The Collapse of the American Empire–Chris Hedges

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    • #418203
      • Total Posts: 10,623

      War, when it is waged to serve utopian absurdities, such as implanting a client government in Baghdad that will flip the region, including Iran, into U.S. protectorates, or when, as in Afghanistan, there is no vision at all, descends into a quagmire. The massive allocation of money and resources to the U.S. military, which includes Biden’s request for $715 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal year 2022, a $11.3 billion, or 1.6 percent increase, over 2021, is not in the end about national defense. The bloated military budget is designed, as Seymour Melman explained in his book, “The Permanent War Economy,” primarily to keep the American economy from collapsing. All we really make anymore are weapons. Once this is understood, perpetual war makes sense, at least for those who profit from it.

      The idea that America is a defender of democracy, liberty and human rights would come as a huge surprise to those who saw their democratically elected governments subverted and overthrown by the United States in Panama (1941), Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Chile (1973), Honduras (2009) and Egypt (2013). And this list does not include a host of other governments that, however despotic, as was the case in South Vietnam, Indonesia or Iraq, were viewed as inimical to American interests and destroyed, in each case making life for the inhabitants of these countries even more miserable.

      I spent two decades on the outer reaches of empire as a foreign correspondent. The flowery rhetoric used to justify the subjugation of other nations so corporations can plunder natural resources and exploit cheap labor is solely for domestic consumption. The generals, intelligence operatives, diplomats, bankers and corporate executives that manage empire find this idealistic talk risible. They despise, with good reason, naïve liberals who call for “humanitarian intervention” and believe the ideals used to justify empire are real, that empire can be a force for good. These liberal interventionists, the useful idiots of imperialism, attempt to civilize a process that was created and designed to repress, intimidate, plunder and dominate.

      The liberal interventionists, because they wrap themselves in high ideals, are responsible for numerous military and foreign policy debacles. The call by liberal interventionists such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice and Samantha Power to fund jihadists in Syria and depose Muammar Gaddafi in Libya rent these countries—as in Afghanistan and Iraq—into warring fiefdoms. The liberal interventionists are also the tip of the spear in the campaign to rachet up tensions with China and Russia.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #418245
      • Total Posts: 1,909

      I remember when Dick Cheney said “The American people weren’t against the Vietnam War. They were against the Draft.” I thought he made an interesting point. And isn’t he the same person who said “Deficits don’t matter”?
      During most wars, taxes go up. But during the “War on Terror”, Americans have gotten tax cuts and the stock market continues to go through the roof.

      Although 70-plus percent of Americans supported the Iraq War, I thought there still was a sizable anti-war movement which lasted through the Bush years. But when a Democrat took over the White House, the anti-war movement pretty much vanished as Democrats constantly defended Obama’s military actions.
      As the economy declines, Democrats will blame Republicans and Republicans will blame Democrats, but how many will blame any of economic decline on our military adventures around the world?

      There was an interesting article written back in 2010 by Salon:

      How America Will Collapse (by 2025)

      “Available economic, educational, and military data indicate that, when it comes to U.S. global power, negative trends will aggregate rapidly by 2020 and are likely to reach a critical mass no later than 2030. The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, will be tattered and fading by 2025, its eighth decade, and could be history by 2030.”…
      …”Ordinary Americans, watching their jobs head overseas, have a more realistic view than their cosseted leaders. An opinion poll in August 2010 found that 65 percent of Americans believed the country was now “‘in a state of decline.'”

      President Obama: “I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”
      A few days later, Vice President Biden ridiculed the very idea that “we are destined to fulfill [historian Paul] Kennedy’s prophecy that we are going to be a great nation that has failed because we lost control of our economy and overextended.”

      I think Salon got it mostly right back in 2010…

      New York City Anti-War Protest (Iraq War)…



    • #418273
      • Total Posts: 1,371


      If you give a man enough rope, it will be six inches too short. This is not the nature of rope- it is the nature of man.

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