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Bad News From America’s Top Spy

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Posted on Feb 16, 2009
AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Riots have become common occurrences in many countries as the financial meltdown continues. The U.S. military is preparing to quell civil unrest at home.

By Chris Hedges

We have a remarkable ability to create our own monsters. A few decades of meddling in the Middle East with our Israeli doppelgänger and we get Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, the Iraqi resistance movement and a resurgent Taliban. Now we trash the world economy and destroy the ecosystem and sit back to watch our handiwork. Hints of our brave new world seeped out Thursday when Washington’s new director of national intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security. It could trigger, he said, a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. You wouldn’t know this from the Obama administration, which seems hellbent on draining the blood out of the body politic and transfusing it into the corpse of our financial system. But by the time Barack Obama is done all we will be left with is a corpse—a corpse and no blood. And then what? We will see accelerated plant and retail closures, inflation, an epidemic of bankruptcies, new rounds of foreclosures, bread lines, unemployment surpassing the levels of the Great Depression and, as Blair fears, social upheaval.

The United Nations’ International Labor Organization estimates that some 50 million workers will lose their jobs worldwide this year. The collapse has already seen 3.6 million lost jobs in the United States. The International Monetary Fund’s prediction for global economic growth in 2009 is 0.5 percent—the worst since World War II. There are 2.3 million properties in the United States that received a default notice or were repossessed last year. And this number is set to rise in 2009, especially as vacant commercial real estate begins to be foreclosed. About 20,000 major global banks collapsed, were sold or were nationalized in 2008. There are an estimated 62,000 U.S. companies expected to shut down this year. Unemployment, when you add people no longer looking for jobs and part-time workers who cannot find full-time employment, is close to 14 percent.

And we have few tools left to dig our way out. The manufacturing sector in the United States has been destroyed by globalization. Consumers, thanks to credit card companies and easy lines of credit, are $14 trillion in debt. The government has pledged trillions toward the crisis, most of it borrowed or printed in the form of new money. It is borrowing trillions more to fund our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And no one states the obvious: We will never be able to pay these loans back. We are supposed to somehow spend our way out of the crisis and maintain our imperial project on credit. Let our kids worry about it. There is no coherent and realistic plan, one built around our severe limitations, to stanch the bleeding or ameliorate the mounting deprivations we will suffer as citizens. Contrast this with the national security state’s strategies to crush potential civil unrest and you get a glimpse of the future. It doesn’t look good.

“The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications,” Blair told the Senate. “The crisis has been ongoing for over a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom. Some even fear that the recession could further deepen and reach the level of the Great Depression. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”

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The specter of social unrest was raised at the U.S. Army War College in November in a monograph [click on Policypointers’ pdf link to see the report] titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.” The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

“An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on.

“Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.

In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense. They are considering it. So should you.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, February 17, 2010 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

One of the current lies being perpetrated is that anything with “socialism” in its title must be left wing. Even the Libertarians know that there are right and left wing versions of socialism. The right wing is to support the business class and that is part of fascism. They tried in 1934 to take over. FDR was oblivious to it. [If they would have won we would have been part of the Axis and we would have a much different world.] They rethought how they wanted to take over and the dream still lives. It started again in 1980 & we have been on the down hill slope to hell ever since. What they can’t get from our gov’t they obstruct keeping us in a developing inverted totalitarianism. But now their ultimate goal is totalitarianism they want is to be open and unobstructed. Once our economy falls they will be the only ones prepared to swoop it and save us from utter destruction.* Most will take it for they will have most everything back they had before. Just without any humanitarian protections. A theocratic corporate dictatorship will replace our present republic. The economy is still poised to fail. When that happens it is too late. Then the shadow gov’t will come out of the closet. Then it will be too late.

* http://www.cluborlov.com/ tells of the stages of civilization collapse and the dangers we are in.

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, February 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Dear Snowie,
Learn to read. The NATIONAL SOCIALISTS or NAZIs you refer to were CORPORATISTS ( which means fascists ) not “liberals”. After you learn to read - get a liberry card.

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, February 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

I have not read all the posts so far, but those I have read are well considered, well expressed and (to my mind) accurate. I disagree to a great extent with the political stance that many of you take.

This not a minor dysfunction of governmental structure or a failure of some politician (prostitutes) to deliver on their promises.

Check out those who have faced this before.
This is COLD HARD CLASS CONFLICT.
CAPITAL vs LABOR.
It will become more brutal than it is.
It will not simply stop, because CAPITAL controls government, law enforcement, legislation, production, travel, education, communication, and media.
Class struggle has never been taught in America because it teaches tools to oppose the will of CAPITAL.  So now WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
Suggestions would be welcomed.

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By DAveKnTux, June 15, 2009 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

A recent report from a board of top retired US generals and admirals suggested that one of the biggest threats to national securtity are the effects of global warming and climate change. The board suggested that as well as economic factors, environmental factors are also destabilising countries around the globe leading to more instability especially in the middle east and africa. Insecure governments are having trouble countrolling extremists and dissidents while their countries are suffering from the effects of droughts, famine and pestilence which are all factors attributed to climate change.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, February 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: omniadeo

I did not attempt to “hijack” the thread as you suggest.  If you make a claim, and state that claim as fact, I, or anyone else might take you to task regarding your claim.  Your statement: “This is an article about how we are being warned by US Intelligence that the fiscal crisis will create “terrorism” with the subtext that we must all be prepared to lose freedoms to deal with it.”

While I can’t say I agree with your position that, “we must be prepared to lose freedoms to deal with it.”I can say that this was MY take(scroll down 5th from the bottom).  Oh, nevermind….My original post:

By Outraged, February 16 at 11:06 am #

Quote of Adm. Blair’s report:  “At the national and subnational level, purposeful opponents could synchronize nonmilitary effort, agitating quasi-legitimate proxies into concerted social action and precision political violence targeted at nullifying traditional U.S. military advantages, limiting American freedom of action, and adversely shaping the strategic choices of or political outcomes inside key but vulnerable American partners. Imagine “a new era of containment with the United States as the nation to be contained” where the principal tools and methods of war involve everything but those associated with traditional military conflict. Imagine that the sources of this “new era of containment” are widespread; predicated on nonmilitary forms of political, economic, and violent action; in the main, sustainable over time; and finally, largely invulnerable to effective reversal through traditional U.S. advantages.

The pressure on the United States would be cumulative and persistent. In the extreme, it could drive U.S. decisionmakers into increasingly desperate and potentially illegitimate counteraction.”

I absolutely agree with Adm. Blair’s conjecture in this regard and we can see the seeds of this being sown in communities across America, some in the form of “zero tolerence” (read intolerence) laws, the destruction of the economy, politicians squarely in the pocket of religious, corporate and/or agenda driven organizations.  Police state “propositions” which directly conflict with rights guaranteed to the citizenry by the constitution.

Our governments, local, state and federal have been infiltrated or “bought off” by various factions and it will take the order of the DOD to address this very serious situation.  Investigations by authorities mindful of the nation’s interests and protective of its tenets is what is currently lacking.  This is not the time to stand down, this is the time to stand up and support those in these positions so that they are able to conduct investigations unhindered.  H. Clinton could do much to redeem herself at this critical impass.
*****

Possibly you hadn’t read all the posts BEFORE your tirade….it happens.  When Paul_GA made this comment: “  Anyway, I don’t put my trust in him; the only perfect trust is in God, after all.

I simply questioned Paul_GA’s supposition, or more accurately this claim of “fact”.  The wording of Paul_GA’s comment, implies that this is a known fact.  I do not KNOW THIS FACT, and yes, I’ve searched.

Although, now that I’m addressing this again…. how is it that IF we are all “imperfect” humans and as you claim there is a god…. that an imperfect being would be able to identify a perfect one…?  Or is this just assumed…?

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By cyrena, February 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, February 19 at 3:15 am

•  Yes dear Obama explainers, he did say time and time again that we had dropped the ball in Afghanistan by going to war in Iraq. Yes I read his web site about increasing the “lethality” of the U.S. military, and yes we know where he panders and to whom in the Middle East.

Since this appears to be directed to me, I’ll answer…
I didn’t know about Obama’s comment on ‘increasing the “lethality” of the US military’ so I guess you read his website more than I do. (Or maybe you read it very selectively in terms of the military industrial complex, and don’t bother with the ‘small stuff’ that the average homeless/jobless Jane or Joe American concerns themselves with).

I’m also unfamiliar with whom Obama allegedly panders to in the Middle East, with the exception of course, of ISRAEL. Who ELSE in the Middle East do you presume him to be ‘pandering’ to? We already saw him pandering to Israel and the Zionists, because he wouldn’t have been elected as US president otherwise. So, I’m not sure I get your point on that, and specifically the concern of Afghanistan, which is NOT (last time I checked) in the Middle East. Surely Afghanistan provides an all important access to Middle Eastern OIL, but it’s not in the Middle East. So I’m not sure of your ‘connection’ here to that beerdoc, or how that connects to Obama’s ideology in terms of Afghanistan.

But, I surely agree with you here:
•  “But the real question is: how in the hell is that going to help the United States of America in any way, with the exception of the military manufacturers who must make those explosives to blow those people up.”

Putting aside the rhetoric on the explosives to ‘blow these people up’ there is no advantage that I can see to a military presence in Afghanistan, at least for the citizens of the US. But then, I’ve already said that, right? In fact, I’ve already said a number of times, that I don’t think we should have EVER been in Afghanistan, and the ‘dropping of the ball’ on Afghanistan happened long before Cheney’s team used them as a distraction to attack Iraq. We ‘dropped the ball’ on Afghanistan when we funded the Muhajadeen against the Soviets.

http://www.proxsa.org/resources/9-11/Brzezinski-980115-interview.htm

This was the really seriously flawed idea of Brzezinski back in the Carter Admin, and he has since admitted how seriously flawed that effort was. In short, it BACKFIRED badly, leaving Afghanistan in the failed state status that it became when the Soviets were run out. Running the Soviets out of Afghanistan (where they operated a basically socialist government) is what allowed for the Taliban and other religious extremists to gain a foothold in the government, and take it over. In other words, as a state, Afghanistan would have done far better under the Soviets than what we see has happened to them since, under the Taliban.

Brzezinski now KNOWS this was a fatal flaw, and he has cautioned (continuously I might add) against any long-term military involvement with Afghanistan. Should we assume that Obama is NOT listening to or otherwise heeding that advice? Humm, I don’t really know, and I suspect you don’t either, since we aren’t privy to their plans or conversations. Nor are we privy to the advice of Gates, who inherited this latest version of our military involvement in Afghanistan.

Now of course based on what we DO ‘see’ and ‘perceive’ from the ostensible, the military action in Afghanistan is a waste of money, and not likely to accomplish anything on behalf of the US in general.

But then, in my own personal opinion, the US hasn’t been involved in a legitimate military conflict since WWII.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, February 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

re: Truedigger3

“I found that politicians knew how to befog every issue, how to control public opinion and manipulate votes to their own advantage and to that of their financial and industrial allies.”
“In addition, government protects the strong at the expense of the weak, provides courts and laws which the rich may scorn and the poor must obey. It enables the predatory rich to make wars to provide foreign markets for the favored ones, with prosperity for the rulers and wholesale death for the ruled.”
EMMA GOLDMAN, December 1934

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By truedigger3, February 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor,

You expressed my thoughts exactly about those Obama’s
apologists and excusers.
I am baffled and perplexed by these poeple. Are they
brain washed or so emotionaly invested in “hope”??!!
If Obama said that the sun rises from the west and sets in the east, I am sure that they will try to
prove that is true and valid??!!

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By Oleg Smith, February 19, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can anyone in explicit terms articulate the purpose of the Afghanistan exercise? Why are we there? To subdue third world terrorists that hide in mountains so they can’t terrorize us on our soil? BS!
How is our Afghan enterprise any different from what we did to the Soviets in the same country that ultimately led to their downfall?

What is the true price of the Afghan war? How does that stack up against its most optimistic benefit? These wars are not in our national interest but align with the interests of a handful of defense contractors. The same bunch who benefited the most from 911.

Well,I guess all empires do crumble.

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By WorkingMan, February 19, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh yeah, I saw this week that the primary architect of this mess, Ala Greenspan, sees the writing on the wall.

“Nationalization” (on a limited scale, of course) might now be warranted, he says.

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By WorkingMan, February 19, 2009 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris: I parse your words. I dissect your columns. I find fault with some stylistic point, while the rest of me feels the dread of seeing many of my own thoughts written by someone else.

I hope you’re wrong. I know you’re not.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, February 19, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

Yes dear Obama explainers, he did say time and time again that we had dropped the ball in Afghanistan by going to war in Iraq. Yes I read his web site about increasing the “lethality” of the U.S. military, and yes we know where he panders and to whom in the Middle East. But the real question is: how in the hell is that going to help the United States of America in any way, with the exception of the military manufacturers who must make those explosives to blow those people up. Do you really call that leadership? By the way, my reference to Obama’s war mongering as BS, comes from Rachel Maddow, in an off camera interview.
It is funny, some like Obama so much, with his good looks and demeanor that they refuse to see that the newly elected President is determined to keep the military system firmly in place. Who knows? He is a pro military bastard, but perhaps a more clever one.

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By Palehorse, February 19, 2009 at 1:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Should be Fair Trade, not Free Trade.

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By cyrena, February 19, 2009 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, February 18 at 3:56 pm #
•  “The recent announcement of 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, makes you wonder where in creation do they justify spending those funds on such a folly. I wish someone would actually think about this and expose President Obama’s war mongering logic for what it is: pure BS.”

Beerdoctor,

We know of course, that this is NOT a surprise, (the recent announcement of additional troops to Afghanistan) because it has been addressed by Barack Obama for well over 2 years. He came into the 2008 election campaign, (VERY FIRST DEBATE if not sooner) making his case for ‘finishing the job’ in Afghanistan, and eliminating the militant terrorists that he sees in the ungoverned (and ungovernable – though he doesn’t address that) areas where Afghanistan and Pakistan share a border. Whether or not you or I (and I don’t) agree with his method of accomplishing that goal, or whether we agree that it should even BE a ‘goal’ only means that we disagree. It doesn’t mean that Obama’s is war-mongering logic, or even that it is BS that must be ‘exposed’.

It’s always been ‘exposed’. He’s been telling you what HE thought of the problem that Afghanistan is, and that’s based on his own personal belief that Islamic terrorism is a threat to us and the rest of the world, and that the perpetrators of that threat are located in that area, and must be disabled.

This isn’t a secret, and there’s no particular BS to his ‘logic’ if in fact this is what he believes. Since he is certainly not the only person to believe this very same thing, or to share these very same concerns, (with some legitimacy I might add) your language (war-mongering) here is specious.

I very much share his concern about terrorism in that particular area, because of the presence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan that are unregulated, (like Israel’s) by the world community. I worry because that area of the globe HAS BEEN an area for those who can legitimately be called TERRORISTS to operate, and it’s no small thing about them having nukes laying around, and NONE of this is a ‘new’ concern for Obama, nor is it a new concern for those who keep track of global terrorism. So even if we were to completely DISREGARD 9/11 as if it had never happened, we still have to acknowledge the existence of global terrorism by extremists with an ax to grind against Western (primarily US and British) Imperialism. Two US Embassies in Africa, the USS Cole illegally docked at Yemen, and bombings in London, Madrid, and most recently Mumbai, are pretty much clear evidence of geopolitical violence in the form of terrorism carried out by non-state actors against specific targets, (the West) so let’s not pretend that such a phenomena or risk does not exist. It does. And at least SOME of this violence has in fact been conclusively connected to a group that has harbored itself in the area that Obama has always been concerned with, including Afghanistan. We know that OBL and his gang are there, because we FUNDED them to wage a proxy presence for us against the Soviets, back in the day.

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By cyrena, February 19, 2009 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

2 of 2
In fact, this is SO ‘not new’, that those of us with a fairly decent memory can recall the same mindset from John Kerry when he was running for the office over 4 years ago. He claimed we’d outsourced the effort to get the terrorists (including OBL) and failed to finish the job. He was right in that stand-alone respect, because GWB DID give Musharraf, (the military DICTATOR of Pakistan) several billion of our dollars to do exactly that.

But alas; they obviously didn’t spend those billions to do what GWB told us they were gonna do. Rather, GLOBAL TERRORISM, has risen a whopping 700% since GWB started giving them the money, with a large portion of these incidents apparently initiated by the groups that hang out in the Afghanistan-Pakistan neighborhood.

(I should say here that isn’t ALL of them. The reports/statistics on incidents of global terrorism over the past 8 years don’t site this area as the source of ALL these incidents. But, the ‘hotbed of terrorism’ label for Pakistan has been pretty honestly earned.

So, no terrorists have been caught, and the incidents of global terror continue to increase, in part because of the terrorist actions of the US over the past several years.

All of that evidence therefore ‘exposed’, we’ve long known Obama’s mindset on this, and it doesn’t really speak to ‘war-mongering’. It means he has legitimate concerns, but I have often admitted that I don’t agree with his plan to address them. First, I don’t know that the so-called ‘terrorist presence’ in Afghanistan and Pakistan CAN be ‘eliminated’, but even if it can, the military action isn’t the way to do it in my opinion. Even with drones, we already see that it’s too risky. (killing civilians) and it’s obviously ineffective, since we still haven’t captured (dead or alive) any ‘terrorists’ from that area. (or anywhere else come to think of it).

So I’m among the many who disagree that increasing a military presence in Afghanistan is a bad idea, or maybe I should say a continued bad idea, since there really was no reason for us to be there in the first place, including 9/11. Clearly Afghanistan was already a failed state at the time, though I don’t believe that it was a NARCO state at the time, and the civilian population most DEFINITELY was not engaged in routine suicides. That has come since the destabilization created by the initial invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001. The bulk of the civil violence is also a result of the US invasion. The neocons destroyed Afghanistan just like they have everything else they’ve touched.

So where I disagree so vehemently with Obama is NOT that Afghanistan, (especially as it has become) is not a dangerous place, or that the instability doesn’t threaten to boil over. It has, and it will continue to. I just don’t think that military action, (specifically by the US alone) is going to resolve it, because the military action to date, has only made it worse. So he cannot ‘repair’ this damage or even put out the fire that it has become, by keeping the fuel source there. And, that is the military. Having said that, I also don’t necessarily know the same stuff that he knows, that is happening on the ground in Afghanistan.

Now I would like to see him come up with something in terms of protecting the civilian populations of those areas, but not as a US military endeavor.

Nope, he’ll have to find a way to appeal to the International Community for that. But I agree that WE don’t need to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan, and it IS a waste of blood and treasure when we’re broke. Besides, there has to be a better way, (human intelligence) to track global terrorists anyway.

Again, I don’t know what the situation is on the ground now in Afghanistan, or what it might be likely to become, and I’d like to believe that Obama does.

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 18, 2009 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

It took me a while to catch up with this disturbing issue based on what our so-called “top spy” has said and implied. Here are few points:

1. I find it strange that the testimony of Dennis Blair, warning about deepening economic crisis posing the gravest threat to stability and national security, being news-worthy, as if he was revealing something new that people of common sense didn’t know through educated cause and effect analysis!

2. Tying the threat to national security to the deepening economic crises is hardly a new revelation. However, one wonders where were the non-functioning brains of the political-military-espionage apparatus for all these years when untold billions of dollars of badly needed funds at home were spent on evil bloody aggressive wars half way around the world, based on lies and fear-mongering?!

3. I agree with Chris Hedges that Wall Street, rather than the exaggerated Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. However, Wall Street alone is not the culprit. We must add to that the whole political-military-espionage apparatus of our sad country.

4. I strongly disagree with Blair in his assessment that “The crisis has been ongoing for over a year.” In fact, it is a crisis in the making since the 9/11 false flag operation and the wars that were artificially created as a result.

5. The most disturbing aspect of this evil spy-in-chief assessment is the implication of the possible “use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States.” Who are the “hostile groups”?! Our so-intelligent spy does not say! However, I understand that he means the large numbers of crushed Americans who might rise to revolt and protest against their continued deteriorating economic and social conditions. And though I don’t belong to any specific organized group, that will include me because I refuse to keep silent! The prospect of the U.S. military needed to subdue Fadel Abdallah and his like-minded rebels is indeed a great irony, bordering on the comical and surreal at the same time!

6. The possible imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run by the military is what this evil top spy promising for the future of America! You can’t beat that in terms of “articulating the newest narrative of fear” as Chris Hedges rightly puts it.

7. Finally, I am wondering where does our new president stand on all this new campaign of fear-mongering. The least I expect from him is to disassociate himself from this new-old crap, unless he agrees with this new evil spy-in-chief!

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By Flawedtopurfektion, February 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whomever one wishes to assign blame the problem is that we need to work together for a solution.

This isn’t something that’s only going to swallow up that group. This is going to devour the common person like a tic tac on a whales tongue.

Note: We are the tic tac!

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By Skip Mendler, February 18, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>time to dust off your copies of Marx

Chris, I’m looking for something newer - something that is to Marx what Einstein was to Newton.  Marx was a product of his time, and we need something that speaks to ours.

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By KDelphi, February 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—and they say that they will be there for 3-4 yrs!! How does that tie in with the bombings recently on the pakistani border, do you think?

It is hard to find anything about what the ‘strategy” is here…if there is one!

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, February 18, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

The recent announcement of 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, makes you wonder where in creation do they justify spending those funds on such a folly. I wish someone would actually think about this and expose President Obama’s war mongering logic for what it is: pure BS.
Okay, if you swallow the whole 9-11 narrative myth, then Afghanistan is where the dastardly extremists planned their appalling attacks. So by that logic, you have the right to attack one of the poorest countries in the world and inflict collective punishment for the crimes of a terrorist cell. This is what the United States government is presently engaged in. What a cruel self-deluded joke it is to see a bumper sticker for Obama, with the O transformed into the “ban the bom” peace symbol.
Rather strange is it,  they supposedly fret about the loss of houses and money, but they always (and I do mean ALWAYS) find the dough for war or the rumor of it.

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By omniadeo, February 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

zharkov,

Please explain how a 25% default rate on approximately 1.5 trillion dollars of loans led to the collapse of the whole WORLDS’s financial markets, requiring many trillions of dollars of aid over many years. If it were just these loans, we could have just bought up the bad properties and paid them off.

Can’t explain? I’ll explain it to you.

The banking system was allowed to leverage these bad loans many times over, in effect multiplying the bad debt. This is in principal the same as buying securities on sham margins, which caused the last depression. It would not have been able to do this without deregulation of the markets. Deregulation is the stepchild of both wings (Dem and Repub) of the Big Corporation War party.

Nice try.

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By JerryJones51, February 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admire Ron Paul’s quixotic courage but, c’mon folks, he’s no economist. A return to the gold standard now would be a disaster because gold is normally deflationary. Progressives of the late 19th century fought against the gold standard because a fixed money supply depresses wages and farm prices in the face of a growing population. Been there, been done by that. The call for an “elastic currency” was all the rage 100 years ago. We got it, and abused it, and now we’re paying the price for that.

The people who would benefit from a reimposition of the gold standard are the elderly who are dependent on their savings, and the rich (who BTW would have less incentive to invest if the value of their money were “safe.”) Social Security is the mechanism Americans created to safeguard the elderly, while the rich can take care of themselves.

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By Davol, February 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The solution stares US in the face like an elephant in the room.  So the economic crisis is now our greatest threat to national security.  Well this always works.  Just cut yourself a big ol’ $200 billion slab off of that “bloated Pentagon budget” cake and spend it on creating jobs and economic recovery.  We must do this in defense of our country.  There, end of problem.  Aha, and you thought I was going to argue for legalizing pot.  Mmmmmmm, chocolate.

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By CanKenVancouver, February 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Always interested in the different point of view. I think Reganomics and Freetrade started it all. They are good ideas economicaly, but unfortunately that doesn’t materialize. At what price is our greed, we want produce, electronic goods, cars etc. at the cheapest price. We allow big corporations to rule, look at how they brand themselves. We work for more and more personal wealth. We destroy our environment here but the emerging economies they work for nothing and can live in pollution they are expendible. Hell they even accept our waste in the guise of recycling.

Sure supporting 3rd world countries is good, give them decent wages, by their materials out of respect
not price. Ensure the actual people doing the work get the money. Respect the earth their is no absolute proof of heaven sure I want to believe there is something more. If you really respect different religious philosophies they are codes of ethics for ALL of us to abide by.

You don’t have to be a believer, just think no one gets out alive and this earth is pretty small and I don’t know of a planet nearby any of us can move to. We all have to take some responsibility. Consume less.

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By Dan, February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hello motha….Hello fatha…..Here I am at…..state camp FEMA
We as a people deserve whats commin’......This is what we get for worrying about nothing more than when the next Hannah Montana concert will be, and gorging ourselves on the goods produced by poor countries.
We put these assholes into power….either by voting, or not voting. I hope you all enjoy dieing by starvation and disease. We were warned a long time ago by good people like Alex Jones and we didn’t listen.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 18, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

The great Jewish (Zionist) conspiracy is the betenoir of the Nazi faction here. If you want to fear any group it is the theocrats that exist under the moniker of “Dominionist” (they use many names) they are essentially Christian but of the Crusader/Inquisition variety. Very dangerous and this economic collapse is what they wanted, planned for. Just like in 1934 when they last tried and failed. They weren’t punished and we suffer from their Machiavellian machinations today. They want a corporate theocratic dictatorship. Bringing us low will allow them to come in and ‘save’ us when we stop trusting our gov’t to save us. They have plans and it doesn’t include ‘rapture’ or ‘the final war’ except where it includes taking over the world.

People when they use the analogy of the fall of the Roman empire they are mistaken. Think the fall of the Roman republic and the rise of the empire should be closer to what is happening. The fall of the Weimar republic is another one that works as an analog. You see the Dominionist (several types) have infiltrated the repubs and dems, even the libers too. They own the 4th estate and most of the information sources and outlets. They are busy ‘steeplejacking’ mainstream churches, where they come in and work their way up into positions of power and start aiming the church more along their pre-millenialist lines of eschatology. You see for a Dominionist, they must prepare the earth for God’s return. That is it must be right or he won’t come back see? Check Daily Kos and Talk2action for more detailed information on it and just how entrenched and dedicated they are to take over. The USA is first, their secular plan is under the auspices of PNAC. Hedges is just missing this component. Also check out both Naomi’s i.e. Klein and Wolf for more relevant data on this for you see we are becoming fascist and economic calamity is an ideal shock to the society to do what Machiavelli considered the most difficult. Removing one organization (society) and replacing it with a new one.

Also they support Israeli Zionists but plan to convert or kill them all into Messianic Jews which are essentially Christian, not Judaism.

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By mike m., February 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Dust off your copies of Marx”????  Are you even serious?  How many millions has communism killed in the past 80 years?  Do some research and see we have’nt ever had a true free market in this country, at least since the federal reserve system was set up in the teens of the 1900’s.  Your article is well intentioned and full of important information.  However, your last paragraph destroys any sanity and credibility you had by suggesting we are running out of fossil fuels, and we need to regulate global warming AND climate change.  First off, every credible researcher and estimate shows that we have more than enough oil in fields within Alaska alone to last us well over 100 years, regardless of all the other fields throughout the country and world.  The “peak oil” myth is perpetrated by the oil industries themselves as a way to create artificial scarcity, thus allowing manipulation and control of pricing.  Secondly, you mention “global warming AND climate change”????  First, tell me why anyone would want to regulate climate change which has been happening since the formation of the earth and will continue as long as we have an atmosphere????  Are you insane enough to believe that is possible, or even logical???  Next, global warming has been exposed as a myth perpetrated by the same globalists as the peak-oil myth in order to create a new tax scheme and regulatory bodies which are creating a new framework for their new world order.  Lets get real.  To throw in the sentence, “time to dust off your copies of Marx”, as the very last sentence is a clear indication of a feeble argument, not even worth documentation of effectiveness, or a prolonged discussion.  You simply put it out there AS THE LAST SENTENCE??  What an uninformed thing to say.  It says non-registered users comments will be moderated, so I doubt this will even make the post.

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By truedigger3, February 18, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

zharkov wrote:
“Before the Clinton Administration, borrowers had to be credit-worthy, but leftists in his administration decided that was too “unfair”.”
_____________________________________________________

zharkov,
You are completely misinformed and misled.
First, there is no leftists in the USA. Are
you living in another planet? 
The real wrong that Clinton did is that he allowed Rubin, Gramm and Summer to completely
deregulate the financial and commodities markets
turning Wall Street into gambling Casino in which
the bankers win or lose they will always win as happening right now with the bail-outs.
It is privatising profits and socializing losses.
Pure and simple.
Wall Street bankers encouraged giving mortgages for everyone because they always made money and sold the risk to somoeone else.

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By Zharkov, February 18, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We let the market rule, and now we are paying for it?  No, we let the government change the rules for the financial sector, and now we are paying the price for that. 

There was no global economic collapse in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s, yet we had the same quasi-free market system then.  Why collapse now?

Only recently has it been possible for total market manipulation, because now government can tell lenders to forget borrower qualifications and lend money to everyone with a pulse.  Before the Clinton Administration, borrowers had to be credit-worthy, but leftists in his administration decided that was too “unfair”.

The current global destruction was on the Bilderberg agenda and carried out by Clinton.  Anyone with a few weeks of economics courses could have predicted that handing out loans to people who cannot repay them would lead to massive defaults.  People cannot repay these loans because the job base has been shrinking, on purpose, to create this crisis.

There is a reason why Congress rejects real change in tax law to entice runaway factories back to America, and why our borders were never fenced, and why banks accept illegal alien accounts without identification, and why the military is gearing up for citizen rebellions in America. 

All of this is according to plan and our “leaders” already know you will not like it, just as Mr. Biden said.

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By thebeerdoctor, February 18, 2009 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

re: omniadeo

Omniadeo is correct about some of the economic insights of Marx, unfortunately, way too many people accepted those points as ultimate fountains of wisdom and proclaimed themselves “Marxists”. It sort of reminds me of another infamous science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard, the starting point of a new money sucking religion called Scientology. Speaking of sci-fi, another famous thinker pops up, Freud. As Vladimir Nabakov said: “I do not believe in attaching Greek mythology to my private parts.”

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By Goldfinger, February 17, 2009 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do NOT blame free market capitalism.
We haven’t had that yet!

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By KDelphi, February 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

The real myth is the “Americam Dream”—it is unsustainable and a nightmare.

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By KDelphi, February 17, 2009 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater
Source: Washington Post, February 14, 2009
First it was Blackwater USA. Then it was Blackwater Worldwide. Now, it’s “Xe” (pronounced “Zee”). The private military company has repeatedly tried to re-brand, after numerous controversies from the killing of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad; to its no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, post-Katrina; to its hiring troops with ties to repressive regimes, like that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The company says its latest name change is meant to reflect a new focus. Blackwater / Xe spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, “We’ve taken the company to a place where it is no longer accurately described as Blackwater.” Its subsidiaries also have new names: Blackwater Airships is now Guardian Flight Systems, Blackwater Target Systems is GSD Manufacturing, and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center is the U.S. Training Center. The company has also shed its famous (or infamous) bear-paw and crosshairs logo. The new head of Blackwater / Xe, Gary Jackson, told employees, “Xe will be a one-stop shopping source for world class services in the fields of security, stability, aviation, training and logistics,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
From The Weekly Spin

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By Chuck P, February 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

This is a great article and needs to be heeded. each person reading it should realize that on a local and personal level, even if you are not actively involved in the activities described, you need to plan ahead on how to survive this depression. Stock up and plan ahead you can not afford to be down at the super market duking it out with the criminal element in the event of a food shortage or like.
http://www.ThisGreatDepression.com for more ideas.

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By Tony, February 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The truth is we are headed there (disaster). Commercial real-estate is leveraged three times more than residential real-estate. Just wait until they start to foreclose. Things are going to get very very ugly and scary. There is nothing that is going to stop this from happening. The stock market crash of 1929 wont come close to what we are about to experience. Back then they had the manufacturing boom brought about by WW2, in the current situation there is NO catalyst out there that will reverse the doom thats coming. Atleast not yet.

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By omniadeo, February 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

“The fact that so many can’t even recognize what an actual free-market would look like…”

is testament to one thing and one thing only: it never has existed.

And it never will exist. “Free markets” as you use the term, would depend on powerful interests (I am not talking about lobbyists, I mean the people with huge amounts of cash, weapons and raw materials, and the willingness to use all of them for power) actually countering their own interests and using those things to keep the markets free.

This will not happen. It never has happened. I might just as well study the details of early 20th century Anarcho-Syndicalism as your “free market” vision. It is a pipe dream.

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By 99jonny100, February 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

OK. Are we all agreed then, that OBAMA SUCKS? Any way you slice it, it’s pure
bullshit, this ‘change’ he brought to Washington. His presidency is the biggest
STINK since the 9/11 Conspiracy. We have yet to see the extent and depth of OBAMA’s depravity.. Already 20 000 troops sent to Afghanistan, to
“surge”  the murder of babies and mothers, in OUR NAME, American suckers.
Secret prisons and renditions, torture—and the economic rape of our citizenry;
soon too be enforced by goon squads, FEMA detention centers, and OBAMA.
You think Nixon was bad—just keep your eye on OBAMA.  All this African-American hype doesn’t fly with me, and never did from
day one. How does it feel, indeed! That’s my blog and my sincere point of view.
We are up shit creek, without a paddle, America. Time’s up, for trusting OBAMA.

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By Coloradoreality, February 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The level of economic illiteracy apparent by the author and many of the commenters is astounding.

By definition, there is no free market when the finance and monetary system is comprised of monopoly-issue,fiat money.  There is no free market when all of the rules rigging the game are rigged in favor of large, rent-seeking corporations or propped protectionist policies.  There is no free market when every aspect of any market is buried under massive regulatory regimes controlling every aspect and creating effective or absolute prohibitions where there need be none, automatically setting-up, black and grey markets to further distort proper market operation.

Unless and until we have more than a tiny fraction of the population with some understanding of concrete economics instead of the abstract econometric balderdash of Marx, Keynes, RBC and Monetarism we are doomed to read such trash.

The fact that so many can’t even recognize what an actual free-market would look like is testament to the ignorance, complacency and foolishness of a public education and media system that has spent literally decades training nations of fools.

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By TAO Walker, February 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Another of Chris Hedges’ erudite Jeremiahads evokes the usual panoply of reflexive responses.  There is no good reason to doubt the existence of Life-hating forces at-work (in the virtual-world-o’-hurt from which these forbodings and laments are more-and-more-now the order of the day), fully intending to do their worst….and probably much along the lines described by Hedges and others here.

Of course the whole damned criminal enterprise is predicated on the lumpen presence of “huddled masses” of subject/citizenry incapable of any but the knee-jerk reactions prescribed by the perpetrators….and prepared-well-in-advance-for, too.  It looks from here in Indian Country like the only “option” left to our tame Sisters and Brothers is to meet this terminal threat, from our tormentors and their co-opted two-legged tools, with the completely unexpected.  Do the last thing left to you that your wannabe oppressors are “power”-less to even react-to (except maybe in self-destructive panic), nevermind actually having a chance-in-hell of preventing.

Throw-off the smothering straight-jacket of fear that is the entire “product” and purpose your manufactured “individual” IDentity.  Re-FORM and re-ORGAN-ize your otherwise-doomed “selfs” into the Living Organic Communities our Lakotah cousins call Tiyoshpayes.  Emerge into the free wild Living Universe where the wholeness of your Humanity is completely at-home, needing no artificial “life-support” of any kind whatsoever.  Here you will at-last remember that All Our Relations, the whole Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth is and has always been with you in this movement (of the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself), called by our Hopi cousins and others The Great Purification, which will end finally our tormentors’ ten-thousand-year-plus reign-of-terror here.

The toxic industrial bubble in which you are all entrapped is collapsing.  It “managers” only intention now is to find some mechanism of escape before the deadly wave reaches their own pitiful “selfs.”  Their only “levee,” though, is made of six-and-a-half billion domesticated Humans who’ve been fooled into believing they’ve no other Way to go except by attrition to the machinations of their captors.

Show your exploiters up for the fools, Sisters and Brothers.  Go Free and Wild.  Leave them to their inevitable fate.

HokaHey!

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By omniadeo, February 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

I am not sure what Hedges had in mind when he said dust off your copies of Karl Marx. He also said look to China (hardly a workers paradise, though as a sustainable model for a modern technological civilization it could well prove superior to the US model.)

I certainly agree with thebeerdoctor and others who point out the follies in ANY utopianist agenda, marxist, libertarian, or whatever. Humans are too selfish, greedy and fearful to be plugged into utopias.

To those libertarians who say, “capitalism has never beeen tried”, I point out that this is exactly what socialists say when you confront them with the realities of their own bloody histories. (I was a socialist when I was young and it is exactly what I said.) “It has never been tried” is also a direct quote from the christian apologist G.K. Chesterton responding to criticisms of that ideology.  This is what is always said when the rubber of idealism or utopianism hits the road of human reality.

What I would like to point out here, though, is that Marx had two sides. One was a utopian dreamer who stood Hegelian dialectics upside down in order to see the final resolution of class struggle in a workers state. The other Marx was a very hard headed and brilliant economist who made some very cogent points about capital and labor, including a very interesting explanation of why capitalism always results in boom and bust cycles.

Marx may not have had the solution. (There probably is no “solution.”) But he was far more prescient about the problems than his being credited here.

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By truedigger3, February 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Cadavre wrote:
“Everyone in DoD except the monkey boy heavy brass at DOD will be on the same side their fathers, mothers, sons and and daughters are: They’ll be with us.”
_____________________________________________________

You should read some history.  History including the
US history is full of episodes where troops opened
fire on their fellow citizens. They fired not on their friends and relatives but on what they believed to be “the enemies of the people and the law!!”.

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By thebeerdoctor, February 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Is it not astounding how romanticism creeps into all of this? Chris Hedges, being a former foreign correspondent should know better, but there he is, instructing folks to dust off their copies of Marx. Karl Marx? What a miserable science fiction writer his economic studies are. Like many others, he despaired the workers condition and dreamed up a proletariat paradise that has never existed. It reminds me of the anarchist in Zola’s Germinal, who believes that only fire can cleanse the inequity, and out of the ashes, a better world will emerge. Of course the actual result of setting fire to the mines, was to increase the suffering of the actual miners. But I guess everybody knows that old cliche about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.
The same can be said of Dr. Ron Paul, the libertarian-republican congressman. Like nearly all true believing libertarians, he assumes that economic inequity can be erased by simply everyone acting in their own enlightened self interest. Of course the problem with that is, there is a darker side to human capitalism, where human behavior is motivated not only by a desire to acquire wealth, but to obtain domination. Does anybody remember the Hunt Brothers when they attempted to own the world’s supply of silver?
http://www.buyandhold.com/bh/en/education/history/2000/hunt_bros.html

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By truedigger3, February 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

To those who are calling for “sound” money which
is backed by gold, I have a question:
What will happen if there were huge gold discoveries
like that happened after discovering the Americas and
a raging inflation swept Europe?
What will happen if a natural/or man made disaster
removed a huge chunk of the stored gold.?!
Yes the issuance of money should be taken away from the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank and the
money should be issued by the treasury Dept. under
the control of an indepenent board of directors or
the Federal Reserve Bank should be nationalized.
There is no need for the money to be backed by gold, the crrency will be backed by the economy and will follow its growth or contraction to maintain sound and stable value.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, February 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Like other utopianists, Hedges is working from the principal that once we get the right operational model, everything’s gonna be alright. Thus he preaches the follies of the capitalist model, and punctuates the sermon with a plug for the Marxist model.

But this ol’ outlier sees no such salvation in ideologies. It all comes down to you and me. It is more accurate to say that America’s special brand of parasitic hypercapitalism is a result of the moral bankruptcy of its people.

It is no mystery why robber barons turn to philanthropy later in life. But constructing libraries and concert halls does not exorcise a lifetime of predatory exploitation in the name of profit maximizing.

And it’s not just individuals acting out of greed, but our collective exaltation of greed. Our blind faith in excess wealth as a kind of pseudo-religious promised land is what drives us away from simple civility and common decency that are the nuts and bolts of a healthy tribe.

If the phony heaven-on-earth of excess wealth is the carrot, then status anxiety is the stick. Nobody wants to be a loser, nobody wants to be sexually irrelevant. Between the two, our noses are kept to grindstone of commerce.

So since it’s close to Lincoln’s birthday I’ll tip a stovepipe hat to him and say that Americans have to “dis-enthrall” themselves. The false idols of capitalism and consumerism (and all the other isms) are just the pretty packaging around the infernal apparatus designed to turn you into ground meat.

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By ZombieNation, February 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Support The Troops” - they will be shooting at you very soon.

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By KDelphi, February 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

The Paul-tards calling for a “temporary dictator” in Paul shows how totalitarian they really are. Forced Social Darwinism, but, no belief in Natural Selection. Ron Paul sucks…he got nowhere for a reason.

99jonny100—-if you lose most of your money, how in hell are you supposed to move anywhere? My relatives say that it is almost impossible to move to the EU now. Pay my moving expenses and grant me citizenship—I’m in Canada or Mexico tomorrow. Today!

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By godistwaddle, February 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, et. al. approved of “violent extremism.”  Who am I to disagree with those august personages?

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By mjt01, February 17, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Terrorism does its damage through the reaction of the authorities of the attacked nation. Through fear, those in power are given more power, and with it they attack the society, culture, laws and freedoms of individuals. With greater exercise of power, the governments become more estranged from the governed and become control mad. These controls extend to changing long standing laws for the benefit of what the governing bodies see as their true allies—the controllers of economic power. Disaster is the result.

A biological analogy would be that of autoimmune disease. Like psoriasis, type I diabetes, Lupus and many others. Some provocation starts off the bodies normal defense mechanism, but something goes wrong. Instead of attacking just the invader, the immune system becomes confused and attacks other parts of the body. The immune system wages war on the body itself.

This is the greatest hope of the terrorist. Provoke the enemy into destroying itself. The reactions of the last administration have done more to damage our nation than did the heinous acts which destroyed the towers. Far more treasure has been spent in guarding the harbors of Oklahoma (yeah, what harbors?), in keeping breast milk out of airplanes, and searching people entering subways, and so on, than was lost to the 911 attacks.

But more than money, people lose their freedoms. It becomes difficult or impossible to really criticize their government which proceeds to the elimination of more freedom. Foolish military adventures and other wasteful expenditures drain the treasury. The economic power structure swears that free rein is the only way to make up the losses. And we see what some of the results are today. But worse is coming. We are very early into paying for our stupidity in our reaction to 911.

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By Paul_GA, February 17, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Omniadeo.

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By Cadavre, February 17, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The military won’t help quell American discontent.

The boy lovers and K-Street John’s that prattle and hiss on C-SPAN so Johnny Had-Enough down the street can use their face to bore sight his Christmas present are not a “government”. They’re K-Street Johns and Boy Lovers. They’re vanity addicts. To them, making America “better” is little more than swabbing choir boy morning dew from the corner of their mouth as they get made up for a press conference.

American soldiers are with us. They are members of our family. Besides - nobody wants to be on the loosing side of a confrontation. Well, everyone except the high in the palace - in the pocket of the ordinance industry soon to rotate out to a multi-million board chair in the genocide bank brass big shot

Everyone in DoD except the monkey boy heavy brass at DOD will be on the same side their fathers, mothers, sons and and daughters are: They’ll be with us.

You can pretty much expect the same thing from all the rank and file government workers.

Just look at Iraq - Afghanistan - anyplace the Zogladyte Genocide Machine attempts to occupy and control. People in the services, in the police are the ones getting information and “hardware” back out to the general population. The occupier opens up recruitment centers - the children of the occupied join up - learn tactics - map the the structure - steal ordinance - and take it all back to their hoods.

Thats the way it always happens - thats the way it will happen here. Fear - Americans will not behave any differently than any other community under Zogladyte occupation. Americans will play dumb, lie, pretend helplessness - but in the end Americans - like every other occupied society, will gut the occupier!

It’s the way of the world!

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By omniadeo, February 17, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

truedigger3 and outraged, [all others be warned that this is off topic in reponse to an off topic post]

I must take exception to you hijacking this thread to deliver a lecture/inquisition to Paul_GA. I share, for the record, neither his politics nor his religious belief.

This is an article about how we are being warned by US Intelligence that the fiscal crisis will create “terrorism” with the subtext that we must all be prepared to lose freedoms to deal with it. If this loss of freedom is in fact now happening, with more on the horizon (and the evidence mounts), then we will ALL lose freedom. Christians Jews, Muslims atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Libertarians, Socialists. The last thing we need is to meet this common threat by splintering over ideological and religious matters.

Yet, in case you are not aware, this is exactly what you are doing by subjecting Paul_GA to your sophomoric routine. Do you really think that no religious person (a class of people that without doubt contains some of the smartest people on earth) has ever thought about your objections or asked him or herself your questions and yet remained a believer?  If you are not interested in how they met the objections or answered the questions, no problem, there is no reason why you have to be. It is still—just barely—a free country. If you are interested, there are libraries full of those quests. Go read. But if you believe, that no religious person has ever done so, then you are simply ignorant.

In my life I have noticed that militantly anti-religious people are often quick to pat themselves on the backs as great skeptics and doubters, but the one thing they never doubt is that they understand what others mean when they say “God.” The one thing they are never skeptical about is their own intelligence.

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By Taw'am, February 17, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We let the market rule? If only it were so. Instead, we let rule a centrally planned fiat money system, propped up by legal tender laws, and powered by fraudulent fractional reserve banking. In other words, the fifth proposal of Marx’s manifesto.

Yes, Marx should be dusted off so the extent to which our system has fulfilled his ideas can be clearly seen and reversed.

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By MikeSchoch, February 17, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s clearly not capitalism that has created heightened fear in America and the world as the economy has imploded due to utterly irresponsible management and hocus-pocus, but people who have manipulated the rules to their monetary advantage. And it has gotten to the point where even the President and his cabinet are rule breakers, ie. criminals. So bad people are in the process of taking over everything, and chaos increasingly reigns as selfish greed takes center stage. No stretch of the gray matter there. History shows foreboding examples of similar times. Or does it?
I like Chris Hedges better when he’s not sucked in by gloom and doom. Chris- there are a lot of crackpots working in the gov’t. that testify before Congress (Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Douglas Feith, Scooter Libby, etc.) Sometimes they get their way, it’s true, but not always.

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By Jibreel Riley, February 17, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

its time to drop the (D) and (R)‘s next to there names. The real enables of this mess are on Capital Hill and many progressives dont have the stones to go after them!

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By Mike, February 17, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like your article except for your free market bashing. We don’t have a free market, that is the problem. The federal govt has injected itself too much in our lives and in the business world. If a Wall Street Bank or a Main Street business fails, then it should go out of business, period. Less taxes, less govt spending and more freedom is what is needed. We need to repeal income taxs, create sound money backed by gold, and support a real National Defense - not National Offense backed by the military industrial complex…this is the America we need.

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By Paul_GA, February 17, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Outraged, as a member of a non-denominational Christian church, I have my beliefs, and my beliefs don’t require others to share them.

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By Sephardi, February 17, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

99Jonny100 - It is true, the four horsemen are through the gate and there is some heavy stuff coming. For what you said - you are correct, BC is the Hilly Country of Hopi prophecy, that is, the place where people will survive the coming Great Purification, the End of Days of the Mayan calendar.

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By coloradokarl, February 17, 2009 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

The roman analogy has quite often swam with the electrons of my mind in the seemingly never ending struggle to make sense of it all.  WE, THE PEOPLE. a simple phrase. Like epoxy has two parts, each by itself soft and sticky, unorganized and and Impotent. Once put together the bond is indestructible and hardened to the forces of destruction. Divide and conquer is the mantra of the lower energies that wish to capture and cage our spirit. All is not lost, Our last breath is but the period at the end of a chapter of an endless novel in a timeless library. Courage my Friends. Love Conquers All.

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By Facchetti, February 17, 2009 at 4:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you ...” And one could add that never has the middle of the road felt such a bloody dangerous place to be ...

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By thebeerdoctor, February 17, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

In this lifetime most have heard of the Fall of the Roman Empire. But it seems only in the last few years, after a more careful examination of the written accounts of observations, that it dawned upon historians to realize that Rome had to fall. Why? Because the luxury of its indulgences could no longer be sustained by the earth. For example, one such spectacle was: 700 gladiators versus 700 elephants. Just how long do you thing that kind of nonsense could go on?
The United States empire is on the same unsustainable path. Check out Secretary of State Clinton. Listen to how the United States government assumes the right to tell other nations what to do. As for Dennis Blair invoking the most dreaded terrorists of all, the poor, ask him, for Amy Goodman’s sake, what it feels like to be a cheerleader for the massacre in East Timor. You know the terrorists, those malcontents that assume so many shapes that “intelligence” is forced to create a dossier on just about everyone.
As for escape, I am sorry babe, but there is no hiding place down here. Iceland? Sorry the money is gone. Ireland? A new version of “the troubles”, it is called banking. New Zealand? Check out the s92a law concerning the internet.
As for the troubles in the blessed Middle East, which concerns Mr. Hedges and many others, I am reminded of something Joe Bageant wrote about the evangelical rapture crowd, who believe that anyone who attempts to bring peace to that region, is actually working for Satan. These folks actually believe that there must be wars in that infamous desert, in order for Jesus to return. Which is another sure sign of civilized decline, when emotional superstition replaces compassionate reason.

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By prole, February 17, 2009 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

“The age of the West has ended.” Three cheers. What a relief. Too bad Oswald Spengler wasn’t here to see it. But at least the rest of us can revel in it. The West as Spengler showed, early in the last century, has long since passed it’s cultural and intellectual apogee; and now has been reduced to regurgitating the most vulgar and trivial lowbrow cultural expressions like pop music, Hollywood films, and ‘think-and-grow rich’ philosophy books. So the end of the West as we know it is long overdue. ‘Let us Rejoice and be glad in it!’(Psalm 118:24) Culturally as well as economically the West has been living off the accumuulated wealth of the past. And even Spengler’s vaunted ‘technics’ nostrum can’t save it. So anything WE can do to hasten the West’s (esp. Amerika) final expiry can only be welcomed by the untold millions blighted by its continued toxic existence. Dennis Blair “warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security”. OUR as in them - the ruling class and their minions. “It could trigger, he said, a return to the ‘violent extremism’ of the 1920s and 1930s.” Would that be any worse than any of the “violent extemism” carried out around the world over the last six decades by Dennis Blair’s government and its client states?  Why should America be spared the fate of Gaza or Iraq or Nam? “‘The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications,’ Blair told the Senate.” A window of opportunity here perhaps for those who have chafed under the iron heel of the American ruling class so long?  The high and mighty starting to get a little edgy? Then if “The specter of social unrest [as] raised at the U.S. Army War College in November in a monograph” is true and ““An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home.” Then “in plain English”, a civil war at home could bring down the whole damn American empire and all the unspeakable crimes against humanity that go with it. The more pressure at home is ratcheted up, the more possibility relief can be afforded long-suffering populations in subjugated states around the world. A most intriguing scenario. Better Americans should be fighting with one another, than taking it out on the rest of the world. Alas the prospects for a much needed “purposeful domestic resistance” are still quite remote. The American working class has consistently shown itself to be quite reactionary, unlike its often more militant European counterparts. If anything, much of the American working class, in a crisis, would very likely side with the forces of fascism and ultra-nationalism, or even be a catylyst for it. Unfortunately many Americans would probably welcome martial law rather than resist it. There are many good reasons to hope that a worsening economic crisis at home might contribute to a loosening of the military’s grip on foreign lands but don’t bet on it. That’s probably still a little over-optimistic for the moment. In the meantime, the unflinching Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraqi and other undaunted resistance movements will still have to act in self-defense against the Pentagon and IDF monsters we’ve had the “remarkable ability to create.”

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By cyrena, February 17, 2009 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

By JBPeebles, February 16 at 7:54 pm #

•  “The preparedness for military involvement in containing domestic strife have been long in the making. We saw their origin in the Military Commissions Act and other pieces of legislation.”

I’m not sure if we should think of the MCA as the origin or the culmination of the rest of it, but that’s when I knew we were really fucked. Barack Obama argued hard and passionately against that legislation, (obviously he knew it meant that we were fucked as well) but it passed anyway. NOT surprisingly, very few people on this forum, (including the most firmly ‘cast in stone’ among the anti-govnt types) even bothers to acknowledge the passage of that legislation, or WHO among their own representatives voted for it.

Anyway, it’s among the many pieces of legislation that have to be reversed or otherwise nullified if we’re got a chance of saving ourselves at all.

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By NotinOurName, February 17, 2009 at 1:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good riddance!!!

I say down with the entire Federal Reserve, war until it is abolished for good!!!

http://www.endthefed.us

20 states have declared secession from the Federal Zionized Government.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

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By truedigger3, February 17, 2009 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, February 16 at 9:41 pm #

You logic and commonsense is superb. Thank you for
a very good post.

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By Clash, February 16, 2009 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

The crash is happening all around us, those that want to believe we can just deal with the police state (military) are sorely mistaken. We have read here in various posts the continuous babble of statistics on the many millions killed all through out history by the civilized, with the argument always being, which side had the right and the many inane reasons for those rights, but now finally when you realize that here is the same there it becomes very real.
Now we have F.E.M.A camps and the threat of military actions on our streets, these truths have been with us for quite awhile nothing has changed, we are now and have been always the targets. To believe that a government that sends its baby killers to other places and carries out the most heinous crimes imaginable would not turn on its own people to try and preserve the empire is naively stupid, or just insanely arrogant.
Not to understand that civilization has inculcated us with its violence and abuse, all the while loosing it mysticisms that hold that life is not real and only after death will we reach the rewards promised has brought us to this place, a place were killing children, using depleted uranium, poisoning the water we drink, the air we breath and the food we eat has become common place and accepted by most by saying what can we do.
Things will get worse before they get better, will we all survive who knows?
There are things free people can do and as they wake up, these things will come to you as you realize who you are. Some will protest peacefully, some will meet force with force, others will grow food, others will teach and some will keep healing arts alive. WE all will need to support each other. The one thing you must never do is speak to or trust the police state for any reason.
Hedges finally, Mr. Scheer this is were we live. Change we can believe in

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By Outraged, February 16, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: Paul_Ga:

Your comment: “Anyway, I don’t put my trust in him; the only perfect trust is in God, after all. If he turned out to be in favor of a theocracy (which he isn’t; I saw an article at WorldNetDaily criticizing him for not being willing to call homosexuality a sin), I’d drop him like a hot potato, the same way I dropped the Repubs more than a decade ago.

You are claiming that the only “perfect” trust is in God, after all.” Yet… you have given NO EVIDENCE OF IT.  I challenge you, how is it you have arrived at the conclusion, in your opinion, that “the ONLY PERFECT TRUST is “in God, after all”.  Additionally, whose God…? Can you qualify “God”?  In this vein, how have you factually/logically proven for yourself that God has “perfect trust”...?

Have you differentiated between that which your religion has TAUGHT you and what God thinks, or is?  And why is it that, one religion says, “this is God” yet another says, “this is God”?  How could a “perfect” God allow such a thing?

If “the only perfect trust is in God, after all” according to you.  Why do you take the time to make a comment here, will not YOUR God “make things right”?  If God is not acting because it is not the time to act, why then do you act….?  Or attempt to make a difference.  I think you are at least trying to make things reasonable, however….if you believe ONLY God can make this a reality, why then do you contibute…?

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By JimBob, February 16, 2009 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

In other words, if all that borrowed and printed money can’t save Wall Street from collapse and people take to the streets to lynch the bastards that ruined the country, the government will go on protecting the bankers and the billionaires—only now using the military.  Anyone catch that nifty new heat-ray, the one that causes incredible pain without actually burning you?  Great for crowd control, I’m told.

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By THE MANGEMEISTER, February 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther your comment at 10:30 am was right on.To take it one step further Zionism is not just limited to their phoney war on Islam,it is the real cancer of every living thing on this planet.

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By 99jonny100, February 16, 2009 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

to Jane: I think British Columbia, either the west coast or the Rocky Mtn foothills
could be just enchanting, especially in summer. In my estimation, Canada is at
least a few years behind the USA, in the totalitarian takeover dept.
Some might find the climate in Mexico more to their liking, or even some
paradise like Costa Rica or Belize. Catch my drift? I am less structured and
cautious than you perhaps, with no Plan B as such but I’m ready to “escape”, at the drop of a helmet. To paraphrase Paul Simon, There must be 50 ways to
leave your country. Start with getting a passport, if you don’t have one now.

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By Folktruther, February 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Peebles support for a militarized police state is currently echoed in a large fraction of the American population.  Most Americans don’t understand that this violence is directed against Americans, i.e. themselves..

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By read more, February 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris your last sentence was important. Everybody should get some basic understanding of how capitalism is defined. Like it or not Marx analyzed it best.  Capitalism comes from capital. Capital needs to expand to survive. And this expansion wont care about anybody but itself. To all the commentators: try to read the first chapters of the Kapital. The confusion among many comments is just mind boggling.

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By JBPeebles, February 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

The preparedness for military involvement in containing domestic strife have been long in the making. We saw their origin in the Military Commissions Act and other pieces of legislation.

Using the military as a domestic law enforcement tool was codified after 9/11, despite Posse Comitatus. Presidential signing statement have also progressively eroded geographical distinction in deploying our military.

Limiting the role of the military in official law enforcement duties is a decent idea, but crisis management is top priority. Ultimately the potential scope of damage by terrorist threats means we must use ALL available trained personnel in a region. As a matter of fact, we need to expand the military’s role in immediate crisis management. 9/11 was an excellent example of the lack of interoperability.

Also, Global Climate Change has forced changes. The Navy was hampered in reacting to Katrina. An amphibious carrier was forced to stay in the Gulf. I don’t know if it’s helicopters were allowed to operate; I sure hope so judging by the urgency of the situation.

Global Climate Radicalization ( a more apt description of the phenomena of global warming) means we have a new normal, a new paradigm of weather extremes. Don’t deny it’s happening. So even if the law-enforcement capabilities of our military are mismanaged, we have no choice but to deal with a larger role for our military domestically.

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By Paul_GA, February 16, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

M.B.S.S, Ron Paul isn’t “coming to the rescue” because he appeals to the intellect, and most Americans want a political leader who appeals to the emotions. H.L. Mencken did say something to the effect that freedom is only for a brave few, not for the masses.

Anyway, I don’t put my trust in him; the only perfect trust is in God, after all. If he turned out to be in favor of a theocracy (which he isn’t; I saw an article at WorldNetDaily criticizing him for not being willing to call homosexuality a sin), I’d drop him like a hot potato, the same way I dropped the Repubs more than a decade ago.

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By Joshu, February 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why all the surprise and outrage?

We are arriving at a destination we have been moving towards for a long, long time - and the train is right on schedule.

There are no excuses, and this is no accident. We are about to get precisely what some of us have wanted - and what the rest of us have allowed.

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By samosamo, February 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

By Caver, February 16 at 5:42 pm

Interesting information, but, question! Would there be any patriotic person that would be able to do the same? I would hope so but the pentagon is now so infested with the neocon and lobbyists that I would have great apprehensions as to a real patriot stepping up and stopping it much less rounding those up that were part of such a plan. I don’t doubt it in that the more I have read and seen the more complex and confusing this whole thing appears that I cannot help but think this ‘could’ be leading up to the jump from the democracy to the rich and the slaves and bunch of other nasty things to happen. And as it seems to me that this slide began on a bush’s watch that he is the key factor in disrupting this country much less the rest of the world to accomplish this plan, but one thing w has said that starts to worry me some and it was: ‘history will vindicate me’ or ‘history will prove I was right’. I hope those quotes are just as they are, his quotes but if this is a grand plan for domination and it succeeds, then he knew what it was from the beginning and who better to pull it off than a bush considering Prescott bush’s financing the nazis during wwII, his son, george h.w.bush and his part in the saudi oil fields and little w who we are all to familiar with as president. Sure hope I am wrong.
Here are a couple of links to his quote:

http://www.drudge.com/news/116846/roberts-history-show-bush-right

http://www.sithly.com/meetme/omgwtf/2009/01/19/commentary-bush-will-be-vindicated-cnncom/

I do hope I am wrong.

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By Folktruther, February 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

The form of a militarized police state in the US has already been determined by Bush-Obama.  It takes advantage of American racist anti-Foreigner opinion as well as the War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism.

A hundred mile zone within the perimeter of the US, containing two thirds of the American people, has already been militarized, ostensibly for illegal immigration, to stop drugs, or to stop Terrorists.  This is what the ACLU has called a “Constitution Free Zone” where anyone can be stopped, harassed, arrested, imprisoned and, eventually I suppose, tortured.  A military combat brigade has already been assigned to the Border Patrol, and others can be so assigned.

This has occurred at least four months ago and has not been reported in the Progressive blogs. The function of this Militarized Police Zone now is to get people used to being stopped at check points and being hassled, as occurs routinely now at airports.  As in any police state, the idea is to prevent transportation and communication, as is done by Israel in the Occupied Territories.  It has been initated now by the Bushites and is being Continued and consolidated by Obama.

Under the guise of American Security.  Should another false flag Terrorist incident be staged, the US power struture can pour troops into this Occupied Zone, both government and mercenaries.  And right wingers are supporting this Militarized Police Zone in the right wing blogs, while the left has not been alerted by their leaders and truth agents.

The first step to fighting it is to alert progressives as to what has happened, and what is Continuing under Obama.

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By nunya, February 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The government is broke and the soldiers who won’t get paid will control the populace?

What other nifty fantasies will the Army War College genuiuses dream up?

ooooooooo, be afraid, be very afraid pfft

horsefeathers

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By Shift, February 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is holding back.  I anticipate that once the economy collapses and the government fails, not only will it be followed by great unrest, violence, and starvation but a bird flu pandemic brought on by the inability of collapsed governments to control it will kill untold millions further collapsing our capabilities to function coherently.  Add to that the ravages of global warming, i.e., great storms, earthquakes, droughts, etc., and we will be further eroded to the point of anarchy.  In this environment nuclear weapons will be used and escalate to the point of oblivian.  If anyone survives they will be deformed and stone age in culture.  Worse yet, I too am holding back.

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By Caver, February 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just as an example of history repeating itself, back in the 1930s depression, there was an attempted military coup here in the US. Luckily, US Marine General Smedley Butler, the man being pushed by the bankers to head the coup was enough of a patriot that he went to Congress to report the attempt, rather than allow himself to be put forward. There is good reason to think that the Great Depression was in fact caused by the bankers and industrialists (i.e. the big corporate leaders) as a prod to make people so upset that they clamored for a governmental change. What makes you think that THIS depression is any different? Read your history.

Google Smedley Butler. Read about the attempted coup. Also, read his essay “War is a Racket.”

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By Bubba, February 16, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

“We will see accelerated plant and retail closures, inflation, an epidemic of bankruptcies, new rounds of foreclosures, bread lines, unemployment surpassing the levels of the Great Depression and, as Blair fears, social upheaval.”

We “will see”?  How about we may see?  Or do you know something that none of the economists I read (about two dozen of them from left to right) don’t know? 

What you’ve written is a horror rant.  The future doesn’t look THAT bad — unless THAT bad is what you would rather make of it. 

You’re getting carried away, Chris.  Get a grip.

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By Virginia777, February 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Extremism is already here, and has been for several years now. You see it all over the blogs - which have been granted full rights for “Free Speech” (i.e. open, unhindered extremism) by several acts of legislation.

It can, however, be combated. Once exposed, it loses much of its venom.

As for the mass media, even my 83 year old mother is starting to say there are not any liberal papers anymore. She advocates a wide-spread protest - like a day not buying or reading them.

I do wish Hedges would consider that while horrible things are happening, we DO have the power in us to make them better. To sit and fear the worst, is a waste of time.

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By Snowie, February 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Call me a pessimist, but I think things are much worse than Chris Hedge’s article implies. I just can’t believe more people are not speaking out.

I think one problem why people seem to be doing nothing is their delusional beliefs that THEIR guy (whether it be Bush or Obama) is ALWAYS right and the other guy is ALWAYS wrong. I know people who hated Bush and the slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, that Obama is in, they are making excuses for the on-going slaughter. Its incredible!!

Until people can look at these problems from Outside the Partisan Box, things will keep deteriorating. Bush should have been removed from office within the first two years, but he was left to stay, and the Democrats did nothing.

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By Jason Calley, February 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges wrote: “The economic collapse has exposed the stupidity of our collective faith in a free market and the absurdity of an economy based on the goals of endless growth, consumption, borrowing and expansion.”

While the great bulk of Hedges’ writings are very much correct, poster Paul_ga is right in his comments that the problem is not one of a free market. The enormous growth in size and power of corporations is NOT a free market phenomenon but a governmental phenomenon. Corporations are explicitly chartered by the government and given special legal status that shields them from certain types of liabilities. The founders of the US were very careful to limit the creation of and power of corporations. It is only since the late 19th century that our legal and financial structures were changed to allow the modern corporation. In addition, the present (since 1913 and in clear defiance of the US Constitution) existence of a quasi-private, quasi-governmental central bank creating an unending supply of fiat currency is NOT a free market phenomenon. Add the incredible amount of regulatory restraints on business for an even less free market.

In short, a free market is based on sound currency, honest banking, voluntary trade and contracts, and ALL businesses being equally liable for any damages or fraud they commit. We have not had a free market for a hundred years.

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By samosamo, February 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

By Rechill, February 16 at 1:38 pm

Yeah, you can dream and so can I but if we don’t do that to them then they will sooner than later do it to us. And that is what will happen, this what ever it is has been very well thought out and purposely set into motion, the end game no matter what it is will not be pretty. There is an incredibly big amount of wealth locked up in ‘high’ places, I’m not talking dollars, I am talking gold, gems, platinum and those people don’t want to share it, they don’t want anyone else giving the orders and they want the rest of the world. Best I can figure is that no later than the mid 1970s when all the neocon think tanks started up is when the focus on a plan started and though carter was not really in the game every president since has been meaning clinton did more than his share so much so that a lot of what w is blamed for was already done by reagon, bush sr., and clinton. That is a lot of time for a lot of agendas to be put into action to create such a complex and confused state that it will at the least take a long time after many changes for society to recover, to what I am not sure at all.

tuocha

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By M.B.S.S., February 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

ron paul to the resuce.  hilarious.

1st off the guy is not a libertarian.  he is against the separation of church and state.  he would love to make abortion illegal.  he falls into the authoritarian camp if you look how he votes.

gold standard.  hilarious.

have you seen a graph of the price of gold over the last few decades?  it fluctuates wildly.  so much for the stability misconception.  how about the fact that there is only 4 trillion dollars worth of gold in the world total.  how could the world be on the gold standard?

libertarians have it wrong 100% with regards to economics.  they have it right 100% with regards to civil liberties.

hayek and friedman et al. believe in that invisible hand that regulates.  that hand doesnt regulate it grabs and consumes and its thirst is unquenchable.  yeah, lets privatize everything so we can have monopolies and rampant environmental distruction.  lets have toll roads and private schools and private parks and see how that hits your wallet. 

blah, blah, blah, there will be competition and that will keep prices low is what they claim.  that wont happen, people will conspire and instead of building competing roads right next to each other to keep the tolls inexpensive they will say you get this mile and i get the next mile and we can keep the price fixed at 10 dollars for everyone that drives down it.  maybe bechtel can come in a buy all our water and jack up the price 300%.  yes, libertarians what we have is not pure capitalism.  we have a corporate welfare system.  but if we did have pure capitalism it would inevitably lead to the same place.  that place is economic disaster, destroyed environment, monopolies, and if paul is king then one nation under christ.

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By Snowie, February 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately, many will heed Chris Hedges call to “dust off your copies of Marx”.

This is EXACTLY the plan, folks. To get us all lined up behind the coming Authoritarian Socialists, which will be more Nationalist Socialist than anything. The latest Economic Bill that passed had injected within its 1041 pages the blue print of a Mega Medical Updated Database, Electronic Medical records on everyone, which can be sold for profit.(Its in the Bill, I saw it!!) So, our Bodies will not really be our own temple but will belong to the State. With this, they are showing us the direction of the Next WAVE of One World Government. They are also planning on increasing the demise of Cash altogether, where everyone will pay with their “card”.
EXPECT to see a 100% increase in surveillance, from the Medical Voyeurism, to more invasions of privacy, to the LOW LEVEL IQ TYPES that will gladly turn in their neighbors for favors.
I Don’t know this country anymore. But where can one go to get away from it? Europe already has an apathetic populace that allowed their sovereighnty to be taken in exchange for Big Daddy’s care. I have no faith left in humanity. Its been a bad experiment and the gods must be disgusted for their attempts!

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By apolloguide, February 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

The ACLU alerts us that a 100 mile border around the land and sea of the continental United States has been declared by the US Border Patrol.  In this huge area containing the bulk of the population and all seaports Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Houston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston.  Within this border it is possible to stop and detain all citizens for the purpose of legitimate citizenship checks according to the way the oligarchy construes its authority through the Border Patrol, now being backed up the US Army 1st Brigade Combat Team (mechanized) and its support groups: the 3-69 Armor; 2-7 Infantry; 5-7 Cavalry; 1-41 Field Artillery; 1-3 BTB; 3rd SSB.  So by claiming to support the Border Patrol they can now be permitted to roll their tanks in the streets of America. 

...in the Army Times, Gina Cavallaro writes:

“…Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st Brigade Combat Team will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

“...this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

“After 1st Brigade Combat Team finishes its mission, expectations are that another active-duty brigade will take over…the mission will be a permanent one…

“...they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it…

“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control…

Martial law is the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety…

The Bush bunch have seen this as their transition to go outside of an election victory by the Democrats to maintain their strangle hold on the country.  They will implement a casus belli which will place control of the country in the hands of Sec Def Robert Gates who is controlled by the Bush interests. 

Think of this with Barack gone:
Joe Biden President and Nancy Pelosi Vice President.  With such spineless people in the top offices of government the country will accept military law. 

Get ready to go to the Safeway Food and need a government issued ID to buy milk and bread with ration coupons.  If you try to go around the Safeway checkpoint you will be shot by the same creepy “American soldiers” who murdered in Faluja without mercy.  If you are a miserable homeless person who spouts a Tourette’s tirade you will be tased by Bible-thumping wanker soldier from Kansas who was taught by Pat Robertson that cursing is the evidence of the Devil. 

The support units of the 1st BCT include tanks, moarters, high energy lasers recently used in 2006 in Lebanon, Blackhawk helicopters, military transport planes, plus 5000 infantrymen.  And every one of these weapons is manned by a 17 or 18 year old who is taught by his parents and reactionary Republicans that progressives hate freedom and Democrats are undermining America. 

Think of the most unreasonable cop you ever ran across and then consider that he does not have to obey the Geneva Conventions or subscribe to basic human values.  He can just shoot you and kick you into the ditch after planting a “drop weapon” on you. 

Picture an American army boot smashing a helpless citizen and you have the image.  All of these little boy soldiers have been practicing for 8 years outside our borders and now they will do unto us what they have been doing to others.  Get ready for a very ugly decade or two.

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By M.B.S.S., February 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

bullseye

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By PatrickHenry, February 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Economic terrorism at its best, leave it to the pros.
http://careandwashingofthebrain.blogspot.com/2009/02/whos-behind-theft-of-550-billion-from.html

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By Jane, February 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since “we” as a country have apparently past “the point of no return”, as individuals; when can we expect this to come to pass?  And, also as individual’s, what can we do to find an escape,should one exist?
We all know it’s coming; do we really have to sit by and wait for it ?

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By truedigger3, February 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Paul_GA wrote:
“I firmly believe that genuine laissez-faire capitalism and liberty are intertwined. “
_____________________________________________________

Paul,

Genuine laissez-faire capitalism is interwined not
by liberty but totalitarianis.
If you let corporations run amock without any regulations or taxation, they will get bigger
and bigger and cannabilize each other until in the
end the country will be left with few immensely powerful corporations that control everthing including the government. Yes, it is happening right
now here in USA. And please don’t tell me what we
have ritht now is not a real laisse-faire.
With the powerful corporations in full control, do you think the citizenry will be free and having liberty??!!
In my humble opinion, the best system will be a
stricltly controlled capitalism with a size limit
on corporate size above it the corporation should be
broken to smaller pieces
The Federal Reserve Bank, oil, gas, coal and lumber should be owned by the people.

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By goateyes, February 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It just amazes me that this all comes as such a shock. All you do-gooders that allowed illegal imagration because it gave you that warm and fuzzy feeling,it was the right thing to do for these poor people,let them have american jobs and send their earnings back home. Let them use our stolen social security numbers and produce fake ID to obtain credit cards and low interest morgages from our banks using our money. Big suprise that maybe they would default on these loans and just buy another fake ID and SSN to do it again. You bought goods (clothing,vitamins,computers,medicine,tools,pet food,televisions,etc.)from the stores not caring that they were made in China. You the consumer allowed big buisness to out source US jobs to countries all over the world not caring for a second that it meant americans losing jobs
You thought buying “made in america” really didnt matter. You continued to vote for the same crooked politicans time after time. But what is really amazing is that NOTHING has changed to date and you ask why is this happening,who is to blame. Well genius…..you are.

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By Rechill, February 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m at the point where I would welcome a military junta that appointed Ron Paul as provisional leader.  The Federal Reserve would be closed down and the traitors in government arrested.  Sound money would be instituted by the provisional government.  Wall Street would be shut down. All media would be taken over. All dual-citizens and illegal immigrants would be expelled. after their assets are nationalized.  After cleaning house, the Constitution would be restored and new elections held.  I can dream can’t I?

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By jdogg92056, February 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Department of Defense is preparing to run the de facto government of the United States of America?  These Bozos still haven’t secured Iraq after 6 years. But they’re going to run the United States of America.  Sure they are.

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By psickmind fraud, February 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

I suppose I’m just being silly here, but it really pisses me off that our shitheads (for the most part) in Congress give billions to the guys that caused most of the problems, spread around billions more blindly in the hope of abating the problems, and they take a $4700/yr raise for themselves while giving us a $13/wk tax cut. 

As long as we still have televised entertainment and misinformation, nothing will stir the American people to action…at least that’s the hope of the aristocracy. And I fear it’s not that “audacity of hope” thing.

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By BobZ, February 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Chris,

Good points, but times have changed from the 1930’s. The culture wars of the 1960’s made hero’s of rich people. They bacame our role models not matter how ill gotten their gains. We still get more uptight about small fry who rip off our system like the lady who had octuplets, rather than the big guys who steal billions. There would have been 20 times the outrage back in the 30’s. We no longer identify with the Tom Joads of the world. Also Communism proved beyond all doubt to be a failed economic philosophy. Socialism is also an epithet in this country. After all we are the country that invented and refined corporatism.  Over 40% of the country continues to vote against their own economic interests because Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill in 1965. No doubt economic terrorists on Wall Street have done horrible damage to this country and in the world at large, but they still get cut a huge amount of slack. They even have two networks devoted to their care and feeding and three if you count Fox News.

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By peedeecee, February 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

The usual shrieking hysteria. Yes, things are bad - but please don’t go to extremes until you have proof. You present evidence that can be interpreted many ways, and you offer “what if” scenarios as plausible predictions.

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By 99jonny100, February 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Yes, hold onto your hats, boys and girls. The militarized police forces have
crawled out from under the rocks. To quote my favorite “novelist” William S.
Burroughs Jr: ‘Walk, don’t run, to the nearest border’; and don’t be too slow. All
us precious bloggers who love to see our clever prose in print, but are too
damn comfortable in our armchairs—we have become extinct. The New World
Ordure is about to hit the fan. Best of luck to the younger generation—They will
be manning the barricades for the new Revolution.

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By ocjim, February 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is beginning to sound like the “doomsday” voice on the street corner. All is lost if we throw up our hands and helplessly say “What can we do?”

It is correct that our voices were muted and muffled during the days of the Bush Crime Family. But that should have taught us that we can’t sit back and expect others to do our dirty work.

This is still a democracy and democracies require care and feeding by the people.

Obama and the rest of the leaders must be told what we want, not something arising from our narcissism and not a chicken-little chant, but a plan for the welfare of all.

Chris Hedges should know that.

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By ocjim, February 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is beginning to sound like the “doomsday” voice on the street corner. All is lost if we through up our hands and say “What can we do?”

It is correct that our voices were muted and muffled during the days of the Bush Crime Family. But that should have taught us that we can’t sit back and expect others to do our dirty work.

This is still a democracy and democracies require care and feeding by the people.

Obama and the rest of the leaders must be told what we want, not something arising from our narcissism and not a chicken-little chant, but a plan for the welfare of all.

Chris Hedges should know that.

Report this

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