May I add a "(C)" to your list?

"The goal of the empire is to be able to topple governments and dominate the globe without incurring a negative perception among the inhabitants of the US and its client states. It has been doing this with a combination of (A) shifting to more "light touch" interventionism which doesn't garner as much negative attention as full-scale ground invasions and (B) a global perception management campaign of historically unprecedented scale and sophistication."

(C) Militarizing US police forces to ensure groups opposed to the Empire are silenced.

And perhaps...

(D) Buying off any political obstruction: ie Sinema. (Although, Ryan Grimm kind of nailed that today)

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I suspect that in Sinema's case, she needed little incentive.

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Similarly, anyone who sits in an anchor chair at, say, CNN, has already sold themselves 100 times before. AOC is a perfect real-time example of personal corruption in the political realm.

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it is "telling" that AOC was shepherded-in to the DNC casting call, by asking the most conservative, machine operator, at the time the 4th ranked Democrat in the House, COngressman Joe Crowley, to kindly "step aside" without noise nor fanfare. (don't misunderstand: I'm NOT saying Crowley was a nice guy, quite the opposite; I'm saying it's all UNreal....the same district housed Crowley for years go figure!.....it's so fake, now we have AOC's lite progressive fakery, while providing Fox news headline fodder).

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I’ve really begun to enjoy fox. During trumps reign of terror they were jingoistic liars but now in opposition I do perform the function of truth tellers.

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During the 2016 campaign Fox was about the only place network-wise one could get accurate coverage of Hillary Clinton. As long as you know whose axe is getting ground such excusions are possible.

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Remember folks even when F-35 Bernie was still sheep dogging about a “political revolution” he was still all for drone warfare…

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thank G_d for Bernie! Wow! Things are going SOO much better in his wisened presence! Eminence Grise! Benevolent Uncle Bernie!

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Russia and/or China need to supply Afghanistan with sophisticated air defenses. Or, I remember a few years back Iran brought down a US drone with electronics. Either way is fine with me. I don't want any more Afghans slaughtered.

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Let's send some to Gaza while we're at it.

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Yes, but all in due time, my friend. Lebanon and NE Syria are priorities right now. Israel won't last much longer pushing Pfizer.

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Our military doesn't represent us; our politicians don't represent us; and our media don't represent us. Not to get all Fundamentalist, but our Declaration of Independence is pretty clear about what to do when this sort of situation arises.

There are those who argue that blaming the troops is wrong; it's just the rotten civilian leadership who is to blame. I disagree. Who do you suppose will be transporting, maintaining, and piloting those drones -- Kamala Harris?

We need a national strike.

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Imagine the shock, horror and demands for massive retaliation if, say, Cuba, Venezuela or Bolivia were to openly conduct military and intelligence operations in, say, Florida. Capitalist USA (and the term should be used as often as 'Communist China' used to be) imagines that only it has the right to do as it wishes anywhere on the planet.

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Still trying to figure out why we have a military base in Cuba.

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Very good piece, simple clear concise.

I can be a bit of a smarty pants, a know it all, so it’s good when someone gives me a jolt - this one gave me a jolt. How very simple, the withdrawal is optics, the campaign continues, that escaped me (and I don’t mean the bungled departure).

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Withdrawls aside, we all knew the CIA warriors and private contractor goons were exempt. Like everything else that smacks of decency the democrats do, it's all performative.

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That’s why I say Trump is the most honest of the bunch, he was bald face in his rudeness and lies

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I get that, but here's my big BUT: he took up the space that should have been for a REAL reformer and just gave fighting the deep state a bad name.

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Ya agree. Even from my anti-establishment cynical position I have to admit he was enjoyable mostly in a comedic, moronic, blasphemous, neanderthal sort of way.

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Imran Kahn knows better, though the zionists will do everything and anything to corrupt and/or blackmail him into submission. plus, China and Russia must have a few tricks in their bag too against further troubles on their borders.

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Kahn knows better than what?

Which Zionists?

I think Shea has a point here:


And it supports Caitlins theory.

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i read Shea's piece. It reminds me of the latin phrase i coined to descibe in one phrase the entirety of policy: "Habemus Securitatem. Regnabis Chaos". Sanction. Brutalize. Control. Repeat.

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Whether or not Shea is totally wrong or totally right is kind of immaterial. It presents a possibility that helps understand why Biden is reaching a deal with Pakistan.


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I, too, am disturbed at notions or actuality of 'empire' or even 'empire building', regardless of how it manifests.

I, too, am disturbed at the lives physically lost by both military personnel and civilians, as well as the dispossession, destruction of community, loss of freedoms, poverty, ill-health & other effects of war, armed conflict, militarism, hard-line ideology, fanatical religious belief and greed driven ideologies.

I don't have status, position or power, nor any incisive or extraordinary intellect. However, I do recognise, (or at least believe that I recognise), the considerable influence that social conditioning, religious indoctrination, cultural legacy, warped recounting of history and probably many more insidious factors are the major contributors to or even causes of non-natural disasters and major harmful events and situations in which human-beings find themselves throughout the World but particular in what has long been deprecatingly known as the 'third world', i.e. the majority world.

At the same time , (and please believe that I am not making some sly attempt at apologia for empire and its like, I am also aware that this type of activity has been present throughout human history. No, I do not say that we ought to accept it or that its continuous existence makes it right or even acceptable. What I think I am saying or perhaps suggesting is that it seems to be a characteristic of humanity.

My experience is that much simplistic comment and rabid accusations exists across social media platforms, on sensationalist news channels and elsewhere. Almost all of it seems to be severely biased against either the 'mighty power' or against the 'terrorist' and in neither case exhibits any nuanced or even informed understanding of cultural, religious, ideological, political, military or social context and history.

So, I wonder, when human innovation and invention in the technological domain has come so far, why is it that in the humane domain we have still not progressed beyond the level of childish schoolyard argument and bullying and stubborn insistence that right exists on whichever side we prefer?

If commentators are so opposed to oppression, whether manifested through open physical abuse or through largely hidden, insidiously infectious propaganda, why do they so rarely, if ever, offer any substantive, credible and potentially achievable solution to this entrenched failing of humanity? Why do they, in effect, simply indulge in rhetorical diatribes that are very much reflective of exactly what they purport to oppose?

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No. Empire building is restricted only to a tiny subset of humanity, mostly male (although recent female emancipation has allowed many privileged females to display their delight in ruling and exploiting the poor). Most people have no wish to do so, as is obvious through history.

As for alternatives, have you not even considered internationalist socialism which has been around a lot longer than you have? I don't see Cuba, Venezuela, Kerala or Bolivia engaging in empire-building. Even China, for all its vast and egregious crimes against humanity, is not imperialist in anything remotely comparable to the USA.

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You may be right that "Empire building is restricted only to tiny subset of humanity..." if you are referring to only the individuals who direct and control, however even that is debatable, depending on one's definition of 'empire building'. However, in terms of peoples, religious groups, ideological groups or what we now know as nation states, I suggest that history indicates that empire building has been widespread.

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If you haven't read it, I believe you'll enjoy reading this op-ed by Madeline Albright. Especially if you substitute "Empire" every time she says "Democracy". I found it hilarious.


As for China not having Imperialist ambitions, John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hitman", might have a different perspective, since China's Belt and Road is precisely what his book was all about. Pepe Escobar writes about this. Then you might want to do a web search on the build up of China's navy. Lots of articles, one talking about building 9 destroyers at the same time and pointing out that GB only has 6.

Then there was an amazing podcast on Cuba I was recently listening to. One premise was that their tiny force prevented South Africa success in Angola and that directly lead to the end of Apartheid there. Another interesting fact was about doctors quitting to drive cars for rich people. I found it for you, in case you're interested.


Of course, the counter-argument is that China has to defend itself from "the Empire", and so it goes.

In the end though, it is my opinion that pitting Capitalism against Socialism as if one or the other is "the answer" is a waste of time. I see the answer being "both". I see little difference between crony Capitalism and crony Socialism. Just meaningless labels the Oligarchy hides behind.

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Thank you for your comments and suggested readings. I will read them. I also agree with the general thrust of your comment for I don't (and certainly didn't mean to suggest, if that seemed to be the case), that any particular ideology provides 'the answer', though I do believe that some are preferable to others if they were not, as you suggest in your last paragraph, distorted to such an extent by autocrats and oligarchs that the implementation bears little resemblance to the substantive elements that define the term.

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I'd say that the purpose of propaganda is to create just the impression that you state; i.e. -- helplessness, no easy solutions, always been like this, you're alone, so deal with it, etc.

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I agree, hence my closing question. I you and I can see this, I believe that many others also see it, including many of those 'commentators' to whom I referred. That being the case, it would seem to me that instead of simplistic slanging or demeaning of the perspectives and actions they oppose, it would be more useful if they offered or at least attempted to offer ideas as to how to change this continual human insanity.

However, I accept that in spite of my age, I remain somewhat of an idealist and wrestle constantly in attempting to understand why human-beings cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Perhaps I am also ignorant or naive or both.

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So you want solutions. Don't we all?

I believe along with Caitlin that if enough people wake the fuck up that some critical mass will ignite, blasting us into a saner tomorrow. At least that's my rough understanding of her messaging.

Jimmy Dore favors a general strike, as do I. Voting for sure is the shit. No one even covers protests, and our politicians are a waste. So I'd like to see a strike grind this nation to a halt. That's the best I can come up with at the present time.

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I'm sorry if you have felt offended by my comment for that is what your response suggests to me. If I'm right about that, I do apologise for I was not criticising Caitlin's post or your own response.

I don't think that *all* of us do want a solution. Indeed, I think that such is a part of the problem, in that so many are conditioned or indoctrinated to the point that they can't see and others who do, benefit from the situation so don't mind it continuing - armaments manufacturers, for instance.

However, I also feel that simply throwing stones, from whatever stance and regardless of the target, is not particularly contributory towards a sound approach to change, let alone a 'solution'. In fact, in my view, it reflects precisely what is purported to be opposed.

I don't see that a general strike would achieve the type of change that is necessary. It would probably just cause much harm to exactly those who are already hurting the most. I do empathise with your feelings about voting but don't agree that voting, as such, is a significant culprit. Voting is simply a process for participation but if the process of which it is a part is flawed, (and I believe that it is, in many ways) then what we need to do is fix that to make voting an effective and truly representative tool.

*Some* politicians are a "waste", as you say, but not all. I also wondere with what you would replace them because it is known that human beings cannot live together in groups of more than about 30 without some form of group hierarchy or governance. I'd also suggest that materialism and other false values that appear to be endemic to most modern societies, and the resultant inequities and power of the inordinately wealthy, has resulted in a situation where politicians have largely become the pawns of those autocrats and oligarchs, perhaps a little less than the rest of us but pawns just the same.

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No, I wasn't offended at all, and can see where my reply could be read that way, but I wasn't being at all snarky.

You don't think that a strike would achieve the needed changes, but feel like voting will? So how do we vote for change in an institution predicated on maintaining the status quo? I'm honestly asking, as I've seen the last few election cycles and going from Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden I don't see where this change is going to come from by empowering either one of these crappy parties.

To me, masses of people in the streets saying "Enough!" is what's going to get their attention. I remain open to alternatives, as long as it doesn't involve democrats or republicans. ;-)

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Thank you for your response. I'm glad that I hadn't offended you. I do, I think, understand your frustration with 'voting', though as I've implied, I would suggest that the real issue there is not voting per se but the electoral system, government structure & hierarchies, & the inordinate influence of rich & powerful individuals & institutions who or which can effectively dictate policy.

I agree with your view that the current political system effectively maintains the status quo, though I don't agree that it is predicated on doing so. I think that sells short the intent of the 'founding fathers' who drafted what is, in my view, one of the best, if not *the* best nation state constitutions that exists.

I also staunchly support that all people ought to be entitled to withdraw their labour or participation from a business, occupation or institution, according to their conscience and values of equity, equality, justice & freedom from coercion and harm. I have been a Union member for most of my working life, indeed from the point at which I realised that capitalism was about enriching the few on the backs of the work of the many. That realisation provoked the coincidental one that only through collective action could those with little or no power or influence, gain enough of it to leverage change.

It was not my suggestion that change would not come about as a result of a general strike but that it would as a result of voting. I don't see the situation as a polarised one of only those two choices. In fact I consider that a significant impediment to progress is the socialisation that inculcates a tendency in people to relatively quickly take polarised positions. The reality is that life and almost all, if not all, elements of it, including living together in groups, is complex and multi-faceted. Sadly, we learn from an early age that things have only two sides as opposed to many facets, in other words, (sadly), that things are 'black or white', people are 'black or white', 'good or bad', 'right or wrong', 'nice or nasty' and so forth.

The result of that socialisation is that because of holding a particular perspective, people become pigeon-holed or labelled such that they find themselves either this or that, a Democrat or a Republican, a Christian or not a Christian. In turn they come to support, consciously or unconsciously, *all* of the agenda of those who control the agenda and positions of that particular group. This happens even when the opposite group offers ideas, policy or practice that would be beneficial not only to its supporters but to those who are not. Conversely, it causes those who support a particular group to ignore or rationalise negative elements within the group's agenda.

So, when I wrote my original response to Caitlin's post, I was posing a question that I considered legitimate and potentially one that might cause some to think more widely and engage in precisely the sort of discussion in which we are currently engaged.

I don't pretend to have 'the answer'. Nor do I even believe that there is a single specific 'answer' as, to me, the complexities of human beings and the context in which they exist, as well as the several thousand years of human behaviour about which we know, must mitigate against such a likelihood.

What I do believe, however, is that instead of accepting our conditioning towards polarisation, fear of difference, speed to judgement, blind following of the herd, (any herd), and readiness to throw stones; if we genuinely wish to achieve positive change then we need to willingly learn to understand other views and perspectives and seek to build on commonalities & consensus such that we create the proverbial 'win-win' situation. I cannot, you see, understand how antagonism and a destructive approach can produce other than mutual detriment, increased antipathy, escalation of dislike, severe mistrust and maintenance of a situation that never benefits more than a relative few, and usually a few who have least concern for the welfare of others.

I value your willingness to discuss but suggest that this is probably not the best place for real exposition of why you or I may think what we do or exchange of significant detail in support of our views, let alone the potential for changes in them to result.

Inevitably, too, my experience is that sooner or later someone will criticise or even abuse me for 'pontificating' or some similar crime. I am not doing that. I simply feel strongly that humanity is capable of improving its behaviour such that there is equity for all and an enhancement to experience of life and a beautiful planet that would come from making peace rather than war and from exchanging materialism & extrinsic rewards for sound values & intrinsic ones.

I claim no more value or knowledge than that of anyone else and, in all, probably less than that of most. Thank you for the exchange. I appreciate your willingness to engage and apologise if my style irritates, annoys or offends you or any other that may have chosen to follow this thread.

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