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Beyond Capitalism

BEYOND CAPITALISM

As one often assumed that things could not change much at certain historical times, following the collapse of communism there seemed to be little alternative to capitalism. Capitalism is the embodiment of good against the forces of evil. Now that change is inevitable though we are very much creatures of habit. Makes things simpler; religion, tribalism, etc. Capitalism today has mutated into a different form which no longer benefits the good of the masses or the planet and it must be reigned in. Free enterprise seems to be inherent in the human psyche, but there are different ways of implementing it. At this stage and without a counter ideology, capitalism has evolved into a raw un-compassionate system of pure profit regardless of social or environmental collateral damage that is hurting individual psyche and the environment in which we live. This has therefore become a serious problem.

No one person is able to reinvent a system in detail, as most money managers and economists are not very good at predicting or controlling trends either. Besides economics planning is like most interactions, very organic and unpredictable. There is however common sense that is an important part of life regardless of education or specialization.

So as communism before it, capitalism is proving to be a better system if not the only economic system left on our planet. It is however proving that it is not be the best way for our civilizations to survive in the way it has evolved and is being implemented at this point in time.
Between abuse of resources and the distribution of wealth in a system so entrenched that it seems almost impossible to reform. It therefore seems that in a world of impending environmental collapse and massive populations, that an alternative must be created. An option not only of a better economic balance but also of the social and mental obsession and corruption of materialism it creates. This obsession which has overtaken all peoples of the world to accumulate wealth and live for pure material gain. The fallacies that economies must grow at a certain percentage per year in order to properly compete. This is no longer viable in a physical world where resources are increasingly scarce and few people reap any of the benefits. So what is it to be? A combination of free markets and socialism. Maybe, but these free markets need controls and must again become smaller, and more manageable, and more accountable. This is the final result of post colonial policies of taking the same advantage of third world economies to serve the needs of the developed nations which has come to roost at the home front.

Social programs and so-called big government are a necessity for large populations. One cannot leave it to the public sector to control itself as was proven time and again. Incentives and punishment must be present.

Also capitalist controls must revert to protect local industries. For instance when banks were only allowed to operate within their own states. Nowadays all these regulations have been deregulated which gives control to major industries in fewer hands. This is exactly what was to be avoided to promote the opportunity of business incentives to the greater population. This completely defeats the purpose and creates oligarchies. Not what one needs to have for a productive system of incentives to benefit the whole? It simply emulates a Third world system of wealthy elites and a vast underprivileged class with few benefits, incentive, and voice. It reverts back to the ways of the 19th Century. The pitfalls in the declining education system further widens this gap to further benefit the oligarchs in a society which really doesn’t produce much in terms of industry anymore, but abstract exchanges of wealth and services.

Healthcare, state incentives and controls must be present no matter who is against it. The latter are ignorant, or simply preserving their interests at the expense of other in order not to have their taxes raised. This is no longer a forward thinking society to lead the world, but simply a group of entrenched business interests and politicians who have slipped into degeneracy and have no will, patience, or foresight to create a better system. This is something, which would only take a few years to later generate much greater returns for new kinds of products. This is actually beginning but at a trickle and twenty years late.

Many of these individuals or groups who constantly criticize progress and have no alternatives to offer, and want to bring religion to the fore of a secular government, are actually nefarious to the welfare of the people and the state and should be labeled as national security risks and unpatriotic.

If bread is on the table and health care is available, many will follow. Just tax incentives are not enough. The US has in essence become a complex government where the majority is unwilling to deal with complex ideals. Short sightedness is the motto. Again Third world. How much can one keep now regardless of what can be achieved later? The same goes for retooling for better environmental technology.

It was always perplexing that a few years of retooling to actual create greater revenue with a whole string of new environmental products is just not acceptable or contemplated because it is not fast enough and would upset the status quo, regardless of how much more profit could be made in the near future. Schlerozed thinking at its best. This is systemic degeneracy and new concepts must prop up to sweep away this parasitic thinking.

Every leader no matter how noble their ideals gets stuck in this system’s status quo. Radicalization is a must in order to sweep that away and implement true reforms. It is unlikely that the two existing political parties can achieve that level of radicalization, and that unless the system opens up to allow for wider political representation it will be mired in stagnation.

Many Republicans and some Democrats are actually national security risks in their thinking of blockages for selfish reasons with little or no alternative solutions, and must be treated as such. Same as the companies who are allowed to rob the public and then punish that same public for their bad policies from whom they benefited and got bailout money from the state, and later tax credits, without offering the masses the opportunities to rebuild through loans because there is better money to be mad elsewhere with our money.

Laws have to be in place to make examples of these people and their lack of patriotism or more simply lack of social conscience for the greater good. This is a crime that must be punished. One cannot negotiate with such people, but unceremoniously set them aside by changing the laws. Our current president may have good intentions and ideas, but lacks the radicalism to change this morass of ineptitude. Machiavellian leadership is of the essence in these troubled times to reform the whole system from within.
Unfortunately we have not sunk low enough yet for this to occur.

How exactly this must be done can be complicated and require more dire circumstances as in the Great Depression, but it is the only way since no matter who gets in is stifled by these obstacles. Do things have to get so bad in order to implement such reforms. Most probably as history shows. The New Deal, Communism, National Socialism. Capitalism won out but is not the ideal as it has gone astray as everything does because humans are corrupted through greed. Extreme capitalism with few benefits coupled with its objective for pure consumerism, lacks any form of humanity. Therefore a change or metamorphosis is required. Large complex societies do require a mixture of capitalism and socialism. The latter is a bad word in this society, but so be it. The US was looked up to by most of the world for its ability to offer new opportunities. This seems to be a part of the past, but must be revived if there is any hope for reform and leadership. Governments are only as legitimate as what they can do to serve the majority of their electorate.
Why should the US lead? Because realistically since the end of World War II it has done so and other nations have often waited for it to do so.
Also regardless of political and other blunders it still has greater credibility throughout the world than any other nation.

The speculation of the stock market no longer represents true value or security in the long term, unless one is a player.
Multinationals wipe out the average smaller business.
Deregulation further aggravates this problem for local businesses.
Globalization serves by taking away jobs to be replaced by quasi slave labor.
American capitalism is crude and socially oblivious and decadent. Promoting business for its own sake and compensating a corporate elite whether they perform well or not. So it is not really even about the shareholder whose interest they always claim to represent above all else.
A system which cannot deal with basic social issues such as schools, public works, and the like is no longer viable and must be altered, as it is destroying it’s future generations. Like communism when a system stops delivering it loses legitimacy.

When representative’s seats cost so much it is hardly a representation of the people. Too elitist the candidate who has the funds, or too many concessions to the funders for the one who has no funds. Where does this leave the average individual.

In the latest economic bailouts, the bonuses were handed to the higher executives, while benefits and stock options were erased for the lower echelons, and lines of credits and loans were frozen for the average client as well as regular bank employees. If economics is based on trust this will be a tough one.

Corrupted minds are hard if impossible to be altered, for they are bad seed, and must be replaced as they will just repeat their past deeds. It is their nature. Unless the punishment is so severe then it may actually make a difference for others in a revamped system of ‘Compassionate Capitalism’? instead of socialist capitalism.

© 2010 beamcorp.com

Lebanon 2006

LEBANON 2006 – THE LAST STRAW

One is truly at odds to understand the hubris which overtakes so called developed and intellectual societies and how they forge ahead with brute force without analyzing the ramifications of the wars they start. All wars are started and based on the idealistic premise that they will be short and the aggressor’s objective is right and will be quickly achieved. This is also based on a preconception that the enemy is inferior technologically and culturally. We see this today as a more sophisticated form of racism. Besides, demonizing one’s enemy is a necessary evil in order to wage war.

This hubris usually spells the end of civilizations or empires that fail to grasp the world around them, and only see simple stereotypes. They also base their might on technological superiority regardless of the will and pride from the other side, and the far-reaching consequences all wars have on societies.

The Western media constantly portrays Islamist’s as willing suicide bombers. This may be true in some form for some groups but death is never an easy option but a desperate one in the face of overwhelming technological power, and worsening conditions. These are not purely the acts of fanatics that do not value life, but who have no other choice but the sacrifice of their own lives in the face of frustration in a world that is increasingly polarized economically and culturally between first and third world. Religion then becomes a powerful unifier.

The Iranian revolution, started by the nationalists lost and then regained its momentum through religion as a powerful tool utilized by Khomeini against the West. Lebanon is a mosaic of various religious groups who did not, but now support Hezbollah as their defender against Israel because their nation’s very existence is at stake.

Brute force may work for a period but not for the long run. The Nazis were one of history’s more brutal occupiers and even they after a while were threatened by all sides with growing insurgencies, for the latter realized over time that they had nothing left to lose.

This is certainly what is evolving worldwide as people in developing nations realize that the game of the rulers is not a fair one and is becoming even more one sided, without even the subtleties of the past, as the West and the present US administrations have shown.

History repeats itself but in stealthier ways, as part of evolution. The aims remain the same, but the methods of deception improve. Now politicians advocate war for simple freedom and democracy. Who wouldn’t want that? The Western press has become very sophisticated and subtle in their bias of news without the majority realizing that they are being brainwashed.

Everyone who is against us is labeled a terrorist yet we are oblivious to state terror. As many founding Israeli leaders and the US founding fathers have shown, today’s terrorists can be tomorrow’s statesmen, providing they win the wars. Might makes right.

Of course democracy is worth preserving, and every sane individual wants that, but the debacle in Iraq has shown that it cannot be imposed. Lebanon is the last straw where a democracy, albeit a weak one, is totally being destroyed by another democracy. A formula that many diplomats agree never occurs. The very idea of present Western foreign policy being that one has to promote democracy for a stable world because democracies never fight one another. If Lebanon was a weak democracy did it deserve this kind of treatment after a long civil war, and successful re-construction? One also wonders if that is how the West treats Lebanon, the so-called “Paris of the Middle East,” then how would they treat the so called less likeable nations? It has become a favorite end all phrase that “Israel has the right to defend itself.” Everybody has the right to defend themselves, but the end does not always justify the means.

Humanity cannot afford new wars of religion with the technologies and the populations involved. The war against Lebanon has shown a total disregard for humanitarian considerations and total apathy, polarization, and latent racism by the first world towards people they do not understand and do not care to understand. It is the same old story of history.

We are losing our soul, and they have nothing left to lose but their souls.

© 2006. Beamcorp.com. All Rights Reserved

Welcome to Gilead

As we entered the 21st Century I hoped, like many around the world, that the United States would be able to lead us to a better place than one we left in the last Century. I sympathized with my predecessors who must have hoped for a better world 100 years ago. For the 20th Century began as the bloodiest yet, with an initial backlash on religions and superstition supplanted in a few decades by quasi-religious totalitarian regimes. The fragile peace of the post World War II era was created only through the Cold War fear of total annihilation.

Unfortunately 2001 dashed my hopes with the re-empowerment of the fundamentalist, xenophobic religions using ever more deadly technological weapons against their perceived enemies. Citizens of the United States are increasingly trying to weaken their constitution’s secular base. Guerrilla terrorism is spreading as a reaction to increased state terrorism, exacerbating a vicious cycle that will end in ever-greater perils for humanity. A leap in logic I often encounter declares that humanity has survived so long that, naturally, it will do so in perpetuity. The odds are increasingly against us. Primitive ideologies, greater lethal technology, population growth, and environmental breakdown are the wrong combination at the wrong time.

We have not simply embarked on a new mandate for an old political administration, but on a sanctioned reversal of what this nation was built on and has reinforced over the past two centuries. The founding fathers were mostly men of faith, but had the foresight to know that such a diverse populace could not ever thrive unless a strictly secular government were in place. They were realists not liberals. Fatal political experiments throughout the world have proven them right. Government has to remain above religious and ethnic strife.

Margaret Atwood’s masterful novel The Handmaid’s Tale comes to mind. Canadians have always been reasonably fearful of their neighbors to the South. In her book Atwood describes the plight of women in the Republic of Gilead: an extreme fundamentalist American theocracy where, civil war rages and fertile women become handmaids or surrogates for those elite commanders’ wives who are infertile due to environmental contamination. I always felt that an American dictatorship, much less a theocracy, would be entirely unlivable. In her book Atwood compares Gilead to Iran as the other theocracy of the 21st Century, though the latter pales in comparison. The difference is that Gilead was a cruder form of the more sophisticated machinery which is sweeping up many Americans through fear of the world and who as a relative majority are bringing it to being, rather than a more concentrated coup.

Most religions’ basic doctrines lie in humility, not intolerance. However, the fundamentalist extremes of any religion make secular government a necessity. We are using religious ideology to impose our rule on the world and divide the citizens of our own country. The ever-increasing cycle of violence we are experiencing throughout the world will reach our shores with devastating consequences and impoverish our nation. The trend has unfortunately begun. The 20th Century was the American Century. Only God knows who will own the 21st.

© 2004. www.beamcorp.com. All Rights Reserved/Users/BEAM2/Desktop/welcometogilead.htm

Anti-Terrorism Scorecard

Since the events of 9-11-2001 I have been watching the developments in the US and throughout the world with ever-increasing panic and astonishment. At the start I was in a minority concerned about the black and white stance the administration, the media, and most Americans were taking. I must say though that I always find some relief to see that there are still voices in this nation which do surface in the midst of overwhelming apathy, and that the stance of many Americans has changed, unlike that of the Administration’s.

It seemed pretty obvious to myself and others who were familiar with, had lived in other cultures, and were aware of the lax state of security in the US that some form of terrorism, though not on that scale, would eventually reach our shores as they had in Europe and other countries for decades. Since then this Administration’s policies as implied reactions to the events of 911 have brought a then sympathetic world to one predominantly against American arrogance and it’s policy of bringing the world to a war that few seem to want. There are endless arguments and opinions one can have, especially with regards to the historically complex and volatile Middle-East. The crucial point here however is not whether one should get rid of evil leaders, institute regime change, free oppressed peoples, or find weapons of mass destruction, but how is this US Administration really protecting this country from future terrorist attacks and protecting it’s citizens, as they claim is the basis for all their actions since 9-11-2001.

There is serious cause for alarm in that this Administration’s views of what needs to be done to protect this country, is actually going to seriously hurt the United States.

There are a couple of issues to look at in order to formulate a rational conclusion:

1. Overconfidence following humility in war: The now distant Vietnam War, the overwhelming victory in the Gulf War, and the quick air victory of the war in Afghanistan has given the Administration and Americans a false sense of power because it is just raw power; and essentially air power which is never conclusive for long term policies.

2. Regime change: Since the end of World War II and the US successes in the rebuilding of Japan and Europe, the US has not exactly proven it’s constructive talent for regime change, other than for short term special interests. US foreign policy aside from direct military action seems to be one of too little to late. The recent situation in Afghanistan is yet again proof of that policy. Since the overthrow of the Taleban in Afghanistan , the infrastructure of that country is still in shambles and wanting for many of the promises of supplies and assistance which were to be provided. We have yet to find the main proponents of the terror: Bin Laden, Al Zuhari, and Mullah Omar of the Taleban. The Karzai government has been pleading with the US to send in the economic aid and other forms of assistance promised a year ago before it is too late and Afghans loose faith in his administration.

The overwhelming majority of leaders we supported throughout the Third World were never chosen for their human rights records. Diem and Thieu in South Vietnam, Armas in Guatemala, Pahlavi in Iran, Noriega in Panama, Pinochet in Chile, the Somozas in Nicaragua, Suharto in Indonesia, Saddam in Iraq. After all as FDR once said of Anastazio Somoza Sr. “He may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”

So in the field of reconstruction and human rights the US suffers from a serious case of attention deficit disorder where it has covertly replaced many governments, left, and then wondered why they collapsed years later.

3. In support of Saddam: Previous US administrations and Western European nations were willing to do anything and everything to fight Iran. They propped up Saddam Hussein, gave him funds, know-how and materiel for the weapons of mass destruction we are so concerned about today. Iraq flourished during the Iran-Iraq war. After the Gulf War the US had many opportunities to assist rebellions from within Iraq. The Shiites in the South, then the Kurds in the North with dissident Iraqi military backing. They were let down repeatedly and voluntarily in part for fear of a dangerously destabilized Iraq, and the familiarity of a known despot to an unknown one. The present situation of direct invasion will be no different for the future.

4. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The only relatively consistent US Middle Eastern foreign policy is with regards to Israel. Unlike that with other governments there is little change in US policy regardless of the administration in power in Israel. Regardless of the fact that one should be able to be against the policies of an Israeli administration as in any country, without having to be labeled as anti Israeli, anti Zionist, or anti Semitic. Regardless of guilt labels this endless conflict will not be resolved unless the US drops it’s double standard and mediates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fairly. If this conflict is ever resolved it will also eliminate the principle raison d’être of many dictatorial Arab governments and radical religious groups. The late King Hussein of Jordan summed it up in that peace must be based on justice, especially in such a small geographical area.

For one the US has to admit that what is going on between Israelis and Palestinians does not fit neatly in the terrorism campaign where Israeli’s are not simply fighting Palestinian terrorists but are actually engaged in a civil war. It is just a question of semantics. Furthermore both nation’s leaders Sharon and Arafat have too many grudges and are irreconcilably incompatible. A distinction also has to be made as to what constitutes terrorism in this case. Where Al Quaeda’s nihilist soldiers strike to instill terror for it’s own sake, in the Israeli-Palestinian case members of both of these governments have been involved in acts of sabotage and terror to safeguard and promote their national rights.

Whether one cares or not, that conflict is relevant in that this US administration has decided to make it a part of an anti terrorist strategy with a double-standard which then increases the risk of anti-Americanism which increases the potentially subsequent harm to Americans at home and abroad. Therefore creating the reverse desired effect of the war on terror.

5. War fronts: This administration has decided to fight terror on “two fronts” for as the President claims, we can afford it. The problem is that terrorism is not fought on fronts. The administration talks of dealing with the world on a 21st Century view. Then the war on two fronts, or preemptively striking every nation in the book is not exactly 21st Century thinking since we know that true terrorist cells can operate at random anywhere against anyone. A level of cynicism is required here where one portrays a positive image, educates, and fights if necessary covertly and overtly. The present Administration in itself becomes a national security risk with it’s policies of world alienation, and it’s leader a greater threat than Bin Laden himself for if the latter’s intentions were to destabilize, events did not need to get so far out of hand.

6. The United Nations: One of the saddest parts of this chapter in our history is that by bullying and disregarding the United Nations we essentially renege it to the powerless status of the League of Nations before W.W.II. Is this what we want? Do we want to create a vacuum where the US can have the power over other nations but without the respect and a certain understanding among nations we tried so hard to promote. As history has shown, we must never forget how fragile democracies and democratic processes are.

7. Domino effect of democratic change: By destroying the secular regime in Iraq in the hope that it will propel other nations in the Middle East to reform their dictatorial regimes for democratic change we are missing a crucial point. If most of the pro US authoritarian regimes in the Middle East have a chance at universal suffrage, and taking into account the present war situation in Iraq, it is very likely that they will go the religious route, and even more likely that they will no longer be pro American. Authoritarian governments have so far managed to keep this in check, but following the backlash from this direct military invasion, the proponents of religious fundamentalism will have a greater following than they have ever had so far, since the specter of foreign intervention has transformed itself from a shadowy covert one into a harsh reality.

This is in part what occurred during the Iranian Revolution where religion became the only strong rallying point to throw off the yoke of foreign influence. At present, Iran is also viewed by this administration as a target for regime change. This would be an even greater mistake than the current war in Iraq since it would in effect again greatly strengthen religion as a tool against the West in a country where a huge majority are not for the remaining diehards of a dying regime but for a democratic change which has already been taking place and which is much more advanced than in any other nation in the region. By direct military interference in Iran, years of political evolution since the revolution twenty four years ago would be destroyed and would set the whole region back even further, thus completely discrediting US foreign policy.

8. Homeland Security: Our existing intelligence organizations, the FBI and CIA need substantial overhauls. Creating a whole new mammoth bureaucracy in the guise of the Department of Homeland Security which by all accounts will take huge funding and will only be efficient in protecting American soil within five to six year is preposterous. If we are indeed in an emergency situation then we must act immediately and streamline for greater efficiency.

The FBI and CIA have seriously suffered in the past ten years. The FBI did not even possess an adequate centralized computer system to exchange data between their different agencies, or have enough Arabic translators to tackle wiretaps that were made.. The CIA did not even have competent Arabic speaking operatives in Germany. So why not reform and enhance these agencies rather than create more waste in terms of time and money, which the government has not even been able to allocate.

This country is so vast and with over two billion items entering every year we would have to turn this nation into an armed fortress to control all imports. A terrorist only needs one chance. Does the Administration not see that force is not enough and that in order to have a lasting peace there has to be respect backed by force. Only the most intolerable totalitarian systems have managed to keep absolute control, at the expense of unhappy populations, and only for a time. Members of the Administration would be well advised to exchange their prayer books for copies of Machiavelli where he states that the balance for long term, efficient control can only be a combination of love and respect backed by force.

9. Western labels: Many feel that the US is biased against Muslims. That is somewhat true. The West in general addresses Judeo-Christian issues. The National Socialist Holocaust in Europe has been regularly addressed. The genocide perpetrated in Japanese occupied countries in Asia are seldom addressed in depth in the West. Stalin’s crimes in the Soviet Union and Soviet occupied Europe are also not given the weight they deserve. The proximity of the culture as well as the power of the perpetrator of crimes leads to the conclusion of how these crimes are addressed. Therefore Muslims fall in the more distant category to Western consciousness. This is a gap which has to be bridged on both sides, and only by trust.

10. Civil rights: The latest policy of holding US citizens indefinitely without trial who may be regarded as tools of terrorism is not unlike the Shutzhaft principle (protective custody) adopted by the National Socialists in Germany to combat Communism, which led to the most outrageous excesses of human rights violations. Many policies are already being implemented in the guise of combating terrorism and unless people and Congress curb these excesses, the American people will be one of the many targets of this administration’s war on terrorism.

11. Congress and Iraq: Congressional members voting for the resolution to go to war against Iraq, many against the wishes of their constituents, is not unlike the votes cast in the last German election in 1933 by Reichstag representatives from various parties who voted themselves out of power and legitimizing Nazi rule without the consent of their constituents. The circumstances may be different but the principle is similar. Both occurred in a modern state, and both did not honor the voters who voted them in.

12. First strike: The administration’s policy of preventive war and first nuclear strike option regardless of whether the enemy possesses such weapons is another sad regression for world balance and long term peace. This revives the paranoia of the fifties and greatly encourages smaller nations to acquire nuclear weapons in order not to be bullied.

13. The reach for empire: The single-mindedness from the beginning to attack already contained Iraq, irrelevant of lack of ties to Al-Quaeda, and non credible proof of that country’s rearmament program shows that it is not a direct threat to US national security. The tantrums of the US administration at the world and the United Nations as obstacles to an invasion of Iraq all show the different motives of a US policy that has taken an aggressive stance which does not conform to the logic of a rational war on terrorism to protect American citizens.

This extreme and determined policy of this US administration to invade Iraq can only lead one to believe that it is either out of touch with certain realities, or simply motivated by greed and the reach for empire.

14. The present US Administration: It is too convenient to refer to the President of the United States as a puppet who is being manipulated by his cohorts. It makes things more palpable. The President and many in his administration may not be the most worldly, but you don’t get to these positions by pure accident. The fact being that whether one is smart or educated or both, does not mean that one cannot be provincial, narrow-minded, or greedy. The key here is common sense which seems to be in short supply.

In conclusion, the present administration’s so called war on terrorism has in less than a year left people all over the world baffled by policies which have further alienated not only most of the Developing world but the majority of the First-World as well. How they have failed to come through in their economic assistance to Afghanistan. How they have failed to not only justify the huge expenses and payoff for a new department of Homeland Security, but have failed to deliver the funding for it. How they have failed in delivering the top Al-Quaeda and Taleban leaders, and have spent the whole year concentrating on Iraq. How they have justified to smaller nations the need to acquire nuclear weapons with the doctrine of preemption including nuclear first strike against a non-nuclear power. All this with the backdrop of a tottering economy with so many promises and very little reform.

All these elements comprising this Administration’s policies have already made the world a much more dangerous place in the long run for all Americans.

For a US Administration to have spent so much of it’s time and ours on the issue of a small contained dictator when there are so many other pressing domestic and international issues, is not worthy of such a mighty nation. The same Administration’s incessant talk of illegal regimes is the least qualified in US history to do so in light of it’s own lack of absolute legal legitimacy in the eye of the American voter.

For years European nations have had stringent security measures while the US disregarded these issues while benefiting from a complete lack of terrorist activity on it’s soil. Now that terrorism has struck home we have reacted in such a disproportionate way which will only create more enmity and reasons for more terrorism. With intelligent, strong yet subtle policies, we can combat that threat with our allies instead of alienating what allies we do have as well. But the obvious outcome of this US Administration’s post 911 motives plainly show other underlying motives other than the protection of the American people.

It is unfortunate that we have relinquished our role of arbiter for that of empire.

“America can exercise power without arrogance and pressure it’s interests without hectoring and bluster. When it does so in concert with those who share it’s core values, the world becomes more prosperous, democratic, and peaceful. That has been America’s special role in the past, and it should be again as we enter the next century.”

Condoleeza Rice, Promoting the National Interest (Foreign Affairs-January/February 2000), p.62.

“A warning against following this path came from none other than Gen. Anthony Zinni, commander of the US Central Command, whose writ covered the Gulf region. ‘I know of no viable opposition to Saddam in Iraq,’ he said. ‘Under such conditions any attempt to remove the Iraqi leader by force, could dangerously fragment Iraq and destabilize the entire region.’ He added, ‘A weakened, fragmented, chaotic Iraq, which could happen if this isn’t done carefully, is more dangerous in the long run than a contained Saddam now.'”

Washington Post, October 22, 1998; Observer (London), November 15, 1998; New York Times, November 16, 1998, in Dilip Hiro, Iraq: In the Eye of the Storm, (New York: Thunder Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), p.90.

March 21, 2003

© 2003. www.beamcorp.com. All Rights Reserved

White Collar Criminality and the Need for Urgent Reform

Like many of you I have been a victim of white-collar crime on different occasions and I have fought hard to successfully bring the perpetrators to justice. Everyone I talked to in each instance always gave me all the reasons why I couldn’t reclaim my loss. This is unfortunately a common problem. Most people are either intimidated by complex alien legal systems and are at a loss on how to seek justice, simply lack the initiative after the shock of their loss, naturally lack the funds to fight following their ordeal, or they simply don’t want to come forward for fear of embarrassment or exposure to taxes. Nations like Switzerland and other so called tax havens are such traps which feed on peoples paranoia and therefore attract white-collar crime. Most of us are touched and suffer from these types of crimes at one point in our lives. The degree of the loss and suffering due to the crime varies but the problem is very real. If one’s economic resources are well diversified then the damage can be minimized. If not then the surprise is quite painful. Also depending on one’s age and the capacity to recreate wealth it can be a devastating experience. I know many whose lives will never be the same for they have lost their security, their self esteem, better possibilities for their children, better medical care and finally just basic simple peace of mind. For many do not have the time or the energy to start over. As a society we have come to accept too readily that white collar criminals or “whicons” as I call them are not as harmful to society as blue collar criminals. We and our legal system fail to come to terms with the fact that one whicon can inflict more damage and suffering to more lives in one sweep than the average blue collar criminal ever could. We always talk about how a blue collar criminal who premeditates a crime must get a harsher penalty. Whicons premeditate their crime every step of the way, daily without shame, while unscrupulously betraying the people and society which have entrusted them with their lifesaving’s and therefore with their lives. Furthermore, the average blue collar criminal has a lower level of education and often a more difficult life to contend with, which can lead to extreme frustrations, which can then leads to crime. In the whicon scenario we are dealing with people who have relatively high levels of education and often higher material wealth than the people they actually usurp. Just because they don’t directly hold a gun to one’s head and kill them shouldn’t let them off the hook. The crime should be looked at as a whole package in terms of the extent of the premeditation, the level of greed, the people their hurt in the process and to what degree. Something must also be said for a system of education which doesn’t put enough value on teaching people ethics and compassion, for it is one thing to get technical training but quite another to instill compassion and common sense. These are aspect which are not emphasized in our education systems, be it in business, law, or medicine. On the contrary, our ultimate capitalist society has often elevated these whicons to levels of adulation and respect for some young executives to aspire to. I remember once when some people were organizing a party to celebrate the release of an executive who served a short jail term for embezzlement. His coworkers and friends seemed to view him as some sort of capitalist rogue hero. When these whicons end up taking away the lifesaving’s of retirees who no longer have the means of recreating their economic base and need their hard earned money to take care of their basic survival needs like food, housing, and medical care, it is as if they had murdered them, for they not only cut off their economic life support, rendering them helpless, but also rob them of their trust and self esteem by betraying and humiliating them. This is an argument I had in court once when I exposed the fact that two septuagenarians had died as a direct result of their lifesaving’s being taken from them by their portfolio managers in a complex case of embezzlement. It shouldn’t come much as a surprise that these crimes are not taken that seriously, when in our warped society murderers get their sentences reduced by more than half, and couples getting divorced end up successfully usurping the other’s livelihood, including even their airline miles in some cases, after being married at times for as little as a year. It is high time that we as a so called civilized society take steps against these crimes and seriously begin to evaluate the suffering these whicons inflict on hard working, honest individuals. Our institutions should prevent them from painlessly reintegrating the society they betrayed with such ease. In Europe for example one must think twice before declaring bankruptcy and not living up to one’s obligations, because it’s effects are long lasting. There one is pushed into the financial back lot for more than a decade. In countries governed by Roman law where one is guilty until proven innocent, assets are frozen immediately so as to secure future retributions once the trials have been won. But then again in certain parts of the world and close knit countries like Switzerland, if one lacks the experience or determination these crimes are conveniently swept under the rug. In the US on the other hand the legal system makes it very costly and by the time one wins the case the disappeared money has usually completely vanished. Our systems of justice and government must therefore become more aware and responsible by establishing two degrees of white-collar criminality: into higher and lower offenders. For higher offenders involved in outright premeditated fraud against clients, the punishment should fit the crime and sentences should be handed down like the ones handed down for higher blue-collar crimes. That is according to the degree of suffering caused by the crime. For lower offenders who created a problem due to incompetence they must also be punished but of course according to the degree and premeditation of their crime. It basically goes back to the criminal code of degrees of involvement. It is not enough to attribute these crimes to the greed of investors who want higher returns, but governments must do more to protect innocent people from con artists who can disappear and resurface every seven years. It would then be beneficial for our government to establish a commission on white-collar crime to layout the ground-work for such reforms in our society. It is increasingly evident that our legal system needs massive reforms in order to readapt itself to the present as we enter the next millennium. This is one crucial reform which must be made. Only then will a valid message be sent out that these crimes which affect the lives of so many will no longer be tolerated. It is time to make the punishment fit the crime with regards to white-collar criminality and to stop letting the perpetrators get away with just a slap on the wrist. As a civilized society we must do much more in evaluating the suffering these whicons inflict not only on individuals but on our values and to prevent them from painlessly reintegrating the society they so comfortably betrayed. This can be done by creating mandatory sentencing guidelines as harsh as those handed down to blue-collar criminals. Only then will it send out a valid message. We must treat Whicons as devious criminals who are motivated by greed and total disregard for the society in which they function and must therefore receive the full punishment they deserve. As in the case of blue collar criminals they must, depending on the premeditation in conjunction with the suffering they inflict, receive the appropriate punishment. The End.

© 1997. www.beamcorp.com. All Rights Reserved


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Serbia Revised

The words “Never Again” engraved on the walls of Nazi concentration camps were not just meant as reminders of Nazi atrocities but also as a warning for future generations against the primitive thinking and horrifying racist policies that intolerance and nationalism generates.

The same factors that held true to Nazi policies and philosophy, and the futile attempts at appeasement by the Western democracies before World War II holds true in the present case of Serbia and it’s minions. Although arguments about the present Balkan conflict abound, it is either time to just turn away from the whole situation before we become more embarrassed in the process, or to take harsh decisive action that will swiftly cripple Serbian determination; at least with regards to their genocidal policies in Bosnia.

One must look at Serb leaders Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic as slick modern versions of the National Socialist philosophy and we must deal with them accordingly. They have shown the same proclivity for intolerance, deception, and ruthlessness to attain and retain power for it’s own sake with total disregard for any peoples including their own. History has proven beyond doubt that this kind of politician can only be dealt with with extreme harshness. The Western democracies’ appeasement strategies, or lack of such, are being derided and exploited today as they were sixty years ago.

Former US ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann, and others who know Milosevic confirm that he is a master at duplicity, in portraying his regime as benign, by disassociating himself from Karadzic and the center of the crisis in Bosnia. Recent discussions to suspend sanctions against Serbia in order to assist Milosevic in resolving the conflict once again completely overlook the fact that he is the main architect of that conflict, and further proves his cunning success at playing all sides for his own ambitions.

Under this clear assumption, one way to make Western determination clear would be to shift part of the strategic focus of the Balkan conflict from Bosnia to Serbia itself, since at this point the only thing that would seem to matter to the regime in Belgrade is the bombing of Serbia proper, as it seems a little late to commit ground troops, especially on the scale needed, and in light of the fact that no one has the stomach to see anymore soldiers risk their lives in this already messy situation.

The West can utilize it’s superior air power directly against Serbian strategic centers, like industrial and military complexes. Furthermore, the Western governments must show their resolve to unite in a cohesive force, for a worthwhile common goal that all can agree upon, as they did in World War II and recently in Kuwait. The Serbian policies of “ethnic cleansing” and territorial ambitions should be reason enough to want to rid the European continent and the modern world of such grotesque regimes. That is of course under the assumption that we are not merely concerned about natural resources but also about the plight of innocent civilians. If we cannot commit on that level then we should turn away and find ways to officially funnel arms to the non Serbian Bosnians and let them have a fr figaiht. If we are not ready to agree on a focused strategy, then let’s save ourselves further pain and embarrassment and shut the blinds on the hideous face of intolerance, because intolerance cannot be fought with half-hearted measures. The End.

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