Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Obama Drones On About
U.S. Global "Leadership"

afiosi refer to their organization as cosa nostra, our thing. Our politicians refer to our empire as ‘our leadership.’ By the third paragraph of his let's pretend we're leaving Iraq speech on Tuesday night, President Obama was warning “the world that the United States of America intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.” In other words, that despite having gotten cuffed around in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention Latin America), he intends to beef up the empire. That's, of course, if China lends him more ducats for drones.
Since the most durable lesson of history is that people everywhere prefer their own kind rather than foreigners as leaders, Obama’s intention is a formula for endless conflict and war with one bunch or other of the 95 percent of human beings on earth who owe no allegiance to the United States and its succession of undressed emperors.
As that 95 percent has noticed, America has surrendered its manufacturing edge and frittered away its finances. That means its ‘leadership’ now consists mainly of a military power competent at dealing death and destruction, but utterly incompetent and corrupt when it comes to pacifying, governing and exploiting the survivors of its violence.
Ironically, this is an affirmation of the conservative belief that government just screws things up. The crazy contradiction here is that though the conservatives want to starve the government at home, they are ever eager to sprinkle endless billions on its ‘nation building’ efforts overseas. But that’s not actually a contradiction, since those billions are really being doled out by Uncle Sam to its contractors and mercenaries. In effect, the Pentagon and CIA have become little more than brokers for an increasingly corporate and private military. The right wingers love that. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has become to drones what Martha Stewart is to duvets.
The privatization of once public institutions like schools and armies relieves them of their original purpose, whether it be educating kids or winning wars. The new purpose becomes profit. From that perspective, Iraq and Afghanistan may be losers for the empire but are winners for their investors. But the war bubble is no more sustainable than the housing or stock bubbles. It’ll blow up one day, too. The only question is whether the explosion will be literal or figurative.