Tag: Empire

Jan 14

Gun Control and the Hypocrisy of the War on (some) Terror

  What nation can intentionally target children for death and still expect the world to love us? Didn’t we used to denounce the Soviet Union for this stuff?

“In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”

 – Lt Col Marion Carrington, Marine Corp Times

 It sort of puts those school shooting deaths in perspective, doesn’t it? Our lack of respect for the lives of children overseas will eventually come home.

Sep 11

The 11th Anniversary of the End of the USA

Effectively, the end of the USA occurred on 9/11/01. Two major forces collided that day. The first was a group of oligarchs who wanted to institute authoritarian rule on an unruly and increasingly (form their POV) immoral nation. The second group was the majority of citizens in the American Republic who were basking in the glow of vast technological change that was providing them with an enormous playground full of toys and cheap baubles who had lost practically all interest in the responsibilities of citizenship–who wanted, in short, a blue pill. During the course of the day many reports came in, no one knew what was happening. Buildings collapsed that were designed to withstand plane crashes at near free-fall speed, explosions were heard and recorded before those collapses. Commentators noted that the collapse of WTC 1 and 2 were eerily similar to controlled demolitions. People like me, who knew Washington DC very well, were stunned at the plane crash into the Pentagon knowing that the building was surrounded by anti-aircraft and anti-missile missiles confusion reigned. Then somehow the government let it be known that Al-Qaida was responsible and that was the explanation.

Sep 07

Should We Vote for Democrats in a Post-Constitutional Country?

The contrast, stylistically, of the two Party Conventions stuck me very powerfully. The Democratic Convention had each evening main speakers offered one brilliant speech after another. These speeches were well-put together, well-delivered and proved to me that the Democratic Paty (DP) is fit to rule the Empire. Here are people with skillz–compared to the lame-ola speeches the Republican Party (RP) trotted out that could only appeal to the very stupid or the very greedy. The contest should be over right here right now but it isn’t. Why? Because we live in an authoritarian society that is in danger of devolving into tribalism and this seems to be the historical trend.

The contrast was clear. Exclusivity and tribalism on the right, inclusion and a constant plea for unity and civilized behavior on the “left.” Yes, I believe much of what the Dems were saying was clear bullshit but it was bullshit based on some facts even if they were cherry-picked. The Republicans had no argument to convince anyone to vote for them unless you were one of “them.” The Dems offered good reasons (even if most of those reason hid deep corruption) why any of us should vote for Obama and the Dems and this coming from someone that genuinely mainly revulsion for the DP.

There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.

Gore Vidal

What Vidal describes has been the case for much of our post-WWII history. But quite honestly, I think the quote no longer quite works for today’s Republican Party (RP) has changed dramatically since Vidal wrote the above though the essential political arrangements are the same-both are part of the Property Party and very specifically the Property Party of the very, very rich, not any of the rest of us who happen to won a little property. The Property Party is the only political party and will always be the political party barring environmental disaster of the worst kind with galloping positive feedback loops which is possible.

Apr 12

Driftglass liberals: Unaware of history since Jan. 2009

Like their mouth-breathing brethren, today’s liberals love to stand up on the chairs and denounce the depredations of conservatives.  And rightly so, as far as it goes.   Outraged liberals have excellent retrograde memories, but seem to have suffered an inability to form new memories since the election of Prez Oh, Brother!

It only takes one example out of many to demonstrate that liberal outrage against conservatives turns out to be nothing but sham outrage, fake, phony, fraudulent partisan bullshit.

Photobucket

Remember the Bush tax cuts?  Now they are the Obama tax cuts.  The historical trends of wealth distribution are bad enough, and getting frightfully worse; indeed they are hitting asymptote under Obummer! Where’s the liberal outrage?  Aside from a handful of principled stand-outs, we got squat.

We could write a friggin encyclopedia on Oh, Brother!’s horrendous criminal record on war crimes, financial giga-crimes, civil liberties atrocities, but fuck all that.  Lefties know all that.  Ignoring the harsh realities like the fucking historical revisionist hypocrites that keep your outrage meters pegged in the past, while being blind to the present, makes you no better than Andrew Sullivan.  Worse, even.

It’s not the party in power that’s the problem, but the entire imperial wealth pump. The inchoate partisan tub-thumpers refuse to believe their lying eyes.

Wouldn’t I love to see driftglass wield his flame thrower wearing a blindfold?  Sh-yah, crispy neo-liberal Democrats and comatose corporate Attorney Generals are tastier than you’d imagine, but partisans are too busy humpin’ a dead horse at Manassas to notice.  

May 08

9/11 Myth Signaled the End of Rationality

First, I’m not sure there’s any point to writing this. Aside from the fact this blog has fallen off rather dramatically, the subject of 9-11 is not a big favorite her or anywhere. However, I was taking a nice walk this morning and the though came into my head to write a diary on this subject. It may be one of my last ones–I’m kind of through being concerned about the political and cultural situation in this country. It has gone way too far into fantasy such that any kind of intelligent discussion is almost impossible since we have, even if we don’t admit it, lost sight of the foundations of Western Civilization which is the rationalistic “Great Conversation” as Mortimer Adler called it. Reasonable arguments go nowhere and are, in fact, automatically discounted usually as “conspiracy theories” since it is almost illegal to parse data and seek patterns. I will make absolutely no case for alternate explanations of 9/11, there’s no point–my beef is not with arguing the patterns that present themselves on the basis of available evidence–that’s a worthwhile argument. My beef is, as I’ve indicated, with the fact that any argument based on facts that goes contrary to beliefs that make people feel good is not only discounted but is utterly out of the question.

I want to examine, briefly, just how different the world is now than it was ten years ago. Frankly, if I think about it too deeply I want to weep not just for our political situation but for myself who is now living in an irrational world. I feel I am falling with no place to plant my feet and the sad part is that I see other people in the same situation only they don’t even know it. If you turn off your consciousness, if you devolve, morally, spiritually and intellectually then you are fine–that sense of “falling” I describe is not perceivable unless you are sensitive to the historical and spiritual dimension.  

Mar 04

Sunrise: A Global Moment Unlike Any In Memory

All-American Decline in a New World: Wars, Vampires, Burned Children, and Indelicate Imbalances

by Tom Engelhardt

This is a global moment unlike any in memory, perhaps in history.  Yes, comparisons can be made to the wave of people power that swept Eastern Europe as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989-91.  For those with longer memories, perhaps 1968 might come to mind, that abortive moment when, in the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere, including Eastern Europe, masses of people mysteriously inspired by each other took to the streets of global cities to proclaim that change was on the way.

For those searching the history books, perhaps you’ve focused on the year 1848 when, in a time that also mixed economic gloom with novel means of disseminating the news, the winds of freedom seemed briefly to sweep across Europe.  And, of course, if enough regimes fall and the turmoil goes deep enough, there’s always 1776, the American Revolution, or 1789, the French one, to consider.  Both shook up the world for decades after.

But here’s the truth of it: you have to strain to fit this Middle Eastern moment into any previous paradigm, even as — from Wisconsin to China — it already threatens to break out of the Arab world and spread like a fever across the planet.  Never in memory have so many unjust or simply despicable rulers felt quite so nervous — or possibly quite so helpless (despite being armed to the teeth) — in the presence of unarmed humanity.  And there has to be joy and hope in that alone.

Even now, without understanding what it is we face, watching staggering numbers of people, many young and dissatisfied, take to the streets in Morocco, Mauritania, Djibouti, Oman, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya, not to mention Bahrain, Tunisia, and Egypt, would be inspirational.  Watching them face security forces using batons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and in all too many cases, real bullets (in Libya, even helicopters and planes) and somehow grow stronger is little short of unbelievable.  Seeing Arabs demanding something we were convinced was the birthright and property of the West, of the United States in particular, has to send a shiver down anyone’s spine.

Dec 27

World Has Had Enough Of U.S. Imperialism

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is the author of “Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire” (1968 & 2003), “Trade, Development and Foreign Debt” (1992 & 2009) and of “The Myth of Aid” (1971).

ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.

Here Hudson talks with The Real News Networks’ Paul Jay about the 800+ empire of military bases the U.S. has established around the globe, about how all of the money that the military spends abroad is spent on foreign economies and is then “siphon[ed] up into the central banks. And the central banks would have nothing to do with these dollars but to keep their currency stable by recycling the dollars into US Treasury bills.” and about how “If it weren’t for the military deficit, America would have had to finance its own domestic budget deficit. It’s been foreigners that are financing the budget deficit.”

Hudson concludes here with the observation that “Now that foreigners are essentially saying, we don’t want any more dollars, we’re not going to fund your deficit, all of a sudden they think: who’s going to fund the deficit if not foreign central banks? The answer is: American labor, the American middle class and working families are going to fund it, not the military.”

The rest of the world has had enough of financing it’s own encirclement and subjugation by the U.S. military.

From here on in it is you who is going to be paying the bill…



Real News Network – December 26, 2010

World Tired of Paying Bill for US Military

Michael Hudson: Major countries looking for alternatives to US dollar

transcript follows

Nov 22

U.S Foreign Policy & The End Of Empire

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky talks with Real News CEO Paul Jay about the history and current state of US foreign policy debunking various myths – including the myth that republicans are the warmongers and that democrats are more “peace” oriented, from FDR’s and Roosevelt’s vision for world domination by the U.S. after the second world war, through the current situation of U.S. toothless sanctions and delusional attempts at threats and references to a U.S led  “international community” that much of the rest of the world simply shrugs off and laughs at.

So by now, you know, the traditional backyard, the Western Hemisphere, a big piece of it, South America, it has become much more independent. They’re throwing out all US military bases. They’re moving towards some degree of integration. They’re not following the US orders. We just saw that when Brazil joined with Turkey to arrange for a mechanism for Iran to enrich substantial parts of its uranium outside of Iran.

[snip]

The issue of sanctions on Iran is a very striking illustration of the increasing limitations of US power. I mean, that’s kind of like-you read the foreign policy literature and, you know, government statements, this is the big problem. This is in fact called the year of Iran, and Iran is described as the greatest threat to world order. I’ll come back in a moment to what the threat is. But part of this is the US effort to try to get the world to accept the harsh US sanctions, not the UN sanctions. UN sanctions are pretty much toothless, so China and Russia and others go along with them willingly. The US sanctions are much harsher. They have no international legitimacy other than the force that lies behind them, and the US is getting desperate about the fact that the rest of the world isn’t following them.

So Brazil has-and Turkey, neighboring power and leading power in the Third World, have just essentially rejected them. Turkey’s announced it’s going to triple its growing trade with Iran, establish a new pipeline.

Brazil says, look, we go along with the Non-Aligned countries and most of the world in supporting Iran’s right to enrich uranium. But the big one is China. That they can’t push around, and they’re very upset about it. A couple of weeks ago, the State Department issued a warning to China and said that if you want to join the international community-meaning, what we run-you have to meet your international responsibilities, namely, follow US orders, follow our sanctions.

It probably elicited laughter in the Chinese foreign office. They cannot force them to do it. And this is indication of an erosion of the ability to coerce. You can have 800 military bases and spend as much as the rest of the world combined on the military, but you can’t force China, or even Turkey or even Brazil, to follow your orders.



Real News Network –  November 21, 2010

Chomsky on U.S. Global Policy

U.S. still wants to dominate but cannot order other big powers as it pleases;

Iran war threat is real


..full transcript below..

Sep 22

A Simple Reality: US Troops Are Coming Home

One and a Half Cheers for American Decline: The Future’s Not Ours – and That’s Good News

by Tom Engelhardt, September 21, 2010

Here’s a simple reality: the U.S. is an imperial power in decline — and not just the sort of decline which is going to affect your children or grandchildren someday.  We’re talking about massive unemployment that’s going nowhere and an economy which shows no sign of ever returning good jobs to this country on a significant scale, even if “good times” do come back sooner or later.  We’re talking about an aging, fraying infrastructure — with its collapsing bridges and exploding gas pipelines — that a little cosmetic surgery isn’t going to help.

And whatever the underlying historical trends, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and company accelerated this process immeasurably.  You can thank their two mad wars, their all-planet-all-the-time Global War on Terror, their dumping of almost unlimited taxpayer dollars into the Pentagon and war planning for the distant future, and their scheme to privatize the military and mind-meld it with a small group of crony capitalist privateers, not to speak of ramping up an already impressively over-muscled national security state into a national state of fear, while leaving the financial community to turn the country into a giant, mortgaged Ponzi scheme.  It was the equivalent of driving a car in need of a major tune-up directly off the nearest cliff — and the rest, including the economic meltdown of 2008, is, as they say, history, which we’re all now experiencing in real time.  Then, thank the Obama administration for not having the nerve to reverse course while it might still have mattered.

Sep 03

Obama’s “New Dawn” in Iraq

Phyllis Bennis is a Senior Analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, and is the author of Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis, of Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power, and of Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.

Bennis has in the past argued for US reparations to be paid to Iraq for the years of US occupation and the destruction and damage inflicted on Iraq and the country’s peoples by the 2003 invasion and the occupation.

In an interview recorded Tuesday with Real News CEO Paul Jay, Bennis analyses Obama’s Oval Office Address on Iraq, August 31, 2010, talks about how Obama has adopted the Bush narrative about Iraq, and touches a bit on Iraq’s future and on the future of US foreign policies in the region, as well as somewhat about how those policies affect Iran and Afghanistan.



Real News Network – September 1, 2010

Transcript below

Aug 27

The Puppet



Photobucket

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Presidential Address to the World:

Aug 21

No Way Out: The Greatest Depression, & Becoming The USSR

Daniel Tencer writing at RawStory Friday reported that “The US economic recovery in recent quarters is little more than a “cover-up” and the world is headed for a “Greatest Depression,” complete with social unrest and class warfare, says a renowned economic forecaster. Gerald Celente, head of the Trends Research Institute, told Yahoo! News’ Tech Ticker that there’s no risk of a “double-dip recession” because the first “dip” never ended.”

“We’re saying there’s no double dip, it never ended,” Celente said. “We’re looking at the Greatest Depression. There’s no way out of this without [rebuilding] productive capacity. You can’t print [money to get] out of it.”

“Celente said the current unemployment rate, if it were measured as it was measured during the Great Depression, would be around 17.5 percent. And he expects that number to rise to around 22 percent in the coming years.”

“One of the good businesses to get in to may be guillotines,” Celente quipped. “Because there’s a real off-with-their-heads fever going on. People are really fed up.”

“We went from a country that used to be merchants, craftspeople, manufacturers, to clerks and cashiers,” Celente said. “We have to bring manufacturing back to America.”

Load more