Thursday, December 31, 2009

Eric Margolis on the U.S. State

Margolis makes the following points:

1. A 23-year-old Nigerian's attempt to bring down a Northwest-Delta flight to Detroit will not be the last such terrorist act. "US military forces are currently engaged in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, West Africa, the Philippines and, likely, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Blowback is inevitable." As airline travel becomes more onerous, more people will decide to drive or avoid travel altogether. "Bad news for the suffering airline industry." Does this mean upcoming airline bailouts or airline nationalization?

2. With more debt seen as the solution to the massive debt (funded by cheap credit) that got us into the financial meltdown of 2008, a healthy economy is out of reach. "Taxpayer money went to rescue Wall Street nabobs ordering $350 bottles of wine while people on main street America could not pay their medical bills."

3. "Those who hoped the US would change course under Obama to play a positive, cooperative, non-imperial role in world affairs were profoundly dismayed.

"We see continued occupation of Iraq, the expanded, trillion-dollar war in Afghanistan, military operations in Africa and now Yemen. The White House stonewalling on releasing torture documents, failure to prosecute the Bush era’s torturers and kidnappers, refusal to end domestic surveillance and continued violations of the Geneva Convention."

4. The government continues to blockade communist Cuba, yet it allows trade with communist Vietnam.

5. "Military spending has risen from US $667 billion under Bush to $734 billion under Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama. Add an astounding $49.8 billion more for intelligence."

6. "The US is bankrupt and living on credit from China. But Washington’s national security juggernaut keeps rolling on, finding new enemies around every sand dune."

7. "Afghanistan, graveyard of empires, may also become the graveyard of Obama’s presidency."

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