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Jul 23, 2017 · Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire.
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Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire By Jeremy Scahill July 23, 2017 " " - Even as President Donald Trump faces ever-intensifying investigations into the alleged connections between his top aides and family members and powerful Russian figures, he serves as commander in chief over 5 U.
Under Trump, the U.
Meanwhile, China has quietly and rapidly expanded its influence without deploying its military on foreign soil.
A new book by the famed historian Alfred McCoy predicts that China is set to surpass the influence of the U.
At that point, McCoy asserts the United States Empire as we know it will be no more.
He sees the Trump presidency as one of the clearest byproducts of the erosion of U.
McCoy argues that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the beginning of the end.
McCoy is not some chicken little.
He is a serious academic.
And he has guts.
During the Vietnam war, McCoy was ambushed by CIA-backed paramilitaries as he investigated the swelling heroin trade.
Imagining the real-life impact on the U.
After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2030 the U.
Suddenly, there are punitive price increases for American imports ranging from clothing to computers.
And the costs for all overseas activity surges as well, making travel for both tourists and troops prohibitive.
Unable посетить страницу источник pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget.
Under pressure at home and abroad, its forces begin to pull back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter.
Such a desperate move, however, comes too late.
Faced with a fading superpower incapable of paying its bills, China, India, Iran, Russia, and other powers provocatively challenge U.
We broadcast an excerpt of the interview on the podcast.
Below is an edited and slightly condensed version of the full interview.
In this wide-ranging interview, we discuss Trump and Russia, the history of CIA interference in elections around the world, the Iran-Contra scandal, the CIA and the crack-cocaine epidemic, U.
How do you see him in a historical context, and what does his presidency represent about the American Empire?
Alfred McCoy : What I think right now is that, through some kind of malign design, Donald Trump has divined, has figured out 5 are the essential pillars of U.
And he seems to be setting out to systematically demolish US global hegemony.
Our share of the global economy has declined substantially.
The world system is spreading its wealth and there are a number of second tier powers, the rise of the European Union, et cetera.
Тостер конвейерного типа Hurakan said that, the presidency is a weaker office internationally than it used to be.
Nonetheless, there are presidents, and I say Barack Obama was one of them, George H.
Bush was another, these presidents through skillful diplomacy, their knowledge of the international system, their geopolitical skills, they could maximize U.
They could use U.
What are your thoughts on that?
Much of the military establishment and its links with the intelligence community is in place.
Weapons systems take as long as 10 years to go from design, prototype, testing, and either rejection or acceptance.
So that transcends any administration, even a two-term administration.
President Eisenhower, that famous phrase that he warned us about in his last address, больше на странице military industrial complex—he built a complex in which he integrated scientific research, basic research in the universities and private corporations, and then dozens of defense contractors who have more or less permanent contracts to maintain their research and production establishment—he integrated that with the U.
Given your scholarship on what people loosely call the deep state right now, what do you make of those claims that the CIA and certain elements within the Pentagon are actually the protectors of the Democratic republic?
AM : A complex argument.
One: the rapid growth of that state documented by The Washington Post, in a series about eight years ago, 2010, what they called the fourth branch of the U.
That under the terms of the global war on terror, a massive infusion of nearly a trillion dollars into the Homeland Security.
And I agree, we need to.
And like all of the other branches it will coordinate with the executive because the executive has a great deal of power, of funding, you can set priorities, but it has a ten year cycle—ultimately a much longer term cycle of preparation and responsibility.
A president is in office for eight or maybe four years.
A military career, if successful, an intelligence career, is thirty years.
So those professionals and the agencies they represent, have a much longer term viewpoint.
Not just four or eight or ten.
But they actually look ahead twenty years and they try and see the shape of the world and then, set, through the intelligence community and through the national security establishment, priorities for coping with this fast changing world.
So at the apex of the intelligence community, there is this formal procedure for establishing a long range, or medium range, twenty-year perspective.
So, yes, they look longer, they have their own policies, they have their читать, their programs that are in many ways autonomous from the executive, and increasingly so.
But I want to ask you about a much earlier book that you wrote, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.
And that details your investigation—and it really was what introduced you to this world of covert CIA operations, client states, mercenaries, local proxies, and you also found yourself in conflict with very powerful individuals in the CIA and the national security state because of what you were researching.
Talk about that book and the process that led to writing it and how it was eventually published.
Now, almost fifty years ago, looking back it was an extraordinary experience.
In the space of eighteen months to two years, I acquired an amazing education.
Up to that point I was a graduate student looking at the history of colonialism in Southeast Asia, writing articles that had lots of footnotes.
I was a library rat.
There were, if that statistic is accurate, more addicts in the ranks of the U.
Army in South Vietnam than there were in the United States.
And so what I did was I set out to investigate: Where was the opium coming from?
Where was the heroin 5 from?
Who was trafficking it?
How is it getting to the troops in their barracks and bunkers across the length and breadth of South Vietnam?
Nobody was asking this question.
Everyone was reporting on the high level of abuse, but nobody was figuring out where and who.
So I started interviewing.
I went to Paris.
I interviewed the head of the French equivalent of the CIA in Indochina, who was then head of a major French читать больше manufacturing company, and he explained to me how during the French Indochina war from 1946 to 1954, they were short of money for covert operations, so the hill tribes in Laos produced the opium, the aircraft picked it up, they turned it over to the netherworld, the gangsters that controlled Saigon and secured it for the French and that paid for their covert operations.
You should go and look.
I went to Saigon.
I got some top sources in the Vietnamese military.
I went to Laos.
I hiked into the mountains.
And they were transforming, in those labs, the opium into heroin.
It was being smuggled into South Vietnam by three cliques controlled by the president, the vice president, and the premier of South Vietnam, and their military allies and distributed to U.
And so this heroin epidemic swept the U.
The Defense Department invented mass urine analysis testing, so when those troops left they were tested and given treatment.
And what I discovered was the complexities, the complicity, of the CIA in this traffic and that was a pattern that was repeated in Central America when the Contras became involved in the traffic.
The CIA looked the other way as their aircraft and their allies were smuggling cocaine from Colombia through Central America to the United States.
Same thing in the 1980s, during the secret war in Afghanistan, the Mujahideen turned to opium.
The opium production in Afghanistan during that secret war increased from about 100 tons of opium per annum to 2000 tons, a massive increase.
Afghanistan went from supplying zero percent Mobiado Classic 712EM U.
The CIA sent arms across the border through caravans to the Mujahideen fighters and those same caravans came out carrying opium.
The CIA prevented the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, from investigating.
Again, complicity in the traffic.
So a clear pattern.
The other thing was when I began to do that investigation and write up the book, I faced enormous pressures.
My phone was tapped by the F.
The Department of Education investigated my graduate fellowship.
Friends of mine who had been serving in military intelligence were recruited to spy on me.
In other words, what I found was the CIA penetrated every aspect of my life.
The head of CIA covert operations, a very famous operative name Cord Meyer Jr.
So what I discovered was not only CIA complicity, complex compromise relationships with covert allies far away in remote places like Southeast Asia, but also the incredible depth of the penetration of the CIA within US society under the conditions of the Cold War.
I found my phone, my fellowship, my friends, my publisher, every aspect of my life was manipulated by the CIA.
It was a fascinating discovery.
All of those areas.
The method I came up with was very simple.
Go back to the U.
And then when you get to the present where it becomes secret, highly classified, and very controversial, you understand the structure, so you know where to look, what assumptions are likely to be sound, what hypotheses might work, how you can conduct your analysis and that can lead you to an insight.
I work on the Philippines 5 my main area in southeast Asia that I study, and I was very interested in the overthrow of the Marcos regime.
I did some research that contributed to that overthrow.
So I was very interested in who these colonels were.
Well, that also introduced me to the idea that the CIA was training torturers around the globe.
And I figured this out in the 1980s, before it was common knowledge.
And what I began to figure out was also the nature of the methods that these colonels were using.
Now, look, these are physical guys that were brutally, physically hazed at their military academy, as often happens in such organizations.
And so instead of beating physically their victims, they use something counterintuitive.
They used psychological techniques.
And so in 2004, when C.
Television published those photographs from Abu Ghraib prison, and nobody knew what was going on.
That is CIA doctrinal techniques.
The bag is for sensory deprivation, the arms are for self-inflicted pain, those are the two fundamental techniques of CIA psychological torture.
I participated in a documentary that won an Oscar, Taxi to the Dark Side, that interviewed me and also made that argument, and it would not be for another ten years until 2014, when the U.
Senate Intelligence Committee spent forty million dollars and reviewed six million CIA documents and came to a rather similar conclusions.
What I mean is, the N.
But, talk about the post World War II growth of what now has come to be known as the national security state?
I think the national security state is the instrument the United States used to build and exercise its global hegemony.
Looking at the comparative history of empires in the modern age going back 500 years, the thing that distinguishes the U.
And so US hegemony was being exercised, not over colonies, whose sovereignty was compromised, in fact had been transferred to the imperial power, but over independent nation states, who had sovereignty.
So you had an empire under conditions that denied empire.
So how do you exercise hegemony in non-hegemonic Планшет Lenovo TAB A8-50L />You have to do it covertly.
And in 1947, President Harry Truman, right after World War II, and Congress passed the National Security Act that laid down the bureaucratic apparatus for the U.
That National Security Act created the Defense Department, the U.
Air Force, the CIA, and the National Security Council—the key instruments of the US exercise of global power.
And then when the next administration came in, under President Dwight Eisenhower, what he did is he realized that there were nations that were becoming independent across the world and that he had to be intervening in these independent nations and so the only way he could do it was through plausible deniability, you had to intervene in a way that could not be seen.
You had to do it covertly.
And so Eisenhower turned to the CIA, created by Harry Truman, and he transformed it from an organization that originally tried to penetrate the Iron Curtain, to send agents and operatives inside the Iron Curtain.
It was a complete disaster.
The operatives were captured, they were used to uncover the networks of opposition inside the Soviet Union, it was absolutely counterproductive.
Eisenhower turned the CIA away from that misbegotten mission of penetrating the Iron Curtain and instead assigned them the mission of penetrating and controlling the three quarters of the globe that was on the U.
And Eisenhower relied upon the CIA, and then the National Security Agency, to monitor signals.
And we began to exercise our global hegemony, covertly, through the CIA and allied intelligence agencies.
And that continues today, ever deepening, layer upon layer, through those processes you described.
The drones, the surveillance, the cyber warfare—all больше на странице that is covert.
And if so, were they successful in promoting Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?
And in your book, you cite this compilation from Carnegie Mellon University that says between 1946 and 2000, rival superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union, then Russia, intervened in 117 elections or 11 percent of all the competitive national level contests held worldwide via campaign cash and media disinformation.
Walk us through some of the greatest hits of the CIA and other intelligence agencies in election interference, since the 1940s.
AM : Sure—first of all, that was one of the central instruments of the U.
We were promoting democracy worldwide, we stood very strongly for democracy over authoritarianism.
On the other hand, we were exercising U.
And indeed, one of the key aspects of U.
Look, under продолжить colonial empires, Britain, France, Belgium all the rest, they had district officers and they worked with chiefs, maharajahs, emirs, local officials in colonial districts around the globe.
And they controlled who was going to be the new emir, who was going to be the new sultan, who was going to be the new maharajah.
And then, when all of those nations decolonized and became independent, the fulcrum for the exercise of power shifted from the colonial district to the presidential palace.
And so the United States paid a lot of attention in controlling who were the leaders in those presidential palaces.
You can't buy your way onto these pages One of the most famous ones, the one that actually established the capacity of the CIA to do that, was the 1948 elections in Italy when it looked like the communist and socialist parties were slated for capturing 5 majority of the seats in parliament, and then forming a government.
And you could have on our side of the Iron Curtain, in a very important world power, Italy, a legally elected, democratic elected communist government.
And so the Ссылка spent, bargain basement, one million dollars.
Imagine: Buying Italy for a million dollars.
Seems like a bargain.
They spent just a million dollars in very skillful, electoral manipulation, and they produced the посетить страницу results of the Christian Democrats, a centrist government.
And, throughout the Cold War, the 5 />And the CIA would intervene, they pump money into the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, they played electoral politics in the Philippines.
They intervened in Korea politics, in South Korean politics, all around the globe.
Any time that there was a serious electoral contest in which the outcome was critical to us, geopolitical interests, the U.
We did it that way.
And in reading your book I was reminded of the rise of Mobutu to power in Kinshasa, and also you went into great depth about the CIA crack cocaine story that ultimately was broken wide open by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News, and then attacked and major news organizations trying to discredit him.
AM : You know, in the Reagan administration the United States was at a 5 ebb in its global power.
The Reagan administration launched the invasion of Grenada.
It was the first time in nearly a decade that the US has been able to exercise its global power anywhere beyond the United States successfully, its military power.
And then in Central America, the Reagan administration felt very threatened by the collapse of the Somoza regime, one of the US client regimes in Central America, and the Sandinista guerilla movement capturing the capital Managua in 1979.
And that occurred at the same time as the Soviet Red Army basically occupied Kabul, the capture of the capital of Afghanistan, so the Reagan administration felt threatened, on a kind of far periphery of U.
So the Reagan administration reacted by mounting two major covert operations: one, to push the Red Army out of Afghanistan and two, to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
And both of these operations involved tolerating trafficking in opium in Afghanistan by the Mujahedeen Muslim guerrilla fighters, and tolerating the trafficking in cocaine in Central America by our Contra allies.
And there were basically two forms of support for the Contras.
The one was the arms-for-money deal to provide black money to sustain the Contra revolt for the decade that it dragged on.
And the other thing was a kind of hands-off approach.
There was a DEA operative, a Drug Enforcement Administration operative, in Honduras that was reporting on the Honduran military complicity in the transit traffic of cocaine moving from Colombia through Central America to the United States.
He was removed from the country.
And then the CIA, because of Congress cutting off the arms shipments periodically for the CIA, the so-called Boland amendment that imposed a kind of embargo upon U.
And so, the kingpin, the drug kingpin of the Bay Islands was a notorious international trafficker named Alan Hyde who had 35 ships on the high seas smuggling cocaine from Colombia into the United States.
And to get access to his warehouses what the CIA did was they basically blocked any investigation of Alan Hyde from 1987 to 1992, during the peak of the crack-cocaine epidemic, and so the CIA got to ship their guns to his warehouses and then onward to the border post for the Contras.
And Alan Hyde was given an immunity to investigation or prosecution for five years.
And this coincided with the flood of cocaine through Central America into the United States.
Then they issued, the inspector general in 1998, issued part two of that report, the executive summary said similarly: no case to answer, CIA relations with the Contras in Central America complex, but nothing about drugs.
But if you actually read нажмите чтобы перейти report, all the way through, which is something historians tend to do, you get to paragraph 913 of that report and there are subsequently 40 of the most amazing revelations, forty paragraphs of the most amazing revelations stating explicitly in cables and verbatim quotes from interviews with CIA operatives about their compromised relationship with the biggest drug smuggler in the Caribbean, Alan Hyde.
Those are those paragraphs.
But you can find them on the Internet.
Gates was the deputy director of the CIA, and of course now is one of the ссылка figures in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.
He was ссылка на продолжение secretary under both George W.
Bush and Barack Obama.
And Gates, his hands are all over this thing as well.
That illustrates the disparity between the formal rhetoric of politics and the geopolitics of the exercise of global power.
And, from a pure realpolitik imperial perspective, that Contra operation, by seeking an effective complementation between the flow of drugs north, very powerful illicit economic force, and the Contra guerrilla operations, accomplish their objective.
After ten years of supporting the Contras, the Sandinistas lost power for a time in a democratic election.
They were finally pushed out of office.
The CIA accomplished its mission.
You know, in 1989, the Soviet Red Army left Kabul, they left Afghanistan, the CIA won.
So from a realpolitik perspective, we can see a weakening of U.
I think a lot of people who have followed the history of Afghanistan and U.
Given your historical, analytical work on past crises, what should we be looking for to see whether or not there is a direct U.
And that provided—I mean it provided 65 percent, the bulk of U.
Now, when the United States pulled out of Afghanistan in 1992, we turned our backs on it and the Taliban backed by Pakistan took power, and under the Taliban by 2000, by 1999-2000, the opium harvest more than doubled to 4500 tons.
But then the Taliban became concerned about their pariah status and they decided that if they abolished opium they would no longer be посмотреть больше pariah state, they could get international recognition, they could strengthen their hold on power.
And so they actually, in 2000-2001, completely wiped out opium, and it went down from 4600 tons to 180 tons, I mean like an incredible— the most, one of the most successful opium eradication programs anywhere on the planet.
And we put pallets of hundred dollar bills, we sent in 70 million dollars in cash, we mobilized the old warlord coalition in the far north, the warlords there were heavily involved in opium traffic.
We mobilize the Pashtun warlords who were all opium traffickers, and when they swept across Afghanistan and captured the countryside in the provincial capitals, they began supervising over the replanting of opium.
And, at the local level, the Taliban took control of the cultivation, the processing and the smuggling and they used the profits to rebuild their apparatus.
But instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this 21st century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic contraction or cyber warfare.
AM : There are, I think multiple factors, that lead to an imperial decline.
If you look at the key aspects of the U.
One of the key things that I think very few people understand, after World War II, the United States became the first world power, the first empire in a 1000 years to control both ends of the vast Eurasian continent.
Now Eurasia, that enormous landmass, is the epicenter of world power.
And the United States, through the NATO alliance in Western Europe and a string of alliances along the Pacific littoral with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia, controlled the axial ends of the Eurasian landmass.
And then we link that with layers of power, treaties multilateral defense treaties, starting with NATO in Europe, all the way to SETO and ANZUS with Australia, the Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the South Korea U.
Mutual Security Treaty, the Philippine U.
And then we had fleets, we had the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, the Seventh Fleet at Subic Bay Philippines, продолжить чтение the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.
We had hundreds of military bases.
By the end of the Cold War we have about 800 overseas military bases.
Most of those were arrayed around the Eurasian landmass.
There are 60 US drone bases that stretch from Sicily all the way to Andersen air base on Guam, and that, given the range of the most powerful drones, the Global Hawk, it gives us surveillance and then with Predator and Reaper, strike capacity, all the way along that rim, and that has been, if you will, the key pillars in join.
Джон Гей Опера нищего. Полли what global architecture of U.
And those pillars are starting to crumble.
The NATO alliance is weakening under Trump, with the rise of Russian pressure on that alliance, but more particularly, our capacity to control those critical allies along the Pacific littoral is beginning to weaken.
Jeremy, your organization The Intercept had, last April, a very important document 5 leaked out, the transcript of that phone conversation between President Trump and President Duterte of the Philippines, that should have had front page coverage all across the world, and every serious American newspaper.
It got good нажмите чтобы перейти, but not the coverage it deserved.
If you read that transcript closely, you can see the waning of U.
Kim Jong Un is unreliable.
They were only separated by the vast distances, the steps in the desert that seem to divide them.
One that is going to weaken the United States and strengthen China.
The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, may already be tattered and fading by 2025, and, except for the finger pointing could be over by 2030.
How do I see it happening?
There are the geopolitical shifts that I just described.
The other thing of the long term trends, the issues of economic waning, U.
China is slowly, is steadily surpassing the United States as the number one economic power.
And China will therefore have the resources to invest in military technology.
The second thing is, we speak of crumbling U.
The OECD, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the rich countries club, conducts these tests every couple years, the PISA tests, and they test fifteen year-olds.
In the latest rounds of tests, Shanghai students have come number one in math, science, and literacy.
Technology, for example, like photon communications.
China is evidently going to lead in this, that means that China can communicate with its satellites and its entire cyber and space and military apparatus without fear of being compromised.
We have not developed the same level of photon communications as China.
So, those kinds of trends in raw military power.
The sort of the erosion of U.
And so that waning, the geopolitical shifts, you know, those invisible movements of a power arrayed across the landscape.
And then источник technological and educational shifts coming together means that there are all kinds of ways for the U.
Either with a bang or a whimper.
JS : And is that, is that in your opinion a bad thing?
AM : Well, yes it is, and I here, you know I speak, you could call me, you know a narrow American.
Some have been more benign and beneficent, others have been absolutely brutal.
If you want to go to the most brutal empire, I think in human history, the Nazi empire in Europe.
It was an empire.
Much of that mobilization of labor was just raw exploitation.
It was the most brutal empire in human history and it collapsed.
The Japanese Empire in Asia, which was arguably the biggest empire in history, was a second runner-up for raw brutality, they collapsed.
The British Empire was relatively benign.
Yes, it was a global power, there were many excesses, many incidents, one can go on, but when it was all over, they left the Westminster system of parliament, they left the global language, they left a global economy, they left a culture of sports, they created artifacts like the B.
There are many problems with the US exercise of its power but we have stood for human rights, the world has had 70 years of relative peace and lots of medium size wars but nothing like World War I and World War II.
There has been an increase in global development, the growth of a global economy, with many inequities, but nonetheless, transnationally, a new middle class is appearing around the globe.
Our successor powers, China and Russia, are authoritarian regimes.
They stand for none of these liberal principles.
So we have been, on the scale of empires, comparatively benign and beneficent.
Moreover, there are going to be implications for the United States.
We get real goods and they get brightly colored paper.
Because of the position of the dollar.
When the dollar is no longer the global reserve currency, the cost of goods in the United States is going to skyrocket.
We will not be able to travel the world as we do now.
There will be lots of tensions that are going to occur in the society from what will be a major rewriting of the American social contract.
This will not be pleasant.
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