(If you answer all three questions, you could win a chauffeured trip, coast-to-coast, across the USA. How you get back, depends upon whose car we take!)
1) Exxon Mobil Corporation reports a $10.65 billion first-quarter profit this week (4/28/11). That’s 69% more than for the same period last year. Exxon says that of its record profits less than 3 cents of each dollar comes from its sales of gasoline. From whence does Exxon reap the other 97 cents on each dollar of its “earnings?” (When I was living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado decades ago, the oil companies were the largest owners of US agriculture land which they often held for the purpose of collecting government agricultural subsidies and as economic loss write-offs. They must have come a long way since then in terms of diversifying their lucrative holdings.)
2) According to Amy Goodman’s media contact in Libya, many of the anti-government “rebels” are wealthy professionals who own two or three cars and several homes. Why might these very well-to-do types not be in favor of Qaddafi’s stated belief that no one should own more homes than the ones they and their families need to occupy personally, and that those who are renting out extra homes should turn ownership titles over to the renters?
Bonus Points: Why might those of the privileged classes not value Libya’s completely free education system (which includes full scholarships for studying abroad), or the government provided,universal free health care (which includes coverage for all costs of any medical procedures requiring specialized treatment in a foreign country), or the fact that Libya has been determined to have the highest standard of living in the Arab world? (Hint: It is the same “free-market” masters of the “free world” that the “rebels” have invited to help destroy Libya’s nationalized institutions and socialized programs, who pose as the economic wizards of austerity eliminating or “privatizing” social welfare programs and medical benefits in their own “developed” countries.)
3) How can one explain the differences in the mentality, maturity, and morality of (a) those who glory in romanticizing and sexualizing their involvement in Afghan and Libyan War zones—such as film makers Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger (see his tribute to Tim in Vanity Fair where he describes their mutual love affair with the seductively beautiful War, the flirt who finally chose to dance the last dance with Tim); plus journalist Chris Hedges who in his articles, videos, and acclaimed book War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, also uses sexual and romantic metaphors to explain the “enduring attraction” he feels for war because
it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living… war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics…It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill…
and, on the other hand, (b) those men and women of conscience and integrity who have risked their lives, careers, and personal freedom to protest and denounce US illegal, homicidal military inventions into countries that posed no threat to the security of the US–those courageous Americans like Ethan McCord, Bradley Manning, Camilo Mejia, Ehren Watada, Tanya Austin, Phil Aliff, Jeremy Hinzman, Keven Benderman, Michael Lyons, (if you do not know these names, Google them now), and many, many more known and unknown conscientious objectors, as well as the 100’s of “Winter Soldiers” who bravely testified in 2008, near the nation’s capitol, in Silver Springs, Maryland about the senseless inhumanity and crimes they had witnessed during their military service. And, from which, (a) or (b), would you expect to get insightful analysis of the political and economic goals motivating global capitalists, weapons manufacturers, military contractors, their political representatives and lobbyists to demand sacrificing thousands of working class kids and low-income unemployed “minorities” to War? (For clues see the “Extra Credit Reading Assignment” below.)
4) Yes, I said only three questions. But here is an essay question for fun and mega bonus points: How would you describe the difference between the journalistic content and style of Glen Ford and Mumia Abu-Jamal, vs. that of Amy Goodman and Tom Ashbrook, in their coverage of the US-NATO intervention and war on Libya? (Be brief, succinct; 25 words or less.)
Extra Credit Reading Assignment:
BBC: WikiLeaks posts video of ‘US military killings’ in Iraq
Two US Soldiers Apologize For Wikileaks Massacre Video while stating that this footage only begins to depict the everyday suffering inflicted upon innocent Iraqis under occupation.
We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.
Ethan McCord says that people don’t want to know what war is all about. It is in fact “disturbing”.
But Ethan McCord like most soldiers has a conscious and he is troubled
because of it. He and another soldier at the scene of the July 2007
massacre, Josh Stieber, have written an apology to the Iraqi people.
…There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused… (source: Democracy In Action.org)
Like every other war, soldiers, like McCord, pay for the wars with their
lives and limbs, and their psyches. While they suffer for the atrocities
that they had to commit, the psychopaths that profit from it will not lose an ounce of sleep. In fact, they will continue to amass ungodly wealth for their ungodly actions.
But this is the business of war. It really is a business of mass murder for resources, strategic control, and the maximizing of power and profit. The little Iraqi murdered ones were just pawns in their gruesome game. They have no justice but hopefully they now have peace. Someday it might be that the ones that engineered their deaths, and a million or so more, will find it hard to rest comfortably.
Send All Quiz Answers to moc.oohaynull@2nnyllm within the next 30 days.