Tag Archives: American empire

Killing Me Softly with Militarism, by William Astore

America has become a militaristic country whose citizens cheer killing and death as long as they’re far removed from the United States. From William Astore at tomdispatch.com:

The Decay of Democracy in America

When Americans think of militarism, they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms encrusted with medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state. (Was Donald Trump only joking recently when he said he’d like to award himself a Medal of Honor?) And what they may also think is: that’s not us. That’s not America. After all, Lady Liberty used to welcome newcomers with a torch, not an AR-15. We don’t wall ourselves in while bombing others in distant parts of the world, right?

But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the “hard” ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. Even in the heartland of Trump’s famed base, most Americans continue to reject nakedly bellicose displays like phalanxes of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Enemy Assets, by Robert Gore

Who’s betrayed their country?

A dictionary definition of asset is: a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality. The word has been much in the news lately. Usually coupled with “Russian,” it’s a favorite smear of establishment stalwarts like Hillary Clinton and establishment media like The New York Times. It’s been directed against President Trump, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and others who question the US’s interventionist foreign and military policies.

By implication, anyone who is an asset of a foreign country places the interests of that foreign country ahead of their own country’s. The term is especially odious when appended to a country commonly considered an enemy. Examining US foreign and military policy the last several decades, an unasked question is: to whom or what has that policy been “useful or valuable”? Establishment attacks on Trump and Gabbard serve to clarify who has actually been assets for unfriendly governments, and it’s not Trump or Gabbard.

At the end of WWII, the US was at the apex of its power and no nation could directly challenge it. After the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949, the two countries settled into the Cold War stalemate that lasted until the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. Actual use of nuclear weapons was considered potentially catastrophic, to be avoided by either side except to counter a nuclear strike—either preemptively or after the fact—by the other side. They were not considered a battlefield weapon, although there were elements of the American military command, and probably the Soviet command as well, that at various times advanced consideration of battlefield use.

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The Empire Is Running Out of War Stories. Or is it? Will American Exceptionalism Rise Again? by Richard Moser

If you convince yourself of your own superiority, its much easier to justify whatever it is you want to do to other people. From Richard Moser at counterpunch.org:

American Exceptionalism remains one of the innermost ideas shaping our national identity and still lies behind all of the war stories used to justify US foreign policy. Exceptionalism has been a part of American culture since the very first European settlers landed.

At its core, exceptionalism places America outside of normal history into a category of its own. Our initial “escape” from history followed two interrelated tracks: one was the religious radicalism of the Puritans, the other was the frontier experience. Both paths were the warpath.[1]

The early settlers believed that they were “chosen” — blessed by a special relationship to their God. They viewed their “errand in the wilderness” as a holy mission destined to bring a new and better way of life to the world. God’s judgment on their progress was revealed in the bounty of a harvest or the outcome of a war.

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Military Keynesianism Marches On, by Joan Roelofs

The warfare state is also a welfare state. From Joan Roelofs at counterpunch.org:

Photograph Source: Pfc. Cameron Boyd/Released – CC0

Our elected representatives do not have to be bribed with campaign contributions from weapons makers to support the Department of Defense budget. They may, shockingly, be representing our nation. Australian political scientist David T. Smith states: “The National Security State maintains democratic legitimacy because of the way it disperses public and private benefits while shielding ordinary Americans from the true costs of high-tech warfare.”

Some support for our military’s activities and its budget can be attributed to propaganda, or veteran nostalgia, or the glorification of violence in our history books, schools, and patriotic parades. In addition, a multitude of interests sustains the military and its budget, and encourages silence about its activities.

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Guns for Hire: No, the Government Shouldn’t Be Using the Military to Police the Globe, by John W. Whitehead

The US empire will meet the same fate as every other empire throughout history. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison

Eventually, all military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome.

It’s happening again.

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

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Daniel McAdams: “The US Has Ceased Being a Republic and Has Become a National Security State”

Daniel Adams is executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. The following is a wide ranging interview with Mohsen Abdelmoumen, from ahtribune.com:

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your Twitter account has just been closed. Why?

Daniel McAdams: In August I was watching a segment of the Sean Hannity program while at a friend’s house and noticed that despite an hour of Hannity ranting against the “deep state” in the US, he was wearing a lapel pin bearing the seal of the US Central Intelligence agency, which most would agree is either the center or at least an important hub of the US “deep state” itself. I tweeted about this strange anomaly and as a comment to my own Tweet on it I happened to say that Hannity is “retarded.” Twitter informed me that I had committed “hateful conduct” for “promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” It is clear on its face that I did none of these. I used a non-politically correct term to ridicule Hannity for attacking the “deep state” while wearing the symbols of the deep state on his very lapel.

It is clear that Twitter is deeply biased against any voices outside the mainstream, pro-empire perspective. As a leading Tweeter in opposition to interventionist US foreign policy, I had long been targeted by those who enable and enforce Twitter’s political biases. Look at who Twitter partners with and you will understand why I was banned for a transparently false reason: the US government-funded Atlantic Council and other similar organizations are working with Twitter to eliminate any voices challenging US global military empire.

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We Are Living During the Last Years of the Last Western Empire, by the Saker

The American empire may indeed be the last empire. From the Saker at russia-insider.com:

“Missing the forest for the trees” is an apt metaphor if we take a look at most commentary describing the past twenty years or so. This period has been remarkable in the number of genuinely tectonic changes the international system has undergone. It all began during what I think of as the “Kristallnacht of international law,” 30 August September 1995, when the Empire attacked the Bosnian-Serbs in a direct and total violation of all the most fundamental principles of international law.

Then there was 9/11, which gave the Neocons the “right” (or so they claimed) to threaten, attack, bomb, kill, maim, kidnap, assassinate, torture, blackmail and otherwise mistreat any person, group or nation on the planet simply because “we are the indispensable nation” and “you either are with the terrorists or with us“. During these same years, we saw Europe become a third-rate US colony incapable of defending even fundamental European geopolitical interests while the US became a third-rate colony of Israel equally incapable of defending even fundamental US geopolitical interests. Most interestingly looking back, while the US and the EU were collapsing under the weight of their own mistakes, Russia and China were clearly on the ascend; Russia mostly in military terms (see here and here) and China mostly economically.

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