By Ben Tanosborn
Some American politicians occasionally remind us that the US should not try to be the world’s policeman; but after having listened to that save-our-blood-and-treasure cry, a sort of pretend-excuse aired time and time again for decades, I’m thoroughly convinced that it is just the occasional fake outcry; that imperialism reigns uniformly supreme in good old US of A throughout our monolithic, bipartite government and, unfortunately, the lion’s share of our politically-sedated population. It would be difficult to dispute Americans don’t relish the feeling of world dominance just as citizens of past empires have from time immemorial.
Puppets-like we are instigated by a shameless corporate media to negatively label, even hate, anyone and everyone who dare proclaim the emperor is not wearing any clothes. And patriotic whistleblowers, Edward Snowden unveiling NSA’s questionable behavior two years ago, just like Smedley Butler had eighty years before, become simply traitors; martyrdom-recipients of our mob-centric public scorn.
Back in 1933, Smedley Butler, a then retired major general from the Marines, and twice recipient of the Medal of Honor, wrote a book, War is a Racket, exposing a plot – a coup d’état against FDR’s administration by business leaders and military brass – listing well-known military operations [claiming to be about “protecting democracy”] as nothing but tools for furthering the business interests of US banks and corporations. Two decades later, President Eisenhower warned us of this undemocratic and politically toxic internal enemy: American-style fascism, properly tagged as “the industrial-military complex.”
But somehow, in the stupor of false patriotic pride, Americans are unwilling to accept that their enemy is not scattered around the seven seas, as they are being told, but has pitched its bivouac tent right here at home; government and most endearing American institutions having been hijacked by a ruling elite that have placed Washington under their thumb. No need for an old-fashion 1933-style coup d’état… one has already taken place without that colorful hullaballoo that we always associate with military takeovers in banana republics. Corporate America and the Pentagon have long ago accomplished their nefarious deed and we, the fat, dumb and happy 80 percent of the population, refuse to acknowledge our obvious economic, social and political captivity as residents of this imperial gilded cage.
Whether we are the citizen-freemen our masters claim we are, or a fluttering cluster of caged consumers idiotically queuing for the next iPhone, economic bankruptcy is about to knock at our door just like moral bankruptcy did in the not so distant past.
It’s high time this American elite running the nation – with aspirations to run the world – analyzes the state of this make-believe empire and taps into the wisdom of conviviality; acknowledging any and all geopolitical changes required to maintain ideological-political equilibrium in a world that we either choose to share together, or allow it to become civilization’s end with a self-written epitaph.
And as our elite-leadership seeks and identifies these critical geopolitical changes, it first must stop its raging bulls from entering the arena – from mislabeled hero John McCain and his Senate insignificant other, Lindsey Graham, to the thousand star-studded empty uniforms who command America’s military presence globally in hundreds of military bases… and thousands of actively operating military listening posts.
We might make light of Vladimir Putin’s comments a few days ago in his interview with Italian journalist Luciano Fontana (Corriere della Sera) – an interview worth reading, I might add, but unlikely to receive any coverage by US media. In the interview, evidence of American imperialism appears in many forms, not the least that provided in Putin’s comment when marking all US military bases – or “police precincts” if the idea of imperialism seems harsh – on a world map. And that is the difference not only between the US and Russia, or the US and China; but the reality of an empire which dwarfs those of Spain and Britain during this half-millennial past.
Given the short leash in which the American empire finds itself, US ruling class is in a clear position to perform a great foreign policy coup… one that would benefit the entire world as well as the elite itself. How? By de-Americanizing world conflicts and joining a diverse world (a revitalized and forceful UN) in finding solutions to the many geopolitical and human rights problems… with the US influencing, not imposing, change.
America is either de-facto responsible, or principally helped in the birth delivery, of Al Qaeda, ISIL and myriad Islamic organizations termed as terrorists, being forced to use insurgency-guerrilla tactics repugnant to Western mores and traditions. And in the past two years, America’s seeding of discord has extended to the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, bullying the Russian Bear with the prospect of placing weaponry at its borders. A similar prospect awaiting any Sino-claims around the South China Sea…
For self-preservation, America’s ruling elite might consider optimizing its position, not just domestically but internationally, by accepting conviviality as its foreign coup.
A farfetched proposition…? Of course; but world peace can benefit us all.