America, America …

The twelve-year war in Afghanistan and the ten-year bugging of Merkel make us ask the question of what the fuck the Americans think they are doing.

Are they defending democracy in a Muslim land? No, they are propping up drug lords, and arming fanatics. Will women be freer and more fulfilled when they leave there? No, and some will be killed for their presumptuous new literacy and published essays. Are women better off in Iraq than they were? No, Saddam gave them university educations, and Christians religious freedom, and the present pious mobsters do not, and every marketplace is a war zone, and twenty million Iraqis are sorry America came. What the fuck do they think they are doing? And by what right do they tell other countries how to live?

It is not as though their country is a good example. It has, per capita, more encarcerated prisoners than any other nation. It kills, by gunfire, twenty-eight thousand of its citizens every year. It sold warplanes and cluster-bombs to Assad. It mutated with Agent Orange ten million foetuses who had done no wrong. It denied health care to thirty million Americans, including Obama’s mother, who needed it, and died for want of it.

By what right then does it kill with drones other people of different opinions? It is hard to see how that right is automatic. Fifty thousand children killed at Nagasaki and Hiroshima did not confer it. Twenty thousand children dying a day of global capitalism do not affirm it.

It is time America got out of other countries’ affairs. It’s time they stopped listening to their leaders’ phone calls. They look madder and madder every day. Since Clinton left office, they have been bombing to shit other countries they have no business in, and losing wars right and left. Trillions that could have been spent cleaning up their own act, paying good schoolteachers to do good work in the inner cities, giving Blacks good reasons not to shoot each other, were spent blowing up instead sleeping children in Kandahar, and cows in Uruzguan, and it was money evilly spent.

Until Americans get into their thick skulls that death is a serious penalty for wayward thought there will be no good done by their agents anywhere. Bombs and bullets make no-one change the way they think. The Blitz did not convert Londoners to Nazism. Pearl Harbour did not convert Americans to Shinto. Flat-screen televisions showing CNN and BBC might change a few young minds. But why bother? Why bother? Iran and Afghanistan were adequate emerging social democracies before Americans stuck their bib in, and so was Chile. They should get the fuck out of everywhere.

I watch each night of late Jed Bartlet deciding what to do with other countries’ internal affairs. And I wonder why he bothers. Denmark doesn’t do this. Sweden doesn’t do this. Austria doesn’t do this. New Zealand doesn’t do this. Bhutan doesn’t do this. Why does he? Is his advisors’ expertise better than, say, Hans Blix’s or Kim Beazley’s or Bob Carr’s? Why do they presume to know how to sort things in other countries, when twenty-eight thousand of their own people die of gunfire every year, and half a million are traumatised by it, every year? And thousands of black men await for decades their lethal injection?

Why don’t they clean up their own house first, with money they’re wasting on the trashing of others’?

Just asking.

Leave a comment ?


  1. You know Bob, you are right about this.

    My last trip to Washington, my hosts were driving me on a Friday night to Costco because you can buy Australian wine cheaper there than you can get here. (Koonunga Hill $7) and driving through a black suburb I see blacks spread eagled in the gutter being handcuffed by police just like you see in TV movies. This is considered normal.

    The next day I saw the cops taser another black guy in front of me. I kid you not. Its like the wild West in the streets of Washington DC. The next week after I left, the cops shot and killed a 32 year old unarmed woman who driven my despair crashed her car into a White House bollard. Her baby was found alive in the back seat.

    Everything is cheap in America. Blacks are cheap. Mexicans are cheap. Food is cheap. Life is cheap. They have the economics all figured out.

    We are very lucky to live in Australia.

  2. “Gillard not worried if US spied on her phone

    Ms Gillard, addressing the think tank, said she supported Mr Obama’s pivot strategy.

    Amid reports of American spies monitoring the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel, Ms Gillard joked that she was not worried if the United States listened to her telephone.

    “If my telephone was intercepted when I was prime minister, all that anybody would have heard would have been praise for president Obama,” Gillard said.

    Australia has championed a larger US role in Asia at a time that China’s clout is growing.

    US officials credit former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with helping craft the pivot strategy.

    US allies largely refrained from publicly criticising Mr Obama’s absence, which came as Chinese president Xi Jinping toured Southeast Asia and stressed Beijing’s growing trade and investment.

    Mr Obama insisted that the cancellation of his trip would not do “lasting damage” to the United States and he sent Secretary of State John Kerry instead.

    Mr Obama had also been due to attend the East Asia Summit in Brunei, tour US ally the Philippines and pay the first visit by a US president to Malaysia in nearly half a century.”

  3. Why?
    Because they are a nation of imperialists; founded upon a ideal of liberty and market expansionism that forces them, psychologically propels them, to move outside their own boundary and seek profit interest elsewhere.
    They not only seek it, but create it - culturally, politically, ideologically, physically, socially, militarily.

    It is a condition bequeathed at birth and there seems little if any possibility of arrest.

    On the flip side,
    I sat in the company of an acquaintance recently in a small coffee shop in Brooklyn.
    He had just purchased a pistol, a Desert Eagle with a sniper scope.
    “A sniper scope on a pistol?”, I asked.
    “Yes” he replied, “so that Ive got the lightweight feel and movement of a pistol but with the capacity to take down any mofo at a distance”.
    “Any mofo’s in particular?”, came my gentle interrogation.
    “Anyone really, specially the Government”.

    Robert is a well educated man in a medium tier management position.

    “The Government”

    Good God!!

  4. America requires an external threat, real or imagined, to maintain the level of political and social cohesion necessary to stop it flying apart. The worry for Australia is that it may be creating the same dynamic by blindly accepting the American perception of the world, whether real or imagined. ALP or Coalition, no real difference.

  5. Thank you Bob. Is there a word of your post that isn’t true? Well, I have read that the 28000 of their fellow citizens they kill each year with guns had risen in fact to 33000. The armed madhouse.

    As for their motives -
    Perpetual war for perpetual peace.

  6. Have you guys packed your bug out bag yet?
    Every American, I am told, has one.

  7. I know its unfashionable but Marx did say that capitalism requires never ending expansionism and the resulting capital build up has to be used up in a non returnable manner - which is what endless overseas war does. They really are the real scourge on the planet!

  8. Excellent. Call a spade a fucking spade.

  9. They use war as a Colosseum, to distract. Fox News steers the illiterate, redneck dissenters towards the government and away from the true, internal enemy.

  10. Bob this is off topic as well but I’m having a heated discussion with my son he’s ex army, with regards to a web site called It’s bagging unions specifically the waterside worker during the second world war. My Father remembers Clive Packer leading soldiers down Hickson Road in Sydney to break the strike, I told my son Bob Menzies was loading pig iron for Japan, he doesn’t believe me. Am I right or wrong.

    • A great shot of a cowering Menzies surrounded by a police escort is found here.

      The doco on this page explains it all quite well.

    • Lozza, hubby refers to Menzies as Pig Iron Bob, when I asked him why , he explained that Menzies exported the cheapest iron ore to Japan, it was used to make weapons…
      So Bob Menzies became Pig Iron Bob…

      • Attorney General Menzies said the ship would have to sail
        “If the men refuse to load it we will throw them into jail”
        But our unity was strong - we were solid to a man
        And we wouldn’t load pig-iron for the fascists of Japan

        For the Judas politicians we would pay a heavy price
        The jungles of New Guinea saw a costly sacrifice
        There’s a lesson to be learned that we’ve got to understand
        Peace can only be secured when the people lend a hand

        Clem Parkinson

  11. Rod, you are right. It is all pure Guy Debord - “Society of the Spectacle.”

    Fascist leaning governments using manufactured events to distract the populace to remain in, or gain power.

    Recent local examples would include Babies Overboard, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Stop the Boats, and The Financial Crisis.

    Guy Debord is considered a national treasure in France (1950′s)

  12. Anyone interested in understanding the American psyche should read A Scott Berg’s “Wilson.” Probably the best book written on America’s emergence in the Twentieth Century, and how the personality of the nation was formed.

  13. Why? Because they can.

    The joke version : Where does a 250kg gorilla sleep?

    A : Anywhere it wants to.

    It is extremely naive to think Obama has knowledge of or even ultimate control of what “his” intelligence services are doing.

    They are a law unto themselves and operate independently of political control.

    I daresay they are monitoring the gibberings of just about everyone, if they can; probably they have search engines which notice certain keywords and follow up.

    (PS I don’t want to mention any of them!)


  14. U.S.I.C.. Cipher as follows. %(*&^%^&*$#@!2344&*^%>>>DQ….. Terminate with extreme prejudice.

  15. America, America, America, err! err! err! :shock:

  16. “Howdy Shootin’ Viewers!

    Been away a while, gettin’ armed up!

    Col. JW Magner-Blaster USMC ret reportin’ fer duty!

    Now you lefty Carmnusts may not ‘preciate it, but we uphold the liberty of the free world!

    If’n we didn’t shoot 33,000 of our citizens every year, and lock up three million or so of ‘em, they’d run riot all over the friggin’ world.

    Now I’d recommend you to go out and get the biggest assault rifle you c’n find, ’cause us Americans are gonna be on your @$#& case!

    This means you!”

  17. Some knuckle dragging Congressman from Hogsfart, Kansas on TV last night said of bugging Merkel, “when ya think of what Germans have done before,it’s justified. We have keep on watch to stop the growth of fascism, communism & (wait for it) materialism“. WTF?

    • ‘We have keep on watch to stop the growth of fascism, communism & (wait for it) materialism“.

      That amphibious, THAT, is the funniest thing I’ve heard in quite some time!

  18. Yes it is time America got out of other countries’ affairs. A thought provoking post. Thank you Bob.

  19. Bob, I can only but agree however, we need America, and on the whole, are better off because of America.

    • O say can you see,
      By the dawn’s early light . . .

    • Indeed we do Pedro. Imagine the world if Saddam Hussein had been able to threaten the world with his weapons of mass destruction? God knows what would have happened if Castro had invaded the main land U.S.

      if Putin is not kept in line, we may have WW3 on our hands, not to mention the Chinese who are looking for their own Lebensraum. Imagine for a minute the Iranians getting the bomb. When I see the nutty North Koreans I think, the horror, the sheer horror, thank God for the yanks.

      I would feel much better if the Republicans were in the Whitehouse, next time mayhaps.

    • It’s one of those cans of worms issues. Anyone can cite examples of the good that have come from this country, and if they’re not too biased, the not so good too.

      One-eyed appraisals can’t, don’t, won’t give a complete picture. I’m unconvinced we need the USA, but having said that, there’s a helluva lot of technology that’s come direct from the States into this country, so immediately there is the flaw in that position. It’s easy to cherry-pick examples - arts, sciences, political, financial and economic elements, social and industrial and so on… lots of positive contributions, and lots of grunge and dirty habits that demean humanity.

      I think on balance you’re right that we are better off for having had the relationship, but there ought to be much more clear-headed and self-interested pragmatism about our current and former ties and what they’re about. Imperialists? Absolutely. A self-interested military-industrial complex run by banksters and schemers for whom the the world is seen as a resource to be exploited for profit? It seems so…

      It’s complex. My default position is not unbiased… I’ll cheer when it finally disappears under the waves, Atlantis like, in its final self-sacrificial offering to the rest of the world.

      • Are we not all complicit? Even the Velvet Underground recorded for Verve and Atlantic Records owned by MGM and Warner Bros. respectively.

        The greatest achievement of America has been to make us all willing participants in their crimes and misdemeanors.

        The U.S. is a giant mirror into which the rest of the world peers and preens itself.

        • Is that complicit, or is it using the system for their own purposes?

          An extreme example is the jetliners on 9/11.

        • That’s good, allthumbs, very prescient indeed. We are indeed willing participants in crimes and misdemeanours (and I see you prefer the American spelling of the word…. the rape of the language being one example of their gifts to the rest of the world).

          ‘Your silence will be considered… your assent’, wrote Laurie Anderson in her piece ‘Mambo & Bling’.

          There’s too many examples of our silent assent to crimes committed by America against humanity and gaia to list. Yeh, you’re right. I’m still waiting for the Americans, collectively, to wake up and realise the con job pulled on them over the 9/11 fiasco. It was an inside job, fellas, and your govt is lying to you.

          Helloo… anyone there? Anyone awake yet?

          • I am here Canguro, filling my growling stomach with breakfast and preparing for the day.

            Tocqueville once described America as “unique” and it’s a title I/we reaffirm NOW everyday - “Mad Men” is the best TV I’ve ever seen, Abstract Expressionism & Minimalism were the last meaningful art movements, NYC the greatest city, etc.

            I agree entirely with allthumbs; cultural imperialism has been the country’s most powerful instrument and by allowing it to (absolutely) define our lives we must share responsibility for the crimes committed in its name.

            • Allow? Is it a matter of allowing?

              Do they allow us any options? Few and far between, I say.

              Unless you have had no television, no radio and seen no movies in the last 50 years, nor ventured down a city street, you cannot avoid it.

              No, it is not us capable of doing the allowing.

              • Volition Doug, volition.

                I might add here that the act of will is perhaps the most important question to come out of late 19C & 20C thought.

                Must dash.

              • “Anything you see in me is in you…. I am you…. And when you can admit that you will be free. I am just a mirror.ďż˝?
                Charles Manson
                I played cowboys and Indians, American popular music was my salvation, Hollywood films, I still sometimes pull on my right earlobe with my right hand just like Humphrey Bogart, but I always make sure I never hoist my trousers as high as he did.

                I am as outraged by Richard Nixon as Ellsberg, and can recite the first couple of lines of Lincoln’s Ich bin ein Berliner/tear down this wall Mr.Gorbachev address at Gettysberg.

                I danced with Zelda, kept look out for Lt. William Calley at My Lai, told Custer I didn’t think it a good idea, lynched a nigger in Charlestown, rode in the back of the Enola Gay, said to Neil Armstrong, “you go first�? and “it’s okay I’ll take the bus�? to James Dean. I know the names of twenty American Indian Tribes and could name well over half of the U.S. States in under thirty seconds without taking a breath. The music of Aaron Copeland moves me deeply and conjures up memories of me riding through Monument Valley and the Appalachians, and Savannahs and the rolling hills and badlands of the Dakotas.

                “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die�?, Lou Reed, pfft!

                I’m an American and I don’t even need a green card, don’t even have to visit the place, I like to think of it as home.

                • ….never did any of that stuff myself.

                  I just watched it on TV.

                • Nicely said allthumbs.

                  If there is one thing Americans can do like no other - its Show-Biz.

                  I was at Gettysburg recently and they know how to reenact their wounds. They have everything just like it was on the day, including the corn growing in the fields.

                  I like ‘em.

                  Whether they’re in Hollywood knocking out another blockbuster or doing controlled demolitions on their New York towers - these guys know how to put on a show.

                  I just have a minor quibble about the bastards that got away with murder…

  20. I’ve posted before that I think we are better off for having America in this world than not, and, on balance, I still believe that. But I would like to add another thought: Americans suffer (as do the people of many nations) from a disabling belief in their own mythology. For them, it is the sense of exceptionalism - that God somehow intervened in the affairs of mankind to give them their nation. For us Australians, the mythology is that somehow we are uniquely blessed with the gift of bestowing a “fair go” on one and all. Both are self-deceptions that prevent us from seeing ourselves as we are.

    • ‘Fair go’ has a chance under Labor, never with Abbott as PM.

    • Glow worm, 2 quick thoughts:

      “we are better off for having America in this world than not”

      - Yes, by an accident of birth we enjoy the privileges of this system, a system that exploits others to provide us this advantage.
      Should an accident of birth be the determinant of hope and happiness, health and education?

      - Re: mythologies. Who do you think we are; what do you think are the defining characteristics or myths of the Australian identity?

      It’s a most interesting question and perhaps reveals more about the respondent than those one purports to define.

      • Thanks Judd - may I answer this way?

        Accident of birth is what it is, accident of birth. You can share your good fortune or suffer your misfortune as you must/can/do. And surely the Americans are not unique - the British Empire would have to take first prize in the exploitation of human suffering to hold on to their colonial possessions. And here’s the thing: that would make Australians the beneficiaries (twice blessed!) of fortunate accident of birth. Shouldn’t we be asking what we do with that gift?

        I’m actually not sure what defines the Australian character completely. What troubles me more is the ease with which we accept that we are blessed with a uniquely egalitarian ethos, and truly believe in a “fair go”. ‘Stop the Boats’ worked its magic on roughly half the population.

        I think mythologies paralyze people (and nations) and prevent them from dealing with contradictions and conflict. Germans (cheap shot, I know) were swept up in a ‘master race’ mythology not so very long ago.

        • “You can share your good fortune or suffer your misfortune as you must/can/do.”

          How can a country foolishly talk about ‘fair go’,if as you say you MUST SUFFER your misfortune.
          Caring countries, caring governments make is possible, make sure, that everyone has indeed a fair chance out of the unfortunate start…

            • Yes, I agree Helvi - how can a country foolishly talk about a ‘Fair Go’ when ‘Stop the Boats’ works better these days, wouldn’t you say? Even when Labor was in, it was all about keeping asylum seekers as far away from Australia as possible … Malaysia, new Guinea …

  21. Chris, thank you for the Guy Debord information. It’s all about understanding their evolving predatory methods.

    My gratitude also to Bob Ellis, Joe Bageant and John Ralston Saul, and most of the contributors here.

  22. There is more than one Amerika:

    “I remember one time - it might have been a couple times - … I was opening for this sorry-ass cat named Steve Miller. Steve Miller didn’t have shit going for him, so I’m pissed because I got to open for this non-playing motherfucker just because he had one or two sorry-ass records out. So I would come late and he would have to go on first and when we got there we smoked the motherfucking place…ďż˝?
    ― Miles Davis

  23. Thanks for Woody Allen making the ‘must suffering’ bearable. The problem of suffering only becomes relevant when contemplating the Sarah Palin culture and MacDonald.( or if you break a leg while there)

    • Yes Gerard, some of them are funny too…

    • Gerard (and Helvi) I hope we are not at cross-purposes over my use of the term must/can/do in relation to suffering. I meant it in terms of “needs must”, that is, necessity compels. In current usage this phrase is used to express something that is done unwillingly but with an acceptance that it can’t be avoided. In the context of my post, I was replying to Judd that we should use the gift of our circumstances more generously than we currently seem to be doing.

      I would be interested in your views on the mythology of national character. My opinion is that Australians like the phrase ‘fair go’ and are rather chuffed that it is applied to them, but is it true? Was it ever? Where did it come from? What, exactly, does it describe?

      Just asking.

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