Tag Archives: US empire

Fifteen Thoughts About Israel, by Caitlin Johnstone

Israel is the Middle Eastern branch of the Western empire. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

1. I hate writing about Israel. The accusations of anti-semitism which necessarily go along with literally any criticism of that nation are gross enough, but even worse are the assholes who take my criticisms of the Israeli government as an invitation to actually be anti-semitic. They really do hate Jews, they really do think that every problem in the world is because of Jews and they post Jewish caricature memes and calls for genocide in the comments section on social media and it’s incredibly gross and I hate it. It feels exactly as intrusive, jarring and violating as receiving an unsolicited dick pic. But the Israeli government keeps committing war provocations and massacring Palestinians, so it’s something I’ve got to talk about.

2. Anti-semitism (or whatever word you prefer to use for the pernicious mind virus which makes people think it’s okay to promote hatred against Jewish people) is a very real thing that does exist, and I denounce it to the furthest possible extent. Anti-semitism is also a label that is used to bully the world into accepting war crimes, apartheid, oppression, and mass murder. Both of those things are true.

3. There were dozens of Palestinians killed and well above a thousand injured in the Gaza protests over the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem yesterday. I haven’t found any report of so much as a single Israeli injury. The only way to spin this as the fault of the Palestinians is to dehumanize them, to attribute behaviors and motives to them that we all know are contrary to human nature. To paint them as subhuman orc-like creatures who are so crazy and evil that they will keep throwing themselves at a hail of bullets risking life and limb just to have some extremely remote chance of harming a Jewish person for no reason. This is clearly absurd. A little clear thinking and empathy goes a long way.

4. Trump could have prevented all this violence by doing what previous administrations had done and keeping the US embassy in Tel Aviv. Experts warned that this would happen. Trump ignored them. He is ultimately responsible for the mounting pile of corpses resulting from this provocation.

5. The Trump campaign was given $25 million by billionaire oligarch Sheldon Adelson (the largest campaign donation made by anyone to any candidate), who provided a further $5 million for Trump’s inauguration. Adelson is a sociopathic pro-Israel hawk who once called on the US to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran. He was present at the opening of the Jerusalem embassy, getting what he paid for.

To continue reading: Fifteen Thoughts About Israel

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The Other Conspiracy Against Trump, by Robert Gore

Trump faces foes that make the Washington crowd look like child’s play.

President Trump has announced he will speak with Robert Mueller under oath. He’s waving the victory flag. By allowing Mueller’s probe to proceed despite substantial irregularities and bias that would have justified a “You’re Fired!”, Trump has decisively faced down the opposition. The tables are turned and they’ll be on the run for years. If he does talk to Mueller (and he says that’s subject to his lawyers) it will be an exclamation point on Trump’s repeated contentions that there’s nothing to the Russiagate investigation.

Having vanquished the foes he could vanquish, Trump faces an enemy he has little hope of defeating: the economics of empire. It’s felled countless regimes. Empires always take more energy and resources to maintain than what they can steal from their subjugated provinces. They incur debts they can’t repay and levy crushing taxes. Then they collapse.

At its zenith after World War II, the US provided Europe’s defense against the threat of Soviet invasion. In exchange, behind the veneer of sovereign states, elections, and other trappings of democracy, the US ran Europe.

Seven decades later, the Soviet Union is no more, but the US is still providing most of Europe’s defense. Russia, the Soviet successor, has a GDP about one-fourteenth the size of either the US or Europe’s. It spends about one-tenth of what the US does on its military.

Even President Vladimir Putin most rabid opponents don’t suggest he would launch an attack against Europe. Its deadliest military assets is its nuclear arsenal (it has reportedly developed a torpedo that can take out the US’s west or east coast). However, going nuclear would provoke a US response that would wipe out Russia. and probably most of the rest of the planet.

The US “defends” Europe when there’s nothing in the way of external military threats to defend against (they’re in more danger from the Muslims). President Trump has carped about picking up the tab. Europe could easily afford to pay 100 percent of the cost of defending itself against the minimal threats it faces. The US presence has nothing to do with defending Europe. The US maintains an imperial garrison and will happily continue to bear most of the cost.

Trump, seemingly enamored of empire, has gone quiet about the NATO bill. Yet he faces empire economics: the US gets out less than what it puts in. Military spending in a land not under threat generates no economic returns, it’s a deadweight loss.

You’d be hard pressed to find a square inch on this planet that somebody in the US government doesn’t claim represents a vital US interest. The reasoning is so warped that the US not sticking its nose somewhere is now regarded as a threat to its interests.

Russia, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah subdued ISIS, the US’s ostensible enemy, in Syria and Iraq. Syria is on the threshold of peace for the first time in seven years. After millions have been killed, wounded, or displaced—in large part because of the US’s botched intervention—the US could claim more credit than it deserves for vanquishing ISIS, declare victory, and go home.

Instead, against the stated desire of the Syrian government and in clear contravention of international law, the US continues doing what it’s done: staying put, funding rebel and jihadist groups of every stripe, and hoping that somehow Bashar al-Assad will be driven from power. There simply can’t be a country in the Middle East left free from US meddling.

After a long freeze, relations between North and South Korea are beginning to thaw. President Trump’s bellicose rhetoric may be responsible. Perhaps North Korean dictator Kin Jong-Un recognizes that talk is better than war. If so, that puts him a step ahead of numerous US commentators, mostly of the neoconservative persuasion, who lament the thaw may “drive a wedge” between the US and its best friend forever, South Korea. The chances of war recede and they’re disappointed.

The US has driven a wedge between the two Koreas. If there is a rapprochement, the US could tone down and eventually stop its annual war exercises with South Korea. Thousands of troops it has stationed there could be redeployed. The wedge removed, Koreans would decide the fate of the Korean Peninsula. Given South Korea’s economic prowess and North Korea’s economic backwardness, the resolution would probably tilt towards South Korea. But that’s not going to happen. It would leave the peninsula intolerably free of the US government.

Military and intelligence spending has made its contribution to the US’s $20 trillion plus deficit. There’s the direct effect, and in the way Washington works, the legislative “price” of military spending is often increased non-military spending as well, an indirect effect. The US economy was having a tough time bearing its debt load under Obama, and more debt is coming. But for Federal Reserve sleight of hand the load would weigh even heavier. Rising interest rates are ringing a bell. Empire and debt always go hand-in-hand, and so, eventually, does bankruptcy and collapse.

Encouraged by his generals, Trump has increased military budgets, redefined the US’s “mission” as global competition with Russia and China, doubled down on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, and continued to expand the size and reach of US special operations forces. The argument can be made that he is feinting one direction and will go another, more advanced strategic thinking comparable to his maneuvers on Russiagate. In this analysis it’s a head fake, a prelude to reducing the US’s outsize footprint and spending. Get bigger before you get smaller.

Even if that implausible argument proves correct, the economics of empire and debt are impervious to head fakes. They’re not the deluded, corrupt Washington crowd Trump has outsmarted; they’re relentless and inexorable. Trump’s predecessors left him in a deep hole. That he digs deeper but plans to stop one day is irrelevant.

President Trump is a master of persuasion and sales. He’s demonstrated a Machiavellian flair for hardball political tactics, making fools of those who had dismissed him as a fool.

Unfortunately, empire drains the US and its debt compounds. Trump spends more on the empire and won’t address that other driver of debt, domestic entitlements. What Robert Mueller can’t do—drive Trump from office—empire and debt might. Theirs is a particularly ruthless conspiracy. Like countless rulers before him, Trump may recognize the danger too late to do anything about it.

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US Empire Is Running The Same Script With Iran That It Ran With Libya, Syria, by Caitlin Johnstone

We’ve seen this movie before. From Caitline Johnstone at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Two weeks ago a memo was leaked from inside the Trump administration showing how Secretary of State and DC neophyte Rex Tillerson was coached on how the US empire uses human rights as a pretense on which to attack and undermine noncompliant governments. Politico reports:

The May 17 memo reads like a crash course for a businessman-turned-diplomat, and its conclusion offers a starkly realist vision: that the US should use human rights as a club against its adversaries, like Iran, China and North Korea, while giving a pass to repressive allies like the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

‘Allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries. Otherwise, we end up with more adversaries, and fewer allies,’ argued the memo, written by Tillerson’s influential policy aide, Brian Hook.

With what would be perfect comedic timing if it weren’t so frightening, Iran erupted in protests which have been ongoing for the last four days, and the western empire is suddenly expressing deep, bipartisan concern about the human rights of those protesters.

So we all know what this song and dance is code for. Any evil can be justified in the name of “human rights.”

In October we learned from a former Qatari prime minister that there was a massive push from the US and its allies to topple the Syrian government from the very beginning of the protests which began in that country in 2011 as part of the so-called Arab Spring. This revelation came in the same week The Intercept finally released NSA documents confirming that foreign governments were in direct control of the “rebels” who began attacking Syria following those 2011 protests. The fretting over human rights has occurred throughout the entirety of the Syrian war, even as the governments publicly decrying human rights abuses were secretly arming and training terrorist factions to murder, rape and pillage their way across the country.

We’ve seen it over and over again. In Libya, western interventionism was justified under the pretense of defending human rights when the goal was actually regime change. In Ukraine, empire loyalists played cheerleader for the protests in Kiev when the goal was actually regime change. And who could ever forget the poor oppressed people of Iraq who will surely greet the invaders as liberators?

To continue reading: US Empire Is Running The Same Script With Iran That It Ran With Libya, Syria

The End of Empire, by Chris Hedges

The end of the US empire is following the typical historical pattern. From Chris Hedges at truthdig.com:

Mr. Fish

The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.

The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.

Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” by “a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg” that will “forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.”

To continue reading: The End of Empire

The Twilight of Unipolar American Power, by Matthew Jamison

The US Empire is going the way of all empires. From Matthew Jamison at strategic-culture.org:

In 1962 the former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson quipped that: «Britain had lost an Empire and yet to find a role». Well, perhaps the same can now tentatively be said of the United States in these early, but profoundly debilitating days, of the Trump administration and its chaotic, incoherent foreign policy. The Trump administration’s approach to traditional American allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia has been belligerent, nonsensical and highly neurotic. American foreign policy is a complete mess and the only people and country this is inflicting real damage on is the United States. For too long the United States’ global strategic posture has been one of extreme dominance, interference and intervention. Dominating Europe through NATO by pushing for unwise expansion of NATO’s borders all the way right up to Russia’s backyard. Dominating the Middle East through CIA interference, absurd and dangerous alliances with repressive Islamist backing Gulf Monarchies such as Saudi Arabia or barbaric secular military dictatorships such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s. Dominating the Asia-Pacific with its aircraft carrier (Japan) and certain puppet governments in South Korea; brutal and misguided interventions such as the grotesque Vietnam War and ludicrous/unnecessary «freedom of navigation» and «freedom of overflight» operations in the South China Sea. 

America now must learn the hard truth of it’s global position during this period of the Trump administration and beyond: the days of the United States dominating the world in an arrogant, absolutist, heavy-handed fashion and dictating to other nations what they can and cannot do (in particular in other nations territorial spheres of influence and backyards such as the South China Sea) are over and the United States must come to realise this and make the required if painful adjustment. It is no longer the only superpower on the planet and the days of American unilateral leadership are over whether it be political leadership, economic leadership or military leadership. The European Union is just as powerful economically as the United States when you combine the EU27 GDPs or PPPs. Russia is resurgent on the world stage, in particular in the Middle East, and most likely will be the main broker of peace in Syria. China is catching up economically fast on the United States and will undoubtedly overtake it economically within a few years (if it has not already) to become the planets number one economy while the days of American extreme and reckless military and political interference in the Middle East and Asia have produced nothing but chaos, violence, death & destruction and should be heavily curtailed with the prime examples being Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Korea.

To continue reading: The Twilight of Unipolar American Power

Second Foundation: Empire Crumbling, by Jim Quinn

This is the third part of an article in which Jim Quinn compares Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to Strauss and Howe’s Fourth Turning, with an emphasis on the fate of the American empire. Here is the link to Part One, and here is the link to Part Two.  From Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

In Part One of this article I analyzed the similarities of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to Strauss & Howe’s Fourth Turning, trying to assess how Donald Trump’s ascension to power fits into the theories put forth by those authors. In Part Two of this article I compared and contrasted Donald Trump’s rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov’s masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order. Despite the forlorn hope Donald Trump or some other savior can reverse our course, decades of missteps, dreadful decisions, ineffectual leadership, and unconcealed treachery have paved a path to destruction for the American Empire.

American Empire Crumbling

“Mr. Advocate, the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen with the ears of psychohistory, and you will hear the creaking.” – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

“Now any dogma, based primarily on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user.” – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

The elitist ruling class gathers at Davos and their secretive Bilderberg meetings to plot the course of the world, divvying up the vast wealth plundered through their globalization schemes, and developing the newest propaganda narrative to keep the global masses confused, distracted, and powerless to fight back. Despite their wealth and power, an epic level of hubris is always their undoing.

To continue reading: Second Foundation: Empire Crumbling

The Empire Should be Placed on Suicide Watch, by the Saker

A dirge for the US’s empire would be sweet music indeed. From the Saker at unz.com:

In all the political drama taking place in the US as a result of the attempted color revolution against Trump, the bigger picture sometimes gets forgotten. And yet, this bigger picture is quite amazing, because if we look at it we will see irrefutable signs that the Empire in engaged in some bizarre slow motion version of seppuku and the only mystery left is who, or what, will serve as the Empire’s kaishakunin (assuming there will be one).

I would even argue that the Empire is pursuing a full-spectrum policy of self-destruction on several distinct levels, with each level contributing the overall sum total suicide. And when I refer to self-destructive behavior I don’t mean long-term issues such as the non-sustainability of the capitalist economic model or the social consequences of a society which not only is unable to differentiate right from wrong, but which now decrees that deviant behavior is healthy and normal. These are what I call “long term walls” into which we will, inevitably, crash, but which are comparatively further away than some “immediate walls”. Let me list a few of these:

Political suicide: the Neocons’ refusal to accept the election of Donald Trump has resulted in a massive campaign to de-legitimize him. What the Neocons clearly fail to see, or don’t care about, is that by de-legitimizing Trump they are also de-legitimizing the entire political process which brought Trump to power and upon which the United States is built as a society. As a direct result of this campaign, not only are millions of Americans becoming disgusted with the political system they were indoctrinated to believe in, but internationally the notion of “American democracy” is becoming a sad joke.

And just to make things worse, the US corporate media is finally revealing its true face and has now unapologetically shown the entire world that not only is it not in any way “fair” or “objective”, but that it is a 100% prostituted propaganda machine which faithfully serves the interests of the US “deep state”.

To continue reading: The Empire Should be Placed on Suicide Watch