Cross-posted at dailyKos (where it will vanish in a heartbeat)

with a bow to RubDMC

…They don’t think George Bush is mean-spirited or prejudiced, but have become aware that his administration is irresponsible and often incompetent… They don’t think America is an imperialist brute, but are angry that the case to invade Iraq was exaggerated, are worried that we have unnecessarily alienated existing and potential allies around the world, and are ashamed by events like those at Abu Ghraib which violate our ideals as a country.

 — Barack Obama (D-IL)

I’ve been thinking about this tone all day. In my view, there is very little truth in it, especially when one is mindful of the photos and words RubDMC has been posting for the past 269 days.

Maybe America does think the way Senator Obama says they do. But if that is true, I’m just as ashamed of that thinking as I am of Abu Ghraib.
Some more snippets of tone and truth. I report. You decide.

I will never apologize for the United States of America — I don’t care what the facts are.

 — President George Bush Sr. (R-Unapologetic Empire)

U.S. arms sales go to dictators

 Washington, DC, May. 25 (UPI) — President George W. Bush may have pledged to promote democracy around the world, but most U.S. arms sales to the developing world still go to prop up dictatorial regimes, according to a new report.

The report, issued by the New York-based World Policy Institute, found that a majority of U.S. arms sales to the developing world go to regimes defined as undemocratic by the State Department. It also says that U.S.-supplied arms are involved in a majority of the world’s active conflicts.

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.

 — Michael Ledeen, holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (R-Evil Unapologetic Empire)

The Arithmetic of America’s Military Bases Abroad: What Does It All Add Up to?

According to the Defense Department’s annual “Base Structure Report” for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and has another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. Pentagon bureaucrats calculate that it would require at least $113.2 billion to replace just the foreign bases — surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic product of most countries…

Visitors to Australia like myself, are expected to answer the following question when they fill in the visa form: Have you ever committed or been involved in the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity or human rights? Would George Bush and Tony Blair get visas to Australia? Under the tenets of International Law they must surely qualify as war criminals.

However, to imagine that the world would change if they were removed from office is naive. The tragedy is that their political rivals have no real dispute with their policies. The fire and brimstone of the US election campaign was about who would make a better ‘Commander-in-Chief’ and a more effective manager of the American Empire. Democracy no longer offers voters real choice. Only specious choice.

Even though no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq – stunning new evidence has revealed that Saddam Hussein was planning a weapons programme. (Like I was planning to win an Olympic Gold in synchronized swimming.) Thank goodness for the doctrine of pre-emptive strike. God knows what other evil thoughts he harbored – sending Tampax in the mail to American senators, or releasing female rabbits in burqas into the London underground. No doubt all will be revealed in the free and fair trial of Saddam Hussein that’s coming up soon in the New Iraq.

 — Arundhati Roy, Speech on Accepting the Sydney Peace Prize

Maybe sometimes you just want to be on the side of whoever is more likely to take a bunker buster to Arundhati Roy.

 — Tom Frank (in The New Republic)

Every gun and rocket that is fired, every warship launched, signifies, in a final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

 — Dwight Eisenhower

As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize — or do not want to recognize — that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire — an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.

 — Chalmers Johnson

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