of lording it over slaves, butchering Indians, and pushing aside
Mexicans have ill-prepared white America to live in civilized
company, much less to act as maestro for the globe. As Johnny
Cochran could tell them, those gloves don't fit. Easy victories
over weak, captive or Stone Age adversaries served to teach
all the wrong lessons, creating a perverse set of American family
values. Unlimited resources, right there for the stealing; fertile
fields, awaiting unpaid labor; fragile southern neighbors available
to be mauled for sport and profit - a heady brew swilled sloppily,
on a mean drunken binge of four hundred years.
is a word the Bush men abhor. Nevertheless, it is the essence
of their distilled, white American sense of themselves as entitled
to each bloody slab of meat they can gouge from the baggage
or body of the unwary. Ever since there has been such a thing
as American popular culture, predation has been celebrated.
Killer cowboys, killer soldiers, killer cops, killer business
tycoons. John Wayne played all of these roles, which is why
he is the quintessential white American actor. The parts he
played, the ease with which he dominated, reverberate through
centuries of cultural memory and idealization, a birthright
bequeathed in full to the children of more recent white immigrants.
all around white Americans, an historical fact that is also
reflected in exaggerated popular cultural forms. White Americans
are entitled to live, and live well. Others are not. Others
means non-whites, in the nation that invented whiteness to subsume
into a melting pot "all the races of Europe" while
separating out the Others as non-entitled, nonwhites. It was
only yesterday that these social relationships constituted the
most inviolable laws of the land - capital punishment was instantaneously
imposed on those who offended the birthright privileges of white
traits in biological evolution, the human social organism -
through culture -retains those behaviors and worldviews that
work. Aggression against Native Americans worked for
the European settlers - it brought them free land. Slavery made
them kings and queens and princes and princesses, and rich.
Foreign conquests of weaker, darker people made them respected
among Europeans. Except in the Civil War that they wished they
had not fought and treated until just yesterday as a great tragedy,
relatively few white Americans were killed in these conflicts.
Predation was a good trait. It worked.
extremely dangerous from the day they set foot on North American
shores for the express purpose of claiming title to everything
within range of their imaginations, white Americans "learned"
that they were admired by the survivors among the people they
preyed upon and enslaved. They gained this knowledge from each
other, the only people whose opinions counted. Their overwhelming
arsenals brooked no objection to the self-evident fact of their
innate superiority and... goodness. Who would disagree?
closed, continental conversation a worldview was refined that
has grown so fundamental to white American methods of thought,
so perfect in its affirmation of self-serving assumptions, so
automatically corrective of unwanted information, that the social
organism is all but impermeable to disagreeable facts. Outside
of the centuries-old American cocoon, much of reality simply
does not compute.
by very special circumstances resulting from World War II, the
United States stepped to the center of the world stage with
all of its previous advantages, plus nuclear weapons and the
only intact economy on the planet. (See "Conspiracy
Theories," April 17.) By default, the dollar became
the global currency. Newly tapped oil, priced in dollars, fueled
a world of post-war growth, much of it to the direct benefit
of the United States. By the Fifties, pundits had declared the
20th Century to be the American Century.
later, the Bloomberg financial service's Tokyo
Indonesia's state oil company, dropped a bombshell recently.
It's considering dropping the U.S. dollar for the euro in
its oil and gas trades.
unfolding in Iraq and a mysterious pneumonia spreading around
Asia, few noticed. News that Indonesian government officials
favor the euro also fell through the cracks. Yet it could
have major implications for the world's biggest economy....
rationale: The dollar may be the world's reserve currency
but it has become too volatile. "One thing is for sure,
the adoption of the euro as an alternative means of payments
could be an effective solution to speculative dollar-oriented
dealings,'' Indonesia's Vice President Hamzah Haz said last
month.... What if, for example, the U.S. began setting the
stage for another pre-emptive attack in the Middle East or
there's no ignoring Asia's desire to reduce U.S. influence
in the region. Leaders here wonder if scrapping the dollar
might expedite the process. Last September, Asian and European
leaders formed a task force to help Asia boost euro currency
reserves, issue more euro-denominated debt and use the single
currency to settle trade bills.
from Tokyo, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur is no flash in the pan,
not a temporary case of the jitters, but dramatic evidence of
the growing, global recoil from the United States, a nation
that learned nothing from its half century at the top except
that which reinforced its own delusions. It has fouled the common
well of trust - or at least, some measure of predictability
- among nations.
even more happening below the surface than is indicated by the
public statements of Prime Ministers. The American problem is
not a case of bad manners, but of unfitness. No sensible people,
of any social sector, will place their treasure and futures
in the hands of a nation formed of people who see no reality
other than their own. Much of the world has already decided
that the dollar is the umbilical that has become a potential
noose, and must be severed.
founder is the Mayor of New York, the financial capital of the
world. The last thing on Bloomberg's institutional mind is to
rattle financial markets. If anything, it is American analysts
who slept the "tectonic shifts," as reporter William
Pesek put it, that may be at work.
irony is that the Bush men launched their attack on a world
order that had privileged the United States for generations
in order to preempt a politically motivated switch to
the euro by angry Arab oil producers, or rebellious Venezuela.
Instead, their bald, openly declared policy of global hegemony
has accelerated a trend that might have taken decades to unfold.
Shock and Awe, in the form of threats to global stability, has
caused nations to seek safety from, rather than safe haven in,
America. As we wrote in, "They
Have Reached Too Far: Bush's road to ruin, for himself and his
Pirates," March 13: "Every plan and project of
individuals and nations will be shaped by having witnessed a
racist America raining fire on a weaker people - and reveling
in the crime."
It is not
as though the U.S. had been a fit guardian of capitalism, prior
to the Pirate's ascension to power, January 2000. As rulers
of an entitled nation, American governments abused their
world currency trusteeship for short term political and economic
ends, oblivious to the interconnected fortunes of other countries,
including allied elites. Washington derides Malaysia's Prime
Minister as "unstable," when the opposite is true.
leaders like Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia favor the euro:
It lacks a domestic agenda. Washington has proven quite adept
at steering the dollar up and down depending on economic needs.
In the early 1990s, a lower dollar was favored to boost growth.
Later in the decade the White House favored a rising currency
to attract foreign capital. Since 12 countries use Europe's
single currency, it may be less susceptible to unpredictable
political agendas. Also, the European Central Bank, not politicians,
Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan regularly huddles with
the political honchos of whichever administration is in charge,
fiddling with the world's currency to make the occupants of
the White House look good to the American elite and electorate.
consistently self-consumed, has long bedeviled the global trading
system. However, national planners and central banks crave stability
most of all. No one relished the dislocations that even a modest
break with the dollar might bring, much less the prospect of
American retaliation - the U.S. is known as a nation that kills
simply to eliminate inconveniences.
became increasingly untenable as it dawned upon the world that
the Bush men were really serious about The New American
Century, that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld crew were not just another
brand of bullying, oafish American cowboys, and that the frenzied
American behavior following September 11 was more like civilized
inhibitions giving way than a cry of national pain.
became more commonplace after Bush's growling "with us
or against us" speech in November 2001, followed by the
war declaration-like "axis of evil" 2002 State of
the Union address. International bankers who considered themselves
reasonable and cautious spoke of oil transactions in a "market
basket" of currencies. But the U.S was intent on enshrining
the dollar as a monopoly currency - forever. The Pirates believed
that seizure of Middle Eastern oil fields would ensure continued
denomination of oil in dollars, and that the ritual mauling
of Iraq would teach the world not to mess with the dollar.
were wrong. World revulsion is near universal, beyond emotion,
and fast translating into concerted action in collective defense
against the madman. Indonesia and Malaysia are simply speaking
more frankly than other nations. The Bush men cannot comprehend
that their systematic, transparent assault on international
stability is unpardonable. And they don't know what it feels
like to be hurt. This, too, will come as a surprise - their
Shock and Awe.
France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia," urges Condoleezza
Rice, thereby guaranteeing that these potent powers will deepen
their conspiracy to facilitate the isolation of the U.S.
leverage" in the breathing space before the next armed
assaults, barks Founding Pirate William Kristol. Keep up the
"political attack" on Syria and Iran, screams Michael
Ledeen, of the Pirate incubator American Enterprise Institute.
men think this is diplomacy, a gift that the world should appreciate
as a respite from Washington's wrath. The international community
- in which the U.S. is no longer a true member but, rather,
a dangerous presence - struggles to work around the Americans
as new structures of trade and cooperation are created.
believe they hold the trump card: half the world's military
under one, super-tech command. It is a blunt instrument, with
a narrow range of uses. The real bomb ticks under America's
porch, and will devastate the dollar in a spasm of millions
of individual and institutional decisions to run in the other
is what attracted the world's capital to the United States.
Now, the Bush men have transformed the U.S. into a dreadful
engine of instability. The Pirates scream threats at the snow
bank on top of the mountain. Delusional, they will be amazed
when it comes down on top of us.
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