The American Dream Has Become a Nightmare and Democracy Is Dead
This chapter from The Grim Reaper was prompted by an article originally published in Global Research on 27 November, 2017 and is even more relevant today than ever before.
Sunday 24, September
Lancaster Gate, London, England
During the past week Mike Walker made a point of observing everyone and everything around him as a precaution against being followed; of meeting Kim every day after work and staying the night at her apartment; and of not making any immediate plans for travel abroad so as to avoid leaving her alone. In the meantime he spent his days researching PMSCs and working on this weekend’s article which amongst other topics would address the news that Israel and pro-Israel politicians in Washington were increasing pressure to have the American Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as promised by Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. The move was intended to help legitimise the spurious Israeli claim that an undivided Jerusalem was the capital of Israel despite it also being regarded a hallowed city by the other Abrahamic religions of Christianity, and Islam.
Part of that pressure included the scheduling for November of a discussion by the House Oversight Subcommittee for National Security — which was charged with global security arrangements for US diplomatic missions — on the possibility of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be some three weeks before the US President would have to decide on whether to postpone the action for another six months. Israel’s complete control of the US Congress was confirmed with the Subcommittee Chairman stating “US policy should recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, because Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years and is the beating heart of modern Israel. Why should we reject the chosen capital city of a close ally?”
To suggest that Walker was appalled by such brown-nosing support for Israel — typical of the American anti-Palestinian racism that nurtured the relationship with an Apartheid state — would have been an understatement, and he was determined to use the article as an emphatic declaration of his refusal to be intimidated or silenced .
The American Dream Has Become a Nightmare and Democracy Is Dead
Sunday 24, September
"Every ambitious would-be empire clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it! . . .
“If America ever does seek Empire, and most nations do, then planned reforms in our domestic life will be abandoned, States Rights will be abolished — in order to impose a centralised government upon us for the purpose of internal repudiation of freedom, and adventures abroad.
“The American Dream will then die — on battlefields all over the world — and a nation conceived in liberty will destroy liberty for Americans and impose tyranny on subject nations."
George S. Boutwell (1818-1905), American statesman, Secretary of the Treasury under President Ulysses S. Grant, Governor of Massachusetts, Senator and Representative from Massachusetts
The nightmarish nature of the American Dream and the demise of democracy — as Helen Thomas the American reporter, author, and longtime front row member of the White House press corps once observed — is “you cannot criticise Israel in this country and survive.” Thomas was subsequently obliged to step down from her job as a columnist for Hearst News after a rabbi and independent filmmaker videotaped her outside the White House calling on Israelis to get “out of Palestine.”
The reality that criticism of Israel in the US is strictly forbidden is borne out by a study due to be released by 416Labs — a Toronto-based consulting and research firm — which confirms that US newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel; prioritise, privilege, and legitimise Israeli sources; and omit vitally important facts — including those expressed by Palestinian sources — that help to understand the illegal Israeli occupation. Based on the analysis of nearly a hundred thousand headlines dating back to 1967 in the top five US dailies — The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times — the study examined the frequency of using certain words evoking a particular view or perception and came up with the following key conclusions:
“Since 1967, use of the word “occupation” has declined by 85% in the Israeli dataset of headlines, and by 65% in the Palestinian dataset; since 1967, mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by an overall 93%; Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians; the number of headlines centring on Israel were published four times more than those centring on Palestine; words connoting violence such as “terror” appear three times as much as the word “occupation” in the Palestinian dataset; explicit recognition that Israeli settlements and settlers are illegal rarely appears in both datasets; since 1967, mentions of ‘East Jerusalem,’ distinguishing that part of the city occupied by Israel in 1967 from the rest of the city, appeared only a total of 132 times; The Los Angeles Times has portrayed Palestinians most negatively, followed by The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and lastly The New York Times; and Coverage of the conflict has reduced dramatically in the second half of the fifty-year period.”
Further evidence of US media blackout of news unfavourable to Israel concerns Israel’s three largest banks — Hapoalim Bank, Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank — who are collectively facing record US government fines in excess of $1 billion for actively colluding with thousands of wealthy Americans in massive tax-evasion schemes. Though reported in Israel and elsewhere, the scandal received little if any media attention in the US where skirting around any topic that might be construed as critical of Israel, is standard practice for so-called American journalists.
“Americans are too broadly under-informed to digest nuggets of information that seem to contradict what they know of the world. Instead, news channels prefer to feed Americans a constant stream of simplified information, all of which fits what they already know. That way they don't have to devote more air time or newsprint space to explanations or further investigations . . . Politicians and the media have conspired to infantilise, to dumb down, the American public. At heart, politicians don't believe that Americans can handle complex truths, and the news media, especially television news, basically agrees.”
Tom Fenton, former CBS foreign correspondent, and author of Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All
Helen Thomas’ controversial but irrefutable observation would not have come as a surprise to those aware that while the impressive facades on Capitol Hill symbolised the US federal government’s three distinct legislative, executive, and judicial branches — with powers having been vested by the US Constitution in the Congress, the president, and the federal courts, respectively — it was in fact a far less grandiose building at 251 H St. NW, the headquarters of AIPAC, where much of this superpower nation’s domestic and foreign policy was decided through influence over compliant, corrupt, and craven Members of Congress. AIPAC always gets whatever it wants with substantial donations or whatever else is necessary to ensure the election of candidates whose first loyalty will be to Israel rather than the American people.
The seeds of AIPAC’S creation were sowed prior to the creation of Israel in May 1948, when an attempt was made in April — by the Executive Director of the deceptively named American Friends of the Fighters For the Freedom of Israel — to solicit Albert Einstein’s help to raise American money for the weapons required to help the creation of a Jewish state by driving out the Arabs as confirmed by the infamous April 9 massacre of Arabs at Deir Yassin. In his reply on April 10, Einstein stated “when a real and final catastrophe should befall in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the terrorist organisations build up from our own ranks. I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.”
Following Israel’s establishment as a state it became apparent that in order to cope with the influx of some 600,000 Jewish immigrants — room had been made for them by killing and expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians whose homes and land were illegally expropriated — Israel would require much more than the US Jewish money that was raised for Jewish Terrorist groups including the notoriously savage Stern Gang who were murdering innocent civilians as part of an agenda to expel all Palestinians from the “Promised Land” which according to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) fable, was promised and subsequently given by God to Abraham and his descendants.
Though US Jews responded with unprecedented generosity, by 1950, it was apparent to US Zionist leaders that much more financial assistance was required and they accordingly devised a four-point strategy that would increase donations from Jewish individuals; encourage US corporate investment in Israel; promote the sale of Israeli bonds; and request that Israel become a recipient of assistance from the US aid program for underdeveloped countries. Despite such efforts, the demand of Israel’s economic and military requirements could not be met by handouts alone.
Consequently in 1951 the American Zionist Council (AZC) was established to promote a pro-Israel lobbying campaign that would concentrate on influencing Congress. Having, however, been established as a tax-exempt entity, the AZC was not legally permitted to Lobby in the US on Israel’s behalf and as a result in 1954 faced a possible investigation for its violations. To avoid the possibility of that occurring, the AZC rebranded itself as the non-tax-exempt American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs. That organisation’s subsequent realisation that its Zionist objectives may be too harsh for many of the American Jews whose support it required, caused it to shrewdly once again rebrand itself by substituting the word “Israel” for “Zionist” to become the American Israel Public Affairs Committee but with the same modus operandi of blackmailing, bribing, and bullying to implement its agenda including the incessant instigation of Islamophobia.
“We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where their mouth is . . . We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way . . . ”
Helen Thomas (1920-2013)
Support for Israel’s Apartheid agenda required not only influence over US policy decisions — AIPAC alone “lobbies” Congress with over $4 million annually with an uncharacteristically honest mission statement that seeks to urge “all members of Congress to support Israel through foreign aid, government partnerships, joint anti-terrorism efforts” — but also comprehensive pro-Israel control of the U.S media. According to an IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys in 2016 for example, an astonishing 49.2 percent of Americans (over 160 million) believed that it was the Palestinians who were illegally occupying Israeli land rather than the other way around.
“ . . . in America, we have achieved the Orwellian prediction ― enslaved, the people have been programmed to love their bondage and are left to clutch only mirage-like images of freedom, its fables and fictions. The new slaves are linked together by vast electronic chains of television that imprison not their bodies but their minds. Their desires are programmed, their tastes manipulated, their values set for them.”
Gerry Spence, From Freedom to Slavery: The Rebirth of Tyranny in America
Pro-Israel lobbyists and donors are set to spend over $22 million next year to influence US policy. According to the non-profit, non-partisan Centre for Responsive Politics, Israel-aligned lobbying groups and donors have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades with that money pouring into American politics through a variety of channels including AIPAC.
In 1961 AIPAC and Zionism suffered a setback with the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) whose quest for peace included a determination to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East which he reiterated on June 15, 1963, in the last of a series of letters to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who believed that possession of nuclear weapons was essential for Israel’s survival.
JFK’s letter to Ben-Gurion was hardly friendly and stressed that as a professed ally, Israel should prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that as the Middle East’s Zionist enclave it was not developing nuclear weapons. The letter was cabled to Tel Aviv but before it could be physically delivered by the US ambassador, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned for undisclosed personal reasons. Bearing in mind the fact that the Israelis routinely intercepted communications and spied on the US, it can be safely assumed that having learnt of the letter’s content, Ben-Gurion decided not only to preempt the letter’s significance, but also to deprive JFK of an Israeli government with which to negotiate. JFK had at the time simply sought what Israel is now demanding of Iran: international inspections of its nuclear facilities.
During that same 1962-63 period Senator William J. Fulbright of Arkansas, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, convened hearings on the legal status of the AZC. The Committee uncovered evidence that the Jewish Agency, a predecessor to the state of Israel, operated a massive network of financial “conduits” which funnelled funds to US Israel lobby groups. As a result, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) ordered the AZC to openly register and disclose all of its foreign funded lobbying activity in the US. The attempt was subsequently thwarted first by the Israel lobby itself and then by the death of JFK which led to growing concerns regarding the impact of the increasing Zionist influence on US policy making decisions. On April 15, 1973, Fulbright — who lost his Senate seat the following year when the pro-Israel lobby backed his opponent — had no qualms about stating the following on CBS Face the Nation:
“Israel controls the US Senate. The Senate is subservient, much too much; we should be more concerned about US interests rather than doing the bidding of Israel. The great majority of the Senate of the US — somewhere around 80% — is completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants; Israel gets. This has been demonstrated time and again, and this has made [foreign policy] difficult for our Government.”
On July 4, 1963, JFK warned Ben-Gurion’s successor, Levi Eshkol, that US support for the young country would be “seriously jeopardised” if Israel did not allow the US periodic inspections of its nuclear reactor. On realising that JFK would not budge on the issue, Israel joined forces with Communist China which was also desirous of becoming a nuclear power. Both countries then began secretly developing nuclear capabilities through intermediary “and richest Jew in the world” Shaul Eisenberg who was a close friend of the duplicitous Henry Kissinger, a partner of Mossad gun-runner Tibor Rosenbaum, and pivotal in JFK’s subsequent assassination.
The probability of Mossad’s involvement in JFK’s assassination was in 1994 clearly substantiated by author Michael Collins Piper who in his incisive book, Final Judgment: The Missing link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, asserted that Israel’s motive for the assassination was JFK’s opposition to Israel’s nuclear ambitions which outraged Ben-Gurion who commanded the Mossad to become involved. Piper concluded “Israel’s Mossad was a primary (and critical) behind the scenes player in the conspiracy that ended the life of JFK. Through its own vast resources and through its international contacts in the intelligence community and in organised crime, Israel had the means, it had the opportunity, and it had the motive to play a major frontline role in the crime of the century — and it did.”
“It is interesting — but not surprising — to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned. And yet a Mossad motive is obvious. On this question, as on almost all others, American reporters and commentators cannot bring themselves to cast Israel in an unfavourable light — despite the obvious fact that Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the other theories.”
Paul Findley, in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1992
Israel’s vendetta with the Kennedys resurfaced on June 6, 1968, with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy (RFK) after he had won the California primaries making him the most likely Democratic nominee for the presidential election and certain to beat Richard Nixon. Just as Lee Harvey Oswald was made the patsy for JFK’s assassination, Sirhan Sirhan was made the Patsy for the killing of RFK despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary
Robert Kennedy, Jr., 14 years old at the time of his father’s death, has visited Sirhan in prison, claims he is innocent, and believes there was another gunman. Paul Schrade, an aide to RFK and the first person shot that night, has also stated that Sirhan was not the gunman and is not alone in having plenty of evidence.
On the evening of July 16, 1999, the son of JFK, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette, died when their light aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard. A subsequent investigation — like those into the deaths of his father and uncle — left many questions unanswered: not least because at age 39, he had decided to launch his political career by seeking an electoral mandate in New York State, and was about to announce it publicly. It would seem that fate and the pro-Israel lobby had again decreed against having a Kennedy in a position of power.
The extent of the powerful influence and control exerted by the AIPAC-led Israel lobby over the US government — which unconditionally provides Israel with grovelling, uncritical, slavish, and amoral support — can be best appreciated by visiting journalist Alison Weir’s If Americans Knew website where a trove of information — including a partial but astonishing list of the estimated 400 to 600 pro-Israel organisations — is available and introduced with the assertion that “the Israel lobby is not one unified organisation, but rather it consists of numerous institutions with various agendas. Some differ in orientation, emphasis, or political views, but all promote a strong and often dangerous and dishonest pro-Israel slant in the American media and government.”
Following Israel’s 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead’s three-week-long onslaught — the Gaza massacre — that killed some 1,400 Palestinians including children, Obama administration officials obligingly met with Israeli generals to counter the “poisonous” Goldstone Report by getting Israel’s propaganda out quickly to justify its act of savagery. Judge Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish jurist whose past judgments in South Africa helped to undermine apartheid — and who later also worked with the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda — had agreed to lead a UN fact-finding mission which concluded that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian militant groups had committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The report, however, differentiated between the moral and legal severity of the violations of the IDF compared to those of Palestinian armed groups such as Hamas.
The ensuing and predictable Israeli reaction was Goldstone’s vilification as a “self-hating Jew” by pro-Israel groups who likened his report to a blood libel, the false charge against Jews with roots in medieval antisemitism. Goldstone was boycotted by Jewish communities around the world and was even not allowed to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah in South Africa. The pressure of such vilification forced Goldstone to recant in a Washington Post article in which he questioned his own report’s findings by asserting “if I had known then what I know now the Goldstone report would have been a very different document.”
“The Israel lobby is one of the most powerful and pervasive special interest groups in the United States. It consists of a multitude of powerful institutions and individuals that work to influence Congress, the president, academia, the media, religious institutions, and American public opinion on behalf of Israel.”
Alison Weir, President of the Council for the National Interest
The Israel lobby’s “buying” of access to, and influence over the US government and media is overwhelmingly financed by Jewish advocates and supporters of the Zionist agenda for a state for Jews only. Furthermore, the majority of these groups are for tax purposes registered with the Internal Revenue Service as being either “educational” or “charitable” foundations, which enables them to solicit tax exempt donations. The American people have apparently been successfully brainwashed into believing that supporting a brutal, illegal occupation that involves ethnic cleaning, land theft, and plunder of natural resources is both “educational” and “charitable.”
Apart from such blatant tax dodging tactics being ignored, there is also the question of whether it is legal under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) which requires that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. Originally enacted to identify and observe German agents spreading Nazi propaganda in the US, FARA has since been used against individuals and groups with links to other nations including Russian news agencies RT America and Sputnik.
As well as lobby groups acting on its behalf, Israel is also aided by the nefarious activities of various private intelligence agencies run by former Israeli intelligence personnel — including a deputy director of Mossad and a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu — who apart from courting Trump's 2016 campaign, also tried to influence US local elections in favour of private clients with smear campaigns, fake websites, and online avatars to change election outcomes. The owner of one such private agency, who was regarded as being a “social media expert” specialising in “social media manipulation,” was known to have also founded a company offering “honey traps” and “deep web” capabilities.
In addition to its numerous groups, the pro-Israel lobby also has the support of many wealthy Jewish individuals as illustrated by publicly available campaign finance data showing that the conservative Zionist casino billionaire, Sheldon Adelson is now the biggest spender on US elections. Adelson — who owns The Las Vegas Review-Journal — was also the biggest donor to Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican Party last year. His role as the top political donor in the country — the buying of politicians — is due to be further secured with a $55 million donation to the Republicans in an effort to help the party keep its majority in both houses of Congress. In the meantime he has managed to stock the President’s administration with his own confidantes and politicians whom he has long supported — recipients of his corrupting campaign donations — including the US Ambassador to the UN who has shamelessly been obligingly biased towards Israel.
“We have the best government that money can buy.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer, humorist, entrepreneur.
Giving $82 million to Trump’s campaign in 2016 may have seemed like a gamble for Adelson and his wife Miriam, but in December 2016 his comprador and bigoted “war hawk” John Bolton — who has consistently called for regime changes in Iran and North Korea — promised members of the American Friends of Beit El that Trump would not only move the US Embassy to Jerusalem with the declaration that it the true capital of Israel, but that he would also not oppose any Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank. In return Adelson planned on facilitating Bolton’s appointment as US National Security Adviser.
As an accomplished subverter of US democracy, billionaire Adelson — who has neither respect for the human rights of others, or the democracy of the country of his birth which enabled him to become extremely wealthy — has also expressed delight with the threats made by key foreign and national security policy officials regarding Iran and would like to see the US launch a war against the Iranians; destroy their government to effect regime change; and to pursue such policies as a favour to Israel irrespective of any catastrophic consequences for the region or the rest of the world.
Adelson’s success in US policy meddling including the election of Trump, has resulted in monthly private meetings with the President with whom he is in regular phone contact to promote pro-Israel policies. This includes removing the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal; the withdrawal of US funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA); the closing of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s diplomatic office in Washington; the appointment of a Special Envoy to serve as the primary advisor to the US government on the monitoring and combating of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement which includes criticism of Israel; the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights — with its oil reserves — which has been occupied since 1967; and the all-important passing of an anti-BDS bill — under the guise of preventing “anti-Semitism” — with its Orwellian intrusion into the private lives of all Americans and their right to make politically motivated decisions.
Adelson is not the only wealthy Zealous Zionist supporter of Israel, and many others include Adam Milstein — a real estate millionaire — who sits on AIPAC’s national council, and through his family foundation, generously donates to the American Israel Education Foundation, AIPAC’s nonprofit arm. His support for AIPAC is just one part of his portfolio for pro-Israel “philanthropy,” which is bankrolling attempts to end American support for the BDS movement.
The all-powerful influence of the pro-Israel lobby in the US is evident from the fact that almost half of the 50 states have already passed legislation or some form of condemnation regarding the civil act of boycott, as championed by the BDS movement. One bill in the Legislative pipeline titled “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019,” will call on state and local governments to withhold contracts from any individual or business entity that boycotts Israel. This bill will increase the scope of the witch-hunt — already affecting numerous intellectuals and human rights activists in US society — to include ordinary citizens who will become subject to Israel’s unchecked power in that sadly laughable entity known as American democracy.
Though Israel from the day of its inception has always had the perfidious intention of taking complete control of East Jerusalem — part of the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed as a means of preventing the emergence of an independent Palestinian state — it had so far proceeded to do so with patient and gradual stealth so as not to either provoke serious condemnation from the West, or risk goading Arab nations into forming an effective and united front. Having the US move its embassy to Jerusalem, however, would embolden Israel’s disregard for, and persecution of the Palestinian people; help legitimise its desire to have all of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” of a Jewish state; and perhaps even coerce — with blackmail, bribery, or bullying — some unscrupulous banana republics to follow the American example by also moving their own embassies to Jerusalem.
Further evidence of the insidious relationship between Adelson and an undeniably corrupt to the core President Trump comes from a report revealing that the President informed the Japanese Prime Minister that he should strongly consider allowing his benefactor — who apart from spending tens of millions to get Trump elected, also donated a further $5 million to Trump’s 2017 corruption prone inaugural committee — to open a casino in Japan. This beneficent God-chosen billionaire, incidentally, is also infamously known for having stated “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” thereby echoing the equally bigoted view of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir who asserted “ . . . it was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”
In order to help bring about the reality of Palestinian non-existence, a relatively unknown pro-Israel lobby organisation with close ties to “Christian supremacist” US Vice President Mike Pence, has begun lobbying high-ranking members of Congress and the White House to support a plan that could be described as a “U.S.-funded ethnic cleansing plan of Palestinians by stealth.” The intention of the Alliance for Israel (AIA) is to redirect US funding intended for UNRWA in Palestine to an alternative fund managed by the Israeli government that would offer West Bank Palestinian families “vouchers” that could be exchanged for cash to finance resettlement abroad. This latest scheme is obviously an attempt to help reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories illegally occupied by Israel.
As a consequence of such lobbying efforts, it is now expected that President Trump will next year resort to sleight of hand to cut off all US funding to UNRWA — which helps five million Palestinian refugees not only in the occupied territories but also in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria — and thereby jeopardise the existing assistance being provided to schools, healthcare, and social services.
Apart from general pro-Israel lobbying, AIPAC’s current priority target is the non-violent BDS movement which has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate to the extent of being regarded by Israel as an existential threat to the Jewish state, and by the Palestinians as their last resort. At a time when corporate social responsibility is emerging as a business model, BDS has given adverse publicity to major companies involved with Israel’s illegal occupation; disrupted concerts, exhibitions, and film festivals worldwide; and infuriated academic and sports organisations by politicising them.
While pro-Israel lobbying has managed to coerce the UK government into banning public bodies from joining BDS — by claiming that BDS has fuelled a rise in anti-Semitism — it is in the US that such lobbying has been inevitably most successful with almost half of US states having enacted anti-BDS legislation and many others in the process of also doing so. In Texas for example, the legislation is so sweeping — to ensure that no public funds ever go to anyone who supports a boycott of Israel — that victims of the recent Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Southwest Texas, were told they could only receive state disaster relief if they first signed a pledge to never boycott Israel. “The land of the free and the home of the brave” is now nothing but an illusion.
Legislation of this nature has pitted pro-Israel activists against free speech advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union; ignited debates in Protestant churches of which some of the largest have divested from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation; forced college administrators to adjudicate complaints from BDS-supporting professors and students who were having their free speech stifled; and attracted greater support for the Palestinian cause.
In a landmark decision from 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled (8-0) that a National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi, to protest against segregation and racial injustice, was a protected form of free association and free expression. The court recognised that political boycotts empowered individuals to collectively express their dissatisfaction with the status quo and enabled them to advocate for political, social, and economic change: the freedoms that the Constitution was precisely intended to protect. Despite the fact that the First Amendment clearly protects the right to boycott, US federal and state legislation was stifling the rights of the American people in order to support an Apartheid state which with habitual and racially arrogant impunity violates international law.
The American Nightmare
“And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy — all we've seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare.”
Malcolm X (1925-1965), American minister and activist.
The seditious control of the US Congress by pro-Israel organisations — led by a relentless AIPAC — and their occupation of the American psyche are but some of the factors that killed the American Dream with its delusional belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, could attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility was possible for everyone, and achievable through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work instead of by chance or some other uncertain endeavour.
Some of the factors contradicting that wildly optimistic assumption include the reality that the US is now a nation where more than 50 million Americans live below the poverty line; where 48 million of them receive food stamps which the President intends to cut thereby resulting in more Americans going hungry; where more than one in five children is on food stamps and living in poverty; and where — according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention — drug, alcohol, and suicide deaths are set to hit record levels.
“Our society is only as healthy as our most vulnerable citizens. It is unconscionable that the weakest links in our country are our hungry children. No other Western industrialised nation has widespread hunger within its borders. We really must put an end to hunger in the United States if we are to keep our prosperity and protect the future.” Linda Gray, American film, stage, and television actress.
The US is also where 15% of senior citizens live in poverty; where ethnic poverty rates are 9% for Whites, 22% for Blacks, 20% for Hispanics, and 13% for all races; where being Black lowers one’s credit score by 71 points; where big company CEOs earned — an average $12,400,000 — 335 times more than the average employee at $36,875; and where poverty is criminalised, wealth immunised, and corporate wrongdoing with impunity has been rewarded with a tax rate reduction from 35 to 21 percent which was subsidised by spending cuts on education, healthcare, and social welfare. In 2016 the median family wealth by race and ethnicity was $171,000 for Whites, $20,920 for Hispanics, and $17,409 for Blacks. And incidentally, according to FBI data, a disproportionately high proportion of police shootings in the US involve black people.
“The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”
Edward Dowling, S.J. (1898-1960), American Roman Catholic Priest
And to make matters worse, some 32 million adults (14 percent of the population) can’t read; between 40 and 44 million (approximately 20 to 23%) of adults are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels; some 30 million adults aren't able to comprehend texts that are appropriate for 10-year-olds; an estimated 63 million adults read between a sixth and eighth grade level with just 11% of men and 12% of women making the grade as proficient readers; 50 percent can’t read a book written at an eighth-grade level; one-third of adults who struggle with illiteracy are aged 65 or older; 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read at all; every year, one in six young adults — more than 1.2 million — drop out of high school; 43 percent of the adults with the lowest literacy levels, live in poverty; and 70% of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels. This clearly indicates a correlation between more education and higher earnings, and between higher educational scores and higher earnings.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)
Illiteracy results in exclusion from participation in those things that enable people to become fully functional citizens capable of making choices; deprives them of access to information, excludes them from making choices about their rights or who governs them through voting, and lessens their opportunities for employment; and keeps them trapped in a cycle of poverty and subjugation, limiting life choices and making it difficult to achieve social mobility. Literacy — and knowledge — means having power over one’s own life: a power which most Americans don’t have, and are unlikely to ever have because government spending on post-9/11 wars and military action in the Middle East and Asia is due to exceed $6 trillion — which would be better spent on the urgent need to provide education, healthcare, and social justice for the American people — instead of slowly but surely bankrupting the nation.
“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
H.G. Wells, The Outline of History
Despite the critical necessity for seriously addressing the growing rate of illiteracy, the US Federal Outlay on education for this year is only 6 percent ($72.6 billion) compared to 54 percent ($622.6 billion) on defence which continues to enable the US to straddle the world with some 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad — Britain, France, and Russia combined have only about 30 foreign bases — and kill more than 20 million people in 37 “Victim Nations” since World War Two. Furthermore the killing continues as part of the hegemonic agenda which is kept hidden from the ill-informed American people. The ongoing bogus “War on Terror” with its crimes against humanity merely confirms Martin Luther King’s assertion of the US being “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”
“That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of Nations is as shocking as it is true . . . ”
Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary
In addition to its military coups and regime change endeavours following the election of foreign leaders of which it disapproved — as was for example the case in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile — the US also has a long history of meddling in presidential elections of some 81 countries between 1946 and 2000. The scope of that meddling has included funding the election campaigns of specific political parties; spreading misinformation or propaganda; providing training for the favoured party in campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques; assisting the favoured party with the design of campaign materials; publicly declaring or threatening in favour of or against a particular candidate; and either providing or withholding foreign aid.
“Most terrorists are people deeply concerned by what they see as social, political, or religious injustice and hypocrisy, and the immediate grounds for their terrorism is often retaliation for an action of the United States.”
William Blum, American author, historian, and critic of US foreign policy
Such crimes being perpetrated on a daily basis around the world have become a regular feature of an American foreign policy shaped by the major defence contractors who during the first eight months of this year — with some 400 lobbyists descending on Capitol Hill — have so far spent some $64,564,985 on lobbying to influence the government. Such spending was led by Boeing Co with $8.75 million, Lockheed Martin Corporation with $7.43 million, Northrop Grumman Corporation $6.82 million, General Dynamics Corporation with $5.79 million, and Raytheon Company with $3.04 million. Those five US companies dominate the global arms business with $140 billion in weapons sales for the year. Weapons produced by these five companies were sold to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt who have systematically massacred civilians, destroyed civilian infrastructures, and committed numerous other violations against humanity.
US defence contractors — against whom President Eisenhower warned in his January 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation — continue to profit from the death and destruction being perpetrated through the Pentagon without any moral justification on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. Like a pack of insatiable scavenging hyaenas they feed off the cadavers resulting from the endless conflicts instigated by manic neoconservatives exploiting the bigotry, ignorance, and fear of a people infantilised and deliberately kept misinformed by the government and the media.
“These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich, as their country is impoverished; they rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh, from their desks, at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, and cipher to cipher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or tempest.”
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English biographer, editor, essayist, lexicographer, literary critic, moralist, playwright, and poet
The victims of such conflicts also include US casualties with even those who survive and return to civilian life often suffering from PTSD, substance abuse, depression, and thoughts of suicide with an estimated 50,000 of them being currently homeless. The Pentagon meanwhile has “mislaid” some $21 Trillion — that Is $65,000 for Every Person in the US — which would not have been possible without the Federal Reserve — the central banking system of the US — with its member banks being complicit in such illegal laundering and misplacement of the taxpayers money. Major private accounting firms hired to carry out and audit the Pentagon concluded they that a reliable audit was simply impossible because DoD’s financial records were so riddled with numerous bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors. U.S taxpayers are consequently left in the dark as to the true identity of the individuals, corporations, or nations that are the beneficiaries of such “misplaced” funds.
“No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.”
Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, U.S. Constitution.
Apart from its immoral “War on Terror,” the US has continued its historic violation of international laws and treaties with no repercussions from international organisations including the ICC and the UN which it bullies into tolerating and rubber stamping its illegal interventions and wars that have undermined democracy and destroyed numerous countries refusing to capitulate to its demands.
Other imperious US violations have included rendition — the practice of covertly sending foreign criminal or terrorist suspects to be interrogated and tortured in countries with less rigorous regulations for the humane treatment of prisoners. CIA interrogation techniques were enhanced by projects that experimented on humans to identify and develop drugs and procedures to weaken individuals and force confessions through mind control. One such project — known as MKUltra — was organised through the Office of Scientific Intelligence of the CIA and coordinated with the US Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.
The unmitigated arrogance of the US has led it to believe that it has the paramount authority to decide which kind of government a country should have and the manner in which it should conduct its affairs. In Latin America alone the US has intervened more than 50 times while often overthrowing democratically elected leaders as was the case in Guatemala in 1954 when U.S.-backed dictators and death squads killed 200,000 Guatemalans; in the Dominican Republic in the early 1960s; and in Chile in 1973 to overthrow democratically elected President Salvador Allende.
Current US interference includes undermining Nicaragua to prevent it posing the threat of becoming an example to the rest of Latin America, and the toppling of the Venezuelan government led by President Nicolás Maduro who like his predecessor President Hugo Chavez — reviled for recognising the State of Palestine and establishing diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority in April 2009 — also supported Palestinian rights and during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict said that the government “vigorously condemns the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people.” Countries who criticise Israel invariably and coincidentally end up becoming targets for neoconservative instigated American interference ranging from economic sanctions to regime change.
In Venezuela’s case for example, fomenting acceptance of regime change is concocted by a mainstream, corporate media that is hardly ever concerned with the truth but is instead simply intent on spewing out the propaganda of Western imperialism. This now well established approach to journalism is achieved through diligent selection of “right-thinking” editors and journalists who have been conditioned to disseminate information — self-censored if necessary — in a manner that safeguards and promotes the agendas of billionaire media company owners, the goals of major corporate advertisers, and the need for endless “Wars on Terror” to satisfy the egos of self-serving narcissistic politicians and the amoral profiteering of military industrial complexes.
US interference in Venezuela is also driven by a covetous interest in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt — a territory in the southern strip of the eastern Orinoco River Basin which has the world's largest petroleum deposits — with an estimated 1.4 trillion barrels. On the basis of the current global oil consumption being 35 billion barrels a year, the Orinoco Belt alone could fulfil 100% of the world’s demand for almost 30 years.
An important contributory factor to the “success” of US exploitation and interference in Latin America is the unpublicised US Army “School of the Americas” located in Fort Benning, Georgia, where Latin American military officers and soldiers are trained to subvert governments and deny the human rights of people in their own countries. Also known as the “School of Dictators,” this so-called university has training manuals that advocate assassination, blackmail, extortion, torture, and the targeting and repression of civilian populations. It has produced thousands of villainous graduates subsequently linked to terror, torture, massacres, and military death squads.
As well as targeting Latin America, contemptuous US military adventurism — goaded by Israel — also included a unilateral decision to “take out” seven predominantly Muslim countries in five years, a decision which incidentally happened to be in line with Israel’s “Yinon Plan” of causing adjoining Arab countries to “fall apart along sectarian and ethnic lines” — as in the Saudi Arabian-led war on Yemen — with the resulting fragmentation compelling each one to be hostile towards its neighbours. The war in Iraq for example, was conceived by some 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them crypto-Israeli Jews — including Eliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan and his wife Victoria Nuland, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz amongst others — who prevailed on President Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 as a means of protecting Israel.
Evolutionary psychologist Kevin MacDonald best described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centred around Jewish publicists and organisers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.” He also asserted that proof of the neocons’ being crypto-Israelis, was in their US foreign policy.
“The confluence of their interests as Jews in promoting the policies of the Israeli right wing and their construction of American interests allows them to submerge or even deny the relevance of their Jewish identity while posing as American patriots. [. . .] Indeed, since neoconservative Zionism of the Likud Party variety is well known for promoting a confrontation between the United States and the entire Muslim world, their policy recommendations best fit a pattern of loyalty to their ethnic group, not to America.”
Kevin B. MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilisation, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism
In 1997 William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded a neoconservative think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which held “American leadership is good both for America and for the world,” and played a key role in building support for the “taking out” of oil-rich Iraq that resulted in millions of civilians being dehumanised or killed. According to a report from Physicians For Social Responsibility (PSR), a U.S.-based medical and public health organisation, the US military has between 1991 and 2003 killed 1.9 million Iraqis with over one million more being killed since 2003 to the present time.
With the main reason for the US invasion of Iraq having been Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, the non-existence of any such program subsequently required some mitigation which variously included the assertion that the mistake about Hussein’s WMDs was sincere; that the covert nature of intelligence gathering is complicated; and that in the light of September 11, 2001 attacks against the US, the government genuinely misconstrued the extent of the danger posed by Hussein’s Iraq.
Expert observers who have challenged such explanations, have also debunked claims that the US was trying to “spread democracy”; to support the oil industry; and to comply with Israeli lobby demands. Instead they argue that the main objective of the invasion and a decisive victory was to flaunt US power to the world — particularly the perceived rogue regimes of Libya, Iran, Syria, and North Korea — and to reaffirm US hegemony and standing as the world's leading power
The US destruction of Iraq — which along with Kuwait, parts of Northern Saudi Arabia, and the eastern parts of Syria — once formed Mesopotamia where glorious, rich, and powerful civilisations were born along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It was a Fertile Crescent serving as a cradle for new forms of society that rose, flourished, and fell over thousands of years. Sumerians, Assyrians, Akkadians, and Babylonians built incredible structures, established legal codes, developed writing systems and literature, inspired early mathematics and astronomy, and created vast city-states, forming centres of culture and societies so influential that today that land of plenty is spoken of as a “Garden of Eden,” a place sacred to both gods and humans. It was the genesis of Gilgamesh; the era of Ziggurats; the splendour of the Hanging Gardens; the age of Sargon of Akkad and Cyrus the Great; the realm of Tiamat and Marduk.
The PSR study also found that four million Muslims have been killed in countries ranging from Iraq to Pakistan. Though the situation in Iraq had alone mobilised some anti-war activism in the US, not enough people had been spurred into action because of the alleged global “War on Terror” which had the Bush administration, the British government, and other Western allies describing Muslim civilian casualties as “collateral damage” ― and all armed factions resisting the U.S.-led interventions as barbarians ― thereby denying their “enemy” victims any semblance of humanity. This is not “collateral damage,” but deliberate, coldblooded murder that in a world with impartial justice would be punishable as a crime against humanity.
Those same neoconservatives who successfully prevailed on the US to attack Iraq — which had neither threatened the US nor possessed the WMDs which the Bush administration cited as a pretext for war, are once again actively promoting war against Iran to ostensibly prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons: a war that would serve the agenda of Israel with its stockpile of nuclear weapons, and not the interests of the American people whose elected representatives are mostly puppets being manipulated by AIPAC.
“When a nation has reached this point, it must either change its laws and mores or perish, for the well of public virtue has run dry: in such a place one no longer finds citizens but only subjects.”
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French diplomat, political scientist, and historian in his Democracy in America
But while America’s military might has been gratuitously killing millions and destroying cultures overseas, the American people — at least those who are literate — have themselves begun to sense that something is very wrong with their own society and are concerned about rising socio-economic inequality, the erosion of national identity and purpose, increasing social polarisation, and a growing contempt around the world for their country which during the 1950s and 1960s was the richest and most envied nation on earth. Since then, America, once the world’s premier creditor nation, has become the number one debtor nation — with some $400 trillion in debt — whose ideology of denial, falsehood, wishful thinking, and self-deception has decayed its moral fibre so that 48 percent of American children are born to an unmarried mother while 43 percent of American children live in a home without a father. The US dream of having unchallenged global hegemony has become a terrifying nightmare from which the majority of American people would like to escape by waking up to a new dawn with meaning and purpose.
“This focus on money and power may do wonders in the marketplace, but it creates a tremendous crisis in our society. People who have spent all day learning how to sell themselves and to manipulate others are in no position to form lasting friendships or intimate relationships . . . Many Americans hunger for a different kind of society — one based on principles of caring, ethical and spiritual sensitivity, and communal solidarity. Their need for meaning is just as intense as their need for economic security.”
Michael Lerner (rabbi), American political activist, editor of the progressive Jewish interfaith magazine Tikkun, and author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right.
The persistent prevalence of illiteracy in the US may explain why 62,979,984 American voters helped a virtually illiterate narcissist, mentally disturbed sexist, and racist with psychopathic tendencies to become President of a nation whose bought and paid for government’s first loyalty is not to the American people, but to a lobby group representing a repressive Apartheid state that will be given over $38 billion — not counting other annual supplemental handouts and increases — in defence aid through to 2028. By voting for Donald Trump, each single one of those Americans was complicit in setting the nation on a course of insane racial disunity and destruction akin to that inflicted upon the German people — with longstanding consequences — by Adolf Hitler and his political philosophy.
“When fascism comes it will not be in the form of an anti-American movement or pro-Hitler bund, practicing disloyalty. Nor will it come in the form of a crusade against war. It will appear rather in the luminous robes of flaming patriotism; it will take some genuinely indigenous shape and colour, and it will spread only because its leaders, who are not yet visible, will know how to locate the great springs of public opinion and desire and the streams of thought that flow from them and will know how to attract to their banners leaders who can command the support of the controlling minorities in American public life. The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion. The war upon fascism must be begun there.”
John Thomas Flynn (1882-1964), American journalist, As We Go Marching, 1944
Another lobby group which buys influence over the US government is the National Rifle Association (NRA), an alleged civil rights organisation that in fact exploits the Second Amendment of the US Constitution — “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” — to justify the American people’s insatiable lust for guns and propensity for racism, hate, and violence as was the case with their European colonist forefathers whose racist views were often openly expressed and acted upon by their leaders.
“Damn any man who sympathises with Indians! . . . I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honourable to use any means under God's heaven to kill Indians . . . Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice.”
John Milton Chivington (1882–1894), a former Methodist Pastor who served as a Colonel in the US army
In the November 1864 Sand Creek Massacre — also known as the Chivington Massacre — a 675-man force of Colorado US Volunteer Cavalry under Chivington’s command, destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans in southeastern Colorado Territory, killed and mutilated an estimated 500 of whom about two-thirds were women and children. The panel of a subsequent Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War declared the following:
“As to Colonel Chivington, your committee can hardly find fitting terms to describe his conduct. Wearing the uniform of the United States, which should be the emblem of justice and humanity; holding the important position of commander of a military district, and therefore having the honour of the government to that extent in his keeping, he deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the verist [sic] savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty. Having full knowledge of their friendly character, having himself been instrumental to some extent in placing them in their position of fancied security, he took advantage of their in-apprehension and defenceless [sic] condition to gratify the worst passions that ever cursed the heart of man. Whatever influence this may have had upon Colonel Chivington, the truth is that he surprised and murdered, in cold blood, the unsuspecting men, women, and children on Sand creek, who had every reason to believe they were under the protection of the United States authorities.”
Anyone believing the claim that efforts to eliminate racism in “civilised” North America have met with success, should try recalling how US army personnel aided by the CIA, committed human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq: violations that included physical and sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, torture, and murder. Colonel Chivington — if he were alive today — would have been extremely proud of how his fellow Americans were living the “American Dream” with its unspeakable indifference, racist tendencies, and virulent violence towards a large proportion of humanity.
In the US for example, African Americans are systematically hampered by a dysfunctional educational system; face obstacles to voter registration; are denied equal economic opportunities; are paid $6-7 per hour less than white workers even though race should not be a skill or characteristic with a market value in relation to wages; are denied basic civil and human rights; and are disproportionately incarcerated in brutal for-profit prison-industrial-complexes operated by out of control racist, militarised, and often murderous police forces backed by an unjust and jaundiced judicial system, and a corrupt Congress.
“Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced . . . ”
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman who after escaping from slavery in Maryland, became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining renown for his oratory and incisive writings on antislavery
A forthcoming report by FWD.us — a lobbying group for prison reform — and Cornell University will reveal that approximately half of all adults in the US — some 113 million people — have an immediate family member who either has been, or is currently being incarcerated. While such incarceration apparently impacts people from all walks of life — with rates of family incarceration being similar for Republicans and Democrats — the impact is, however, unevenly borne by communities of colour and low-income families. Black people are 50 percent more likely than white adults to have a family member who either has been, or is currently incarcerated, and a shocking three times more likely to have a family member who has spent at least ten years in prison.
“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour — anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), US President from March 1933 to April 1945
Roosevelt’s belief in what is attainable for the world, however, seems far-fetched especially in view of the fact that the White House is currently occupied by a president who more than any other in American history, personifies the psyche of the American nation: a present-day tragedy which Mencken — the American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English — uncannily predicted.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe
And as a final thought . . .
“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Born 1919), American poet, painter, socialist activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers