Bradley Manning: Why did he Expose American War Crimes?

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Bradley Manning:Beleagured Whistleblower

Bradley Manning: Beleagured Whistleblower

After three years of arduous delays Bradley Manning has finally had his day in court.  The documents and videos that he made public to the world revealed thousands of unreported  killings and gruesome maimings of civilians throughout Afghanistan and Iraq during the American occupations.  Even an attempted attacks on journalists were publicized.  Manning’s Cablegate was the single largest disclosure of classified American documents in history.  Needless to say, many are interested why Manning would go to such lengths to deface American troops and her allies.

Here  is the answer.

Manning’s  leaked documents in Cablegate exposed a systematic under reporting of war crimes by Americans in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.  Many of incidents Manning exposed were unreported killings of civilians, surrendering terrorists being shot to pieces, rapes and murders by unchecked local policemen, sadistic torture, and countless other acts of horror.  While often these incidents were noted by American troops, the war crimes were only reported internally; legal actions and reprimands were almost never carried out.  This transgression resulted in 15,000 unaccounted for deaths of civilians. These malfeasance were not deliberately masterminded  nor broadly coordinated.  They just happened; its part of war.  There has not been a war in history where such travesties have not occurred and it would be pretentious to assume otherwise

The gut-wrenching letdown is these crimes were allowed to go unreported.  To be hidden, to be wished away and forgotten.

The United States, backed by its NATO Allies, went into Afghanistan and Iraq to purge corrupt regimes and install unfettered democracies.  Yet they allowed widespread killings, just as the preceding governments did.  This conceited hypocrisy devalues the liberties and rights the Allied forces espoused.  What Afghan or Iraqi would trust the supporters of  rapists and murders?  The American-backed governments in these states lost hearts and minds whenever these war crimes went unpunished.  The global community may not have known about this secret slaughter, but the civilians on the ground did.  They were the ones who lost friends and loved ones.  They were the ones who justice was denied.  They were the ones who sided with jihadists to claim their righteous vengeance.

The United States has to hold itself to a higher standard.  It has to pursue the criminals in its ranks and flush their crimes out publicly.     It will be hard and painful, but it is right.  If the military can show purge itself of its fiendish criminals it can reclaim the virtue it stands for, winning back the support of the Afghans and the Iraqi nations .  As the sadists are rooted out there might be even fewer unintended killings.  This transformation was the goal of Bradley Manning’s Cablegate.  The cost of such a dream will probably be a life sentence in prison for Bradley Manning.  I hope his sacrifice will return righteousness to our armies.

Afghanistan thanks Manning

Afghanistan thanks Manning

Have (Anything But) A Positive Attitude!

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Man at Occupy Wall Street

Frowning: The New Smiling?

To proclaim, “Have a positive attitude,” is to tell people to embrace delusions.  I am not advocating for pessimism, instead I am advocating for pragmatism.  It should never matter whether the cup is half empty or half full.  The real question should be, “Waiter, where is the rest of my drink?”

Everyone has problems.  However, there is a nationwide dilemma concerning how people answer their predicaments.  America’s collective  ideology has been stagnated by “positive thinking” [article].  Many believe that if we think our problems are easy to overcome then the problem will be easier to vanquish.  Our capabilities will rise to meet our phantom projections and whatever we imagine will be realized.

This belief seems childish to me; “positive thinking” seems to be something lifted straight out of a kids movie.  When our PG protagonist believe he can emerge victorious, he shall indeed emerge victorious.  When you and I truly believe something we are in fact not granted superpower.  Otherwise, I swear I would be a millionaire by now. (I certainly believe I can be one, so why is it not so?)

This is the difference between ‘The Little Engine That Could’ and Icarus.

We can measure the negative results of positive thinking.  You have to look no further than our latest recession.  Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, and AIG all were swallowed by the willful ignorance of positive thinking.  They believed only good things would happen and bad trends would be absent due to positive thinking..  According to journalist and author Barbara Ehrenreich, in her speech Smile or Die, people in these firms who raised issue with the overly idealized projections were censured and fired.  Those who said the real estate bubble could not indefinitely rise up were told to shut up.

In a world of positive thinking, nobody wants to listen to pragmatic realism.  It is not as profitable as the illusions of positive thinking.  The recession happened because recklessness prevailed over reality until a tidal wave of truth swamped the economy.

Even President George Bush Jr. fell victim to positive thinking.  Members of his staff never voiced their doubts about the Iraq invasion because the president hated to be around “pessimists.”  Those that did, such as one general who insisted that we needed to double the troops in Iraq successfully stabilize the country, was removed from duty.  Today, Iraq has largely fallen under Iranian influence just as the final Americans troops are leaving, [article].  I believe being  realism and pessimism are separate and it is wrong to label anyone as a pessimist simply because they believe the majority opinion is wrong.

Positive thinking has allowed whole communities of Americans to choose walk the easiest path, where life is idealized and inherently flawed, as opposed to best way, where doubts are accounted for.  Journalist Adam Davidson just wrote an excellent article concerning how many of the correct economic predictions over the last decade came from fringe economists.  I believe this miscarriage of math is based the pitfalls of positive thinking and greed.

Mainstream economists, indeed thinkers of every science, favor telling people what they want to hear rather than what the reality may actually be.  This is how they make money.  If they disagree with clients their positive-thinking clients go elsewhere to find a more agreeable, but not necessarily more corrected, opinion.

One example of this positive thinking is the infamous Laffer Curve.  The economics model catered to Reaganomics.  It made men rich; therefore, it became mainstream and widely adopted.    Later, its popularity waned upon the public discovering it was overly idealized and actually hurt the economy.  Many economists had spoken out against the Laffer Curve.  They were ignored because their views conflicted with the positive thinking ideology of where the projections of the Laffer Curve would make reality conform to itself.  The long-term economy suffered because these men too were unfairly labeled pessimists and were ignored.

Fringe economists are willing to disagree with what is most profitable when it conflicts to what is actually feasible.  They become fringe economists simply because of this disagreement; fewer people listen to them because they are willing to disagree with overly idealized projections of positive thinking.  The most reliable projections for the market come from the fringe because they are the realists who are willing to put their foot down instead of caving to what is most profitable.  We need to start listening to men who go against the grain to see the world as it actually is.  Positive thinking is blocking us seeing reality.  It should be censured, just it silenced all those who conflicted with it.

Athens and America: A Study of the Paralleled Rise and Fall of Empires

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Zeus or Poseidon?

History Repeats Itself

The global empire of the United States bears staggering similarities to that of the ancient Athenian empire; both rose through an influx in foreign wealth, fought long and costly wars, and lost their supremacy due to singular, devastating defeats.

Athens’s rise and fall was intertwined with the grand conflict of the Peloponnesian War.  Before the war, Athens dominated Greece.  Tribute, paid through monetary and naval capital by Delian League, was arbitrarily used by Athens for its own betterment.  Under Pericles, Athenians built great public works, such as the Parthenon, with foreign money.

Later, the tectonic Peloponnesian War erupted between Athens and Sparta.  Neither could defeat the other, so the conflict evolved into a regional, strategic struggle.  Foreign campaigns, like in Sicily, eroded the strength of the Athenians.  Athens was too heavily invested in these foreign conflicts.

Athens risked too much and the Peloponnesian League, Sparta and her network of Allies, punished them for it.  The tipping point for the Athenian Empire was at Syracuse.  Athenian generals procrastinated at the beginning of the conflict; this delay resulted in the unsuccessful siege of the city rather than a victorious strike.  Spartan reinforcements had enough time to reinforce Syracuse and beat back the Athenians.  Countless ships of Athens were lost in the harbor of Syracuse.  Athenian morale was splintered with their strength broken.  The downward spiral of Athens lasted eight painful years before they surrendered to Sparta.

America is on the downhill slide of the Athenian curve as she circles her own defeat.  Historians would place the high point of the American empire at the close of World War Two.  At this point, many nations adored the victorious liberators.  Wealth flowed into America in exchange for manufactured products.  Destruction of international economic competitions, with the bombings of Europe and the wars of East Asia, enabled this modern reincarnation of Athenian tribute.  Buoyed by foreign wealth, politicians constructed highways, funded Social Security, and created Medicare.  Meanwhile, the Cold War flickered into forest fire.

Forces mobilized against the United States; America’s Cold War would mirror Athens’s Peloponnesian War. Many nations sided with the USSR, and later China, in a manifold communist threat against the United States.  Communist converts were afraid of being poached by America’s predatory foreign policy; the CIA coup of democracy in Iran, GI’s fought the rightful rule of Vietnam, and paratroopers invaded Grenada.  This only empowered America’s enemies.

American capitalism and USSR’s communism fought long and hard, sapping global capital. China besieged the United States in Korea, freedom fighters in Afghanistan killed millions of Russians, and the Middle East burned as Israel, Egypt, and Syria warred.  Ideological conflicts continue to this day in various modern forms.  By 2011 America had overextended herself.  Tens of thousands of troops were stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO jets controlled the airspace of Libya, and drone strikes assassinated opposition figures in Yemen.

Here the American model caught up to the Athenian timeline.  The next chronological event was a major defeat of the American Empire at the hand of the Chinese.  Despite having the best universities, arguably the most innovative populace, and the most capital the American economy was overtaken by the oppressive, environmentally destructive, and antagonistic Chinese economy. The Americans would be surpassed by 2020; China was declared the Sparta of the modern age.  As early as 2011 the Chinese were flexing their strength, the flow of resources, such as rare metals, was halted to the United States.  It would not be long until other essential elements of the globalized economy simply went missing.  America’s empire unraveled, just as its star-crossed ancestor Athens did before it.

Democrats and Republicans Playing Chicken With the American Economy: How Polarized Bipartisanship In Congress Will Decimate Critical Concerns (Like Issuing Social Security Checks and Staving Off A Double Dip Recession)

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FDR on Social Security

Social Security: The Primary Financial Safety Net For Retirees

American seniors will be the first casualties of the debt limit; followed sequentially by Wall Street, the domestic economy, and finally the international economy.  President Obama and Senator Henry Reid’s ultimatum to the stubborn Republicans is that unless the public debt ceiling is raised the country will be forced to halt transfer of social security checks.  Both sides have agreed to reduce the increasing debt, however the specific amount is debated, fluctuating in the trillions.  The time for procrastination is running out.  If the August 2, 2011 deadline is not met the American dollar will become worthless as credit rating agencies, like Moody’s, will no longer support the Federal Reserve.  Not to fear monger, but this a potentially catastrophic financial disaster that stems from several men being unable to agree on a set of numbers.

What is the Democrats Positions?

The Democrats have united around Obama and the Democrats Congress Leaders.  Their unified polices have forwarded relatively generous offers to the Republicans.  Talks have been breaking down at this point, as they are repeatedly snubbed.  Their offers have been denied, there fair deals do not meet the requisites of the Republicans.  They are collectively determined to stay strong and stay the course; their economics work and will sustain the country and they know that their generous deals that they have submitted are feasible.  They just have to get the Republicans to agree.

What is the Republicans Position?

Despite the necessity for tax hikes Republicans uniformly oppose any new taxes.  This is where coordination break down, various factions of the GOP are each concocting their increasing implausible schemes to propose on the Senate floor.  They cannot create a coalition policy that might be taken seriously.

The crisis has become a ammo for the campaigns of the Republican candidates.  Romney pleads for cutting and capping of federal spending. Bachmann has accused Obama of holding the government hostage to continue the government’s spending spree.  Just like the senators, there specifics disagree while their cause does not.

This will result in their demands being painfully denied.

What is the Probable Resolution?

The Republicans  will cave at the last second, giving away a deal that is much less favorable towards them than what they originally rejected.  Their “non new revenue” rhetoric has shown negatively in the public’s eye.  Polls heavily favor the Democrats, because they have appear reasonable and open to debate while the republicans have been demanding ridiculous cuts that will do more harm than good.  Without public backing or good economics their situation is unsustainable and they will have to cave.

In the, unthinkable, event that Republican leaders carry out this game of chicken till it finality,  the result will be their own self-destruction.  There will be a the initiation of the second dip in a double dip recession on August 2, 2011.  The investors on Wall Street will panic as their traditional stable government mishandled the largest debt in the world and endangers national security.  Social Security checks will stop coming, granny will start starving.  Millions of Section 8 tenants will be tossed out in the streets until the government checks come.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with their millions of mortgages, shut down.   Protests will be held, riots will form.  We will all remember the event with a few days of anarchy until the Republican leadership can recover what little sense they have left.  Unless, of course, their million dollar mansions are burned down with them in it.

What is Public Debt and How Has it Accumulated?

Whenever a spending deficit in the government occurs, such as when finances for federal programs exceeds tax revenue, Congress covers the excess with bonds; these bonds are the source of public debt.  It is not in the best interests of governments to issue bonds unless pressed because every bond, even with inflation, pays off more money than it takes to buy one.  The government loses money on every bond.

Why Would the Government Have Any Public Debt?

Historically, only when clear and present threats to national security emerge are bonds issued.  These finance the war effort and allow the nation to persist.  This is fine and encouraged.  Issues arise first when public debt is unnecessarily accumulated and the danger of the national debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling is the amount set by Congress that can be withdrawn; defaulting or going over the national debt is unthinkable.  The consequences would freeze international investing, because nobody will be able to rely on the Federal Reserve.

Why is the Debt Hitting the Debt Ceiling?

Unnecessarily accumulation by fiscally inept leaders.  Our last president, George Bush exuberantly quarterbacked  two of the most long and expensive wars of our time while engaging in risky self promoting publicity stunts, such as the Bush Tax Cuts.  These terrible money hoarding policies dealt stole trillions of dollars from the majority of the American tax payers, funneling it to the richest Americans.  Collectively, these policies led us down the wrong path, creation short-term economic gains at great expense for those who suffer in the 2008 recession.  Financially, this is major defeat, comparable to Battle of Waterloo or the baseball curse that halts the Cubs from ever winning a World Series.  Politically, it bought him his second term.

The PATRIOT Act (and the liberties it has stolen): America’s Anti-Terrorist Shield or Tool of Totalitarianism?

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The Bill of Rights had never been compromised so deliberate and harshly before in American history; the PATRIOT Act continues to persist despite the erosion of grounds for such a controversial set of laws.  This act was used during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to cordon off terrorism in America.  However, it inadvertently threatens the civil liberties of every immigrant and every individual who can be construed as unpatriotic.

What was the Justification for the PATRIOT Act?

This act was a reaction to the tragedy of September 11, 2001 which stole several thousand American lives.  Terrorism needed to be combated domestically; the PATRIOT Act was born.  It specifically did:

-allowed government to monitor all areas of communication without proper justification

-hold illegal aliens indefinently

-launched probes domestically and internationally into Islam activities

Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001 there have been no major organized terrorist attacks on American soil.  The PATRIOT Act was effective at the expense of the right to protest effectively and the right of underprivileged foreigners to live the American dream.

How has the PATRIOT Act been abused?

Muslims have been persecuted passively across America.  Some have had their mosques illegally bugged be rouge FBI agents.  Many foreigners, especially Mexicans, have been target and abused under the pretense of patriotism.  Entrapment is still a policy used by the FBI and CIA to remove uncooperative individuals that could upset their plans.  There was also the illegal holding of foreigners without justification or trial.  They were held in Guantanamo Bay.

What was the Precedent to the PATRIOT Act?

The United States was a war with Germany, World War One had begun.  Many questioned this rash move; some had relatives fighting with the central powers, some were pacifists, and there were hundreds of reasons why individuals denounced the war.  To combat these outcries Wilson passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts; essentially, these acts made it illegal to be unpatriotic.  Those who stood for radical opinions were either locked up by police officers are terrorized by renegade vigilantes.  Free speech was sacrificed because Wilson determined it was more important to have a united home front in than to protect American rights.

Had these policies not been enacted America doubtlessly would have fractured along these ideological and nationalistic lines as immigrants patriotically supported their separate homelands.  In the defense of this large scale suppression it kept America united and mitigated losses on the western front.  There were more patriotic, albeit patriotically brainwashed, soldiers on the front line and few if any needed to be recalled to deal with strife on the home front.

How should America Act when concerning the PATRIOT Act?

Americans should support their country and war and peacefully protest for liberties in times of peace.  The highest priority must first be given to life; those who are risking their lives to defend the United States should be given the highest priority.  Liberties are second most important concern; without such unalienable rights as the right to bear arms or the right to speak your mind no American will be able even defend their own lives.  The third highest priority is happiness; without joy life is hollow.  Holding these three standards creates a blueprint for every individual to live their lives by their own terms, and happily to for that matter.

The First American Empire and Imperialism

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In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War the United States collected its first international territories; Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.  These seizures initiated the rapidly emerging force of American Imperialism, which was described as a American foreign policy to gain control of distant lands for military and economic benefits.  This policy is practiced to this day as the United States completes construction of pro-America governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

What were the Positive Effects of american Imperialism?

American imperialism’s best quantities are the naval strengthening, reaction of armed forces, and protection of American business interests.  American navy greatly benefited from imperialism; it allowed them to establish ports around the world to service the fleet.  To this day there are still major American ports in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Both bases were established as a result of American imperialism; without these key ports American ships range would be limited because they would have to rely on exclusively American ports or the benevolence of competing nations to be able to send ships outside of the local hemisphere.  Pearl Harbor later played a key role in American defense; preventing World War Two from spreading to the American mainland.  National defense of America benefited in more ways than just the naval powers, American influence expanded greatly thanks to imperialism.  Troops were able to be quickly deployed to counteract emerging threats around the world since the troops could be stationed in these territories.  Being able to deploy American troops around the world was key in American foreign policy; it was the American army who were first landed to counteract the Boxer Rebellion.  They were able to arrive so quickly because they had been stationed in the Philippians.  Finally, financial interests were the third to benefit from American imperialism; both the foreign countries and the United States benefit in this case.  Thanks in part to the protection of American business in Cuba after the Spanish American war investments in the territory quadrupled, benefiting Americans and the locals.  Puerto Rico greatly benefited from its semi-unique position of being under tax-exempt status, which greatly bolstered the economy.

What Were the Negative Effects of American Imperialism?

Anti-American resentment, unnecessary conflicts, and under effective or counterproductive use of resource were the negative results of American imperialism.  In every nation that American annexed or was sold there was native resentment for having a foreign power ruling over them; there was a sizeable population that pressed for independence of their own country and the ruling Americans disagreed.  This stifled anger solidified over time, harming American relations with the countries with distrust and bitterness. Cuban’s resentment of American annexation of the country doubtlessly played a role in the conversion of the country to communism and endangering American lives by housing Soviet nuclear missiles during the Cuban Missile Crises.  Unnecessary conflicts emerged from American annexation of territories around the world; natives who believed they had switched one oppressor for another were eager to take up arms to take back their homeland.  The Philippine-American War resulted from this cause, 24000 men died in the conflict and $400 million dollars was expended on securing a distant island that played not significant role in domestic issues.  Finally, resources were wasted on these territories and foreign interests that could have been better utilized benefiting the American homeland directly.  Following the Philippine-American war 540 educated and motivated Americans were sent to the Philippines to educated the population and sweeten the sour relations the territory had with America.  These individuals greatly benefited the island increasing elementary student numbers by 20,000 percent; these individuals did improve the countries relationship but did not directly benefit America.  Monumental effects of this nature would have been greatly appreciated in America, who was undergoing a progressivism revolution that need motivated individuals just like these men to educate students and help pass favorable legislation.

In Retrospect, Is American Imperialism Beneficial to the United States?

Overall, the results of American imperialism were positive.  American territories have remained prosperous, Puerto Rico prospers under its tax-exempt status and the Philippines are a stronghold of democracy in Asia.  Only Cuba remains with a low standard of living; they are also the only territory whose government is actively anti-American.  American military supremacy was maintained thanks to the territories, it is unquestioned today that American military is amongst the elite of the world.  One core reason for this is that troops can be deployed to almost any region quickly.  American troops counter coups in Grenada and more recently Haiti thanks to nearby American troops.  Taiwan and South Korea remain free countries because of American involvement in the region, thanks to the pioneering claim of the Philippines.  The local populations of the territories might have been resentful of being dominated by a foreign power, but the end result is financial security and prosperity, along people controlling their own countries which are not in the case of regions that were not made American territories such as China.  Perhaps if America had played a more dominant role during this time period China would not have later emerged as the communist threat that terrorized Americans in Korea and Vietnam, extending the Cold War and killing hundreds of thousands.  A stronger Imperialism policy might have resulted in fewer innocents dying.

Source -Danzer, Gerald A. The Americans Reconstruction through the 20th Century. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2002. 375-81. Print.

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