“Dirty Wars” Through Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was elected as the president of the United States in 1992 directly after George H.W. Bush. Unlike the Republican Bush, Clinton, a Democrat, was focused on changing the economic shift in the nation. Bush failed to reduce the fiscal deficit and focused on expanding international powers. Clinton on the other hand passed many reforms to aid in the reduction of the federal deficit and improve all economic qualities of the country. One main act that Clinton passed was the North American Free Trade Agreement as discussed by Freeman in Chapter 18. This allowed for a globalization of trade and a rapid expansion of the American economy, but this clearly came at a price. As a result violence had spread and terrorism resulted from the expanded economic improvements of the United States.

Dirty Wars is a documentary film the shows the true meaning of terrorism and wars in the Middle East, which can be seen as a direct result of the economic expansion of Bill Clinton. As globalization of trade occurred, many grew envious of our nation and conflicts emerged. The narrator of this film, Jeremy Scahill visits many countries in the Middle East including Afghanistan, Yemen and other countries where the U.S. military is currently stationed. Scahill travels through enemy lines without the approval of NATO and this reveals many things that us citizens did not know. Special forces such as JSOC, which is a team of highly train operatives trained to assassinate terrorist war lords across the world. However, their job does not seem to be as innocent as it seems. In the film, Scahill visits a family that was murdered by this operative team for no reason. The dead victims were allies of the United States and were celebrating a holiday prior to being killed. Scahill constantly shows the terror that the United States shows in executing their ordeals. Many quote the United States as being the true terrorists. With globalization at it’s peak the United States will not stop at any cost in expanding their empire.

Harlan County

In Harlan County we encounter a group of frustrated miners that decide to strike to make a stand against the poor working conditions and low wages offered by their employer Duke Coal Mining Company. As a minority acknowledging and recognizing that social and economic inequalities have been an ugly part of American history and an unfortunate truth of daily life is not new to me. However, while watching Harlan County documentary I had the realization when a group of powerful people decide that they will protect their best interests or profits at any cost the color of the person on the other side is irrelevant. Not to sound naïve but subconsciously poverty and the struggle to make ends meet I always assumed were exclusively reserved for Hispanics, Blacks and Native Americans.
But poor whites have been suffering for hundreds of years in this country as well. Some of the poorest folks right now and most affected and stricken by poverty are white. I’m not quite sure if the argument can be made that Harlan County is a direct example and is related to the corporate takeover that commenced in our government around the same time this was filmed. But our government is now solely focused on the needs and wants of the elite rich and corporations, it is no longer about the color of your skin, this social class takeover affects everyone even whites all alike. And this documentary is perfect example of the class warfare takeover people were facing in the 70’s and continue to face.

My Favorite Song “Imagine” John Lennon

“Imagine” (1971), written and performed by John Lennon is probably one of the most recognized songs of the 1970’s. 1971 had to be a turbulent time to live in. not only did you have to live in constant fear if you’re a youth of being drafted in to Vietnam. But the war itself was disastrous with thousands of human lives lost on both sides. This had to be a heavy burden on society as many thought American involvement was pointless in this war. The beginning of the 70’s also had just finished witnessing the assignation of four prominent leaders and America was under heavy criticism for the manner in which they treated African Americans in society. All these factors took place and some were still unraveling and during a dark time in American history here comes John Lennon a man who artistically had the world enamored with his music and could’ve possibly composed a song about anything and anything is not an exaggeration and had massive cult following and world success but he however decides to use his superstardom to make a political stance. Mr. Lennon wanted “Imagine” to make us question our reality of the present and as well of the future in order to create change
“Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing for the world “

The above verse is one of my favorite in the song Mr. Lennon is not introducing new ideas to the world, but he’s asking the world to close their eyes and picture a planet that does not need to divide its citizen by the differences between them whether being religious, material or the part of the world we are from. In fact Mr. Lennon points out and makes his listeners know that without these differences we are all equal and all beautiful alike. As an idealist John Lennon’s Imagine create warm fuzzy feelings of what the world should be. The world in its immensity is such a beautiful planet and all its beautiful creations have the given right to enjoy such a place that we were so fortunate to be alive for. The sad reality is that it is just an idea to want happiness and equality for everyone around the world. The truth is, it is a dark greedy world we live in. We systematically whether through religion or country classify ourselves and we lose the concept of humanity for the chance to make a dollar. Instead of those who were fortunate to have the intelligence to be innovative create wealth and take care of those that were less fortunate and talented we have created systems in which we exploit those people. Mr. Lennon pointed out everything that was wrong with society back then and had he been alive today he will be disgusted to know the world is so much worse now. But like Mr. Lennon I still imagine such world to exist. And hopefully I am not a dreamer or want to be the only one. But I know at one point in my life I am going to see the world live as one.

Michael Dukakis

“Running against Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis… Bush ran an ugly, negative campaign. In a measure of how much liberalism had become delegitimized during the Reagan years, Bush’s main charge against Dukakis was simply that he was a liberal.”

pg. 409

Managed by Lee Atwater, the 1988 Bush presidential campaign represented the ugliness of American politics. The Willie Horton ad and the so called “southern strategy” played into American’s racial fears. It also shows how American discourse had started to shift to the right during the Reagan administration. This shift is continuing even in today’s world.

By all accounts, Dukakis ran a sloppy campaign. His decision to pose in a tank in order to seem more militarily informed proved to be a huge mistake for Dukakis. Also, running against a candidate manged by Atwater, one of America’s greatest (if morally questionable) campaign managers, proved to be too difficult for “bland” Dukakis. The Bush campaign was aggressive. All in all the failure of Dukakis to gain many votes solidified the idea of the “Reagan revolution” in the American political arena. The lack of public support behind liberal candidates at this time would lead Bill Clinton, a liberal before office, to run an administration that looked closer to a moderate Republican administration.