Category Archives: US Empire

Peak Empire, by Dmitry Orlov

The question of when the US Empire will collapse is on everyone’s mind, it is repeatedly asked. Here, Dmitry Orlov, very accurately gives a reasonable analysis and timeline. This is by far the best we have read on the subject so far.

The recent Birth of the Eurasian Century as Pepe Escobar has coined it,    the growth of sovereignty in Latin America with recent wins in Bolivia and Brazil and even the UK government decision to issue renminbi (RMB) Bonds,are all signs of what Dmitry calls “positive feedback”. Positive Feedback that could influence the timeline proposed below.

We highly recommend that you take out time and read this.

AE

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Based on the lessons of history, all empires collapse eventually; thus, the probability that the US empire will collapse can be set at 100% with a great deal of confidence. The question is, When? (Everyone keeps asking that annoying question.)

Of course, all you have to do is leave the US, go some place that isn’t plugged into the US economy in non-optional ways, and you won’t have to worry about this question too much. Some people have made guesses but, as far as I can tell, no one has come up with viable methodology for calculating the date. In order to provide a remedy for this serious shortcoming in collapse theory, I once tried to outline a method for figuring it out in an article titled “Peak Empire,” which was based on Joseph Tainter’s theory of diminishing returns on complexity—or diminishing returns on empire. It’s a perfect problem for differential calculus, and all those microeconomics students who are busy calculating marginal cost vs. marginal revenue, so that they can look for work in the soon-to-be-defunct shale gas industry, might take it up, to put their math talents to better use. In the meantime, here is an update, and a revised estimate.

US Empire of Bases

Just to review, as the brilliant analyst Chalmers Johnson explained, the US is an “empire of bases,” not an empire of colonies. It is not considered politically correct to annex other countries anymore. Witness the reaction to Russia taking back Crimea, even though its population has a right to self-determination, and voted 98% in favor of the idea. But, had things turned out differently, putting a NATO base in Crimea would have been just fine. Still, there are quite a few US “territories” (read “colonies”) listed in the Pentagon Base Structure report, including American Samoa, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Wake Islands. We should probably include Hawaii, since in 1993 the US Congress “apologized” to Hawaii for kidnapping the Queen and illegally annexing the territory. They are not giving it back, mind you, but they don’t mind saying we’re sorry, because they stole it fair and square. The same could be said for Texas, California—the whole bloody continent for that matter. But they don’t do that sort of thing any more—not too much. Sure, the US stole Kosovo from Serbia just to set up a huge NATO base there, but in general there has been a shift to controlling other countries through economic institutions—like the IMF, the WTO, and the World Bank. There has also been plenty of political subterfuge, assassinations and coups d’états, as explained by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economics Hit Man, or in Michael Hudson’s work. William Blum writes: “Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has…

1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically elected.

2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.

3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”

Only a few of these actions—such as Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Nicaragua in the 1980’s, Ukraine 2014, etc.—are well known in the US. Now here is the key point: all of this “democracy-building” requires the US to have plenty of foreign military bases. Much of the military is outsourced, so there is no need for consent of the governed any more—just their tax money. Marching in the streets in protest is a complete waste of time. Millions of people marched against the Iraq War in 2003. Did it make any difference? Secretary of State Alexander Haig remarked during a peace march in the 1980’s: “Let them protest all they want as long as they pay their taxes”; Kissinger explained that “Soldiers are dumb, stupid animals for the conduct of foreign policy”; and CIA director William Casey made sure the US public remains completely in the dark with his famous dictum, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” (This is from his first staff meeting in 1981; it’s not a secret.) The US is completely open about its desire to subjugate the entire world—if this weren’t already obvious from its behavior.

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The Anti-Empire Report #133, by William Blum

The Islamist State

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.

You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria? Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS? Are these countries, or the Western powers, more concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?

You can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. You can’t even believe that they are moderate. They have their hands in everything, and everyone has their hands in them.

Iran, Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or its precursors for years, but the United States refuses to join forces with any of these entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington impose sanctions on any country for supporting ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its alleged role in Ukraine.

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A Caliph in a wilderness of mirrors, by Pepe Escobar

I’m aiming at you, lover
Cause killing you is killing myself

Orson Welles (director), The Lady from Shanghai,1947

The Lady from Shanghai: Rita Hayworth (Elsa 'Rosalie' Bannister) and Everett Sloane (Arthur Bannister) in the final scene in the mirror maze, where they shoot at each other (screenshot of the edition 2014 Blu-Ray)
The Lady from Shanghai: Rita Hayworth (Elsa ‘Rosalie’ Bannister) and Everett Sloane (Arthur Bannister) in the final scene in the mirror maze, where they shoot at each other (screenshot of the edition 2014 Blu-Ray)

He’s invincible. He beheads. He smuggles. He conquers. He’s the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. No Tomahawk or Hellfire can touch him. He always gets what he wants; in Kobani; in Anbar province; with the House of Saud (which he wants to replace) trying to make Putin (who he wants to behead) suffer because of low oil prices.

If this was a remake of Orson Welles’s noir classic The Lady from Shanghai, in the mirror sequence the lawyer (American?) and the femme fatale (Shi’ite?) would also get killed; but The Caliph of Islamic State would survive as a larger than life Welles, free to roam, plunder and “give my love to the sunrise” – as in a Brave Caliphate World shining in “Syraq” over the ashes of the Sykes-Picot agreement.

He’s winning big in Iraq’s Anbar province. The Caliph’s goons are now closing in on – of all places – Abu Ghraib; Dubya, Dick and Rummy’s former Torture Central. They are at a mere 12 kilometers away from Baghdad International. A shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (or MANPAD) away from downing a passenger jet. Certainly not an Emirates flight – after all these are trusted sponsors.

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Tariq Ali on ‘The United States: The First And Last Global Empire’

The kind of degenerative drivel that passes for “news” in the mainstream media is beyond lies,distortion,misreporting and appeasement of the Empire. The reporting also comes from a place of attributing to oneself the higher moral ground despite mass murder and oppression prevalent the world over under the US hegemony. The US dollar is just paper, but it is paper backed by violence and a military presence in over 190 countries.

This piece in the NY Times is just another example of the sewage that passes for journalism. Joseph Goebbel’s would be proud of his proteges at the NY Times,Washington Post,Time,BBC and the rest.

Of course, by advocating a revolving term limited head of state one increases the prospects for a US funded puppet to rise to power. A leader working for the national interest is a threat to ‘democracy’ because if he stays in power longer then the harder it is to prostitute the country back into the Imperial domain.

The mainstream papers continue to champion the ’cause’ of Imperialism, justifying mass murder, occupation and many other downstream aspects of Empire. Right from promoting the bullshit from Hollywood glorifying The fascist US army and police state apparatus to demonizing historical figures to literally re-writing and omitting historical context.

The western media are not media, they do not employ journalists, they do not report the truth and they ARE part of the Fascist US Empire propaganda network. This includes prostituted European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin american governments (except for the notable exceptions such as Venezuela,Cuba, Bolivia and others slowly making their way out of the clutches of Empire).

The below talk by Tariq Ali is an excellent recap of “The United States: The First And Last Global Empire”.

AE

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Ukraine : very ominous developments, by The Saker

This short post is just to inform you of the latest developments in the war in the Ukraine.

Following the use of a tactical ballistic missile against Donetsk by the Ukies, Zakharchenko has declared that the ceasefire was basically over.

Strelkov has made an official appeal warning that according to this information the Ukies were massing troops in preparation for an attack.  According to Strelkov, the Ukie plan is for a very short and very rapid “push” towards Donestk and the Russian border to make any Novorussian state non-viable and thus to negotiate from a position of force.  True, Strelkov does have a record of exaggerating threats in order to minimize them, but this time there are some strong signs that his analysis is shared by the Russian military, and these signs are the most ominous signs of all.

Russian sources – including the excellent Colonel Cassad blog – report that the voentorg aid-spigot has been fully re-opened including for some major deliveries.  While, of course, I am very happy that the Novorussian resistance is getting much needed equipment (and specialists), this kind of full reopening of the voentorg also indicates to me that the Russian intelligence services have concluded that an attack is very likely, possibly very soon.

I have been following the situation in Banderastan pretty closely and I can only say that the cracks in the regime are visible all over the place.  Whether Poroshenko and his US master’s really believe that an attack can succeed (I doubt it) or whether they really want to force Russia into openly intervening (which I see as almost inevitable), the fact is that starting a major war might well be the only way to save the Poroshenko regime which currently is in free fall.

It is quite possible that Strelkov’s blunt warning and, even more so, the reopening of the voentorg will convince the Ukies that Russia is ready to intervene and that their attack will not be allowed to succeed.  What concerns me is that the Poroshenko regime (and his CIA patrons) might decide that even a defeat at the hand of the Russian military is preferable to the current death spiral: not only can a war save the regime, a Russian intervention would finally make the AngloZionist dream come true.  Putin will try his utmost to avoid falling into this trap, and that means that Russia will have to provide massive covert support and aid to Novorussia.  As for the Novorussians, they have to be strong enough to stop the initial assault.  If they succeed, then the offensive will be effectively dead. But Strelkov is right, if the Ukie break through the Novorussian lines, then Russia will have to intervene.

This is an extremely dangerous situation.

The Saker

Source: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/ukraine-mini-sitrep-very-ominous.html

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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US Army Drafts Blueprint for World War III, by Bill Van Auken and David North

October 14, 2014 “ICH” – “wsws” – – With US politicians and the American media engaged in an increasingly acrimonious debate over the strategy guiding the latest US war in the Middle East, the United States Army has unveiled a new document entitled the Army Operating Concept (AOC), which provides a “vision of future armed conflict” that has the most ominous implications. It is the latest in a series of documents in which the Pentagon has elaborated the underlying strategy of preventive war that was unveiled in 1992—that is, the use of war as a means of destroying potential geopolitical and economic rivals before they acquire sufficient power to block American domination of the globe.

The document was formally released at this week’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference, an annual event bringing together senior officers and Defense Department officials for a series of speeches and panel discussions, along with a giant trade show mounted by arms manufacturers to show off their latest weapons systems and pursue lucrative Pentagon contracts.

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The US and Global Wars: Empire or Vampire?, by James Petras

To the growing army of critics of US military intervention, who also reject the mendacious claims by American officials and their apologists of ‘world leadership’, Washington is engaged in ‘empire-building”.

But the notion that the US is building an empire, by engaging in wars to exploit and plunder countries’ markets, resources and labor, defies the realities of the past two decades. US wars, including invasions, bombings, occupations, sanctions, coups and clandestine operations have not resulted in the expansion of markets, greater control and exploitation of resources or the ability to exploit cheap labor. Instead US wars have destroyed enterprises, reduced access to raw materials, killed, wounded or displaced productive workers around the world, and limited access to lucrative investment sites and markets via sanctions.

In other words, US global military interventions and wars have done the exact opposite of what all previous empires have pursued: Washington has exploited (and depleted) the domestic economy to expand militarily abroad instead of enriching it.

Why and how the US global wars differ from those of previous empires requires us to examine (1) the forces driving overseas expansion; (2) the political conceptions accompanying the conquest, the displacement of incumbent rulers and the seizure of power and; (3) the reorganization of the conquered states and the accompanying economic and social structures to sustain long-term neo-colonial relations.

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