By Lance Freeman / Jun 10
Escape from the prison you call home
Americans, I have some bad news for you:
You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by a wide margin.
If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.
I know this because I am an American and I escaped from the prison you call home.
I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.
Consider this: You are the only people in the developed world without a single-payer health system. Everyone in Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand has a single-payer system. If they get sick, they can devote all their energies to getting well. If you get sick, you have to battle two things at once, your illness and the fear of financial ruin. Millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills, and tens of thousands die each year because they have no insurance or insufficient insurance. And don’t believe for a second that rot about America’s having the world’s best medical care or the shortest waiting lists: I’ve been to hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore, and Thailand, and every one was better than the “good” hospital I used to go to back home. The waits were shorter, the facilities more comfortable, and the doctors just as good.
This is ironic, because you need a good health system more than anyone else in the world. Why? Because your lifestyle is almost designed to make you sick.
Let’s start with your diet: Much of the beef you eat has been exposed to fecal matter in processing. Your chicken is contaminated with salmonella. Your stock animals and poultry are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. In most other countries, the government would act to protect consumers from this sort of thing; in the United States, the government is bought off by industry to prevent any effective regulations or inspections. In a few years, the majority of all the produce for sale in the United States will be from genetically modified crops, thanks to the cozy relationship between Monsanto Corporation and the United States government. Worse still, due to the vast quantities of high-fructose corn syrup Americans consume, fully one-third of children born in the United States today will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.
Of course, it’s not just the food that’s killing you; it’s also the drugs. If you show any sign of life when you’re young, they’ll put you on Ritalin. Then, when you get old enough to take a good look around, you’ll get depressed, so they’ll give you Prozac. If you’re a man, this will render you chemically impotent, so you’ll need Viagra to get it up. Meanwhile, your steady diet of trans-fat-laden food is guaranteed to give you high cholesterol, so you’ll get a prescription for Lipitor. Finally, at the end of the day, you’ll lay awake at night worrying about losing your health plan, so you’ll need Lunesta to go to sleep.
With a diet guaranteed to make you sick and a health system designed to make sure you stay that way, what you really need is a long vacation somewhere. Unfortunately, you probably can’t take one. I’ll let you in on little secret: If you go to the beaches of Thailand, the mountains of Nepal, or the coral reefs of Australia, you’ll probably be the only American in sight. And you’ll be surrounded by crowds of happy Germans, French, Italians, Israelis, Scandinavians and wealthy Asians. Why? Because they’re paid well enough to afford to visit these places AND they can take vacations long enough to do so. Even if you could scrape together enough money to go to one of these incredible places, by the time you recovered from your jetlag, it would be time to get on a plane and rush back to your job.
If you think I’m making this up, check the stats on average annual vacation days by country:
The fact is, they work you like dogs in the United States. This should come as no surprise: The United States never got away from the plantation / sweat shop labor model, and any real labor movement was brutally suppressed. Unless you happen to be a member of the ownership class, your options are pretty much limited to barely surviving on service-sector wages or playing musical chairs for a spot in a cubicle (a spot that will be outsourced to India next week, anyway). The very best you can hope for is to get a professional degree and then milk the system for a slice of the middle-class pie. And even those who claw their way into the middle class are but one illness or job loss away from poverty. Your jobs aren’t secure. Your company has no loyalty to you. They’ll play you off against your co-workers for as long as it suits them; then they’ll get rid of you.
Of course, you don’t have any choice in the matter: The system is designed this way. In most countries in the developed world, higher education is either free or heavily subsidized; in the United States, a university degree can set you back over US$100,000. Thus, you enter the working world with a crushing debt. Forget about taking a year off to travel the world and find yourself – you’ve got to start working or watch your credit rating plummet.
If you’re “lucky,” you might even land a job good enough to qualify you for a home loan. And then you’ll spend half your working life just paying the interest on the loan – welcome to the world of American debt slavery. America has the illusion of great wealth because there’s a lot of “stuff” around, but who really owns it? In real terms, the average American is poorer than the poorest ghetto dweller in Manila, because at least they have no debts. If they want to pack up and leave, they can; if you want to leave, you can’t, because you’ve got debts to pay.
All this begs the question: Why would anyone put up with this? Ask any American, and you’ll get the same answer: “Because America is the freest country on earth.” If you believe this, I’ve got some more bad news for you: America is actually among the least free countries on earth. Your piss is tested, your emails and phone calls are monitored, your medical records are gathered, and you are never more than one stray comment away from writhing on the ground with two Taser prongs in your ass.
And that’s just physical freedom. Mentally, you are truly imprisoned. You don’t even know the degree to which you are tormented by fears of medical bankruptcy, job loss, homelessness, and violent crime because you’ve never lived in a country where there is no need to worry about such things.
But it goes much deeper than mere surveillance and anxiety. The fact is, you are not free because your country has been taken over and occupied by another government. Fully 70% of your tax dollars go to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is the real government of the United States. You are required under pain of death to pay taxes to this occupying government. If you’re from the less fortunate classes, you are also required to serve and die in their endless wars, or send your sons and daughters to do so. You have no choice in the matter: There is a socio-economic draft system in the United States that provides a steady stream of cannon fodder for the military.
If you call a life of surveillance, anxiety, and ceaseless toil in the service of a government you didn’t elect “freedom,” then you and I have a very different idea of what that word means.
If there was some chance that the country could be changed, there might be reason for hope. But can you honestly look around and conclude that anything is going to change? Where would the change come from? The people? Take a good look at your compatriots: The working class in the United States has been brutally propagandized by jackals like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity. Members of the working class have been taught to lick the boots of their masters and then bend over for another kick in the ass. They’ve got these people so well trained that they’ll take up arms against the other half of the working class as soon as their masters give the word.
If the people cannot make a change, how about the media? Not a chance. From Fox News to the New York Times, the mass media in the United States is nothing but the public relations wing of the corporatocracy, primarily the military industrial complex. At least the citizens of the former Soviet Union knew that their news was bullshit. In America, you grow up thinking you’ve got a free media, which makes the propaganda doubly effective. If you don’t think American media is mere corporate propaganda, ask yourself the following question: Have you ever heard a major American news outlet suggest that the country could fund a single-payer health system by cutting military spending?
If change can’t come from the people or the media, the only other potential source of change would be the politicians. Unfortunately, the American political process is among the most corrupt in the world. In every country on earth, one expects politicians to take bribes from the rich. But this generally happens in secret, behind the closed doors of their elite clubs. In the United States, this sort of political corruption is done in broad daylight, as part of legal, accepted, standard operating procedure. In the United States, they merely call these bribes campaign donations, political action committees, and lobbyists. One can no more expect the politicians to change this system than one can expect a man to take an axe and chop his own legs out from underneath him.
No, the United States of America is not going to change for the better. The only change will be for the worse. And when I say worse, I mean much worse. As we speak, the economic system that sustained the country during the post-war years is collapsing. The United States maxed out its “credit card” sometime in 2008, and now its lenders – starting with China – are in the process of laying the foundations for a new monetary system to replace the Anglo-American “petro-dollar” system. As soon as there is a viable alternative to the US dollar, the greenback will sink like a stone.
While the United States was running up crushing levels of debt, it was also busy shipping its manufacturing and white-collar jobs overseas and letting its infrastructure fall to pieces. Meanwhile, Asian and European countries were investing in education, infrastructure, and raw materials. Even if the United States tried to rebuild a real economy (as opposed to a service / financial economy), do you think American workers would ever be able to compete with the workers of China or Europe? Have you ever seen a Japanese or German factory? Have you ever met a Singaporean or Chinese worker?
There are only two possible futures facing the United States, and neither one is pretty. The best case is a slow but orderly decline – essentially a continuation of what’s been happening for the last two decades. Wages will drop, unemployment will rise, Medicare and Social Security benefits will be slashed, the currency will decline in value, and the disparity of wealth will spiral out of control until the United States starts to resemble Mexico or the Philippines – tiny islands of wealth surrounded by great poverty (the country is already halfway there).
Equally likely is a sudden collapse – perhaps brought about by a rapid flight from the US dollar by creditor nations like China, Japan, Korea, and the OPEC nations. A related possibility would be a default by the United States government on its vast debt. One look at the financial balance sheet of the US government should convince you how likely this is: Governmental spending is skyrocketing, and tax receipts are plummeting – something has to give. If either of these scenarios plays out, the resulting depression will make the present recession look like a walk in the park.
Whether the collapse is gradual or gut-wrenchingly sudden, the results will be chaos, civil strife, and fascism. Let’s face it: The United States is like the former Yugoslavia – a collection of mutually antagonistic cultures united in name only. You’ve got your own version of the Taliban: right-wing Christian fundamentalists who actively loathe the idea of secular Constitutional government. You’ve got a vast intellectual underclass that has spent the last few decades soaking up Fox News and talk radio propaganda, eager to blame the collapse on Democrats, gays, and immigrants. You’ve got a ruthless ownership class that will use all the means at its disposal to protect its wealth from the starving masses.
On top of all that, you’ve got vast factory farms, sprawling suburbs, and a truck-based shipping system – all of it entirely dependent on oil that is about to become completely unaffordable. And you’ve got guns. Lots of guns. In short: the United States is about to become a very unwholesome place to be.
Right now, the government is building fences and walls along its northern and southern borders. Right now, the government is working on a national ID system (soon to be fitted with biometric features). Right now, the government is building a surveillance state so extensive that they will be able to follow your every move online, in the streets, and across borders. If you think this is just to protect you from “terrorists,” then you’re sadly mistaken. Once the shit really hits the fan, do you really think you’ll just be able to jump into the old station wagon, drive across the Canadian border, and spend the rest of your days fishing and drinking Molson? No, the government is going to lock the place down. They don’t want their tax base escaping. They don’t want their “recruits” escaping. They don’t want YOU escaping.
I am not writing this to scare you. I write this to you as a friend. If you are able to read and understand what I’ve written here, then you are a member of a small minority in the United States. You are a minority in a country that has no place for you.
So, what should you do?
You should leave the United States of America.
If you’re young, you’ve got plenty of choices. You can teach English in the Middle East, Asia, or Europe. Or you can go to university or graduate school abroad and start building skills that will qualify you for a work visa. If you’ve already got some real work skills, you can apply to emigrate to any number of countries as a skilled immigrant. If you are older and you’ve got some savings, you can retire to a place like Costa Rica or the Philippines. If you can’t qualify for a work, student, or retirement visa, don’t let that stop you – travel on a tourist visa to a country that appeals to you and talk to the expats you meet there. Whatever you do, go speak to an immigration lawyer as soon as you can. Find out exactly how to get on a path that will lead to permanent residence and eventually citizenship in the country of your choice.
You will not be alone. There are millions of Americans just like me living outside the United States. Living lives much more fulfilling, peaceful, free, and abundant than we ever could have attained back home. Some of us happened upon these lives by accident (we tried a year abroad and found that we liked it), while others made a conscious decision to pack up and leave for good. You’ll find us in Canada, all over Europe, in many parts of Asia, in Australia and New Zealand, and in most other countries of the globe. Do we miss our friends and family? Yes. Do we occasionally miss aspects of our former country? Yes. Do we plan on ever living again in the United States? Never. And those of us with permanent residence or citizenship can sponsor family members from back home for long-term visas in our adopted countries.
In closing, I want to remind you of something – unless you are an American Indian or a descendant of slaves, at some point your ancestors chose to leave their homelands in search of a better life. They weren’t traitors and they weren’t bad people, they just wanted a better life for themselves and their families. Isn’t it time that you continue their journey?
This article first appeared on Information Clearing House and has been reproduced with their kind permission.
Israel has admitted to previous use of false flag attacks to justify war against Middle Eastern nations.
For example, Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).
Numerous high-level government officials have warned that a false flag may be launched against Iran to start a war: 2
- Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (who helped to create Al Qaeda to fight the soviets in Afghanistan) told the Senate that a terrorist act might be carried out in the U.S. and falsely blamed on Iran to justify war against that nation.
- Daniel Ellsberg – the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower – said “if there is another terror attack, “I believe the president will get what he wants”, which includes war with Iran
- Robert David Steele – a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says that elements within the U.S. government are trying to carry out a false flag operation and blame it on Iran
- Former high-level CIA officer Michael Scheuer – who was the head of the CIA unit tasked with capturing Bin Laden – says that Israel or Saudi Arabia could be setting up Iran as a way to foment war 3
- Ron Paul has warned of a “Gulf of Tonkin type incident” in Iran
- Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says many ideas have been proposed for provoking a war, including building boats that look like Iranian boats, and then putting Navy Seals on them to “start a shoot-up”
- The highly influential Brookings Institution wrote a report in 2009 called “Which Path to Persia?” which states (pages 84-85):
It would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be.Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)
- A former member of the British Parliament stated that “there is a very real danger” that the American government will stage a false flag terror attack in order to justify war against Iran
- A number of very high-level former intelligence officers – including several that personally briefed presidents every day on matters of national security – stated that better communications between the U.S. and Iran were needed to “reduce the danger of … covert, false-flag attack”
One of America’s top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley – writes today:
Many critics have argued that there is a concerted effort to push the United States into a war with Iran by supporters of Israel. Patrick Clawson, director of research for the highly influential pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) think tank, seemed intent to prove those rumors true this week in comments as a luncheon on “How to Build US-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout.” Clawson casually discusses how to create a false flag operation to push the U.S. into war to overcome any reluctance by the public. We have been discussing how many leaders like Senator Joe Lieberman had begun to use the same rhetoric that led to the last two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the suggest timing of an attack has been tied to the presidential election.
In his remarks, Clawson helpfully lists a series of historical events used to push the country into war like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave us the Vietnam War. Clawson expressed his frustration in acknowledging that it is “[v]ery hard for me to see how the United States President can get us to war with Iran.” However, there is hope. Clawson explains that the “traditional way” to get the country into a war is through false flags or manufactured incidents where Americans are killed. Thus, he observes, “we are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians, we could get nastier about it. So, if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war.”
The fact that one of the leading analysis for the WINEP would feel comfortable in making such comments is itself quite chilling. It indicates that such discussions have become sufficiently regular that it has creeped into public discussion. It is a measure of the secret pressure building to push this country into a third major war despite our crippling economic conditions and losses in military personnel. The assumption in Washington is that neither Romney nor Obama could oppose such a war. Even if Obama does not publicly support Israel, the assumption is that political allies of Israel in Washington can guarantee that we would offer extensive military loans and intelligence. Even if there is a delay in such military loans and support, the assumption is that Israel can go to war with the understanding that the United States will cover a significant portion of the costs. Moreover, in his remarkably candid remarks, Clawson shows how the U.S. can easily be forced into direct combat by pushing Iran to simply kill some Americans or sink a few of our ships. Then members would be clamoring for revenge. Notably, the Israelis have been ratcheting up the war rhetoric in pushing Iran, which predictably has now reserved the right to engage in a preemptive strike not just against Israeli but U.S. interests. We would then, again, find ourselves in a war without any public debate or collective decision.
While Clawson adds a passing caveat that he is not advocating such an approach, his remarks are clearly designed to show how the group can get the United States into a war for Israel if only we can get Iran to kill some of our citizens or soldiers. Those people are of course expendable props in Clawson’s realpolitik.
By the way, Clawson has been enlisted to give his insightful analysis at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He is also a member of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. The World Bank connection is particularly interesting given the history with Paul Wolfowitz who pushed the U.S. into two disastrous wars in the Bush Administration and was rewarded with being made the head of the World Bank.
It is the callous disconnect that is most chilling in these remarks. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died or have been crippled for life in these wars that have left the country near bankruptcy (and increasingly hostile “allies” in Afghanistan and Iraq). Those casualties and costs, however, appear immaterial in the discussion of supporting Israel in a war against Iran.
- Even if Iran did build a nuclear bomb – it would not be that dangerous, because Israel and America have so many more nukes. And see this
- Attacking Iran would only speed up its development of nuclear weapons, empower its hardliners, and undermine the chance for democratic reform
2 False flag attacks have been carried out against Iran in the past. For example, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
3 Saudi Arabia has also been supporting terrorists.
Blackwater to form secret army in UAE
The UAE has hired Blackwater mercenaries to quell possible uprisings:
The founder of the notorious security company Blackwater is reportedly hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to form a secret mercenary army in the UAE.
The billionaire Erik Prince, who relocated to the UAE in 2010 in the wake of mounting legal problems in the United States, received over USD 500 million to organize an 800-member battalion of foreign troops in the Persian Gulf state, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Posing as construction workers, dozens of Colombian men entered the UAE last November and were stationed in an Emirati base called Zayed Military City.
The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are recruited and trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, the daily said.
Documents show the force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks, and quell possible uprisings across the state, it added.
The UAE is a close ally of the US and officials in the Obama administration said that Washington was informed about the program.
“The [Persian] Gulf countries and the UAE in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official.
“They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”
However, legal experts doubt that the project has the US official blessing as the company is already enmeshed with a series of scandals related to operations in Iraq, Afghanistan.
Blackwater, which was later renamed Xe Services, came to spotlight after its forces killed over a dozen civilians and injured many more in Iraq’s capital Baghdad in 2007.