Further Thoughts On The Continuing Problems Facing The American Empire.

by Daniel Russ on April 22, 2011

Inteligence Briefing

A new revelation from Wikilieaks indicates that the US government with the help of private companies funded the insurrection in Lybia. One has to step back for a moment and ask why. Why on Earth, at this time when we are so insolvent and have domestic problems that are spiraling out of control, would we kick a hornet’s nest in the Mideast? We know where that is going? Carrier groups steaming to hot spots, airstrikes, special forces operations. Why do this now? If Obama knew about this, and he had to, what is his reason for complicity in destabilizing an already destabilized region? What’s the plan here? Who is writing this script?

 

“TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. “

From The Second Coming, by William Butler Yeats.

I mean this is getting into Alex Jones territory. Does the government have something to gain form rising gas prices? Are oil companies behind the widening insurgency? I can’t see the advantage to doing business this way on a diplomatic battlefield and I have to assume then that the US government is complicit in this. I have to also assume that we are not the only ones benefiting from the chaos there. Does seeing uprisings spread through the region then make it seem like it’s sensible to keep garrisoning troops there?

There is a feeling that things are just out of control. There is a total disconnect with those that govern us. I can’t imagine what is going through their minds right now. Why are things at home being allowed to slip into such decrepitude and so little done about it? States and municipalities are cutting schools, firemen, police, libraries the very pillars of a community. Funds are cut from social services that are literally life and death to many. The infrastructure of the entire country needs investment and is getting no attention whatsoever, even as a jobs program that would help everyone.

The Wikileaks book published by the New York Times reveals that quite often US diplomats go to other countries and simply remove from their work plate the business of state and strongly lobby for their own enterprises. These are not legislators who are representing us. They are representing themselves. I mean this is madness.

If Americans could see the massive US Embassy our tax dollars built in Iraq, they would be stunned. Yet there is hardly a single piece of video on any public media, or a single clear hi resolution or even  a large image I can find online that shows its size. It basically is the size of Vatican City and was built by with US dollars, a Kuwaiti company that hired Asian laborers. That’s where our money went and we hardly even challenged it. This behemoth isn’t even fully occupied. It is still treated like a fortress from inimical outside forces. And Americans and US money is spent patrolling those streets and building schools while our own streets could use crime patrols and new schools.

The numerous developers who are making money off of the enterprise of construction and development are like the guy who has only a hammer. Every problem begins to look like a nail. Las Vegas has entire developments on the outside of the 215 that are unoccupied and pretty much have been for three years and yet building is going on in Vegas quite robustly. Vegas will recover. But it still seems strange to build when there is so little demand and so many places on the market. New homes, new hotels. A NYT reporter wrote that on a Saturday night the lobby of their new Deutche Bank $4 billion Casino, the Cosmopolitan, was almost empty. By the way, this apparently is happening in China as well, where massively huge towns have been built with empty apartments and ghost town shopping malls. Building for its own sake because it’s the only business around.

We have some the least educated children of the industrialized world and still cut education. We are losing our lead in the world on patents. More and more the foreign talent that used to come here and get an education and stay and build businesses are doing this in Europe. We cut funding to poor people and poor children in this country while we drop bombs in other countries. The Republican governor of Florida refused billions in light rail funds when the people in his state could use the work and industry could use the business and frankly Florida’s roads need the relief. Light rail is  very smart. So this is an amazingly bad public policy and there is no one in power who can speak for those who need relief the most.

Companies that took US taxpayer dollars to save them are hiring foreign workers. Hell, call the American Express help line when you need help with your bill and you’ll likely talk to an Indian. The liars and thieves who took sold bad securities are still largely untouched by the law. What happens when it becomes obviously that rule of law doesn’t apply to the rich? Is this a telltale symptom of the crumbling empire?

Obama, the Great Hope, just won a pretty good fight in Congress on the budget deal. Over all he has been a timid fighter. He accomplishes things that come into effect years from now, caves in when he doesn’t have to and is fully vested in corporate and banking interests. He seems like a feckless leader who gives great speeches. He searches for the middle when he could accomplish so much more just by standing for something and standing up to people. Honest to God Obama, get angry about something.

The largest part of our country is the military and so military becomes a replacement for diplomats. Robert gates goes to do

?

diplomatic work these days. The US military even delivers aid. But people are beginning to ask why we need huge garrisons in Germany and Japan and in the Mideast. Why do we need to defend Japan? Or Germany? How many bases do we have, and how many do we really need right now? In fact it seems that deeply cutting military spending is really off the table right now. People don’t realize what a favor Obama did for us when the F-22 was cancelled. A great plane I am sure, but extremely expensive, technical problems and made for the cold war. No one close to the plane is defending it because they know about its problems.

The problem with a declining empire is that the things we depend on are the things that decompose first. Rule of Law. Rich criminals walk, poor criminals get the book thrown at them. We lose our rights slowly and inexorably and we don’t stand up for ourselves. Just happens at an airport to people shows us how fast something like the 4th Amendment mean nothing. The treatment of prisoners around the country means that the 8th Amendment means little.

But Americans seem oddly incurious about why the huge bureaucratic intelligence community didn’t predict the crises consuming the Middle East nor did they foretell the increasing pace of change that is taking place just two years after the publications of Global Trends 2025. Tom Engelhardt makes the point.

 

You won’t find once subservient semi-client states thumbing their noses at Washington, not even in 2025. You won’t, for example, find the Saudis in, say 2011, openly exploring deeper relations with Russia and China as a screw-you response to Washington’s belated decision that Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak should leave office, or Pakistani demands that the CIA and American special operations forces start scaling back activities on their turf, or American officials practically pleading with an Iraqi government it once helped put in power (and now moving ever closer to Iran) to please, please, please let U.S. troops stay past an agreed-upon withdrawal deadline of December 31, 2011, or Afghan President Hamid Karzai publicly blaming the Americans for the near collapse of his country’s major bank in a cesspool of corruption (in which his own administration was, of course, deeply implicated).

Only two-plus years after “Global Trends 2025” appeared, it doesn’t take the combined powers of the IC to know that American decline looks an awful lot more precipitous and bumpier than imagined. But let’s not just blame our intelligence functionaries for not divining the future we’re already in. After all, they, too, were in the goldfish bowl, and when you’re there, it’s always hard to describe the nearest cats.

Who would have predicted that the Americans who have had the lead in space for so long would have to rely on Russia or Japan or France to move our astronauts into the International Space Station? Why did no one see that one of the effects of the digital revolution would be secrets exposed. Instead of finding papers, Wikileaks blew the top off of US diplomacy with actual electronic reports that it made available to millions. Of course the mainstream media has forgotten the controversy because they were scooped, and most of the media outlets have bought into the story that the leaks are costing lives and the act of journalism is a crime and Julian Assange is a rapist and so on and so forth. Memes replace facts today and the fact is our intelligence community might do better going back to men who stare at goats and Remote Viewing? It’s easy for me to say. But it seems true.

Interesting times we live in. As the Bard says: Hope springs eternal.

 

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