Living in an Imperial World: Rubicon in the Rear-View, Part II: Perpetual War, Here and Abroad
William Grigg at Pro Libertate continues his overview of the military-police alliance in today's America:
Two missions that should never intersect are those of the military and of the civilian police, respectively. The logic of empire ultimately demands that which our rulers have now provided: A militarized apparatus of coercion in which military and police roles are inextricably blended.
It's much too early to tell how this welcome development will affect the trends described below, but the House of Representatives just defeated the Wall Street Swindle measure -- something I quite frankly considered impossible.
"We have entered an era of persistent conflict.... [We face] face new security challenges influenced by the effects of globalization, especially in failing states and in ungoverned areas.... Radicalism influenced by extremist ideologies and separatist movements will remain attractive to those who feel threatened and victimized by the cultural and economic impacts of globalization...."
From the 2008 Army Modernization Strategy
We are entering the age of "persistent conflict," advises the Army's 90-page official report on modernization and strategy. Dr. Tom Clonan, the international security analyst for the Irish Times, usefully peels away the thin veneer of euphemism applied to that phrase, rendering it "perpetual warfare."
The Army document is an admission that our rulers intend to divest us of what few tangible liberties we still enjoy. James Madison's warning resonates again: "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
Had the Billionaire Bailout, aka the Mother of All Swindles, been consummated in the teeth of nearly uniform public opposition, the Regime ruling us would have achieved a Platonic ideal of plutocratic corruption. The Army's strategic preview still seems to anticipate this development, given its astonishing candor in expressing the ethics of the Robber State.*
In describing the mission of the military over the next generation or two, the document dutifully refers to the threat of a "radical, ideology-based, long-term terrorist threat...." Additionally, insists the report, Washington faces "a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets."
What proper role can the military play in "competing" for "natural resources and overseas markets"? The military embodies the refined essence of the murderous ugliness to which we've given the name "government": It is an instrument employed to kill and destroy, not to "compete." It can conquer territory, but it cannot create a market -- except in the crudest corporatist sense of reducing a country to rubble as a prelude to taxpayer-subsidized "reconstruction" efforts of the kind that have succeeded so marvelously in Iraq.
The vision expressed in the Modernization Strategy is a more elegantly phrased version of the familiar Ditto-head bumper-sticker sentiments, like "Kick their ass and take their gas," or "What is their sand doing on top of our oil?" (Another variation of that trope we may soon see: "Begin the slaughter -- seize control of their water.") Of course, that approach engenders terrorism, rather than pacifying it -- but this is an entirely suitable outcome for our rulers, since it relieves them of the trouble of dreaming up new pretexts for the wars they desire.
Seizing resources through military force is one of the best ways to destroy a market: Military control over a given resource is, after all, nationalization in its bluntest form. The truly remarkable -- and terrifying -- aspect of the Army's new strategy is the evidence it provides that our rulers have now embraced, without qualification, the socialist premise that the government's role is to administer an economy based on scarcity.
Here we collide with one of the defining ironies of our age. At a time when Washington now candidly admits its intention to acquire vital resources through military pillage, Russia and China, the "neer-peers" clumsily alluded to in the document, are acquiring resources through commerce, rather than conquest.
A case can be made that a modest, mobile military establishment is necessary in order to protect freedom of commerce abroad; at least, that was the view of those who wrote the constitutional provision requiring Congress to "maintain" a Navy. But the Framers who composed that provision were steadfastly opposed to a standing Army, quite properly fearing that an establishment of that kind would be used precisely as the new Army strategic document describes: To carry out perpetual war abroad, and regiment society here at home.
Granted, the latter half of that formulation -- domestic regimentation -- is not made explicit in the Modernization document. But it becomes very clear when key strategic considerations from that document are viewed in the light of the increasingly overt role played by the military in domestic law enforcement.
The implosion of America's financial system is now all but a moral certainty. The increasingly panicked corporatist elite have abandoned any pretense of acting on behalf of the public good, seeking to preserve their own power and plundered wealth by any means.
It is this corporatist financial elite that ultimately controls the legions deployed both here and abroad.
Recall again Madison's warning that wars beget "armies, and debts, and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many beneath the domination of the few." Yes, as Machiavelli noted in chapter ten of his Discourses, it is iron rather than gold that is the "sinew of war." But it is gold, or whatever prevailing substitute, that buys and bridles those who deploy iron in wartime. The creators and exploiters of public debt -- the FED and the nomenklatura it serves -- also created, and remain in control of, Washington's sprawling military establishment and rapidly catalyzing system of internal repression.
Acting through Henry Paulson -- soon to be our first economic dictator -- the oligarchy threatened, bribed, bullied, and extorted from Congress a measure permitting them to plunder the wealth of the embattled remnants of the Middle Class. According to a visibly and audibly overwrought Texas Republican Congressman Michael Burgess, this was achieved by effectively holding Congress hostage in a condition he referred to as "martial law":
Whether or not Comrade Pelosi's expression was intended metaphorically, we have to believe that extraordinary duress was required to compel congressmen to support, or at least to countenance, the Mega-Swindle in the face of ferocious public opposition just weeks before those same congressmen stand for re-election.
It is relatively easy to neutralize the rebellion of a relative handful of politicians. But the public can expect no deference or delicacy when the time comes to deal with the social upheaval that will (not "would," mind you -- will) accompany the full-orbed economic collapse our rulers have now arranged for us.
Recall the excerpt from the Modernization Strategy document that was used above as an epigram, and note the reference to "those who feel threatened and victimized by the cultural and economic impacts of globalization." The imponderably huge heist being carried out on behalf of Wall Street is a splendid example of the globalization of corporatist crony capitalism, and its impact on our standard of living will be immense...
Read the rest, and pass the word.
The future is now.