By Arun Anand Ahuja
Finally, the Republican acolytes in Washington achieved what they had been offering loud and long at the altar of Big Business: a complete government shutdown toward a replacement that does their bidding. Historically across the world, does this strategy sound familiar?
Remember Honduras and Guatemala? U.S. banana importers got those socialist governments shut down so that their own profits could skyrocket.
Then there was Chile. It did not suit American Business interests to have socialist President Allende remain democratically elected, so our Republican President Nixon induced economic warfare and their government was shut down.
Later this same brand of predatory capitalists found new hunting grounds in the Middle East. Thus, they got the CIA to support and enable a coup that shut down the democratically elected government of Iran being led by a PhD so benign he was lauded as “the Gandhi of Iran”.
Emboldened by such successes, these neo-fascists wanted to bring us our next fix of oil, so they got our leadership to say early on that the leader “must go!”, like we said about Gaddafi, and our drone strikes ensured that he was later assassinated and their government shutdown.
Nothing is as cost-effective as simply slicing off the head of a government with a surgical strike. Saves one the bother of negotiating ; and the leader is not around to sue.
In Iraq we could not let go of this thirst for oil. So it was like, “How dare they take over Kuwait that the Brits ( who got their foothold in Kuwait through their East India Company)’protected’ so long at the strategic crotch of the Persian Gulf to gulp oil from the region and ship it over to us!”
So we strangled the Iraqi people for years and years with suffocating sanctions, allowing them food from the Food for Oil program. Then, when we had “softened the enemy” enough, we lied that they had WMD, marched in under the euphemistic banner of “regime change” and shut their government down.
From there it was a piece of giddy cake to say we were looking for one bad guy and shut down the government of Afghanistan.
But the world is changing. CIA-trained Contras were not able to get these yahoos what they wanted: they couldn’t shut down the socialist government in Nicaragua. Cuban American Republicans with Batista brashness have not succeeded in shutting down the communist government in Cuba. Years of jockeying to control oil and gas pipelines through Syria by shutting down Assad’s government are at a standoff only because Russia has teamed with Iran and China against the U.S. , Israel and Qatar.
Still we try. In Venezuela, our capitalists demonized Chavez merely for being a standard socialist. Now his successor is claiming the U.S. is acting clandestinely to support their opposition and commit “economic sabotage”. Who knows if their president is right, but who can blame him for being paranoid, given that demonizing leaders is often a precursor to shutting their governments down.
Besides, so much socialism abroad has been a reaction to the oppressive indignity of indentured servitude that business tycoons have uncaringly fostered. Here in the U.S.A., these self-labeled “business empires” can no longer suck the lifeblood out of its slaves, so now they want to bring back the economic equivalent of food fights among our own poor ; in cut-throat competition for jobs by shutting down our own government with a clearly emerging focus rejecting federally funded Medicaid in states they control, getting those federal workers furloughed, whose job it was to reduce homelessness, or process disability and retirement claims. This brings more starving citizens willing to work for peanuts so that they can pay their rent and eat at the same time. Outsourcing cheap and injurious labor or insourcing through human trafficking is not enough. They want even more profits by shutting down the government, whether here or abroad.
At long last, our formerly spineless democrats and democratic president applied the well known rule that you never negotiate with those who take hostages. This is especially true with the 99% being held hostage by economic blackmailers looking to emasculate President Obama once and for all by shrinking his signature achievement down to nothing. Finally, after years of giving away the store, Democrats said they will not negotiate “with a gun to their head”.
Hopefully this will give pause to those who have not only held a gun to the head of foreign government but also pulled the trigger.