, and the Democrats generally being the iron fist in a velvet glove. Military and economic interest are bi-partisan within the strict parameters of institutional thinking and momentum.
And now the endless wars have come home. The ruthless procedures employed in the resource wars in the Middle East are now being used against US citizens, in the streets. People in a Minneapolis area neighborhood were sitting on their front porches when a squadron of police were walking by. The police ordered them into their houses, and when they didn’t move, the commander called out “Light ’em up!” The squad then started firing nonlethal weapons at them. “Light ’em up!” is a phrase from the Iraq and Afghan wars.
So, all the money that the government spends, 720 billion dollars this year, is in pursuit of what seems a good idea—security and business interests. This pipeline of cash and credit is seen as non-negotiable, in the Washington Beltway bipartisan consensus. That bipartisan consensus is that the US can rule the world. This is an obsessive mirage. Chasing this mirage neither enhances mutual security through justice, nor benefits anyone except the weapons manufacturers and the fossil fuel interests. We’re here today to say that to Senator Schumer.
Now the White House is the newest “green zone”, like the American embassy in Baghdad, a fortress set down like an intruder in a hostile land. The current occupant of the Oval Office is so frightened of peaceful protestors that he hides in his bunker at night, and then comes out to proclaim he will “dominate” the streets, and uses force to clear his way across Lafayette Park so he can get a photo op taken of him holding a bible in front of a church. This is blasphemy.
Pope Francis said recently that those who build walls eventually become prisoners behind them. Our entire nation has become a prisoner of the illusion that having overkill capacity to the nth degree is necessary and inevitable. This will be the death of us all. First the Blacks, and the indigenous, the migrants and refugees, and eventually all of us.
Deep down we know better, don’t we? Its time to choose. As Martin Luther King said, our choice is either Nonviolence or Nonexistence. Its time to cut the Pentagon budget and use the money on people’s real needs. The times Demand this of us.