Tag Archives: U.S.

Beware of the Shroud

People are suffering. People who are in a position in society like most of us who have no real say in what the governments of our countries do are being harmed by the actions of those governments. People who may or may not be entirely innocent, but most of who are not committing massive human rights violation are nonetheless, victims of actions that are human rights violations. I am sending my love and condolences out to them and their loved ones on this sad morning. This is not how our world has to be. However, this is how it is for now and it is disgusting and deplorable, it is dehumanizing and it is unacceptable. We are trudging through intolerable times.

The usage of chemical weapons in Turkey that hurt and killed civilians indiscriminately harming children, women, and men;  people who like most of us have no authority in how our countries are run and who were merely struggling to live a life is horrible and inhumane. The United States launching 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at Syria, supposedly for the usage of chemical weapons, is no better.

The words that follow are merely opinions based on reports, historical knowledge, and critical analysis. They are opinions because the position I hold in society removes me too far from having access to the most critical of facts. However, that is for another discussion and for now I am going to focus my attention on some troubling observations I have made.

After ordering and executing the bombing of Syria Trump claimed that it was for the sake of “national security interest,” but this does not make much sense because Syria is more than an ocean away from U.S. borders. The words national security make me, and I think most people think of preventing a physical attack and for most of history that is precisely what it meant. Yet, over the last few decades and especially since 9/11, the term national security has encroached the realms of economics, resources, and in particular, oil. So, when I hear a playboy, pop-up president say “national security interest” and have every doubt in my mind that any chemical weapons from Syria will ever reach the United States borders, by the process of elimination of definition I am only left with economic and resource security.

Given the record of the United States, and this includes the continuation of the neo-liberal state under Obama, this conclusion is not surprising. The United States is an imperialist state that uses coercion and force to impose its domination on the Global South and the people there. Far removed from the major media outlets of the U.S., and quite literally disenfranchised from any serious debates with the people who are deciding their fates, much of this global terrorism goes unnoticed, or is shrouded in cryptic political language to rationalize to the Amerikan people reasons to support the actions of our government, like for example, chemical weapons. Yet, time and again, the U.S. has invaded, attacked, or destroyed peoples and their homelands under false pretenses. The war in Iraq, prefaced on 9/11 and the search for Osama bin Ladin, was actually planned and approved by the United States Congress in 1998 under President Clinton as the Iraq Liberation Act. The plan was for the U.S. to invade Iraq, depose Saddam Husein, and create a democratic government. 2001 was an emotional time for most of the people in America for many reasons and 9/11 was used as a shroud to rationalize national treaty and United Nations violations as the U.S. went rogue and invaded Iraq. Much the same as the U.S. has yet again gone rogue and bombed the Syrian people.

Not that I would expect Trump to know, but the United States is not innocent of the charge of using chemical weapons. Furthermore, when Trump says that “no child of god should ever suffer” after ordering the bombing of Syrian people, it is clear that Trump believes only some people are the children of god. If that was not the case, then how could he order the bombing of a people? This was yet another ploy to pull at the heartstrings of Christians in the United States to rationalize human rights violations. It is also ironic what this state considers to be suffering, as if, the only thing that causes suffering are chemical weapons. As the results of U.S. imperialism people are starving all over the world, entire ecosystems are being destroyed, people are being forcibly displaced and when they do not concede they are being hurt, imprisoned, or killed. Countries are indebted to the World Bank housed on Wall Street in New York and the people in those countries suffer from the harmful and unsustainable practices of major agro-businesses, lacking adequate access to education, health care, water, and food; basic human necessities. In this country, children are starving and being funneled into the School-to-Prison Pipeline, the system of mass incarceration negatively impacts people of color and migrant communities; thousands of people are about to lose their residences with the reforms to Housing Authority, and millions of people will be put into jeopardy with the constriction of the Environmental Protection Agency. What consists of suffering to Trump and his administration is problematic and suspect.

I do not believe for a second that the U.S. involvement with either Syria or Turkey has anything to do with the well-being of their peoples. It is troubling that I have seen and studied this type of geopolitical posturing in the past and it has never turned out well for the people. That the Russian government is involved only serves to make my analysis that much more stark. Prior to and throughout much of the Cold War the U.S. and Russia were responsible for arming and supplying many of the countries of Africa and the Middle East, and elsewhere. Far from the borders and the citizens of these empires proxy wars were waged in front of the homes of innocent and disenfranchised peoples. Part of it was the Containment Doctrine to stop the spread of Communism, and part of it was for control of the resources of the Global South for Amerikan consumption. Yet, the presidents of this country have had the audacity to shun terrorism as if it was not something that their regimes were fully engaged in and profiting from.

My concern is for the people, who for most intents and purposes are just like you and me, save for the fact that we are behind the feudal privilege walls of the United States. Who have been, are, and will be the victims in wars they have no say in whatsoever. My concern is that this regime is yet again attempting to pull a shroud over the people’s eyes and rationalize further human rights atrocities in the guise of “national security interests.” They are not my interests and they should not be yours. We all have an interest in people not being subjected to tyranny, war, and terrorism by any empire because as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” These acts are acts of injustice and are in my opinion being enacted under false pretenses.

We can do better. We must do better. For all of our sakes.

 

(https://www.congress.gov/105/plaws/publ338/PLAW-105publ338.pdf)

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From Disillusioned to Inspired

There was a time that I had hope for the United States. There was a time that I even wanted to be the President and held that as my most esteemed dream and aspiration. That was also a time when I trusted the government was established to protect and serve me. That dream has vanished, those hopes have been torn to shreds and that trust has been violated beyond repair.

There was a time when I was naïve and although not innocent; I had an immature mind that still believed what I saw on the surface of things. They should have put a warning label on my education that read, “Beware, if you look too deep and make too many connections between the things you find your conception of the world will be irrevocably altered forever.” I chose to pursue a law degree because I thought a healthy knowledge of the way our laws were constructed and function would help me to be an effective servant of the people. I thought studying history would provide me with knowledge of where we came from and help me to envision the future. I thought studying philosophy would teach me the morality and ethics necessary to make the tough decisions when there were no clear answers and both choices had negative outcomes. I was correct on all counts, but I was not prepared for what I discovered.

The laws primary function is a form of social control. Now this would not be inherently wrong if, the laws were equally enforced ubiquitously upon all equally, but that is not the case. And it would not be wrong if all the people under the jurisdiction of the laws helped to create and change the laws as the need for the laws shifted with the times, but this is again not the case. The laws are written to benefit those with power and wealth, while concomitantly suppressing and constricting the rights and privileges of those with less power and wealth. The main problem is that there are so many laws that there is not any person who could know them all and at the same time comprehend their collective meanings and draw conclusions from their interrelated implications. Furthermore, it is not a single law that is the problem, but rather, the system of laws that have been created that stack upon one another to create an unjust system that seems nearly impossible to deconstruct. What is clear from the little that I have learned is that these laws although, they may appear to be fair, they are not applied to everyone in the same force, if at all. Thus, it has become clear that the social control the laws form is intended not for all, by all, but for some particulars by other particulars and therefor, the system of laws is wrong.

Justice is a word that is tossed around often, but it is a word that seems to have lost its meaning. Justice is that which provides for the flourishing of both the private individual and for the collective group or the public. However, the manner in which justice tends to be used, in particular by the government of the United States is in a manner that equates the law, whatever these particulars agree upon to use as social control for other particulars of this society as being just. That is a fallacy and a lie that has been neatly crafted to fool the general public into the acceptance of this inaccurate definition of justice. Based on what justice means, then for the laws to be just, they would have to provide for the enhancement of all who the laws apply. However, the opposite is the case as those with less power and wealth are subjugated and relegated to inferior positions and their ability to flourish is diminished and constricted by the laws and therefore, the laws are unjust.

Assata Shakur said in, To My People:

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

What I draw from this is that it is not the duty of the government to protect our freedoms and to provide justice, but rather, it is my, it is our duty to define what justice is and to protect that justice. We do not work for the government, the government works for us, but this is only the case so long as we hold the government accountable to us. In this regard, the words of Thomas Jefferson, from the Declaration of Independence written in 1776 seem most fitting:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This shows that even the founders of the United States agreed that it was not only a Duty to fight for Freedom and Justice, but also a Right to do so. What it also reveals is that it is the responsibility of The People to determine what justice is and to define how they are to be governed by a government and not the other way around. Furthermore, at the tail end of the Civil War (1861-1865) when the United States was torn over the definition of justice and its application, President Abraham Lincoln remarked in the Gettysburg Address (1864):

…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Again, it is a government of the people and by the people, which situates the responsibility of holding the government responsible and accountable squarely in the hands of The People. The ugly truth is that since this is the foundation of the United States, then the responsibility of the shape and the oppressive nature of the government of this country rests squarely upon the shoulders of The People for allowing the formation of a quasi-Totalitarian government that is ruled in a plutocratic form by particulars that forms laws marginalizing and exploiting others less powerful and wealthy.

This happened because The People became complacent and did not value our vote or the power of our votes or remember how difficult it was to achieve the Right to vote in the first place. And as a result we shirked our responsibility to govern ourselves and to care for our own communities. We turned our backs on those responsibilities and placed them into the hands of others who are not responsible, and are motivated by self-interests, so we have no one to blame but ourselves.

However, it is not too late. I was disillusioned when I began this journey because I was under the impression that it was the responsibility of the government to define justice and to govern us, like most other people, but I have found that that is not accurate. The power resides in us, The People, as it always has. And whenever we choose to assert that power as those who have come before us did and who provide the examples for us to follow, we will find that there is nothing that can stop a group of driven and motivated minds working together on a problem.

The truth that has been concealed is that there is no government without us because We, The People, are the Government.