Tuesday, November 21, 2017

To U.S. Empire Apologists: America Is A Terrorist State

Donald Trump’s Rust Belt supporters, the ones who won him the election last year, have had decades to reach their decision. These people are found to largely be the friends and family of soldiers that have died in America’s recent wars. Their animus towards Hillary Clinton and the other architects of these wars is so intense that they mostly continue to support Trump, even as he’s drastically expanded the war machine.

Their betrayal by traditional institutions began during the 60’s and 70’s, when companies started taking away their factory jobs so that profits could be made in countries with lower labor standards. In the next decades, as their communities continued to be battered amid the implementation of neoliberal trade deals, they saw ever more resources go to the military. 
The explosion of the military budget starting in the 80’s, correlated with an obscene rise in corporate welfare and economic inequality, inflamed suspicions of despotic plots and conspiracies among America’s leaders. With the corporatisation of the press and education, most had little way to know what these conspiracies might have been like or who was involved in them. But their suspicions were right.
With 9/11, the war culture exploded. Gun sales soared. George Bush could openly call himself a war president. The massive new violence around the world was glorified with nationalistic songs like Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, which boasted “we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.” This let the corporate state seize control with impunity. 
PRISM, the Patriot Act, so-called enhanced interrogation, and the massive expansion of the security state destroyed our relationship to the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. Blunderous invasions were made against Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter of which having involved a long pre-planned attempt to install a new puppet government. This government, partly drafted by radical right lobbyist Grover Norquist, was to follow in the Pinochet regime’s model of unrestrained corporate totalitarianism.
These military ventures, which Chris Hedges diagnoses as the catalysts for the U.S. empire’s collapse, also precipitated the Orweillian vision we now find ourselves in. The seven country-wide bombing campaign that took place under Obama, despite being similar in scale to the invasions of the early 2000’s, has been discussed mainly in obscure anti-war blogs and forums. This has changed little in 2017, even as Trump has wildly expanded that campaign. 
The media companies are deeply consolidated and in firm partnership with the intelligence agencies. The U.S. has created an official center for attacking the dissenting press, which the European Union is now expanding on. Tech companies are systematically driving down the viewership of dissenting outlets and journalists. Most people have regressed into a third world lifestyle as our four decade corporate coup has reached its completion.
With the rise of a president infused with the fascistic mentality of militarism, the empire that neoconservatives glorify has been laid bare. Like other demagogues, Donald Trump excessively surrounds himself with armed guards, takes innate pleasure in military parades, and often uses violent language. Mike Pence embraces militarism in a more measured and dangerous way, having said he was drawn to the Republican Party because of its representing a strong military. 
Trump, Pence, and their cabal of similar American fascists took power last year by convincing the victims of neoliberalism and imperialism that they represented savior from these systems. That the plans of the Deep State to instigate world war, as Trump’s propagandist Alex Jones said, would be defeated by an outsider president who’d revive the middle class and cleanse the government of corruption. The demagogues that emerge from the wreckage of destroyed democracies always make promises like these, attaching their reactionary agendas to the biggest grievances of a suffering population. And since the only goal of these demagogues is power, the despotic agendas of the fallen democracies their conquer are often then carried on and expanded. 
Under Trump, Goldman Sachs executives dominate the White House’s elite circle. Israel and Saudi Arabia get to define American foreign policy more than ever. The last remains of workers’ rights, the social safety net, and civil liberties are under attack. In the first two months of the administration, drone strikes were made 432% more frequent, and they’ve only gone up since then. The military budget has been raised 10% twice this year. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen have been escalated, with the latter escalations resulting in more than 50,000 Yemeni children being expected to die by the end of the year.
The friendly face America used to put in front of its atrocities has been removed. Imperialist propagandists now have to defend a blatantly cruel and obnoxious authoritarian leader as he terrorizes his citizenry and the world. The Pentagon’s recent decision to continue attacking Syria and Iraq despite ISIS now being reduced to a non-presence reinforces this collapse in credibility; America is not here to protect, but to steal and slaughter.
Next month, Trump’s FCC will vote to totally repeal the current net neutrality rules. If congress approves this measure, it will let internet service providers impose heavy fees on its customers, with the sites that can’t pay being shut down. The independent online media will be destroyed in this scenario, letting the corporate outlets the FCC is allowing to become even further consolidated force their propaganda onto us virtually unchallenged. 
The corporate state’s vast network of psy ops, surveillance and censorship, enforced by our brutal police state, will be able to block out disfavored public knowledge like no oligarchy has done before. Our attention will be universally coerced toward manufactured enemies that pose no actual threat, like North Korea and Russia. If or when this happens, we’ll need to keep telling ourselves that while we don’t know the details of the empire’s evils, the empire is evil.

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