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US Institutions that breed smart agents

By Debbie Menon


Debbie Menon

Color and Gender seems to be of great consequence in this US election debate, but substance: who stands for what, and who has the legacy to back such stances, neither is promising, I am afraid. Black, white, a woman, a man, shouldn't really matter.  Shouldn't it be about substance? Collin Powell the man was black, and Rice the woman is? They have committed or contributed to genocide, haven't they? Does it make a difference for a Palestinian, Iraqi or Afghani child to be killed by a bullet fired from a black, a white or even an Arab as long as he will die or suffer his entire life as a result of the decisions these people take?

We all, particularly in the Western world and those places influenced by the west, have been conditioned for too long that any racial bias, or implication of bias, is the most despicably grievous failure of humanity, and yet, it seems that to accomplish our goals, that might be necessary as the only, recourse.

What do we do?  Embark on a program of genocide?  I don't think that is an acceptable solution. 

We must find a more humane way.

Colin Powell's "successes" and career achievements in the military were based on his tokenhood as a young black in the right place at the correct time. After graduating from City College in June 1958, he was granted a commission as an Army Second Lieutenant. Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a variety of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of General.  His advancement into the higher ranks began with his compliant cooperation with the My Lai cover-up.  He has been a tame, compliant and convenient military lapdog.  Since then, he went on to serve a White House fellowship under President Richard Nixon.

I believe, he may have originally had the character and the strength of conviction to have made it on his own, had he been given the chance and had he been white but, unfortunately he was not and he never had a chance to shed his skin and be himself.  Too bad for him and his country.  Once you have signed the Faustian contract, there is no redemption.
I suspect that Condi Rice has suffered something similar.  A brilliant woman, who is also black, struggles against two of the major cultural barriers between her and success in America and, armed and capable of making it on her own merits, she is still classified as a black and a female and given a token ride on the bus whether she liked it, desired it, or not.  She too, never had much of a chance to become Condoleeza Rice.  More than perhaps Powell did, but still wearing the same chains.
The fact that she is member in good standing of the Stanford community says all that one can say about her political bias and basis.  Stanford is the home of the well-dressed, immaculately manicured and coiffed American Republican party, otherwise known as the Grand Old Party, the GOP. Stanford hosts the
Hoover Institute, which is about as right as right can get. ("right" meaning the opposite of "left" not the opposite of "wrong"). They are not as open, rude and crude as the competing newcomers of the Johnny-come-lately Fascist Neocon group from Chicago and big-business, and they carry their weapons concealed under a veneer of academic charm, dignity and pragmatism, but they are as autocratic, slick and vicious as are the later day Neocons from the South End of Chicago in blue suits.
And then, there are the other competing pretenders to civility and culture, the Skull and Bonezers from Yale.  They usually live and travel well on great amounts of old, moldy and heavily tainted money, but they come with the same basic political philosophy and are headed toward the same place as the Stanfords and the Chicago mob. They consider themselves superior to both because they have been around a bit longer, but that is about the sole distinction.
It would appear that Obama is the forerunner of a similar group operating out of Harvard Yard, another hotbed of the same wannabe leaders of the world.  They too have been around for a long time, as long if not even longer than the Skull and Bonezer bozos.  They travel under the banner of the Democrat (Democrat, a nominal term, definitely not adjectival as in "democratic") Party, solely because of the proximity of Harvard Yard to Boston Commons and Scollay Square, the joint home, along with the cotton, corn and goober fields of the Southern States, and the factories of America of the Democrat Party.
Most Democrats, except for the elitist leaders who purport to "represent" them but whom they actually depend upon to further and support their own personal agenda, not that much different from the Stanforders, Yalies, Neocons, and South Chicago mobsters, have the soil of the earth or the grime of America's Industries under their fingernails... unbecoming dirt never associated with any of the more socially acceptable and recognized hard-core Rightists mentioned above.
The distinctions are fine, but it is these fine distinctions which, in the end, make all the difference.
Many men like Faust have played the game with the Devil. Many have sought to renege on the deal.  Many have believed that they can, only lease their soul for a few hours, for a "short-timer," and walk away free after the messy work is done but... the Devil has learned from the mob... and once you take his first cent, you are his, for the deal is sealed, based not on how much you negotiated for, but the fact that you made the pact. 
It is not a question of whether Obama has sold soul. He too did not get to where he is without making the Pac.  Whether he can break the deal, or whether he will even try, is another question which has yet to be seen.  No one has succeeded so far.  My gut feeling, he will at least try, the alternative is scary. I don't mean just from a Middle East Policy standpoint, but even for his country.

Well, even Fox News Commentator Bill O'Reilly, a smart product of, the institutions that breed smart agents, says a lot of nice things about Obama the sincere man he recently met for a Chat. Obama the President?  We'll just have to wait and see, won't we? Well, could be that Bill O'Reilly is just trying to put the peanut butter on both sides of his toast.  It could also be that he is an honest man, and there are just certain things which he cannot, or will not, do!  Perhaps he is no longer the believer he once was.  Some men change. I, a knee-jerk idealistic romantic who still believes in the fundamental goodness of man (against all available evidence) tend to go with the "honest man" option.

It is all conjecture. Brilliance in one thing is no indicator of one's ability in other endeavors. History is all we have to go by.

About the author:
Debbie Menon is an independent writer based in Dubai. She can be reached at

... Payvand News - 09/25/08 ... --

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