My interview with Global Research on the condition of the United States...
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former
Assistant Secretary US Treasury, Associate Editor Wall Street Journal, Professor
of Political Economy Center for Strategic and International Studies Georgetown
University Washington DC.
Question:Dr. Roberts, the United States is
regarded as the most successful state in the world today. What is responsible
for American success?
Dr. Roberts: Propaganda. If truth be known, the US
is a failed state. More about that later.The US owes its image of success to:
(1) the vast lands and mineral resources that the US "liberated" with violence
from the native inhabitants, (2) Europe's, especially Great Britain's,
self-destruction in World War I and World War II, and (3) the economic
destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism.
After World War II, the US took the reserve currency
role from Great Britain. This made the US dollar the world money and permitted
the US to pay its import bills in its own currency. World War II's destruction
of the other industrialized countries left the US as the only country capable of
supplying products to world markets. This historical happenstance created among
Americans the impression that they were a favored people. Today the militarist
neoconservatives speak of the United States as "the indispensable nation." In
other words, Americans are above all others, except, of course,
To American eyes a vague "terrorist threat," a
creation of their own government, is sufficient justification for naked
aggression against Muslim peoples and for an agenda of world
This hubristic attitude explains why among most
Americans there is no remorse over the one million Iraqis killed and the four
million Iraqis displaced by a US invasion and occupation that were based
entirely on lies and deception. It explains why there is no remorse among most
Americans for the countless numbers of Afghans who have been cavalierly murdered
by the US military, or for the Pakistani civilians murdered by US drones and
"soldiers" sitting in front of video screens. It explains why there is no
outrage among Americans when the Israelis bomb Lebanese civilians and Gaza
civilians. No one in the world will believe that Israel's latest act of
barbarity, the murderous attack on the international aid flotilla to Gaza, was
not cleared with Israel's American enabler.
Question:You said that the US was a failed
state. How can that be? What do you mean?
Roberts: The war on terror, invented by the George
W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime, destroyed the US Constitution and the civil
liberties that the Constitution embodies. The Bill of Rights has been
eviscerated. The Obama regime has institutionalized the Bush/Cheney assault on
American liberty. Today, no American has any rights if he or she is accused of
"terrorist" activity. The Obama regime has expanded the vague definition of
"terrorist activity" to include "domestic extremist," another undefined and
vague category subject to the government's discretion. In short, a "terrorist"
or a "domestic extremist" is anyone who dissents from a policy or a practice
that the US government regards as necessary for its agenda of world
Unlike some countries, the US is not an ethic group.
It is a collection of diverse peoples united under the Constitution. When the
Constitution was destroyed, the US ceased to exist. What exists today are power
centers that are unaccountable. Elections mean nothing, as both parties are
dependent on the same powerful interest groups for campaign funds. The most
powerful interest groups are the military/security complex, which includes the
Pentagon, the CIA, and the corporations that service them, the American-Israel
Public Affairs Committee, the oil industry that is destroying the Gulf of
Mexico, Wall Street (investment banks and hedge funds), the insurance companies,
the pharmaceutical companies, and the agri-companies that produce food of
These corporate powers comprise an oligarchy that
cannot be dislodged by voting. Ever since "globalism" was enacted into law, the
Democrats have been dependent on the same corporate sources of income as the
Republicans, because globalism destroyed the labor unions. Consequently, there
is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, or no meaningful
The "war on terror" completed the
constitutional/legal failure of the US. The US has also failed economically.
Under Wall Street pressure for short-term profits, US corporations have moved
offshore their production for US consumer markets. The result has been to move
US GDP and millions of well-paid US jobs to countries, such as China and India,
where labor and professional expertise are cheap. This practice has been going
on since about 1990.
After 20 years of off-shoring US production, which
destroyed American jobs and federal, state and local tax base, the US
unemployment rate, as measured by US government methodology in 1980, is over 20
percent. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled. Millions of young
Americans with university degrees are employed as waitresses and bartenders.
Foreign enrollment comprises a larger and larger percentage of US universities
as the American population finds that a university degree has been negated by
the off-shoring of the jobs that the graduates expected.
When US off-shored production re-enters the US as
imports, the trade balance deteriorates. Foreigners use their surplus dollars to
purchase existing US assets.
Consequently, dividends, interest, capital
gains, tolls from toll roads, rents, and profits, now flow abroad to foreign
owners, thus increasing the pressure on the US dollar. The US has been able to
survive the mounting claims of foreigners against US GDP because the US dollar
is the reserve currency. However, the large US budget and trade deficits will
put pressures on the dollar that will become too extreme for the dollar to be
able to sustain this role. When the dollar fails, the US population will be
The US is heavily indebted, both the government and
the citizens. Over the last decade there has been no growth in family income.
The US economy was kept going through the expansion of consumer debt. Now
consumers are so heavily indebted that they cannot borrow more. This means that
the main driving force of the US economy, consumer demand, cannot increase. As
consumer demand comprises 70% of the economy, when consumer demand cannot
increase, there can be no economic recovery.
The US is a failed state also because there is no
accountability to the people by corporations or by government at any level,
whether state, local, or federal. British Petroleum is destroying the Gulf of
Mexico. The US government has done nothing. The Obama regime's response to the
crisis is more irresponsible than the Bush regime's response to Hurricane
Katrina. Wetlands and fisheries are being destroyed by unregulated capitalist
greed and by a government that treats the environment with contempt. The tourist
economy of Florida is being destroyed. The external costs of drilling in deep
waters exceeds the net worth of the oil industry. As a result of the failure of
the American state, the oil industry is destroying one of the world's most
valuable ecological systems.
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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)