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Whose Century Is It? Life on an Increasingly Improbable Planet


Whose Century Is It? Life on an Increasingly Improbable Planet

Tom Engelhardt

Vladimir Putin recently manned up and admitted it. The United States remains the planet’s sole superpower, as it has been since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. “America,” the Russian president said, “is a great power. Today, probably, the only superpower. We accept that.”

Think of us, in fact, as the default superpower in an ever more recalcitrant world.


Sad? Yes, of course, at least to anyone with a functioning moral compass. Failure, though? By whose definition? Who is to say that the destabilization and upheaval of entire regions isn't by actual design and intent? To label these policies and, by de fault, those who implant them as failures is to dangerously misinterpret their intent and, above all, underestimate their savagery. Instead, the questions to be asked are who benefits from this and what do they gain?

At the minimum of analysis, destabilization and upheaval are breeding grounds for war, and if your intent is continuous war, a policy that keeps a region in chaos is a successful policy and anything but a failure. What better way to maintain a military footprint in an area than to destabilize it with continuous war?

Beyond that is maintaining a wartime economy that benefits a powerful elite ruling class beyond the reach of law, a ruling class that viciously punishes anyone who dares to oppose them or expose them for the monsters they are.

Failure is very much a matter of perspective.


I hope Jill Stein appoints Tom Englehardt Secretary of Defense.


And mind you, that’s just to begin to mention the improbabilities of the present moment. After all, in what fantasies -- ever -- about a globe with a single dominant power, would anyone have imagined that it might fail so utterly to bring the world to anything approximating heel? If you had told Henry Luce, or me, or anyone else, including the masters of the universe in Washington in 1991, that the only superpower left on Earth, with the best-funded, mightiest, most technologically destructive and advanced military imaginable, would, on September 11, 2001, be goaded by a group so modest in size and power as to be barely noticeable into a series of never-ending wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, we would have found that beyond improbable.

Yes Tom, the official narrative of 9/11, the official conspiracy theory of 9/11, is in actuality, beyond improbable.

I really wish journalists, who refuse to be investigative journalists regarding the most seminal event of our time, would just leave out any reference to 9/11 whatsoever.


"What could be sadder"? The fact that the US did it to them.


"Failed states" would be a good description, if we understood "fail" as a transitive verb, not an intransitive verb.

The US military "failed" all those states; the US military turned them all into failures.


I've made precisely the same arguments in these threads... and usually in response to Tom Engelhardt's arguments (which are also echoed through the articles of those associated with his site).


For years he's been sticking to the same story; and all of his writers use the frame that "the Middle East Wars have not been won" as if THAT is the metric for evaluation.

Gatekeepers... they broach subjects slightly LEFT of center but refuse to take these issues, questions, and events to their probable conclusions.


"If you had told me in 1975, when the Vietnam War finally ended some 34
years after Luce wrote that essay and 28 years before the U.S. invaded
Iraq that, in 1979, Washington would become involved in a decade-long war in Afghanistan, I would have been stunned."

Well, Tom, you are not much of an observer.

After 1975, the war aginst Vietnam continued by proxy in Cambodia with USAian support for the Khmer Rouge through sending aid to their camps inside the Thai border, with China sending arms to the Khmer Rouge (having previously invaded Vietnam), and Thailand providing comfort to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge . The USA also supported the genocidal Khmer Rouge at the UN until at least the mid 1980s. As revealed in Parliament, the British had also done their bit in sending members of the British SAS to Cambodia to train the Khmer Rouge in laying land-mines. At that time the Vietnamese army was occupying Cambodia, having invaded in 1978 following three years of cross-border attacks by the Khmer Rouge since 1975. Vietnam liberated Cambodia.

The USAian involvement in Afghanistan began in 1979, Tom, when the USA started its sponsorship of the mujahiddeen terrorsts against a USSR-friendly government. The USA continued such sponsorship until at least the Russians had been driven out of Afghanistan.

Just to bring you up-to-date with world affairs, Tom, since you are so surprised by events." Brother Enemy" by Nayan Chanda, written some years ago, will inform you in detail about the third Vietnam war; John Pilger and Robert Fisk have written about affairs in Afghanistan.


Mr. Engelhardt is committed to his own narrative and these significant insights just bounce off his cognitive walls.

What amazes me is how few who read C.D. show any "likes" when posters challenge the official 911 false flag narrative, or the story of the "brave capture" of Bin Laden. I notice the same empty field in response to so many other Made For T.V. "news" narratives, kin to the CIA's scripts now produced by Hollywood.

It's not just the MSM that shapes all that the public is allowed to hear or consider as true.

The vast majority of writers/pundits/journalists understand that to pay their rent or mortgage, and feed their families, it's wise to just Stick With The Program.

That means the small minority who dares to speak up is easily brandished as a fringe group. This strategy works to minimize the impact of any message that departs from the Official Narratives.

I agree with your post.


Just as the CIA given its genesis under Allen Dulles STILL sees enemies everywhere, and Russia most formidably; Tom E. views the U.S. military as it was back in the post W.W. II days: a great heroic force.

Thus, incapable of amending his narrative, he brings a Superman level of awe for the military (and its commanding officers) to the discussion that makes it impossible for him to recognize that the MIC has been commandeered by dangerous war profiteers who are as intent upon making and spreading wars (for profit) as are corner crack dealers in selling their junk.


When the planet has failed, nobody benefits, right? Where do the architects of such a diabolical mission go then? Or are the architects not human?


"The Warfare State" written by a USAian author in 1957 (I forget whom), and read by me when perhaps just entering teen years, said it all. In those days there were only 7 times the number of nuclear weapons required to destroy the planet and the SAC were flyibng nuclear-armed B52 bombers to the very borders of Russia on a daily basis. Nothing has changed; just more and more of the same old s$%t.

Good luck and keep laughing.