One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed or tiddley-poo or four sheets to the wind a good deal of the time from when he was 16 until he was 41. When he was 41, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint.
Other drunks have seen pink elephants."
"That chief and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you’ll be asked to repay."
Kurt Vonnegut, found at:
You might agree, or not.. Right or wrong, it still is both an interesting and very amusingly and skilful written column
Personally, I generally agree with it, including the second sentence above. USA's biggest problem isn't terrorists etc. It's the fact that USA is more or less totally ruined, with a National debt that's enormous, to say the least. In fact, if USA were to be forced to start paying off that debt, USA would be in some serious trouble. In order to get some of that money in, most citizens in USA would have to pay an estimated 80% (sorry, don't have the source of that at hand) of their income in tax, at the same time as all the public institutions still had to be closed down. In addition to that, USA is in many ways owned by foreign countries, mostly arabic countries as well as Japan (and with China soon becoming the biggest economy in the world). Even if it does mean that money is flowing out of USA at a huge rate, the problem isn't as much that, as much as it is the fact that if they were to pull out, the foundation of the USA economy would start to fall to pieces. Forget all about the depression in the '30s. That would look like holiday times in comparison. Remember what happened some 10 years ago when the Japanese economy stumbled and what fear that created in the world. Not as much because of concern of Japan, but the fact that Japanese companies has such a lot of investments outside of Japan, it would have caused major problems if Japan was forced to pull out. Rather than dismantling their Subaru car company, they would pull out off General Motors and leave that to make it or not make it, and not making it would be the most likely scenario. General Motors is such a big company in the USA, with investments in foreign countries in their turn, that if they fall, not only would thousands upon thousands of people be out of work, most of the other companies that either has investments in GM or which GM has investments in would be brought along in the fall. That's why the rest of the world was very quick to run to the rescue of Japan and South East Asia. A lot better to suffer a little by softening the blow to Japan, than suffer a lot if they hadn't done it at all.
Obviously, those countries doesn't have an immidiate interest in doing that, since the gain would be extremely short lived, when most of the world's economy fall apart, since it wouldn't stop with USA. Now, they have a steady stream of gold running their way, and why cut that off. Also, the one sitting on the highest pile of gold, is also the one that pulls the strings of those below them.
The USA politicians obviously know about this (Bush and Cheney has Saudi Arabia to directly thank for their own private wealth, since they got rich by dealing with Saudi Arabia ), but can't do that much about it. One thing President Clinton did well, even if he might not have done that much else, was to warn for the escalating debt and try to turn it around before it got totally out of hands. If you remember back then, the mantra he used was: "Cut the national debt". The politicians do know about the problem, but there's not exactly a lot they can do about it, since their hands are tied. They can't very well start doing things that might cause Japan or, even worse, Saudi Arabia to start pulling out, knowing very well what that would mean. "Whatever "we" do, don't upset Saudi Arabia." In fact, what they do instead, is to keep up the front as good as possible. Pretending there isn't a problem at all, as well as diverting all interest to other things.
At the moment, there's a "half-war" going on in Iraq? Why? Why is USA so anxious about Iraq, when Iraq never had been the smallest threat to USA ever, and was highly unlikely to pose as a threat in the future. In fact, until about 15 years ago, USA was very much in control of Iraq and doing major, friendly businesses with them. All ended when Iraq decided to invade Kuwait. Not because they did that, but the fact is that it totally scared Saudi Arabia. For two reasons. A: With Kuwait, Iraq would be competing with Saudi Arabia when it came to economy. Iraq would have the possibility to get a higher pile of gold, and remember who pull the strings! Iraq would have been in a position where they could dictate Saudi Arabia. B: If Kuwait was first, what would stop Iraq from going on to Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia still is neighbour to Iraq, the very same Saudi Arabia having a lot of investments in USA, and very close connections with people in the USA goverment. The group suffering the most from Husseins rule was the people in southern Iraq, which has a lot more in connection with Saudi Arabia than that off Hussein. USA, at the same time, need to keep up the front as a leading power in the world, and act as if nothing is wrong. The USA goverment, being elected by only about 25 percent of the US citizens, do need all the diversions they could ever muster. Also having good access to cheap oil, doesn't exactly make things worse, since it a: is easier to keep up the appearance with cheap energy b: In about 10 years time, oil is gonna be a very rare resource, at the speed we use it today, and the ones having access to whatever oil there is left, is gonna benefit a lot out of that.