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American Power at the Crossroads


#1

American Power at the Crossroads

Dilip Hiro

In the strangest election year in recent American history -- one in which the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson couldn’t even conjure up the name of a foreign leader he “admired” while Donald Trump remained intent on building his “fat, beautiful wall” and “


#3

I do not believe this characterization by the author; "... after Moscow’s seizure of Crimea."

We must balance such ideas with US backing of nazis in Ukraine's coup and the memories of Russian speakers regarding 28 million people killed by nazi fascism.

Do not forget there was a point when the Ukrainian army refused to kill fellow Ukrainians. Nazi fascists were sent in by the coup regime to do the job of pacifying eastern regions that were not happy with the US backed destruction of their young and imperfect democracy.


#4

This was all very nice to read, but the most important force in the world is still oil. (125 years and going strong.) Who owns and controls it and how easily it can be transported around the globe.
The big bad militaries of the US, Russia, and China are tasked with making sure that each of their respective country's gets the oil that they need to continue to function.

Then comes debt. Who owes whom and how much.
The US owes China lots of money. Therefore China wants to keep America economically viable.
We, us citizens, work for the military industrial complex which keeps the oil flowing with our tax dollars, and the Chinese who wants the money that we owe them paid back. Pretty cool, eh?


#5

This is an excellent article and shows the true motives for many things the US is doing right now.
The TPP is so important for the neolib/con's because it will hinder China's trade and slow or break up the plans the Russian's and Chinese have devised.
The shifty moves in Syria by the US are clearly to try to control and keep the hegemony the US so deeply desires.
The neolib/con's lust for world power is driving this country into the ground. Funneling money desperately needed for infrastructure into the military is just more of the ravings of the lunatic's terrified they won't be the world's only super power. Clinton is still living in the 90's and still thinking they can exert enough military power to force the world into submission.
If we can kill that idea maybe we can turn to climate change and fix our broken planet.


#6

Ironically, it will turn out that only the Russians can save us!


#7

With $3.87 trillion worth of imports and exports in 2012, [China] overtook the U.S. ($3.82 trillion), displacing it from a position it had held for 60 years

Imagine what these numbers would look like if we subtracted all commerce involving military hardware.


#9

Just thought I'd throw this in:

A German undercover journalist enrolled as an intern at the RT Deutsch studio to spy on “Putin’s propaganda broadcaster,” but things didn’t exactly go as planned. After just two days, the man began to question the mainstream media bias – and his own worldview.

https://www.rt.com/news/362410-rt-germany-msm-bias/

Peace
Po


#10

The bitter truth is that the Obama Administration proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that the USA is unable to restrain its own military aggressiveness without outside help. In the end, our system was no better at self-correction than the Soviets or the Weimar Republic. And true to the laws of history, no conqueror-nation will be allowed to run amok forever without experiencing some kind of external resistance.


#12

I don't agree completely with your first, as there is a significant amount of military preparation and readiness delineated by Dilip here. However C and R both, but especially China seems to be betting that a confrontation will not be won on a battlefield but by a physical infrastructure of interdependence that is co-anchored by them. The US counter seems to be the over-reaching sovereignty destroying trade deals that are not so much interdependence but exploitation and domination.

My brother makes a similar but not same argument about the great post-war US success story. It was an aberration, and in addition to those factors you mentioned, in large part resting on the availability of oil. His point is not that it is just a US aberration but that it may prove to be a human aberration. China and it's partners would do well to make their new silk road as renewable and sustainable as possible; that might be inspiring enough to change a whole paradigm.


#13

The USA had the opportunity to be matey with Russia and turned it down by advancing NATO to Russia's borders.Stupid.

I gather that the good citizens of Crimea voted willingly to join Russia.The Crimea has been part of Russia for a very long time. One might as well complain about the British conquering the Isle of Wight as Russia invading the Crimea.

The USA thinks it is playing chess; firstly, Russians are better at chess. Secondly, the Chinese play "Go", which game consists of surrounding areas, and not killing pawns, which the Chinese are doing very successfully.


#15

Hiro, somewhat mis-diagnoses the situation of "American Power" (or American Empire).

However, his use of the phrase, "at the Crossroads" (pivoting off Francis Fukuyama's follow-up book, "America at the Crossroads" --- which reversed his posture on his earlier and more famous, "The End of History") is more important to understand than this article.

The real issue is, "America at the Crossroads" of allowing its nominal "U.S. state apparatus" of soft and hard Super-Power to be controlled and leveraged by the real global agency of this far broader, but well hidden, Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE which now has 'captured', controls, and has almost fully "Occupies" our former country as its nominal HQ, and merely 'poses' as the country PKA (previously know as) America.

Perhaps less than a dozen public intellectuals, academics, and experts in the field of 'Empire-studies' are writing truthful and insightful works on the actual underLYING structure and nature of this totally unique new form of modern 21st century first truly 'global' and first effectively 'disguised' cancer of EMPIRE that is metastasizing in the 'body politic' of our former country --- but which includes and incorporates the global ruling-elite and transnational segments of this remarkable Global Empire:

"The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard,“U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of
the 'U.S. state apparatus to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system'. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE OF GLOBAL CAPITAL, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington."

Robinson, William I. (2014-07-31). Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (p. 122). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Or, as Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an 'ailing social order', the absence of an 'adequate diagnosis'…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”

Berman, Morris 2007 "Dark Ages America, The Final Phase of Empire"

This hidden cancer is the "Final Phase of (underdiagnosed) Empire" --- wake-up folks.

"The year 2011 also saw a major new CFR program, the 'Renewing America initiative', a prime example of “mission creep,” that is, the recent tendency for the Council to expand its focus of activity beyond foreign policy to the domestic realm. The CFR leadership believes that this new initiative is needed because the underpinnings of U.S. global power are weakening as unsolved problems grow within the country."

Shoup, Laurence H. (2015-08-22). Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on
Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014
(Kindle Locations 1586-1589). Monthly Review Press. Kindle Edition.

Of course, just because, Robinson and Shoup ---- along with Michael Glennon,
Paul Street, David Harvey, Chris Hedges, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Noam Chomsky, Morris Berman, Michael Parenti, Sam Gindin, Leo Pantich, Charles Maier, John Perkins, Zygmunt Bauman, Chalmers Johnson, Bill Blum, Hannah Arendt, Howard Zinn, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, and a few dozen other public intellectuals, academics, and experts in the field of 'Empire-studies' ALSO call our meta-problem a cancer of EMPIRE --- doesn't mean that there is any significance to the idea that America has been taken over by some crazy Disguised Global Capitalist Empire.

Let's not all jump to that crazy conclusion on any smattering of loose evidence, any more than we should have jumped to the crazy ideas that the 'negative externality cost dumping' of; cigarettes cause cancer, that fossil fuel burning causes global warming, that Wall Street's CDO, CDS, and virtual derivative 'debt bombs' caused the 2008 (to ....) Second Great Depression, or that coal dust causes 'black lung disease'.

WakeTF-up, folks --- to the new Empire (not just like the old Empire and not your father's Oldsmobile Empire), but this first truly Global Empire just hiding behind the corpse of our former, and sometimes formerly improving democracy in the country PKA America.


#16

Thanks for this, though it was somewhat difficult to read. I see very little difference between the behaviors of western elites and those of China and Russia, despite their former socialist histories. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the global capitalist elite operate in a very different realm than the rest of us. The ruling government apparatus of nations all over the globe are being purchased and being brought into the fold, to the detriment and abandonment of their citizens. The US does not promote democracy and freedom around the world, it promotes capitalism. Predatory capitalism.

This is what is so insidious about the spate of recent "trade" deals. Despite the fact that the US government is almost completely captured by the globalists, there still exists the half-dead carcass of the former upwardly-mobile proletariat that holds title to much of the real estate between these shores. There still exists the notion of home rule and some foggy notions of justice, and equality under the law, and consequently there is still resistance to no-holds-barred resource extraction. What the past decades of de-regulatory republicanism could not accomplish, these "trade" deals will finalize. They are an end-run on democracy of absolutely breathtaking proportion.

I agree there is very little time left. And just as the traditional leadership of nations large and small are bought and sold, so will the new regime purchase the dull and the brutish to enforce the new world order. It is not America at the crossroads, but humanity itself.


#17

Over reach is the key with the mic and neocon/liberals. This may be the over reach that finally draws the ire of Russia and China and a wake up call for the US. I too was wondering how and who would put a stop to the regime change neocons like Hillary.


#20

Yes, Spot on Dede. It has taken the US to revert to its old fears and paranoia to remove the cloak of "terrorism" and reveal what this is all really about. Good article.


#21

This election is so corrupt I can't bear to watch. It's Stein/Baraka for me. They don't make me feel dirty.