Anyone who has been following my blogs knows that on the occasions when I turn my attention to politics, I don’t fight from the right or left. Any honest and informed American should know there are enough shenanigans originating from both of our major political parties to keep us all busy in our vigilance against them. And, as much as we sometimes call for the left and right to compromise with one another, it is precisely when they walk in lockstep together that we need to be most wary of their intentions. One of these areas, where both parties tend to be on the same page, is foreign policy. It does not seem to matter which party controls Congress or the White House, our country’s foreign policy remains on cruise control. Why would this be? Is it because our foreign policy is righteous. My guess, which I believe is similar to many Americans beliefs, is that this is not true. What’s more likely is that our politicians are beholden to a higher authority than the American electorate.
What is America’s foreign policy? The answer in a word is: Empire. Usually, mention of the word empire brings to mind a variety of historical examples: Rome, Persian, Aztec, Ottoman or, perhaps British. These examples used military might to consolidate different lands and people under a single umbrella of power to better keep and promote the safety of the values held by the dominant culture. America is a republic, not an empire. We have no emperor or king (yet). But, we do hold the characteristics of an empire. In the name of safety and for the interests of our culture, we operate over 800 military bases in 70 countries.
Unlike previous empires, we did not conquer most of the countries we hold military sway over. Why would we go to war with people when there is an easier alternative? If you are Uganda, and know you could not repel an American army, would you prefer to fight or would you rather accept nearly $1 billion dollars of “aid.” The choice is simple and both sides win. The U.S. gets military control of a region at a cost much less than fighting a conventional war and the rulers of Uganda get, not only to avoid being slaughtered, but close to a billion dollars in the bank. This scenario plays out all over the world. Here and there, sometimes countries resist this scenario and are quickly branded as rogue and evil states (To be sure, most of these states are less than beacons for individual liberty) Our Masters in Washington whip up a propaganda campaign to dehumanize the people of said rogue country, tell Americans they are not safe and off to war we go. This is how we got military bases into countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. We never stop to ask if what these evil countries were doing was anything worse than other countries we leave alone, countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There are many similarities between our friends and foes, the difference lies, not in their cultural enlightenment, but in whether they are submissive to us militarily.
Our Masters in Washington have gone to war without any formal declaration from Congress in the Caribbean, Granada, Haiti, all over Latin America, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and South America, the Philippines, Korea, Yemen, Viet Nam, Libya and, of course, the Middle East. We have killed millions of troops and civilians in the process. We have squandered our treasure and the blood of our own young. We have made many enemies anew. For what? Resources? Wouldn’t trading for resources be cheaper than war? Maybe, it’s for money? It costs more to fight than most of these countries are worth. But, herein lies the secret, and it’s what makes us different from other empires. Most empires of the past conquered other peoples to steal their land and treasure. We, on the other hand, conquer to steal our own treasure. How does one steal their own treasure, you ask? Well, America is not one, we are a nation of individuals. Money is taken from individuals in taxes. It is accumulated in Washington D.C. where it is redistributed to other individuals who run defense contracting businesses. This year we’ll spend $693 Billion on “defense.” This is a lot of money. It gets divided amongst companies like Halliburton, Boeing and Raytheon. The people who own and run these companies get and stay wealthy. What would happen to these company’s contracts if world peace were to break out, or at the least, we ran out of enemies? They couldn’t have that, so they always are creating more conflict. How do manufacturing businesses create world conflict? They utilize a power known as interlocking-directorships. This is where one person will sit on the board of directors of multiple corporations. Imagine the power of being on the board of directors for both a large defense contractor and a multi-media conglomerate like AT&T’s Time Warner or Viacom. You could manipulate the news to reflect a world in which people would demand we purchase goods from one of your other companies. This is how you convince Americans that we need to stay in Afghanistan for 18 years even though the war is at an impasse. Our news channels and newspapers don’t dwell on the $1 Trillion dollar tab for the war or on the 2,300 American men and women killed in the process. They don’t show the violence of civilian deaths caused by your tax money. Most mainstream media coverage of the war in Afghanistan seems relegated to the feel-good story of a military father returning home to surprise his children. If they showed the reality of our war there, Americans would never stand for it.
Our media gets us to think of their next target, Iran, as a land of bomb-strapped camel jockeys, who hate Americans and who live in caves, yet somehow developed nuclear technologies to threaten us. Iran’s leaders are despicable, but the people of Iran, themselves, most Americans would be surprised to hear, live in modern cities, wear jeans, listen to music with friends and girlfriends on Saturday nights while checking out each others cars. As much as the Iranian people hate our government, they love American people and culture. But, to portray Iranians as humans we may very well have something in common with, would mean they could not bomb them without drawing the ire of the American people. The media makes many enemies in such ways. It distorts the threats another nation poses to many times the height of the actual threat. “We need to keep upping our defense budget,” they cry, “because the Russians and Chinese pose an ever greater threat,” as if, Russian and Chinese are amassing their armies on their borders to spring some imminent attack. Why would they do this? China just got its economy humming, do you think they want their factories carpet bombed? China owns mountains of our debt, why would they want to destroy our ability or desire to pay it back? Putin and those in power in Russia likely do not want to rock any boat that might change their cushy situation either. The strength of their threat, which these powers are more than happy to play along with, is overrated. Why does America have to spend more on defense than the next 8 nations in the world combined? To protect our European allies from Russia? Combined, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom alone, leaving out all our other allies in Europe, spend more on military than Russia. They can defend themselves. South Korea has 60 times the GDP of North Korea, they can afford to defend themselves. Japan and Australia spend enough on their militaries to keep China in check.
We are currently engaged in six wars (Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Niger). Most Americans don’t know that. The media doesn’t have to lie to keep us ignorant of the facts, it only needs to omit them. Our Masters in Washington are addicted to war. They have cultivated the mythology that war makes us free. Politicians have done this because they have great incentive to direct the nation’s money to the military industrial complex. It pays handsomely in returned campaign contributions and favorable coverage in the press that, as we have seen, is run by the same people as who run the missile factories. These interlocking directors who run these companies are actually the puppet masters pulling the strings on our elected officials. Politicians come and go, but these unelected masters do not. It’s why the Bush Administration attacked Iraq over supposed “weapons of mass destruction” that never materialized. Such military hawkishness is not confined to the Right. The left protested against “George W. Bush’s wars.” Barack Obama campaigned to end these senseless wars, then gets elected to office and not only does he not end the wars, but he starts a couple more (Libya and Syria). What happened to the Left’s protest movement over war while Obama was in office? Was it more moral when Obama ordered bombs dropped than when Bush did? These two presidents had different ideologies, but could it be they had the same masters? These masters are why Bernie Sanders opposes war, but votes to continue funding the failed F-35 fighter project because it is made by his constituents in Vermont. I am no fan of President Trump, but when he recently removed our troops from Syria (Unfortunately, he only moved them to Iraq and not home) I was happy that he seemed to be making good on his campaign promise to end these senseless wars abroad. His move, however was met with venom and resistance from both sides of the isle. As I said earlier, be most wary when both the Left and Right agree on things. They thought of every excuse to defend staying involved in Syria, foremost among them was protecting our allies the Kurds from our allies the Turks. The Turks and Kurds have been fighting for a thousand years. We helped the Kurds fight off a common enemy in Assad, Syria’s dictator. Do we have to remain to help them fight off our ally too? Do we have to fight all the Kurds’ wars, not just the ones against mutual enemies? And, if our abandoning the Kurds who fought side by side with us against Assad is a moral outrage to our Masters, than where was their outrage when they abandoned the South Vietnamese who fought beside us against the North Vietnamese. That situation was more dire than the Kurds’. Yes, President Trump should and could end all six of our currently ongoing wars with the stroke of a pen. He has no obligation to fight any of them, as none have been voted on and declared by Congress. If the members of Congress are so outraged at Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, all it has to do is declare war against Syria or Turkey and Trump will be obliged to send our troops back, but they are too cowardly to do that. The American people might slap them down as the warmongers they are and vote them out of office.
Our ruling class is yellow. It is riddled with fear. They fear other cultures. They fear losing power. They fear being poor. They fear the future. They fear the past. They fear losing their offices. Yes, they understand fear well. They use it to make Americans afraid to live peacefully amongst our neighbors in this world. I can tell them what they should be afraid of and it’s our national debt, standing at $23 trillion. It is the single greatest threat to our national security. It weakens us more than could any terrorist organization or foreign power. Since 9/11 we have spent nearly $6 Trillion in borrowed money to fight terrorists abroad. Those terrorists who died that fateful day would have jumped for joy to have destroyed that much of our wealth and power. If we keep paying to defend everyone else, allies both rich and poor, against every two bit dictator who rattles his sword, we will be too broke to defend ourselves if, and when, a real threat presents itself.
Empires are costly and we have one. The weight of the expansive expense of an empire, not the military strength of their foes, is what historically does them in. If it’s American interests you’re looking to defend, find them not out in the world, but here at home. Bring our young women and men home. Spend our treasure here at home. We need not become isolationists in the world, but should trade goods, instead of bullets. Leave others to their own squabbles, getting involved is the only sure way to make people hate us too. Let’s show the rest of world how far we can advance our cultural through peace, scientific inquiry and free trade. Let’s be so shining an example that others would want to emulate us, and in this way we can assure our cultural interests in liberty is forever protected. If we did, than maybe one fine day in the future there would no longer be a need to celebrate another Veterans Day.