We Aren't The People We'd Like to Be
Often, during my last few years of freedom, where the light hasn't shown very bright or for very long, I have mulled over the concept of what is America about today. Most times, I don't see a progressive, innovative or idealistic version of the amber waves of grain. Most times, I see the rabble sounding like rabble, the leadership sounding war-like and profit-motivated and the journalistic hacks carving up the little bit of goodness into itsy bitsy tidbits fit for a low-fat shake, that is also meant for quick consumption and obvious discard. The America I see does not impress me.
The knocks and dings and chinks in the American armour come through it's incessant desire that everyone else agrees with them about the state of affairs around the world. That somehow, in its 232-year history, it has went from a neophyte to the preeminent scholar on what is supposely a difficult skill to master as leading nation on Earth.
While our voices are loud and obnoxiously heard throughout the global community, I am very sure the sounds coming out of our helter skelter mouths have scared, annoyed and otherwise, been ignored. We don't speak with a common voice - to be sure - but the media releases, words from our leaders (President Bush, anyone?) and weird and destructive viewpoints I get from middle America, leave one to wonder, "who the fuck would listen to us?" (Not exactly promoting my measured view with that bomb of a word. But alas, it does fit the American outlook I am discussing.)
While I am pointing out (or generically discussing) only the bad vibes of our current culture, I may be ignoring the more promising aspects of the underbelly of our nation. Reason: until this promising underbelly becomes the mantlepiece of grander, more lucid, vision, one cannot foist up the potential in the face of a harsh reality filled with the deceit of three scores of undermining power.
Power Players That Have Made Our Bed
In the last 60 years (at least), since we garnered the superpower status of war victory, we have politically, economically and socially gone down the crapper. We see ourselves as too superior; ignoring our allies' wise counsel of years, while making horrid decisions concerning our foes. We impatiently decide upon a world with only dollar signs in our eyes. And are led to believe in our country's leadership. (Ignoring conflicts of interest that have led us to policies we now maybe at great lengths suffering from...)
Capitalism, Inc., CIA, Inc. and 1600 Pennsyvlania Ave.
Shortly after WWII, Bechtel Corporation, whose founders built the Hoover Dam, were engaged in quick-n-dirty capitalism in Saudi Arabia, putting up oil implementations, pipelines, refineries, airports, etc. (Trans-Arabian Pipeline) During their stay though, they would not employ Jews, and often bent over backwards to appeal to Saudi royalty, building personal homes, lavish driveways and pools for these men. (Friends in High Places, Laton McCartney)
This wouldn't be news but for the connections to key political power players going back to early days of the CIA, and even long prior to that. Men like John McCone (future head of the Atomic Energy Commission and CIA) ran Bechtel-McCone in the 1940's. Allen Dulles, spook extraordinaire, became close to Stephen Bechtel (playing golf together), who would take on many, many projects - BART system in San Fran, The Big Dig in Boston, Dresden-1 (Nuclear Power) in Illinois and more importantly, many projects in the Middle East. (Bechtel attended Purdue University, my alma mater.)
Most of the intrigue started during the midst of WWII, when Harold L. Ickes, father of Harold M. Ickes (current Hillary Clinton strategist, Bill Clinton deputy White House Chief), who worked for both Roosevelts, possibly allowed war contracts to slip by his office that favored the Bechtel-McCone partnership. The Canol Project was quote:
" to be a major refinery at the Norman Wells oilfields in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and run a pipeline from there 1,200 miles southwest through the Yukon Territory into Alaska...Less that a year after it was finished, the plant and pipeline was abandoned. It had cost the American taxpayer $134 million. [1945 Dollars]"
But then again, maybe it all began with the overthrow of the Iranian leader, Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, named Operation Ajax. In the height of the cold war, with communist threat ever present, Kermit Roosevelt Jr., CIA agent and grandson of Teddy, would be the decision maker in overthrowing a elected leader to insert the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, aka the Shah of Iran, and the man we came to know via the TV in the late 1970's during the Carter administration.
As The New York Times, published in 2000, reported:
''Roosevelt pointed out that there was no other way by which the
government could be changed and the test was now between Mr. Mossadegh and his
force and the shah and the army, which was still with him, but which would soon
slip away...It was the C.I.A.'s first successful overthrow of a foreign government, and the shah stayed in power until the Islamic revolution of 1979. 'For an operation to last 25 years is not so bad,' one of Mr. Roosevelt's C.I.A. colleagues, Samuel Halpern, said today. 'It fell apart. Every operation cannot go on forever.'
...John Waller, one of Mr. Roosevelt's intelligence colleagues, said today that Winston Churchill had asked Mr. Roosevelt to discuss the overthrow of Mr. Mossadegh and, with Mr. Waller paraphrasing, said, 'Kim, if I were a young man again, I would have done anything to have worked with you in that operation.' ''
A Few Good Men
Reagan's Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, Secretary of State George Shultz, Nixon's CIA director Richard Helms, AEC Head Robert Hollingsworth, Parker T. Hart, Rear Admiral John G. Dillon, former Senator J. Bennett Johnston, among many others, have worked in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administrations or liasoned for government agencies, but also worked for Bechtel Corporation at one point or another. Bechtel has trawled for executives from the Pentagon, State Department, Interior Department, World Bank, and the West Wing of the White House and also placed high executives in its ranks from those sources. And by no means is this list complete.A FEW GOOD PROJECTS
- Contracts to build a chemical plant in Iraq, circa 1988-90
- Negotiations by Reagan officials (George Shultz was a Bechtel President and Reagan's Secretary of State) with Iraqi officials to build a pipeline in the mid 1980's (pg 6)
- $680 million contract to rebuild Iraq in April 2003 (pg 5)- barely into the conflict that has cost over 4,000 lives and at least $500 Billion in taxpayer monies
- Bechtel engineered the oil infrastructure for the Standard Oil Company's burgeoning empire in Saudi Arabia, building pipelines, refineries, highways and ports. When Standard Oil's Aramco partnership in Saudi Arabia was nationalized, they built a 850-mile pipeline from Saudi Arabia to Jordan
- Long time connections to Osama Bin Laden's family construction business (Bin Laden Construction) where Bin Laden owns a stake in a subsidiary and is working on a 20 billion Saudi port project, the largest of its kind
- As previously stated, when Iran antagonized US oil companies and the CIA by nationalizing their oil reserves, Allen W. Dulles and Kermit Roosevelt Jr. (Teddy's grandson) and received Bechtel's assistance in the CIA run coup that overthrew Mossadeq and installed the Shah. Bechtel provided a similar service in 1965 when the CIA instigated the bloody coup that toppled President Sukarno of oil-rich Indonesia and put into place the corrupt and iron-fisted regime of General Suharto.
- Billionaire CEO Riley Bechtel, who is on the President’s Export Council, which advises the President Bush on trade issues; Bechtel senior counsel and board member, George Shultz, who was a chairman of the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which has closeties to the White House; General (Ret.) Jack Sheehan, senior vice president at Bechtel, who is a member of the influential Defense Policy Board; Daniel Chao, another Bechtel senior vice president, who serves on the advisory board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Ross J. Connelly, a 21-year veteran of Bechtel, who is the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Bechtel and its political cronies have long been apart of a semi-secret meeting called Bohemian Grove. Many of the most conversative, financially friendly and well-connected men - Presidents Nixon and Reagan attended in one appearance caught on camera - have made their way to the retreat like atmosphere. Late last year, President Bill Clinton responded to your typical heckler: "The Bohemian club! Did you say Bohemian club? That's where all those rich Republicans go up and stand naked against redwood trees right? I've never been to the Bohemian club but you oughta go. It'd be good for you. You'd get some fresh air!"
The End Game (of this post)
So what does this mean? It means that much of our current dilemma can be traced back to the decisions, viewpoints and intrigues of the beginning of the cold war, which was not always as cold as we are often led to believe. That our energy dilemma is a by-product of shifting foreign policy, or attention to one oil-rich nation after another. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, all have been at the masthead of what we call a foreign policy debate for 60 years. The Saudis liked capitalism, hate our allowance of women a voice and aren't too keen on American justice, such as they likely believe it is. (But they like our money, and spending it, as their recent purchases reflect.)
Iranians: we overthrew their government. All bets are off. It shouldn't surprise that McCain plays up the idiocy of diplomatic relations. (Why would you trust a country that inserted its CIA into your politics, causing untold suffering (and resentment) and now, wants to talk?) Does Barack Obama have any ideas (or hole cards) that the Iranians might trust, back off in their feelings and give a listen to? (Why would you reason, if you were them?)
Iraqis. Talk about playing both sides. We often forget the outcomes of our duplicity. It always seems easy to turn the page and forget that many remember what we have attempted in our past. They haven't and so, cooperation isn't high on their achievability scale.
Meanwhile, when we go after terrorists, are we really going after them? I mean, you'd think that in 7 years of diligent efforts we might be able to track down 1 crazy man that thinks the America People are an outgrowth of their governmental choices. (WE ARE NOT. BUT WHO CAN CONVINCE ANYONE OF THAT?) Does it bother you that after 7 years, we aren't any closer to capturing the man? Do you think there is a reason why? Think Hard - I think you know what I believe is going on.
But keep watching TV, ignoring the problem, focusing on what the those at the top would rather you talk about: weather, working hard, sports (and stadiums is another topic of sadness) and your family. Forget about what THE ELITE (as the media now calls themselves - Joan Walsh, Chris Matthews, Michelle Bernard, amongst others, yeah, I heard you) tries to fry you up with in their wok of butter cooking a bad smelling fish, the world has plenty of fish to fry and our leaders need more heat put on them to get to the bottom of the top of the malaise which we consistently find ourselves in.
But I have no confidence, no pursuading me that these people care one iota about me.
I am rabble - Mayonnaise sandwich eating, sister-fucking (if I had one), lottery playing, American Idol watching tree slog that can't put two and two together and get the square root of idiocy. I should shop at Walmart, be happy I have an Ipod, drive a gas guzzler and keep on a bible thumpin'.
That's the game. Be all you can't be. Let someone else do you thinking for ya.
This has been an emergency broadcast of the fringe element network.
If this had been a real emergency, I would say you wasted about 10 minutes reading and 30 years burying your head in the proverbial sand of the Sahara.