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What Comes After Empire?


#1

What Comes After Empire?

John Feffer

Let’s say the car stops and we get our teeth around the tire. Let’s say that we bite down hard enough to let out all the air from the U.S. empire.

Now what?

Those of us who have campaigned for a radical reduction of the U.S. military footprint overseas, for a major scaling back of U.S. interventionist capabilities, and for a shift of Pentagon funding toward necessary improvements on the home front have spent so much time detailing our objections to the status quo that we don’t have much time left over to consider what would happen if we succeed.


#2

"The United States has historically put itself forward as an honest broker that can deter and mediate conflicts because of its lack of interest in acquiring territory."

This false narrative is an Orwellian denial of the manner in which the Empire seeks territory. While it is technically true that the US has not been (recently) annexing lands, it is also irrelevant. What Empire seeks (and usually gets) is territorial control via markets, banking, and monetary ("trade") mechanisms. As Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler said, "War is a Racket". Until the idiotic "patriot" mass control system can be challenged with values aimed at improving the conditions for ALL life forms on the planet, I am afraid that business as usual will continue. There is just so much fucking money to be made by fucking up the planet, the people, and the penguins. But, as the native americans noted, you can't eat money.


#3

A better question is "what comes before Empire has reached fruition"- And I think we all know the answer to that....
Empire is synonymous with total Civilization collapse through Environmental Destruction-


#4

"What alternatives are there to the United States continuing to go it alone,"

So Marshall USA is in Main Street standing tall under the noon-day sun, alone, quick on the draw and gunning down the bad-guys so that we good citizens can pursue our lives quietly and peacefully? Bollocks. What a ridiculous article. The USA is just a rather ordinary country wasting an extraordinary amount of money causing mayhem in its own country and elsewhere. Time the author of this article stopped watching cowboy movies.


#5

The process of losing an empire also affects what comes after the nation has lost its Empire. In the last century, the UK, France, Japan and Germany lost all or most of their empires.

The Brits that I know claim that they gave up their empire (the ones who are old enough) to prevent the rise of despotism in the UK. I believe that. I really do think they could have tried to keep their empire a bit harder, the price for that would have been a totalitarian state.

I am ambivalent about my 'theory', haven't much if any evidence. It feels truthy though, doesn't it?

I think your PTM (powers that matter) are trying to keep the US Empire going, I don't think they know what they're going to get. I'm pretty sure none of us will be happy with it.


#7

The USA are totally committed to planetary hegemony and have been so for quite some time. A failure, which looks entirely likely now, to achieve this goal will cause state failure in the homeland. This is why the regime has clung so to its failed militaristic policy.
Were Sanders or anyone else to try to change this course, he would be in the same position as Gorbachev in the late Soviet Union. Our system is now at least as ossified around these policies as was theirs.


#9

Sometimes the best laid analysis of pundits and men are apt to get f'd by reality.

All said is well said and true BUT then a China will disregard already existing international law and claim underwater reefs many hundreds of miles away from China (and far closer to the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia) so as to construct new islands and then artificially extend its territorial waters. These new islands would allow the Asian superpower a far greater reach to control events and access to and fro in the south plus exert undue pressure on neighbors far from home.

What comes first before what comes after ... when there are other empires that are expanding as yours contract?

Trouble is what comes first as well as after then.


#10

yes. did you see that Sherrod Brown endorsed Hillary? why do i continue to be shocked by "progressives"?


#11

The F-35 was even described by the Pentagon, no less, as "a plane without a mission". It is a ridiculous boondoggle that will ultimately drain hundreds of billions more from an already devastated infrastructure budget. As to Frank's "pragmatism" it also shared by the person that I will likely vote for if he gets the nomination - Bernie Sanders. His support of the F-35 and the jobs it provides for Vermont is well known.
Seeing our allies become more and more militaristic in a time when they are also having problems with resource depletion, over population, corporate corruption, immigration and social strife makes me think that is time to update that song lyric by Graham Nash -
"Military madness is killing our PLANET."


#12

Exactly why JFK was taken out. We need an honest press not stenos who copy MIC propaganda.


#13

Correct, Chris. Also, we keep forgetting that our economy is driven a great deal by militarism and arms sales. We are stuck in this evil rut and like the great Pete Seeger song, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy", says - "The big fool said to push on." Washington, DeCeit seems to be hopelessly addicted to what I call the "Washington Playbook". They basically use the same approach to deal with supporting our "interests" no matter where in the world they may be. Truly the sign of a corrupt empire.


#14

You are trying to cast Sanders' work to get his constituents the economic benefit of basing F-35's locally with support for the F-35's development. They're two very different things.

"If the F-35 ends up not being located here, it will end up at a National Guard base in Florida or South Carolina. I would rather it be here." Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders on waste and fraud in the military budget


#16

What comes after empire?

If history is any indicator, another empire.


#17

"If the United States were to close all of its military bases tomorrow, withdraw its troops and Special Forces from the 130-plus countries where they’ve been operating, and even stop arms exports, bad things would still happen around the world. Wars would still take place."

I haven't read the entire article, but if Mr. Feffer leaves a statement like the above standing without bothering to mention that the United State's Military-Industrial Complex has served as Arms Dealer to much of a destabilized world for decades, and that all of those distributed weapons serve as massive ignition switches, he'd show a keener sense of responsibility for the Beast, partially latent, that's being unleashed.


#18

Not only is this a misleading frame; I'd say it qualifies as one of the TEN most dangerous lies ever told:

"I simply don’t understand why Republicans accept the view that the entire burden of providing the world’s military force should be borne by American taxpayers, even leaving aside my belief that advocates of these huge increases in American military spending greatly exaggerate both the threat that disorder overseas presents to us, and even more, to what extent America could effectively resolve these problems by military intervention."

First of all, what exactly is solved by military intervention?

Second, the Big Lie is this premise that U.S. bases are kept as AID to nations when in reality, this garrisoning of the globe with armed forces is done to protect empire and armed imperial rights to plunder (*the labor and resources of foreign lands).

Third, all this military hardware is hardly about AID... it's the lifeblood of that same Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned against. And it's this gigantic entity that concedes to no budgetary oversight or accounting, that cannibalizes half the U.S. budget. With that kind of money on the line YEAR AFTER YEAR, you can be sure that those designing, building, and selling all that KILLER hardware have a LOT of power. And with that power, they SET policy.

To hide martial policies behind the premise of "Aid" is dangerously disingenuous. No wonder missionaries provide cover for the diabolical shenanigans of the Deep State's military "adventures."


#19

Mr. Feffer mentions Japan and Germany beefing up military spending as a percentage of their economies. But he never mentions that the U.S. spends more on its military than the next 10 nations combined. And I really have to question the veracity of this statistic. At best, it doesn't cover black-ops., Homeland Security, or Veterans' affairs:

"Yes, as Frank points out, the United States spends 3.5 percent of GDP on defense while Germany spends closer to 1 percent (1.2 percent to be precise)."

This, to the contrary, is right on:

"Washington is partly responsible for the fires that are burning around the world, so we have an obligation to be part of the bucket brigade. We just need to be sending our diplomats and humanitarian specialists, not our soldiers, to help put out the fires."


#20

Well, not if we do this.... so, WHEN the economy crashes again...and people begin to loose their homes, because there are no jobs.... etc.... instead of allowing our selves to be evicted when the banks try to take them .... we REVOLT.... NO ONE SHOULD LEAVE THEIR HOME.... I have heard of cases in which the local sheriff, charged with evicting a family during or after the crash... did not do so... they refused .... so, since the next crash is going to be bigger ad badder than the last one... even the cops/sheriff could be in trouble... so, who will evict... the national guard...??????
We can do this people ... we can... THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO MAKE US HOMELESS.... If you have been in your home most of your life, working your ^ss off... or if you just put money on a house, starting out... I don't care either scenario..... when this collapse comes ....STAY HOME.... and develop your neighborhood.... learn to live with your neighbors... and grow food... make clothes.... this is the time for us to become real again....


#21

Actually, it is 54%(1) of the discretionary budget in 2015.

It is 13% (2) of total (discretionary and non-discretionary) expenditures for 2016.

Please note that "Welfare" programs only account for 7% of the expenditures in 2016. It appears that the U.S. military's activities in foreign countries of bombing Doctors Without Borders hospitals, killing civilians, and causing a refugee crisis is more important than caring for our own citizens.

(1) https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/
(2) http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_budget_pie_chart


#22

I didn't hear that quote in the video. Maybe it got cut out. For jobs, better he should have raised hell about bringing back the WPA and CCC that won't be- because as Obama said; "We just don't have the money." Well, not if "we" are putting TRILLIONS into wars for empire and oil, when we should leave it in the ground, rather than Okaying ARCTIC DRILLING (His "friend" Obama!) lest we face Climate Disaster/Extinction. Oh, that's right, Obama FINALLY reversed the OK for Arctic drilling (Bad P.R., beyond the pale! -for now!) But, I also didn't hear about: not just the waste of money, but the WASTE OF INNOCENT LIVES around the world. "Misconduct" at the military contractors he notes, but not the ELEPHANT-SIZED issue of misconduct of "our leaders" in USING these weapons.
The death toll is in the MILLIONS! THIS IS GENOCIDE, AND IT IS NOT
A DAVID BOWIE SONG!
Following Sanders into his CAPITALIST party is like the "good Germans" turning to a "moderate" fascist party (had there been one), rather than building the anti-fascist resistance, because "It's too small", and "That's too hard."
With the "Democrats" in office these past years, Obama CONTINUED Bush's wars-based-on-lies, granted that gang "ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY FOR EVERYTHING", (CommonDreams, 8-26-13), started NUMEROUS, and STILL BOGUS, new wars, (that Sanders supports) and lulled the Dems' rank and file into a confused, stupor, when, under the Repugnants, thousands were in the streets, outraged at Bush/Cheney's genocidal duplicity.
WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE NOW? Has the DEMAGOGIC party jaded and exhausted you with their persistence with ENDLESS WARS?! That's how they do it!
PLEASE!
WAKE THE HELL UP!!!
Listen to The Who- DON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!!!
Can't you see the pattern?!
LBJ: "We seek no wider war" through his teeth,
with plans for escalation in his pocket! LIE!
Jimmy Carter: "caring" about Human Rights in the aftermath of our coup in Chile and our "Dirty War" in Argentina, but friends with the Shah of Iran, and hostile to the Sandinistas. "Mr. Cool" (He plays saxophone!) Clinton: presiding over sanctions on Iraq that cost ONE AND A HALF MILLION LIVES, (more than half children), and it is acknowledged and excused by his Sec. of State, Madeleine Albright: "...we think the price is worth it." (To get rid of Saddam) "60 Minutes",May 12, 1996.
We "had to do something" about Saddam because he started to attack Kuwait to stop their theft of Iraqi oil, using slant drill equipment OBTAINED FROM THE U.S. (Search April Glaspie, Clinton's ambassador, and Ralph Schoenman, a real socialist author and activist.)
Another of Clinton's "accomplishments': His National Security Advisor,
Zbigniew Brzezinski, encouraged Saddam to attack the new Iranian government's Khuzestan Province, resulting in the Eight Year War, costing
over a million lives.
And of course Welfare destruction, the pipeline to prison, NAFTA/GATT/WTO,
the precursors to TTP,TTIP, TISA, CISA, ad nauseum.
And now Obama's condemnation of "stupid wars"- how many liberals fell for his "intelligent, justified, humane" wars?
Libya's in better shape now?
NEVER MIND THE ACTUAL NAZIS AND CONFEDERATE FLAGS IN KIEV- pretty disgusting for a Jewish socialist to support! Oh, that's right- he's taking a little distance from aiding the Nazi Azov Batallion- that wouldn't look good, but our arms will still trickle down from the new Nazi-riddled Kiev gov't, (Youtube: Victoria Nuland, GlobalResearch.ca)
Just like our arms trickled down from our Afghan Mujahedeen (Charlie Wilson's War) to the Taliban to Al-Qaeda, to "Syria's moderate" rebels to ISIS.
Not out in the street anymore, huh? NOT NECESSARY?! Still fooled by Obama? Don't see the pattern of war-making and deceit by the "Democrats"?
SHAME ON YOU! DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! The blood of MILLIONS of PEOPLE is on our hands, if we can still look up more than one side of a story,and we don't, or if we continue to support institutions like the "Democrats" and "Republicans" (Demagogs and Repugnants).
Think you'll be all right? Sanders, Obama, and H. Clinton want Snowden, Assange and Manning prosecuted for exposing Bush/Obama CRIMES.
Have you learned nothing from George Orwell? Do you really want endless wars, poverty, and a dictatorship here? What do you think COINTELPRO, the NSA, militarized police, and Operation Jade Helm are for? Keep on with the wishful thinking, head in the sand; yeah, that'll fix it!
Please, PLEASE! WAKE THE F UP! Oops, I should be more civil!
(Dirty words aren't nice, never mind the genocide.)


#23

Nobody should trust even the diplomats and "humanitarian experts"
this government sends. There was a story recently about Christian
charity workers unwittingly being used by the CIA to spy on the DPRK
(North Korea). That 'proves our credibility' with the world, just like the UN sanctions on Iraq- killing 1.5 million, enforced by Clinton, showed how credible that body is.
Washington, even under "Democrats", is responsible for MOST of the fires in the world. We should call off our dogs and arsonists.
Debate during Vietnam: "Democrats" said "We should negotiate with them."
Socialists said "Immediate, unconditional withdrawal, NOW!" (The empire has no right to try to win, with slick lawyers, at a table, what they lost on the battlefield, at such huge, bloody cost to our victims.)
Or as one fellow said, "Immediate withdrawal and a very humble apology".