The State of the Empire
Not so good
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo
Well, I see the President read and took to heart my suggestion, made Wednesday, that he minimize mentions of the two wars we are currently fighting: either that, or else we’re just on the same wave-length. There was very little foreign policy talk in this SOTU, and that was the usual disingenuous happy-talk.
The President claimed "all" of our troops are coming home from Iraq – this in spite of repeated statements by military commanders and other US officials that at least 50,000 will be staying indefinitely, and will furthermore be engaged in combat operations alongside the Iraqis.
Oh, but there was never any chance of a Republican yelling out "You lie!" – not this time. Although I had some hope that Dennis Kucinich might be up for it – but, alas, no….
The President’s brief Afghanistan spiel was but a rehash of his escalation speech, complete with a reiteration of his pledge to "begin" withdrawing by next summer – a promise universally derided as less than sincere.
Focusing on the economy, the President blamed his predecessor for "not paying for wars" – after having declared his vaunted spending "freeze" would exclude military appropriations. Given that our war-spending is now totaling $1 trillion and rising since 2001, this huge exception reduces all talk of a "freeze" to mere rhetorical posturing.
The President has no time for foreign policy: he’s too busy campaigning, in spite of his protest last night that he doesn’t want to engage in a "permanent campaign." That’s one reason why he’s ceded the foreign policy realm to his secretary of state. You’ll note Hillary wasn’t there last night: that’s because she was in London, cajoling our allies to help with the burden of occupying and policing Afghanistan and environs.
Barack Obama shows every sign he’ll share the fate of another US chief executive with an ambitious domestic agenda who was effectively undermined by foreign policy disasters: Lyndon Baines Johnson, a one-term president whose "Great Society" was fatally subverted by the Vietnam war.
The very lack of attention paid to foreign policy in the president’s peroration, at a time when we’re fighting two wars (and threatening a third), was itself a significant comment on the state of the American hegemon. In the Imperial metropolis, they’re too consumed with their own internal problems to care much about the far frontiers of the empire. This turning inward presages a radical contraction, similar in scope and origins to the one currently squeezing the life out of the US economy.
The American sphere of influence – the structure of which is comprised an "empire of bases," in Chalmers Johnson’s phrase – has reached the outer limits of its possible expansion. We now preside over a network of 737 known US bases that rings the globe, each a possible launching pad for the projection of American military power anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. The sustainability of this project, however, has always been challenged by anti-interventionists on the right as well as the left, and today we are seeing the direst of their predictions fulfilled on a daily basis.
Economically ruinous, culturally poisonous, socially disruptive, and subversive of the Constitution, the very idea of imperialism is antithetical to our traditions and alien [.pdf] to the American character. That is why our more recent wars of conquest (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) have been so wrenching, domestically, and the cause of such bitter controversy: they required the sort of self-violation that is usually restricted to mental patients who maim themselves habitually.
It wasn’t so long ago that the post-cold war triumphalism of certain neocons led them to proclaim "the end of history" and hail the advent of "the unipolar moment." How wrong they were! Today, of course, multi-polarity is everywhere apparent, and the would-be world policeman finds himself on the brink of bankruptcy. The American "hyperpower," which once aspired to global hegemony – "benevolent global hegemony," was the soaring phrase neocons William Kristol and Robert Kagan used – shows every indication of going into irreversible decline...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
It’s now so clear that the average American is getting nothing out of Empire but debt, taxes, growing domestic authoritarianism, and a political class too drunk on power to govern properly that I think it’s time to delve deeper into the economic motives behind this imperialism.
Is it pure economic Zionism/fascism? Mercantilism? Oil imperialism? War profiteerng?
I have come to believe that the modern American economy, now that the globalist, secular-materialist, “end of history” cult of mainstream Left and Right have off-shored our jobs and de-facto opened our borders in the name of "progress," is being propped up by the U.S. military going around sticking its guns in the world’s face. What else is preserving the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the petro-doallar as the currency of oil, and thus preserving the ability of Washington to print and circulate its monopoly money by the ton?
The implications of this are monumental, because all of those dollars that are being printed to “save the world” and pay for the U.S. military to ring the globe and get everyone hooked on American foreign aid and the dollar, are actually, then, responsible for the homicide being committed in the name of this secular salvation.
In short, we’re killing ourselves and the foreign village to save both -- or rather, our inept elites are killing them and us to preserve their own power, bank accounts, grandiose visions, and delusions of manifest destiny and world hegemony.
Raimondo mentions "mental patients" in reference to the self violating travails our "representatives" are putting us through. Well, there is unquestionably something organically wrong with the way these people think, as if many of them might be functioning sociopaths. It's almost as if we're all being held hostage by maniacs -- yet we ourselves are insane enough to keep electing, alternately, neoliberals and neocons (who are both playing for the same team) to the highest national posts year after year.
Charlie Brown getting the football pulled out from under him by these cunning and wicked Lucys decade after decade is no longer cute. In fact, Charlie Brown is starting to look like a complete idiot, whose stupidity is costing America its very future, and the world an infinite number of innocent lives.