American oligarchy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is my opinion of the state of the U.S. and the world, beginning with our penchant for bloody war. I believe that greed is ruining this country and that the U.S. government is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people. And I end with a cheer for the French revolutionaries.

Submitted: October 21, 2010

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Submitted: October 21, 2010

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We have to believe – don’t we? – that at some time in the future we human beings will have evolved to the point that we no longer settle our disputes by war.
We will come to realize – won’t we? – that sending our young people to foreign countries to kill and be killed is barbaric, even childish. (If I kill enough of your people, I win.)
World War II was an aberration in that it had a very clear good-vs.-evil aspect. It was a war of self-defense against an evil dictator bent on taking over the world. World War II was probably necessary. It is a war with an asterisk. (*-justifiable). No war waged since is worthy of that asterisk.
1950-1953 – Korea
1956-1975 – Vietnam
1991 – Iraq
2001-present – Afghanistan
2003 to 2010 – Iraq
And in between there was the invasion of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989 and military interventions in Iran, Libya, Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon.
 
There are “justifications” for these wars, invasions and military operations – overthrowing dictators, countering acts of aggression, retaliating for attacks on Americans, possession of weapons of mass destruction, etc. – but in every case not enough effort went into finding a diplomatic solution. Going to war is almost a kneejerk reaction for American presidents. Being a “war president” helps you get elected to a second term.
We continue to have wars because our leaders want to appear tough and decisive; because major corporations make a lot of money building the machinery of war; because this is what America does: It fights wars.
Fifty years from now, assuming human beings still exist in some form, they will surely look back at these times, and especially this past decade, and be ashamed at the brutality, greed and corruption of our political and corporate leaders. They will shake whatever passes for their heads at the sad state of our political institutions. They will point to these early years of the 21st century as the time when America stopped being a democracy and became an oligarchy.
And speaking of oligarchies, the French commoners, who have a history of effective revolution against heartless, oppressive government, have taken to the streets again to protest the French president’s attempt to raise the retirement age and fire workers to get the country out of its financial quagmire. The French government in 1789 behaved similarly, attempting to make the commoners pay more and more to support their lavish lifestyle. King Louis XVI and most of his friends paid with their lives. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Bring back the guillotine!


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