VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes: I admit to having been deeply concerned that under the new administration of Barack Obama, set to take office as of the 20th, the US empire would acquire a somewhat competent government.
- Only somewhat, because of course a really competent group of rulers would begin immediately to liquidate the exaggerated military pretensions of the USA so as to reduce to the affordable this the largest part of our budget. But this task is beyond the power of anyone in the world.
My fears were as late as November, before the president-elect began to appoint people to the various positions in the cabinet and before he began to flesh out his ambiguous program, that the regime could for a few more years manage to maintain its precarious finances so as to be able to launch yet more escapades of murder and mayhem. And this time with a rather better class of officers and administrators, have some prospect of temporary successes.
But the deepening economic calamity makes this more unlikely. Not impossible, just more unlikely.
Also the domestic weaknesses of any US administration but one of the hard right like that of Bush, have already drastically reduced the danger of a sudden outburst of sanity on the shores of the Potomac. Obama has had to adopt policies, appoint people who have already demonstrated to all the world how to fail.
I think it clear that they have decided to hold the line in Iraq, expand the war in Afghanistan, maintain the flow of arms to Israel and other aggressor and dictator regimes, and keep up the massive grants and tax subsidies to the rich. This should do the financial job on the empire much more rapidly than I had earlier expected. Indeed there are signs in the financial markets that people are getting sick of the USA sucking most of the world's pool of savings into its vast morass of debt.
The disgust and reprobation with which everyone has greeted the activities in Gaza of the US clone, Israel, has worked to this end as well. The picture of the poor young Palestinan girl lying in her bed with no legs will ring in the conscience of humanity as did so many years ago the picture of the young Vietnamese girl running down the road with her skin burnt off. It was very significant that this photo, like that of thirty years ago, was published in the Washington Post on the day the US abstained in the Security Council in a vote calling on Israel to end this murderous assault. The is obviously some concern among the heartless critters in our USA establishment that they are alienating too many of our own citizens, let alone the world.
Then our US Air Force's specialty, the bombing of Afghan weddings...
But it is, must be, and will be Washington's very own political and financial insanity that kills the imperial project. To the trillions in increased state deficit, the empire now propose to extend further tax-cuts to the wealthy and make permanent those established under the Bush regime, adding still further to the tsunami of red ink that will drown the corrupt corporate state.
The first comments of the new president on the need to "reform" social security and medicare also indicate the direction of the official wind in Washington. This means still further social decay and stratification in the homeland -- maybe the empire will have to bring home even more than the twenty-thousand troops who must now back up hundreds of thousands of police in the maintenance of domestic order.
It also looks highly unlikely that the whole useless class of security drones snooping and spying on their fellow citizens will be put back in their box. In fact, get this, they've been given one of the largest remaining parcels of land in Washington: The campus of the former city insane asylum. How very appropriate! This whole crazy apparatus is slated to grow under the new administration.
We will be unable to reform drug laws, or still better to make concrete moves to end the spiral of social degradation which leads to crime. Thus the extremely costly GULAG we operate, the world's largest, cannot be shrunk. We already have one percent of our population behind bars. Perhaps we can get up to two, or three percent, like Stalin.
No one is more sorry than myself that the kleptocrats of the USA have not yet disintegrated their country a la the USSR, making it less of a danger to mankind. For some little time yet the bloodshed must continue. But Bushism, which brought us well past the end of the beginning of American empire, remains alive and well in the hands of Barack Obama. Who knows, we may be lucky enough to see in one lifetime the end of both the empire of the east and that of the west.
From the imperial capital