Every so often, we need to wrap our minds around the fact that while we watch Hillary, Barack and John battle for the Democratic nomination, while John, Mitt and Mike battle for the Republican nomination, while Fred continues to sleepwalk and Rudy... well, one can't quite figure out why he's still around, but I guess he is... oh yes... there is still a year (and a leap year at that) and 3 days until one of them-- or someone else selected at a nominating convention-- will become our next President. But until then... we have... that guy up there.
And that guy is off in the Middle East, kissing the rear ends of our principal financiers... you know: the guys in Riyadh, who are buying up our nation's debt and hard assets using that $100/bbl. we're paying them for the black gook that we desperately need to drive our SUV's around to our exurban McMansions... and Palast reminds us that this is the way the world goes 'round.
We could try to put the nation's finances (and our children's futures) on some kind of sensible footing and tax our own rich people... but then, that would likely exacerbate the recession, cause even more defaults than we're already going to see, and you know... look bad. Better to keep the party going this way, by taxing people at the pump. And I do NOT mean my way, by having a "Patriot Tax" on every single gallon, cubic foot or ton of fossil fuel consumed in this country which would both fund our Defense Department AND encourage efficiency at a time when both national security and global warming alone demand it. No... better we send "your money"... to Riyadh... rather than to Washington!
Palast, of course, quotes the great economist Paddy Chayefsky, who first published this in 1976 or so... but it's still true:
The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. … It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity…. There are no nations, there are no peoples. There is only one vast and immense, interwoven, multi-national dominion of petro-dollars. … There is no America. There is no ‘democracy.’ The world is a business, one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work.”
To coin a phrase... Indeed!