Archive for the ‘AMERICAN ENTITLEMENT’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 9/11: BRITISH COLUMNIST JANET DALEY OFFERS DRIVEL ABOUT ANTI-AMERICANISM AND BRITISH RESPONSE TO 9/11 – HARD TRUTHS ON AMERICA’S SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT AND EXCESSES OF GRIEF   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JANET DALEY IN THE TELEGRAPH

Just the kind of genuinely ignorant column one expects of Janet Daley.

Rather nice of her not to disappoint.

It is simply fact that America has been since WWII an arrogant and highly aggressive nation, clothing itself in the words of democratic values while invading, interfering with, or overthrowing anyone whose policies did not toe the American line, and those dark operations have included a number of democracies along the way.

America is a democracy on its own shores (sort of) which behaves every bit the bloody tyrant offshore, and where it has itself not directly acted as tyrant it has used and supported other tyrants to do its biding, right down to our time with someone like Mubarak.

Very much as it makes the same distinction with human rights: its border is where the spirit and letter of Constitutional protections stop.

It’s perfectly okay for the CIA to have an international torture gulag, flying illegal prisoners here and there by the thousands to dark holes around the world, just so the CIA keeps its operations outside American territory. The horrors of Guantanamo are just fine ninety miles offshore.

Is it any wonder that there are people and indeed whole peoples in the world that dislike America?

We know from the past that people love America at its best, but we’ve seen damn little of its best in a very long time.

It was Lord Acton who gave us one of the most profound truths of human nature, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now, why would anyone who purports to think believe America is exempt from this fundamental law of human nature?

It is not, of course, and criticizing it for its many excesses, stupidities, and brutal behaviors is not anti-Americanism. It is simply honest reaction to unthinking hypocrisy and an offensive sense of entitlement which feels it can do anything it wants to the rest of humanity.

Britain heroically endured the Blitz, but does Britain commemorate the Blitz every year? Does it read a list of the victims every year?

America does this with 9/11 out of its deep sense of its own ‘specialness’ and entitlement: one American is worth God knows how many of that motley lot of humanity out there. After all, it has managed to kill perhaps a million innocent people “out there” since 9/11 as payback.

These things need saying because they are truths, not out of any sense of anti-Americanism, whatever that undefined pejorative epithet is supposed to mean anyway.

Prejudice is a form of superstition and mumbo-jumbo. Responding to facts is exactly the opposite, refusing to accept superstition.

It really is the Janet Daleys of this world who are prejudiced and steeped in unexamined superstition. And of course, there are plenty of them, else we wouldn’t be bombing the crap out of others all the time.

Readers may enjoy:
http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/americas-strange-political-culture-of-grief-and-dying/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S PERILOUS FINANCIAL SITUATION   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Wendell Murray is right: there is a huge capacity in America for increasing taxes.

It has been a race to the bottom for years in cutting taxes. From old man Reagan to lunatic Bush, there has been no limit to cutting the sources of nourishment for society’s bones and sinews, the infrastructure of government.

On top of that insanity, there has been the imposition of wars and increased military budgets – to the point, by the way, where the U.S. now spends more than the entire rest of the planet on the means of destruction – with no responsible method of accounting for their payment.

I believe Americans will not accept the kind of taxation required. Their sense of entitlement and the “I want it now, and I want it all,” syndrome are still throbbing away, much resembling teenagers with crushes, despite the economic crisis.

Obama has backed off one issue after another in response to less-than-rational pressure, and I cannot see him being tough in this matter. The truth is Americans do not want a tough president, unless by “tough” you are talking about bombing foeigners somewhere.

He sounded good on the Middle East in the beginning, looking for a genuine peace, and now I’m not sure I can tell him from George Bush, but then the mid-term Congressional elections would be sorely affected by a loss of contributions from the apologists for Israel.

He sounded good about war in the beginning, although his main stress was only the suggestive fact that he did not vote for the atrocity in Iraq, but still he runs two wars, and he has lowered himself into the ethical hell with his horrible drone attacks on Pakistan, killing many civilians and de-stabilizing that society.

He has responded in an almost ridiculous fashion to the whining complaints about the BP blow-out. I say “whining” because it is Americans themselves who insist on consuming as much gasoline as they possibly can, driving lumbering pick-up trucks and buying homes with three-car garages.

The attacks on BP are, so far as I can tell, unwarranted. Was BP indeed doing anything different to the many other operators in the Gulf? If not, then the blow-out is just bad luck, one of those one-in-a-thousand possibilities inherent in any risky business, which is certainly the nature of drilling for oil more than a mile beneath the sea.

And the attacks on Obama are unwarranted. This was not a case of a cabinet-level official totally failing to do his job, and a president just blithely going about things as usual while a city sinks and a thousand people die.

But Obama, again with mid-term elections ahead, has responded as though these attacks were warranted. His heavy-handed treatment of BP has been inappropriate and hostile to a major company from a friendly nation.

No, I don’t expect much from Obama, and that is part of the reason I expect America is headed for a dark chapter, a serious decline, dragging the rest of us with it. This is a people who appear from countless examples in their history to learn only by banging their heads into walls.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CLIVE CROOK CAPTURES THE ECONOMIC ABSURDITY OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT BUDGETS – AND AMERICA’S GROTESQUE MILITARY EXPENDITURE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMESYes, exactly.

Whether in war or foreign affairs or economics or trade, the basic problem is the American attitude of “I want it all, and I want it now.”

Another word for this is entitlement.

I think there really is no cure for this sickness, just as it is virtually impossible to undo the damage to a person raised by parents who behaved as though they were his servants.

The only time we saw some deviation from this obsession was in the Great Depression, a learning experience comparable to repeatedly hitting one’s head into a wall.

But, as we’ve seen, even depressions have been banned in America now. You can buy your way out, and go back to just what you were doing.

____________________

Yes, Wendell Murray, the American military expenditure is actually cancer-like in its growth, and only recently we were assured by the good Mr. Gates that there would be still more coming.

American politicians today sometimes harangue about China’s military expenditure, which at somewhere between 10 and 15% that of America’s (with four times the population), seems almost miniscule.

There is no rational explanation for this.

Consider the countless billions squandered in Vietnam – inflate it to present dollars and the sum is immense – and to what end?

Trillions were spent on the Cold War, almost all of it wasted. The Soviet Union finally collapsed based on the flaws in economics and logic embedded in its very foundation and structure, not owing to America’s military might.

I think the practice reflects a combination of the American entitlement syndrome (we are entitled to make all others fear our might) and the Moby Dick obsession with chasing the white whale.

There always seems to be a white whale for America.

Spain’s remaining North American Empire of the 1890s, Communism for decades going back to the 1920s (when Hoover first showed his obsession with getting rid of anyone who could be regarded as a Communist), to Islam in recent times.

Does that reflect a basic paranoid trait in a good portion of the population, the legacy of the horrible Puritans? I’ve long thought so. I think Australia was lucky to get the convicts rather than the Pilgrims.

I do believe the world needs seriously to start re-thinking the role of the American dollar as reserve currency in light of the county’s proved record of irresponsibility. That role for the currency leaves Americans with an option no one else has in paying for its lack of control. Look what it did after Vietnam.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE AMERICAN CLAP-TRAP VERSION OF HITLER’S STAB IN THE BACK: THE SMEARING OF HILLARY CLINTON DURING THE PRIMARY   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN

Sorry, but yours is a ridiculous article.

Hillary was not smeared. If anything is a smear, it is your saying so.

Indeed, efforts like yours, nasty Ferraro clap-trap, remind me painfully of Hitler’s insidious “stab in the back” speeches.

There is an American sense of entitlement – I want it all, and I want it now – lurking behind claims like yours that is repulsive.

As Ms. Clinton herself would say, American national politics is a snake pit. Nothing unusual happened to her during her campaign. She was out-smarted and made several serious strategic political mistakes, displaying real weaknesses and embarrassingly negating her claims to superior experience and skill.

Obama was castigated for everything from not wearing a stupid flag pin to the words of another man, his pastor, for being a secret Muslim and for the deliberate, inappropriate leak from a senior aide to Canada’s minority Conservative prime minister concerning NAFTA.

Ms. Clinton actually rather gleefully joined the party on some of this, adding ethical shortcomings to her other revealed faults.

There was a genuine and natural revulsion on the left at much of Ms. Clinton’s behavior and words.

As someone who thought well of her during her White House days, I was appalled by some of her behaviors. I thought she was disgraceful. She was Richard Nixon re-incarnated.

I expect little dramatic change from Obama. That, sadly, is the very nature of the American Imperium, a colossal hulk next to impossible to steer off its course, but at least he won his nomination as honorably as it is possible to do in such a corrupt and unethical place as the United States.