Where Are We Now?
Here’s a handy way to spot the division in our country. There are red states and blue states and we can’t name anything else. The purpose of this essay is to recognize this divide while turning it on its head, but before continuing it is necessary to distinguish this overarching political divide from a sub-divide that is two years running; the split in the ruling elite over the continuance of the Trump presidency.
The military-intelligence-security complex together with the establishment media and hawkish neoconservative elements have targeted what they regard as Trump’s weakest spot — his supposed affinity for all things Russian. True or not this plays well with an American public that has been educated about the ever present communist menace.
How well this has worked is illustrated by the near total acceptance of the narrative of a Russian “hack” of the DNC despite no forensic evidence being produced to support that conclusion. At the same time detailed critical analysis pointing to an inside leak, for instance with a thumb drive, has been produced by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and the online, “Forensicator”, largely ignored by mainstream outlets.
Unless one feels that the credibility of VIPS people like William Binney, Ed Loomis, Ray McGovern, and Kirk Wiebe compare unfavorably with an intelligence community that claimed “high-confidence” in the existence of Iraqi WMD’s, there is no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility of a “false-flag” attack.
The Democratic Party associated strategy seems to be to keep the Russian charges, as well as lesser charges of illegality, sufficiently alive until the run up to the next election begins in earnest.
It is possible to hate Trump and not love the Democratic Party, just as it it possible to hate the Democratic Party and not love Trump. For that matter, it is possible to hate both political parties, good to recognize. Because both are responsible for bringing the political economy of this country to its present state. The rich have never enjoyed such a monopoly of wealth, and workers known so much insecurity. That’s the middle class. Then there’s the working poor and poor.
For the existential problems facing ordinary people, the trouble is not the identity issues on which the parties stake their disagreement. It’s that broad area below the surface of attention where they are in agreement.
Both parties fully embrace capitalist imperialism. This means that, in the name of patriotism, there will always be money to be spent on military “modernization”, foreign interventions (undeclared war), and worldwide force projection to broaden the reach of American capitalism. The irony is that we are an imperialism with no rivals, no real enemies save those that we deviously inflate like Russia and China for the purpose of keeping the game going.
According to the Pentagon’s FY 2018 Base Structure Report, “The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories with outlying areas, and 45 foreign countries.” This property occupies 26.9 million acres, practically all in the U.S. or U.S. Territories. To put this in perspective, Pentagon property acreage, if rearranged, would occupy all the land area of District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont. That’s just the landlord aspect.
Last year, appropriately on the weekend of MLK Day, an estimate of the number of U.S. military bases in foreign countries was arrived at in a Baltimore University international conference of anti-war activists: Approximately 800 formal military bases (possibly exceeding 1,000 counting “lily-pond” bases) in 80 countries. That’s bases. Then there is the matter of permanent duty Pentagon employed personnel stationed in 166 countries ( DoD Defense Manpower Data Center, Aug. 10, 2018).
The establishment behind this immensity is always prepared to justify it, but not by appealing to the uncomplicated definition of “defense”.
A much-referred to Washington Post story of Oct. 14, 2011 by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin revealed that: “Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.” Given what we now know about the forthcoming of the U.S. intelligence/security community, we could be forgiven for considering this as but a little peek at the vast and growing apparatus looming over us.
The bogus creation of the “war on terror” has led straight to the creation of our homeland national security state. That terror against us was called “blowback” by the CIA, indicating we know what caused it. The security camera has become a defining cultural meme, and the TSA our national travel agents.
Our political economy is placed under the stewardship of Wall Street, it’s modus being to place people in debt to corporations with no way out. Using its veto over national policy, it assures that control remains in trusted, managerial hands. Its agenda is not solely domestic but truly international as well, with the military as its enforcement arm. It operates with the sanction of multitudinous presidencies, the congress, and, naturally, both political parties.
It is this type of bipartisanship that keeps both parties safely locked in place with the state and the corporate elite. Is there a chance that something can shake this orthodoxy? If the newly elected young progressives in the Democratic Party have their way, perhaps, though U.S. imperialism doesn’t seem to trouble them. We’ll see. It could go a few ways. They could be turned, or, if not, then marginalized or co-opted.
The party leadership has put on their smiling, sincere faces but regards them as heretics to the cause. If the party becomes viewed as unduly bound to the 99% to the detriment of the 1%, then money from financial elites will flow to the rival party. For this reason, the party leadership takes any slight to the 1% very, very seriously.
James Rothenberg, of the United States, writes on that country’s social and foreign policy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org