Monday, April 26, 2010

US Foreign Policy part 1: "Blowback"

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I'll be doing a series of posts discussing United States Foreign Policy, what it is and why you should care.

Let's begin with the most basic of questions: why were we attacked?

Yes, I'm speaking of 9/11. No, I don't believe we were attacked because of our freedom or prosperous western ways. It's easy to go there though, but it's very reductive and ignorant. We were attacked because our government has been meddling in the affairs of other nations, it's what the CIA terms "blowback". Unintended consequences of foreign operations deliberately kept secret. (Note: the consequences are unintended, but they are expected.)

When you realize that we have been attacking nations for things they haven't even done, can you imagine what we'd do to a nation that has been occupying our country? There's no way we'd stand for a foreign occupation, yet we've got 700 bases in 135 different countries. We intervene in affairs that aren't American while claiming it's to preserve our freedom. Consider blowback and you'll know nothing could be further from the truth.
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part 1: Blowback
part 2: Sanctions
part 3: Just-War
part 4: Preventive War
part 5: Declaration of War
part 6: Torture
part 7: Finances
part 8: CIA
part 9: War on Terror
part 10: War on Terror part 2, Suicide Terrorists
part 11: Conclusion

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Tea Please

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I was watching Bill Maher last night and the topic of his round table discussion was the Tea Party movement, and the panel soon made the same gaff that a columnist made last week, which was the thought that if half the country doesn't pay income taxes then presumably half the Tea Partiers aren't paying taxes either and therefore they have no clue what they're doing and this isn't even about being taxed at all.

SIGH.

The income tax isn't the only tax we pay in America, but it's the most direct tax so even if you don't qualify for income taxes it makes the most sense to rally around the day that most represents taxes. April 15.

I think what's frustrating the media so much about the whole Tea Party people is that there is no figurehead, no one that they can directly go to for a mission statement or a simple answer as to what they're rallying against, which is when the media starts building in assumptions like it's based in racism, or that it's republican sponsored. After all, FOX News does a good job of promoting it.

The reality.

The Tea Party movement didn't begin as a partisan effort, it was very non-partisan in fact. I watched a clip from Yahoo's new show about the origins of the Tea Party and they completely missed the boat, they didn't acknowledge the first swing was made by Ron Paul as a fundraiser for his 2008 Presidential campaign. Ron Paul held a fundraiser on December 16, 2007....December 16 is (tah-dah) the anniversary of the 1773 Boston protest over taxation (taxation without direct representation).

The idea was re-birthed in 2009 and since then has become a flash-fire of controversy, yet the movement has no figurehead, which is the way it should be. Although, many would love to lay claim to the movement for their own agendas and many probably do rally behind it as a means of ignorant outrage against a liberal and/or black President, you have to understand that the basis for such a movement is a signal of a burdened middle and lower class, and how tiresome it has become to have our liberties slowly stricken repeatedly for the last century. Obama promised transparency, to not raise taxes on incomes under $250k, equal treatment, and take back laws passed by Bush that infringe on our rights of privacy. Those are the ideologies of a liberty-minded candidate, and something tells me people like that.

I voted for Obama for several reasons, not believing him to be the change we need, but at least a less vile form of it than Bush. I'm not the only one, so if I march at a Tea Party rally just know that I'm marching against both parties, because they've both forgotten that a government without limitations can only become tyrannical, and this is why our forefathers rebelled and why Patrick Henry declared: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Gosh, that liberty thing sounds important.