4.19 Update: be observant
“Duty, Honor, Country—those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”
This is an excerpt from a speech that General Douglas MacArthur gave on May 12, 1962 in front of cadets at West Point while he was accepting an award. The first three words are the very foundation on which the US military is built upon; the belief that there is something greater than nation that holds soldiers of war to a moral conduct.
I’ve heard variations of the opening motto MacArthur used in his speech, a lot of veterans I’ve met over my life frequently say “for God, honor and country”. In each case, country is last. Why is that? Because patriotism without virtue is bankrupt. Sadly, moral bankruptcy is the state of our world; the vices of greed and self-pursuit threatening to destabilize society and loosen planetary strife.
It doesn’t have to be this way, contrary to popular belief, God’s green earth has enough resources to nourish 20 billion people let alone the nearly 8 billion we have before us. Yet, on a planet that is 71% water, capital traders and corporate swindlers peddle the ludicrous notion of water insecurity. Instead of coming up with ways to make food more available, evil corporations like Monsanto are engineering single cycle seeds to ensure that farmers can’t sustain their own crop without buying seeds from Monsanto one harvest cycle at a time. This is how capitalism works; without planned scarcity, there is no way to profit from humanity.
Not only do major corporations create scarcity by restricting access to resources, imperialist governments and their globalist masters induce bloodshed on almost every continent save Antarctica. Even Antarctica is now feeling the weight of unbridled greed as nations wrangle over who gets to exploit and destroy it the same way they destroy everything else they touch. They do so by creating order out of chaos in order to steal the natural wealth of nations. The harrowing pictures of death and destruction in Venezuela, Syria, Ethiopia and beyond are not happening by happenstance; countries don’t become failed states without outside intervention. There is never enough slaughter for jackals who profit through bloodshed.
Why should you care?
We live in the wealthiest country in the world; disconnected as we are from the troubles of the world by two oceans and a vast sea of indifference. Why should the multiplying injustices of the world bother us? The answer is simple: what is being done to billions of people around the world is washing up on the shores of America, France, the United Kingdom and beyond. The Yellow Vest movement is but the tip of the iceberg; decades of mismanagement and malpractice by western governments have given rise to a popular discontent that is simmering as the people seethe. Bailouts for bankers and austerity for their victims has stirred the passions of people—the plutocracy fear guillotine solutions.
Have you noticed how the outrage over Donald Trump’s decision to use the military to build America’s version of gestapo walls is limited to partisan bickering and doesn’t discuss the wider context of his illegalities? I have yet to hear one Democrat denounce Trump for contravening the United States Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act when he declared a national emergency with the intention of using the military to build the wall.
“The Congress shall have Power to…raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years”.
This is an exact quote from Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution that defines and constrains the powers of Congress. The framers of the Constitution feared that a central government could impose upon Americans the very despotism of King George they rebelled against. Proving that all revolutions devolve into the same tyrannies that gave rise to them, in less than a generation after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, federalists hijacked the United States, abolished the ideals of limited government and representative democracy and foisted upon America a troika of government, corporations and oligarchs. The military-industrial complex has morphed into an uncontrollable beast that is destroying nations abroad and consuming us with debt domestically. Moreover, the militarization of America and the policing of the world flies directly in the face of the founders intentions.
We have become that which some of the founders feared. George Washington advised a humble feign policy, our government insists of blitzkrieging around the planet. Washington also advised against factionalism and political parties, we now have two criminal enterprises that have effectively euthanized our democracy. Benjamin Franklin counseled the American public to be vigilant and to keep the Republic, the public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dog seem like an in independent thinker—to view voting not as a means to a change but as the end upon itself. The intersection of federalism and corporatism are the core of all these iniquities that have degraded our nation and the world by extension.
It worked for a while, the pyramid scheme they implemented built a flourishing middle class as the industrial age lifted America to global economic preeminence. This paradigm climaxed in the 1950s as the United States greatly benefited from the dividends of war. Contrary to popular belief and the indoctrination of public education, Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not lift America out of the grips of the Great Depression. It was the boon generated by the military-industrial complex that lavished wealth upon this land.
The boon ended in the 1980s, for a lot of Americans stuck at the bottom of America’s caste system, the boon never started. The unabated greed of corporations and the short-sighted hubris of globalists generated a planetary sprint to accumulate riches for a few by indenturing humanity into debt in the present and dependency into the future. After centuries of “third world nations” bearing the brunt of imperialists, the chickens came home to roost in places like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland and towns and cities throughout America.
What is true of America is true of the UK, France and prosperous countries throughout Europe. Ours is a time similar to the society that Charles Dickens perfectly captured in his book “A Tale of Two Cities”. If you want to know why the French Revolution occurred and how the Parisian aristocracy lost their collective heads, A Tale of Two Cities is a must read to understand the undercurrents that gave rise to mob justice in Paris, Nice and beyond. The people can only take so much before they push back, when they do, it often devolves into bedlam as decades of pent up frustrations lead to mass carnage.
I don’t write these things to inflame passions or to encourage violence; to the contrary, I disavow violence all together. I am intimately aware of the hell that revolutions unleash; my birth land Ethiopia was drowned by the blood of more than 500,000 men, women and children massacred by the Derg government and their outside enablers. The famine of Ethiopia in 1984 did not take place in a vacuum any more than the famine in Yemen is currently unfolding by chance, the internecine wars we see in far flung corners of the world and the destruction that metastasizes globally are induced by jackals (paramilitary forces and covert soldiers) that are parachuted in for the sole purpose of creating havoc.
The havoc that is engineered by imperialists are then used as a pretext for interventions. The UN, which was supposed to check the arrogance of empires, is actually the one organization that gives legal cover for P5 nations like America, Great Britain, France and, to a much lesser extent, Russia to wage wars of aggression and invade countries in direct contravention of the UN Charters and international norms. Consequently, what is never shown during the perfectly choreographed photo ops of cargo planes dropping of “aid” to one ravaged nation or another are the cargo planes that take off with their natural resources.
NGOs and philanthropists siphon of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of raw materials like oil, diamonds, rubber, coffee and an endless array of valuable goods only to turn around and give pennies on the dollar to their victims. Imagine if a crook came into your house, stole all your money, disappeared your parents and then erected a tent in the backyard for you to live in and gives you donated rice while he sleeps in your parent’s bedroom and hogs all the good food for himself.
You don’t have to imagine it, just flip on your TV or Google “Haiti” and you will see this exact scenario playing out. Haiti defeated Napoleon’s French army in 1803; an act of defiance that exceeds the audacity witnessed when Ethiopians defeated Italy at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. To the victor goes the spoil; not so with Haiti, their spoil was an onerous debt to France that effectively turned Haiti into a client state. To this day, Haiti is paying France interest on that debt, the chains that France has kept at Haiti’s feet is the reason why the island nation is trapped in an endless cycle of poverty and violence. Colonialism never ended, colonial powers just wised up. Instead of using the gun to oppress the masses, they weaponized tribalism and identity to subdue nations from within. Capitalists prop up fake populists who pretend to be of the people when all along they are on the payroll of intel agencies.
Why should you care?
Because these globalists and their invisible patrons are doing the same thing to us here in America and in every “developed nation” throughout the world. Once the Cold War concluded and capitalists no longer feared an alternative, financiers went all in like degenerate gamblers in Reno and decided to recklessly pursue profiteering by any means necessary. Forget trickle down economy, what we have is a choke up thievery; one where the wealth and livelihood of the bottom 90% is transferred upward like a toothpaste tube being squeezed from the bottom up.
The vast majority of Americans, irrespective of race, gender, faith or orientation, are feeling the heat of economic uncertainty while more and more are being cratered by the inferno of destitution. More than 50% of Americans are dependent on the Federal government, this is not some right wing trope I’m echoing. Instead of beating up the poor, the blame should be placed on a system that is intentionally engineered to keep the impoverished trapped at the bottom of society and pushing more and more Americans to join them. Central banking has turned all of us into captives of wages using inflation as the slave ships.
Most people who are on welfare or receiving government assistance would rather work and take care of themselves, but they make rational decisions.Why work 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job that barely pays enough to feed a family for the week let alone pay for rent only to end up being disqualified from social safety programs because they rise slightly above the official poverty line?
So they belatedly choose food stamps and welfare not out of choice but out of desperation, the richest land in the world kneecapping a rising sea of Americans into a life of perpetual poverty and hopelessness.
Those who are not embraced by indigence are barely keeping their noses above water, the average savings of Americans is near zero dollars and 40% of Americans are one missed paycheck away from poverty. We just witnessed first-hand how dire most people’s finances are during this last government shutdown. After missing one paycheck, a crush of federal workers faced the prospect of not having enough money to buy food or pay rent. How many of you reading this article remain chained to your job because you can’t afford to miss your next paycheck?
This is the enslavement of people by other means; instead of shackling us with irons, corporations—enabled by their handlers in government and media—are turning people into products by incarcerating us with debt. The only reason why there has not been a mass insurrection is because too many of us are being medicated by politics, sensationalism and outrage into a state of permanent complacency. Yet, the principals of power fear a reprisal of the guillotines, so they normalize a police state and prepare for martial law.
Power would do well to check their egos. No matter their cunning and the nefariously brilliant ways the plans hatched at Bilderberg Meetings, in Davos and behind closed doors are implanted by their obsequious heads of state (puppets), risk can never be mitigated to zero. The police, the military, the soldiers, the intel agencies and the government bureaucracies that prop up and protect the status quo are populated by commoners. Though the heads might be rotten, the rank and file are our brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends—they are one of us.
The cost to humanity if the worse breaks out is unbearable to think of. All of us collectively sit under the sword of Damocles; the slightest miscalculation or the wrong decision could lead to ICBMs crisscrossing earth only to end with mushroom clouds blooming from New York to Moscow and beyond. Life as we know it would end, Armageddon could be our collective last rites. The well-to-do planned for this eventuality a long time ago, Forbes Magazine detailed how billionaires are building expensive bunker homes capable of withstanding nuclear strikes. Two things you should know about the uber rich, they hate risk and they never spend money without getting a return on investment. Why then are they building bunkers? Because they get to mitigate risk and their return on investment is life.
As I noted earlier, things don’t happen in a vacuum. There is a reason why politicians are all the sudden being hawkish towards Russia. There is a reason why the world stands closer to a nuclear war today than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Power fears the people, so maybe they are trying to mitigate risk by liquidating perceived threats. What if the carbon footprint they keep talking about reducing is the footprint of humanity?
This calculation of theirs, if in fact that is the fate that awaits us, does not take into account one thing. Soldiers have a higher duty to humanity than they do to chain of command. This is an established fact within the United States military, soldiers have a right and a responsibility to disobey direct orders if they believe those orders are illegal or immoral. The rest of us must gather the strength to likewise defy immoralities when confronted by it, we must find the courage to stand up against officials if we find they are lacking moral authority. If we rally to the side of justice, those who purvey injustice will have no choice but to bend. Our disunity and factionalism is the reason why a few lord over billions.
It is precisely because they enjoy such dominance that they plan for the next day after the rest have seen our last. Yet, even if the worst case scenarios takes place and the rich escape to their bunkers while humanity is shredded apart by a nuclear holocaust, who is going to be there for the rich to till their fields, work the lines and tend to their accustomed way of life? Isn’t it better to thrive through shared success instead of withering through individual avarice?
The poor labor by their hand and languish; the rich succeed by cunning and flourish. The hand grows weary; the cunning should be leery::
— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) February 7, 2019
Instead of discussing these pressing issues and figuring out how to create a more equitable system that can benefit the rich and the poor alike, we are being distracted by the bread and circus of our politics and the personality of cults we’ve become. The few who are trying to bring public awareness to these issues are sidelined and silenced by way of algorithms and newsfeed suppression. A day after one of my tweets was embedded in RT article about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar—without my knowledge—my twitter mentions slowed to a crawl and the number of daily visitors to the Ghion Journal plummeted.
Power would do well to reflect on this truth. Corporations like Facebook, Twitter and media conglomerations can tweak algorithms all day and ghettoize truly independent voices, but they can’t silence our ideas. More and more people are waking up to what is really taking place, don’t let the fanatical few who flood social media with their blind allegiances to identity and/or ideology fool you, there is a marginalized majority that yearns a new way forward. I know that my voice will never be heard on CNN, Fox News, MSBNC or their peers in corporate media, but the issues I raise in the video below are ones that are being expressed by a lot of people in America and throughout the world.
How much longer are we going to accept this slow boiling of society? We don’t have to rush the gates and grab pitchforks, as I noted earlier, revolutions of the gun are only cool until bodies start dropping in the streets. I appeal instead to our common humanity; let us stop demonizing each other and work towards inclusive justice. Let us all be soldiers in an army greater than self and may this army be equipped not with the gun but imbued with the most powerful weapon of them all—love. #SoldiersOfLove Click To Tweet
Though it seems like our nation is permanently beset by political bickering and the notion of unity seems far-fetched, if we peel back the superficial layers and pull back from constructs that divide us, we would realize that most of us are upset about the same things. We all want a fair opportunity at life, to work without being pulled into the hole of insolvency and to provide for our children. These are not bipartisan issues, these are human aspiration that are not limited by skin, gender or ideology.
When I was in Colorado, I went on a ride-along with Police Officer Wier to get a sense of their perspective and to also give the police an idea of the viewpoints from the perspective of the policed. In a wide ranging discussion, he relayed to me that the police are not a monolith and that there are a lot of officers who try to do the right thing and push back against the few who give cops a bad name. If we just have conversations with each other instead of demonizing one another, we can make progress as a society.
I write this article on behalf of the hundreds of impoverished people I met in my two year journey though America while I was homeless and feeling the burden of hopelessness. Many of my fellow broken souls, who called pavements home and donated food their breakfast, lunch and dinner, were veterans. After fighting overseas on behalf of their nation, their nation forgot about them. Twenty-two minutes after you finish reading this paragraph, a veteran will kiss the nozzle of a gun and recede into the night. The poem at the bottom of this article is dedicated to all the veterans I’ve met over the years. There is no honor in wars, but there is honor within the hearts of those who serve.
There is often a debate between those who served about which rank is the most vital when it comes to company moral and overall fighting efficacy. If I can put my two cents in, sergeants are the most beloved for they are leaders but they face the fires next to their troops, generals give directions but they are full of ego and they don’t have skin in the game as they play war video games from behind, but the most vital components are privates, without them, all wars are lost. It is something to reflect upon, though society always honors the rich and disregards the poor, this much is true, the least among us are the most powerful.
“Yet, you show no respect to poor people. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into court?” ~ James 2:6
Today, instead of asking you to contribute to the Ghion Journal, I ask you to contribute to an association that strives to take care of wounded veterans. The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit that is dedicated dedicated to identifying and helping active duty military personnel and veterans who suffer from the horrible tolls of war. Please consider making a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project by clicking HERE or on the logo below.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- Who is there for Us? When Suffering and Hopelessness Give Way to Tribalism and Hatred - May 26, 2019
- Judge Not… - May 16, 2019
- Why I No Longer Fight for Justice - May 9, 2019