Tag Archives: Great Britain

The United States of Hubris

hubris of empire

If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terroristic nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.

Last week, the US circulated a draft resolution which it intends to present to the UN Security Council that would give the American Navy and Air Force the power to interdict North Korean ships at sea to determine if they were transporting “weaponry material” or fuel and that US forces would be given “the right” to use “all necessary measures” to “enforce compliance.”*

Not surprisingly, Nikky Haley, the blood-thirsty and incompetent American Ambassador to the UN, has enthusiastically backed the resolution, utterly clueless of its ramifications if passed, the most horrific of which would be the igniting of WWIII.  Trump’s selection of the neocon mouthpiece as UN Ambassador has been a disaster on several fronts: first, it was an early and quite telling sell out of his political base whom he promised an American First foreign policy of less belligerency and intervention.  Second, Haley had no foreign policy experience and has made a fool of herself internationally on more than one occasion with her inane statements.

That the US is even considering such a provocative scheme once again shows the hubris which exists within its vast corridors of power.  Any other country which would suggest such an audacious act would be rightly condemned, ostracized, and labeled as a rogue state.  Yet, it is US lawmakers, policy wonks, and the CIA/NSA-directed American press corps that charge others (mostly those who do not kowtow to US dictates) of “terrorism.”

This year, as of yet, North Korea has not been responsible for a single death of a foreign national.  Nor has the tiny communist state ever used a nuclear weapon against an enemy like the US did with its immoral and hellish destruction of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of WWII.

On the other hand, since the start of the Trump Presidency, US-backed forces have been responsible for the deaths of some 3700 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.**  This is not to mention its murderous armed strikes in Yemen and Afghanistan.  Nor is American aggression limited to direct military action, but its arms supply sales to despots and its puppets has escalated tensions and makes conflicts that do break out much more brutal.

Fortunately, for the future of global peace, US hegemony is coming to an end.  The nation is hopelessly broke while its welfare/warfare economy is beyond reform and faltering badly which means that when the inevitable collapse does happen, it will mean the end or a serious pull back of the Empire.  A similar situation took place in Great Britain in 1945 after it took part in another senseless global conflict which liquidated the British Empire once and for all.

Any sober thinking realist would recognize the deteriorating societal and economic conditions at home, yet because of the collective hubris embedded in the political class, American bellicosity continues.

The last hope of changing US overseas affairs in a peaceful direction was Donald Trump who throughout the campaign spoke of an American First foreign policy which garnered widespread support.  Within Trump’s foreign policy statements, however, there were many troubling ones: call for increased defense spending, “wiping out ISIS,” updating the nation’s nuclear arsenal, putting an end to the North Korean “problem.”  The encouraging words about non-intervention and getting along with Russia were quickly scuttled while the militaristic side of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has won the day.

History is replete with examples of hubristic regimes which appeared invincible and everlasting, but quickly fall with severe and quite nasty retribution from their enemies.  While the US goes about the world threatening, bombing, and destabilizing those it does not like, it too, possibly in the not too distant future, will face the deserved wrath of those it has humiliated and terrorized.

*David E. Sanger, “U.S. Seeks U.N. Consent to Interdict North Korean Ships.”  New York Times.  6 September 2017.

**Adam Johnson, “Corporate Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Civilian Death Toll in Iraq.”  Fair.  19 July 2017.  http://fair.org/home/corporate-media-largely-silent-on-trumps-civilian-death-toll-in-iraq/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

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The American Empire and Economic Collapse

American Empire Collapse

Despite the widespread hope among libertarians, classical liberals, non-interventionists, progressive peaceniks, and all those opposed to the US Empire that it may have some of its murderous reins pulled in with the election of Donald Trump, it appears that such optimism has now been dashed.  While the hope for a less meddlesome US foreign policy is not completely extinguished and would never have existed had the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua been elected, a number of President Trump’s foreign policy actions, so far, have been little different than his recent predecessors.

President Trump’s biggest blunder was his acquiesce to the Deep State’s coup of General Michael Flynn, the most Russian friendly among Trump’s foreign policy entourage.  Since Flynn’s abrupt departure, there has been little talk of a rapprochement with Russia, but instead there has been continued saber rattling by the war mongers that Trump has, unfortunately, chosen to surround himself with.

The most recent Russian badgering has come from Secretary of Defense, James “Mad Dog” Mattis who wrongly accused it of “bad behavior:” “Russia’s violations of international law are now a matter of record from what happened with Crimea to other aspects of their behavior in mucking around other people’s elections and that sort of thing.”* Of course, the US has never tried to influence the outcomes of elections or “mucked around” in the affairs of sovereign countries, heaven forbid!

While candidate Trump correctly spoke of the Iraqi War as a disaster and US Middle Eastern policy as a failure, he has done little to alter course in the region, but continues to follow and has, in some instances, escalated tensions.  Some ominous examples:

Bombing raids of Mosul killing over 200 civilians

The deployment of another 1,000 ground troops to Syria

Additional US ground troops “expected” to be deployed to Afghanistan

Continuous threats to Iran – “put on notice”

In the Far East, President Trump has done little to alleviate hostilities.  In a belligerent March tweet during Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to the region, he wrote: “North Korea is behaving very badly.  They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years.  China has done little to help.”**

A number of perceptive commentators think otherwise and have shown that it has been the US over the years that has acted disingenuously.  “Despite Western media demonization of North Korea as some kind of crazy rogue state,” Finian Cunningham points out, “the people there are not fools.  They know from family histories the atrocious cost of American war.  And they know that any nation perceived as weak by Washington will be bombed back to the Stone Age.”***

These trends, and the President’s unnecessary request for increased “defense spending,” all point to more of the same for US overseas relations.  In fact, there will most likely be continued military escalation if the likes of General “Mad Dog” Mattis get their way.

It is now apparent that the only way in which significant change will come about in American foreign affairs will be if there is a severe financial crisis which impairs the nation enough so that it can no longer bankroll its military adventurism.  History has a number of examples of this.

Great Britain, who the US Empire is largely patterned after, lost its empire when it became financially exhausted due, in large part, to its insane decision to enter the two World Wars of the past century.  To fight in those conflagrations drained Britain of its wealth and devastated it demographically which it, and the rest of Europe, has never recovered.

The US is heading down a similar path of decline as it has squandered its wealth and treasure in the maintenance of an overseas empire while it has expanded its welfare state at home, meaning less wealth which can be tapped from an increasingly unproductive and parasitic populace.  Couple this with an onerous tax burden, an inflationist monetary policy which has destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar, and gargantuan public debt and you have primed the country for a financial cataclysm.

Despite the dramatic fall in the standard of living and the immense social strife and unrest that an economic collapse would bring about, there is a silver lining.  Like Great Britain before it, a financial crisis and/or the loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency would force the US to abandon its overseas empire – closing bases, bringing troops home, and stopping intervention in the myriad of arenas across the planet.

A defunct US Empire would also be bad news and mean grisly retribution for all those lackeys and puppets who have been supported and propped up by American might: another positive aspect to the end of the Empire.

The collapse will mean America, too, will face reprisals from all those who have suffered under its hegemony.  The payback will come from both economic warfare as the US has used through its “Dollar Diplomacy” to control and manipulate foreign economies and by some sort of military humiliation.

The impact of an economic collapse could be mitigated somewhat if the US abandoned its role as global policeman as resources squandered abroad could be then available for the rebuilding of the domestic economy while, at the same time, hostility with America’s adversaries would be reduced.

Unless President Trump replaces the warmongers and interventionists which he has unwisely surrounded himself with and return to his wildly popular campaign promise of an American First foreign policy, the US Empire will remain the greatest threat to world peace that currently exists.  If things continue as such, it will only be through the comeuppance of Economic Mother Nature when She bursts the American bubble economy that the Empire upon which it rests will, at long last, come to a fitting and much needed end!

*Ellen Mitchell, “Mattis Says Response Coming Soon on Russia Arms Treaty Violation.”  The Hill.  31 March 2017.

**Pamela Engel, “Trump: North Korea is ‘Behaing Very Badly,’ and China ‘Has Done Little to Help.'”  Business Insider17 March 2017.

***Finian Cunningham, “Only a Fool Would Trust Rogue State USA.”  Sputnik Internaional.  19 March 2017.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

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Charles A. Beard, “American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940″*

Review: Charles A. Beard, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1946.

american-for-pol-in-the-making     charles-a-beard-ii

Introduction

Last year, 2016, marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of Charles Beard’s masterful study of United States foreign policy prior to the nation’s disastrous entrance into the Second World War, American Foreign Policy in the Making1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities(AFPM).  The book was soon accompanied by President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941 published in 1948, the year of the great historian’s passing.

The two volumes were extremely influential and became cornerstones of World War II revisionism.  AFPM chronicled US policy in the crucial decade prior to the fateful attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  The records released and the research done in the decades following Beard’s studies have only substantiated the historian’s interpretation of events.*

The most recent of the growing literature of WWII revisionism has been by the German historian Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof, and his provocative book, The War That Had Many Fathers.**As Beard did with AFPM, Schultze-Rhonhof seeks to assign responsibility for the outbreak of WWII in the European theatre.  Like Beard, and in contrast to the official historical interpretation, Schultze-Rhonhof blames the provocative actions of the “Allied” governments in the years leading up to the conflict.***

Continue reading at:  https://antoniusaquinas.com/history/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

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*This essay is dedicated to the late Charlie McGrath of Wide Awake News.

charlie-mcgrath

 

Donald & the Dollar

donald-dollar

John Connally, President Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury, once remarked to the consternation of Europe’s financial elites over America’s inflationary monetary policy, that the dollar “is our currency, but your problem.”  Times have certainly changed and it now appears that the dollar has become an American problem.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the soon to be 45th President of the United States believes that the greenback’s strength – up some 25% against a broad basket of currencies since 2014 – is now “too strong,” “killing us,” and has hurt companies trying to compete overseas.* A top Trump economics advisor, Anthony Scaramucci, reinforced his boss’ sentiment adding that “we must be careful of a rising dollar.”

Apparently, making America great again does not include the nation’s monetary standard.  Trump’s belief that the dollar is too strong also shows a distinct lack of historical understanding.  Every great nation and empire (which Trump promises to restore America to) had a sound monetary system.  It is no coincidence that the pound sterling was the world’s “reserve currency” at the time when the British Empire was at its height.  Debasement of it to finance Britain’s insane decision to enter World War I led, in large part, to the eventual loss of its empire.  If Trump truly seeks to restore American greatness at home and its prestige throughout the world, devaluating the currency is not the way to go.

Nor does a weakened dollar benefit the middle class whom the president elect throughout the campaign has pledged to help.  In fact, it has been the fall in the purchasing power of the dollar due to the inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve which have decimated the living standard of the middle class.  And, while the proposed Trumpian middle class tax cuts will help, just as important is a sound monetary system if Middle America is to become a creditor class once again.

Pensioners and retirees, another group that Trump has promised to help, would continue to see their financial condition decline under a policy to weaken the dollar. A fall in the purchasing power of money would devastate the income stream of pensions and social security payments.

While a weaker dollar policy would hurt the middle class, retirees, and savers, it would benefit the most responsible for the continued economic doldrums of America – banksters and the government.  A weaker dollar would allow the government to continue to borrow and maintain its profligate spending.  Financial houses and the banksters would receive credit at nearly zero cost which would allow them to continue to blow bubbles in the asset markets.  Export firms, too, would benefit at least for a while, but would more than likely face retribution from foreign governments and central banks which would retaliate with their own devaluations sparking potential currency wars.

Talk of “currency manipulation,” “weakening the dollar,” “trade deals,” and the like do not address what lies at the heart of not only America, but the Western world’s economic problem – too much debt.  The reason why the West has been able to incur its current gargantuan level of debt is not because of a “weak” or a “strong” dollar, but because the dollar is a fiat currency not backed by any commodity.  A true gold standard, where each currency unit represents either gold or silver, provides monetary discipline which prevents politicians and banksters from incurring ruinous levels of debt.

Since money is the lifeblood of an economy, any hope that one can be turned around without a stable monetary order is, to say the least, delusional.  If president-elect Trump and his policy makers do not realize this, they will be severely disappointed in the years to come.  Sound money allows for the accumulation of savings and capital formation, the essential elements of the market economy and the only basis upon which real economic growth can occur.  More savings and capital are needed to boost production and create employment, not supposedly wiser and more competent international trade negotiators.

Talk of currency devaluation is what is typically heard from banana republics, it should not be advocated by those who have aspirations of making their country great again.

*Tyler Durden, “Dollar Tumbles After Trump Calls Currency ‘Too Strong,’ Slams Border-Adjustment Tax.”  Zero Hedge.  17 January 2017.

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