FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Where Empires Fail

It is a common misconception that the power and might of the US is waning because of such ‘set-backs’ as the agreement forced upon it by the Russian propaganda on Syria’s chemical weaponry. On the contrary, the US fully employs the constant threat of the might of its military and does not even need to go to actual wars to press its demands. It will get what it wants with the destruction of Syria’s threat to Israel as demonstrated by the fact that Kerry went directly to Israel after the agreement was signed to assure Israel’s government about his achievement of a much diminished pressure from Syria on Israel.

Israel is after all the heavily fortified outpost of US power controlling the sea lane of the Suez Canal much like the Rock of Gibraltar fulfills a function for the British government for control of the narrows of the sea lane entrance into the Mediterranean. Yemen may well be the next project to be tackled because it is at the narrow entrance to the Red sea (as the US is already proving by its drone actions on that country). Securing the tactically important access into the Mediterranean has been a project for a long time and Turkey has to be controlled carefully not to evoke too much pressure from Russia about its own access though the Dardanelles.

America’s strength grows exponentially with its financial banking power which rests on the fact that the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency used for all transactions in basic energy resources. Threats to its financial hegemony by such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi to transfer payments for their raw energy products into the European Euro have been effectively and quickly resolved by their overthrow and elimination. Neither Russia nor China forms much of a threat to the US commercial and military enterprise because both large nations have huge problems with their own building up of prosperity for their populations. We live in a uni-polar world entirely regulated by US demands and requirements.

In fact it is highly probable that the 2008 financial crash was very carefully engineered to considerably weaken the world economy in order for the US to strengthen its control which was cemented by heavily investing its public funds into the Wall street banks that in fact form the core of its power. There is therefore no separation of government and the financial institutions as there was no difference between the government and industry in the years between 1940 and 1970. The common purpose is and has been to form a strong block of undivided totalitarian-like interests to control the Western hemisphere. That this is no longer very easy does not detract from the fact that the power of the US is not at all diminishing but is remaining vital, despite heavy competition from the increased world production of goods. The US acts and the world reacts.

Every political executive is carefully vetted before installation so that every president represents the US power block whether he/she was elected from either branch of the ruling Democrat / Republican Party. The debate about the vote and its restrictions has only propagandistic value, as in the end it does not matter who is elected because the power block is being served in whatever shape or flavor the president and congress come. In the mean time of course the nation is entertained by the jockeying for position of the basically identical candidates on television and in the newspapers. Indeed the engineering of the public mind is so strong that the myth of such as the belief in ephemeral American values is still pressed as a fine promise of happiness that the whole world should follow. Individual freedom is praised despite the fact that opinion is carefully being shaped from kindergarten onward and great care is being taken that homogeneity of support is never broken for what are still called the democratic principles of the Republic.

The clearest example of public opinion engineering is the recent Kerry/Lavrov agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons. The US may never even have intended to attack Syria and Kerry’s ‘mistake’ of uttering the word “inspection” really meant “dismantling”, after his absurd war-like performances before the senate and representatives committees. Real strength lies in hypocritical meekness and the sanctimonious expressions of relief by the president. Which fall neatly in line with the foreign policies that allow an even stronger US after the 2008 events, and to exert pressure without military force (the threat alone will do ). In fact Andrew Cockburn recently outlined that old but very effective cruel foreign policy to isolate resistant nations by economic blockade in his article “A Perfect Instrument”. War is redundant in this policy; we can starve nations into submission. And should that create some extremist movements, then quick military action will take care of the problem.

The circle of containment is complete. The US has determined what the parameters are for its sphere of influence. Interest in South America has waned and it is considered more or less a lost cause after its populist movements of the last years. The Pacific remains a vital area for restricting Chinese influence, but a compliant Japan is in the way and the distances are such that a direct threat remains remote. But Africa and the Middle East appear to fascinate by the abundance of available raw materials and strategic importance. There is where one sees the constant signs of US involvement and its competition with Russia and China. And because direct conquest is geared towards full destruction of the countries attacked, it is clear that pacification for business purposes is not sought. Rather it appears that control over the supplies of oil and raw materials is secondary, but that it is clearly a struggle for the control of access to those materials by competitors like Russia and China.

The US sees itself as self sufficient to a large degree and able to regulate the supplies of materials that it needs from other parts of the globe. The financial primacy and power of its banking system guarantees and protects the base of its power. The stasis of this system is remarkable but because of its financial greed, it will over time hollow out the power of the US from within. It is a self devouring system which excludes too large a part of the US population. Exhortations of exceptionalism and free enterprise will not sustain very long the obvious status differences that emerge to the surface of a gleaming and steely propaganda class structure that gets shriller every day. The more the public is faced by poverty and disorder in the large cities and their own nearness to it in essence and reality in full contrast to the opulence of the favored classes, the more justifiably resentment will grow. Power breeds contempt and with it blindness to the effects of its own misuse. That is where empires fail and though the days of its decline still seem to be far off, the day will surely come that the public will rise up and put paid to the betrayals of government. The increasing gun violence and the lateral hostility in the poorer districts are already a clear telltale of intense frustration with the status quo. Though nature may well intervene beforehand and create a fitting end to all human endeavor.

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.

More articles by:

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail