US traditionally solves domestic political crises by waging war — Analysis

To divert attention away from incompetent government and corruption, war is used

America is de facto a one-party nation. Its ideology of national safety is supreme, its debt is unsustainable, and it is run on the principal business of war.

When all else fails, when you are clueless about how to halt a 7.5% inflation rate, when your Build Back Better bill is gutted, when you renege on your promise to raise the minimum wage or forgive student debt, when you can’t halt the Republican suppression of voting rights, when you have no idea how to handle the pandemic which has claimed 900,000 lives – 16% of the world’s total deaths although we are less than 5% of its population – when the stock market fluctuates on wild rollercoaster rides of highs and lows, when what little help the government offered to the labor force – half of whom, 80 million, experienced a period of unemployment last year – sees the termination of the extended unemployment benefits, rental assistance, forbearance for student loans, emergency checks, the moratorium on evictions and expansion of the child tax credits, when you watch passively as the ecocide gathers momentum, then you must make the public afraid of enemies, foreign and domestic. It is necessary to create an existential threat. At home, terrorists. Russians and Chinese in China. In the name of national safety, expand state power. Keep pounding the drums for war. Wars are the best way to distract public attention away from corruption and incompetence of government officials. Nobody plays the game more well than the Democratic Party. Glen Ford, journalist and cofounder of Black Agenda Report, stated that the Democrats aren’t the less evil but the most effective.

Americans sink deeper in debt

Due to de facto tax boycotts imposed by rich corporations and individuals, the US is now in the deepest debt crisis in its history. For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021, the US had a deficit of $2.77 trillion. This was the second-highest annual deficit ever recorded. Only the 2020 deficit of $3.13 trillion was higher than it. The US total national debt exceeds $30 trillion. Last year, the household debt increased by $1 trillion. Our government Ponzi scheme total debt is $1.4 trillion more than at the beginning of 2019. All wars are financed with borrowed money. Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates that the interest on military debt will amount to more than $6.5 trillion by 2050. This debt cannot be sustained.

China is predicted to take over the US economy before the end of this decade. Washington’s slew of desperate financial tricks – flooding the global market with new dollars and lowering interest rates to near zero – staved off major depressions after the 2000 crash, 9/11 and the 2008 global financial meltdown. Banks and corporations borrowed huge amounts from the Federal Reserve due to low interest rates. This was often in order to cover shortfalls or bad investments. US businesses have a higher level of debt today than any other time in US history. Inflation is another problem. This has been caused by companies that raise prices to compensate for the loss of revenue due to supply chain shortages, rising shipping costs and the economic downturn. The Fed has had to reduce the rate of money supply growth and increase interest rates to stem the tide. This causes inflation to push corporations into raising prices. Self-destructive desperate measures are not the best way to avoid an economic crisis. It is not possible to use all the tricks that are available. It is likely that the United States will see massive defaults in student loans, mortgages, credit cards and household debt. There are no temporary solutions to the crisis. It will lead to a prolonged depression.

A political crisis is a result of an economic crisis. A political crisis means that there is a need to wage war against the enemies of the nation. As guilty as the Republicans, Democrats can also do this. Democrats can start wars, like Harry S. Truman’s in Korea, John F. Kennedy in Vietnam and Lyndon Johnson there, but Republicans will continue to perpetuate them. They can also be started by Republicans like George W. Bush and maintained by Democrats Joe Biden and Barack Obama. Without declaring war on Iraq, Bill Clinton imposed harsh sanctions and gave authorization to the Navy and Air Force for tens of thousand of sorties, including the dropping of hundreds of bombs, and the launch of many missiles. Along with the $768 million military budget and the expansion of Homeland Security and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and National Security Agency, the war industry represents a bipartisan endeavor. Only a few political leaders in the country, including Henry Wallace and George McGovern, dared challenge the war machine. They were brutally beaten into political insignificance by leaders from both sides.  

Russia-China relationship now ‘unprecedented’ – Putin

Biden’s bellicose rhetoric towards China and especially Russia, more strident than that of the Trump administration, has been accompanied by the formation of new security alliances such as those with India, Japan, Australia, and Great Britain in the Indo-Pacific. Ironically, US aggression has forced China to marry Russia. Something that Kissinger and Nixon, the Cold War architects with their 1971 opening to China, have worked hard to avoid. After meeting in Beijing recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a 5,300 word statement condemning NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. They also condemned the creation of security blocs within the Asia Pacific region and criticized AUKUS, the trilateral security pact that the US, Great Britain, and Australia have signed. They also vowed to thwart “color revolutions” and strengthen “back-to-back” strategic coordination. 

Democrats are more successful at selling war than any other salesperson because they cover their warmongering with the facade of democracy and freedom. Democrats eagerly lined up behind George W. Bush during the calls to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of “humanitarian intervention” and “liberating” the women of Afghanistan, who would spend the next two decades living in terror, burying family members, at times their children. Even when Democrats, including Barack Obama, criticized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while running for office, they steadfastly voted to fund the wars to “support our troops” once elected. Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), says “an assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy,” the same argument Democrats clung to a half-century ago while launching and expanding the disastrous war in Vietnam.  

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, is currently crafting legislation he proudly calls “the mother of all sanctions bill.” The bill led in the House by Gregory Meeks of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also a Democrat, demands that the administration “not cede to the demands of the Russian Federation regarding NATO membership or expansion.” NATO expansion to Ukraine along Russia’s borders is the central issue for Moscow. To remove this legislation for discussion would be a complete omission of any diplomatic solution to the current crisis. The legislation allows sanctions to be placed on any act of aggression, however minor. The US sanctions can’t be lifted until an agreement between Russia and Ukraine is made. Ukraine will be able to decide when US sanctions should be lifted. The proposed sanctions, which target Russian banks, the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, state-owned enterprises and leading members of the government and military, including President Vladimir Putin, also call for blocking Russia from SWIFT, the international financial transaction system that uses the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. 

UK to arm Ukraine with anti-ship missiles – Kiev

 “In addition to $200 million of additional assistance received in the last month and at least $500m in military foreign assistance, the legislation would provide Ukraine with an estimated $750 million.” writes Marcus Stanley.  “The United States is the third most important recipient of military aid worldwide, behind Israel and Egypt. While it wouldn’t come close to giving Ukraine the ability to combat Russia on its own, it may come with US military advisors that would increase the danger the US would be drawn into a conflict. Additionally, the bill includes provisions to allow Russia-bordering countries to be directly involved in talks to end the crisis. However, this would complicate negotiations.” 

Although cutting Russia out of SWIFT is a disaster for Russia’s economy in the short-term, it will also cripple America’s empire by pushing Russia to China. This will create a new global financial system without the US dollar. Once the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency the dollar will precipitously drop in value, perhaps as much as by two-thirds, as the pound sterling did when the British currency was abandoned as the world’s reserve currency in the 1950s. Treasury bonds, used to finance America’s military-based balance-of-payments deficit and the ballooning government budget deficit, will no longer be attractive investments for countries such as China. The nearly 800 US military outposts abroad, sustained by debt – the Chinese have lent an estimated $1 trillion to the US on which they collect hefty interest – will dramatically shrink in number. The massive US interest payments will, at most, continue to finance the Chinese military.

After 75 years of dominance, the US is no longer dominant in the global economy. They are not going back. It produces very few weapons. Unsustainable debt levels have made our economy a mirage. Capitalist elites, corporations, and their pillage have hollowed out our country. The infrastructure is in disarray and democracy has collapsed. At least half of our population lives on subsistence. Two ruling parties are puppets of ruling oligarchs and refuse to restrain the greedy appetites of war industry and rich. This has accelerated the crisis. The Democrats are not aware that the dispossessed rage is valid, even though it may be expressed in an inappropriate manner. They were instrumental in pushing through trade agreements, deindustrialization and tax loopholes to the wealthy, deficit spending, wars, and other austerity programs which have led to crisis. The Biden administration instead is shooting at the messenger and targeting Trump supporters, winning harsh sentences for the people who stormed Capitol building on January 6. Biden’s Justice Department has formed a domestic terrorism unit to focus on extremists and Democrats have been behind a series of moves to de-platform and censor their right-wing critics.

Chris Hedges: America’s fate is oligarchy or autocracy

Samuel Johnson stated that believing the Democratic Party is an alternative to military dictatorships is the triumph over experience. The disagreements between Republicans and Democrats are mostly political theatre, often centred around the absurd and trivial. The ruling class is united on substantive matters. Like the Republicans, the Democrats believe that despite the fact that the United States is on the verge of bankruptcy, the war industry, which has orchestrated numerous debacles, including those in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, will restore American global dominance. Empires, as Reinhold Niebuhr observed, eventually “destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible.” The self-delusion of military invincibility is the scourge that brought down the American empire, as it brought down past empires. 

One-party states are the norm. National security ideology is sacred. In the name of protecting us against our enemies, the cultof secrecy is used to conceal the workings of power from the public and influence public perceptions. The Democratic courtiers and advisers that surround any Democratic presidential candidate – the retired generals and diplomats, the former national security advisers, the Wall Street economists, the lobbyists, and the apparatchiks from past administrations – do not want to curb the power of the imperial presidency. They are not interested in restoring the system of checks & balances. They are not willing to take on the military and the national security state. They are part of the system. They wish to return to the White House and wield their terrible force. That is now where Joe Biden is.

Scheerpost published this article for the first time.



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