The US Empire: rise, fall, and now what?

The US was the dominant world power, but has been failing, compounded by desperate plans for hegemony and appalling errors and lies over a long period. Will President Trump overpower the Deep State and restore the US in a unipolar world, perhaps in conjunction with President Putin and Chairman Xi?

Scroll down to read the most recent articles.  Links to previous articles  follow.

How The US Spent Billions To Change The Outcome Of Elections Around The World: A Review

How The US Spent Billions To Change The Outcome Of Elections Around The World  From Zerohedge, 10 January 2019

The U.S. military state overthrows democratically-elected governments that it deems to be a threat to corporate interests.

“There is plenty of evidence that the United States is the most depraved and dangerous “meddler” in the affairs of other nations that history has ever known.”

Dan Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer, but most of all he is an anti-imperialist and an author of three books. Kovalik’s first two books tackled the specific US war drives against Russia and Iran. His third installment, The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, addresses the broad scope of US election meddling abroad. The book provides much needed political and ideological life support to an anti-war movement in the U.S that has been rendered nearly invisible to the naked eye.

The Plot to Control the World is as detailed in its critique of U.S. imperialism as it is concise. In just over 160 pages, Kovalik manages to analyze the various ways that the U.S. political and military apparatus interferes in the affairs of nations abroad to achieve global hegemony. He wastes no time in exposing the devastating lie that is American exceptionalism, beginning appropriately with the U.S. imperialist occupations of Haiti and the Philippines at the end of the 19thcentury and beginning of the 20th. The U.S. would murder millions of Filipinos and send both nations into a spiral of violence, instability, and poverty that continues to this day. As Kovalik explains regarding Haiti, “While the specific, claimed justifications for [U.S.] intervention changed over time- e.g., opposing the end of slavery, enforcing the Monroe Doctrine, fighting Communism, fighting drugs, restoring law and order — the fact is that the interventions never stopped and the results for the Haitian people have been invariably disastrous.”

“Kovalik wastes no time in exposing the devastating lie that is American exceptionalism.”

US expansionism has relied upon the ideology of American exceptionalism to silence criticism and weaken anti-war forces in the United States. American exceptionalism claims that the U.S. is a force for good in the world and completely justified in its wars of conquest draped in the cover of spreading “democracy and freedom” around the world. Kovalik challenges American exceptionalism by showing readers just how much damage that US expansionism and militarism has caused for nations and peoples in every region of the planet. Russia, Honduras, Guatemala, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Vietnam and many other nations have seen their societies devastated by U.S. “election meddling.” In Honduras, for example, a U.S.-backed coup of left-wing President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 made the nation one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, indigenous person, or trade-union/environmental activist. Thousands of Hondurans have been displaced, disappeared, or assassinated since the coup.

Another important aspect of The Plot to Control the World is its exposure of U.S hypocrisy surrounding the subject of “election meddling.” Since the end of the 2016 Presidential elections, the U.S. military, political, and media branches of the imperialist state have accused Russia of virtually implanting Donald Trump into the Oval office. The U.S. public has been fed a steady dose of anti-Russia talking points in an apparent effort on the part of the elites to beat the drums of war with the nuclear-armed state. No evidence has been presented to prove the conspiracy, as a recent National Public Radio (NPR) analysis states plainly. However, there is plenty of evidence that the United States is the most depraved and dangerous “meddler” in the affairs of other nations that history has ever known.

 “The author shows readers just how much damage that US expansionism and militarism has caused for nations and peoples in every region of the planet.”

Just ask the much-vaunted Russians. Kovalik devotes an entire chapter to the 1996 Presidential election in Russia that re-elected the wildly unpopular Boris Yeltsin. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 began an era of “shock therapy” in the newly erected Russian Federation, a euphemism for the wholesale theft and transfer of socialized wealth into the hands of oligarchs and multinational corporations. Millions would perish in Russia from an early death due to the sudden loss of healthcare, housing, jobs, and other basic services. In 1996, President Bill Clinton ensured that Yeltsin maintained his near total grip on state power in Russia by providing the Russian President with a team of U.S. political consultants and over a billion dollars’ worth of IMF monies directly to the campaign. U.S. political and monetary support allowed Yeltsin to rig the election in his favor despite his dwindling popularity. Kovalik shows that if anyone should worry about election meddling, it should be the people of Russia and not the US elites that control Washington.

The Plot to Control the World takes readers into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the CIA’s coup of revolutionary Patrice Lumumba continues to haunt the resource rich nation in the form of endless US-backed genocide. It travels to Guatemala, where the CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz led to a U.S.-backed slaughter of a quarter million Guatemalans under the auspices of several military dictatorships. Kovalik shows us that the election of the fascistic Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil was no aberration, as the U.S. was primarily responsible for the rise in fascism in Brazilthrough its direct role in placing the nation under the control of a military dictatorship in 1964. The military dictatorship predated the CIA’s ouster of Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973, which handed the once socialist state to Augusto Pinochet’s murderous and repressive leadership.

“The mission is always the same: to destabilize independent nations that refuses to bow down to the dictates of U.S. imperialism.”

The entire skeleton of the U.S. military state is on full display in The Plot to Control the World. The U.S. military state utilizes an array of tools to overthrow democratically-elected governments that it deems to be a threat to corporate interests. These tools include the U.S. intelligence agencies, so-called Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as the National Endowment for Democracy, and the various branches of the military itself, to name a few. Regardless of the tools employed, the mission is always the same: to destabilize independent nations that refuses to bow down to the dictates of U.S. imperialism.Thus, while Nicaragua, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Vietnam may possess unique histories, their economic and political development has been shaped by the destructive interference of the United States.

Dan Kovalik is not likely to be reviewed in the New York Timesor other corporate outlets. That’s because Kovalik unapologetically speaks out against U.S. empire and all that upholds it. In doing so, Kovalik’s The Plot to Control the World walks in the footsteps of anti-imperialists such as Michael Parenti and William Blum. Blum, a former State Department employee, spent his post-State Department life providing humanity with knowledge about how US imperialism operates on the global stage. The New York Timeswasted no time in slandering Blum in their obituary . This showed the great lengths that the ruling elites will go to discredit, defame, and condemn critics of the military industrial complex and how important it is for those who oppose war let go of any expectation that the corporate media will cover Kovalik’s work or anyone else who speaks out against war.

“White supremacy is the biggest lie of all and is completely embedded in the ideology of American exceptionalism.”

With that said, one of the reasons that the left in the U.S. is so weak is because it has been numerically and politically isolated by the lies of the Empire. White supremacy is the biggest lie of all and is completely embedded in the ideology of American exceptionalism. Despite the ruthlessness of the austerity and incarceration regimes, many Americans continue to be convinced that the U.S. is the most exceptional nation in the world and do not balk when its military wages wars abroad at the expense of U.S. tax dollars and civilian lives. U.S. imperialism has made sure that Americans feel that they are special colonizers who see the victims of the U.S. military state as savages worthy of slaughter. The Plot to Control the World is based on a different premise: internationalism. The book links the struggle against US imperialism to the needs of the oppressed and working class living in the heart of empire, making it an essential read for those who are sick and tired of the prevailing narrative of American exceptionalism and want to be armed with knowledge that is essential toward changing it.

==========================

Why the mourning for Mad Dog Mattis?

Why the mourning for Mad Dog Mattis By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 22 December 2018

‘This is scary’, tweeted Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, in response to the resignation of Jim Mattis, the already retiring US defence secretary. He continued, ‘[Mattis was] an island of stability amid the chaos of the Trump administration’.

Indeed, Mattis was an island of stability – ‘the only adult in the room’ as insightless anti-Trumpistas never cease to remind us. But only if by stability one means a stubborn adherence to militarism and the binary enmities of the Cold War. Because there’s little doubt that Mattis was that.

In opposition to Trump, he continued to talk up the importance of maintaining NATO, that military remnant of the anti-Communist past. He pursued a consistently anti-Russia line, driving the US’s withdrawal from the nuclear arms treaty, and pushing for an antagonistic relationship with Moscow and its allies in Beijing at every point.

And, perhaps most staggering of all, given the bloody mess in which the Middle East finds itself, he actively supported continuing and deepening US interventions in Syria and Iraq. After all, that was the straw that broke this former US marine commander’s back: Trump’s decision to declare the war in Syria over (at least to the extent it was now against ISIS rather than Assad), and withdraw 2,000 US troops.

This is not to say Trump’s decision to dial down US involvement in Syria is beyond criticism. It does look as if it might be the first significant step in the next betrayal of the Kurdish proxies the US has been backing in the fight against ISIS. Ominously for the Kurds, Trump’s decision to withdraw troops goes hand-in-hand with a warming relationship, motivated by a desire to isolate Iran, with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, complete with a relaxation of sanctions, a multi-billion-dollar arms deal, and, most worrying of all, a green light for Turkey to move deeper into Syria, against the Kurds.

Yet at the same time, this step back from Syria, alongside the withdrawal of 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, is not only consistent with Trump’s longstanding America First opposition to interventionism overseas – it is also a decision that ought to be supported in principle by any anti-militarist worth their salt. Unless of course you believe that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the disastrous meddling in Syria, have been roaring successes that haven’t killed hundreds of thousands of people, ruined nations, and made no discernible headway towards their ever-changing objectives.

Mattis does believe all this and more. But then he would, given he, as a senior army general, gleefully commanded marines during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. No wonder he defends them. He is up to his neck in the blood and guts of those miserable US-led adventures. He sees global affairs in the Manichean terms of the Clinton, Blair and Bush years, composed of ‘ethical’ foreign policy versus murderous dictators, of allies versus ‘strategic adversaries’, of the US and Europe versus Russia, China and Iran.

But what is the excuse of those liberals, those one-time not-in-my-namers, those would-be pacifists now crying angry tears over ‘mad dog’ Mattis’s departure, as if the Trump administration lost a grand elder statesman rather than a hot and cold warmonger? Are they so blinded by their animus towards Trump that they can’t distinguish between militarism and pacifism? Is their anti-Trump myopia so severe that invasion and occupation look like progress and peacekeeping? It looks that way. Broadsheet op-eds, and right-thinking tweeters, on both sides of the Atlantic, are treating Trump’s troop decision, incredibly, as a blow to the world order. They call it ‘foolish’, ‘strategically stupid’, and ‘reckless’. They say it will cost thousands of lives, that it goes against the oh-so-wise consensus view of policymakers and the US and beyond.

Anti-Trumpism is dragging too many into absurd, not to mention dangerous, positions. The largely laudable decision to pull soldiers out of Syria and Afghanistan is being condemned, and years of Western barbarism endorsed, all in the service of scoring a few points against Trump. There are plenty of good reasons to criticise the current US administration’s foreign policy, from its trade warring with China and Russia to its involvement in the catastrophe in Yemen. But withdrawing military forces from occupied countries? That’s one we should chalk up on Trump’s ‘plus’ column.

Tim Black is a spiked columnist.

======================

It’s not Russia that’s damaging American democracy – it’s money

It’s not Russia that’s damaging American democracy – it’s money Danielle Ryan, RT, 5 November 2018

It is estimated that over $5.2 billion will be spent on the US midterm elections and it’s no secret that hundreds of millions of those dollars are supplied by billionaire donors. This system is incompatible with real democracy.

In a piece for The Guardian last week, Chuck Collins wrote that the three wealthiest families in the US — the Waltons of Walmart, the Mars candy family and the Koch brothers — own a combined fortune of $348.7 billion — a sum which is 4 million times the median wealth of a normal American family.

recent study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University found that despite the popular narrative of the so-called ‘philanthropic’ liberal billionaire in the style of Bill Gates, most of these super rich mega-donors are“extremely conservative” in their political views. They believe in cutting taxes for the rich and abolishing the estate tax. They are opposed to banking and environmental regulation — and they aren’t overly enthusiastic about social programs upon which millions of Americans rely.

Instead of being loud and proud about these views, however, they practice what the study authors called “stealth politics” — in other words, they rarely speak publicly on politics, but spend massive amounts of money lobbying politicians on the quiet.

This is not to imply that conservative billionaire donors are bad and liberal billionaires donors are good, which is what mainstream liberal media would seemingly like us to believe when they promote the likes of George Soros as a paragon of goodness while lamenting the influence of the Koch brothers. It is, however, a simple fact that America’s wealthiest billionaires are overwhelmingly conservative — and very rarely are they interested in creating a society that is fairer and better serves the average working American.

But, regardless of the politics of those doling out the dosh, this is a rotten and corrupt system of legalized bribery and one that is completely incompatible with true democracy. How could it be? Politicians are beholden not to the people, but to wealthy donors and special interests. Don’t just take it from me. Former congressman Mick Mulvaney, who is now the White House budget director, was remarkably candid about all this during a speech back in April.

“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

Rich donors and lobbyists shovel obscene amounts of money into political campaigns knowing that politicians will serve their interests in Congress. Conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson, for example, has funneled more than $100 million into the 2018 midterms. If you’re wondering why people like Adelson, who have billions in hoarded wealth, would even bother with elections the answer is simple: abject greed. As Collins wrote in the Guardian, they are “spending millions to save themselves billions” down the road. Meanwhile, normal Americans, despite how politically active they may be, have a near-zero impact on public policy.

Yet, getting money out of politics and taking back control of their democracy does not seem to be as big a focus as it should be for most Americans. Instead, super-rich elites, aided by the mainstream media, have been massively successful in distracting the population with conveniently constructed narratives.

For the Democrats, so-called Russian ‘collusion’ and ‘interference’ has acted as a successful distraction tactic since Donald Trump was elected. For Republicans and Trump himself, over-the-top fear-mongering about immigration while ignoring its root causes (often destabilizing US foreign policy) has been a wonderful distraction tactic.

When Americans are talking non-stop about Russians and migrants coming to get them, they’re not focused on the fact that the political system in which they are operating is corrupt to the core and serves only a tiny minority of mega-rich citizens who reside in ivory towers. Actress Marsha Warfield summed it up perfectly in a tweet last week:

“Why the hell are you mad at immigrants seeking a better life and not the tiny percentage of greedy f*cks hoarding the world’s resources while we fight amongst ourselves for crumbs?”

In 2016, about $6.5 billion was spent on presidential and congressional campaigns. That’s about enough to give every teacher a $2,000 pay rise. Aside from the many ways such money could clearly be put to better use, there’s also the fact that money is a huge barrier to entry for any American trying to get into politics. If you can’t raise the money, you can’t run a campaign — and if you do manage to raise the money (thanks to wealthy donors), you are beholden to them later. Only very rarely does a candidate manage to build a successful grassroots campaign without accepting big donor and corporate money. Democrats often pay lip-service to the idea of getting money out of politics, but in reality, they’re just as happy as Republicans to take money from anyone who wants to throw it at them.

More than $1 billion has been spent by outside groups (independent of and not coordinated with campaigns) to influence the midterm elections. Nearly $128 million has been spent by“dark money” groups which do not disclose who their donors are. And, consider this: Only 0.42 percent of Americans have given $200 or more to elections this year. Yet, miniscule as that number is, those people account for more than 66 percent of all campaign donations.

This is not democracy in action. Until Americans realize that choosing between corporate Democrats and Republicans is like choosing between a slap in the face or a punch in the nose, nothing will be any different. When the ballots are counted on November 6, whether it’s a victory for the Democrats or Republicans, it will still be a tiny minority of elites who hold all the power.

==================

Previous articles

About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
This entry was posted in The Rise and Fall of the US Empire. Bookmark the permalink.