Archives for posts with tag: manifest destiny

email header of Senator Tester’s “Veterans Newsletter”

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—it’s an honor to serve veterans in Montana and across the country every day as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Since taking the gavel last January, my top priority has been addressing toxic exposure in a comprehensive way. And in a way our veterans deserve.

Over the past few years we’ve made great strides in addressing military toxic exposures—from the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to the Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act, these historic laws continue to provide long-overdue benefits and care to tens of thousands of veterans suffering as a result of their exposure.

But, our work for the men and women who’ve sacrificed so much is far from over.

That why I’m proud to announce we’re moving the needle once again for toxic-exposed veterans with the introduction of my Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act—bipartisan legislation to offer Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, access to VA health care.

Right now, nearly one-third of the 3.5 million Post-9/11 combat veterans exposed to toxic substances are not able to access VA care—and that’s a serious problem. Without action, more veterans will pay the ultimate price while waiting for the treatment they need. That’s why this bill is so critical.

The good news is, back in Washington we’re working hard to keep up our end of the bargain. Just last week, my Committee unanimously passed the bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act.

This kind of swift, bipartisan action is a testament to what can be accomplished when results are prioritized over politics. And I’m proud the Committee is doing its part to connect a generation of burn pit veterans with the care they need—care they can’t wait for any longer.

While this a great start—it’s only our first step in our three-step approach to deliver for all generations of veterans suffering from the conditions related to toxic exposure. This bipartisan solution is consistent with my COST of War Act, and is a priority that can garner the support it needs from across the aisle to make it to the President’s desk.

I’m committed to seeing this process through, and will continue waging this effort until we deliver quality health care and benefits to the folks who’ve earned it.

We started this fight, and together we’re going to finish it.

Or so says the mail in my box from my (nominal) USA senator from Montana. I’ve kept up a legal residence address in Montana over these past going on 15 years exile, so I suppose I could have voted if I wished to, but I see no point because the USA is a corporate-captured oligarchy. No matter which way you vote, it is a self-deceit, it is the lobbyists’ money in DC buy the lot of politicians. Senator Tester’s lip-service opposing “Citizens United” granting corporations equal rights to citizens notwithstanding, it’s colossal corporate amounts of money own us. Especially the unaccountable ‘dark money’ invested in elections by practically anyone with wealth & power, notably corporate proxy billionaires that amount to American oligarchs; Soros, the Koch brothers, Gates & too many more to count, ad nausea.) [1]

My reply to Senator Tester:

Dear Senator Tester

It’s good someone is attempting [to] bring the level of care to the veterans’ community to point of what’s fair and right. Now, how about considering the cost of the toxic exposure at its root; maintaining empire? At this point in our American history, how can it not be clear our veterans have been cannon fodder for Dow-DuPont, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Chevron and too many more recipients of what amount to profiteering contracts; pushing armaments sales and/or geopolitical posturing/positioning at the price of not only the lives, blood and health of our soldiers but the colossal and horrific price we have put on humanity elsewhere while sacrificing immense good will towards ourselves to point of our being increasingly hated around the world as a matter of fact and expectation. As a USA veteran of our foreign wars, I want [to see] an ‘End the Toxic Exposure to American Corporate Profiteering Empire Act.’

Thank you and sincerely

Ron West

I waited all week for the reply I very much doubted would be forthcoming; from the man who swears by his loyalty to American veterans but lacks the insights and/or balls to take on the policies that basically serve as a wrecking-ball for the USA soldiers’ lives and health; in relation to the USA’s imperial behavior abroad causing immense damage to other nations peoples’ lives, health & livelihoods, and not least, the hit-job on international law that attends this USA policy of ‘exceptionalism’ that is the 21st Century’s heir to the policy of ‘Manifest Destiny.’ This policy had ruthlessly over-run North America’s indigenous nations by force of arms with attending and very much self-serving ‘color of law’ cancelling treaties as might be convenient at any given moment. There is nothing new in what we’re looking at today except for the scale & lethality have grown immensely. It’s a mentality, a mindset, a meme.

As you sow, so shall you reap

In today’s case of messing with Russia, these words could come true.




For years informed people (includes myself) had been pointing out a known principle of social physics in relation to the western democracies aggressions abroad; ‘force escalates violence’ also known as ‘blow-back.’ In the military application of this principle, if you are a line officer, you are well aware when increased force is committed to assaulting an enemy position, the cadence or pace of firing increases. The immediate effect will be increased destruction & casualties, and the aftermath will be either control of the enemy position or having been repulsed. In either case, the attacking force might then see a counter-attack, depending on the battlefield resources and one side’s superior ability to recover manpower and munitions (logistics) in relation to the other. In past times, this micro-cosmic battlefield phenomena reflected a larger social reality in outcomes; States and societies enforcing one’s will upon another. The evolution of the resultant laws of war is primarily based in European history and can trace its roots to Imperial Rome and beyond, to the time of Plato and Alexander.

The larger European culture had exported this social aggression to the world abroad, to feed its own intra-cultural aggressions via the wealth exploited from the so-called ‘uncivilized’ or  ‘undeveloped’ world (colonialism), such as the silver mines of Peru funding the Spanish Armada. Colonies funding European cultural aggression has been their primary function despite self-justifications such as bringing ‘civilization’ to those (Europeans historically presume) less culturally developed than themselves. Such attitudes are not far beneath the surface as cultural driving forces to this day and we see it not only in the Euro-centric history our children are taught but also in the images and rhetoric. Whether in the inter-cultural aggression monument to Columbus at Barcelona:


Or the intra-cultural aggression in a monument to the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig:


Or Napoleon’s so-called ‘burial’:


Or Germany continuing celebration of historical warmongers such as Prussian King Frederick II who put Germans on the path to become the nastiest regime in modern history:


Or ‘American exceptionalism’ where Obama states: “I believe that America is exceptional. In part because we have shown a willingness, through the sacrifice of blood and treasure, to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interest, but for the interests of all.”  The NAZIs believed they were exceptional as well:


All of these elements celebrate European cultural aggression, whether inter or intra-cultural aggression, in a sense portrayed with pride. What is missing from the imagery and rhetoric in the European (includes USA) cultural experience is the utter lack of any examination of repeated and compounded consequence of pursuing empire:


Whether a ‘Reichstag fire’ or an event manipulated to same effect by perpetrators of imperialism, ‘blow-back’ is real, from reactions to war-profiteering enterprises (Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, JP Morgan, et al) capitalizing on 9/11 to an Afghan national who only the other day put his finger in my face and stated “I have a problem with you” because I’m an American and Americans are unnecessarily blowing up women and children in Afghanistan with airstrikes and drones.

So, what is imperialism? It is a concept central to European mentality in ways they are not even aware of. I don’t agree with every motive for and proposed solution to imperialism in this following video but I do agree with the fact imperialism is the most destructive force on earth, that it is Euro-centric cultural mentality and that it must be contained, reversed and ended. I do not believe Euro-centric mentality is race based White Supremacy, I believe this is only one self-justifying rational for manifestation of a cultural mentality that employs religion, science and more, to justify an infectious, ego-based narcissism and attending aggressive, violent greed that ultimately transcends race. North Korea’s Kim, as well the Black kleptocrats who’ve hijacked South Africa, or for that matter, Obama, are little different to any European Whites in their narcissistic motives and behaviors in my view. Kim would probably join the capital club tomorrow if the USA would give up hypocritical demands of democracy & human rights and pull the war games out of North Korea’s face, and South Africa’s new Black oligarchs seem to believe they can snooker South Africans indefinitely with the USA turning a blind eye because they have become ‘players.’ Obama’s policies look like the policies of George Bush on steroids, except covered up by media allowing Obama to be a convincing liar and Obama can actually speak decent English, two things Bush could never really master. But it is easy to see how White Supremacist motive would be interpreted as the progenitor of imperialism, because imperialism as we know it in these modern times not only originated with, but has been largely sustained by Europe and consequent aligned Euro-centric cultures and mentality, particularly the USA. We know from history that White captive children raised Native American never wished to return to the White community (mentality.) It’s just White people’s (and consequently the world’s) bad luck the mentality behind imperialism took root in Europe, in my estimation.

All that said, I challenge everyone who has read this short essay to watch this video in its entirety. It is multiple voices hammering on a single theme … attempting to define imperialism. I know some of these people and respect them a LOT. Not because we always agree (we don’t always agree) but because they care immensely about pulling our world out of its downward spiral and that is a noble goal we all should share:


Note on the video: The included ‘double tap’ footage from Wikileaks is the only leak of Private Manning (as an armed forces member) I feel was legally justified, because it is a war crime of murdering people who’d arrived to evacuate the wounded, on top of it is obvious from the voice recording the attack helicopter crew had no clear knowledge of who they were firing on. For the record, I am a staunch supporter of Snowden.

Afterthought: The USA and Western Europe aggressively pushing Russia into a corner with the destabilization of Ukraine (latest in a long list of provocations) on behalf of present (Yulia Tymoshenko, example given) and future oligarchs in a push for world-wide American corporate ‘manifest destiny’, may become the case of intra-cultural European aggression that forces Russia, with a LOT to lose, to end the ‘great game’ once and for all.

Something to think about in a nuclear armed world…


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