The American Way

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By Stephen Lendman

Past and present leaders reveal the soul of their nations. Arguably America never had one. Current domestic and foreign policies provide convincing evidence.

Police state harshness targets defenders of right over wrong everywhere. National resources go for militarism, belligerence, and making super-rich elites richer. Corporations are licensed to steal, exploit, and plunder.

Wars ravage one country after another. Humanity is ruthlessly destroyed. Battlefields shift from one theater to another. Gangsterism writ large reflects official policy. Syria is ground zero.

Months of Western generated violence left thousands dead, many more injured, and countless numbers displaced. Nothing deters America’s war machine madness.

Bloodlust defines it. Dominance matters most. Body counts mount. Rule of law principles and democratic values are considered quaint and out of date. Stomping on people is policy.

Concern for human and civil rights is off the table. Winning hearts and minds was never America’s game. Crushing the will to resist is more important. Repression enforces the message harshly. Death squad diplomacy eliminates non-believers. Where it ends, who knows!

Despite ongoing direct and proxy wars, hawkish US lawmakers want more. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are three of America’s worst. Peace they believe is abhorrent.

Death squad massacres in Syria aren’t enough. As a 2008 presidential candidate, McCain’s advocated bombing Iran. “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” he sang on his “Straight Talk” tour to the tune of a popular Beach Boys song.

Lunatics like this run America. Now McCain wants more. So do Graham and Lieberman. They’re not alone. On August 5, the Washington Post gave them op-ed space. Together they headlined “The risks of inaction in Syria,” saying:

Provide “robust assistance” to opposition fighters. Establish and reinforce safe zones. Use “airpower and other unique US assets.”

Damn the risks. “(I)naction carries” greater ones. “(S)trategic” aims matter most. Failure to intervene more aggressively “jeopardiz(es) both our national security interests and our moral standing in the world.”

Fact check

Official US policy calls for replacing all independent governments with pro-Western ones. War is America’s national pastime. Dominance alone matters. Sovereign rights can’t be allowed to interfere.

Washington planned war on Syria years ago. It’s orchestrating events on the ground. It’s been involved from day one. It’s recruiting, arming, funding, training, and directing mercenary killers.

It’s not good enough so let’s bomb, say McCain, Graham and Lieberman. With these type lawmakers influencing policy, don’t bet money on humanity surviving. Don’t expect America to renounce war. Don’t imagine embracing democratic values is planned.

Hunker down for worse to come. Get involved and try to stop it. Syria is about to go up in flames. Iran is next, then other nations. No good ending comes from this. Wars beget more of them. Permanent ones assure self-destruction.

Perhaps America will take humanity with it. It’s not far-fetched. Partnered with Britain, other key NATO allies, Israel, and regional despots, chances of armageddon are too high to risk.

Chances for homeland tyranny are virtually certain. Militarism writ large heads it there. It’s closer than most people imagine. It’s not pretty now. Expect much worse ahead. It could come any time.

Battleground Syria could shift venues to America if popular resistance erupts. Daily violence and atrocities there could become commonplace domestically. Some neighborhoods already experience low intensity versions of what could easily ratchet higher.

Hammering one country after another draws it closer. Former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter mimicks McCain, Graham and Lieberman. Halting Syrian violence depends on increasing it, they believe.

People like this run America. They’re interviewed on US television. They’re given feature op-ed space. Earlier, Slaughter called for “no-kill zones.” Pentagon officials call them “buffer zones.” They’re ground-based no-fly zones. If established, they assure full-scale war.

Slaughter supports no holds barred escalation. On July 31, her Financial Times article headlined “We will pay a high price if we do not arm Syria’s rebels,” saying:

She wants that and more. “It is time for bold action,” she said. She suggests Libya 2.0. Go for broke, she urges. Other hawks echo her sentiment. “Syrians will remember those who remember them,” she said.

The longer fighting rages, the greater Assad’s support grows, the more America is hated.

Syrians aren’t stupid. They know what Washington did to Iraq and Libya. They know what’s gone on in Afghanistan since 2001. They understand that wherever America arrives, death, destruction, and unspeakable human misery follow.

If Washington wins, they lose. They’re willing to die to prevent it. America plans full-scale war. Imagine how many more will die. Imagine the vast destruction. Imagine any nation ravaging others. It’s the American way.

Permanent wars are waged for wealth, power and dominance. At the same time, homeland needs go begging. Out-of-control militarism heads America for tyranny and ruin. Along the way, millions suffer and die.

Obama follows in the tradition of previous warrior presidents. Over time, stakes and risks grow exponentially. State-of the art weapons threaten everyone. Obama’s National Security Strategy “reserve(s) the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend out nation and our interests.”

In other words, preemptive wars with weapons of mass destruction is policy. Obama claims it’s “to keep the American people safe (and advance the nation’s) values and ideals.” It threatens other countries to bend to Washington’s will or else.

In the process it destroys freedom. Chalmers Johnson called war profiteering “the most efficient means for well-connected capitalists to engorge themselves at the public trough.”

Expect more of it, he warned. Expect tyranny to replace democracy. Expect hell on earth so globalists can control it. Maybe they’ll destroy it instead.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

7 comments on “The American Way
  1. I used to read Lendman’s blog but I got tired of reading about war, murder, rape, theft, and every other kind of evil that exists. We are so immersed in evil is it any wonder that that is all that we know how to do? I would like to propose that progressives turn their backs on evil and embrace good – perhaps by embracing good we will oil the rusty and unused paths to peace. We focus so much on hatred, bigotry, and mean-spiritedness that it is a miracle that anyone knows that humans are capable of good. Turn on the TV: murder, shootings, drug abuse, traffic accidents, medical emergencies, rape, child abuse, animal abuse, drought, famine, rape … atrocity after atrocity after atrocity after atrocity.

    Enough. Do a search on “gift economy”.

    I recently subscribed to Cyrano’s Journal and am now unsubscribing – I don’t need any more horrors in my life. Focusing on horror does not get us to a good place – we need to nourish the good in humans and stop focusing on the evil that we are capable of.

    Good bye.

  2. Jeff, you may not see this since you have said that you have left Cyrano’s. I am sorry if we have lost you. As the Editor in Chief of Cyrano’s, I attempt to bring a wide range of issues and analyses to the community. Certainly there are times when current events are grim. I do not shrink from those.

    You mention the concept of “gift economy.” As a sociologist, I am familiar with the concept. I think that it presents us with a shift of perspective, but at least to this point, it has not been attempted beyond the small group level where interdependence is already high. To make that work in a larger society would require cultivating altruism as a primary norm – something which is miles away from the U.S. socialization into competition, individualism, and capitalism. Just my opinion as a student of social organization. Do I think it would be a worthwhile pursuit? You better believe it. However, that “gift” economy needs to extend to the planet and all of its creatures – not just to humans in our community.

    May good will and courage walk with you wherever you go.

  3. Thank you, Rowan. I subscribed to the comments on the post. I would urge you and other readers of Cyrano’s Journal to spend some time investigating the concept of the gift economy – it is a larger movement than you might imagine. You might start by visiting The Gift Economy or Charles Eisenstein’s blog on Reality Sandwich, which led me to the most excellent blog, Primitive Times.

    Despair never got anyone anywhere. It is time for progressive sites to focus their energy on creating the world that we want to live in and to stop reacting to the negative energy that assaults us every day on TV and the Internet.

  4. Hi Rowan. I just came across your site. I just want to say this about your comment here- the idea of the “gift economy” not being able to work in a larger society is exactly the point. There shouldn’t be huge nation states with one size fits all government for everyone. The new paradigm that is emerging which will address all the injustice of today will be composed of local communities fully empowered to govern themselves according to their values. It’s true the gift economy wouldn’t work on a large scale, which is why we should only organize ourselves in the small scale, and that’s why you hear everyone always talking about “keeping it local” etc. The way we achieve this is with raising the consciousness of people so they recognize that this is what needs to be done to improve their own lives, so they can then act and organize locally and challenge the corrupt power structures that are directly affecting them and build new ones.

    But I support what you do on this site. Calling out the corruption is certainly a big part of what needs to happen. Cheers.

  5. Hi Mike,
    I wasn’t saying that something like a gift economy couldn’t work in a large society, rather that norms would have to change in order for that to work. The same would be true in a smaller scale. Even those places and groups in the US who are using say barter, or local dollars, still have to participate in the capitalist economy at some level in order to survive. In other words, other economic forms are currently alleviating some of the burden of participating in the capitalist economy, but not all of that burden.

    This would indicate that a wider network of “giving” or bartering, or trading, whatever, needs to be in place – not smaller. In order for local economies to work they need more control over inputs. A non-economic example.

    Giving One township wants to have clean water for all of its citizens. FU Township up the river wants to produce electronic widgets and they use a lot of Tri-ethyl chloride. They don’t want to go to the expense of safely storing or neutralizing (if that is possible) this toxic chemical and so they just dump it in the river. There goes Giving One’s ability to supply clean water.

    They same thing works economically. We live in a society characterized by hegemonic capitalism. There are dollars between the people and everything needed to survive. We have capitalism with a stranglehold. We need to break that stranglehold and break it in a big way.

  6. Thanks Rowan. We’re definitely on the same team. I’ll add this. Forgetting about the term gift economy and instead just thinking in terms of local economies – I think we agree that this is the direction we want to go, right? Capitalism must go, and it will, either by its own collapse, or a people’s movement. The question is, what is the best way to bring about its demise? Going hand in hand with our desire to end capitalism must be the alternative that will replace it, and in my mind, the alternative is local empowered communities managing their own affairs. There could still be trade, but it would be far more enlightened, based only on providing the resources/products that could not be provided by the local community, rather than how it is today – maintaining the profits/power of the corporate overlords.

    The thing is, even if we believe that the way to end capitalism is by cutting off its head, the only way to do that is with a population that recognizes the benefit of doing so, so the question is how to reach those people. One way is what you’re doing – calling attention to the injustice. Another way is to simply begin the work of deconstructing capitalism at the microscopic level and expanding from there. Issues like trade, etc. will work themselves out as communities wake up and figure out the best courses of action. Sure, it won’t be possible for a community to completely wean itself off from capitalism right away, but no one said this would be an overnight thing, right? It will happen gradually as we all wake up, little by little. I’m curious, how do you envision a transition out of capitalism looking like? Always on the lookout for different perspectives.

    I just realized your sister site, Greanville Post, published one of my pieces a while back (Rising above the duality of our politics). Thanks for that.

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