I just had an eye-opening experience that put things in perspective. Perspective, I believe it’s impossible to grasp unless you experience something that allows you to do so. So I’m at the JSS which stands for Joint Security Station. It’s a compound that coexists with a (usually) small U.S Operations Base or Post. All I do is sit in a room, for a 12 hour shift, and read, write, do school work, and watch DVD’s. The building I am in is inside of one of the National Police buildings and there are always people here, and in the room I have to walk through to get to the “office”. The room I walk through is a pretty much a briefing room, which a couple gigantic satellite imagery maps, bunch of executive type chairs, and a booth like area where someone is always monitoring the radios, oh, and I can’t forget the TV with satellite. Yeah just about every Iraqi that owns a TV has satellite.
So, this eye-opening experience I had, I was walking out of the room where I’m on “duty” and some Iraqi National Police are attentively watching a program in English (if my memory serves me correct) but with Arabic subtitles. I was just passing through but the program caught my attention, it was something political, and at the time I was walking by was talking about Newt Gingrich, George Bush, and the Economy. I stopped for not even a minute because something said on the TV caught my attention, I think it had to do with something Newt said about the bail-out, or maybe something he said a couple years ago about the economy, I can’t quite remember. Anyways the thing that baffled me, and boggled my mind was that these 2 Iraqi’s were standing about 10 feet away, paying a high amount of attention to what was being said. It got me thinking big time. I somewhat wrote something the other day about the “whole world is constantly watching America”, and my witness to this certified what I had wrote. Tonight during my shift, they were watching the movie “Babel” with Brad Pitt (which I liked, but if you’ve ever seen it has a slight political theme/ agenda to it, which is something I like to see in movies).
I think where I am trying to go with this is that, It’s common knowledge that other nations watch other nations, and specifically more dominant nations I think are watched by the less dominant. Our nation and what it was founded on is great! But it’s not so great anymore, and anyone who thinks otherwise is most likely stuck in a state of apathy and willful ignorance. The government profits off of our apathy and willful ignorance! What are you and I going to do in life to make this a better place? We are at critical times and there is a lack of involvement on a citizenry level from high-school aged kids on up. It starts with education, and leads to personal responsibility. Our public school system has done a horrible job at educating kids nation-wide on actual important things in life and in history especially. And NOW! We have presidential candidates that want to start teaching sex-education to kindergarteners! UNBELIEVABLE! Education is important, and this is one of my points, but I just don’t know if the school system should be teaching stuff like that, that is clearly the responsibility of the parent(s). I haven’t put enough thought into if schools should teach such a topic like that, to actually form an opinion one way or the other; I’m getting off topic, so let me redirect. Okay, for young people, how much are you going to pay attention to what’s going on (in the world, specifically at home in the United States) to accept the role you will play in shaping your own future? Anyone who hasn’t developed an interest in politics, whether young or not needs too. Things like war, national security, national defense, the economy, education, social security or other retirement programs, and other issues that have a direct effect on our future. In doing my school work, I came upon a great quote,
“Information dependence makes us more susceptible to others influence”.
I am naïve and ignorant about things, sure; It’s just been in the last year, maybe more that I’ve grown an interest in politics and the economy and I’m 27 years old. At that, part of the reason why I have developed that interest is because of the direction our economy has been headed and will continue to head unless the Fed’s cease intervening. It’s kind of ironic that it takes disasters, or war or a simple trip to a third world country, to spark a wild fire of interest in the brain. Don’t let the media shape and persuade your thinking, we are free-thinkers, keep an open-mind, do not willfully be ignorant.
I want to charge everyone to use their time wisely, especially their “free time” (which we really shouldn’t say, knowing how invaluable time really is). Educate your kids! Start early, how could you go wrong with that? Start challenging the school systems for better education! Start challenging the leaders of our country to rid themselves of double standards, and to put in and to habitual history. What I mean by that is simply put an end to repeating history, especially on the economic and war-front sense. Another quote I’d like to share.
“A great strength of a politician is a lack of hypocrisy.”
That goes all across the board, not just for the politician. We need to start holding our politicians accountable for the hypocrisy, the lies and the secrecy that happens on a daily basis. Another quote which is from my Psychology book goes like this,
“Leadership is the person who exerts the most influence and provides direction and energy to the group.”
I really like that definition of leadership. In closing, I’d like to share one more quote from a political hero of mine. And then share a little bit of history with you, which actually comes straight from my Psychology book. The quote goes like,
“There is no other power greater than the power over money, the power to create and contract the money supply, the power to control the purchasing power over your money. Throughout history this has proven to be the most sought after, monopolistic power of man.” – Ron Paul (1983)
A piece of history that correlates to Social Psychology, specifically something called “groupthink”. Groupthink: A deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment in a group that results from an excessive desire to reach consensus.
On April, 17th 1961, fourteen hundred American-armed Cuban exiles landed on the beaches of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs with the objective of overthrowing its communist government, led by Fidel Castro. The CIA planned this counterrevolution, and President John Kennedy approved it after consulting with his advisers. Their belief was that the Cuban people would welcome the invading force and join them in overthrowing the communists. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Soon after landing on the beaches, loyal Castro forces captured the Cuban exiles. The Cuban citizenry rallied around their communist government, and the United States was humiliated on the world stage.
On March, 19th, 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq with the objective of overthrowing the dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein. The CIA provided (via fabricating) evidence indicating that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Hussein’s government was planning terrorist attacks with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization. Citing this evidence, President Bush approved a pre-emptive military strike. The Bush Administration’s belief was that they would achieve a quick and decisive vicory, the Iraqi people would welcome the invading force, and America would become a beacon of hope for all people in the Middle East.
Like the Bay of Pigs invasion, nothing could have been further from the truth. Sixteen months following the invasion of Iraq, with American soldiers being killed daily, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a highly critical report on the decision making leading up to the war, charging that CIA analysts withheld information from Congress that did not support a military strike. Individual members of the committee also accused the Bush administration of being party on this distortion of information so that it could win public support for the war. In assessing the war’s effects on the nation’s security and prestige, Senate Committee member John Rockefeller stated, “Our credibility is diminished. Our standing in the world has never been lower. We have fostered a deep hatred of Americans in the Muslim world, and that will grow. As a direct consequence, our nation is more vulnerable today than ever before.” How could otherwise intelligent and competent people in two different presidential administrations make such poor decisions? GROUPTHINK! THIS is just one more reason why American’s must persuade (any way we must) the leaders of our country, to clarify and reestablish the line between National Security & National Defense.
(Let me somewhat sidetrack briefly and say) One of the things, Bush won his campaign on in 2000 was his (at that time foreign policy), which he stated, “I think what we need to do is convince the people who live in the lands they live in, to build their nations. Maybe I’m missing something here, are we going to have a nation-building core from America? Absolutely not. Our military is meant to fight and win war, and when it gets over extended, morale drops.” I 100% agree with that statement, but that is something he didn’t stick to, and don’t try and tell me he didn’t stick to it because of September 11th, 2001. We have heard false and lame excuses why we had to pursue a preemptive war of aggression, against an inhostile nation, six thousand miles from our shores that doesn’t even possess a navy or air force, with the pretense that it must be done with national security interest. We should take our marching orders from our Constitution. We should not go to war without a declaration. It’s an unconstitutional road to disaster as us as a nation. Neo-conservatives promoted this war many years before it started, it had nothing to do with al Qaeda, there’s no al Qaeda in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Just think of the weapons the Soviet Union had in the 60’s & 70’s and we did not have to go to war with them. There is no reason to go to war with third world nations. The same people who promoted this war were the same people who said it won’t cost us anything because the oil will pay for it! Sorry, just had to throw that in there, and get that off my chest.
**** Educate, accountability, personal responsibility, zero tolerance to hypocrisy; let those of us who read this strive to understand these things and put them into perspective and practice. Also influence others to do the same. Influence is not always a negative thing; there is a pretty clear line between bad influence and good influence. Let us change OUR future, and the future generations by educating ourselves on history, understanding history and decisions that have been made and how it had a negative or positive impact. And NOT repeating the negative! ****
HOLD CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE!