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The World Will Not Mourn the Decline of U.S. Hegemony


#21

I agreed with the entirety of the article except that part I quoted.

That rationale is absurd.

I counter his contention, his rationale, very common from that alt-left perspective that Trump is somehow a benefit to disrupting the march of Empire.

Trump represents the kind of autocrat, the kind of monster such Empire needs to up the ante of violence abroad, AND repression at home.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I didn’t assert that he thought the Trump Administration was “good” in the general sense. I was addressing his “perhaps preferable” notion based on his opinion that a Trump Administration would somehow hasten the downfall of Empire. So perhaps I should have parsed “good” with “perhaps”.

Again, I think that rationale that Trump represents anything other than a ramping up of Empire abroad and at home, is completely bogus.

Some on the alt-left argued for months that Trump would represent just that, the unmasking of Empire and that somehow that would hasten it’s collapse.

It was a notion of folly then, and is so now.


#22

Yeah, maybe you’re right Yunzer: US imperialism really is not so bad. The millions of dead through every decade since WWII - a price worth paying?


#23

I never said it is not to bad, but it has little relevance to the proximate causes of the humanitarian outrages of the past couple years. Even Israel would continue to commit 90 percent of all the ongoing crimes it is currently committing if US support stopped.

And why this strange “but US imperialism is worse” argument? Sure, if the USA stages a nuclear strike on N. Korea it will quickly outdo Assad’s crimes. But that hasn’t happened yet. Right now, my concerns are with my Syrian friends and the proximate causes of that. By the way, this story about “The US armed terrorists to overthrow the ‘legitimate’ government of Syria” is a myth. And to call the Assad regime “legitimate” is morally nauseating. You know that, right?

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/2/22/a_monstrous_campaign_of_annihilation_death.


#24

Great, so let’s go overthrow it!

Your disingenuousness is just dripping.


#25

No, let the Syrian and Kurdish people overthrow it. But if the US lent some effective help. I really could not get too indignant about it - once they overthrow Assad, they can tell the US: “Farewell, and thanks for all the guns - you can leave now.”

And as one with anarcho-syndicalist sympathies, the “legitimacy” of even the “nicest” governments are dubious.

Why are you dehumanizing Syrians into helpless puppy dogs have or had no agency in this struggle?

If you have not already, please listen to the Democracy Now segment today.


#26

Riight. Russia and China have a history of invading countries and overthrowing governments.

I have been following your comments here for some time and you seem to buy so much of the propaganda that the PTB have been feeding us for so long.

The democrats are not our friends and if they get control of congress again they will do just what they did in 2006 when Pelosi told us that she would roll back the Bush abuses if we gave them control of the house. We did, she didn’t. Then there’s that time when they held all three branches of government and Obama had a huge mandate. What did they do then? Protected the banks and passed a republican health “insurance” bill. Not single payer as Obama ran on.

This country has been the biggest terrorist organization since it signed the Monroe doctrine. Obama spent his entire tenure at war. There is no end in sight.


#27

It’s an old argument, that “things have to get worse before they get better.” (It’s in AA too, where you’ll hear people say “You have to hit bottom first.”) Taylor Caldwell wrote a novel decades ago based on this argument being more or less a scientific political theory, with a “hero protagonist” who serves as harsh dictator of the USA specifically to engender an uprising of successful popular resistance to overthrow the regime and restore freedom.

It’s bad theory, for a lot of reasons. And i think Street merely nods toward this theory. (To my mind, the Marxist “scientific” materialist assertion of the “inevitable triumph of the working class” is similarly bad theory.) For one thing, it is generally people in privileged sectors who make such assertions, not people suffering on the front lines of present horror.

i also think – (both in the present case and in the “scientific materialist” case) – one of the motivations for this theory is that people want to believe something good might come of the horror. It’s desperate emotional consolation, to believe that at some point things will get so bad that people will finally wake up and take successful action to stop the horror.

(Having watched things get steadily worse for five-plus decades, while atomization and distraction just amplify, i take no consolation from any such belief.)

All that said, when folks in these threads insistently and repeatedly assert that significant sectors of “the Left” are happy to see Trump and Trumpism take center stage in US politics, i think this assertion is absurd. You are plainly not with the DNC / Clintonites who push this theme, but perhaps you recognize that some here who make these assertions are disingenuous in their outraged analysis. At least, IMHO.

i think it is true that “the Resistance” would not have arisen if Clinton had been elected, despite the fact that Clinton would have continued to forward the US imperial project on behalf of capital. That said, i think “the Resistance” is far too narrow in its analysis of the roots of the horror, or the depth of change and resistance needed to address it.

In neither case does this mean i think it is “good” that Trump got elected. But it is worthwhile to try to understand what it is that generates “resistance” to US empire from within US society.

But if i or any writer here makes note of the fact that the rise of Trump has sparked some positive social movement responses, or geopolitical responses, i don’t want you (or any of the more disingenuous posters in these threads) to jump at me with accusations of being in some imaginary alt-Left that loves the fact that Trump is in the White House. i think the concept is far overblown, to the point that the insinuation is regularly tossed about on these boards that it is the imaginary “alt-Left” who are responsible for Trump’s election. i think that is an intentional distraction (along with many others) thrown up by the DNC / Clintonites to distract from their responsibility for the disaster.


#28

Yet another disingenuous assertion. i do no such thing. Sad to see your contributions here continue to devolve.


#29

Well I’m only responsible for the arguments I’ve made in regard to what I have deemed, according to the arguments I’ve made, “alt-left” positions regarding Trump.

I have repeatedly stated that the fault for a Trump Administration lies squarely at the hands of the DNC, and more broadly Corporate State Democrats having been spawned by the DLC.

Again, however else anyone uses that categorization of “alt-left” I can’t answer for.

The alt-left arguments I’m referring to (and here I’m not asserting that Paul Street has made all or even many of these arguments, because AGAIN I agree with the entirety of his argument sans the quote, and for the very narrow argument cited, which is entirely a sound argument) are the arguments during the campaign that Trump actually represented someone who was anti-establishment, anti-Wall Street, anti-neoliberlism, anti-war, anti-Zionist State of Israel foreign policy, ad nauseum.

Heck, Pilger wouldn’t even acknowledge Trump calling for more torture, not less, and to make it legal.

That’s one example of such writing from that particularly bizarre pro-Trump, alt-left perspective.

Trump clearly represented a distinctly dangerous figure, who openly (supposedly a “preferable” quality of de-cloaking by some) stoked hate for power, and what did these authors do?

They ignored that incredibly dangerous development and latched onto the bizarre notion that not only was he all of the things I’ve already touched on, but that in addition he was going to reign in Empire at complete odds to his published foreign policy positions, speeches including the one to AIPAC, wanting to build a fucking wall, banning Muslims, and the rest of the hair-on-fire signs that their assertions of some “preferable” outcome of a Trump Administration was utter folly.

Again, back to my basic assertion which is entirely rational, that the argument he made is bunk.

Trump clearly represents a ratcheting UP of US hegemony, not some consequential ratcheting down.

From now on, I’ll just drop the alt-left label to avoid any corn-fusion.


#30

Too harsh Lin ~ and oversimplified I think.

And I posed questions, which you have not answered - three questions actually.

Perhaps I haven’t gone to the dark side just yet !!

Lincoln once said: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master…”, yet found himself a war leader, deciding who would live and who would die.

Much is out of one’s control, be it in the mountains or on the flatlands, not excluding whether one finds oneself a slave or a master, or someone in between.

I think a visual allegory is in order.

First though, try answering the three questions.

Then, or perhaps before answering the questions, give this movie a try.

Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan


#31

I find some of these arguments funny. Trump is selling his office to the highest bidder, a walking violation of the emoluments clause. People are really arguing he represents some kind of break from hegemony? His key business, and that of his son-in-law, derives from hegemony—American power. He’d have nothing to sell if not for it. And corporations could not be happier overall with his governance.


#32

OK,. then lets stop the bullshit. Do you, or do you not support the following:

  1. The Syrian war started when Bashar Assad violently crushed a nonviolent uprising with much bloodshed - forcing the Syrian people to take up arms.

  2. While it is highly unlikely due to heavy support of Assad by the Putin government. The Syrian people, if possible should oust and hang Bashar Assad and establish a government that respects human rights.

  3. Unless 2 above happens, there is going to be a horrible bloodbath of political disappearances in his prisons when Assad prevails and ends armed hostilities. Few of the Syrian diaspora will dare return home.

  4. The US-left needs to start being citizens of the world, and stop viewing all civil conflicts and popular uprisings in other lands through a US-centric “anti-imperialist” lens.


#33

I don’t see how anyone can blame the DNC for Trump’s election. Bernie Sander’s press secretary said the primary was fair and square and there was no fraud. In a close election such as the general election you can point to many things that could have made the difference. But Trump mainly one because he was popular with a segment of the population. His strongest support came form white supremacists. And also many people who would not be considered white supremacists but were unhappy about the increased number nonwhites. He also has strong support from the Patriot movement. And it appears clear that he won Wisconsin because of the voter ID law. Without that law Clinton probably would have won Wisconsin by a few percentage points. It is less clear how he flipped Michigan and Pennsylvania but the Democratic edge in those states isn’t that great sometimes swing states get flipped. Where does the DNC come in.? The DNC ran a great convention where the Republican convention was a dud. Clinton won the three debates. And Trump had sex scandal that still remains a problem. Any other Republican would have lost but Trump won because he got the support of the alt-right and his supporters didn’t care about anything except they had a chance to get a racist into the White House. I realize the many people on the left are going to blame the DNC regardless of the facts. That is what they have to do. Their main target is the DNC. So matter what the DNC will get blamed. But this blaming has nothing to do with what happened and is all about political goals.


#34

I don’t want to expend more than a few calories replying to you, knowing that you have seen my position on this, certainly to you, ad nauseum.

It is a known fact that the DNC served as a PAC for Clinton, and that was unfair.

Sanders’ press secretary of course would say that because Sanders has his personal political position to protect.

The fault I speak of, is the change in the party once the power center was controlled by DLC Corporate Democrats, and the ultimate consequence of that.

The Democratic Party, led by Corporate State Democrats has moved in tandem with Republicans steadily to the right for the last 40 years, into the hands of Wall Street, the MIC, Telcos, Big Pharma, Insurance Monopoly, Big Ag, and helped propagate the privatization of schools, prisons for profit, wars of Empire, and the rest.

To put the stupid icing on the cake, what do they do?

They run a dirty campaign full of the most base insults against Sanders and his supporters, cheat with their takeover of the DNC, and worst of all…they stuff the true populist in the bag and left the fake populist standing.

Sheer genius.

Oh no Lrx, they had nothing to do with it!!!

Cluck


#35

Absolutely! The leadership of The Party, and the candidate of The Party, and the campaign of The Party, have nothing at all to do with the debacle of The Party! Laughable nonsense!

You endlessly regurgitate DNC boiler-room propaganda talking points. And it seems i want to burn fewer calories than Psychedelic Chicken.


#36

Well, not quite. The US has had a very significant geopolitical role to play in creating the Syrian conflict.

Firstly, the Syrian conflict began as a minor civil uprising, a part of the Arab Spring, supported, at least morally, by the West, and probably it would have been crushed and normal dictatorial ‘order’ resumed, which, though far from perfect, quite atrocious on many levels, was still better than the warzone and carnage we have now. The reason it escalated from this into full blown civil war is because the US intervened in the form of arming, provoking and training this insurgency, the US answer to everything being, give people guns. The US then is cupable in engineering the conflict.

Secondly, the escalatation of the Syrian conflict and general instability in the whole region, was accentuated, some would say directly connected, to the US invasion of Iraq and its subsequent fall out, causing the creation of Isis and other rebel factions, not to mention filling the region with vast amounts of arms. So again, the US is culpable.

Thirdly, the US was happy to support the brutal dictator Assad when he served their purpose as a bulwark against Saddam Hussain and as an instument for their geo-political mechinations in the area, just as they were happy to support brutal dictator Saddam Hussian when he was a bulwark against Iran and fundamentalism, so any 'moral’arguments from the US about the unacceptability of brutal dictators is just hogwash, a moral dressing to cover geopolitical motivations for the consumption of the gullible masses back home.


#37
  1. Yes, but who gave them the arms? (See my other comment.) The US mainly. It takes two sides to fight a war. So, no I don’t agree with this simplified view.
  1. They should yes, but they wouldn’t, instead there would be ongoing civil factional conflict similar to Libya. Assad has support of the Christians and the minority alowiites (not sure of spelling), because they know they would be the ones persecuted if Assad was otherthrown. So i agree with the wish, but not the pragmattic likelihood. You make the mistake of most Americans in not realising what a complex hotbed of tribalism and factions that the middle-east is, which was precisely the mistake made in Iraq and the mistake made in Libya.
  1. Probably, but if assad was overhrown the result would probably be similar.
  1. True to a degree, but on the other hand there are millions of ‘regular’ Americans who really do need an education about vicious US imperalist antics around the world instead of beliveing they are the good guys, cheering on gun-toting American heroes in Hollywood war films fighting for goodness and light and democracy around the world as they believe they do.

#38

“Uncle Sam’s weakening” is a source of relief to all people with functioning brains and hearts.

Collapse of the empire will be very good for life on Earth. I cheer for the day US empire implodes and takes the pentagon to a dump for perverted cowardly generals with it.


#39

Bernie lost by 4 million votes. It’s a myth that this was even a close primary, historically speaking. It was only close in the sense he stayed in it after he had zero chance of winning. And, I’d sure love to see his emails because I suspect not-nice things were said about Clinton in them. Poor Tad Devine, consummate outsider—I’ll bet he had nobody inside the party apparatus he knew either. Guess what? Bernie made legit mistakes of his own during the primary—we never talk about those do we?—and I think some progressives just can’t deal with it.

The above being said, I don’t disagree with you regarding Clinton being a lousy candidate, but I think the Left ought to bear some responsibility for its choices. I was right here, arguing for voting for her to get a 5th vote on the Supreme Court, not having a racist run DOJ, and keeping the EPA intact. I was told I was pushing fear voting, that Trump was better on “trade,” “healthcare,” and “banks.” Well, we haven’t even seen that 5th vote on the Supreme Court at work yet, but things aren’t going so well on those other fronts. That was a choice certain progressives made. Some were deluded—WWIII!!!—some just wanted to break things, others felt their singular vote embodied an ethereal hyper moral action, but they made a conscious decision to move our country to the right.


#40

It was not a “minor civil uprising”. A majority of Syrians supported it

The decision to switch to armed struggle was the Syrian’s decision - and they were doing well for a while and the war would have been soon over with Assad stepping down and fleeing. Then a superpower intervened on htre side of Assad, prolonging the war, and leading to exploitation by armed Islamic fanatics (since defeated - the people being killed in Eastern Ghouta are left-secular Syrians) creating the current hell.

Guess which superpower was responsible for this?

The US assistance the Free Syrian Army was brief and minor. But yes, sometimes exploiting the aid of superpower is a good tactic for a people’s liberation movement to take - as long as the limitations of it are understood.

You are repeating a fake US-centric narrative. And your particular narrative is filled with orientalist (look that word up if you need to)-racist stereotypes of Arabs… The agency (look the word up too if you need to) of the Syrians themselves are missing from this narrative. Please learn about the Syrian Civil war from fellow Syrian leftist comrades like Yassin Al-Haj Saleh. This is a good start. I dare you to read it.