Libya and Iraq: NATO as defender G8 global interests.

To the Editor:
    As I recall, there were massive protests across Europe against George Bush’s attack and invasion of Iraq, more so than here in America, and yet there seems not a peep against the NATO attack on Libya (although who knows what our mainstream media is not reporting?).  Granted there is an active rebellion against the Khadafi government, but I do not recall NATO taking up armed action in any rebellion  against a tyrannical dictator in Black Africa.  The difference would seem to revolve around Libya’s oil reserves and its threat of withdrawing from Western banking arrangements. Could it be that seeing that the result of the Iraq ‘War” has been multi-national corporate access to those oil reserves, the European Union has embarked on a similar resource grab?  Has NATO become but another military arm of the G8’s global economic interests?  Has the “defense of Europe” taken on an expanded purview?
        RP

Yeah, but…George Orwell’s doublethink affects war.

To the Editor:
    There were many photographic images from Vietnam that turned public opinion against that war:  a young naked girl running from a village that had been hit with napalm, bodies of women and children lying in a ditch at My Lai, bombs falling like rain from B-52s.  A particularly graphic picture was of a Vietnamese general killing a handcuffed man suspected of being Viet Cong with a pistol shot to the head.  These images flew in the face of a general belief that we were not only there justly but that we “respected life” differently than did other races.  War scrambles ideas in odd ways (the My Lai massacre became a war crime, but napalm, white phosphorus, saturation bombing, and Agent Orange did not) but George Orwell was brilliant in linking Doublespeak and perpetual war in the slogan, War is Peace.  Such “Doublethink” allows us to accept that which is not true as Truth, that we are righteous when we are not, and, let’s face it, we are there.  Torture is termed “enhanced interrogation”, the death of innocent people is “collateral damage”, “saving lives”, never an issue in revolutions across Black Africa, is a rationale for firing cruise missiles into oil-producing Libya, not having “boots on the ground” means we are not engaged while predator drones serve as emotionally detached, video game assassins.  The saddest part is that, unlike mental illness, Doublethink is a conscious disconnect from reality.  Those who believe assassination is “justice served” are, in truth, following in the same footsteps as John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, and Osama Bin Laden himself.  We know it, but we don’t care.
RP

A Time of Assassins

To the Editor:
Despite all the cheering over the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I felt a deep sadness not only that assassination has become so widely accepted as an American military and diplomatic tool, but also that, as a nation, we have again chosen to move forward in history by killing people.  If Bin Laden were indeed unarmed, do we attribute his death to a Presidential directive or to a soldier acting individually in a tense moment?  Will his death have any lasting effect on our “War on Terror”, a war that more and more seems to have no ending point?  Warfare is deeply entrenched in America’s history, but it should be noted that being in a permanent state of war is precisely what brought down Athens, the city-state generally regarded as the foundation of  democracy and of Western civilization itself.  It is a shame that Martin Luther King’s legacy of non-violent action is now so cavalierly termed “childishly naive”.
RP

Loving Ayn Rand

To the Editor:
    It is no surprise that Conservatives, who see themselves as part of a plutocratic elite destined to power, would find affinity with the Superman myths of Ayn Rand’s writing.  However, while heroic individualism is one part of human survival, a successful culture is one with a social contract that balances the needs of society with those of the individual.  Ben Franklin can be called a hero for establishing the U.S. Postal Service as an institution that benefited all of America.  Under Ms. Rand’s generally sociopathic philosophy, he was a fool for not doing it for his own profit.  Then again, maybe if the Post Office issued a “Forever Stamp” honoring Ayn Rand, Republicans might start supporting our postal workers.
RP

Whither goest thou?

To the Editor:
Given China’s economic gains, the possibility rises that it may be following a business model superior to our current path.  Unlike here, the Chinese government has a firm oversight of its growing economy.  Compensation is regulated, profits benefit the entire nation, and corruption and mismanagement are severely punished, even to the point of death.  Here, on the other hand, corporate campaign money controls the government, with  lobbyists actually writing regulatory legislation.  CEO’s are compensated royally, profits go mainly to a small, already wealthy, elite class, and mismanagement is often rewarded with a year-end bonus. Tax breaks were even given to companies for taking their jobs and technical expertise overseas.
Further, China has generally relied on a traditional capitalist approach to gaining prosperity.  It is investing money (much of it American consumer dollars) in its manufacturing and transportation infrastructure, in education for its youth, and in peacefully securing resources for its industrial growth, while we in the West have gotten so bogged down in unending wars and occupation of oil-producing nations in the Middle East that our longstanding support for education, infrastructure, and social safety nets is now being termed, “no longer affordable”.  This seems an odd tale of two nations heading in vastly divergent directions.
RP

The Sudden Robin

The Sudden Robin

 

The sudden robin

And following, falling,

Meadowlark lilt sound,

Resound, echoing and cascading

With and in my meandering heart,

With the selfsame pastel startlement

Of lupine and yarrow and wild rock rose

Bursting unbidden, source unseen,

Through the evening light watercolor

Wash of grays and blues settling

Suffused in soft concert cast across

The many mottled greens

Of this wondered

And wandering world.