e-Article No. 2

Empire of Reason

December 12, 2020

From: Connecticut Committee of Correspondence[1]

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‘Ya!’ in Favor of Torture

Exemplifies State of Nation

By Mark Albertson

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A government is only as good as its people . . . Mark Albertson

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This e-Article was originally published as a commentary, in the Norwalk, Connecticut newspaper, The Hour, page A7, Monday, January 5, 2015.

In consideration of the recent Joe Biden victory over incumbent Donald Trump[2] to attain the Oval Office, the present e-Article has been edited by the author to showcase the type of America in which Delaware’s favorite son will become the Nation’s 46th chief executive.

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On December 11, 2014, The Hour, released the results of its daily poll. The question, which appeared in the previous edition was “Is torture ever justified in interrogating terrorists?” Despite the fine print acknowledging that the survey was not of the scientific variety, the results bear a degree of consequence nonetheless. Some 74 percent answered “Yes,” 18.2 percent voted “No,” while 7.7 percent were “Unsure.” The number of respondents went unreported, as did other factors such as, whether the participants were young or old, men or women, Democrats or Republicans, etc.

The resounding “Ya!” in favor of torture exemplifies the state of this nation—at least as it is viewed by this poll. Yet torture is a symptom of a disease: The disease of being a superpower—having been since 1945, America has taken on the trappings of such a state, including that of being an imperialist power, an Empire if you will, a progression that has accelerated since the Spanish-American War of 1898. Here Manifest Destiny, that agenda of expansion across this great and wondrous land until, Chesapeake Bay was linked with the Golden Gate, was transformed into a program for globalism. An agenda by which this Nation severed its colonial roots to the Grand Republic to begin that progression towards what it is today, a Corporate State. Any semblance of America the Beautiful, God Bless America and Mom’s Apple Pie that existed when I was a boy no longer applies, and has not for years; the product of a bygone era of when America was a nation to aspire to . . . and politically no longer is, having decided unilaterally to opt for the poisonous agenda of the bully power . . . where the Constitution is marginalized, stunted and subverted for a platform of globalism by which today’s wars are contrived for national interest in the guise of patriotism.

This Nation, then, having become a superpower/empire exemplifies such an entity by its requirements, needs and desires to maintain such power, including torture if that is what it takes. Should come as no surprise. Most great powers generally go this route. So much for American Exceptionalism, a meaningless euphemism intended to accentuate a plastic patriotism generated by a plutocracy of perversion that seems bent on sucking the lifeblood out of the greatest nation on earth; while the target of such venal largess, the Third Estate, continues to display a flabby form of civic pride as evidenced by the “I voted today” stickers for having taken part in a process erroneously seen as universal suffrage; but which in essence is little better than an orchestrated plebiscite by which voters cast lots for candidates selected for them by an ersatz two-party system controlled by moneyed interests. So much for representative government.

The state of the nation today was ably forecast by George F. Kennan, that learned architect of Containment, the basic U.S. strategy in its Cold War confrontation with its Soviet competitor. He wrote in 1948:

“The U.S. has about 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should cease to talk about such unreal objectives as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”[3]

That day for dealing in straight power concepts has arrived; in fact, did so many years ago. Starting with 1945 and the ensuing nuclear standoff with Moscow, America adopted the garrison state principle; being, more or less, on a war footing since December 7, 1941.

With the National Security Act of 1947, the Air Force was divorced from the Army, creating the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force, in addition to the National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency; forming a national security establishment that has become a state within the state; a shadow regime sustained by a Military/Industrial/Financial/

/Security/Congressional Complex of immense political and economic power. Active participants in a Corporate State fashioned and run by and for major financial institutions and industrial monoliths that are not only Too Big to Fail, but which are Too Big to Jail. A self-serving syndicate of sin that make’s George Bush’s Axis of Evil hardly worth a yawn. Such a prospect was forecast by John Maynard Keynes: “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”[4]

Torture, aggressive war and other acts of chicanery of the most sordid type, are not the sole responsibility of those who fabricate and implement such policies; but, also the responsibility of the citizens of the offending power. Complicity is the result of not putting an end to such actions, especially at the outset. This was one of the basic rudiments of Nuremberg, despite the premise that the aim of this incredible effort in international jurisprudence was to hold individuals who perpetrated such massive crimes as aggressive wars and crimes against humanity and not foster the collective guilt of the German people. But then, again, the Nazis could not have succeeded in taking power and later launch their wars of aggression and extermination without the complicity, whether active or passive, of the German people. And so it is with Americans, some of whom seem to forget that torture, aggressive war as seen in Iraq, currency manipulation, support of right-wing regimes as in Central and South America to the wanton advantage of certain corporations are among the trappings of an empire . . . all of which is perpetuated in the name of the American people. If so, then Americans themselves are to be held accountable. Should come as no surprise, then, when those construed as terrorists target American citizens. You, Joe and Jane Public, then are fair game. This is not much different than in 1864, when General William T. Sherman implemented his Total War policy against the South. Every chicken coup, hay bale, piece of rolling stock, horse, crops and the Southern people, were not considered benign elements of the civilian end of the Southern economy; but, as adjuncts to the military effort, and therefore, fair game in war. This same rationale was later adopted by Jan C. Smuts, Sir Hugh “Boom” Trenchard and Giulio Douhet in fashioning strategic bombing; where to avoid another ghastly horror of the trenches as seen in 1914-1918, aircraft of suitable range and bomb load would carry war to the enemy’s capability to wage war: Centers of production, port and dock facilities, railroad tracks and rolling stock, farms, and, that single most important resource without which an economy cannot function . . . the civilian. For terrorism is not just the province of dissident indigenous peoples, but modern states. People are people, then, no matter who they are and where they reside.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of man’s greatest conflict. Americans were among those who sat in judgment of Nazi war criminals during the Trial of the Century for such unforgivable deeds as Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. But since that historic exercise in jurisprudence, that once gold standard in Representative Assembly, the United States Government, has moved from the Bench to the Dock.

Endnotes

[1] Committees of Correspondence were early American revolutionary cells, specifically organized for revolutionary reeducation, for the manipulation of opinion, so as to lay the groundwork of resistance to the globe’s greatest imperialist power, the British Empire. “Sam Adams was the promoter of the first local committees on November 12, 1772, and within three months, Governor Hutchinson reported that there were more than eighty such committees in Massachusetts.” Committees of Correspondence formed the basis for the soon to follow Committees of Public Safety, as the road to revolution unfolded. See page 217, “Committees of Correspondence,” Concise Dictionary of American History, Editor, Wayne Andrews.

[2] This showcases Trump as the only baby-boomer president, thus far, to not be reelected to a second term, unlike Bill Clinton, George Bush, Jr. and Barak Obama.

[3] “Review of the Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy: VII: The Far East,” Report by the Planning Staff, February 24, 1948, chaired by George Kennan, U.S. Department of State. Classified Top Secret. Declassified, June 17, 1974.

[4] “Notable Quotes that Denote the Theme of This Work,” On History: A Treatise, by Mark Albertson.

Bibliography

Albertson, Mark, On History: A Treatise, Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC, Mustang, Oklahoma, 2009.

Andrews, Wayne, Concise Dictionary of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1962.

“Review of Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy: VII: The Far East,” Report by the Planning Staff, February 24, 1848, chaired by George Kennan, U.S. Department of State. Classified Top Secret. Declassified, June 17, 1974.

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