All empires, historically, were and are ravenous. They have to be, if part of being an empire is to advance beyond one’s borders and claim another’s land and resources as your own. So much is written of the Roman Empire, too much in semi glorifying terms. We read of their advanced technology and how they followed a ‘rule of law‘ that was copied and emulated throughout history, and of course their military prowess has been studied for centuries. Yet, little is mentioned about just how brutal the Romans were. Jewish religious leaders were massacred, unarmed, inside their temple by the Roman commander Pompeii. Roman law was final! Jesus of Nazareth could testify to that.
Do you need be reminded of the Spanish empire, and its Portuguese counterpart, and how they enslaved the indigenous peoples of South America? How about the Dutch and French in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, or the English in India and South Africa? All empires plunder, murder and enslave others in one way or another. Why? Is it merely out of greed, or is it also a mindset about who they are plundering, labeling those indigenous peoples as subhuman? The bottom line is that empires are not very pleasant to those they colonize. The world’s newest empire is our own, perhaps the most immoral and unjust of all. The kicker is that many of us are sold a bill of goods that America is really a Pax Americana, the ‘ good cop ‘ nation that is bringing ‘ democracy ‘ to the world. Oh, and I have this really good deal on a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.
So here it is the whole ball of wax in a proverbial nutshell. You see, while our nation is spinning out of control as an empire on speed, all we working stiffs are getting just that: stiffed! Imagine, 50% (or more) of our federal tax dollars are going to the Military Industrial Complex, so that we can invade and occupy other nations. Sadly, the list expands every week it seems. We spend hundreds of billions each year to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, attack Pakistan with drones, maintain almost 800 bases in over 100 countries… and now add bombing Libya to that list. Guess what? It really doesn’t matter who sits in the White House or controls the Congress… they are all serving this empire!
Enough of that. Let’s move on to the next nut in the shell: Our states and cities are broke! No money for basic services, libraries, school construction, and infrastructure repairs… broke! As far as health coverage, nearly 50 million of us have no health coverage. Having myself sacrificed three teeth for extraction due to lack of funds for root canals and crowns, probably 150 million of us have no dental coverage at all. Twenty three percent of Americans with mortgages have homes worth less than the money owed on them (In normal times the percentage is 5%). Students with college degrees can only find work as restaurant servers, store clerks and cashiers at boxstores, or as low level ‘commission only‘ sales personnel. Factory jobs are becoming non existent, unless you relocate offshore. Gasoline rockets to close to $ 4.00 per gallon… as Big Oil rakes in record profits. Yet, the empire churns out more and more WMDs, jet fighters, Apache helicopters, tanks and of course, troops on the ground… all adding to the profits of the Military Industrial Complex. General Smedley Butler said it best in his essay in the mid 1930s: ‘War is a racket! ‘
So what, we kill and maim and poison hundreds of millions of civilians (sub humans anyway?) in the Middle East. So what, we destroy their infrastructure, their drinking water and their very chance at normalcy. So what if their kids, the ones who survive our empire’s attacks, grow up with no arms, legs, or with radioactive immune systems. This is what empires have to do to get the natives in line. Pretty soon, and I hope I am wrong, the economy will tank completely. Human dignity and cooperation will be tested as many more of us search for things we now take for granted. Then, to add insult to injury, when the earthquakes and other earth changes come and strike America, and our folks stand in line for hours to bring home drinking water, or to get some nourishment… God is Karma! Funny, how it really doesn’t have to be that way, if only the majority, this now silent majority, begins to speak up and stand out. No more partisanship with this current 2 party scam, just citizens who say ‘No more empire! Bring our bases, our troops and our tax money home! ‘
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is a small businessman, activist leader and freelance columnist. Philip is now Volusia Cty spokesperson for the nationwide 25% Solution to cut military spending. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 250 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at Dandelion Salad, dissidentvoice.org and progressivepatriots.net or at his own blog at www.opensalon.com. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- “Whatcha Gonna Do?” by Philip A. Farruggio (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)