13 November 2011

America, the failed experiment…

Evidence? Just watch the November 12, 2011 Republican Debate.

I’m not really sure why I am surprised, but I am. Last night as I watched the Republican debate on Foreign Policy, on more than one occasion, I was literally stunned. Watching this with my kids, I keep asking them if they understand what is meant by certain terms and if not, explaining them. I try to interpret political speak for them, making it very clear for them why politicians are referred to as forked tongued serpents.

A poignant example from tonight was when I had to explain what Mitt Romney means by the 21stcentury being “an American Century,”

...or what terms like ‘exceptionalism’ mean, when they’re used be people like this. 

In this case they're euphemisms for Empire.

My children are usually asking about which candidates are Christians or claim to be…every day as they learn about current events, the contemporary church and Church History…they’re learning the meaning of these caveats and how the term Christian has become almost meaningless.

Tonight it was a real delight to find the Christian candidates arguing for torture while employing all the Orwellian euphemisms provided by government agencies and think tanks. Yes, it was pretty clear tonight, the Christian position is to torture and kill.

I don’t agree with Ron Paul when it comes to economics. His views are from my perspective worthy of Pollyanna if not Pelagius. If you don’t know what I mean by that, I’ll explain it some other time. But when it comes to foreign policy and the morality surrounding these issues, he was the only one on the stage standing for anything decent and with any integrity.

It was sickening to see the morally bankrupt Newt Gingrich argue that the Arab Spring has led to Christian persecution and that he would use American governmental resources and call on the State Department to put pressure on governments that don’t work to suppress persecution.

Am I for persecution? Of course not.  But as I wrote elsewhere it is wrong for the Church to call upon Rome and Caesar to help us wage our spiritual warfare. And when Rome and Caesar wage war for the church the result is the Shapur Effect. Christians will be persecuted not because of the gospel but because of the geopolitical ramifications of the Imperial policy.

As if America had ANY moral standing in the Middle East?!?!

Christian ethnic groups (if there is such a thing) have been repeatedly duped throughout history by allying themselves with Western Imperial powers. The Armenians have been burned several times. The Maronites were backed by the United States during the Lebanese Civil War which due their conduct harmed both their moral rectitude as well as the moral standing of the United States. And today, the Copts are feeling the backlash of 30 years of anti-Western animosity due to American meddling in Egyptian affairs and the support of a dictator. In Iraq we are watching the Assyrian swan song. Safe under the Baathist regime, the long memories of the Middle East are coming back to haunt them. They aided the British before, and in recent days the Americans. In the present radicalized climate…they have driven nails into their own coffin.

The Christians of South Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia will learn this lesson at a future date. The Empire is expanding into Africa to counter Chinese influence and access. There will be many results but one of them will definitely be…the death of Christians.

Though the United States hasn’t directly intervened in Syria though I guarantee Antioch (the rallying point of the Syrian dissidents in exile) is a CIA hotbed at the moment…the Assyrians in that country will also suffer due to the general instability of the Middle East. Even moderate nominal Muslims (yes they have them too) are tired of American Empire and its Zionist ally.

Tonight’s statements at the debate only vindicate the argument that people in the Middle East hate the United States because of its policies. Tonight was all about domination, manipulation, invasion and extermination. The US isn’t in Syria yet? Well, according to most on that stage, if they were president, the United States would definitely be involved at least through covert means.

Just imagine if we sat in the United States and watched candidates in China talking about using ‘covert’ means in Canada and Mexico. There’s nothing covert about it. And if that somehow exempts the Americans from responsibility…there are literally dozens of countries around the world who will loudly take exception.

It was more of the same old arguments…we have to dominate and conquer virtually everything. Santorum the pro-life candidate who loves death argued as much when he insisted that Pakistan ‘has’ to be our friend. Interpretation… Pakistan belongs to the United States. Because of our geo-strategic interests the United States has to dominate that country. If the regime is unfriendly…remove it. Self-determination? As long you answer the way we want you to. Otherwise you’re terrorists, criminals, hostiles, Satanists…whatever. Whatever it takes that is to sell the policy of aggression to the public and the world.

This same kind of rationale was used by the British Empire. Always eager to protect India, the Jewel in the Crown, they embarked on endless wars of defense which to those on the receiving end were nothing more than wars of conquest. They took a pretty massive piece of Earth’s real estate to defend their holdings. Of course as the holdings grow there’s more to defend. Rather than simplify the security equation it grows exponentially. Today with modern technology and global trade, it’s much worse. There are that many more issues and areas that have to be controlled.

Rick Perry wasn’t shy about it. He flat out said that American Aid (itself a euphemism) should be tied directly to American corporate access.

That’s largely what the Empire is all about in the end. The Politicians represent the corporate interests that back them. The military working with the politicians does the same thing on several fronts…wars, arms sales, power projection also known as threat.

Corporations are also manipulated by these forces. They all feed each other, but largely corporations are calling the shots. Rick Perry’s foreign policy is about serving you as much as it is about serving Halliburton, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto, and General Electric. Not to mention Highpoint, Allstate, Exxon, and many more.

Obama of course has proven to be no agent of change. While he has barely tweaked a few domestic policies, he hasn’t changed the Imperial policy at all. In fact he’s expanded it.

His assassination order of an American citizen that was suspected of Al Qaeda involvement is terrifying. I say suspected because under our legal system you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Now instead of courts we have secret tribunals and review councils. Just like with the torture debate…it’s all in the word games. One calls it enhanced interrogation, another calls it torture.

One calls it assassination of a citizen without due process. Those on the stage tonight suggested that when you’re declared an enemy combatant you essentially lose your rights of citizenship.

So in other words when the state says you’re ‘outlaw’ you just lost all the rights that go back to the Constitution, the Magna Carta… if not Roman law itself.

So was it assassination of an American citizen? Well, depends how you define citizen. If Mitt Romney is president and he decides I’m not a citizen…then I guess I just lost my rights to due process.

Conservatives? Do they not realize that one of the reasons men took up arms in 1776 and rebelled against the king of England was due to this very fact? They wanted rule by law, not rule by an arbitrary and tyrannical monarch. Whether 1776 was right or wrong, with the exception of Ron Paul, the men* on that stage are essentially arguing for George III, not Washington, Jefferson and the men they claim to revere.

We’ve come full circle. The Conservatives don’t stand for any kind of Constitution or law. They stand for protecting the power of the Establishment regime…I guess that’s what a Conservative really is in the end.

Why did this become the Christian position?

What a shame to see so many who are revered in Christian circles celebrating torture, death, empire and all that goes with it.  

*I realize of course Michelle Bachmann is not a man, but in this case I might argue her behaviour is incompatible with being a Christian woman. I'll look at a few issues regarding Christian women in politics and how people treat it in the next post.


Anonymous said...

Besides the fact that these people - these candidates - call themselves "Christians"...
in a way I'm glad they are the way they are. They are so obviously evil - so obviously anti-christ.
America is so obviously an Empire and not "God's country" that...true Christians should see it.
And that, perhaps, separates the good figs from the bad figs. And I remember it was God who determined which was which - and placed the figs where they belonged.
It's so easy to NOT put your hope in a man (or woman) when they're so obviously speaking anti-christ. Like you - I think Paul is an exception - though with all due respect to him - I wouldn't place any hope in him, either.
Anyone who calls themself a Christian who puts any hope - who backs any of these people who spout Empire-expanding retoric - has just revealed themselves for who they really serve.
Yet, we must remember that "but by the grace of God go I".
He opened my eyes. I'm not so smart. It's His word and His grace and His love and His hands that keep me.
We must pray for the people who say they love the Lord - and maybe they do - and yet their eyes are still closed to these things.
There was a time I sincerely wanted to serve the Lord but...my thinking wasn't always straight. The "American church" has strong, deep roots in - how would you say it - patriotic christianism. You know what I mean. It gets all mixed up - like a little leaven leavens the whole loaf.
Your talking about the empire like this I think really helps. Even if some initially hate what you write - it might plant a seed that sprouts later.
I just wish your writing could be read by more people. I'll pray for that, too.

Anonymous said...

"I don’t agree with Ron Paul when it comes to economics. His views are from my perspective worthy of Pollyanna if not Pelagius. If you don’t know what I mean by that, I’ll explain it some other time."

I know it's only one day, but is it close to "some other time"? I'd be really interested to hear your views on Christian economics and why you think Ron Paul's views don't fit the bill. "Biblical economics" is a subject I've been mulling and praying over for some time, and it's hard to argue with Paul's main thrust, which is to reduce the size and scope of government and let individuals make their own economic decisions.

One of the accepted practices that makes me nuts is the idea that when the government takes money from people forcibly and gives it to various needy places or programs, the people have exercised Christian charity. At the least, Paul would leave us to decide on our own charitable endeavors.

When you have the time, I'd really be interested in your viewpoint.

Protoprotestant said...

Hi akaGaGa,

I'm chuckling because I cringed when I posted it. I knew a few people wouldn't appreciate that. I remembered seeing some Ron Paul stuff on your site.

Actually I've got a bunch of stuff I'm working that will delve into the whole world of economics. So, yeah, in the near future.

Actually I agree with what you said about small government and economic freedom.

I'll talk about it more later but the problem is once people are free to make their own decisions...they set about acquiring power that then takes away everyone else's freedom.

Now I know Paul and others are aware of and heavily critique the corporate-capitalism and Bankocracy of our present system. When he's critiquing all that...I agree. I think their blind spot is that the system they're advocating is what led to it.

I'll elaborate on all that later. Just quickly it has largely to do with the fact that the way the system functions you have to grow or die. You end up having to squash others to stay afloat.

When the government turns over what are deemed to be critical functions to the market it risks its own destruction unless it ensures the survival of the functions...utilities or whatever. And so we end up all kinds of wierd hybrids...and our present system of privatized profits and by necessity socialized losses.

The government would be abdicating its responsibility to let First Energy or some other massive electric company to go out of business. It would make the country vulnerable.

But to 'socialize' the industry is contrary to the market driven doctrine of people like Paul.

Europe's solutions are interesting and despite their present troubles have largely worked better than anything we've come up with here.

Protoprotestant said...

While they're slammed as being Socialist, they're actually very committed to Free Markets but they also place certain things within a sphere that might be called Socialist.

I have to say I'm really frustrated by all the misuse and confusion of the terms in our media.

As far as the Biblical position.....we're only told what we as Christians are to do. The Bible doesn't tell us what the USA or Germany are supposed to. This answer is unacceptable to many but I would say...whatever works, whatever leads to less suffering, whatever helps create a situation in which the Gospel can work.

No situation is stable and no system really works very well. I think they all fail.

The European model can lead to statism. The Capitalist position can lead to Plutocracy which is where we are at right now.

Protestants in Europe thought and many still think that Socialism was the best model. That was based on their Constantinian assumptions. Of course often they were the underclass.

In America where the Protestants are on top they favoured policies that would help them and it was the Catholics and others took up the Labour cause.

Paul said in the one debate that the young man with no insurance who had some kind of catastrophic injury should just die. That was the price he paid for irresponsibility. He wants Churches and charitable organizations to foot these bills.

It sounds good on paper, but it's just not dealing with the realities of our society. There are hordes of people who can't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions and hordes more who work very hard but cannot come up with the exorbitant funds that are required. And even then, the insurance companies wiggle out of their contractural obligations.

Protoprotestant said...

Our whole system is a terrible racket. I think Paul sees that...but the difference would be that I don't really think there is an answer...while he has an alternative system he would promote as the right answer.

I would say some systems provide better answers but not the right answer because I don't think there is one.

With regard to our present system...I think we're long past the point of no return. I think the country has to fall before anything will really change. To change the system would literally be a coup d'etat, but really a revolution. Just changing the political apex wouldn't be enough. The problems are far bigger.

I'll stop there. Maybe as the other posts come together I might address some more of the issues. I'm just scratching the surface in this comment. Feel free to respond to anything I said and/or we can talk more when the other stuff starts posting.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for these. I don't have a lot of time right now, but I did want to respond to this statement:

"Paul said in the one debate that the young man with no insurance who had some kind of catastrophic injury should just die."

That's not at all true. Blitzer asked the question that way, and someone in the audience shouted agreement with his statement, but Paul's response was to point back to before Medicaid existed and he was a doctor in a San Antonio hospital. He said no one ever was turned away, but churches and neighbors and friends would foot the bill. I would add extended family to that list. Here's the video: http://tinyurl.com/6fq9erq

This all speaks to my earlier comment about "charity" flowing through the government. I know of one "pastor" in a largish church whose only function is to find needy people in the community and direct them to the appropriate government agencies. Does anyone really think Christ is served in that process? Why does a Christian think the government is responsible for the poor?

We, as Christians, are responsible and if that man is allowed to die for lack of money, the blood is on our hands. Our hands are no cleaner if the government forces taxpayers to pay.

Protoprotestant said...

You're right. Paul didn't actually 'say' that but he might as well have. I should have been more careful in the way I worded that. I didn't re-watch the footage when I wrote that. I watched the debate when it was on and I didn't remember the exact way it played out but the message came through.

And even the guy that shouted...I think he'd quickly abandon that if it were his kid.

Of course today...people are turned away. Why? Lots of reasons. As we all know it's a mess.

I don't think Christ is served by the Church directing people to government agencies.

Why does a Christian think the government is responsible for the poor?

Well in the Church, Christians should sure be helping Christians...which can be debated as to whether or not that happens.

Let me frame it this way.....

Why does a Christian think Babylonian government officials are responisble for the poor among the citizens of Babylon?

I don't. But I think the people running the show have an interest in keeping the streets safe and when people are poor they become desperate.

I would have rather have seen Obama break the criminal insurance companies...but instead he threw them a bone.

In the end...it doesn't matter to me what system we have. But if you exclude a large portion of society from just being able to get some basic healthcare...your destroying any kind of community you might have.

I can say...so what?
But I can also say...I'd rather have peace than unrest, suffering and death.

For me it doesn't matter too much which system. I'm not arguing that any of them are Christian. BUT I don't understand Christians who say they are standing for a Christian System that leads to social breakdown and suffering.

To me it's not an issue of charity flowing through the government. In our society going to the doctor shouldn't be viewed as charity.

Now if we want to creat a tiered society, a new feudalism...which is where we are headed...then fine....but with that you're going to get peasant revolts. History proves that.

I agree with your last statement, but I would argue Christians, especially all the so-called ones running for president are promoting policies that are killing people. They do have blood on their hands. Thousands of people are dying every year because they can't get to a doctor.

Anonymous said...

"Paul didn't actually 'say' that but he might as well have."

Really? If you honestly can see no difference between "let him die" and "let his community of church, neighbors, family & friends help him," then there's no point in my continuing this. You obviously have your mind made up, and the truth won't change it.

I'm actually disappointed, Proto. I thought you were a person who would seek the truth rather than push an agenda. My bad.

By all means, go ahead and get the last word in, because it's your blog. But I won't be back.

Protoprotestant said...

Here’s a link to the video…

Having the last word has nothing to do with it. This needs to be clarified.
I guess we’re both seeing what we want to see out of it.
Blitzer asks the question…..Paul from my standpoint doesn’t want to answer it. But he does indirectly. He basically is shrugging his shoulders and saying too bad for him…you made your bed now lay in it.
Then he tries to offer (and this is but one example of his Pollyanna worldview) a kind of lame explanation how back in the day churches and charities would help people.
The issue is complicated. Obviously churches today cannot pay 100K hospital bills. This obviously points to other problems. But surrendering the nation’s health care to the forces of the market would mean that even more people would end up uninsured.
Blitzer’s question was legitimate because thousands die every year because they cannot go to a doctor.
Did Paul literally say….let him die? No, but I stand by statement 100%...he might as well have. And I’m hardly alone in understanding it that way.
Sorry if that offends you. Paul is great on foreign policy but his economic system cannot be proved from the Bible. If it’s not Biblical (and none of them are) then it’s open for debate. We’re talking about the economics of Babylon and nothing more. When someone tries to argue that one system is Christian…that changes the nature of the discussion.
I see a disagreement in interpretation here. I’m sorry if you think I’m being deceptive. I’ve tried to clarify and make it right but since you don’t like what I’m saying…you’re accusing of me of an ethical violation?