‘We have lost respect’ – former US Senator
Published: 22 November, 2011, 15:36
Edited: 23 November, 2011, 12:46
US soldiers sit on a military plane travelling across Afghanistan on October 8, 2011. Afghanistan has marked 10 years since the start of the US-led war against the Taliban, amid heightened security and questions over what the next decade will hold (AFP Photo / Tauseef Mustafa)
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The US is like a drunkard who charges to war with anyone who might pose a threat, ex-Senator and former US presidential candidate Mike Gravel says.
“I like the US. But at the same time I think my country is an imperial country that is going downhill, and our leadership does not even acknowledge the problem,” confesses Gravel.
“Phony triumphalism has turned into a device to make Americans live in fear of a terrorist attack, yet you are a thousand times more likely to catch cancer than ever be hurt by that,” he points out.
“All I can say about what the US is doing – it‘s immoral,” Gravel says, explaining that “as a result of 9/11, we have altered our moral compass. And people began to get used to brutalizing each other.”
“We Americans used to think ‘oh, what happened in Germany could never happen with us!’ Well, it is happening with us. And it is happening to the detriment of our global position.”
“In Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Vietnam at the era, all American soldiers died in vain,” Gravel claims, recalling the millions of war victims in Vietnam, which is now developing along its own path, regardless.
New American policies enable US military or security officials to take a decision and dispatch a drone to kill a suspect without trial – together with all civilians who happen to be close to the target, Gravel says.
“The morality of that is removing responsibility – those who drop bombs [from remotely operated robot drones] do not see people die,” he says.
“We have not matched the progress in the private sector of technology and science with the ability to govern ourselves in a proper fashion. We do not have a democracy. We have a system of representative governments worldwide, and that is not good enough for people to govern themselves in the XXI century,” argues the former Senator.
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President Barack Obama is
“guilty of crimes against humanity after the operation in Libya and the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq”
– and Mike Gravel has got proof.
“He [Obama] was asked whether or not there would be a possibility that we begin an investigation of the invasion in Iraq by George Bush – which was an absolute crime. What was Barack Obama’s response? ‘We don’t look back’. That means we do not want you, the American citizens, to see what happened, because you may turn around and accuse us of the same thing,” Mike Gravel says, “it’s even worth than that. It is not an accusation. He has been doing exactly the same thing as George Bush did.”
“Most people are unaware of the fact that over the last year, the Obama administration chased out of the United States… over 500,000 people. If we had a media that is all honest – this would have been front page and hotly discussed,” he reveals.
“Obama is raising a billion dollars for his re-election campaign, and he has made a statement which demonstrates what respect he has for the people. He made the statement ‘We’re not going to take any money from special interests’. I tell you – the billion dollars come from special interests,” ex-Senator Gravel accuses.
He believes beating the drums about attacking Iran is very dangerous and marks the irresponsibility of the Israeli leadership.
“I’m not saying anything new – Sarkozy says Netanyahu is a liar – so in my humble status as a private citizen – I tell you Netanyahu is a liar, because he has made statements about Iran that are absolutely ridiculous – all this to create fear among people in Israel.”
Mike Gravel recalled the Bush-created syndrome of ‘bunker mentality’ that rules people with fear.
“Iran is neither Syria nor Lebanon. Iran is a proud nation and they have missile capabilities – not nuclear-capable – that can rain down on Tel Aviv. I can tell you: if they are attacked – they would attack back. And [because] Israel is so vulnerable and so small that it [Israel] would retaliate with nukes – because they cannot suffer to be destroyed,” Mike Gravel predicts, adding that Pakistan and China would join in, with the US to follow – and that is a ready scenario for a nuclear WWIII.
“The best way to solve the problem with Iran is to leave it alone to build a democracy of its own.”
Asked about the power of corporations said to ‘own the government’, Mike Gravel pointed out that corporations are designed to be responsible only to their shareholders, not to the government or the people.
“Corporations need to be regulated, they are not democracies,” he says. “In fact corporations have no morality and no memory – they are just designed to make money. They should not be in command of society – which they are, worldwide, today.”
“That has to change, because this is going to lead to the destruction of our planet,” insists Gravel. “Irresponsible corporate activity must be controlled.”
“People are free if they participate in power. I know of no country in the world today where the people are really free,” he concluded.