Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why The Deep State Always Wins


dissidentvoice |  Looking back at the past two decades, U.S. intervention in the Middle East has failed to “spread democracy” or win the “war on terror.” It has only succeeded in creating more instability, more conflict, and more enemies.47 After spending $25 billion to equip and train Iraqi security forces,48 our military ends up bombing its own equipment49 to fend off CIA-armed jihadist forces50 in anticipation of providing even more military aid to the Kurds.51

One thing is certain: the Middle East is awash with armaments supplied by the United States.

There are those who would argue that this incongruous state of affairs is intentional, that stated claims about WMDs and nurturing democracy are a mere pretext for a more ominous stratagem. More than a decade ago John Stockwell presciently pointed out an unsettling logic, an instance of Hegelian Dialectic where the ruling class creates its own enemies to feed off of the ensuing carnage:52
Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn. If the world were peaceful, we would never put up with this kind of ruinous expenditure on arms at the cost of our own lives. This is where the thousands of CIA destabilizations begin to make a macabre kind of economic sense. They function to kill people who never were our enemies-that’s not the problem-but to leave behind, for each one of the dead, perhaps five loved ones who are now traumatically conditioned to violence and hostility toward the United States. This insures that the world will continue to be a violent place, populates with contras and Cuban exiles and armies in Southeast Asia, justifying the endless, profitable production of arms to ‘defend’ ourselves in such a violent world.
The defense industry thrives from regional conflicts like this, a constant stream of flash points in America’s self-perpetuating campaign to eradicate terrorism. The cost for the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan reaches into trillions of dollars and much of that funding ends up covering military expenses.53 About a year ago, back when President Obama announced he was thinking about bombing the Assad regime, Raytheon’s stock jumped.54

And the defense executives aren’t alone, the fossil fuel industry also extracts its pound of flesh.55 It’s the failed state model for neocolonialism.56 Non-nuclear countries that have been ravaged by war are more susceptible to opening their doors and yielding nationalized resources on behalf of corporate pressure. Before the United States invaded Iraq its oil wells weren’t accessible to outside firms. After the invasion Western oil interests like Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil have all gained entry to one of the world’s largest sources of oil.57 In March of 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iraq’s oil output was at its highest point in more than 30 years.58

Slavery is Freedom
As perennial conflict abroad is leveraged as a tool of empire, at home it leads to repression. The late Chalmers Johnson, who studied this phenomenon as a professor at UC San Diego, characterized this with the adage “Either give up your empire, or live under it.”

With the public exposure of the NSA’s global surveillance apparatus there are intimations that this process is already underway. In 2005 there were revelations of warrantless wiretapping under President George W. Bush,59 a story that the New York Times sat on for months.60 Then a slew of NSA whistleblowers like Russell Tice,61 Thomas Drake62 and William Binney63 publicly came forward with allegations that the NSA’s monitoring programs were unconstitutional. And in May of 2013 the other shoe dropped when a Booz Allen contractor named Ed Snowden handed over a large set of classified documents64 to journalists in Hong Kong.

The purpose of the NSA’s panopticon is to further the interests of the corporate elite. In an open letter to Brazil Ed Snowden clearly states as much:65
These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.
Yet it’s important to keep in mind that the origins of the emerging police state can be traced much farther back.66 For example, in the late 1960s the Department of Defense conceived Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, code named Operation Garden Plot, which included “plans to undercut riots and demonstrations” using “information gathered through political espionage and informants.”67

In 1971 an instructor for the U.S. Army, a man named Christopher Pyle, revealed that the military had been tracking civilian political activists and demonstrations for several years. A few years later in 1974 Seymour Hersh, writing for the New York Times, exposed a CIA program called CHAOS (aka MCHAOS) which targeted antiwar activists in the United States.68

Though the trend of militarization is hard to dismiss,69 how exactly does military action overseas incite civilian persecution within our borders? George Orwell in his timeless book 1984 provides a succinct explanation:
War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
American society cannot endure perpetual war and maintain a healthy middle class. Especially when plutocrats70 and executives71 do everything in their power to avoid72 paying taxes.73 The decree of maximizing profit requires them to extract value from the commons and then fail to offer anything in return, to the tune of trillions of dollars a year. Hence the burden of supporting an endless series of bloody military campaigns falls on the rest of us.