American Hegemony


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 16, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
Chalmers Johnson - on American Hegemony. one of the best discussions I've heard on this all too important topic, the new American Empire, and its consequesnces. 52 minutes, but the first 10 will give you a pretty good idea where we're going.....

edit:(I might add in here - Chalmers is an ex right wing oriented CIA analyst , UC Berkeley political science prof and now converted critic of American corporatism and the growing Industrial Military (Congressional) complex.

This guy is more likely to show up on 'Talk of the Nation' than on 'Alex Jones'. No wacko influence to be seen)

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 12:17am PT
by the way (I note no one is commenting on this - ha) Chalmers is the author of Blowback and Nemesis amongst other best seller books (not that "best seller" says anything in itself.....

Mckinleyville, Ca
Nov 17, 2012 - 12:34am PT
here's another good elephant that's in the room: from ~ 2007

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 11:51pm PT
my best post to date, and apparently only one person has taken a look? what's up with that.

as to OT, well, as has been pointed out before, this is a Climber's forum (as opposed to a "climbing forum".) I'm a climber of sorts, and I'm sitting here around the electronic firepit, and what's on my mind today, isn't my last ballsy solo, but the end of democracy. So I want to talk about it. ha anybody game?

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:54pm PT
I really like the way he puts in the last pro and and runs it out on the manky rock.

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:45am PT
I cannot comment on the vid, I did set a bm to watch it later, but as a teacher of Hawaiian history, this place should have never been annexed. The overthrow guys should have been shot but then again history is a bunch of shouldas.

We have military bases in how many countries? And we re loved for that?

Read GWashington's five hour retirement speech. Damn!

Trad climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:37am PT
Rockermike I haven't had time to watch the video. I do realize the corporations have stolen our democracy from us. I also realize that they are stealing the natural resources from the 3rd world countries and sending jobs that americans used to do to these countries where the people are willing to work like slaves all day for a less than an american/westerner would earn in an hour doing the same work.

The question is what do we do about it? The people who are in charge of the system are a miniscule proportion of the world's population and they have tricked the whole world into living this rat race!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:48am PT
I hope to watch this, in about a week, if I can find it.

Thanks for putting this up.

Empires rise, empires fall, same as it ever was.
My goal is to enjoy every day and prepare the way for my children as best I can. I don't want to get wrapped around the axle worrying about sh#t I can't change.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 11:06am PT
As to what can we do. I don't know, and I'm certainly not saying anyone else should do anything. But for myself, as I become more aware of the situation (political, but also environmental, social etc), I find myself depressed and tempted to just go off into the mountains to climb dangerous routes. But my better self knows that "there's nothing we can do" mentality helped Hitler rise to power. Yes, there is something we can do, it just takes extreme self sacrifice and a radical change in direction within our lives. I suppose something would include self-education, spreading information, and organizing. The "reverse Citizens United" campaign seems like a particularly good place to start. But one thing I am becoming increasingly aware of within my own psyche, is that I can no longer live the earn and burn (a la (in my case) new climbing and surfing and cycling gear. New cars and nicer houses..., whatever your poison is) lifestyle of middle America. Its sinful nature is becoming just too obvious to me and the sense of guilt outweighs the pleasures. But that's just me. Meanwhile, I'm off to Bolivia on my new bicycle to get away from the stress. ha ------- hypocrisy even more than hope springs eternal......

Nov 20, 2012 - 11:38am PT
Thanks for posting this. This is a worthy thread, IMO. Can't watch the youtube discussion yet but I'll try to get to it this evening and comment then.

This is important enough to be discussed here, IMO again. If we remain objective in discussion there is hope of change. It's foolishness to accept the ridiculous false dichotomy of liberal vs. conservative America. We need these threads to help transcend that naive thinking. More later...

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 20, 2012 - 11:48am PT
"au reste, après nous, le Déluge”

(I don’t speak French, BTW}

What I ment is, we act as there is no tomorrow. And, if we learn anything from human history, indulgence is irreversible. It’s all downhill from here.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
Empires, schmempires - Thomas Malthus will have the last laugh.

There's also a virus growing in a monkey's bunghole in Rwanda and another
in a chicken's cloaca in China that will vie for the last laugh.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 20, 2012 - 12:32pm PT

Yes, and no. Overpopulation can be mitigated. Look at Japan, they are slowly dying out. If we don’t deplete our resources first, we will dye out. That is because once you are comfortable you don’t want to have a bunch of kids, right? Most couples I know have only one or two kids. If you extrapolate, after 100,000 years, or so, we will be down to zero population. (Isaak Asimov convinced me).

So, we are doomed either way. We either deplete our resources and dwindle, or we dye out because we get too comfortable. IMHO


Jan 20, 2015 - 02:09pm PT
Chalmers posits:
"A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship."

I see this and agree. Chalmers is on the money. We need to pull back internationally, draw our horns in, spend less on the military and work on more defensive military strategy, not offensive strategy. Our current President has ordered the deaths of innocent unarmed American children with no trial or recourse. It shocks me that few Americans seem to give a damn about it either. Democrats who would be howling if Geo Bush was President and did this kind of thing defend him on it. Wonder if their silence will continue when the next President is elected who may be from the other party. President Obama has said that weekly he gives a thumbs up or a thumbs down on drone attacks. Many innocents have died so far due to his thumbs down. That's just one of many changes that have increased Presidential power to a point that I suspect if any of the founders arrived and looked at the current political system they would be screaming in horror within moments and most likely advocating revolution.

Much like boiling frogs as a slow process. The frog only learns too late that's he's getting boiled and cannot effect change at that stage of the game.

reading reference:

..."al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a US citizen who was born in Denver, was killed by a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen... as was the kids friend simultaneously. Both unarmed underage American citizens killed with no due process. 2 weeks after they had taken out Al-awlaki. When asked about the kids execution, Robert Gibbs a senior Obama campaign adviser and former press secretary says this:
"I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don't think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business," Gibbs, the former White House press secretary, told the interviewer from We Are Change, when asked to justify "an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial -- and, he's underage, he's a minor."

It's all fun and games till they start coming for you. That's usually the next thing to show up if you look around the world at places that get all authoritarian like we are currently.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jan 20, 2015 - 02:50pm PT
I haven't watched the video. I have a pessimistic view of Wall Street investors, publicly traded corporations and the homogenization of global trade.

That said, I also work for one of them. They put the butter on my bread and they also provide the bread. I am one of them.

My corporation started in California with 4 consultants forming a company. 25-years later we number well over 2000. Of the 4 founders, 3 were from India. So from the start, long before the term 'outsourcing' became ubiquitous, we had close ties with India. So close in fact half of our employees live there.

There are very active efforts to provide global opportunities to all employees of this company. We actively encourage and support immigration and the company HR department proudly heralds the number of green cards and new citizenship sponsorships. There are ties between universities and culture and business and social events; across the globe.

I mention these things because while my company seeks to leverage the various wage/cost of living markets across the globe it also actively and aggressively sponsors a reverse of outsourcing; on-shoring.

What does all that mean? I dunno. But my mom used to say something that has always resonated with me - I can't use her words but in my own, she said that we will not achieve 'tribal peace' until all humans were a similar shade of brown.

What she meant of course is the great melting pot. Its not NYC, its not even America anymore. The struggles with christian and islamic power mongers and fanatics aside, the great melting pot is, for now, going global.

But all of it, every last aspect of the American culture, relies on one thing; OIL. The spice must flow or it all crashes and when it crashes billions will die. Its a spinning top that must not stop or it ceases to exist at all.

Well it WILL all end, sooner (for me), later (for my descendants), ultimately for everyone and everything. So we just do the best we can.

Meanwhile, I work for an American corporation and we are global. I help enable global trade every day, its what I do. Its hard for some to understand my final point but it remains true as ever - hypocrisy is hardwired into our existence and no person is an island.

The spice must flow.


Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jan 20, 2015 - 02:51pm PT

Thx for posting that example.

Should a 16 year old son of a Nazi SS officer running an active military campaign killing innocent civilians in say, Northern Africa, in the early 40s be accorded deferential treatment if he happened to be born in Denver when the officers wife was visiting the United States 16 years prior?

Does the bare fact of birth on U.S. soil confer special protection when that child will be used as a human shield defending murderers?

We take some risks in all violent confrontations. Whether it is a swat team taking out a kidnapper, or if it's preventing Nazi military attacks, or terrorist strikes that almost always impact innocent civilians themselves... and when those are hard targets to get access to for other surreptitious means of neutralizing the enemy.

No easy answer here. Just exploring the principle appealed to.


Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Jan 20, 2015 - 02:55pm PT
I've heard this guy talk a bunch of times. He definitely new what was up, and what was going down. Unfortunately he died in 2010. This video is a little dated. Still relevant though.
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