"With great power, comes great responsibility", that's a quote from the movie, Spiderman. The superpower known as America is a stranger to that concept however, because it can't stop waging incessant, futile wars. With the rapidity that change can occur in geopolitics these days, this callous American attitude can easily provoke a catastrophic global war. Although one can justifiably blame the elites for this debacle, equally culpable are the American people who loudly cheer or silently bless the perpetual wars. Selling a war in the U.S. is like giving out candies on Halloween.
At a fundamental level, most Americans don't even realize that they live in an Empire. The credit for this astonishing ignorance goes to the tightly controlled corporate media and the education system. With this topic completely eliminated from the vernacular, half of the logic disappears in the discussions about wars. As a result, any discussion of the fact that the military-industrial complex thrives on wars is also totally omitted. Experts who stand to gain from wars are paraded on TV to inform the public about the great dangers of a foreign enemy. Then there are politicians who are all bought and paid for by the lobbyists from the military-banking-security complex. Corporate media also obediently regurgitates all the talking points of the Deep State.
Americans just absorb and internalize all the biased information from pundits, politicians and the media without any filters. The question, "Can this be propaganda?" never crosses most people's minds. So, if you don't discuss imperialism and war-profiteering, what else is there do think about? Only the country we want to attack.
And what do Americans know about the country we want to attack? Virtually nothing. They don't know the geography, history, culture or the geopolitics of the country that is being demonized. The only information people get are slogan-filled, sensational talking points, which are also just recycled over the decades: Hitler ... dictator ... murderer ... freedom/democracy blah blah. For an added effect, throw in support for terrorists. That's all Americans need to hear. Woohoo! Let's bomb!
The targeted country never gets a chance to defend itself. Americans never listen to the foreign leader or the foreign media. That would just be a crazy idea! So America turns into a Grand Jury. American experts present the case and Americans always indict the defendant. Then polls show that a vast majority of Americans are sufficiently brainwashed to support a military action, and the bombs start flying away.
There is a reason that the social engineering elites broadcast World War II movies a zillion times a month on cable TV. This propaganda has two myths: America fights against evil and America always wins. This programming is so effective that certain words trigger a Pavlovian response in the public. If you analyze all the mainstream articles about the "enemies" we have attacked in the last few decades, you'll see the usage of same words, phrases and themes.
Americans don't see the patterns or the plots, since they have the memory of a goldfish. Question: Didn't we just attack Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria? Answer: I can't remember! All I know is Iran is evil! The elites can sell a series of wars, one by one, and Americans will buy them. Heck, the elites can lay out the plan and say, "We are going to attack these countries in the coming years," but it just doesn't register.
The goldfish memory, along with complete apathy towards foreign affairs, also results in guilt-free wars. Question: Was Libya prosperous under Gaddafi? After the American bombing campaign, is it completely devastated and torn apart by civil war and jihadist groups? Answer: I don't know, I don't care!
The guilt is also washed away by fake humanitarian gestures such as accepting refugees. The modus operandi is to destroy a hundred homes in a foreign country and accept one family as a refugee. Or better yet, send ten families to Europe. Getting rid of a dictator and welcoming people into your country ... that's a double dose of oxytocin (the empathy hormone)!
There are also no tangible consequences for supporting wars. First, it's not like the Vietnam War when regular Americans from Middle Class families fought and died. Second, the government simply borrows more money to wage new wars. If you are not physically or financially harmed, it's easy to support wars. Borrow and bomb!
America's military adventures are treated like TV series. If "Season 1: Libya" ends, Americans can't wait for "Season 2: Syria." They know that the episodes will be gripping and dramatic. Terrorists, a nation being totally ruined in a civil war, an evil dictator struggling to survive, the CIA arming and training freedom fighters ... it's gonna be a blockbuster! Just as they turn off their critical thinking while watching "reality" shows, people simply consume the Hollywood-style scripts written by war propagandists and the fake news media. Theoretically, people could dismantle the mainstream narratives with a little bit of research. But no, that would ruin all the fun.
Most Americans don't realize that sanctions are acts of war, and proxy wars are just as bad as real wars. America's sanctions cripple nations and choke the economies, because the U.S. controls the global financial system. For example, half a million Iraqi children died in the 1990's after the US/UN sanctions. As for the illegality of proxy wars, how would Americans feel if Syria sent guns and missiles to Antifa or the KKK? Without thinking through all these, Americans cheer on sanctions and arming rebels in other countries. (By the way, what's the difference between rebels and terrorists? Depends on which direction their weapons are aimed).
There's hardly any self-reflection in America. America's foreign-policy establishment is like a guy who gets into bar fights every weekend, and he always blames others. Since Americans don't care about history or geopolitics, they believe that this entertainment will go on forever.
The fact is that America is like an alpha monkey that spends all day beating up younger male monkeys. This continues for a while until the alpha gets a little old and starts napping a lot. That's when the female monkeys in the harem sneak away to enjoy some romance with the younger males. Translating this jungle reality into geopolitics, the challengers are Russia and China. And, yes, America's vassal states around the world are already forging trade and military ties with Russia and China, and are exploring ways to get out of the Petrodollar system.
America's foreign policy cannot be based on the "Harvey Weinstein Doctrine." Weinstein thinks that because he's rich and powerful, he has the right to plunder women. When women refuse to sleep with him, he destroys their careers. America cannot demand loyalty and obeisance from other countries anymore. And we certainly shouldn't bully and bomb countries just because they choose to be independent. Weinstein doesn't believe in courtship, and the U.S. has discarded the subtle and patient art of diplomacy.
America can be an Empire or a Republic, but not both. An Empire is very expensive to maintain; it makes a lot of enemies around the world; and it sacrifices the homeland in order to desperately preserve its power abroad. And it always, eventually, collapses. America can be - or rather, can only be - prosperous and strong without engaging in perpetual wars and aggression. Unfortunately, there is no sign that the people in charge of the Empire have any plans to change their deluded ways. There's nowhere to go but down.
Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Syria – War of Deception. It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto. Folow him on Twitter: @GMOChannel