Paul Craig Roberts
With much help from the failures of neoliberal economic policy and neoconservative foreign policy, we are changing the world.
Look at Bernie Sanders’ inroads on the corrupt Clintons’ control of the Democratic Party. Look at how easily Donald Trump defeated the Republican establishment’s candidates. Some Americans are catching on, shedding their unawareness. I am not confident that Sanders or Trump could bring change. In The Deep State (2016), Mike Lofgren concludes that powerful private interest groups, such as the military/security complex and the financial sector, have hijacked democracy. Still, voters’ interest in Sanders and Trump, despite the beating they receive in the media, is a positive sign. Voters are supporting them not so much for their positions on issues as for the fact that neither are part of the Washington establishment. Many voters now understand that the political establishment represents the One Percent, not them.
A New Russia has appeared on the scene and demonstrated to the entire world its power to checkmate the hegemonic ambition of the crazed neoconservatives who have controlled the US government since Bill Clinton. The world now understands that the leadership for peace comes from Russia not from warmonger Washington.
Washington’s vassals in Europe are in disarray, with the Northern European EU members plundering the Southern EU members, with all of Europe overrun with refugees fleeing Washington’s hoax “war against terrorism.” Europeans are beginning to realize that the establishment political parties that they have blindly supported since World War 2 are nothing but agents of Washington, who serve Washington and not Europeans. Merkel, Cameron, Hollande are puppets of Washington, not leaders of the German, British, and French people.
The Chinese government is finally beginning to realize that the neoliberal American economic policies that it has so slavishly been copying have led it into economic difficulties. Perhaps China will now cease to follow America into oblivion.
The Russians have learned that being part of the Western system subjects them to economic sanctions and makes it easy for Washington to interfere in Russian internal affairs. The Russians are beginning to show that their desire for their independence is greater than their desire to be accepted by a corrupt, immoral, decadent, and failing West.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders speak to Americans’ loss of economic opportunity and financial independence. Today the 99 Percent are slaves to their debt burdens and lack of productive employment, while those who deceived them into these burdens and lowly-paid employment in domestic services are reveling in multi-million dollar annual paychecks.
The US Treasury, Federal Reserve, and financial regulators are corrupted by the private financial interests that control them. The US government serves only the One Percent. Despite this obvious fact, many Democratic Party voters - traditionally the less well off, union members, and American blacks - are turning out for Hillary Clinton, a tried and proven representative of the One Percent. The Clintons have been enriched to the amount of $153 million by the ruling One Percent who own the Clintons lock, stock, and barrel. Yet the dispossessed vote for Hillary.
Clearly, many American voters, as Thomas Frank made clear in his book , What’s the Matter with Kansas?, still have no clue as to their own interests and vote to elect their worst enemies.
Many Americans are still trapped in The Matrix and kept there by the propaganda that masquerades in the US as “news.”
Consider the possible implications if Americans were to enable Hillary Clinton to become President. Trump has said that he would work things out with Vladimir Putin, but Hillary has declared the President of Russia to be “the new Hitler.” How can Hillary work anything out with “the new Hitler”? She cannot.
It is a great irony that the American lower class, traditionally served by the Democratic Party, could put in the White House not only a person who only represents the super-rich but also a person who cannot escape conflict with Russia, a country with possibly the most capable military force on the planet.
The psychopathic Washington neoconservatives who have controlled US foreign policy since the Clinton regime, misinterpret Vladimir Putin’s peaceful diplomacy as a sign of Russian weakness. The neocons say: “See Putin is weak. He is pulling out of Syria.” But what Putin says is different. Putin says: “We have created the conditions for peace in Syria.” If Washington abuses these conditions, “Russia can, in several hours, build up its forces in Syria to a size capable of dealing with an escalating situation and use the entire range of means at its disposal.”
Putin adds: “We hope the parties involved would show common sense.”
From a position of strength, Putin has rolled the dice. Is there common sense in the West? I fail to see any. I see arrogance, hubris, idiocy, immorality, inhumanity, complete and total stupidity. These are the characteristics of Western governments. They amount to a deranged criminal enterprise organized against humanity.
In the awards of medals to those Russians who served against ISIS, Putin stated: “Our uncompromising attitude to terrorism remains unchanged.” If we take this statement broadly, it means not merely Muslim jihadists but the terrorism of the West—the destruction of seven or more countries by the US and its vassals in the 21st century, the long-term sanctions against Iran, Russia, and a number of other countries whose governments do not comply with Washington’s dictates. Putin has told Washington and Washington’s European puppets, Cameron, Merkel, Hollande, that he has had enough of them. They must reform themselves, become honorable governments committed to the welfare of humanity, and abandon self-serving policies of plunder.
Considering the total failure of the United States to subdue after 15 years a few thousand lightly armed Taliban, the American people need to understand that the US military, corrupted by privatizations to enhance former vice president Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton and by over-cost weapons systems that serve the profits of the armaments industries and not the military competence of the fighting force, has lost its edge in weapons superiority. The latest over-cost American fighter jet, for example, according to the Air Force’s own conclusions cannot match the old fighter it is intended to replace, whereas the latest Russian fighter is said to have the capability to electronically shut down American control systems, track simultaneously 24 enemy fighters and lock on 10 simultaneously for unavoidable destruction. Members of the US military command have expressed concern over the high quality of Russian weapon systems.
Everyone needs to understand that the establishments of the two American political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, are less interested in winning the election than in continuing to control the party. Trump and Sanders are hated by the party establishments, because Trump and Sanders are not members of the establishment. Control over the party by the party establishment is so important that we have many members of the Republican establishment declaring that if Trump wins the Republican nomination, they will vote for the Democrat. This has happened before. It was Republicans who denied the presidency to Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
The United States is a failing society. Citizens’ hopes are being snuffed out. There are few good jobs or enough jobs of any kind, as the collapse of the labor force participation rate confirms. People are drowning in debts that they have no prospect of ever paying off. Young adults cannot form independent households. The oligarchy that rules and controls the country has committed America to massively expensive wars and privacy invasions for the purpose of establishing a hegemony that enriches elite private interests.
The corrupt and unrepentant financial sector, having survived its mortgage-backed security fiasco without prosecution or correction has repeated its previous folly with a new weapon of potential financial mass destruction. Speculators have bought up distressed properties and rented them. The rental streams are bundled into financial instruments, as were the mortgage payments previously, and sold to investors. Is a renter more committed and better able to pay than a person with a mortgage?
Jobs offshoring and financialization have drained the US economy of the ability to grow. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled, and the service of debt curtails consumer demand for goods and services. The wage saving from offshoring jobs raises corporate profits and brings executive bonuses and capital gains to the One Percent. Financialization diverts consumer purchasing power into the service of debt. The result is stagnation and decline.
Foreign policy based on threats and coercion means constant conflict. The US has been in constant conflict since the Clinton regime overthrew the government in Serbia. Constant conflict is expensive, and Americans have had these expensive costs imposed on them simultaneously with the costs of jobs offshoring and financialization.
It was 20 months ago that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was destroyed over Ukraine. Despite the inability of the investigation to come to a conclusion, from the first moment Western propaganda has blamed the loss of 298 lives on Russia. Three days after the airliner’s destruction, US Secretary of State John Kerry set in stone the blame on Russia with his claim that “we saw the take-off [of the Buk missile]. We saw the trajectory. We saw the hit. We saw this airplane disappear from the radar screens. So there is really no mystery about where it came from and where these weapons have come from.”
If the US has all the evidence, why hasn’t the US government released it? Obviously, there is no such evidence. Why would Washington fail to release evidence that proved Russian responsibility? Kerry’s evidence no more exists than the alleged evidence the US government claims to have from numerous security cameras that a passenger airliner hit the Pentagon on 9/11. If the government had such evidence why has the government refused to release it for almost 15 years? If the government produced this evidence, it would be a death blow to the 9/11 Truth movement. The evidence no more exists than the alleged evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, that Assad used chemical weapons, that Russia invaded Ukraine.
The terms of the last three US presidents have been used to squander trillions of dollars on pointless wars and construction of a domestic police state on the basis of a non-existent “terrorist threat.” This alleged threat has been reinforced with false flag events and a fake history spun from lies repeated endlessly by government and its presstitutes.
In 1994 Christopher Lasch wrote in The Revolt of the Elites: “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy.” As Lasch said, the greed of the elites for money and power have undermined the constitutional basis of the United States. The elites have used their power to betray democracy. Will the American people succeed in clawing back their democracy?