THE SATURDAY ESSAY: the USA…..dysfunctional at home, disastrous abroad.

Hillarygun71115Democratic Presidential Nominee

You may already have read last night’s piece about ‘the US recovery’. I have been posting regularly since January 2013 to state as clearly as possible that it’s been ‘under way’ since that time. It just never quite slips anchor.

The entire US ‘analysis’ of its own situation is the greatest con in history. QE may have been tapered, but other forms of Fed bailout have continued and been increased to avert the endless margin call and repo SNAFU along the way. Take QE and these elements out of the ‘recovery’, and there is only recession.

But this isn’t the only dimension – ie, economic and fiscal policy – upon which America is heading towards Failed State status. Today I hope, in one place, to offer a primer on American social and foreign policies…as a means of illustrating how neoliberal economics, deficit budgeting and stagnant energy thinking are reflected in those strategies.

We had the surreal attempt to legitimate the jobless recovery. Now we have the riseless recovery. Most US ‘middle’ class wages are either static or falling. One very disturbing trend here is that – despite Obamacare –  American expenditure on healthcare is growing three times faster than real wage values. Two specific measures reflecting poor mental health are the consumption of antidepressants, and the level of obesity. In the US, both of them are off the scale.

According to a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in the United States has ballooned by 1200% since 2000. The federal government’s health stats suggest that in excess of 1 in 10 Americans takes an antidepressant. And it is clear that it is the corporate executive (especially the female version) that requires them far more than any other group.

23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants, by far the highest intake percentage of any single demographic. Professional women executives take just under four times antidepressants than their male eqivalents. And while 14% of all non-Hispanic white people take antidepressants, just 4% of non-Hispanic blacks and 3% of Mexican Americans do so. A stark confirmation, perhaps, of the old adage that money doesn’t bring happiness; but also a clear reflection of the fiscal pressures of neoliberal corporate life…especially on women.

It also seems to chime with Nuffield research done in the UK, where ‘the rate of increase in prescribing had been static for some years, and does seem to have increased from 2008 so it would suggest that recession and some of the associated problems such as unemployment could be part of it….[the report] The found that areas with more white people and more women showed much higher levels of prescription’.

So the problem is an Anglo-saxon cultural thing (which I would accept) but the UK figure of 70 per ‘000 of population taking such medication is nowhere near the States. Nevertheless, we do share the neoliberal model – and our figures are much higher than for most of continental Europe: even in Greece, 97% of people have never taken an antidepressant.

The US image when it comes to fitness is still that of slim Californians jogging along beaches. But in reality, an analysis produced by The Lancet in 2014 showed that the United States is home to the highest number of overweight and obese people in the world. In the U.S., 70.9% of men and 61.9% of women are overweight or obese. That’s almost double compared to 38% of men and 36.9% of women worldwide, and the US numbers have increased in line with falling real incomes and growing wealth disparity.

Now obviously, people on lower incomes consume more high-fat ‘junk’ foods: but obesity is inextricably linked to frustration, depression, lowered self esteem and so-called comfort eating. Simon et al (July 2006) concluded – in concert with other similar research – that obesity and ‘diagnosis of depression, panic disorder and so on’ were 21% more likely to occur together than apart.

Americans are not happy. Other obvious measures – the growing violence during Occupy and ethnic demonstrations alongside the increasingly militaristic nature of US police forces for example – suggest a nation very ill at ease with itself….and increasingly frustrated at the seeming inability of the political process to deliver genuinely radical legislators with new ideas. That in itself is reflected by the sheer amount of corporate lobbying money swimming around in the Congress…and the increasing influence of the banking and big business interest groups on policies followed by both the White House and the State Department.

For if America is socially dysfunctional at home, its influence has become increasingly disastrous abroad.

“I’ve given up expecting to find some good in American foreign policy,” a long-standing old JFK Democrat friend said to me some years back. Many Europeans now feel the same (although a staggering 72% of Brits still think the US is our best ally) but for me as a student of politics over five decades, while the US élite always had that “American Way” arrogance, the believing naïf dimension that they were doing good was still there, I think, until about thirty years ago. Since then, the needs of multinational business, banking and the military have come first second and third. Doing good is a non-runner.

I was pointed at an article by US Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis earlier this week, and while it could be dismissed as naivety – or worse still, factual – by the casual reader, anyone with even a passing knowledge of Hungarian affairs would think it a travesty of the truth. For supporters of Viktor Orban in that country, it would merely confirm the reason why they have backed Orban in two elections and increasing numbers. I’ll return to this issue shortly, but for now this is the thought to hold: US foreign policy has become Brechtian through and through. No means are too diabolical, because the ends justify them; and the ends are always corporacratic…and usually to do with energy.

For the State Department in this our sorry and superficial era, leaders of sovereign countries who question American motives are simply in the way. They have in some cases in the century to date succeeded in rationalising this approach as ‘régime change’ based on a dislike of fascist government or the ownership of dangerous weapons. I was one of those tentatively supportive of the Bush-Blair Iraq War II, because I did believe Sadam Hussein had deliverable chemical weapons: the Prime Minister of my country went into Parliament and told us all on live television Sadam had such things. And without doubt, Hussein was a monster.

But those of us in the genuinely liberal democratic cultural camp need to learn some lessons. The biggest one of the last fifteen years for me is undoubtedly “not all cultures want democracy – they’d rather have stability and lead quiet lives”. If they run their own country to that end, what business is that of ours?

Does that sound like appeasement? No actually, it’s pacifism. And my conversion to pacifism in recent years is based on ovewhelming evidence that the use of force for régime change has been an abject failure. Consider the following facts about what happened – not speculative spin about ‘what is’:

  • The war in Iraq created shock, awe, incalculable devastation….and a situation both ripe for Jihadist takeover and insoluble internal conflict. Iraq today is far more unstable and inflammable than it was under Sadam Hussein
  • The destabilisation of Gaddafi in Libya and eventual intervention by the US and Britain led to a barbaric end to the dictator’s life, an initial victory for closet Islamists, and then interminable squabbles nonstop ever since. Libya today is far more unstable and inflammable than it was under Gaddafi.
  • Backing the Muslim Brotherhood against the military after the fall of Mubarak in Egypt gave a fillip to Jihadism and created myhem for practical government there. Four years after the revolution he helped lead, Basem Kamel has been sidelined, and tough-guy military President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has cemented his rule using unprecedented amounts of force, including mass arrests and death sentences, and the elimination of freedoms that existed even under previous dictatorships. But Sisi is, when one views the polls, hugely popular. Meanwhile, Kamel accepts the régime, saying “Even knowing what I know today, I would say the Brotherhood is worse”. Had the American strategy succeeded, Egypt today would be far more unstable and inflammable than it is under Sisi.
  • In a recent TV interview shown across the US, Barack Obama defended his actions in Ukraine by saying, “When I came to the Oval Office, a Putin stooge was in charge, and now he’s gone”. An open admission that the US Establishment pushed hard to get rid of ruling President Viktor Yanukovych – not a nice man and rather over-keen on the trappings of power, but democratically elected in a vote overseen and approved by UN observers. The US and the EU sided with a racist minority to get rid of a pro-Russian leader supported by the majority. Now, anything recognisable as Ukraine has disappeared, Putin won the war and annexed territory, and the situation remains tense. Had the EU/US not meddled in the country’s affairs, Ukraine today would be far more stable and viable than it is, and Putin nowhere near as respected.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood so eagerly supported by the US in Egypt moved on to Syria and Northern Iraq. There, a deeply unpleasant minority Alawhite leader Basshar Assad had the approval of the vast majority of Syrian citizens, but soon found himself accused by the Brotherhood, the US and other rebel elements of first of all bombing Turkey (a ridiculous idea designed to make him an anti-NATO Sadam II) and then of using chemical weapons against his own people. Once again, in the light of obvious US presence, Jihadists flocked to various causes on either side of the Syria/Iraq border….and following various impenetrable methods of double-cross, emerged as ISIL or Islamic State. Having helped create this new bogey, the US continued to back ‘their’ rebels against the ‘ISIL’ rebels, and came to an accord with the Assad they’d been vilifying on an hourly basis a month earlier. Putin has since intervened to attack all the rebels – and especially American ones. The Americans are on the verge of sending ground troops in to fight Russian rebels. Meanwhile, Europe has been chaos made flesh with the arrival of over a million refugees ‘from Syria’ (many of whom are from Turkey), already hard-pushed Greece has been lumbered with the biggest refugee problem but without financial assistance, and in a poll last month 72% of Syrians said all they wanted was for Basshar Assad to stay in power. Had the US not plotted his demise, Syria under Assad would today be more stable and independent than it is ever likely to be henceforth; and far be it from me to sound alarmist, but we may well be on the verge of World War III.
  • By contrast, closet Islamist and NATO ally Recep Erdogan has won a ‘shock’ election victory in Turkey (widely regarded there as rigged, riddled with pro-Erdogan bullying, and not overseen by anyone) then followed it with an immediate clampdown on all Opposition factions. He also has the EU eating out of his hand on the ‘refugee’ issue. And he’s been allowed by the EU/US axis to ramp up the rhetoric on Northern Cyprus – illegally snatched by the Turks forty years ago. Without that Brussels, NATO and State Department support, Erdogan the Mad might now be on his way into exile.
  • Compared to the Saudis, however, the Turkish leader is a model of liberal gentility. In the land run by the Saudi royal family, there is no redress under the law, no democracy whatsoever, and the Divine Right of Male drug-pushing kings still reigns supreme.Not a peep ever emerges from State, Washington or the White House about their support for a régime as antithetical to American ‘ideals’ as it’s possible to be. But then, the Arab face-cards do have a lot of oil. And munneeee.

But let’s take time out from this cavalcade of successful global policing and review briefly what looks likely to be the next object of State Department anti-matter. I posted last week about the suspicions surrounding George Soros (an avowed agent of US foreign policy) and more enlightened liberal plots to get rid of the man who eats babies for breakfast and lists wiping out gypsies as an absorbing hobby in his Who’s Who entry, Viktor Orban.

The black-arts disinformation and false flag operations in Hungary bankrolled by Soros and the CIA reached  a peak of vituperation during the October migrants crisis. Hungary, said one US junior diplomatic clown at one point, was “sending innocent women and children to their deaths” by not letting them stay in Hungary. In fact, they turned down Austria and sped to Germany, having hijacked a train in Budapest. Orban – the only European leader to forecast exactly what the refugee consequences of the Syrian conflict would be – was now being blamed by a State Department jerk for not helping with a problem caused by his employers.

The blank-faced hypocrisy in all that cannot however hide Viktor Orban’s real crime: like all the other unifying politicians removed by American corporate zeal, he is in the way. He fines US banks for cheating customers, he tells the truth about the Soviet history of the apparatchiks he replaced, he reviles American commercial colonialism in public, he refuses to join the Mickey Mouse euro project, and above all he says that “if the EU is a democracy, you can keep it”. This is then dutifully reported by The Guardian as ‘Hardman Orban rejects Western democratic model’.

And there may be worse to come. For close Hungarian ally Poland has now also elected an anti-euro Conservative opposed to everthing that American poodle Donald Tusk stood for. In a line stretching north from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Russian steppes, the US stands apparently ready for a military face-off in four countries. But stable opponents are the great threat to United States global hegemony. Without genuine régime change in America itself, all will be tested and if necessary humiliated. For in the US of 2015, Might is Right.

Americans have always rationalised the Right to Bear Arms on the basis of defending themselves against any tyrannical Standing Army. I’ve always opposed this daft idea. Now America has a nationwide standing army against whom the poor and hungry have no defence at all. It’s called The Police.

How far the USA I used to defend in the late Sixties has fallen. How pernicious is its intent. And how right JFK was to be deeply suspicious of the groups he came to loathe – State, the Pentagon, and the nuke-machos: the people now in charge of a perverted faux democracy.

As this is probably the biggest threat to the human race’s survival at the minute, I am opening today’s essay to comments. The usual House Rules apply.

Yesterday at The Slog: deconstructing the myth of American recovery

41 thoughts on “THE SATURDAY ESSAY: the USA…..dysfunctional at home, disastrous abroad.

  1. There is definitely a slide toward world war at the moment, and I doubt whether more than handful of people are aware of it. US will do anything to prevent Russia from establishing itself in Syria, even to arming and supporting ISIS, which it is doing. Turkey, as it turns toward dictatorship, will support the US. There are some good pieces on this in Information Clearing House and also in Washington’s Blog.

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  2. I have felt, and said for a while now that I believe that the US is responsible for most of the world’s ills today, their insatiable appetite for energy and military power is the nub of the problem to the answer and with technological advances this will only exacerbate the issue. It doesn’t bode well for the future.

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  3. Your feelings about the USA political system – revealed as an oligarchy in the Gilens & Page 2014 study – are very widely shared. I work in 7 countries and everywhere I go – including the US itself – people are very aware that the American political system has degenerated into fascism. Hatred and mistrust of government is widespread inside the USA itself, certainly in the South and the mid-West; and in India, Germany, Hungary, Australia and most of Scandinavia, the US is increasingly perceived as a pariah state.

    Th Americans desperately need a new revolution, and it will not be short of volunteers.

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  4. Superb John, normally I might let rip with one of my diatribes supporting your viewpoint but none is required, concise rebuttal of the neoliberal dollar hegemony – bravo.

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  5. “Hubris” not found in American dictionaries. Mind you we don’t have a very good record this side of the pond either do we? Will the people take back their power before the right to do so is removed from them or have we crossed that river already?

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  6. Fascinating read. You have pulled a lot of issues together for me. Your prediction re WW3 hit a note with me, I could see Israel dragged into this Sinai conflict.

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  7. I have two young children that lives with their mother, my ex-wife. They watch American children’s television shows that all have things in common, cartoon or live action. The glorification of violence as the solution to problems. I am often shocked at how acts of violence such as punching and kicking are seen as funny, accompanied by awful canned laughter. Another thing i’ve noticed is the almost worship of the gun, even in children’s cartoons. People who speak of peace as seen as weak, and those who use weapons are the strong hero’s. Perhaps this thinking in children becomes tomorrow’s leaders who think the way to solve problems is sheer force. However I grew up watching 80’s action films with Willis and Schwarzenegger, so perhaps this is nothing new!

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  8. One of the best analyses of the situation I’ve seen so far. We are seeing the demonisation of the pacifist and non-militaristic view through the attacks on Corbyn / Labour. One can only wonder how this will end, when you see tourists (aka voting Joe Public) at Stansted waiting for flights to Sharm, genuinely without a clue about the state of politics in Egypt. Or anywhere.

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  9. Clicky is unable to post here but has something to say.

    Go ahead, Click…

    Correlation is not causation unless you work for Tobacco Control. And they have been highly successful so far… So, using their junky methods to fix the world of its ‘addiction’ – isn’t it funny how obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders etc. have become a really huge problems as smoking rates have fallen globally and the bans increased? Also lung disease in non-smokers has rocketed…

    Indeed, everything balances out in the end, Clicky; able Death doesn’t care and is impossible to cheat

    I think Doctor Who regularly saving the planet and it’s human population has lolled the global population into who the WHO really are – nothing but a bunch of Prissy Missys intent on controlling what can be consumed. That would be Us…

    Showoff *rolls eyes*

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  10. “One very disturbing trend here is that – despite Obamacare – American expenditure on healthcare is growing three times faster than real wage values.”

    There is rampant (and disguised) inflation in the U.S., especially in the necessities of life. The disappearance of what the U.S. calls ‘Middle Class’ jobs in manufacturing as they are off-shored would both have caused the growth rate of medical expenditure to rise faster than real wages anyway. Obamacare was written by the lobbyists for the insurance companies and forces people to use their shrinking incomes to bolster the profits of these companies. Whilst I abhor the pre-obamacare system, I am not sure obamacare is any better and it may well have made it worse. To adopt an NHS model (pre-Atlantic bridge, PFI and all the neo-lib/neo-con attempts to ‘marketise’ it), or to emulate the Canadian health system, smacks too much of ‘Socialism’ for the brainwashed U.S. populace apparently. They prefer corporatism instead.

    Apologies if this is a duplicate – this doesn’t seem to be posting…

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  11. What a pity articles like this can only be found on the blogosphere, the bell of truth ringing loud and clear in every line, proving our so called political journalists to be agents of disinformation. Fear of being classified a none violent terrorist along with not getting published or losing one’s job is working very nicely for the power brokers as they smash their way through the world, grabbing energy sources and leaving devastation and human misery behind them. People of the western world are having great difficulty wiping the misted lens of truth clean; cognitive dissonance kicks in as an automatic response to protect our long held values, right or wrong. The recent Russian attack on ISIS in Syria has revealed dark forces at work who are stumbling over their own lies to justify supporting illegal entities. Truth is slowly emerging, keep up the good work.

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  12. Best and most honest analysis of the post Bush-Blair era I’ve seen. I too was once in favour of Blair’s closeness to Bush before I realised just how far up the presidential posterior orifice he had crawled. I was absolutely opposed to the war but naive enough to think Blair was there to change Bush’s mind not just to concoct ways of softening up the public to “regime change” by inventing WMD. Do you remember the day the expression “WMD” was coined? Thereafter there was no pol on this side of the Atlantic or that who could speak a sentence about the Middle East without using it. It used to make me so ANGRY. It was just such obvious mind-change propaganda.

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  13. Slam dunc: You would have to be quite long in the tooth – older even than the Slogger or me – to ‘remember the day the expression “WMD” was coined’:

    ‘weapon of mass destruction n. a weapon intended to cause widespread devastation and loss of life, (now) esp. a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon; usu. in pl.
    1937 Times 28 Dec. 9/3 Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction? . . ‘

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  14. Wonderful rant John and all true. The US is truly the roguest of the world’s rogue states armed, as it is, with mega nukes and not a few Gen. Jack D. Ripper looking for an excuse to obliterate their perceived enemies. I went to the US in the early days of JFK and the hope he engendered and later spent twenty years in Washington DC through the Vietnam years and beyond. The contrast between the America of the late 50s early 60s and what it has degenerated to today is something hard to fathom. It’s Murphy’s Law, what could go wrong has gone wrong and all in the worst possible ways: societally, economically and internationally. I conclude with Reilly’s addendem to Murphy which states ‘Murphy was an optimist’! I’m not! We are facing some extreme turmoil in the coming years and that may well involve in more obsecen wars.

    P.S. Glad you opened up to comments. I have missed them badly.

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  15. @Slam Dunc

    Yes – I remember the Orwellian change from NBC weapons to “WMD”. It was obvious at the time. I do find it interesting how some weapons (theirs) are so much more barbaric than ours. Chlorine gas dropped in barrels is apparently far more of a threat than multiple flechettes, depleted uranium, cluster bombs and white phosphorus.

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  16. Proof that the pen is mightier than the sword.
    Your resume echo’s many of my own beliefs.
    And, how nice it is to be able to comment!

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  17. America has a problem it is being stretched all over the world,it has to police everywhere but history tells us that even with a strong economy without co-operation it is unsustainable,desperation is the order of the day & integrity & the moral card that Bush/Blair through away is now obvious the real price of that war! And that is a sum that is incalculable

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  18. Stumbled across this, which seems to chime with a lot of what is written above.
    Neo-liberal globalism has failed, some time back apparently, we are now in an interregnum:

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  19. When the WTO was formed in 2001, the hypocrites in Washington secured a 15 year exemption from rules prohibiting protectionist measures, for instance enabling them to limit Chinese steel exports (unlike us, as workers in Redcar know). 1 year from now they’ll be in violation when, as is sure to happen, they carry on with their ‘free trade for US exports, protectionism against US imports’ rule. For all the talk of neoliberal free trade, the States is the most protectionist of the developed world countries.

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  20. The American Dream has turned into a hubristic nightmare for the rest of us; trapped within their infinitely flawed paradigm, obsessed by violence and drunk with self righteousness, they drag us (some go willingly) ever closer to a nemesis of incalculable destructive force.

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  21. The rate of increase in healthcare being higher than the rate of increase in incomes… Happens when you pretend the rate of inflation is far lower than it actually is and employers base their rewards on their buddies in the central bank inflation reports.

    On the USA overall, doesn’t it always happen … whenever a society becomes a single superpower, top dog, rule the world and economic undercurrent of increasing efficiency and technological advancement along come comes along to ruin it (creates the fight). This the progressive path of human evolution where the USA is “it” for now, it will never go without a fight, but one day after trashing everything economically in the known world another (likely a group next time) = Russia / China / India combined comes along to ruin it.

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  22. Exceptional piece John. A while ago I was highly sceptical of those who were pointing towards WW3 coming any time soon but as you so eloquently put it… I am now fairly convinced that the Élite would see total global destruction rather than have their lust for ALL wealth and power thwarted.

    Hi to all the regular sloggers.

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  23. As we say in archery: Gold after gold after bloody gold (someone else shooting, you see). One of your best essays yet. I am reminded of something Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on office, a rottenness begins in his conduct”.

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  24. An excellent piece, without any loose ends. It wouldn’t surprise me to be reading a translation of this into German over at Kopp Verlag sometime in the next day or so – it won’t be the first time it has happened! If so, that’ll be another several hundred thousand pairs of eyes cast upon it.

    Meanwhile, the dolly bird in the image and the cod-piece accoutrement thing she’s wearing. Is it perchance held in place with a Velcro fastener, enabling her to swing into action at a moments notice?

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  25. A1,John. Earlier today, visiting a bleak town in the middle of England, I happened to ask my Afghan taxi driver what he thought of the various military interventions in his country. He replied the Russians had killed 3 members of his family, the Americans 4, including his mother, and the Taliban 1. He went on to say the latter would never have come into existence if it weren’t for the former two, adding this also applied to ISIS.

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  26. Oh what a marvellous piece of honesty and telling it how it is. I feel as though you have jumped inside my brain, sorted the mish mash out that has been swirling around for some time, and put it down on paper!! There is not one part of this great piece of writing that I can disagree with. I know I am old but you always worry about your little grandchildren, and right now I really fear for their future.

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  27. As an American I must come to it’s defense in global matters. Any other nation in the world given the superior wealth and power given to it by WWII would have been worse. Obviously I am damning America with faint praise. I can agree at least in part with every possible criticism leveled at it starting with the huge list of regime changes brought about with Americas help since the early 50’s.

    Humans individually and collectively seek power. Some individuals far more than others but it is those who do who lead nations. From there follows nations seeking power and from that comes error and then evil. I can imagine no future of nations that does not involve horrors done in the name of nations. So to restate my faint praise of America. The world may well have been worse without the American empire. Admittedly easy for me to say as a person who has been protected from the vagaries of history living in the cocoon of American power.

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  28. Hmm. Now oligarchs, like Soros, have become global and openly attempt regime change through NGOs and other means in sovereign nation-states. Multinational corporations are, through treaties, becoming supranational corporations controlled by the same oligarchs. Which nation-state will be the first to exercise its right to self-defense with covert or overt military action against such an oligarch or supranational corporation?

    Sound far fetched? In my lifetime, India was the first nation to use an invasion by refugees as a justification for war (against East Pakistan). It might be an action by an oligarch or supranational corporation that ignites the next conflict.

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  29. There is definitely a far bigger risk of WW3 than anytime I remember and the world is sleep walking in to a very dangerous situation. There was always illegal US covert operations against certain states but order in the world has gone and things descending into more widespread chaos, This is because greater assertness of regional powers are exploiting the chaotic and disjointed US foreign policy..

    Phase 1 – Bush II and Blair’s destructive policies have set the scene and allowed extremism to thrive in the first place.

    Phase 2 – a weak Obama seems to have handed over foreign policy to US intelligence services. . In response to Obama’s shortcomings Saudi Arabia and Turkey have become far more aggressive to surrounding states who don’t comply with their demands. They are letting loose their dangerous idealogy and funding the break up of secular Arab states along religious and ethnic lines through the use of state sponsored terrorism.

    US are in the position they cannot admit their policies have caused another disaster so continue pursuing the break up of Syria through proxies and blame everyone else.. Meanwhile Russia concerned have intervened to try clear up the mess and re-establish its influence.

    These power blocks and alliances are similar in some ways to the state of Europe in August 1914.

    Phrase 3 could be the most frightening to watch..

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  30. JW,

    I do hope the re-introduction of comments is going to be permanent as I believe they add to your regular thought provoking blogs.

    Although your views do not always correspond to mine it continues to amaze me at the volume and variety of your output, but have thought the absence of comments that I had more often than not even greater disagreement diminished the SLOG.

    Thank you anyway for making many a morning read a good wake up call

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  31. The American Exceptionalism project has been going since at least the end of the WWII.

    Eisenhower forewarned everybody of the dangers of the US Military Industrial Complex’s strength in the early 60’s.

    The project really got a boost by Reagan who first campaigned on his promise to balance the budget as Carter was a spendthrift (the national debt was $800B when Reagan was elected and $2.8T in the mere 8years when he left) the Big Lie took over.

    I had businesses in USA from 76 and lived there the majority of the time until 87, I was in Boston when the Challenger blew up killing amongst others a lady astronaut who had been a teacher in neighbouring New Hampshire, the local tv news interviewed a local lady outside the school where the dead astronaut had taught and the interviewee said that it was foreigners who made mistakes the USA did not!

    American Exceptionalism was rampant and has since gone out of control as the USA increasingly meddled in foreign affairs especially when the Berlin Wall tumbled and the USSR imploded through it’s own inefficiencies not through what many in the US believe Reagan’s fantasy Star Wars wet dream.

    America seems to need to have a war but not affecting it’s own land to reset their increasingly unstable economy, they seem to have read and taken as their bible the omnibus edition of Brave New World and 1984 wriitten by 2 Eton Alumnii.

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  32. Factually very informative, with terrific analysis. Thanks John.

    For the Banksters running the Western so-called “democracies”, WWIII is policy, as is global hegemony.
    Countries outside the Rothschild/Rockefeller Central Bankster System?
    Iran, Russia, Iceland, North Korea & Hungary.
    Countries demonised in our controlled media?
    Ditto.

    Soros, a Bankster frontman, & his masters like “democracies” as they own & control the media, including Hollywood.
    Politicians are populist creatures. Depending on popular votes, they know they have to stay the right side of the controlled media, & the contrived politically correct zeitgeist.

    Hegemony is being sought via the hijacked environmentalist movement, soon to be putting on a 40,000 strong gabfest in Paris.
    Also via the secretive corporate power grabs that are the TPP & TTIP.

    The survival of the vast majority of humankind is indeed threatened.
    Put: Agenda 21’s Globalist Death Plan for Humanity
    in the search box at youtube if link does not work.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN7mQ1u230I

    Book: Pawns in the Game, by William Guy Carr.

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  33. Thought provoking as always JW, and lovely to read comments too….
    I have followed a lot of Putin’s speeches in the last 3 years (long as they are) and if the interpreter is doing a fair job, Putin repeatedly says that no country should invade another without the sayso of that country or the UN. He quotes the number of US army/air bases throughout the world against Russia’s (large vs small) and cites US aggression against his own preference for dialogue and peaceful resolution.
    The plane crash in Egypt was an eye-opener; Russia has chosen to attribute no blame until the full investigation is over, whereas when the plane went down in Ukraine, the US blamed Putin before it had hit the ground. Propaganda abounds, but if enough sites are visited on the internet, the bigger picture, as you say, is clear.
    I don’t see WW3 though as there are too many of us in Avaaz, Sumofus, 38degrees etc who will vote overwhelmingly for peace. When push comes to shove, there will be a revolution. There are more thinking people out there than might seem.

    As far as depressed women in their 40’s/50’s, I ‘d like to see some science done regarding the menopause; at 50, I seem to have gone through and come out of it relatively easily (and young?), but I can say that I am a rarity. Most of my peers are ratty, fed-up, in or past or bordering depression, and it takes its toll on everyone. If the hormone soup we live in is taken into account……………….just a thought?

    Love your input as always.

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  34. Great to see so many old Sloggers commenting again. I have missed the ‘added value’ of your contributions to JW’s insightful journalism. I often disagree with some of JW’s opinions, but the fact that he goes where most MSM fears to tread is invaluable for thinking people. It is perhaps only five years or so ago that I awoke awoke to the fact that the matrix has been lying to me for my entire life. The Slog has certainly honed my skepticism of all officially endorsed narratives and I thank JW for contributing to my education.

    On an unconnected note, strange that it seems impossible to reply to individual comments this time around.

    Like

  35. Perch yourself in a distant orbit above Earth, look down, and what do you see? A black, tragic-comedy unfolding on an illusionary stage. Fortunately for us, the show is almost over…

    Like

  36. Perhaps Eisenhower was correct in his warning. The military industrial complex has taken over and now sets the agenda for America. In my teens I admired the States and was very thankful that they eventually entered the second world war and saved “democracy”. That America seems no longer to exist and has transformed into a constant warmongering pariah that appears more out of control with every passing day.

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