Dr. Sam Richards: A Radical Experiment in Empathy
I just discovered Dr. Sam Richards, a sociologist at Penn State University who gives a lecture in the excellent video below. The video focuses primarily on Iraq, but applies to US policy towards Iran and much of the middle east. It’s about 20 minutes long and well worth watching.
America could certainly use a very heavy dose of empathy and the truth. Ignoring the truth doesn’t alter it. Ultimately it has to be dealt with and that usually occurs at the most inconvenient time. Our foreign policy does not benefit our citizens, but instead it puts a bullseye on each of our backs while benefiting a very small group. But most Americans lack a full grasp of the entire picture and fail to understand how that bullseye has been placed there. Moreover, our foreign policies are simply unsustainable from an economic standpoint and at the end of the day, we’ll have nothing but enemies while lacking the resources to protect ourselves or invest in ourselves.
It’s clear to me that much of what we do around the world is designed to pick a fight so we can have the justification to engage in war for a resource grab. Right now we’re at war with Iran even though formal hostilities have yet to be declared. Iranian scientists have been assassinated, their facilities have been sabotaged, we’re engaged in spying and a number of other things we would never accept if some nation did the same thing to us. There’s not a day that goes by without some report of Iran doing something, but we’re not getting the full story because our provocations aren’t being reported. This steady drumbeat ensures that we’ll probably be at war with them by summer and it will be essentially another undeclared war that the executive decides rather than the congress actually declaring it. The so called nuclear threat is a lie. For this reason alone, I can not vote for Obama and I certainly can’t vote Romney. So, I’ll be sitting this one out. The only politicians that have the backbone to speak honestly to this are Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.
For me this sort of thing is huge. I view this first from a moral standpoint in looking at what’s right and wrong. It’s also a big deal from the standpoint of our own rights in this country. Here’s what I know—a tiger is a tiger in all environments and a government that will take resources from others abroad, will do the same here. If it abuses the rights of others abroad, it will do the same thing here. This is the logical outcome merely from the fact that these practices are perfected abroad.
It’s incompatible to be against democracy abroad while promoting it here mainly because the two positions can’t be reconciled. One only need to look at the National Defense Authorization Act, how our elections are conducted and the lies told to obfuscate the truth to see the erosion of rights here. And once we go down that slippery slope, it’s just a matter of time before we find ourselves in the same position as those who chafe under US foreign policy abroad.
The world is not as it’s presented in the press. If only the citizens knew.