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The Massive, Malignant, Mad (as in criminally insane) U.S. Military/Security Machine: Part 1-"Imperial Barbarism"

There will be no serious moral choice in the November 2010 election. I will not be voting for anyone in the legacy Democratic party. The legacy Democratic party is as much a WAR party as the Republican party. Obama is as much a war criminal as George W. Bush.

I despair that the vast majority of my fellow citizens will never fully awaken to the heart of darkness that is our America. I don't know if we collectively as citizens at this point can stop the sociopathic U.S. killing machine. But it is unbelievable how few of us recognize the scope of its gratuitous violence. We need to resist it for the sake of our souls, as well as the doomed lives of so many innocent human beings still in its savage path. Maybe our very selves soon enough and our loved ones.

I've been wearing my black arm band since a year ago May when I realized that Obama was not capable of doing the right thing as president. In this particular instance, I was awaiting an appropriate, humane response from him to the horrifying torture program. I was awaiting a sign of responsibility from him, that is, an "ability to respond". An assurance he would prosecute the perpetrators of such systematized, depraved malice, close Gitmo and any other black sites for detention and torture. Make amends to the insanely abused victims and ensure such a travesty would never happen again. I am still waiting. I have actually lost all hope in him and, as I said above, the entire legacy Democratic party. They are lost to enabling the military/security matrix.

Where was Obama's genuine expression of empathy and regret for the million people killed, the four million displaced by the illegal wars? Where was his program to restore the human and civil rights gutted from the constitution by the Bush cabal, especially the right of habeas corpus? His plan to end the "cannon fodder" assembly line of young patriotic soldier citizens taught to demonize and slaughter, expected to sacrifice their lives, or at best become physically and/or psychologically maimed by ferocious violence for the illegitimate greedy and power-ridden agendas of amoral corporatists, militarists and political elites?

Obama even has institutionalized further depravity by assuming the right to assassinate American citizens without due process.

I've just read an article by James Petras that puts a label on what the United States government, now horrifyingly captured by amoral oligarchs, is about. "Imperial barbarism," Petras declares. Imperial barbarism makes full use of the benefits of "shock and awe", the hell with human rights and social welfare.

Petras claims that by the early 1990's there was a basic shift in the nature of imperial power, especially in the United States. A regressive shift. The new style of imperialism relies heavily on the initial use of violence to secure power and privilege over "lucrative resources." Military domination is the all-important goal. To destroy a country's economy is more efficient to the needs of U.S. empire than to weaken it. He claims this is based on the "zionist" model. "Modern technical skills with primitive tribal loyalties." The tragedy of 9/11 was exploited to launch imperial barbarism to a massive degree Petras asserts.


Militarist driven empire building in the present post-colonial global context led inevitably to destructive invasions of relatively stable and functioning nation-states, with strong national loyalties. Destructive wars turned the colonial occupation into prolonged conflicts with resistance movements linked to the general population. Henceforth, the logic and practice of militarist imperialism led directly to widespread and long-term barbarism-the adoption of the Israeli model of colonial terrorism targeting an entire population. This was not a coincidence. Israel’s zionist zealots in Washington “drank deeply” from the cesspool of Israeli totalitarian practices, including mass terror, housing demolitions, land seizures, overseas special force assassination teams, systematic mass arrests and torture. These and other barbaric practices, condemned by human rights organizations the world over, (including those in Israel), became routine practices of US barbaric imperialism.


The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war. Total in the sense that (1) all weapons of mass destruction are applied; (2) the whole society is targeted; (3) the entire civil and military apparatus of the state is dismantled and replaced by colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps. The entire modern professional class is targeted as expressions of the modern national-state and replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society organizations, are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime. The entire economy is disarticulated as elementary infrastructure including water, electricity, gas, roads and sewage systems are bombed along with factories, offices, cultural sites, farms and markets.

The Israeli argument of “dual use” targets serves the militarist policymakers as a justification for destroying the bases of a modern civilization. Massive unemployment, population displacement and the return to primitive exchanges characteristic of pre-modern societies define the “social structure”. Educational and health conditions deteriorate and in some cases become non-existent. Curable diseases plague the population and infant deformities result from depleted uranium, the pre-eminent weapon of choice of imperial barbarism.

In summary the ascendancy of barbarous imperialism leads to the eclipse of economic exploitation. The empire depletes its treasury to conquer, destroy and occupy. Even the residual economy is exploited by ‘others’: traders and manufacturers from non-belligerent adjoining states. In the case of Iraq and Afghanistan that includes Iran, Turkey, China and India.

The evanescent goal of barbarous imperialism is total military control, based on the prevention of any economic and social rebirth which might lead to a revival of secular anti-imperialism rooted in a modern republic. The goal of securing a colony ruled by cronies, satraps and ethno-religious warlords – willing givers of military bases and permission to intervene – is central to the entire concept of military driven empire building. The erasure of the historical memory of a modern independent secular nation-state and the accompanying national heritage becomes of singular importance to the barbarous empire. This task is assigned to the academic prostitutes and related publicists who commute between Tel Aviv, the Pentagon, Ivy league universities and Middle East propaganda mills in Washington.


Clearly imperial barbarism (as a social system) is the most retrograde and destructive enemy of modern civilized life. Unlike economic imperialism it does not exploit labor and resources, it destroys the means of production, kills workers, farmers and undermines modern life.

Economic imperialism is clearly more beneficial to the private corporations; but it also potentially lays the bases for its transformation. Its investments lead to the creation of a working and middle class capable of assuming control over the commanding heights of the economy via nationalist and/or socialist struggle. In contrast the discontent of the ravaged population and the pillage of economies under imperial barbarism, has led to the emergence of pre-modern ethno-religious mass movements, with retrograde practices, (mass terror, sectarian violence etc.). Theirs is an ideology fit for a theocratic state.

How ugly and horrifying is this? And yet reading the above statements, is that not exactly what we have done to Iraq and Afghanistan? Next stop, Iran? What Israel is doing to the Palestinians? The mess the imperial barbarians have perpetrated is exactly the evil, human suffering scenarios that will serve their warped agendas. Full-throttle rape and pillaging of the resources of other countries, other peoples. Nation building? Why bother? Human rights? What are they? Massive, short term profits uber alles. The hell with people. The hell with your own soldiers. They are expendable. The hell with the planet. Might makes right. Greed. Mayhem. Who cares?

To be a person of conscience one must grasp the scope of this evil. One must exit the five stages of post-Obama campaign grief. Many still seem stuck in the "bargaining" stage, and with the mid-term election season, Obama and the Dems will extend their seductive promises, to sustain that "bargaining of hope" not to be fulfilled. I have no confidence even Elizabeth Warren will last much beyond the election time courtship. Sorry, Liz. You are Obama's Lucy-football to oft-exasperated progressives

Maybe it is time for America to stop looking for justice on L&O reruns and look hard at the grotesque injustice happening in their very names to fellow humans across the globe and within their own borders. This is not easy, given the "propaganda mills" to which Petras refers.

The United States corporate-crony government has an agenda that will continue to exponentially escalate human misery, expand the killing fields, perpetrate social and environmental annihilation across the globe.

Are you really calling on moderates only, Jon Stewart? Are you marginalizing the people of conscience on the far left who have proven right in their take on the cravenness of our political system? Who know the depths of depravity of the military/security matrix.

We are wrestling with full out evil. That much evil is emotionally and even physically repellant. Is awesomely difficult to fathom. It requires people of conscience with strong enough moral imaginations to face what this country has become, grasp the depth of betrayal our leadership has sunk to.

This country is being led to doom and dooming other countries thanks to the War parties in control. Why would we vote for them? Why would we enable them to promote the illusion of a democracy when we actually have become a fascist society. The soft fascism that is America is hardening fast.

It is time for the people of conscience to rally and resist. It is time for people of conscience to teach not only the Tea Party, but the legacy Dems and the apologist "pragmatic" faux progressives ("we must support the lesser of two evils" folks) what REAL liberalism actually is. What commitment to law and values actually is.

Let's not kid ourselves, the massive, malignant, mad (as in criminally insane) military/security machine is one of the twin engines of our national nightmare! Time to call it and its enablers out loudly and clearly with proactive resistance!

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Submitted by Hugh on

I would say the military aspect of imperial barbarism began back in Vietnam. The parallels between Vietnam and Iraq are striking. Both were wars of choice that we got lied into waging. Both damaged our military and our society and caused unimaginable havoc in the countries themselves. There are also parallels with Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Iraq. In all three, the exit strategy involved a major escalation. In all three, even after they were seen to be a mistake, it still took our leaderships years to actually get out.

Wars serve the interests of certain of our elites, most notably the military-industrial complex to which we can now add the intelligence and homeland security industries. Congress and the White House also find wars useful for public relations purposes making them look tough and forceful. And even certain segments of the public find it important to blame some foreign Other for their problems.

Imperial barbarism has pretty much eviscerated our Constitution. We are left with the shell of a democracy and elections that don't mean anything. It's been a one-two punch. The War on Terror and national security establishment have erased almost all of our Constitutional protections. At the same time, corporate interests and the wealthy have bought the political process and most of the judicial process as well.

This amalgam of state, corporation, and militarism is fascism ( as you note) and that is what imperial barbarism is really an expression of. Peole think it can't happen here without realizing that it already has.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I wrote a long response to your response night before last but then when I went to save it went off into the ether, as did the site. lambert, hope it wasn't something I did or said!

I must go back and peruse why Petras starts the imperial barbarism during Clinton times. There are some horrifying skeletons in the American closet

Appreciate your take on Vietnam. Certainly the Phoenix terrorism/torture operation relates to the horrors of today. And the old "we had to bomb the village in order to 'save' it!" Vietnamization.

Appreciate all you said.

With almost a million people now on homeland security payroll, time to be very afraid. Neo-McCarthyism and paycheck-driven enforcement ... and militarized policing -- intelligence on the threats of the intelligent ... how cruelly ironic.

Incompetence, amorality, corruption. SOP.

I keep wondering about Mexican and Afghan drug trade. How thick are we enmeshed in those. The escalation of evil.

Gangsta economics. Falls right into the "imperial barbarism" mold.