by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
American mythology holds that citizens of the U.S. of A. are fighters, ever ready to defend themselves from tyrants of all kinds. But there's been little evidence of that in the current crisis. “While Greeks and Icelanders register disapproval with the people and institutions who bring them disaster, Americans behave as if they aren’t being mistreated at all.”
Freedom Rider: Americans Afraid to Fight the Powers That Be
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“The bankstersare now betting that Greece will not emerge from the calamity which they created.”
What has to happen before Americans are willing to take to the streets in protest? Must unemployment keep rising? Does everyone have to be without health insurance? Does Obama have to find new industries to bail out? While nothing ruffles subjugated Americans, people in other countries won’t take epic degrees of theft lying down.
Greece is nearly bankrupt, facing billions of euros of debt. Greece’s problems are the direct result of corruption between its government and the giants of the worldwide financial services industries, led by Goldman Sachs.
“As far back as 2000 and 2001, Goldman helped Athens quietly borrow billions to mask its poor finances by creating derivatives that essentially transformed loans into currency trades that Greece did not have to disclose under European rules,” writes the New York Times.
Now that the crooks have had their way, the people of Greece are told that austerity measures will be in place. Fewer jobs, and slashed government subsidies will be the rule. The Greek people have decided not to accept this news without protest. Unions staged a general strike and thousands marched against tax increases, higher fuel costs, benefit cuts and hiring freezes.
“The Greek people have decided not to accept this news without protest.”
Incredibly, the same banks that helped Greece to hide its debts and bring that country to ruin are now betting on and profiting from, predictions that Greece will not emerge from the calamity which they created. Credit default swaps are the weapon of choice. In short, the banksters are betting that Greece will default on the debts they helped to hide. They will get richer from having already committed a dirty deed that is ruining a government and the lives of its people.
Greece is not the first European nation to be brought down by venality at the very top of the global pecking order. Iceland is still in the midst of debt crisis caused by the deliberate creation of a financial bubble. In 2008, a scheme cooked up by the financial services crooks caused an Icelandic internet bank to collapse and take the deposits of Icelanders, British and Dutch citizens as well. The Icelanders marched against their parliament, the president was forced out, and the government fell.
The term “house of cards” has been widely used to describe the economic meltdown which nearly destroyed America’s economy. That house is still wobbly and it isn’t inhabited only by Americans. When the day of reckoning came, the bankster bubbles popped all over the globe.No sooner do they create one, as with Greece, then they begin creating a new one.
“When the day of reckoning came, the bankster bubbles popped all over the globe.”
Americans, generally unaware of anything important, are completely ignorant of the world’s financial situation and its impact on them. Even worse, they are ignorant of what is going on in their own country, and direct any anger they might have in inconsequential places. While Greeks and Icelanders register disapproval with the people and institutions who bring them disaster, Americans behave as if they aren’t being mistreated at all.
Icelanders are so angry about the deal being made to resolve their crisis, that they will in all likelihood reject the referendum which is meant to put the seal of approval on their government’s bailout deal. As with Greece, the terms are onerous but the people haven’t been swayed by politicians urging them to continue the fix. They are saying no, and daring their elected leaders to do their worst.
People in other countries don’t fall victim to the same delusions that Americans have. If Americans had a fraction of that courage, they would be in a state of constant agitation. Instead they are in a state of constant acquiescence, and allow continued theft to take place on the grandest scale in the world.
“Americans behave as if they aren’t being mistreated at all.”
The fact that two European nations are in such crisis ought to tell us something about the state of the capitalist system. It just isn’t working very well. Americans may think that a particular politician or party has done them wrong. They rarely reach the conclusion that the system is rotten to its core, and can do nothing except continue in its collapse, while picking their pockets for as long as possible.
When the TARP bailout was first presented to Americans, they should have demanded that congress say no. When Obama single handedly brought the nuclear power industry back from the dead, they should have said no. When a bail out of the health insurance industry under the guise of a health care “reform” bill was presented to them they should have said a very loud no.
Americans keep saying yes, like 300 million battered spouses who feel trapped and unable to escape. It is indeed unfortunate that they can’t learn lessons from people in the rest of the world. If they could, the collapse which seems to be inevitable might happen without sucking them down in a gigantic, deadly riptide. Instead of ignorantly viewing the rest of the world with scorn, Americans might yet learn how to save themselves.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.