The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

October 26, 2009

The author was a former Under Secretary in the Reagan administration -

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sid Shniad
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2009 4:40 PM
Subject: US Joins Ranks of Failed States

US Joins Ranks of Failed States

By Paul Craig Roberts

October 21, 2009 " <> Information
Clearing House" -- The US has every characteristic of a failed state.

The US government's current operating budget is dependent on foreign
financing and money creation.

Too politically weak to be able to advance its interests through diplomacy,
acks/> US relies on terrorism  and
military aggression.

Costs are out of control, and priorities are skewed in the interest of rich
organized interest groups at the expense of the vast majority of citizens.
For example, war at all cost, which enriches the armaments industry, the
officer corps and the financial firms that handle the war's financing, takes
precedence over the needs of American citizens. There is no money to provide
the uninsured with health care, but Pentagon officials have told the Defense
Appropriations Subcommittee in the House that every gallon of gasoline
delivered to US troops in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $400.

"It is a number that we were not aware of and it is worrisome," said Rep.
John Murtha, chairman of the subcommittee.


According to reports, the US Marines in Afghanistan use 800,000 gallons of
gasoline per day. At $400 per gallon, that comes to a $320,000,000 daily
fuel bill for the Marines alone. Only a country totally out of control would
squander resources in this way.

While the US government squanders $400 per gallon of gasoline in order to
kill women and children in Afghanistan, many millions of Americans have lost
their jobs and their homes and are experiencing the kind of misery that is
the daily life of poor third world peoples. Americans are living in their
cars and in public parks. America's cities, towns, and states
isery_grows_for_cities_and_towns/> are suffering from the costs of economic
dislocations and the reduction in tax revenues from the economy's decline.
Yet, Obama has sent more troops to Afghanistan, a country half way around
the world that is not a threat to America.

It costs $750,000 per year for each soldier we have in Afghanistan. The
soldiers, who are at risk of life and limb, are paid a pittance, but all of
the privatized services to the military are rolling in excess profits. One
of the great frauds perpetuated on the American people was the privatization
of services that the US military traditionally performed for itself. "Our"
elected leaders could not resist any opportunity to create at taxpayers'
expense private wealth that could be recycled to politicians in campaign

Republicans and Democrats on the take from the private insurance companies
maintain that the US cannot afford to provide Americans with health care and
that cuts must be made even in Social Security and Medicare. So how can the
US afford bankrupting wars, much less totally pointless wars that serve no
American interest?

The enormous scale of foreign borrowing and money creation necessary to
finance Washington's wars are sending the dollar to historic lows. The
dollar has even experienced large declines relative to currencies of third
world countries such as Botswana and Brazil. The decline in the dollar's
value reduces the purchasing power of Americans' already declining incomes.

Despite the lowest level of housing starts in 64 years, the US housing
market is flooded with unsold homes, and financial institutions have a huge
and rising inventory of foreclosed homes not yet on the market.

Industrial production has collapsed to the level of 1999, wiping out a
decade of growth in industrial output.

The enormous bank reserves created by the Federal Reserve are not finding
their way into the economy. Instead, the banks are hoarding the reserves as
insurance against the fraudulent derivatives that they purchased from the
gangster Wall Street investment banks.

The regulatory agencies have been corrupted by private interests. Frontline
<>  reports that Alan
Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers blocked Brooksley Born, the head
of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from regulating derivatives.
President Obama rewarded Larry Summers for his idiocy by appointing him
Director of the National Economic Council. What this means is that profits
for Wall Street will continue to be leeched from the diminishing blood
supply of the American economy.

An unmistakable sign of third world despotism is a police force that sees
the pubic as the enemy. Thanks to the federal government, our local police
forces are now militarized and imbued with hostile attitudes toward the
public. SWAT teams have proliferated, and even small towns now have police
forces with the firepower of US Special Forces. Summons are increasingly
delivered by SWAT teams that tyrannize citizens with broken down doors, a
$400 or $500 repair born by the tyrannized resident. Recently a mayor and
his family were the recipients of incompetence by the town's local SWAT
team, which mistakenly wrecked the mayor's home, terrorized his family, and
killed the family's two friendly Labrador dogs.

If a town's mayor can be treated in this way, what do you think is the fate
of the poor white or black? Or the idealistic student who protests his
government's inhumanity?

In any failed state, the greatest threat to the population comes from the
government and the police. That is certainly the situation today in the USA.
Americans have no greater enemy than their own government. Washington is
controlled by interest groups that enrich themselves at the expense of the
American people.

The one percent that comprise the superrich are laughing as they say, "let
them eat cake."

We were part of a group show organized by Steve Tobin / Fire Museum; Steve 
made a video of a section of our set - you can see it here at

Thanks, Alan, and thanks, Steve and Leah

evam topography again for two days only. below.mp4
is the third of the evam materia dejecta trilogy - the other two being
on.mp4 and above.mp4 (both down now). (please don't view if sexual imagery
offends you.)

topography of voyeurism, vision, sight, touch, scent, mind - raveling,
unraveling movement and desire, work of ravishing, position and
meditation, mind everywhere

looking up, riding on, looking down, holding on, holding up, touching on,
mind goes everywhere

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