VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes: The financial crash of the empire is already yielding the most salubrious of effects. Let us list a few of them...
US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates is poised in the next few days to announce very significant cuts in the procurement of new weapons systems. Among them to be the F22 aircraft, a new missile destroyer, an Army armored vehicle and numerous other cherished Pentagon toys.
There is resistance in the inner circles of the establishment to further provoking Russia with deployment of anti-ballistic missiles in Eastern Europe. Suddenly there is a better than even chance this silly deployment of a defective weapon may not happen.
The USA has had to take an hands-off approach to the Salvadorean election ... for once forbearing, at least overtly, to threaten that tiny nation with dire consequences for voting its conscience. But lest you be tricked into the belief that there is a sudden outburst of sanity in cloud cuckoo-land on the Potomac, there are corresponding noises about the need to use the savings to reorganize the defense establishment to be able more efficiently to wage colonial war.
We are hearing rumblings that the re-inforcement of imperial troops in Afghanistan is to proceed, with expanded air and commando attacks within Pakistan to support them. There are also reports of the movement of forces within the US toward the Mexican border regions. We have heard no reports of plans to scale back US operations in support of the Colombian narco-regime ... and, as yet, there is no movement of troops out of Iraq. Nor is there any cessation of provocations against Iran.
But it is a measure of the confusion here in Washington that even as elements within the CIA and Pentagon work to destabilize Iran by aiding rebel groups on its periphery there are also groups within the US State Department seeking to win Iranian support in Western Afghanistan. Even asking the Islamic Republic to allow supply trains to traverse its territory!
Clearly there is much work yet to be done to choke off the financial power which has hitherto allowed the empire to launch its various murderous escapades in target countries. But that the regime here is vastly weaker than it was before the election of Bush in 2000 is without doubt ... and that, internally, it is no longer speaking with one voice is also without doubt. Its internal corruption and contradictions are our best hope.
We were hearing at one point that there might be significant relaxations in the various provocations against Cuba in advance of the hemispheric meetings in Trinidad & Tobago ... but it seems that the hardliners have more-or-less won that one. US citizens with relatives on the island will be allowed to send small remittances and travel there once per year rather than waiting for every third year. But otherwise there is to be no change in the blockade.
Domestically we are amused by a scandal about Federal bailout funds being used to support handsome payouts at AIG Corporation to the very traders and executives who brought that once-mighty conglomerate to its financial knees. Most of the sucker-citizens of the USA do not yet know that the very politicians who now complain the loudest about this, are also those who refused to allow any legislative remedy for such abuses. And why should they? A few cents on every dollar stolen from the taxpayers by these corporations finds its way into the private fortunes and campaign funds of these congress-critters ... no one there really wants to rock that boat.
But it is a measure of how corrupt is the US Congress here that the focus of what limited resistance to the looting of the public treasury there is we see primarily in the Republican opposition. That is only by reason that they are no longer in the majority: They are seeing the lion's share of the bribery going to the Democrats. Suddenly what was fine and virtuous only three years ago has become an heinous sin.
The new budget is out and is so loaded with gifts to Wall Street that we shall see the public debt grow to at least 11 trillions this year ... and these are the official figures ... about as reliable as were the published figures for the success of a Soviet Five-Year Plan.
All-in-all a satisfying week in Washington. It truly soothes the soul to watch the empire in its death-throes. The longer there is no real reform here, the safer will be Venezuela and all other potential target countries.
From the imperial capital