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Comment on this entry

Drones and [the U.S.] National Religion

David Swanson

Ethical Technology

February 10, 2013

The national religion of the United States of America is nationalism.  Its god is the flag.  Its prayer is the pledge of allegiance.


Complete entry


Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/10  at  05:20 PM

You are right, Dave. But I’m so pleased Bush is gone, and that McCain and Romney (who proved a person can be a corporation) were kept from being POTUS, Obama appears as a breath of fresh air—though he is trapped.
If Obama doesn’t toe the line in being a nationalist, he is an enemy of the jingoists. Being a black community organiser from Chicago only makes it more difficult for him; IMO Obama is doing the best he can do and the best anyone could do.. such is my judgment call after what happened the last dozen or so years.
If Obama compromises with nationalists (the SeanHannity site demonstrates exactly what the Nationalist position is for newbies who aren’t familiar), progressives become leery of Obama. If Obama resigns as president it wont do him or us any good.

I would not want to do anything to help whelp another Bush-type administration.. but do what your conscience tells you.

Posted by Kris Notaro  on  02/10  at  05:31 PM

I think another Bush like admin would be a total disaster all fronts. I agree that Obama has his hands tied but means well. I do not however agree with all his policies of course, and when it comes to drones the army is making a huge mistake: as it turns out “collateral damage” is still high with drones and because the drone pilot is behind a computer screen on the ground, it still triggers something inside some of them to commit suicide. No war is fun and games, its serious stuff and a computer screen will not reduce that.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/10  at  05:47 PM

You are both correct on all counts, it is a deplorable situation: America makes a big deal about four dead in Benghazi, while who knows how many are being killed and maimed by our forces, dozens per month at least.
I had such a different expectation about what the 21st century would be like when first learning of h+ in ‘89; this war might continue all century as another Hundred Year War.

Posted by SHaGGGz  on  02/11  at  03:58 AM

On what do you guys base your belief that Obama “means well”? I think it’s fairly obvious that the man has no moral core. Unlike the alcoholic, incompetent Dubya, this man was a civil rights lawyer and constitutional scholar who is fully aware of just how fetid is the mockery he has made of the rule of law itself. I have trouble coming up with a better example of such a razor sharp contrast between one’s flowery campaign prose and one’s dedicated fight against those principles once elected.

The fact that we’ve gotten to the point where such a person is a saint compared to the unthinkable alternative is terrifying.

Posted by Kris Notaro  on  02/11  at  10:40 AM

ShaGGGz, he has a good background, was a community organizer, etc. I think, but obviously I cannot be sure, that there are pressures on him to keep “the machine going”... The state-capitalist-war-machine that is. : (

Posted by Kris Notaro  on  02/11  at  06:11 PM

@ShaGGGz, I think you may be right though. Anyone who would want to be the King of the U.S. Empire must have an ego the size of Jupiter.

But are we sure that he does not mean well? are we sure he is the King? Perhaps Wall ST., banks, major corporations, high paid lobbyists, and the military industrial complex are the actual kings and queens?

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/11  at  07:06 PM

If any of you were to take a tour of the interior of America, you would see that America is too old-fashioned, too stuck in the past to change right now—and IMO for decades. Obama is not a magician; plus he black, which means his options are more limited.

Before any of you protest, go look to see what the situation is.. esp. if you do not live in the US.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/11  at  09:17 PM

This author spews out the sort of imperialist thinking Obama has to deal with all the time—it would thoroughly enervate any of us at IEET:

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/11  at  09:33 PM

One more diatribe (from America’s #1 Rightist magazine) of the kind Obama has to deal with from the imperialists he talks to face to face, on the phone or through his aides:

Do you think he enjoys it? What do you think Obama ought to tell them?:

“Let’s close down our bases”?
“you’re hegemonistic sc*mbags”?
“kiss my black posterior”?

What do you here suggest we do about it all?

Posted by SHaGGGz  on  02/12  at  02:49 AM

@Kris: It is more or less useless to speculate as to whether he “means well” when most anything we know about him is mediated through so many layers of abstraction and filtering. He may have been a very different person back in his days of community organizing and illicit drug use, and maybe he would prefer to not to be doing what he is in fact doing, all things being equal. But such speculations are useless. The only meaningful reflection of his character that we have access to is what he has in fact done, most of which is grossly out of step with his promises, often taking an active and enthusiastic role in pushing in the opposite direction. Promises of unprecedented transparency turn out to be unprecedented secrecy and brutal cracking down on whistleblowers; promises of sensible drug policy, or at least letting states dictate their own policies, turn out to be an even greater pursuit of federal cracking down on state laws; promises of bringing justice to the vampire squids wrapped around the face of humanity that brought us the financial meltdown turned out to be an active impediment to any such thing, with him, in his words, being “the only thing that stands between [them] and the pitchforks.”

I could go on, but you get the idea. There is a profound and worrying trend for purported “liberals” to turn a blind eye to the fact that Obama is anything but the progressive he purports to be, and is in fact far more right wing than even Dubya was in many ways. The two-party tribalism paradigm has blinded and imprisoned all involved, with allegiance to party clearly superceding allegiance to principles.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/12  at  06:42 PM

Don’t know what nation you live in, but Americans will not allow Obama to change the situation, they are stuck so far in the past, sports statistics are more important to them than progress; perhaps 2 percent of humanity is 21st century—the remaining 98 percent of the world is retro.

Posted by SHaGGGz  on  02/12  at  09:47 PM

@Intomorrow: Was that directed at me? If so, I’m not sure how it relates to what I’m saying. There’s nothing retro about the direction America is taking under Obama, unless you’re referring to monarchism, and they’ve already allowed him to change the situation plenty.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/13  at  12:57 AM

Obama has demonstrated he wants to change so many things- but he isn’t allowed to; what can Obama do with such an old-fashioned America, and world? Obama’s opponents wont let him change healthcare, they might even possibly sabotage his immigration reform initiatives.
So what can Obama do about imperialism at this time? Hold swords to jingoists groins and threaten to cut their nuts off?

Posted by SHaGGGz  on  02/13  at  01:22 AM

@Intomorrow: He has? Like what? Where has he genuinely shown a principled stand on something, fought for tooth and nail? Sure, he can “evolve” on certain issues after it becomes no longer politically expedient to resist, and he can say lots of pretty words about how the other party is so much worse and yet he has some “hard choices” he needs to make, and it has been working brilliantly (here’s one example He has shown nothing but enthusiasm for imperialism, as he pushes it well beyond where Bush had it, whose restraint seems quaint by comparison. His policies are every bit as jingoistic and even more flagrantly illegal, the difference being that he knows how to provide the sugar to make the medicine go down. Domestically, he has been no better, staffing most all of his departments with what appear to be attempts to exemplify regulatory capture. This is unsurprising given the Wall Street pocket he lives in, though given the unparalleled, near-messianic level of public support he had behind him initially, he had the momentum to pursue his rhetoric. That there was an abrupt shift post-election shows how genuine his enthusiasm was.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/13  at  05:08 PM

“Where has he genuinely shown a principled stand on something, fought for tooth and nail?”

As Kris wrote, Obama’s hands are tied, he has to be an Uncle Tom and lick Massa’s boots. Frankly, Obama is the person who has made this decade bearable for me—would be totally revolted if the military pighead McCain had won, and then Romney the corporation. There is one alternative for Obama: he can resign, giving a speech along the lines of,

“As of noon tomorrow, I hereby resign the office of president. I’m tired of having to pay lip service to imperialism;
tired of giving speeches at military installations;
tired of nationalistic platitudes.
I originally ran for president in ‘08 because
someone such as McCain was a clear invitation to try and do something, anything, in changing things and providing hope.
But today I see America is too stuck in the last great jingoistic period of its past, the ‘80s, and I’m merely going through the motions of hope and change; I see only change today—no hope.
My message to Republicans is, ‘go ahead, elect another lapdog in 2016, waste another four or eight years, it wont hurt you because you can dump your emotional toxic waste downstream’. Also, ‘defense’ industries provide jobs and careers to citizens, and pump funds into local economies, and tax revenues into dat bad ol’ Guvmint dat kills people faraway fo’ you, and gives mo’ money to your families—den you can protest dat Big Guvmint ‘n say ‘give less money to dem ghetto trash’.
I’m sorry I have been so uppity and will slink back to Chicago to write my memoirs, then afterwards to a law school t’ edjewcate attorneys so dey can work with corporations to help keep the predatory system going—so dat when the attorneys have chiluns, the chiluns can grow up to be attorneys. It is all part of de Massta plan; it is ecological: big shark eat de little shark.
Besides, the interior of America is sentimental for the good ol’ days of WWII and ‘Nam, when you could firebomb and napalm inconvenient people faraway who reproduce like rabbits and thus must have their populations pruned. Such is the Law of Almighty Providence; by rebelling against this sacred Law, one brings ruin upon oneself.
I am sorry I have sinned, I have been in rebellion against de nationalistic Darwinist Plan [tears beginning to flow], and shall make amends by teaching law students to Toe De Lahn! (sniff). No more o’ dat uppityness—it is from de Debil, dat ol’ Debil Moon.” [Breaking down altogether]:
“I now (sob) love Big Brudder!”

Posted by Intomorrow  on  02/13  at  09:32 PM

One more comment for today: multiply the following articles—just from today—by the number of Right-of-center who read them and who listen to Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc., and who vote GOP:
An excerpt from what the doctor said:

“I’ve had people telling me that for years. If I had a nickel for everyone who’s told me that, I could finance my campaign. I’ve always said that if God grabs me by the collar and sticks me in the arena, that’s the only way I’ll do it. I’m actually going to retire in June from surgery. I will still teach; I will still be involved but I am going to retire from surgery so it does open up a lot of possibilities for me.”

Obama can’t hardly win for losing. The doctor makes Obama appear as H. Rap Brown; I appreciate Obama more and more because he opposes such ambitious cornballs who think we need to clone the Gipper or something.
Another piece is subtited,
Obama doesn’t understand war
Poor thing: Obama can’t be a real man until he kills a whole lot more o’ them thar furriners riotin’ as if it was the day after MLK was wasted—ya gotta nip ‘em the bud afore they run to the 30 yard line.

Shag, please tell us: what can we do with a country living far in the past because its best year was 1776?

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