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I'm starting to get a little concerned...  I understand that in the real world, when it comes to realpolitik, no country is perfect, and especially that applies to powerful countries with powerful military might.

There are clandestine operations, dealing with unsavory characters, being selective when it comes to the rule of law, or "democratic principles," international conventions, etc.

For decades the United States has been responsible for overthrowing scores of governments, many of them democratically-elected, in favor of brutal dictators as long as they aligned with our interests.

We are responsible for spreading weapons of war across the entire globe.  We are directly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Latin America, in the Middle East, in Asia.

Well, I shouldn't use "we" since these things have mainly been done by the permanent corporate regime through the CIA, our military.

However, there's always been some sort of an "illusion," a type of looking-the-other-way understanding in the world that although the U.S. wasn't perfect, at least it tried to do some good, to maintain some type of global order through the strength of our military, and diplomacy.

But a couple of very significant things (new things) have happened recently.  One of the of course are the revelations about the NSA spying at a global level.

Another one is the almost-unprecedented bungling of the current administration in trying to sell (what appeared to be) a bogus war under false pretenses.

And the final one, and probably the most damaging is this country's hubris and self-aggrandizing when public officials talk about "American exceptionalism,' and when administration officials talk about the impossibility of any country even thinking about retaliating against us, even if we engage in an unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against another country.  And when they go before the world and make pronouncements about our "democratic" values, and respect for the rule of law, and our responsibility to aid those being brutalized, and engage in astonishingly inept myth-making.

When you put all this together we're starting to look like a dumb giant, like a craven and delusional regime.

I argue that the main reason things have gotten to this absurd level is because the corporatist influence-peddling corruption in our entire system of government has reached unprecedented levels, and that is being reflected in our rapid loss of prestige, of image.

And that puts us, the citizens of this country, in danger...

Unfortunately, this hubris is also enabled by the fact that in our provincial minds, we do see ourselves as not only "exceptional," but invincible.

I've done a lot of travel (hundreds of thousands of miles) to many different countries, and during those travels, I did everything I could to understand the people of those countries, their cultures, their way of thinking.

At least to me, traveling that much has taught me that both, the the idea of exceptionalism, and invincibility are supported by myth, and as long as much of the world goes along with that myth, we'll be okay.

But I'm afraid that that myth is losing its luster, and much of that has to do with the almost-delusional and totally inept pronouncements and grandstanding by public officials.  And is losing its luster once the world found out about the massive illegal spying.

When I think about all these things, something comes to mind: Why would not a group of countries align forces, interests, with the idea of taking on the United States, which is perceived as a bumbling bully in the international stage?

I don't know, maybe most people would disagree with this, but I think that the corporate mentality that dominates our entire government is actually putting us in grave danger.

The grandiose and delusional speeches (full of lies and half-truths); the double-speak and hypocrisy; the ease with which we talk about "limited strikes," and "no one would ever dare to retaliate," that whole thing gives me the creeps.

The ineptitude of it all is truly astonishing.  Hell, if we are going to be a fucking empire, and we're going to kick some serious ass, I'd rather be done by real government-type men and women, by true public servants, rather than by corporatist hucksters.

But that's just me... Maybe others see it in a different light.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Many scenarios and metaphors... (9+ / 0-)

    ... all don't bode well for US

    I personally like the MICSOC concept, ala "1984"... I think we're already there. The infrastructure is in place... but not yet formalized... all of your newest TV's have internet built in and cameras and microphones... Big Business is already watching you... and, guess what?  ... he's a PERSON now!!


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:29:42 AM PDT

  •  Well Ray, since you are a "little concerned" (6+ / 0-)

    and once again engaging in a round of fear-mongering, complete with the usual doses of hyperbole --- while you are at it, I wonder if you might please provide a comprehensive list of the "scores" of governments you claim were overthrown by the United States?

    For decades the United States has been responsible for overthrowing scores of governments, many of them democratically-elected, in favor of brutal dictators as long as they aligned with our interests.
    Thanks in advance for providing the evidence for your claim.
  •  Um, Why does this diary have a recommended tag? (4+ / 0-)

    It's not on the rec list at this time, some two hours after being posted.

    I was told a long time ago that tagging a diary as recommended when it wasn't, in fact, on the rec list was strictly not kosher.

    Might be wise to remove the tag.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:14:15 AM PDT

    •  Um (5+ / 0-)

      Diaries can get the recommended tag with as little as 3-4 recs, if they're made in quick succession.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? So it has nothing to do with being on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the rec list? I must have misunderstood what I was told. Or perhaps I was just told wrong.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:27:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You know, I think you're wrong about this (0+ / 0-)

        I checked the link under Ray's tags and found the following.

        This tag is applied to diaries that appear on the Recommended list.
        That doesn't sound like it supports your idea. This diary isn't on the rec list.

        Of course anyone could have put the tag on there. If it were my diary I'd remove it.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:45:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course you think I'm wrong, except (5+ / 0-)

          I've watched it happen on numerous occasions. Like right now, there's a diary on it with only five recs.

          If you go on the main page to the rec list box, there's a little "next" at the bottom of it.

          When you click it you'll see the "extended" rec list. You'll find all sorts of oddball numbers of rec'd diaries. Some with low numbers.

          Tell you what, if I'm so wrong, and you're so right, why don't you remove it for the diarist and see what happens?

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:57:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  On this, you'd do better to check with admin. (0+ / 0-)

          They at least can see when and why the tag was added - if it was a bad joke it can be pulled, and the joker warned.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 05:01:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  have you posted enough comments in your (5+ / 0-)

          attempt to disrupt the diary yet, WB Reeves?

          Or will you keep going?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

          by allenjo on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:04:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a silly, baiting accusation (0+ / 0-)

            considering that you made it some two and a half hours after my last post.

            Not to mention the fact that six of my seven brief comments on this topic were replies to points raised by others. Of these, three were clarifications that I'd been mistaken.

            Perhaps you don't believe in admitting it when you make an error but I do. To be plain, I was wrong when I concluded that someone had attached the tag inappropriately.

            Likewise, I feel obliged to respond when people reply to something I've said. So if you really think this was all an attempt at disruption, I suggest you leave it be rather than revisiting it further.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:38:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not that silly. Your initial comment, for example (3+ / 0-)

              could be construed as a silly, baiting accusation:  that Ray added a recommend tag to his diary without warrant.

              But hey, ymmv on what a silly, baiting accusation might be.

              •  Only if you're predisposed to assume ill intent (0+ / 0-)

                Early on in my membership I had a similar experience with one of my diaries. The inappropriate tag was pointed out to me and I removed it. I didn't take it as baiting but as helpful information, since I could have gotten into trouble with the admins over it.

                I never accused Ray of placing the tag. For all I knew, someone might have attached the tag in an attempt to cause Ray trouble. As it turns out, I was mistaken about the tag being inappropriately applied.  

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:19:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  WB, the tag goes on automatically (6+ / 0-)

          if a diary EVER makes it on to the Rec List.  Considering that diaries which are published early in the morning can get on the Rec List with only minimal support, I will presume good faith and that it was not manually added.  Ray DOES have his supporters here who rec up whatever he publishes (as do many others).

          But, oh, for the days when TUs could see who edited tags!  One of the features we lost with DK4.

          With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

          by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:06:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the correction/clarification (0+ / 0-)

            As I indicated above, I checked the rec list twice before my initial comment but somehow I didn't see the diary listed. I have to assume that I just missed it, which leaves me with a substantial amount of egg on my face. No one to blame but myself.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:47:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  No doubt someday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, PsychoSavannah, pgm 01

    we will get our comeuppance.  Probably not tomorrow.

    I don't think it will come as a direct attack.  It will be more of an effort to speed the inevitable crumbling that will result from the rot and decay that lie at the heart of our existence.  Bin Laden was pretty successful at that.  I imagine there will be others.  

    Maybe we will surprise ourselves.  Maybe we'll get a clue before it all just crumbles to dust.  Maybe we'll rebuild. Maybe, maybe, maybe. . . . but we will be humbled.  Nothing lasts forever, just ask Queen Elizabeth, or even Putin, for that matter.  Most of the world has, at one time or another, been here, and done this.  You'd think that history would teach us something, but it doesn't.  The end is always the same, it's only the means that change.  Same story, new toys.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by jlynne on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:19:18 AM PDT

  •  "I'm starting to get a little concerned." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, HudsonValleyMark

    I put you up there on the self-awareness scale (don't worry, that's a good place to be), so I'll assume this is humorous.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:47:39 AM PDT

  •  While I cannot argue about some of the bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the U.S. Government has done - our country as a people have also done some wonderful things.  Even the "evil" corporations have done wonderful things and yes, our Government can, on occasion do some good things to.

    But Government and people are different - the role of Government is to look out for our best interests - not people in another country but people right here in the US.  I don't think, because of the corporatist structure,our Government looks out for most of us very well but it does protect the interests of the corporation.

    I don't expect the German Government, nor the Russian Government or the Iranian Government to do what's best for the US - they should be doing what is best for their country...and they do.

    What gags me is when our leaders stand up and pontificate that we're some white night that knows what's best for others (domestically and diplomatically).  For that reason, I'm becoming a progressive who doesn't want more Government because I know no matter how well intentioned something is, Government will distort it and fuck it up.

    In principal - I am for universal health care - but I am against the ACA - Obamacare.  I know it will get f**ed up - it is and continues to get f***ed up.  I don't trust Government with my healthcare.  They will use our medical records - don't believe me?  See NSA.  If my knees hurt and there is some special interest group of kooks who are against me getting my knees fixed because it's "not Gods will" - there will be politicians who will cater to these type people and it will influence my care - don't believe me?  See  Planed Parenthood funding.

    But I feel exceptional being an American - our community at the local level is wonderful.  We have food drives - fundraisers - our local businesses are still sending supplies to Haiti after most have forgotten about it.  Everyone I know has voluntered at a local soup kitchen - the churches are welcoming and charitable with the community.  It's safe - the police aren't brutal - they go to the local schools and talk to the kids in hopes to prevent kids from going in the wrong direction.  I also feel lucky becasue I know many places are not like this - I have been fortunate and I have taken advantage of my good fortune as well.  When I was younger - I would be viewed as selfish - but it was really my plan - it's easy to be charitable with other peoples time and money.  I needed to do for my family first - now that  they are taken care of - I can do some of the things that I wanted to do for others.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:53:01 AM PDT

  •  this would be cool if it ever happened (6+ / 0-)
    Hell, if we are going to be a fucking empire, and we're going to kick some serious ass, I'd rather be done by real government-type men and women, by true public servants, rather than by corporatist hucksters
    most empires on earth have been historically been run by corporatist hucksters. :shrug:

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:29:20 AM PDT

  •  crisis says little about Syria but lots about US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This crisis resolves little in Syria but says a lot about the United States
    The nation is sick and tired of foreign wars, and may never play its role of global anchor again. We may live to regret it

    In all the long history of US presidential addresses, has there been an odder one than this? With the solemn grandeur appropriate to a declaration of war, president Barack Obama informed the American people on Tuesday night that a congressional vote on military action had been postponed because Russia was now brokering a diplomatic initiative that might, or might not, put Syria's chemical weapons under international control. A Gettysburg address this wasn't.
    .... last paragraph
    Maybe after some years spent putting its own house in order it will come back as the – for all its many faults and hypocrisies – indispensable anchor of some kind of liberal international order. Yet given not just its structural domestic problems but above all the changing global power constellation around it, I doubt it. To the many critics and downright enemies of the US in Europe and across the globe, I say only this: if you didn't like that old world in which the US regularly intervened, just see how you like the new one in which it does not.
  •  Who said this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "...when administration officials talk about the impossibility of any country even thinking about retaliating against us..."?

    It certainly wasn't anyone of stature in the military.

  •  Has the world ever not been a scary place? (3+ / 0-)

    But it doesn't mean that there are monsters under the bed or boogey men in the closet.

  •   Exceptionalism is of course a bunch of baloney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but many powerful countries felt exceptional at one point or another. Russian exceptionalism, for example, has been going strong since at least 15th century. Chinese have been at it even longer. Even Portuguese felt exceptional at one point. I agree that American exceptionalism is losing its luster but this process has been going on since at least the end of the Cold War and it's not clear if recent events contributed to it all that much. Maybe NSA stuff to some extent.

    From a purely military point of view, no country can attack US and win. Of course, the same is true for any other country that has enough nukes. So 'no one will dare to retaliate' is largely correct.

  •  Changed (0+ / 0-)

        A comment I posted yesterday:
          Future historians will write: There was a time when the 1% after wasting, untold vast fortunes would send in their corporations to 3rd worlds, South America and rape their coffers anew.
        Why the 1% are so desperate. Mercy me, aint cheap $.   
        The world has changed.
        I'm 62. In the darkest of darkest times, the 80's, a small light appeared in the People Power Revolution of the Filipinos.
        To understand; Marcos and the Philippines were a black market of crooked money flowing to the United States 1%, from Asia. Aka: reagone his bushy on down the line…
        It was HUGE.
        That that light became a candle transforming the Middle East to an old timer like myself, I'm happily astonished.
        It is HUGE.
        The United States is like a broken record (Manning Snowden revelations pun intended) that's now being amplified to a screech.
        Put in your ipod earphones, but vision aware.
        Why would other countries bother? We're so busy collapsing upon ourselves, they're just watching the sad spectacle.
        And humor. Funny WE, DKOS have a counter alternative Markos.
        Not going to touch that, right? :)

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:22:10 PM PDT

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