Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter #7 - Economic Sequestration and the Annual AIPAC Conference

Today begins the annual three day AIPAC lobbyist conference in Washington that epitomizes one of the most debilitating areas in American representative democracy governance, both in domestic and international policy making.  Over half the U.S. Congress will attend the most powerful lobbyist group’s gala, along with Vice President Biden.  Just days after the implementation of economic sequestration, all U.S. congressional representatives and cabinet members in attendance at the AIPAC conference will make further promises of economic and military support to a foreign government while American jobs are reduced, especially within the government, military and at the state levels.  I would like to be able to point at the large amounts of foreign aid, and the political foreign policies of the U.S., as an evenly laid problem across the globe, but I feel that if I even attempted to do so, it would be a gross misrepresentative of what is occurring, as the center of concentration seems to be focused on one foreign nation-state, that which is represented by the most powerful lobby in the United States.  Again, I will shout from the mountaintop and repeat what has already been observed.  The U.S. has provided the nation-state of Israel with over 3 billion dollars a year since the beginning of the 1950s, and in the face of American domestic budget reductions, you may or may not choose to tally up that total amount.  In addition, Egypt has been awarded over 2 billion dollars a year since Mubarak became leader of Egypt, in order to buy security for the south flank of Israel and protect the water and oil pipelines, and the Dimona nuclear facility, in the Negev.  In the aftermath of the Egyptian so-called Arab Spring, and the election of President Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, U.S. policy makers have dangled the economic ‘carrots’ to the new regime of Egypt in order to attempt to continue the security to Israel’s southern flank.  Just over the weekend, the first weekend in March 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Egypt and released 250 million dollars of “carrots” to the new regime, which is the first payment in an annual 1 billion dollar U.S. funding plan (which is a reduction from the annual aid given during the Mubarak regime, but is pending until the new regime in Egypt bends the knee.  Keep in mind that the first F-16s and Abram tanks, from a deal made with the Mubarak regime, were recently transferred to Egypt.  I will admit that there were a few congressional members that attempted to halt these transfer, but they did so for the wrong reasons (because they worried that Egypt under Morsi could not be bought).   Of course, U.S. foreign aid alone has not placed the United States under the levels of debt which has resulted in sequester.  Ten years of military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan were notable contributions to that massive debt, and many domestic programs which the American people must reflect on and eventually reform.  The opening of the military occupation in Afghanistan, which was followed by heavy economic costs of state rebuilding, was in the aftermath of 9-11.  I do not divulge myself to conspiracy theories, but I also do not doubt any levels foreign or domestic political intrigue after studying the brutality of human history.  Iraq was a military intervention, occupation and state reconstruction heavily pushed by the lobbyist organization of AIPAC on behalf of their foreign masters.  The same political, and economic, push on U.S. congressional votes has been implemented towards Iran, and will be a heavy topic during the annual AIPAC lobbyist conference occurring over the next three days and beyond.
As these military events, underscored by private sector profiting, have led us to our current economic dilemma, we can look across the domestic United States to see several repercussions from reckless policy making in Washington.  Some of the largest domestic areas where Americans have been hit are on the federal and state levels.  The military is taking a large economic reduction, slated for the next decade, which will cost many American family leaders their careers due to the downsizing.  While many leftists do not support the military, it must be mentioned that the military is only an instrument of the government and it is Congress, vulnerable to influences through representative democracy, who votes for utilization of the military on behalf of the nation.  Using one branch of the military as an example, the United States Marine Corps is slated to be cut 1.4 billion dollars for the remainder of FY13 and 2 billion dollars each fiscal year for the next 9 years.  American civilians working for the U.S. military are beginning a furlough process significantly reducing work hours and income.  At the state level, states will also feel the trickle down cuts and there will be reductions in state law enforcement areas and education.  While the American streets are flooded with drugs and crime, the spending reductions at the state levels will result in early lost jobs, the inability to appoint civilian review boards, the early release of criminals, and suspended sentences.  The reason why this area is economically impacted is because when state facilities are filled to capacity and it must be noted that since the emergence of private prisons that the building of state facilities has been drastically reduced, the state is required to pay the private sector prison for housing the surplus inmates.  We will not discuss the issue of the so-called war on drugs that fill the prisons and drain the state budgets here, but even though this incarceration may be aimed to reduce employment rates on paper, create near slave labor, and generate profit for the shareholders of private sector corporations….each American should be teaching their children about the social-economic trap in advance.
As we come full circle through the economic condition of the United States after decades of irrational foreign aid amounts to Israel and policies solely on behalf of Israel’s protection, military occupations and the costs of rebuilding Israeli friendly regimes in places of the toppled regimes, we again prepare to watch our Congressional Representatives at the annual foreign lobbyist conference making promises of loyalty and economic-military assistance to Israel as if we have not been drained for half a century now.  While the nation begins our sequester, AIPAC aims to exempt Israel from U.S. foreign economic and military aid, and gain U.S. promises of support for a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran, or even better situated for our so-called ally…have the depleted U.S. military take on the economic, political and human costs of doing it for them (as we were hoodwinked into Iraq).
Here, we will once again briefly focus on the flaw of representative democracy and the vulnerability of corporate or foreign manipulation.  Each congressional representative represents a vote, and some are even strategically placed on important Congressional sub-committees that deal specifically with foreign policy or fiscal budgets.  While the average American, if they care to pay attention at all, is allotted one House representative and one Senator for their specific geographic location in which they may write or call (and talk to an intern), the lobbyist organization are able to work every House and Senate member (vote) across the board until they influence (or purchase) enough votes to accomplish their foreign government’s intent (such as foreign aid amounts, sanctions against other nation-states, and eventual U.S. military action).  And sadly, the human element is vulnerable to greed and individual career security (at the cost of the collective), and therein lies the vulnerability of representative democracy. 
The few Americans who will watch the AIPAC conference over the next three days will clearly see this process at work, even though it is a parasitic process that continues year round in Washington, and not just three days of televised lobbyist conference.
When is enough “ enough”?  How long will these Congressional representatives continue to sell out the United States of America?  How long will our fellow Americans walk about with no concerns for the future?  There is nothing worse than an empty headed American adult with no concerns for domestic or international events which directly impact their children’s future.