The State Of The Empire

Historian Gareth Porter and Real News CEO Paul Jay discuss the state of the US and the world, the Bush doctrine, and Bush’s “war on terror”, near the too long awaited end of the disastrous Bush presidency.

Talking us through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though relations with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Iranian view of the larger picture of the Middle East, through the entire simple minded good versus evil worldview of the worst US president in history, Jay concludes the interview with the question: “Maybe someone should ask the empire: Empire, are you better off than you were eight years ago or not?” as the setup for the next in this series.

September 25, 2008 – 8 min 8 sec

Gareth Porter: The US and the world near the end of the Bush administration

Gareth Porter is a historian and investigative journalist on US foreign and military policy analyst. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service on US policy towards Iraq and Iran. Author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.


Skip to comment form

    • Edger on September 25, 2008 at 18:02

    • Robyn on September 25, 2008 at 18:08

    …that McCain may not know economics, but he has experience with bailing out.  I seem to recall that didn’t go so well.

  1. Unidentified Deal Reached

    Of course, no particulars as to details supposedly worked out!

  2. how the crisis came about and his plan to take care of it.

    Protecting the public interest in any economic “bailout”

    Submitted by davidswanson on Wed, 2008-09-24 04:58. Congress

    By Dennis J Kucinich,

    The U.S. government has been turned into an engine that accelerates the wealth upwards into the hands of a few. The Wall Street bailout, the Iraq War, military spending, tax cuts to the rich, and a for-profit health care system are all about the acceleration of wealth upwards. And now, the American people are about to pay the price of the collapse of the $513 trillion Ponzi scheme of derivatives. Yes, that’s half a quadrillion dollars. Our first trillion dollar compression bandage will hardly stem the hemorrhaging of an unsustainable Ponzi scheme built on debt “de-leverages.”

    Does anyone seriously think that our public and private debts of some $45 trillion will be paid? That the administration’s growth of the federal debt from $5.6 trillion to $9.8 trillion while borrowing another trillion dollars from Social Security has nothing to do with this? Does anyone not see that when we spend nearly $16,000 for every family of four in our society for the military each year that we are heading over the cliff?

    This is a debt crisis, not a credit crisis. Just as FDR had to save capitalism after Wall Street excesses, we have to re-invigorate our economy with real – not imaginary – growth. It does not address the never-ending war on the middle class.

    The same corporate interests that profited from the closing of U.S. factories, the movement of millions of jobs out of America, the off-shoring of profits, the out-sourcing of workers, the crushing of pension funds, the knocking down of wages, the cancellation of health care benefits, the sub-prime lending are now rushing to Washington to get money to protect themselves.

    The double standard is stunning: their profits are their profits, but their losses are our losses. . . . . (emphasis mine)

    Be sure to read it — the plan makes so much sense!

  3. …the bridge to nowhere we’ve heard so much about?

    • Edger on September 25, 2008 at 23:07

    on the bailout:

    …it has become increasingly clear even since then that some permutation of the Paulson bailout is basically a fait accompli. The Hill reports that House Democrats have declared their willingness to approve the bailout provided a majority of Republicans join them. ABC News reported today that Democrats are ready to support it provided that McCain supports it as well, and the NYT summarized Obama’s position as supportive of the Paulson plan with some oversight provisions and other protections added on (though without the requirement that the Government obtain an equity stake in these companies rather than ownership of their toxic assets — the provision that Paul Krugman has identified as being an absolute prerequisite for any deal to be remotely fair or tolerable: “No equity stake, no deal”).

    In sum, it seems as though Democrats and Republicans — and both presidential campaigns — are preparing to jointly endorse some mildly improved version of the Paulson plan, on the premise that if they both do it, neither side will pay politically. As David Sirota notes, bank lobbyists have already decided they don’t need to take Chris Dodd or any other intransigent members seriously because their winning is inevitable. Wall Street and corporate America can’t lose in Congress — they never do — for one very simple reason: they own Congress and the “leaders” of it. Just listen to Rep. Marcy Kaptur; she’s been in Congress for 26 years and she knows how it works:


    To Wall St. insiders . . . you have perpetrated the greatest financial crimes ever on this American Republic. You think you can get by with it because you are extraordinarily wealthy and are the largest contributors to both presidential and Congressional campaigns in both major parties.

    It looks like that belief on their part was well-founded and about to be vindicated.

    My discussion with Digby is about the reasons why all of this is happening, the political considerations driving it, and whether there is any prospect for stopping it:

    The audio podcast is at the bottom of Greenwald’s post yesterday: Salon Radio: Digby on the bailout

    I could cheat and embed it here, but I think I would violate Salon/Greenwald copyrights if I did, so go there to listen to it. Great discussion about why all this is happening…

  4. probably gives us the right slant about the whole mess:

    If you oppose a government of, by and for the banks. . . Vote “No” to the Bailout legislation!

    • Edger on September 26, 2008 at 03:34

    CBS News this afternoon:

    Urgent efforts to lash together a $700 billion rescue plan for the national economy broke apart Thursday night, hours after key lawmakers had declared they had reached a deal.

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sped to Capitol Hill to try to revive or rework the proposal that the administration says must be quickly approved by Congress to stave off economic disaster.

    Congressional leaders were to meet with the economic chiefs into the night.

    Earlier Thursday, President Bush and the two men fighting to succeed him joined forces at a historic White House meeting on a multibillion-dollar Wall Street bailout plan, aiming to stave off a national economic disaster.

    ABC News

    Dems Blame McCain as Bailout Talks Go On

    Obama, McCain Leave White House Without Deal on $700 Billion Bailout

    House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told Democratic colleagues that McCain’s involvement has destroyed chance of an agreement, sources told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

    Frank compared McCain’s involvement to: “Richard Nixon blowing up the Vietnam peace talks in 1968.”

  5. Throwing $700B into this isn’t going to fix anything, even in installments and with “oversight,” whatever that is these days. Someone(s) will get very rich as a result, though.

    Capitalism is on it’s death bed, perhaps. May have a few gasps left.

    Albert Einstein, from Why Socialism, Monthly Review, New York, May, 1949.

    The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor — not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production — that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods — may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

Comments have been disabled.