Tag: American Empire

Robert Gates “opened his kimono” at West Point


Speaking at West Point, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates casually suggested that the US of A is “sick in the head,” and needs to see a shrink.  After ten years into the Afghanistan war, eight years into the second Iraq war, with multiple ongoing “low-intensity” conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia and constant drumbeats for war against Iran,  all while American warships are currently bearing down on Libya, Gates stepped aside the lectern, nonchalantly “opened his kimono” and said, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

Gates briefly leant his pudgy frame upon the lectern with expert familiarity and self-possession before closing his kimono and returning to his otherwise disinterested cardboard platitudes about the future of American Exceptionalism abroad.

Standing in the wings quietly pounding a baseball bat in his palm, ever ready to burst an Arab bubble, blow three trillion bucks, kill a million innocent people, and crash the global economy “because we could,” was Tom “Tony Soprano” Friedman, wondering to his own goddamned self:

When one looks across the Arab world today at the stunning spontaneous democracy uprisings, it is impossible to not ask: What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are almost identical to the governments we’re applauding the Arab people for overthrowing?

Wow, America, you’re not nearly as fucked in the head as we thought.  

Half A Century of Empire: A Progress Report

Burning the Midnight Oil for the Arc of the Sun

We are sabotaging our main labor resource with mindless rote learning to pass “achievement” tests to avoid being punished for not being full of kids of upper middle class households, we are allowing our equipment resource to collapse through lack of demand and we are sabotaging our natural resource through treating nonrenewable resources as an excuse to destroy renewable resources and treating renewable resources as non-renewable resources, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In fifty years we have gone from technological leadership on all fronts to technological leadership only in some of those areas under the umbrella of War Department Industrial Policy, and from massive trade surpluses that demanded recycling via overseas investment and imports to maintain international liquidity, to massive trade deficits to allow the Chinese to export their unemployment to us.

In forty years we have gone from energy independence to importing twice as much oil as we produce.

And thirty years, we have shifted our record on land wars in Asia from 0-1 with one draw, to at best 0-2 with two draws, and at worst 0-3 with one draw.

If this damn Empire collapses soon enough, we might have a chance to start rebuilding from the catastrophe it represents, but an equally plausible outcome is falling apart into a squabbling series of small and mid-sized nation states, many harboring revanchiste dreams of re-establishing the Empire.

Super Bowl Rant Of The Day

What Are We Fighting For?

The lies upon lies to which our corrupt U.S. Foreign Policy is built upon hasn’t changed at all, with the 2008 Election and a new President. Unknown perhaps to most Americans, we today are just getting spoon-fed even more and more lies.

Quoting from Eric Margolis excellant article in CommonDreams.org:   Afghanistan

An election held under the guns of a foreign occupation army cannot be called legitimate or democratic. This week’s stage-managed vote in Afghanistan for candidates chosen by western powers is unlikely to bring either peace or tranquility to this wretched nation that has suffered 30 years of war.

The Taliban and its nationalist allies rejected the vote as a fraud designed to validate continued foreign occupation and open the way for western oil and gas pipelines.

The Taliban, which speaks for many of Afghanistan’s majority Pashtun, said it would only join a national election when U.S. and NATO troops withdraw.

The current war in Afghanistan is not about democracy, women’s rights, education or nation building. Al-Qaida, the other excuse, barely exists. Its handful of members long ago decamped to Pakistan.

The war really is about oil pipeline routes and western domination of the energy-rich Caspian Basin.

There will be neither peace nor stability in Afghanistan until all ethnic groups are enfranchised. The West must cease backing minority Tajiks and Uzbeks against majority Pashtun — who deserve their rightful share of power and spoils.

We can’t solve Afghanistan’s social or political problems by waging a cruel and apparently endless war. The solution to this unnecessary war is not more phoney elections but a comprehensive peace agreement among ethnic factions that largely restores the status quo before the 1970 Soviet invasion.