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As Empire Consumes America, a Pervasive Silence Engulfs Our Society

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Sooner or later this government and the people in America must make a choice; either the U.S. military empire must be dismantled or this nation and society are going to go down. There is no way that both the monumental costs of maintaining this empire and the financial stability of this nation can be sustained. So there are only these two options: end the empire or watch as this nation continues on a road leading to financial collapse.

Let's begin this discussion with this premise. To make this nation of ours safe and secure we do not need a military empire. This ever-expanding, financially-draining empire was the creation of those who are in control of the Military-Industrial Complex, whose primary objective is to build the foundation for a perpetual state of war in the world by which they would be guaranteed an endless stream of profits. And, so far, with little to no objection from any quarter of this society, they have been wildly successful.

America is in the business of war and the expansion of its empire, that's no longer any secret to the American people or the nations of the world; the facts and evidence are everywhere as we see the U.S. military engaged in invasions, occupations, the launching of drones and numerous clandestine operations in various nations. And, at the same time, the profits of the corporations who create the monstrous weapons of death and destruction are skyrocketing. That's great for the war profiteers but tragic for many millions of Americans who can't even find a job.

Many experts in world affairs and political science have repeatedly warned that a nation can be a democracy or it can be imperialistic but it cannot be both because the two are entirely incompatible. History has proven that fact time and time again but these greedy, shallow-minded people in control of the American war machine refuse to acknowledge it. They think that they can create the first empire in the history of the world that will last infinitely and they are dead wrong. But they are more than willing to risk the entire future of this nation and its people to try to prove that point.

We have a president, together with the members of his administration, 100 U.S. senators and 425 members of the House who by their support and continued perpetuation of this empire, will be recorded in history as being directly responsible for the crippling of this nation and its financial collapse. And the legacy of that group, Democrats and Republicans alike, will be that they failed their country in its greatest time of need. If there is one or more of them that contend that they should be exempted from this group, then why aren't they shouting at the top of their lungs that these wars and this empire should be shut down right now?

America has established this world empire and with it comes an empire of debt that is crushing it financially. The current total U.S. national debt is $15.784 trillion or $15,784,000,000,000. That represents the amount that the expenditures of this government, from its very beginnings to the present, exceed its total revenues. This national debt is increased each year by the amount of government spending that exceeds its annual budget, i.e., the deficit. In 2011 this amounted to a $1.3 trillion deficit that was added to this total national debt, and in 2012 the amount is estimated to be $1.2 trillion.

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What we're seeing here is a situation that is spiraling out of control; to better illustrate it let's say that a married couple, both of whom work and have two children, have a combined annual income of $120,000; but they are spending a total amount of $150,000 per year; the $30,000 per year of excess spending comes from their credit card borrowing and other sources. So they, in effect, are running an annual household deficit of $30,000. Let's say that they continue doing that, because of their extravagant tastes, and in ten years their total personal debt has reached $300,000; and further, that they can no longer meet their monthly payments.

So what's going to happen? Well, the 4,500 sq. ft. house will be foreclosed, the Lexus and the BMW will be repossessed, their time share in Cancun will have to go, and they will head for the bankruptcy court. Their out of control spending will have taken them down. That's exactly what is happening to America as it's spending on military and empire is draining its wealth. If this same reckless course is followed for the next ten years, our total national debt will be approaching $30 trillion and we will be careening toward a catastrophe.

And as we examine the underlying reasons for this upward spiraling national debt, how about this for a coincidence; while America's annual budget deficit is $1.2 or $1.3 trillion, it just so happens that the total annual budget for the Pentagon and all other associated agencies that contribute to our defense expenditures total more than $1.3 trillion. So I guess the conclusion by rational thinking individuals, which certainly excludes the war hawks and war mongers who control Washington D.C., is that the maintenance of the war machine is the main reason why we are on the road to bankruptcy.

So how this rapid, continuous escalation of debt that is dragging this country down be stopped or even slowed down? The answer could not be more evident. This government need only do one thing and this problem will be on track to disappear over a period of, let's say, two decades time. All it needs to do is to begin the process of dismantling America's gigantic military empire of over 1000 bases in 63 countries. That will pave the way for reducing a massive portion of the $1.3 trillion dollars annual defense budget that depends greatly on borrowing from China, Japan and other countries. There is no reason why $.53 of every taxpayer dollar, a massive burden, must continue to be wasted on the Pentagon, the wars and the empire.

For those naysayers out there who contend that we can't cut a dime out of our defense budget without endangering our national security, let's just say that their undying belief in the concept of war and empire is one of the prime reasons why we have arrived at this very critical time in our history. It is a clear indication of the great extent to which the American people have been mentally conditioned to accept the lies and distortions that are used to justify the proliferation of this destructive process.

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This overblown empire could be significantly scaled back and America would still have a military force ten times more powerful than the rest of the world. We don't need and cannot afford to keep thousands upon thousands of troops in 63 countries. A better strategy would be to continue to maintain a strong naval and Air Force presence in the strategic regions of the world. Special Forces could also be used in cases where absolute, uncontestable threats to our national security were present. No more invasions and occupations of other nations except in cases where it was fully justified to protect America; in other words, use logic, reason and intelligence instead of the current "bull in the china shop" strategy.

How is it that America now has so many enemies in so many parts of the world? That's not difficult to answer; it has, itself, created them over the span of over 5 decades in which it was involved in numerous wars and invasions and direct and/or clandestine actions to remove uncooperative dictators or regimes from power, all in the name of spreading democracy. Those actions triggered the recruitment of a growing army of new enemies that would make it their prime objective to strike back at America at an appropriate time; that's how Al-Qaeda was created, and it's the reason why this government is fighting the Taliban, insurgents of many kinds, freedom fighters and others like them in regions across the world. What this government is perpetuating can be likened to a vicious circle that is self-sustaining and has no end.

If America doesn't pull back from this reckless agenda of perpetual war and empire then this is what will follow: There is no way that America will be able to prevent a financial collapse sometime in the not too distant future; secondly, people will watch as our system of democracy withers and dies. And thirdly, this country will expose itself to deadly "blowback" that will from all those many new enemies that will find new ways to exact their revenge on American soil, including the use of their own deadly drones right here in America.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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