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John Chuckman


Found this video of a guy [George Bush] running for president in 2000 talking about a humble, non-interventionist, no nation-building foreign policy. Anyone know what happened to him?

Bush, in a very real sense, never was President.

He signed papers and made dumb speeches, attended events and had lots of official photos taken in places such as on-board Air Force One holding a phone.

Cheney and Rumsfeld – both heavily connected to the deepest intelligence establishment through their international corporate careers – were the ones putting the papers in front of Bush for signing.

Bush proved modern America does not really need a president, except to formally comply with old laws.

He was a figurehead, a truly laughable one, and remains a pathetic historical figure.

Both Obama and Trump are more intelligent, but both, despite coming from almost different ends of the political spectrum, pretty quickly ended up as signers, not deciders. All of the speeches and rhetoric aside, claiming this or that, asserting this or that, have little to do with the realities of power in America.

I’m not sure anything else is even possible today.

All those powerful and unaccountable good ol’ boys are not having their ongoing plans and efforts disrupted by a mere newly-elected official with some different ideas, from whatever part of the political spectrum he comes.

The last president who actually insisted on his authority over those people left half his head splattered in a street in Dallas.

The American government has created a monster it has no idea how to control.

It was not the work of any single party or politician but the natural outgrowth of a set of circumstances with Congress and President aligning themselves with the country’s vast corporations in their efforts throughout the world – a world in the immediate postwar period almost free of serious economic competitors, all of whom had been flattened – and employing an immense and ever-growing military-security apparatus for the work of putting other governments in their places.

That massive tangle of resources, elite persons, and powerful secretive institutions – what I call America’s power establishment – took on a life of its own and gradually assumed a position from which it cannot be shaken.

When you consider what America has really become in the post-WWII period – a vast and brutal world empire having no relationship to what ordinary Americans like to think of as a government serving their interests and respecting rules on a piece of parchment from almost a quarter of a millennium ago – perhaps no alternative arrangement is possible.

Slogans like “drain the swamp” are simply bad jokes which embarrassingly display many Americans’ ignorance of their own country’s realities. It all much resembles an ordinary citizen who really believes that the police and the military are there to serve and protect them. No, police and the military are there to keep ordinary citizens in line and to protect the people who really do run things.

Trump, despite a free flow of rhetoric and slogans, really has little more independence of action than a middling bureaucrat in a gigantic international corporation.

Again, in the end, you can either have an empire or a decent country. It is literally impossible to have both.

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