The Babylonian Captivity of America

It’s been quite a week. A week of destruction, sabotage, sophistry and outright villainy. Over the past seven days we’ve seen war called “peace” in Oslo, a land mine treaty left unsigned in Cartagena, the plug pulled on a public insurance option already on life support in DC, and crude strong-arm tactics used by rich nations (led by us) to silence the cries of poor ones in Copenhagen. Yes, it’s been a banner week for the affluent and powerful, for the makers of explosives and instruments of mayhem, for the polluters who treat creation like an endless roll of Charmin, and for the sophists and sultans of spin who love to spit on our cupcake and call it frosting.

When asked what our President represents at Copenhagen, feisty Indian environmentalist Vendana Shiva replied, “…Obama represents a captive White House, captive to the industrial interests and the corporate interests of America.” There it is. The Babylonian Captivity of our nation. If you want to see who really controls this nation and just how low, selfish and bullying we can be, just look at what is being done in our name in Copenhagen.

When I look at Congress and what now passes for an “insurance reform bill” (which now gives more favors to the industry than ever before, including the right to put annual limits on coverage, even on those who are undergoing major health crises, such as cancer). I think of the farmer who began to mix sawdust with his horse’s oats to save money. The horse didn’t seem to notice, so he gradually mixed more and more, until eventually the feed bag was nothing but sawdust. The horse died, of course. The next time we write a letter to our august elected representatives, I suggest we use their real titles based on the constituency they truly represent. Instead of “the Senator from New York” or “the Senator from Connecticut,” it should be “the Senator from Hallibuton,” “the Senator from Goldman Sachs,” or “the Senator from Exxon-Mobil.”

As a Christian, and as an American, I was appalled at my President’s lecture to the Nobel Peace Committee on all the reasons why we cannot have peace. His claim, however, that the conflicts he presides over are “just” wars leaks water like a sieve, since only last week we saw the ultimate goal of these two invasions bearing more monstrous fruit. I refer to the second auctioning of Iraqi oil rights to the highest bidder, with all the major companies, from Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell to Lukoil, in attendance. This war wasn’t about oil, we were told. Hmm. Is that why the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan (a major pipeline nation) were being planned as far back as the first Bush (HW) administration? 9-11 simply gave them the excuse they needed.

Tragically, now in Copenhagen the Babylonian captivity of one country has also become the Babylonian captivity of the earth. We’re told that curiosity killed the cat, but it will be greed that kills this planet.

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