I spent the weekend — the anniversary of the March 19, 2003 lie-based, neocon-demanded invasion of Iraq — delivering some calves, digging in the dirt, and feeding a couple of bottle lambs. I wasn't thinking about the eighth year of that unconstitutional war, or the unconstitutional one going on for over a decade in Afghanistan, or the unconstitutional one that we are obviously waging in Pakistan. I am blessed, like so many Americans, in that I can often forget for hours and days at a time, what our government truly is, and what it is doing.
I did think a bit about people trying to survive natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand, and political disasters in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and I wondered what we would do in their place. Whether the crisis was caused by Mother Nature or the state, the Japanese, the Kiwis, and the North Africans and Arabs in a whole host of countries are making Americans — at least the US military and Washington, DC — look bad.
By bad, I mean to say bad-tempered, greedy, grabby, heartless, soulless and gutless.
I really didn't see Washington's unconstitutional war on Libya coming. I guess I thought the plate was too full with other merciless, lawless, visionless military deployments around the world, what with the lack of even enough fiat money to continue running the DC establishment and the pending collapse of the dollar.
Being wrong so much of the time is a problem for me, as it would be for anyone. I want to make sense of it and to somehow see the logic, or identify the underlying fundamentals. Here's what I know.
It's not a woman- or man-thing. The New York Times reports that Obama was on the fence about this particular illegal war, until convinced by the sirens of his oh so diversified appointments.
It's not a world government versus national sovereignty thing, as the deliberative body called the United Nations was lightning quick to "authorize" war on a member state based on internal activities. Apparently other UN rules, like UN Resolution 3314, or the general philosophy of world peace thought to be promoted by the UN has little influence on actual decisions of the UN Security Council, a paper pussycat that belies the bloodthirstiness of the permanent security council members. Three of which, as sovereign states who want control of the post-Qadaffi regime and its oil, voted themselves the right to gang up and conduct air and naval attacks on Qadaffi's government, far too late to help the freedom-hungry Libyans and likely to kill and starve and maim even more of them.
It's not a Republican-Democrat thing; the Sybilian multiple loves war, and if there is a peaceful identity somewhere in that dissociative political body, it is mute, fearful, and shaking in its boots. It's not a democracy thing either, as poll after poll, year after year, shows that actual Americans overwhelmingly want the end of all the wars, lots of fiscal responsibility, and at least some liberty. Two unique major parties who oppose each other on values and principles do not exist in the U.S., and there is no democracy. The republic, a representative system accountable to both the people and to law is also glaringly absent.
It's not a value and principle thing, as the U.S. and its proxies are simultaneously helping the murderous unelected governments in Yemen and Bahrain against their currently protesting citizens, even as we participate in the military assault on the [more?] evil government of Libya ostensibly on behalf of the protesting Libyan citizens. To further complicate things, the U.S. invasion, occupation, destruction of property, nature, and many millions of lives and livelihoods, and the U.S. emplacement of satrapies in Baghdad and Kabul, have made American "principles" profoundly despised and detested around the world.
America the Beautiful is today a value-free, gender-neutral, equal opportunity warrior state, and not a thing — not a constitution, not international law, not ongoing financial collapse, not public opinion nor the moral voices and religious houses of this country — can change it.
I share a sense of powerlessness that the Kiwis and the Japanese must have felt in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunami, and I have a solidarity of heart with people in the Middle East who have suffered decades of externally imposed rulers and the blatant whoredom of their capital cities to military and financial gifts from interfering great powers.
If the state wants war, and will wage it relentlessly at home and abroad, then I am already a protesting citizen, and I aspire to be a "non-violent domestic terrorist" as the lawyers for the land of the free and the home of the brave recently deemed a silver coin dealer in North Carolina. I would like to think I can refuse to participate and to support our sick state, weakening it and speeding its collapse. After all, its power comes from us. The state requires but cannot coerce our consent. One theory of the Sirens explains that they could live only while mortals succumbed to their song; if we could hear the song of the state, but reject the sound, the music and the lyrics of force, the state must die.
America is a military and financial services empire, directed by an elite consensus resident in a few East Coast cities. It is financially unsustainable, compulsively grasping, warlike, despotic at home and a dominatrix abroad. This definition is no longer forecasted, predicted and debated. It is here, now. Like a terrible act of nature, modern America is scientifically and historically explainable, but for hopeful and patriotic Americans, it is still visually shocking and emotionally numbing. Many of us are still in denial.
It is time, as the Japanese and the New Zealanders know, to dig out, sort out, and to throw out the broken things once trusted to last, once needed to survive a previous life. It is time to fix what can be fixed, and bury the rest. The North Africans and Arabs are also throwing out broken things they once believed in, and they too have much work to do. Like all survivors the morning after, people across the Middle East now realize that the 20th century of colonialism, socialism, and poverty is a part of history, and a more free and more prosperous future is theirs to claim. Instead of lecturing the Japanese, and spasmodically bombing or bribing every country from the southern Mediterranean to the Indus River, we too need to sort out our fundamental values, throw out the broken things, cease listening to the siren song of American militarism, and begin not just imagining a better future, but living it.
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here or join her Facebook page.