From The Unz Review
In all the political drama taking place in the US as a result of the attempted color revolution against Trump, the bigger picture sometimes gets forgotten. And yet, this bigger picture is quite amazing, because if we look at it we will see irrefutable signs that the Empire in engaged in some bizarre slow motion version of seppuku and the only mystery left is who, or what, will serve as the Empire's kaishakunin (assuming there will be one).
I would even argue that the Empire is pursuing a full-spectrum policy of self-destruction on several distinct levels, with each level contributing the overall sum total suicide. And when I refer to self-destructive behavior I don't mean long-term issues such as the non-sustainability of the capitalist economic model or the social consequences of a society which not only is unable to differentiate right from wrong, but which now decrees that deviant behavior is healthy and normal. These are what I call "long term walls" into which we will, inevitably, crash, but which are comparatively further away than some "immediate walls." Let me list a few of these:
Political suicide: the Neocons' refusal to accept the election of Donald Trump has resulted in a massive campaign to de-legitimize him. What the Neocons clearly fail to see, or don't care about, is that by de-legitimizing Trump they are also de-legitimizing the entire political process which brought Trump to power and upon which the United States is built as a society. As a direct result of this campaign, not only are millions of Americans becoming disgusted with the political system they were indoctrinated to believe in, but internationally the notion of "American democracy" is becoming a sad joke.
And just to make things worse, the US corporate media is finally revealing its true face and has now unapologetically shown the entire world that not only is it not in any way "fair" or "objective," but that it is a 100% prostituted propaganda machine which faithfully serves the interests of the US "deep state."
A key element of the quasi-constant brainwashing of the average American has always been the regular holding of elections. Never mind that, at least until now, the outcome of these elections made very little difference inside the US and none at all outside, the goal was never to consult the people -- the goal has always been to give the illusion of democracy and people-power. Now that the Democrats say that the Russians rigged the elections and the Republicans say that it was the Democrats and their millions of dead voters who tried stealing it, it become rather obvious that these elections were always a joke, a pseudo-democratic "liturgy," a brainwashing ritual -- you name it -- but never about anything real.
The emergence of the concept of the 1% can be "credited" to the Obama Administration, since it was during Obama that the entire "Occupy Wall Street" movement took off, but the ultimate unmasking of the viciously evil true face of that 1% must be credited to Hillary with her truly historical confession in which she openly declared that those who oppose her were a "basket of deplorables." We already knew, thanks to Victoria Nuland, what the AngloZionist leaders thought of the people of Europe, now we know what they think of the people of the USA: exactly the same thing.
The bottom line is this: I don't think that the moral authority and political credibility of the US have ever been lower than today. Decades of propaganda by Hollywood and the official US media machine have now collapsed and nobody buys that counter-factual nonsense anymore.
Foreign policy suicide: let's see what options there are to choose from. The Neocons want a war with Russia which the Trump people don't. The Trump people, however, want, well maybe not a war, although that option is very much on the table, but at least a very serious confrontation with China, North Korea or Iran, and about half of them would also like some kind of confrontation with Russia. There is absolutely nobody, at least at the top, who would dare to suggest that a confrontation or, even worse, a war with China, Iran, North Korea or Russia would be a disaster, a calamity for the USA. In fact, serious people with impressive credentials and a lot of gravitas are discussing these possibilities as if they were real, as it the US could in some sense prevail. This is laughable. Well, no, it is not. But it would be if it wasn't so frightening and depressing. The truth is very, very different.
While it is probably not impossible for the United States to prevail, in purely military terms, against the DPRK in a war, the potential risks are nothing short of immense. And I don't mean the risk posed by the North Korean nukes which, apparently, is also quite real. I mean the risk of starting a war against a country which has Seoul within conventional artillery range, an active duty army of well over one million people and 180,000 special forces. Let us assume for a second that the DPRK has no air force and no navy and an army composed of only 1M+ soldiers, 21k+ artillery pieces and 180k special forces. How do you propose to deal with that threat? If you have an easy, obvious solution, you have watched too many Hollywood movies. You probably also don't understand the terrain.
But yes, the DPRK also has major weaknesses and I cannot exclude that the North Korean armed forces would rapidly collapse under a sustained attack by the US and the ROK. I did not say that I believe that this would happen, only that I don't exclude it. Should that happen, the US might well prevail relatively rapidly, at least in purely military terms. However, please keep in mind that any military operation has to serve a political goal and, in that sense, I cannot imagine any scenario under which the US would walk away from a war against the DPRK with anything remotely resembling a real "victory."
There is a paraphrase of something Ho Chi Minh allegedlytold to the French in the 1940s which I really like. It goes like this:"... we kill some of you, you kill a lot of us, and then we win." That is how a war with the DPRK would probably play out. I call this the "American curse": Americans are very good at killing people, but they are not good at winning wars. Still, in the case of the DPRK there is at least a possibility of a military victory, even if at a potentially huge cost. With Iran, Russia or China there is no such possibility at all: a war with any of them would be a guaranteed disaster (I wrote about a war in Iran here and about a war with Russia too many times to count). So why is it that even though out of the 4 possible wars, one is a potential disaster and the 3 others are a guaranteed disaster, why is it that these are discussed as if they were potential options?!
The reason for that can be found in the unique mix of crass ignorance and political cowardice of the entire US political class. First, a lot (most?) of US politicians believe in their own silly propaganda about the US armed forces being "the best" in "the world" (no evidence needed!). But even those who are smart enough to realize that this is a load of baloney which nobody outside the US still takes seriously, they know that saying that publicly is political suicide. So they pretend, go along, and keep on repetitively spewing the patriotic mantra about "rah, rah, USA, USA, 'Merica number one, we are the best" etc. Some figure that since the US spends more on aggression that the rest of the planet combined, that must mean that the US armed forces must be "better" (whatever that means). To the birthplace of "bigger is better" the answer is self-evident. It is also completely wrong.
Eventually, something crazy inevitably happens. Like in Syria were the State Department had one policy, the Pentagon another and the CIA yet another one. The resulting cognitive dissonance is removed by engaging in classical doublethink: "yes, we screwed up over and over, but we are still the best." Ironically, that kind of mindset is at the core of the American inability to learn from past mistakes. If the choice is between an honest evaluation of past operations and political expediency, the latter always prevails (at least amongst civilians, US servicemen are often far more capable of self-critical evaluation, especially in ranks up to Colonel and below, the problem here is that civilians and generals rarely listen to them).
The result is total chaos: the US foreign policy is wholly dependent on the US ability to threaten the use of military force, but the harsh reality is that every country out there which dared to defy Uncle Sam did that only after coming to the conclusion that the US did not have the means to crush it militarily. In other words, only the weak, which are already de-facto US colonies, fear the USA. Or, put differently, the only countries who dare to defy Uncle Sam are the strong ones (that was all quite predictable, but US politicians don't know about Hegel or dialectics). And just to make it worse, there is no real US foreign policy. What there is is only the sum vector of the different foreign policies desired by various more or less covert "deep state" actors, agencies and individuals. That resulting "sum vector" is inevitably short-term, focuses on a quickfix approach, and unable to take into account any complexity.