The “Noble Cause” that killed Casey Sheehan
By Mike Whitney
03/23/05 "ICH" -- -- A lot of rubbish has been written lately about “religious faith”. The fact is, there’s a force more powerful than faith; the power of denial. America is drowning in denial. The majority of people would rather brush aside the signs of disaster and keep their heads firmly planted in the sand.
Is it really that hard to see what’s going on?
Congress just voted to spend another $92 billion for a war that nobody wants and, yet, we don’t hear a whimper of protest from the people. That raises the national debt to a whopping $9 trillion, every penny of which will be paid off by our children and their children’s children. They’ll be indentured servants until the end of time.
Do the American people care? No way. The soothing bromides from our doltish president are enough to lull them back into their narcotic-haze.
It’s called “denial”. D-E-N-I-A-L.
Turn off the “business channel” and do some independent research. If you’ve already figured out that the Bush administration is fudging the numbers to make them look good; you’re right. Walter J. Williams (Dartmouth, BA in Economics and an MBA; economic consultant for Fortune 500 companies) has compiled the data and found that “real unemployment is running at 12%, real CPI (Consumer Price Index) is running at 8%, and real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is in contraction. The country is already in a recession and headed for much worse.
No one with half a brain believes this can go on forever. The Bush administration has racked up another $3 trillion in debt in just 6 years most of it going to Bush’s well-heeled friends via the “tax cuts”. At the same time, they’ve expanded government spending by 30%. Now, the Congress has voted to make the tax cuts “permanent” even though they know that it will increase deficits by $400 to 500 billion per year. Deficit spending has become a permanent function of government.
The only thing that keeps interest rates from skyrocketing is the massive and “unsustainable” (Greenspan) trade deficit.
When Reagan initiated his tax cuts he produced deficits of $200 billion the first year. That pushed interest rates up to 9.5% killing the real estate market and causing the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Greenspan bailed him out by raising Social Security payments (under the ruse that SS was “broken”) and then diverting that new money into the general fund. (SS has basically been a Flat Tax ever since) That’s right; our Social Security dollars now pay for roads, social programs, and endless war.
Last year the trade deficit soared to a new high of $725 Billion and is headed for $800 billion this year. That explains why Dubai can afford to buy our ports, because they’re holding so much American debt (currency and securities) China alone has over $800 billion account surplus approximately 75% of which is US debt and securities.
The Bush team likes this arrangement because it coincides with their belief that national sovereignty should be transferred to the multinational corporations. As for the rest of us , who believe that our ports, public lands, water, and resources should be the sovereign property of the people of the US, well, we’re out of luck, because $3 trillion worth of those assets now belong to China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
The other reason the American people haven’t felt the pinch of excessive government spending yet, is because of the unique relationship between the greenback and the sale of oil on the global market. Countries are forced to keep stockpiles of US currency in their central banks to purchase oil because oil (the largest commodity in the world) is only denominated in dollars. This creates a de-facto monopoly which ensures that dollars will continue to circulate on a massive scale whether the face value of the greenback goes up or down. (It is estimated that approximately $2.3 trillion are constantly circulated in oil transactions) It is the perfect confidence-game run by the hucksters at the Federal Reserve.
Most countries would prefer to purchase oil in their own currency (or in the more stable euro) rather than using the greenback which is sinking under $9 trillion of debt. Regrettably, any move to the euro is tantamount to a declaration of war against the United States and bound to precipitate “shock and awe-type” reprisals.
Washington will defend the “greenback-hegemony” with every weapon in its arsenal. That’s why Iran is in the crosshairs right now, because the threat of opening an oil exchange (that would trade in euros) would challenge the dollar’s dominance as the world’s reserve currency. The Bush administration will never let that happen. An Iran Bourse would allow the central banks around the world to ship boatloads of unwanted dollars back to America and put the greenback into a death-spiral.
America’s economic future requires that we continue to control this “global extortion-racket” (aka; the dollar-monopoly on oil) while producing the humongous trade deficits which are mortgaging our country to foreign lenders.
There’s only one problem with this scheme; the American consumer is broke. Wages have been flat since the 1970s (in fact they have gone down by 2.3% since Bush took office) personal savings are at 0%, and housing prices (which generated $600 billion in additional spending last year) have flattened out. The American consumer represents 70% of GDP and has also been the major engine for growth in the global economy. Unfortunately, he’s “tapped out”, overextended and penniless.
That explains why so many corporations are packing up and headed for more promising markets in Southeast Asia. Hell, the Bush administration has even created tax incentives for them to leave.
The corporate exodus from America is not simply about high-paying, high-tech jobs evaporating. It is also about the massive flight of capital, the exiting of corporations, and the destruction of the manufacturing sector. Right now, the only thing that keeps the US on its precipice is the teetering housing market that is headed for the dumpster. When that unravels, we’ll see why Bush devoted so much energy putting together the nascent American police-state.
Under Bush, we’ve seen a shocking acceleration of globalization. The major corporations have already loaded the boats, shifted the jobs, and drained every farthing from the public till. The Federal Reserve has cobbled together a dollar-system that allows them to print worthless script in exchange for the wealth and resources of foreign nations. And, the Bush team has set up NorthCom (Northern Command) inside the country to deal with any unruliness on the part of the masses once they discover the country is dead broke. The plan addresses the needs of America’s plutocrats and big-wigs while leaving the unlucky 99% of the people to face increasing scarcity and hardship.
This is why we fight; to defend this system of corporate larceny. This was the driving force behind the war in Iraq; to preserve the global extortion-racket we call “dollar hegemony”. This is the “noble cause” for which Casey Sheehan and thousands of others have given their lives.
Its time to skip the denial and face up to it.