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‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?


#1

‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?

Conn Hallinan, Leon Wofsy

There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.


#2

The article begins with the usual UNIVERSAL PRONOUN. Its use presents a singular, unified case for this thing called humanity as if women and men operated from the same fundamental biological, social, cultural, or spiritual "game plan." Within the gender polarity are infinite variations, too; as there are vast distinctions between what is real and true to descendants of the Anglo-European warrior-conquistadors and the various persons of color conquered via martial means.

And while I will plough through this long article, it becomes difficult to do so when its fundamental opening clause makes such grandiose, uniform presumptions about human beings as if what is true for all, or possible to any is based ONLY and ENTIRELY on what the Military Industrial Complex and those beholden to the Deep State/Empire state that Mars built elect to put into motion.

Seeing and defining "reality" only in terms of what's real for a few (albeit, those who have used their sociopathic indifference to human life along with the rule of law to reach the top of the authoritarian patriarchal hierarchy) limits the prism of analysis from the get-go.

When will men who use this frame (along with women trained by academe to seek validity for their own credentials by identifying exclusively with it) consider the FACT that other cultures, tribes, and groupings of persons do not follow what is true for the military-empire. In other words, throughout time, alternatives have existed and still do exist.

From the article:

"Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

"The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

It is time that "authority figures" cease and desist from using the uniform WE frame. What can replace it and thereby show a more honest analysis: "a percentage of citizens," or "persons in established positions" or some other clause that shows less arrogance in taking what's true for some and insisting it applies to all. THAT is how alternatives become squashed before they have a chance to root and grow!


#3

Having read this diatribe, the following stand out... note the verbiage of each statement as taken directly from the article:

  1. "The problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles."

  2. "Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent,"

  3. "We seem to have missed the point"

  4. "We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population."

  5. "We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education..."

The entire essay conflates what power—in the form of Washington, Wall St (the collective corporate house of lords), or the MIC—does with We, the people as if the decisions reached by these empowered entities are analogous to (or faintly in compliance with) public sentiment.

How did Hallihan and Wofsy manage to miss the conclusions of the Page & Gilens Study (that public input has zero influence over domestic or foreign policy) and that of Piketty (that enormous wealth has been virtually engineered to the top of the financial pyramid)?

In a capitalist society, money buys access along with media, political insiders, and even private armies.

Straining to turn every decision made by elites into an INDICTMENT (or judgment call) of The American People, as if they can be characterized as one homogenous group is the work of arrogance, sloppy analysis, or purpose driven dis-information.

Now, when power is absolutely out of control and NOT answering to The People, such attempts at using language to impose this idea that the electorate ARE spoken for does not strike me as being accidental.

This also comes from the article and it represents a truer view... for some reason, in this instance ALONE the authors manage to state the obvious without couching it under the umbrella of WE:

"Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy."


#4

"The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others."

And Americans just happened to come to this worldview, right? Don't mention that children are taught that the U.S. is the ONE indispensable nation, and that for nearly a century, Hollywood has made American into a beacon of light regardless of the trail of blood and tears left behind to stain the planet. The power of film to shape the collective imagination and national consciousness was well-understood by Hitler, nor did all those Nazi students of mind control lose sight of this once imported into the Deep State apparatus (Project Paperclip) at the conclusion of W.W. II.

Leave out mention of the false flag events and the generals paraded out as experts on every talk show. Leave out the ways that a captured media in cahoots with the military-industrial-media complex presents wholly falsified narratives and absolute distortions of foreign events that are passed off as the real thing like lies told often enough... until they are believed.

If you two clowns (the authors of this sickening piece of disinformation) are not part of the NSA, you ought to be.

From the article:

"The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending..."

And nary a mention that U.S. weapons firms also supply the vast majority of weapons to the world... and do this by leaving no third world and/or brutal dictator behind. After all, if armaments were not fed to tomorrow's potential enemies, what would the Make-War Department do? How could it argue for half of the fiscal pie year after years as more and more families struggle to maintain homes, jobs, health care, and a future for their children?


#5

The real significance of Nuremberg is almost totally missed by most Americans, and goes to the heart of why both the British Empire and the Soviet Union as well as many within the US establishment of the time originally opposed trial for the top Nazis, preferring to merely execute them extrajudically.
The German defendants actually were well represented by some of the top lawyers in that country. They did not fail to present the point that terror bombings, unrestricted submarine warfare, etc. were practiced by the Allies as well as Germany. The court had to take this defense into account.
It finally ruled that the German people were totally responsible, as a sovereign people for the aggession and misdeeds of their rulers, thus it was legal for the Allies to bomb Berlin, but not legal for the Luftwaffe to bomb London.
We do have, and are expected by all the world to use the power to overthrow this government of crooks and killers. Even if that takes Civil War II. The alternative might really be a mushroom cloud over our cities. We all know it was lies when they said Iraq has such weapons, but Russia and China both have them.
We are ruled by crooks, liars and killers who can only co-opt to their service the obedient, the servile and the second-rate. This is what is wrong with their policy.


#6

This belongs on Saturday Night Live:

"We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs."

No back story? No mention of lobbyists? No mention of deals made behind closed doors with any source "leaking" details or data to the public likely to get a price on their heads and/or jail time? No mention of Citizens United and the role of Big Money. No mention that POLLS show that a majority of citizens do not want these programs, protocols, or priorities. It is not WE that is deciding all this. It's power and its biggest paying donors and controllers.

No. Just insist that WE--The People made these decisions.

Like I said this dense, infuriating article reads like propagandistic Talking Points. Just tell the people they want war and that's half the magic of manufacturing consent... especially if you insist on this same stance in EVERY frame.


#7

"The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised."

Wow!!! WE must be spying on WE! Hmm... how could THAT happen?

From the article:

"Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it."

The above statistic, particularly when it evidences an "even split" turns WE into a bifurcated, split-personality entity. Imagine that... about as schizophrenic as this article in its struggle to paint all citizens under the same uniform brush-stroke until more than half-way into this narrow-minded analysis. Then, speak about THE OTHER HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#8

The 7 Fix-it goals are laudable except that it's POWER that is standing in the way of them which brings us back to this idea that WE (meaning The People) have agency within the current corrupted nexus.

Such a strange article in so many ways. The authors seem to live in a vacuum as the 7 points they've mentioned are hardly unique to them. As is the case when absolute power corrupts absolutely, the issue is how to MOVE in that wiser direction.

Alas, on the final page this understanding shows...

"Thus far, the U.S. has taken only baby steps toward controlling greenhouse gas emissions, but polls overwhelmingly show that the majority of Americans want action on this front."

Imagine that... The "U.S. has taken baby steps" or its government? A majority are ready to do much more than baby steps...


#9

What could have been a very good article is essentially unreadable. This kind of writing is intrinsically hard to do without sounding drawn out and pretentious, this piece unfortunately has both those qualities. When I was an undergraduate and trying to find political information which interested me, I encountered this, the true diatribe. I could not force myself to read it. I probably concur with most of what the writers have to say, I have to ask, who was this written for? Surely not the reader. It's the kind of thing that really turns some progressives off, believe it or not.


#10

"The Vietnam war came to an end". The sentence makes it sound like some organic conclusion as the river ended its journey at the ocean. The US was defeated and run out of town. The MIC, of course, won a huge victory reflected in the bank accounts of arms dealers and generals.


#11

Your continuous and unnecessarily verbose refusals to accept that you and every other person who is a citizen of the United States of America are responsible for what its government does and does not do is really getting tiresome Sioux Rose. Maybe expend a little less energy avoiding your own guilt and try and work to change things? After all - aren't you tired of rehashing the same " it's them it's not us" theme year in and year out on nearly every post on CD?


#12

SR, another excellent concise summary of America circa 2015. The milquetoast critique of "our" policies is a nauseating read. Gracias ! from all of us.


#13

Thank you, I appreciated the assessment of the article and thoughtful balanced approach. Nothing is perfect and not everyone is going to agree on everything as stated in this article. Critical thinking is important but always finding fault is tiresome.


#14

I take exception (personally) w/the statement that this 'all began' w/American intervention in the Balkins (in the mid-1990's), when the author(s) know fully that it was a concerted, well-organized 'humanitarian' effort to halt unbridled slaughter of innocents. And while we should have intervened in Rwanda & Haiti to a greater degree, the larger question was economic & the distinctions between American LEADERSHIP in the 1990's (w/President Clinton) & the Republican terms of corrupt governmental mismanagement (2001 til now), of which this article is directed. Being clear, President Obama has never been able to establish his own executive mandates because of that very same governmental legacy directive, established in 2001. NOT 1993. Or 1995. We're referring to an entirely different & very distinct creature when discussing conservative, authoritarianisms, which dominate the reestablishment of American colonialism, of which the Clinton administration had successfully departed 'from.' No one therefore, bothers giving the Clinton Administration credit for helping normalize governments & economies in Africa, Asia, Central & South America - but especially efforts in the Middle East, which helped institute the obscure & little understood, but massively beneficial 'peace-dividends' in all of the above mentioned regions. All of which came to a screeching halt in 2001. We're looking at the wrong things, in other words, by not bothering to see history w/both eyes & a clearer perspective...


#15

... but this is essentially the fault of... whom? As voters, whose responsibility is it to be enlighten of the issues & candidates? Whose votes count most when the absolutely wrong person ascends to the Executive, federal or state/local representative offices? Where did all this stuff U mention originate & how could it come to be, knowing what we SHOULD KNOW about even functional Democracy? The time to act was actually December 13, 2000, to tell the Supreme Court we didn't agree w/their decision & to let the Florida Supreme Court preside over the contests' outcome, til a 'clear' winner was named - by virtue of total votes state wide. THAT is true Democracy in action. Since we failed there, we're here now. What does this bode for the future? Lets collectively make that decision NOW!!!


#16

Nonsense. When government is answerable to The People, and when the design plan for fully operational checks and balances is functioning, and when media--arguably THE PUBLIC's air waves inform the citizenry about true events... THEN this idea that The People are complicit, accountable, or responsible holds merit.

The Black community IS under siege. Do you think Black citizens are responsible for this?

A rape culture is in place with many women targeted. Is it your view that women are equally complicit in this?

Either you understand that very real equations of power point to anything but fair and level playing fields, or YOU are delusional.

Vested interests would like to convince citizens that it is THEIR fault that lousy policies have been put into place.

Just look at this latest sell-out via the Senate and Congressional votes on "fast track," a means of preventing citizens--even sovereign governments and established laws--from interfering with trade agreements, economic and ecological Poker played by the biggest high stakes corporate gamblers.

Or consider what the revelations of the Page and Gilens study mean: that no major policy decisions of recent years reflect the will, wishes, and intentions of the governed.

The little trick played by those STUCK inside the soldier mindset (and/or card-carrying forum agent provocateurs) is that citizens are responsible for not FIGHTING back, as if fighting is what it all comes down to.

I believe that I am a citizen of a land that's been covertly subducted by a set of Deep State operators. They do not answer to the rule of law or the citizenry. They have command of more money than King Solomon and more weapons and armed clone-like soldiers taught to obey "authority" than did Hitler or Caesar.

And cut the crap about pseudo psychoanalyses... "your own guilt" and "not working for change." I've worked all of my life to raise consciousness, you arrogant chimp. What the fuck have YOU done? I answer to my Creator, as you must yours. Do not purport to answer for me... or to judge me.


#17

Those who are stuck inside the matrix/military mindset can't understand anything outside of the frame that there are merely 2 sides: winners and losers, good guys and bad guys.

Thank you for seeing outside of this limiting frame.

Millions of people now do.

The forum's apologists for the status quo (and they are practiced in repeating a number of talking points, all sounding like trained parrots) can't see outside of obedience to authority. They can't envision a world where father figures don't rule.

Here are some of the popular inversions they use to ALWAYS turn the problem of unchecked power back onto the citizenry:

  1. Voters voted these sellouts into office (they leave out the cost of elections, the quid pro quo deals devised between top dollar donors and candidates, and control of media and how that alone limits access to the public, i.e. getting the message to voters)

  2. If the topic is corporate energy barons and the way THEY thwart the implementation of wise policies to ward off global warming (as best that can be done as obviously, weather systems are already WAY out of joint), they will focus on the individual driver, consumer, meat eater

  3. If the topic is war, they will say that WE killed _____ (#) of Iraqis and use language frames that diffuse any distinction between the soldier and the peace-loving civilian

These are but a few. I've been observing how the consensus-makers operate here for years. Glenn Greenwald's article yesterday PROVED what I've been asserting here for years.

The need to stomp out any dissent or questions to Official Narratives is a key psychological component to the Inverted Totalitarian state. If the passage of the TPP, the ubiquity of surveillance, the numbers caught inside the prison-industrial drift net, the use of torture and wars of aggression, Hollywood's connection with the CIA, and the treatment of whistle blowers and "heretical" truth tellers are not all proof positive of that status, then True Believers of Govt. Lies will still pretend that elections matter. It's a Vichy "Democracy" now.

Purporting that citizens have agency is a lie that protects the dark powers who have taken control of not just this nation, but the critical gears (and resources) of systems of global power.


#18

I answered this in other comments. And if you think this problem is American, look around the world. Start with what the citizens of Greece are coping with as a result of the power of Big Money via the German and Central European Banking cartels.


#19

When one results to calling others 'chimps' the argument is won so I won't continue it further....
As to what I have done - I have worked both inside and outside government for the the last 40 years in public policy and education areas. Often beating my head against a wall of course because of bureaucratic nonsense and bad policy emanating from above my pay grade but at least I never have resorted to blaming some mysterious 'other' for the mess the U.S. has encased itself in. YOU are the 'other'. As am I and everyone else. Fact.
If more people worked for real and radical change instead of pounding the keyboard maybe we could be able reformulate our direction.... But do carry on, by all means, pounding away, asserting your superior and of course unassailable, insight Sioux Rose. Maybe some day a prostrate nation will bow at your feet and aver to your 'astral brilliance' or what ever claptrap you often spout .... Whatever useless endeavor enables you to get up in the morning dear...


#20

What happens now? The nation collapses, of course. We've been in the process of self-destructing for years. There's no way to determine if we finally "go out" with a bang or a whimper. The US has spent decades earning the rage of much of the world. We are regarded by many (most?) nations as the greatest potential threat to all life on Earth. Within our borders, we're profoundly divided and sub-divided, pitted against each other by class and race.

Meanwhile, we destroyed ourselves economically. Complex issue, but in a nutshell: From FDR to Reagan, the US had implemented policies and programs that took the country to its height of wealth AND productivity. With Reagan, we decided to reverse course and do just the opposite. Results: The overall quality of life in the US went from #1 when Reagan was first elected, down to #43 by the time Obama was elected, and we can no longer adequately compete in the modern world market. Nearly all of America's wealth is in the hands of the few, and is invested internationally. So, here we are, a nation filled with people who really can't stand each other, fighting over the last of the scraps.