A Morally Bankrupt Society...
This is what it looks like in a morally bankrupt society. -- Lee Camp
This week we consider what it means to be a morally bankrupt society.
Our featured writer takes an in-depth look at a morally bankrupt move on the part of the current US administration that threatens world peace. But first, we start out with a few visual examples.
The above meme shows the world richest man, Jeff Bezos, behaving as he normally does--setting up two cities against each other for one of his coveted Amazon headquarters. Bezos paid no taxes in 2017 and pays his employees slave wages under horrible working conditions. It is said that Bezos could give away half of his $139 billion net worth to end world hunger and homelessness, and he would still be one of the richest men in the world. He could easily give his warehouse workers a raise and provide air conditioning in the summer so they wouldn't faint from heat prostration, too, but he chooses not to be charitable. Instead, he chooses not to pay taxes, and he chooses to forces cities to give his warehouses tax breaks.
Wouldn't you agree that Jeff Bezos is a prime example of a morally bankrupt individual from a morally bankrupt society?
The following are self-explanatory.
And now our resident historian and military analyst tackles moral bankruptcy on an Armageddon-like scale.
by Coast Watcher
International diplomacy is a vital feature of human relations. Treaties are the fixed points that bind nations together for mutual benefit, to prevent wars and to enable commerce to proceed with little hindrance.
So, why in the name of all that’s holy is Trump breaking the treaty with Iran?
Some background: This particular treaty's full title is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It was signed in 2015 by the US, China, Russia, Germany, France, the UK and Iran. Iran undertook to limit its nuclear activities – particularly the development of nuclear weapons – in return for the easing of sanctions on its economy.
The treaty is working. Iran’s economy was in a deep recession in the years before it was signed, but the International Monetary Fund reported that the real GDP of Iran grew 12.5% in the first year, mostly through oil exports, following the implementation of the treaty’s provisions. The Iranian economy was expected to grow by 4% this year, which is below the desired target figure but still pretty good for a country battling its way out of recession.
The treaty had the additional effect of weaning ordinary Iranians from the Islamic fundamentalists who took over the country following the fall of the Shah in the revolution of 1978-79. Greater prosperity turned people away from the conservative killjoy religious doctrine of the fundamentalists.
The fundamentalist hold on the country has diminished, but it remains a potent force which could make a resurgence under the wrong conditions. One of the objectives of the treaty was to curb Iranian influence in the region and its potential to attack neighboring countries through its development of nuclear weaponry and ballistic missiles. Sending it back into the dark ages of fundamentalism will only exacerbate the possibility.
Iran’s trade with the European Union increased significantly thanks to the lifting of sanctions, but China, South Korea and Turkey remain Iran’s top three trading partners. The decision by Iran to drop the petrodollar in favor of the Euro looks set to increase trade with the EU, probably to the detriment of the US.
On May 8, President Trump demanded Boeing not complete a $20 billion contract to supply two Iranian airlines with aircraft. This directly hurt the commercial airplane manufacturer and caused the loss of American jobs – something Trump pledged not to do during his 2016 election campaign. While the cancellation of the contract hurts Boeing, there’s every possibility that the renewal of sanctions will prevent the country’s airlines from beating a path to Airbus of France, which already has a contract to supply 100 aircraft to Iran and would happily expand the order. Airbus and other EU manufacturers are vociferous in their complaints against Trump’s actions, as they would stand to benefit through Iran’s adoption of the Euro.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani kept his promise to maintain the stability of the Iranian currency, the rial, for almost four years. But in late 2017, when President Trump refused to certify the nuclear deal to Congress, the rial started to fall again. It has lost almost half of its value against the dollar since last September. Many Iranians bought gold and foreign currency to hedge against the collapse of the nuclear deal, the return of sanctions and a fresh currency crash. It was reported that some $30 billion of capital left Iran in the first quarter of this year, mostly to neighboring countries and the Caucasus.
The ongoing conflict in Syria is also directly linked to the international position on Iran. The Iran–Iraq–Syria pipeline (called the Friendship Pipeline or the
Islamic Gas Pipeline) is a proposed means by which Iranian oil can be exported to the West. Russia and Syria made a deal for a Russian-backed pipeline, but this was challenged by the US, which wants its own pipeline project to go ahead. It’s one that would benefit the US more than any other nation. The American desire for oil is better understood when one realizes the US consumes about a third of the world’s oil production, a figure that’s not set to decline when President Trump’s antipathy toward renewable energy production is factored into the equation.
Add to this the Zionist (end of days) movement in Israel and among certain Christian evangelical supporters of President Trump, and you can see the current situation in the Middle East is only set to worsen. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the driving force behind Israel’s expansion of influence in the region and his nation’s long-time enmity with Iran, to the extent that Israeli forces recently launched air attacks on Iranian forces in Syria. The Pentagon admitted that Israel does have nuclear weapons. Given the Israeli tendency to attack any and all perceived threats to its existence – including an air strike against a suspected Iranian nuclear facility in Dier-ez-Zor, Iran on September 6, 2007 – it’s not very comforting to learn they have this option – the very option the West is trying to keep Iran from possessing.
On May 6, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the US in an attempt to persuade President Trump not to abandon the treaty with Iran. Johnson left empty-handed the following day. His visit was part of a major diplomatic effort underway to save the treaty. France has condemned the re-imposition of sanctions as "unacceptable." French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Europe had to defend its "economic sovereignty." He asked: "Do we want to be vassals deferring with a curtsy and a bow to decisions made by the US?"
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that the West can no longer look to the United States for leadership. It is in extensive talks with other EU members, Britain and Russia to seek a way to circumvent President Trump’s decision. Foreign Ministers from Germany, France and Britain will meet on May 15 to discuss their countries’ options.
Of course, this isn’t the first occasion when the United States has interfered directly in Iranian affairs. In 1953 the CIA backed a coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, an outspoken advocate of nationalism who almost succeeded in deposing the Shah. The sheer number of American military bases that surrounds Iran gives a clear statement of the United Stares’ attitude toward the country.
In conclusion, President Trump is the latest in a long line of presidents seeking to secure oil resources, guarantee the security of the state of Israel, and combat threats to American interests in the Middle East. However, he has gone about matters in entirely the wrong way. His dangerous, indeed wanton breaking of an international treaty – something that is never done lightly – sends a clear message to the world: America can no longer be trusted.
President Trump is nothing more than a bull in the china shop where international diplomacy is concerned. His erratic behavior, his acting on a whim or at the behest of the more radical and venal of his followers, is a clear and present danger to world peace. He is already profoundly transforming international relations, well beyond promoting unilateralism at the expense of multilateralism. By unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump has demonstrated his contempt for international law, reversed half a century of American commitments and, in doing so, badly damaged his country’s credibility in the region.
Talks on the situation in the Korean Peninsula are due to begin later this year.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has already made considerable peace overtures towards his southern neighbor to the extent he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have declared the Korean War officially over after almost seventy years. Can anyone blame Kim Jong-un if he refuses to talk to the American president if that man shows he cannot be trusted?
It remains to be seen if the renewed onset of sanctions against Iran will lead to a trade war, let alone military conflict. Frantic diplomatic efforts might prevent such things happening, but the sands of time are running out.
BIO: Coast Watcher is troubled by current events and the present administration's recent actions. He says we all need to keep awake and stay informed and tell our neighbors who listen to mainstream media what's really happening in the world. They deserve to know the truth before the bombs drop.
Another example from our morally bankrupt society--attacking our freedom of speech. Retired CIA agent Ray McGovern is brutalized for protesting the CIA use of torture at Gina Haspel's confirmation hearing. https://youtu.be/GTF07picnj8
This fantastic video was taped live in Germany by AcTVism. A very informative program, Jill Stein's interview starts about 40 minutes in, but all three guests are worth watching. The Q & A with Jill and Abby in the last part is great, too. Share it widely. It gives insights into the corporate mainstream media that has vilified Jill and other alternative viewpoints such as those held by Abby and Glenn as independent journalists. It will open eyes clouded by the duopolistic silliness of Russiagate and other distractions of a morally bankrupt society.
The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many news sites have to cover costs) has been great, but the editor does have to pay for internet, electricity, etc. Any amount you can donate to keep this progressive site going without those awful ads is appreciated. Thank you.You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews
Power to the people and not the corporations!
Nick Brana has been arrested along with the Rev. William Barber II and 300 other protestors in a launch of the non-violent 40 days of moral action organized by the Poor People’s Campaign.
The arrests occurred on the northeast Capitol lawn in Washington D.C. after the protestors, led by Barber and his PPC co-chair the Rev. Liz Theoharis, shut down Independence Avenue. The street was closed for 90 minutes before police moved in to arrest the peaceful demonstrators for obstructing the main thoroughfare.
The PPC organized a mass movement around the country - including simultaneous actions today at state capitols - to protest these horrendous statistics: Some 140 million people live in poverty when basic necessities are taken into account. And half of our nation’s children are poor.
It is time to break the silence about America’s war on the poor! In one of the most prosperous nations on earth, it is time we say that everyone has a right to live!
Fifty years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called for a Poor People’s Campaign to begin a “revolution of values” in America. MPP is an official partner with the PPC in reigniting that campaign by uniting thousands of people across the country to challenge systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation and our nation’s distorted morality.
“We have to cry loud until hearts are changed...It’s time to cry loud with every bit of love. Somebody’s hurting our people, and we won’t be silent anymore.” ~ Rev. William Barber, May 13, Washington D.C.
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