Graffitti on the Great Wall of China

Graffitti on the Great Wall of China

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You're going to take this "freedom", whether you want it or not!

I knew it wouldn’t take me very long to end up writing a post about political issues. First off, I am a socialist. Yep, teabaggers, you were totally right. There are socialists in the United States that want to get rid of the old system…and put one in place that makes sense.

Every morning at work between 5am and 6am I tend to watch CNN. This isn’t because I think they have great, unbiased coverage of issues. It is because the house I work at only has basic cable and my choices are basically infomercials, cartoons for toddlers or the news. So I watch CNN (unless the cartoons are something good, like reruns of the rugrats, but I digress). So I watch CNN and usually end up getting more and more annoyed at their idiotic statements while I sit muttering to myself about how stupid the media has become.

Take today for example. The biggest story they were covering was the lithium deposits that have been found in Afghanistan. It is estimated that these deposits of lithium (which is the mineral that is used to make stuff like computer chips) could be worth trillions of dollars.

The fact that CNN was reporting this wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I am always glad when the news mentions something more important than things like Lindsey Lohan’s alcohol anklet. The thing that made me start swearing at the television was how everyone involved, the anchors, reporters, interviewees weren’t even trying to hide the fact that the US was probably going to be able to get a pretty big piece of this pie. In fact, they acted like the US was entitled to it.

The way they framed the argument was like this. Afghanistan needs to exploit these resources. **Exploit is the term they used, that isn’t me shoving my opinion in** Afghanistan doesn’t have the infrastructure to get to these deposits. The US will need to do it for them. (You know, “to save them from themselves” which is a role that US has gotten pretty damn good at playing, or at least a role that the US has gotten most people to believe that they are playing).

So by these statements, I am pretty sure it means that Afghanistan will be forced to open up its borders to foreign companies (my guess is US run corperations) who will know exactly how to best exploit these resources…and how to fully exploit the people with the rightful claims to them, the Afghani people. Companies from the United States will be able to go in, set up shop, dig up what’s worth money without any concern for environmental risks (it isn’t their country after all), take it out of the country with no tariffs or taxes paid back to the Afghani government and sell it to the working classes of industrialized countries while pocketing the ungodly amount of profits they are able to make through ventures like this. So that old refrain, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, rings true once again.

That’s how these things generally work. Either through war or economic strangulation, industrialist countries go into third world countries and take over. They steal the natural resources and export them. They have no regards to risks to the environment and since they are operating in developing countries, they usually don’t have to meet any environmental standards. They ruin the labor markets in the countries (and in the US because they take all the jobs overseas which ruins any progress that American’s have made in the labor rights movement). Basically they try to pretend that the idiotic, neoliberal bullshit that has ruined our own economy, economies in most South American countries as well as most of Southeastern Asia will somehow magically work to spread “democracy” in these newest neocolonial conquests.

And don’t think that this is some conspiracy cooked up in my crazy, socialist head. If you want to know more about this system read David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism or Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. There are a lot of other great books on the same topic but those are the best that I have found.

I am a pacifist. I hate war and I especially hate war that is profit driven and no matter how I try and look at the current “conflicts” that the US is involved in all I see is bloodshed for profit. The fact that its been determined that Afghanistan is pretty much literally sitting on a gold mine convinces me that the chances of the US getting out of their country are pretty much zilch.

What sucks even more is that United States citizens are pretty ok with this. I considered CNN to be pretty moderate and they aren’t doing anything to question why it is ok for the United States to just lay claim to resources that another country has. I am guessing that the average person thinks it is pretty much OK too, if they bother to think about it at all.

I mean, throw away the preconceived (and wrong) notion that every middle eastern and/or Muslim person hates freedom, American pie, Jesus and country music, how do you think people in the United States would feel if some other country, like England, was in our country and demanded that we had share our resources and money with them? Oh wait, that happened. American’s didn’t like it. So we had the revolutionary war, demanded our freedom from foreign rule, invented Independence Day and all.

But I’m sure that’s completely different. In the revolutionary war, we were fighting to GET our freedom. Now we are just SPREADING that “freedom” overseas…with bombs.

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