America as Dangerous Flailing Beast

Despite pretty talk about “democracy” and “human rights,” U.S. leaders have become the world’s chief purveyors of chaos and death from Vietnam through Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and many other unfortunate nations, a dangerous dilemma addressed by John Chuckman.

By John Chuckman

When I think of America’s place in the world today, the image that comes to mind is of a very large animal, perhaps a huge bull elephant or even prehistoric mammoth, which long roamed as the unchallenged king of its domain but has become trapped by its own missteps, as caught in a tar pit or some quicksand, and it is violently flailing about, making a terrifying noises in its effort to free itself and re-establish its authority.

Any observer immediately knows the animal ultimately cannot succeed but certainly is frightened by the noise and crashing that it can sustain for a considerable time.

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

I think that is the pretty accurate metaphor for the situation of the United States today, still a terribly large and powerful society but one finding itself trapped after a long series of its own blunders and errors, a society certain ultimately to become diminished in its prestige and relative power with all the difficulties which that will entail for an arrogant people having a blind faith in their own rightness.

America simply cannot accept its mistakes or that it was ever wrong, for Americanism much resembles a fundamentalist religion whose members are incapable of recognizing or admitting they ever followed anything but the divine plan.

America has made a costly series of errors over the last half century, demonstrating to others that the America they may have been in awe of in, say, 1950, and may have considered almost godlike and incapable of mistakes, has now proved itself indisputably, in field after field, as often not even capable of governing itself. The irony of a people who are seen as often unable to govern themselves advising others how to govern themselves brings a distinct note of absurdity to American foreign policy.

America’s establishment, feeling its old easy superiority in the world beginning to slip away in a hundred different ways, seems determined to show everyone it still has what it takes, determined to make others feel its strength, determined to weaken others abroad who do not accept its natural superiority, determined to seize by brute force and dirty tricks advantages which no longer come to it by simply superior performance.

Rather than learn from its errors and adjust its delusional assumptions, America is determined to push and bend people all over the world to its will and acceptance of its leadership. But you cannot reclaim genuine leadership once you have been exposed enough times in your bad judgment, and it is clear you are on the decline, just as you cannot once others realize that they can do many things as well or better than you.

In the end, policies which do not recognize scientific facts are doomed. Policies based on wishes and ideology do not succeed over the long run, unless, of course, you are willing to suppress everyone who disagrees with you and demand their compliance under threat. The requirement for an imperial state in such a situation is international behavior which resembles the internal behavior of an autocratic leader such as Stalin, and right now that is precisely where the United States is headed.

Stalin’s personality had a fair degree of paranoia and no patience for the views of others. He felt constantly threatened by potential competitors and he used systematic terror to keep everyone intimidated and unified under him.

Stalin’s sincere belief in a faulty economic system that was doomed from its birth put him in a position similar to that of America’s oligarchs today. They have a world imperial system that is coming under increasing strain and challenge because others are growing and have their own needs and America simply does not have the flexibility to accommodate them.

America’s oligarchs are not used to listening to the views of others. Stalin’s belief in a system that was more an ideology than a coherent economic model is paralleled by the quasi-religious tenets of Americanism, a set of beliefs which holds that America is especially blessed by the Creator and all things good and great are simply its due.

Dominion over the Earth?

Americanism blurrily assumes that God’s promise in the Old Testament that man should have dominion over the earth’s creatures applies now uniquely to Americans. Such thinking arose during many years of easy superiority, a superiority that was less owing to intrinsic merits of American society than to a set of fortuitous circumstances, many of which are now gone.

In Vietnam, America squandered countless resources chasing after a chimera its ideologues insisted was deadly important, never once acknowledging the fatal weaknesses built right into communism from its birth. Communism was certain eventually to fail because of economic falsehoods which were part of its conception, much as a child born with certain genetic flaws is destined for eventual death.

America’s mad rush to fight communism on all fronts was in keeping with the zealotry of America’s Civic Religion, but it was a huge and foolish practical judgment which wasted colossal resources.

In Vietnam, America ended in something close to total shame literally defeated on the battlefield by what seemed an inconsequential opponent, having also cast aside traditional ethical values in murdering great masses of people who never threatened the United States, murder on a scale (3 million) comparable to the Holocaust.

The United States used weapons and techniques of a savage character: napalm, cluster bombs, and secret mass terror programs. The savagery ripped into the fabric of America’s own society, dividing the nation almost as badly as its Civil War once had. America ended reduced and depleted in many respects and paid its huge bills with devalued currency.

Following Vietnam, it has just been one calamity after another revealing the same destructive inability to govern, the same thought governed by zealotry, right down to the 2008 financial collapse which was caused by ignoring sound financial management and basically instituting a system of unlimited greed. The entire world was jolted and hurt by this stupidity whose full consequences are not nearly played out.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were completely unnecessary, cost vast sums, caused immense misery, and achieved nothing worth achieving. We now know what was kept hidden, that more than one million Iraqis died in an invasion based entirely on lies. These wars also set in motion changes whose long-term effects have yet to be felt. Iraq, for example, has just about had its Kurdish, oil-producing region hived off as a separate state.

Mishandling Russia

America’s primitive approach to the Soviet Union’s collapse, its sheer triumphalism and failure to regard Russia as important enough to help or with which to cooperate, ignored America’s own long-term interests. After all, the Russians are a great people with many gifts, and it was inevitable that they would come back from a post-collapse depression to claim their place in the world.

So how do the people running the United States now deal with a prosperous and growing Russia, a Russia which reaches out in the soundest traditional economic fashion for cooperation and partnership in trade and projects? Russia has embraced free trade, a concept Americans trumpeted for years whenever it was to their advantage, but now for Russia is treated as dark and sinister.

Here America fights the inevitable power of economic forces, something akin to fighting the tide or the wind, and only for the sake of its continued dominance of another continent. Americans desperately try to stop what can only be called natural economic arrangements between Russia and Europe, natural because both sides have many services, goods, and commodities to trade for the benefit of all. America’s establishment wants to cut off healthy new growth and permanently to establish its primacy in Europe even though it has nothing new to offer.

America’s deliberately dishonest interpretation of Russia’s measured response to an induced coup in Ukraine is used to generate an artificial sense of crisis, but despite the pressures that America is capable of exerting on Europe, we sense Europe only goes along to avoid a public squabble and only for so long as the costs are not too high.

The most intelligent leaders in Europe recognize what the United States is doing but do not want to clash openly, although the creation of the Minsk Agreement came pretty close to a polite rejection of America’s demand for hardline tactics.

The coup in Ukraine was intended to put a hostile government in control of a long stretch of Russian border, a government which might cooperate in American military matters and which would serve as an irritant to Russia. But you don’t get good results with malicious policy.

So far the coup has served only to hurt Ukraine’s economy, security and long-term interests. It has a government which is seen widely as incompetent, a government which fomented unnecessary civil war, a government which may have shot down a civilian airliner, and a government in which no one, including in the West, has much faith.

Its finances are in turmoil, many important former economic connections are severed, and there is no great willingness by Europe, especially an economically-troubled Europe, to assist it. It is not an advanced or stable enough place to join the EU because that would just mean gigantic subsidies being directed to it from an already troubled Europe.

And the idea of its joining NATO is absolutely a non-starter both because it can’t carry its own weight in such an organization and because that act would cross a dangerous red line for Russia.

Kiev is having immense problems even holding the country together as it fights autonomous right-wing outfits like the Azov Battalion in the southeast who threaten the Minsk Agreement, as the regime tries to implement military recruiting in western Ukraine with more people running away than joining up, as it finds it must protect its own President with a Praetorian Guard of Americans from some serious threats by right-wing militias unhappy with Kiev’s failures, as it must reckon with the de facto secession of Donetsk and the permanent loss of Crimea all this as it struggles with huge debts and an economy in a nosedive.

America is in no position to give serious assistance to Ukraine, just plenty of shop-worn slogans about freedom and democracy. These events provide a perfect example of the damage America inflicts on a people with malicious policy intended only to use them to hurt others.

There is such a record of this kind of thing by America that I am always surprised when there are any takers out there for the newest scheme. One remembers Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975 encouraging the Iraqi Kurds to revolt against Saddam Hussein and then leaving them in the lurch when the dictator launched a merciless suppression.

I also think of the scenes at the end of the Vietnam War as American helicopters took off in cowardly fashion from the roof of the embassy leaving their Vietnamese co-workers, tears streaming down their faces, vainly grasping for the undercarriages of helicopters, a fitting and shameful end to a truly brainless crusade.

Messing up Ukraine  

I don’t know but I very much doubt that the present government of Ukraine can endure, and it is always possible that it will slip into an even more serious civil war with factions fighting on all sides, something resembling the murderous mess America created in Libya. Of course, such a war on Russia’s borders would come with tremendous risks.

The American aristocracy doesn’t become concerned about disasters into which they themselves are not thrust, but a war in Ukraine could easily do just that. In ironic fashion, heightened conflict could mark the beginning of the end of the era of European subservience to America. Chaos in Ukraine could provide exactly the shock Europe needs to stop supporting American schemes before the entire continent or even the world is threatened.

I remind readers that while Russia’s economy is not as large as America’s, it is a country with a strong history in engineering and science, and no one on the planet shares its terrifying experiences with foreign invasion. So it has developed and maintains a number of weapons systems that are second to none. Each one of its new class of ballistic missile submarines, and Russia is building a number of them, is capable of hitting 96 separate targets with thermo-nuclear warheads, and that capability is apart from rail-mounted ICBMs, hard-site ICBMs,  truck-mounted missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, sea-launched cruise missiles, and a variety of other fearsome weapons.

Modern Russia does not make threats with this awesome power, and you might say Putin follows the advice of Theodore Roosevelt as he walks softly but carries a big stick, but I do think it wise for all of us to keep these things in mind as America taunts Russia and literally play a game of chicken with Armageddon.

I don’t believe America has a legitimate mandate from anyone to behave in this dangerous way. Europe’s smartest leaders, having lived at the very center of the Cold War and survived two world wars, do understand this and are trying very carefully not to allow things to go too far, but America has some highly irresponsible and dangerous people working hard on the Ukraine file, and accidents do happen when you push things too hard.

The Israel Obsession

In another sphere of now constant engagement, instead of sponsoring and promoting fair arrangements in the Middle East, America has carried on a bizarre relationship with Israel, a relationship which is certainly against the America’s own long term interests, although individual American politicians benefit with streams of special interests payments – America’s self-imposed, utterly corrupt campaign financing system being ultimately responsible – in exchange for blindly insisting Israel is always right, which it most certainly is not.

An important segment of Israel’s population is American, and they just carried over to Israel the same short-sightedness, arrogance and belligerence which characterize America, so much so, Israel may legitimately be viewed as an American colony in the Middle East rather than a genuinely independent state.

Its lack of genuine independence is reflected also in its constant dependence on huge subsidies, on its need for heavily-biased American diplomacy to protect it in many forums including the United Nations, and on its dependence upon American arm-twisting and bribes in any number of places, Egypt’s generous annual American pension requiring certain behaviors being one of the largest examples.

Here, too, inevitability has been foolishly ignored. The Palestinians are not going anywhere, and they have demonstrated the most remarkable endurance, yet almost every act of Israel since its inception, each supported by America, has been an effort to make them go away through extreme hardship and abuse and violence, looking towards the creation of Greater Israel, a dangerous fantasy idea which cannot succeed but it will fail only after it has taken an immense toll.

Despite America’s constant diplomatic and financial pressure on other states to support its one-sided policy here, there are finally a number of signs that views are turning away from the preposterous notion that Israel is always right and that it can continue indefinitely with its savage behavior.

Recently, we have had a great last effort by America and covert partners to secure Israel’s absolute pre-eminence in the Middle East through a whole series of destructive intrusions in the region the “Arab Spring,” the reverse-revolution in Egypt, the smashing and now dismemberment of Iraq, the smashing and effective dismemberment of Libya, and the horrible, artificially-induced civil war in Syria which employs some of the most violent and lunatic people on earth from outside and gives them weapons, money and refuge in an effort to destroy a stable and relatively peaceful state.

I could go on, but I think the picture is clear: in almost every sphere of American governance, internally and abroad, America’s poor political institutions have yielded the poorest decisions. America has over-extended itself on every front, has served myths rather than facts, has let greed run its governing of almost everything, and has squandered resources on achieving nothing of worth.

I view America’s present posture in the world supporting dirty wars and coups in many places at the same time and treating others as game pieces to be moved rather than partners as a desperate attempt to shake the world to gain advantages it couldn’t secure through accepted means of governance and policy.

America is that great beast, bellowing and shaking the ground, and for that reason, it is extremely dangerous.

John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company.

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26 comments for “America as Dangerous Flailing Beast

  1. Tom Welsh
    May 9, 2015 at 11:02 am

    My analogy has always been with a drunken deadbeat armed with grenades and a machine gun. What to do about him? We want him to pay back the money he borrowed from us, but he refuses. If anyone tries to reason with him, he threatens to shoot. If we send police to arrest him, he will blow them up along with himself. What to do?

    Of course the USA is far, far more dangerous and destructive than the drunken deadbeat. It is armed with thousands of thermonuclear warheads – as well as masses of the chemical and biological weapons that get it so upset when others allegedly possess them.

    Maybe this is why scientists have not discovered any signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Perhaps it always self-destructs as soon as it acquires enough technology to do so.

    • Jay
      May 9, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Careful with the “borrowed money from” analogy.

      It only works so far.

      • jifster
        May 9, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Sounds profound, Jay. Could you please elaborate, though? I’m a little slow.

        • Jay
          May 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

          jifster:

          The biggest holders of US Treasuries are the Social Security Administration and the US Federal Reserves.

          The come foreign Tbill holders like the Chinese and Japaneses,

          Threre’s a racial(ist) undercurrent to claims about what US debt holders will do. And oft it is based on the idea that China is now by far the biggest holder of US debt–it isn’t.

    • withertwig
      May 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      If it takes poetry for some to begin to comprehend what our nation has become Tom has blessed us.

    • May 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Tom:

      Your last paragraph references the “Drake Equation”, in which the “L” variable states that a planet that could sustain life and doesn’t may have self-destructed from the misuse of its own technological developments.

      As to intelligent life in the universe, I am quite sure it is out there but mature and intelligent enough to have no desire to make contact with the idiocy of the Human species on planet Earth…

  2. May 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    The analogy I formerly made is to pre-revolutionary France, not the least because of the ironic fact the United States is literally the creation of pre-revolutionary France.

    But the analogy I make now is to a Nazi Germany armed with thermonuclear weapons and, as Hitler proved before his death, determined to destroy the world rather than surrender.

    • dahoit
      May 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Hitler never surrendered because he knew his fate would be execution.
      The USA reminds me of Ripleys baby in Alien Resurrection.

  3. John
    May 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I in turn like the analogy of an empty suit or armor, a mad robot run by failed institutions, elections and mass media serving only gold, at its core the ultimate moral corruption of wealth in a society without rights or sympathy, the whole blundering around the globe, swinging its sword madly.

    But that is because I have seen the moral corruption of wealth, the anti-moral lunacy induced by financial fear and opportunism, the absolute corruption of our judicial and political system, too long to pretend that there is any sanity or any solution, not even the sanity of a great beast in a trap.

    • May 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      I think our analogies are essentially equivalent. Though the external forms are surely different, the moral imbecility of Nazism and Hitler’s notion of the German “Master Race” is identical in content (and therefore in results) to the moral imbecility of (Ayn Rand) capitalism and U.S. “exceptionalism.” There is also the matter of comparable genocides, the Nazi German and U.S. variants, the latter including not just the obvious targeting of blacks and Hispanics but also the calculatedly genocidal policies euphemized as “austerity.”

      • John
        May 10, 2015 at 7:23 am

        Good points, the genocidal aggrandizing connection especially. The US has killed roughly as many non-combatants in North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and Latin America as the Nazis killed Jews, with no better rationale. Both economic and military power soon lead to a self-concept of perfection and a reality of moral degradation.

        • Stefan
          May 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm

          Much more (and not even counting the maimed and poisoned ones + indirectly killed by sponsored contras, jihadis or other terror networks).

  4. Jon
    May 9, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    When a powerful nation is failing economically, losing it’s influence over other nations, has a fear of it’s own people and generally going “down hill” but still has the most powerful military by far, the things it might do are something to put fear in the rest of the world.

    IMO the biggest concern our owners have at this time is what will happen internally when the economy collapses. They can’t accept a repeat of the events of 1934 when the people pushed back and won some of the horrors of socialism such as Social Security, unemployment insurance and government sponsored jobs. This time they will be ready with the militarized police and the real military. Anyone who tries to organize for any change will be “disappeared”.

  5. RogerT
    May 10, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Forgive me, Mr Chuckman, but I think you have reversed the American-Israeli relationship. That vile Zionist regime governs the USA through its mass of Israel-firsters infiltrated into every governmental organisation, all subordinste to the Knesset. Senators, Congressmen and even the President are suborned and selected by Zionist/American plutocrats to be puppets of Zion and through them, the wealth of the USA is plundered by its colonial master, Israel. American not Israeli lives are sacrificed in proxy wars to eradicate the perceived threats to the Zionists’ dream of a Greater Israel. The USA and Israel, together the true axis of evil has brought nothing but death and destruction to the World. Which of them, then, is the colony and which the master?

    • John
      May 10, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Agree. The notion of Israel as colony seeks undeserved sympathy.

  6. Peter Loeb
    May 10, 2015 at 6:26 am

    CHUCKMAN’S CONFUSIONS

    John Chuckman’s well-intentioned list of world evils is filled with half-truths.
    This “former economist” does not say where he was “former” but perhaps
    he would have done well to stay in economics.

    Who is Mr. Chuckman writing for, whom is he seeking to persuade? And
    why?

    There are so many declarations which presume on the reader to shout his
    allegiance without qualification that it is impossible to cover them all.
    What follows, therefore, is only a sample.

    1. Was the US so preponderant in its power in 1950? I recommend
    that Joyce and Gabriel Kolko’s THE LIMITS OF POWER…. be read in
    great depth.How is NSC 68 analyzed in all of this? What of the goals and failure of the
    Marshall Plan?

    2.Clearly the writer doesn’t care for our “Uncle Joe” aka Joseph Stalin.
    Perhaps he has forgotten that the USSR lost 22 million men and significant
    infrastructure in World War Two. Should the other allies have refused
    this help pointing to “Uncle Joe”;s character and record? At any rate
    they did not. They accepted his help. Was that cyncial? Munitions were
    even supplied to the USSR whose loss in men surpassede all other
    allies combined. At any rate and for whatever reasons, the efforts of
    the Red Army were never refused, never questioned.

    3. It’s clever for this writer to question communism with the fabricated
    fury of a US liberal democrat. Perhaps the economics and policies of
    communism’s predecessors is considered preferable.

    4. It seems that despite criticisms, this writer let’s Israel and Zionism off
    the hook. And thereby also unknowingly gives the US legalistic
    ways of avoiding responsibilities for the Israeli massacres,murders,
    home demolitions, rapes, and on an on. In fact, the entire history
    of Zionism with its constant attacks on its neighbors deserves our
    opposition. Instead the US–and allies it can pressure—support
    this Israeli horror for which it bears so much responsibility.

    3. As a “former economist” one might expect a more in-depth critique
    of American capitalist society, its history, and where it is (not)
    going.and why….

    4. The right of the resistance of self-defense and to respond to constant
    and calculated Israeli provication is never addressed.

    These pointa are just part of a suggestion that Mr.Chuckman, clearly a
    writer with perception, revisit his subject in depth.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Manoj Kumar Gupta
      May 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Your queries have intrigued me, more because they make little sense in context of the article. Let me try to explain in same serial–

      1. The author has not said anything about US behavior in 1950s. Your reference to some text that has greatly impressed you means little to what is being said here.

      2. Again, the reference to Russian casualties in WW2 is makes little sense in whatever point you are trying to make.

      3. The author has clearly said that communism was doomed for failure. Why are you trying to lay a false allegation?

      4. The focus of this article is not on Israel and neither is it on Kim Kardashian. Both can be subject of different essays.

      5. You may request him for lessons in economics but here the guy is stressing on mad behavior of the USA.

      6. Explained in 4. above.

      Manoj Kumar Gupta, MA,

    • Manoj Kumar Gupta
      May 17, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Your queries have intrigued me, more because they make little sense in context of the article. Let me try to explain in same serial–

      1. The author has not said anything about US behavior in 1950s. Your reference to some text that has greatly impressed you means little to what is being said here.

      2. Again, the reference to Russian casualties in WW2 is makes little sense in whatever point you are trying to make.

      3. The author has clearly said that communism was doomed for failure. Why are you trying to lay a false allegation?

      4. The focus of this article is not on Israel and neither is it on Kim Kardashian. Both can be subject of different essays.

      5. You may request him for lessons in economics but here the guy is stressing on mad behavior of the USA.

      6. Explained in 4. above.

      • Donald Paulus
        May 18, 2015 at 6:49 am

        Did Loeb read Chuckman’s article?

  7. elmerfudzie
    May 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Religious fundamentalism’s have nothing what-ever to do with the current American Predicament. Unsuccessful and or unpredicted outcomes as a result of War is a very very old story. What is relatively new however, in human history and nation-building is the corporate entity or incorporation. In particular those corporations who make advanced weaponry for the battlefield. There are no democratic checks and balances, no authoritative (civilian) watchdogs monitoring their portfolios and financing efforts to increase demand for their particular blood letting finished product(s). So, by returning to a national policy that annually reviews each incorporation charter, perhaps, as this relates to the general welfare of citizens wherever manufacturing is performed or headquartered (in that particular State). As it stands now, any annual review of the incorporation papers, as our forefathers intended it to be, was removed by senatorial edict in the State of Delaware, instigated of course by the First Rockefeller (no surprise there!). Business entities not called to justify profits in ethical or moral terms, have a free hand to go wherever the maximum profits would tend to take them….Such corporate entities, without ethical standards also refuse any uniform taxation method, be it for stock, bond sales or annual profits. If the finished product destroys property and kills people, then they promote their wares in all the hot spots of this world-that’s logical isn’t it? and when the hot spots aren’t hot enough, well what’s wrong with a little bit of deliberate instigation, tying on hand behind the soldiers back and so on? the share holders would be delighted to forestall an end to such ongoing profits! The world community has a new answer to the endless war question, and it’s on the horizon, a paradigm shift away from self interest (personal or corporate) to a humanity embracing one, that is; I can’t get what I want until I help you get what you want and vice versa.

    • Donald Paulus
      May 18, 2015 at 7:04 am

      This is a brilliant comment. If we don’t learn to control the corporations and their servant, the USA, we don’t make it on this planet. The addictive power of profits is a real threat. God, money is worse than drugs.

  8. Hans
    May 10, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    What is the essential feature of American society and American institutions that has given rise to the developments described by John Chuckman?

    America’s fundamental problem is its foreign policy establishment. The foreign policy establishment is powerful, it is autonomous, and it is invisible to the American public. Moreover, its goals and methods undermine the well-being of American society.

    Domestically, the US has many areas of poor governance, to be sure, but it also does many, many things right. There is a lot of innovation, economic growth, affordable cost of living, economic opportunity, etc., etc.

    But domestic policy is undercut by foreign policy. Huge deficits? We spend a fortune equipping our military and waging non-stop war. Hollowing out of the industrial base? That was the price paid for US-led globalization. Europeans shutting out our IT firms? The NSA turned those firms into spies. Loss of soft power? We embraced torture as a national value. Loss of civil liberties? Necessary for national security. Failure of the Fourth Estate? The press has been captured by the foreign policy establishment.

    Who is destroying US society? It is the foreign policy establishment. That would be the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about, the policy-making CIA that Truman warned us about, the Israel Lobby that sways our national, state, and local institutions, increasingly the Saudi lobby that sways the Bushes (and probably the Clintons,) and the elite academics who theorize strictly within parameters set by practicing policy-makers.

    Today’s great challenge for the US is to liberate itself from its excessively powerful foreign policy establishment. Domestically, maybe the high-tech sector has the power to push for reform. Internationally, maybe a schism between the US and Europe will tame the power of the US establishment. The US desperately needs to subordinate its foreign policy to its national interest and thereby avoid self-destruction.

    Today’s situation, as summarized in this article, is dangerous for the world and tragic for America.

    ###

    • May 11, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Hans:

      I completely agree with you.

      However, Truman gave us the CIA, though he only intended it to be an organization for intelligence gathering. He also gave us NSC 68, which established the United States for the first time as a national security state.

      Eisenhower was not much better. Yes, he warned us about the “”Military Industrial Complex” but did nothing to thwart it on his own watch while using the CIA to overthrow a democratically elected government in Iran.

  9. May 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    The ancient Greek saying at the height of the Athenian Empire, “Might is right.”, has always proven to be the last vestige of any empire’s existence…

  10. May 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    The Stones had the lyric “mad bull lost its way” (It is just a shot away).

  11. JK
    May 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I love the Rolling Stones; that song is among my favorites.

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