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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:32 PM
Original message
Why Assange has done us a favor
no, not the nature of the leaks... same shit different decade.

The fact that many of you are so damn shocked is a good thing. It is showing to you just how ... average... the American Empire is. It dawned on my while answering another post. The leaks themselves are not that critical or important, but the realization is. I didn't realize how deep American Exceptionalism was in the DNA of people, even in places like well DU, that pride in their rebelliousness.

This is the real threat of these leaks. No, not what it will do to the International Order. Gates assessment is right on the money on that one. People will continue to do bidness with us out of fear, needs, craven personal want... it will continue to go on. People will watch what they say a little more for three months and I am betting on the increased use of diplomatic pouches. But after that... whatever.

But seriously, the effect will be with the American people, or at least those awake enough to actually realize the US is not that damn special... we are not exceptional... we are like everybody else... that is where the danger is.

Oh and looking forwards to the bank release. That has more potential of doing any real damage. After all State has a declassification once a year, banks on the other hand, rarely do.

Oh and we leaning on Spain to protect war criminals... while horrifying, it is EXACTLY what empires do. So you are seeing Imperial behavior. On the bright side, (f there is any) we may be close to the fall... see catfood commission and how empires in decline consume their cores.
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kgnu_fan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have been in shock to realize how many DUers do accept American exceptionalism and war
You can not call this at all "progressive" --- advocating against one's own ideal of democracy, totally shocking...
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Dawson Leery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. "American Exceptionalism" is the myth by which
actions that would otherwise be considered criminal/un-ethical/immoral are justified.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. People learn this early in life
it is part of the American myth, not american history. I mean this was NOT a nation conceived in liberty and all that crap...It was a slave plantation... referrred as such in official british papers... a dumping ground of the undesirable and the shiftless. Don't expect an average american textbook to even touch on it and when we do... well we give it pretty names.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not sure losing the Empire is a painless procedure
England was able to transition but still holding its empire in secret for a while

Rome, on the other hand, turned to Anarchy and daily atrocities
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I think the US will go the way the USSR.
Dissolution is in the near future.

I mean this is a continental empire with defined regions with very different values and cultures. When visiting as a tourist you don't notice, but staying for a month in Cuyahooga Co. OH was like visiting a foreign country.

And nobody said it will be painless.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Me too
California and Texas only have a language in common.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. And that is SOMETIMES...
not all the time.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes. We all knew. But, shoving it in our faces helps.






At least it did when this war brought about by secret negotiations was exposed by Ellsburg and the real journalists that existed then.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. You have been awake for a long time
so have I... and reading about the slavery at the beginning of this nation, I mean the white slavery, is quite illuminating.

You and I are not shocked at the revelations. But many others are.

Hell... they are pretty standard...

by the way this is what many of the refugees I debriefed spoke off...



Not a pretty picture, same shit, different decade from your photos.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Yes. And, I hope that others will be just as shocked as I was many years ago.
I want them to be shocked out of their "American Exceptionalism" and complacency in the face of the horrors perpetrated by this country (and, any other country) with the pathetic excuses of "everybody does it" and "it's necessary".
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Well everybody does it
when they are Empires, true... and it is necessary under the logic of Empire.

People just don't realize that.

Hell, I was told that secrecy is against the American system in diplomacy, never mind it's existed since before the country came officially to be at the Treaty of Paris in 1782....

But empires do everything in excess... and we are in the midst of a crisis, that might just bring dow the Empire next year. Worst case the GOP will do it...

I mean what happens when... we refuse to raise the debt ceiling? The worst case of that is all but pretty.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. We have become dependent, like our predecessors, on our Empire.
Like the Romans, the Brits, and others. We can no longer support ourselves (in the manner we've become accustomed to) without the tribute paid us, or stolen or extorted by us, from our conquests. We are hopelessly trying to defend the empire by all means at our disposal. And, bankrupting ourselves in the process.

We're now in that unhappy trap of all empires. We need them more than they need, or want, us.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Exactly
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. k&r ...
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Many of the perks we enjoy as citizens...
compared to other nations, are there because we have an empire.

It's loss will be rough, beginning with economic disintegration. Too much money in circulation, too much borrowed, which historically leads to massive inflation. Imagine a thousand dollars for a loaf of bread.

And those that work in any capacity for government, from the Post Office, to government hospitals, to the military, will likely see their jobs evaporate. Though the military may see themselves hired by whoever takes control afterwards.

It will be a rough road.

Empires don't go gently into that good night, even when there are no babarians at the gates.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Bullshit.
The empire is the reason we don't live the far happier lives of north/western European continentals. The empire is why there's a deficit commission wants to cut our crappy social insurance so the wars can go on. The empire is why a lot of people want to kill us. The empire is why we face something like the disaster you lay out. The empire is a big reason why we need all that oil in the first place. The empire is a big part of why we are so blind and self-destructive. The empire is a big part of why so many places in the world are so impoverished and can serve as the cheap labor pools that undermine our own working classes.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Then there is this issue about a reserve currency
the truth lies in between both of you.

And the fall will be quite traumatic anyway.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. The Dollar as reserve currency gave us more than 50
years of a stable currency. That stable currency allowed us to develop close to the highest standard of living in the world. Reserve currency gave that same gift to the British until they lost it. Part of the monetary problems we have is that many nations are looking around for a different reserve currency. I'd bet it becomes the Yuan, eventually.

The deficit commission is a symptom of the economic dissolution that is driving the collapse and part of the collapse. We existed as an empire from Bretton Woods (1944) until today. For more than 64 years there was no cat food commission. So the assertion that it is why there is a deficit commission is incorrect. For most of it's existence, Social Security was successful and happy and the U.S. continued to create a social net until Nixon. Since Nixon, the expanding costs of empire have halted for the most part the further development of the Safety Net. Reagan and deregulation are the primary reasons why the empire is collapsing today.

Now the wars are part of the economic collapse, but especially the decision to fight wars on credit. We did not do this in the past. Other currents that lead to the collapse are Peak oil (especially the oil crises of 2005-2006), and the banking collapse caused by massive deregulation.

We use oil because the entire world has moved through a "Hydrocarbon Age." Like the Bronze age and iron age, it developed from the intense use of a certain material. It started with the whale oil booms of the 17th and 18th century, through coal and to the most efficient oil. We are a pinnacle culture of the "Hydrocarbon Age" and inherited that status from Great Britain, the first empire of the "Hydrocarbon Age." Our existence is closely tied to oil and we would decline even without the economic problems as oil declines.

And as soon, or sooner than our own loss of the Empire others will bloom. China and India are the most likely, as they ae moving most easly through the economic fallout of our slow collapse. It is very likely that we will take the European Union with us.

Another reason for the Catfood comission is the bank bailouts. Ireland did the same thing and resuced their banks, then because of the enormous cost, have followed with massive cuts to their own social safety net.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. You seem to think military empire and reserve currency status are linked.
Edited on Thu Dec-02-10 06:08 PM by JackRiddler
I agree:

The empire -- by which I mean military spending equivalent to the rest of the world, however-many hundred or thousand overseas bases (claims vary, not sure the Pentagon itself knows), carrier groups, nuclear deployments, covert operations, bombings of civilians "collateral" or otherwise, interventions, invasions, wars, occupations, genocides in all but the legal definition, entangling commitments, global surveillance of everyone and everything, black budgets, programs and agencies so secret no one is even allowed to say their name, the reduction of Congress to a lobby free-fire zone, its abandonment of oversight, the cult of national security, warrior culture, tolerance and enrichment of private mercenary empires, the capture of policy by contractors, assassinations, support for dictatorships and death squads, torture and the scientific development thereof, ceaseless pro-war propaganda promoting fear and hatred, daily patriotic brainwashing, contempt for diplomacy, spying on internal dissidents, constant lies and deceptions about what the government's policies and motives actually are, war profiteering, the arms trade, daily threats to other nations, massive stockpiles of biochemical and nuclear weapons plants and materials, radioactive zones in the nuclear mining and testing areas, nuclear brinkmanship and contingency plans to attack and even have nuclear wars with pretty much every country on earth -- has been and will be perhaps the most important factor in the downfall of the US economy and the US dollar.

At the end of World War II the US was producing something like 2/3 of the world's industrial output. That was a great start position for staying rich and making friends. Even if you want to make the usual Cold War claims, what's been the excuse for continuing to feed and grow the beast for the last 20 years? Remaining as the world's reserve currency did not require the kind of military-industrial complex the country has ever since maintained, at incalculable cost to civilian economy and the well-being of our own people. The empire is America's downfall.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. The military industrial complex was/is part of the civilian economy.
All those companies building eveyrthing from Aircraft carries to hammers employed millions of Americans over the last 60+ years and has been one of the main ways that the government reinvested back into America. For the best part of the empire, we requried there were very strict rules on who could make equipment for the military. They had to be American.

Globalism, another of those historical currents, is the reason we have lost industrial capacity. At one time, our steel making capicity was considered a critical part of our national security. Particulalry with Reagan, we accelerated moving industires off shore, though it started before him.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. More bullshit.
If jobs are what it's all about we could have had more and better by spending on a railway system, mass transit, the development of alternative energy, a schools system and health care to be proud of, and just about a million other things other than planting graveyards and rubbled cities and missile silos and nuclear waste dumps all over the world.

To take one of countless examples, why did the US save Saddam Hussein twice, in 1985-87 and again at the end of Gulf War I? In the late 1990s we could have put $50 billion into an Iraqi development fund in escrow, payable to the first civilian government after an internationally monitored legitimate election. Within three years, Saddam's own generals would have taken care of him and effected a transition. It would have cost 20 to 50 times less than the violent path that was taken instead. Money for domestic prosperity instead of foreign adventure.

There is nothing rational or beneficial about a war economy. It's always been insane, and only in the rarest cases actually forced on the US.

It's sad that Eisenhower could say things about the pointlessness of war and military spending that 60 years later are considered far more radical than in his own (thoroughly paranoid) era. They could still imagine peace, now war is the everyday condition.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. kick
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. This, and the post above it would make a great thread. Now I've got to think about this a bit.
Thank you both for an interesting mind opener.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. +1000000000
:applause:
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
29. ^ +1,000 ^ Succinct explanation. n/t
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-04-10 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. thanks!
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
18. Meanwhile, the Vandals on Wall St. keep sacking the Empire
This also happened in Germany at the end of WWII. When the leadership realized the end was near, they sacked anything of value and tried to stash it away.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. It is not just WS... and a better allusion is not Germany
but either Rome, or the USSR. In fact, the Spain of 1821 works very well too.
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immune Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
26. Yes, sometimes a spade IS a bloody shovel.
The American people have been pretending to be "above it all" for far too long. Unfortunately, and in many cases unwittingly they have been behind much of the world's chaos and dispair by their willing compliance and cooperation. But now the velvet glove is being be stripped away and the ugly mechanical hand so many have served is being exposed.

Some of us always knew it would come to this and we also know that the final "disappointment" is yet to come.

I sometimes wonder if societal collapse is written into our DNA since we can never seem to think our way out of it. Other times I just call it patriarchy.

Recommended.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Well this one is bloody
I also know most are still stuck in the pretty lights... But a few more will wake up.
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