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The Deplorable State of US Governance
By Stephen Lendman
|America is owned and run by powerful interests. Politicians and bureaucrats
Elections when held assure dirty business as usual always wins. A nation permanently at war risks ending like on earth.
Fundamental freedoms are disappearing, police state laws replacing them. Monied interests alone matter, at the expense of beneficial social change.
Conditions for ordinary Americans are deplorable. Poverty is a growth industry, unemployment and underemployment at Depression era levels, human deprivation a major unaddressed issue.
America devotes an inordinate amount of spending on militarism and imperial wars. Essential homeland needs go begging.
Russia is public enemy number one. During her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton disgracefully compared Vladimir Putin to Hitler, citing nonexistent “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.
Media scoundrels vilify him unjustly. So do most congressional members. Most Americans are too out-of-touch, distracted and uninformed to distinguish between facts and fiction.
A Wednesday brouhaha erupted in the US Senate. Neocon John McCain accused libertarian Rand Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin.”
The debate was over advancing tiny Montenegro for NATO membership. If approved by 28 current members, it would be the first addition since Albanian and Croatian accession in 2009.
Last year, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic signed the Accession Protocol.
US-installed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the move “a clear sign that NATO’s door remains open for partners that share and promote our values.”
The country’s population is less than one million. It’s more like a medium-sized city than nation, with minimum military capabilities. Despite having no enemies, it’s moving toward joining NATO, defying public opinion against it and democratic principles.
Why all the fuss in the US Senate - because its ascension is symbolically anti-Russia. Last year, its lower house State Duma Defense Committee chairman Vladimir Komoyedov responded angrily, saying NATO is “ready to admit even the North Pole (to) encircl(e) Russia.”
It shows the US-dominated Alliance “was and remains an adversary of Russia.” Its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted the move, saying “it merely confirms the intention of Brussels to accelerate the admission process to the maximum extent and make it irreversible.”
After Rand Paul blocked an undebated Senate vote, long an advocate of less US interventionism, McCain exploded, saying “(h)e has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians,” adding:
“The senator from Kentucky (Paul) is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
Of course, no Russian threat exists and Paul isn’t working for its leader or government.
McCain asked for unanimously approving Montenegro’s ascension to NATO. Paul voted no, left the Senate chamber, and said it’s “unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion dollar debt.”
“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and perhaps elsewhere).”
“In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO," he added.
Separately, he said McCain “makes a really, really strong case for term limits. I think maybe he is past his prime. Maybe he has gotten a little bit unhinged.”
“His foreign policy is something that would greatly endanger the United States…If you guys are ready to send a million troops into Ukraine and fight world war three, you’re going to do it without my support.”
NATO Membership requires unanimous approval by member states. Unanimous Senate ratification is required without debate, or a two-thirds majority after a full one.
So far, 25 of 28 NATO states support Montenegro’s ascension.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.