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Monday, November 10, 2008

Post Election Ruminations

I think Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire owes Obama her job.

I heard on one report that McCain got the same basic number of votes that Bush did... it just wasn't enough this time. With record numbers of voters showing up at the polls, inspired to vote for Obama, lots of other progressive candidates and agendas did well on election day. Color me a pessimist, but I thought Gregoire's opponent Dino Rossi was a lock. And I didn't think the death with dignity bill had much of a chance. Both did very well on election night, and I think (with the sad exception of the California gay marriage ban) progressive leadership ruled the day across the country. It's amazing what an inspiring presidential candidate can do for your whole party and platform.

Fear is the mind-killer.

I maintain that we attacked Iraq out of fear... not fear of Saddam Hussein's military... or his mischaracterization as a "wacko Muslim with nukes." Not out of fear of terrorist cells or weapons of mass destruction. The fear that lead us to attack Iraq wasn't even directed at the country we decimated. Our fear was of "foreign dependence"... a catchphrase that rang through the speeches of both presidential candidates this fall.

The neocon plan was to control oil reserves on a par with Saudi Arabia (and carving them up amongst various private oil companies is still "controlling" them.) The desire to eliminate America's international energy dependence is symptomatic of a basic American fear: having to negotiate interdependency. Instead, we seek Empire.

"Empire-building" is a drive to dominate and control everything you need until there are no more external threats in the world. It seems to me to be a very male instinct to eliminate any sense of vulnerability. One example is our established "slavery culture" with Hispanic migrant labor. Our agribusiness depends on their sub-minimum wage, non-unionized, no benefits labor. But rather than honor a symbiotic relationship, we demand all the power. Complain and you can be deported. No OSHA, no payroll taxes, no worries about skyrocketing health care costs. We need them, so we better make sure to keep them under our heel.

Because OPEC and the House of Saud actually have some power over their natural resources, and aren't under our heel, we hate them. We refuse to accept interdependent relationships. They need us (we're their best customer) as much as we need them... but we can't abide such relationships.

Actually, America under the neocons wasn't able to sustain any healthy international relations at all. We were like an abusive husband who controlled and manipulated (at best) and raped (at worst) the other states of the world.

If a person behaved in this fashion, you would have to conclude that they were sociopathic and solipsistic... a serious danger to other people. Under our laws, that would mean incarceration and isolation. Unless America was a black man arrested in Texas... then he'd probably be executed.



At 11/12/2008 11:27:00 AM, Blogger lowcoolant said...

Wait, your post-election rumination is on the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Which election did you just watch? Did Kerry lose, or McCain?

You know what else is a mind-killer? Presenting things other people say in your writings and conversations as if you came up with them. Your brain will atrophy if you follow in the footsteps of Joe Biden. Atrophy like the Kurds in Halabjah when Hussein dropped Sarin and VX gas, both of which are classified as weapons of mass destruction.

At 11/12/2008 03:15:00 PM, Blogger John said...

In the interest of full disclosure: were it not for a recent conversation with Low Coolant, I would not have used the expression "House of Saud", nor would I have included the qualifier that "carving them up amongst various private oil companies is still controlling them."

I do not believe that I have presented anyone else's ideas as if I came up with them. The thrust of this post has to do with America's collective fear of being interdependent. It is not about the details of how the neocon plan was constructed, or how it was designed to break OPEC. The idea that our war in Iraq was all about oil was not a new concept to me. In our conversation about the details of that plan, it struck me as profound how unwilling or unhappy we are with having to negotiate with groups like OPEC.

The more I thought about it, the more sense it makes to me. And I'm hopeful that Obama will govern with less fearfulness of interdependence... That he will see negotiation and membership with things like OPEC and NATO and the Kyoto Environmental Accord as possibilities, rather than liabilities.

At 11/13/2008 04:53:00 PM, Blogger molly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11/13/2008 07:52:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Molly, thanks for your support but I had to delete your comment. I think it's important to keep our discourse civil, and you were blurring that line too much for my comfort. Low Coolant is my friend. No matter how much I disagree with him, I still like him as a person. I don't want vigorous defense of my opinions to slip into ad hominem attacks, and don't want other people doing that either.

At 11/13/2008 07:58:00 PM, Blogger lowcoolant said...

Oh great. Now we have to take it to private email rather than a public brawl. Major buzzkill.

At 11/21/2008 01:41:00 AM, Blogger Jimmimoose said...

This seems highly unproductive and unlikely to spur Johnny on to any other blog posts.

I, for one, am waiting to hear an official review of Fallout 3, and when people give him crap, it makes it harder for him to post that.


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