DUmmie FUnnies 02-28-05 ("This Third American Empire (seeking input)"---Pied Piper Pitt]
When I was in high school, every once in a while, our class would be visited by a graduate who was currently attending a college as a Freshman or Sophomore. As this college student would speak with his former teacher, we would be somewhat impressed with the “vast knowledge” of this person who seemed like a man of the world in comparison to us mere high school kids. Of course, these college guys weren’t really all that knowledgeable but they still appeared to make an impression on us little high school kids who didn’t know any better. And now we have William Rivers Pitt performing the same routine on the high school kids of Dummieland in this DUmmie THREAD titled, “This Third American Empire (seeking input).” As we shall see in this latest bloviation by Pied Piper Pitt, he really doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about with his slapdash lesson of mock history but it is enough to impress the DUmmies. So what is the goal of Pied Piper Pitt’s overlong discourse here? Well, you have to suffer through until near the end when Pitt introduces a new boogyman to replace the DUmmie OBSESSION with PNAC. Yes, thanx to Pied Piper Pitt, the DUmmies can now fear the obscure something called CNP which is the WHOLE PURPOSE of this bloviation. Not that Pitt really thinks there is something fearful about CNP. He just wants to inflate his self-importance by introducing this new boogyman. Therefore, in the future, whenever the DUmmies screech about the powerful CNP, Pitt can feel puffed up over the fact that HE was the one that seared that CNP brand onto the DUmmie conciousness. Without further ado, let us now chuckle over Pied Piper Pitt’s pseudo history lecture. Pitt’s bloviations and the DUmmie responses are in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, sending out a History for DUmmies book to Pitt, is in the [brackets]:
This Third American Empire (seeking input). This is very rough. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.
[And the “input” you seek, Pitt, is a massive pat on the back from the high school DUmmies who are awed that Pitt is able to piece together some slapdash history which sounds as if it were taught to him by Professor Ward Churchill.]
There have been three American empires since the creation of this nation. Each has fed the other, and each has been established and fortified by war, and more importantly, by the vast profits derived by the few in the making of war.
[Yup, it definitely sounds like you were taught by Professor Ward Churchill Pitt. Oh, and nice touch there with that Third American Empire shtick since it sounds comparable with the Third Reich. But why not just drop the subtley, Pitt, and call this the Third American Reich?]
The first American empire began with the conclusion of the Civil War. All the states east of the Mississippi River had been brought by force back under the rule of the federal government, a national taxation system had been established to provide revenues to that government, and the nascent outlines of what Eisenhower described as ‘the military/industrial complex’ had been built by the lucrative contracts handed out to arm, clothe and feed the military.
[Oops! You forgot all about the Westward movement PRIOR to the Civil War. Plus I think even Professor Ward Churchill would give you an “F” for forgetting to mention the War with Mexico which all good leftists include as a highlight of American “imperialism.” Also at the conclusion of the Civil War, the “military/industrial” complex virtually disappeared. Another “F” or at best a “D” in history for you here. So what address shall I send your copy of the “History for DUmmies” book, Pitt?]
For many years prior, Americans had been pushing into the western lands occupied by native peoples. Under the banner of Manifest Destiny, the military/economic machine created to fight the Confederacy pushed its way to the Pacific Ocean. In the process, the vast majority of Native Americans were erased from the book of history, a book that is always written by the victors.
[Not only is your history lacking here, Pitt, but your logic as well. How could a “military/economic machine created to fight the Confederacy” push its way to the Pacific Ocean “for many years prior” to the conclusion of the Civil War when in the previous paragraph you said this all began at the conclusion of the Civil War. However, have no fear about being exposed as a charlatan in DUmmieland. DUmmies are notorious for having VERY SHORT attention spans so you will easily pull off this not-so-slight of hand.]
The boundaries of this first empire were limited to the 48 continental states, but it did not long stay this way. By the time Woodrow Wilson assumed the presidency, the first American empire had expanded to include Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Imperial footholds had been established in South America and East Asia. While other global empires were on the wane – the Spanish empire was essentially dissolved with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, while the French and British empires were being attacked and slowly rolled back – this first American empire became more muscular with each passing day.
[Another “F” in history. Wilson assumed the Presidency PRIOR to World War I. Before that war both the French and British empires were at their height. The dissolution of those colonial empires did not start until AFTER both nations were weakened by the Great War.]
The transition between the first and second American empires began on April 2nd, 1917, when newly re-elected President Wilson reversed his campaign theme of staying out of the European conflict and asked congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Previously, Americans had defined themselves in no small part by being separated from the troubles of the ‘Old World.’ When the doughboys shipped out, however, that line of demarcation was crossed.
[Another “F” in history, Pitt, for leaving out the “little part” about Germany’s announcement at the end of January 1917 of unrestricted submarine warfare on American ships approaching British ports. So it wasn’t exactly like Wilson woke up one morning in April and suddenly decided to enter the war in Europe in order to begin a Second American Empire.]
Despite the eventual victory in Europe, the second American empire took many more years to flower and flourish. American armies and navies were essentially dismantled in the aftermath of the ‘War to End All Wars,’ and the 1930s saw the near-collapse of the American economic system. The advent of and eventual victory in World War II not only cemented the second empire, but resurrected and forever changed the fundamental underpinnings of the American economy. From that victory to now, the American economy has been based centrally on preparation for and fighting of wars.
[The bloodiest war in history gets a quickie review by Pied Piper Pitt . Oh and that war, in the Pitt theory, is really only important in the context of its advancement of the “”Second American Empire.”]
By the end of World War II, the influence of the second American empire stretched throughout Europe to the borders of the new foe, the Soviet empire. Strongholds of the second American empire could be likewise found in Africa, the Japanese mainland and many Pacific islands and, with the creation of the state of Israel, the strategically-vital Middle East. American corporations which had built the victorious war machine swam in an ocean of profits. The ‘military/industrial complex’ was about to become the dominant force in domestic and global commerce, conflict and social structure.
[Finally we hear something about the Soviets---but only as a neutered counterpoint to the EVIL Second American Empire.]
The central reality of the second American empire was the Cold War, a death struggle between two competing ideologies waged across the width and breadth of the planet. The icy staring contest at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin stood a grim counterpoint to the hot blood spilled in proxy wars fought in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere. American and Soviet arms dealers salted the world with millions of conventional weapons to aid these proxy fights.
[Okay, I give you an “A” in your use of moral equivalence here, Pitt, between the EVIL Second American and the “competing” ideology of Communism.]
All the while, larger and more powerful nuclear weaponry was developed by both sides, deployed across the globe, and aimed with deadly intent. On several occasions, most prominently during the Cuban Missile Crisis, these dragons came within inches of shipping the leash. The production of these weapons left uncounted tons of waste behind.
[And where shall I ship your leash, Pitt? I’ll include it in the same package as your “History For DUmmies” book.]
The roots of the third American empire were planted deep in this time. At home, the populace became accustomed to existing in a perpetual state of war. The establishment of the Truman Doctrine by men like Paul Nitze created the foundations for an enduring reality: Americans are most easily governed when they are made to fear the strangers ‘over there’ across the horizon.
[And do you think that maybe, possibly, that Harry Truman might have had the teeniest weeniest bit to do with the establishment of the Truman Doctrine? Naw!]
Profits from contracts for the development and deployment of weaponry became profitable on an epic scale. The military/industrial complex came to own whole swaths of the American political spectrum on both sides of the aisle, and attached itself umbilically to the petroleum industry as a matter of basic expediency. One cannot fight wars without an abundance of oil and gasoline, and after a fashion, the means and the ends became indistinguishable.
[Meanwhile the Soviets were happily engaged in cultural festivals and driving tractors on collective farms. It’s TRUE! I read all about it in Soviet Life.]
The fall of the second American empire came slowly. Millions of Americans took to the streets to protest the large-scale death empire required. The Vietnam War ended with images of Americans fleeing from rooftops in helicopters. A president was required to resign his office or face removal and imprisonment. A 1950s-era chess move in Iran resulted in the 1979 Islamic revolution and the daily humiliation of America by masked gunmen pointing rifles at blindfolded hostages. The CIA, long the sharp saber of American foreign policy, was broken by the Church Committee. Gasoline became brutally expensive and the American economy struck yet another reef. The American populace, by and large, fell into what could be called a mass depression, described by the last president of the second American empire as ‘malaise.’
[Lyndon Johnson was facing removal AND imprisonment? Actually Johnson was facing the loss of any chance of RE-ELECTION. Another “F” in history, Pitt.]
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the third American empire came into being, but a hockey game will suffice as a marker. On February 2, 1980, the American Olympic hockey team came from nowhere to defeat the unbeatable Soviet squad in Lake Placid. The subsequent eruption of nationalistic fervor, augmented by the American squad’s victory over Finland in the final round to capture the gold medal, led to an outpouring of public emotion that no sporting event had ever created.
[Hold on! Pitt has lactched onto his Hockey Game theory of geopolitics and he’s NOT letting go. Stand by for MORE!]
It was at Lake Placid that the now-familiar chant of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” was born. The American people had been well-trained during the second empire to expect being on top, and the years prior to Lake Placid had been hard. Something so simple as a win on that ice was enough to strike sparks again, to ignite the long fuse that has been this third American empire. The American people were mesmerized by the vision of their flag rising next to but just a little higher than the red Soviet banner. It was their first taste of what would become a long and uninterrupted stretch of total global dominance.
[Yes. We got the taste of blood at the Olympic Hockey Game victory and in a fit of extreme nationalism we wanted more Commie blood especially after being mesmerized by the American flag rising slightly higher than the Bolshevik Red Soviet banner. With blood curdling screams of “USA! USA!” in the streets the Third American Reich, oops, I mean the Third American Empire was born. Thank you for elaborating on the Hockey Game Theory of Geopolitics, Pitt. For this I nominate you to the Ward Churchill Chair of History.]
The central aspect of this third American empire has been the rise of the ‘movement conservative.’ Not to be confused with the breed of conservative that included Nixon and Rockefeller, the movement conservatives held American nationalism and evangelical Christianity as a dual-headed state religion. They spurn concepts of détente and international cooperation. They were and remain radicals in every sense of the word, seeking to deconstruct the American social state that had been in place since the days of FDR.
[Another “F” in history for classifying Rockefeller as any type of conservative although he did redeem himself somewhat late in life by flipping the Finger at some leftist demonstrators. Oh, and I like that touch there about dual-headed state religion. It has no basis in reality but it sounds catchy enough to impress the reality-challenged DUmmies. But what are the Pentecostal Christians> Chopped liver? They are just going to sit around quietly while being ruled by the state religion of the Evangelicals? And let's not even get into the Mormons or the Roman Catholics. “F” in theology for you, Pitt.]
Ronald Reagan, the first president of this third empire, was the avatar of these movement conservatives, who first began to become an organized entity in American politics during the campaign of Barry Goldwater. Reagan was their perfect man: Confident to a fault, dedicated to the enrichment of the wealthy corporate class while deconstructing Roosevelt’s social safety net by any means necessary.
[Whew! I was worried you would forget the obligatory leftist slam against Reagan, Pitt. Thanx for not failing us, Pitt. Oh, and I notice how you DUmmies love avatars. It rolls off the tongue so nicely.]
Reagan established the forked-tongue policy talk adopted by the present administration: Speak about the end of large government, gut entitlement programs wherever they can be found, while simultaneously cut against the grain of the ‘small government’ ideal by vastly increasing the military and intelligence apparatus of government with trillions of dollars of taxpayer monies.
[Meanwhile the impotent Soviet Empire folks were just sitting on their progressive butts playing tiddly-winks.]
This cash, as it did during the rise of the first and second empires, vastly increased the power and reach of the military/industrial/petroleum combine. The movement conservatives, funded by this combine, pushed for the deregulation by government of business in every aspect of commerce, none more pointedly than within the media. Over the course of this third empire, that combine has purchased 99% of the news media, ensuring that an uninterrupted commercial advocating for empire would be broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Competing messages were all but shut out.
[Yeah, everyone knows that the conservative CBS news was anchored by that rightwing Dan Rather back then. Ah! The eighties. When folks were being brainwashed 24/7 by the military/industrial mouthpieces, NPR and PBS. Their rightwing propaganda was inescapable.]
When the Berlin Wall finally fell, when the Soviet empire finally imploded, the banner for this third American empire was unfurled for all to see. For the first time in history since the apex of Roman rule, one nation and one government and one military ruled supreme over the known world. The movement conservatives, having lost communism as the main target for their energies and ire, turned inward and laid siege to the tattered remains of the leftover establishment that lingered from the second empire.
[One day in 1989, the Berlin Wall just toppled over by its own weight. Ronald Reagan had absolutely NOTHING to do with it. Please repeat that leftist mantra, Pitt. Ronald Reagan had NOTHING to do with the fall of the Soviel Union even though Russians today give credit to Reagan for its fall.]
Much has been made of conservative ‘think tanks’ like the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for the New American Century, organizations made up of movement conservatives whose influence has reached far and wide within government during this third empire. One think tank, however, has worked in almost total secrecy since its establishment in 1981, at the outset of the third empire. It is this group, more than any other, which has shaped and defined the third empire as we know it. While many other groups have had influence, this one serves as an excellent standard for the main.
[FINALLY, after the long wait, we come to the REAL PURPOSE of Pied Piper Pitt’s bloviation. The previous paragraph was the drum roll build up to….]
The Council for National Policy does not advertise, but its presence is felt immediately in virtually every aspect of American life. It’s members include Senators, religious leaders and prominent crafters of policy. Among these are Pat Robertson, Bob Jones III, Jerry Falwell, Larry Klayman, Ralph Reed, Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist, and Paul Weyrich. Groups affiliated with CNP include the American Conservative Union, USA Radio Networks, Gun Owners of America, the Eagle Forum, and the Family Research Council.
[…CNP!!! Never heard of it before but if you say it is the power of the very core of the Third American Empire, then it must be so, Pitt. Unfortunately CNP just doesn’t roll off the tongue like PNAC. Pee-NAC definitely has a better sound. “P-NACing, Mr. Pinnell? P-NACing.”]
Today, many of these extremist groups have been accepted into mainstream political dialogue, thanks to the influence of the media portals purchased by the combine years ago. CNP is funded by, among others, Nelson Bunker Hunt of the Texas-based petroleum empire, the Coors family, and Pierre DuPont, whose family became rich by manufacturing gunpowder for the military during World War I.
[CNP---A registered Tinfoil Hat Conspiracy Theory by Pied Piper Pitt. Remember to give Pitt full credit whenever CNP is invoked in the future, DUmmies.]
In 1981, Woody Jenkins, a former Louisiana state lawmaker who served as CNP’s first executive director, told Newsweek, "One day before the end of this century, the Council will be so influential that no president, regardless of party or philosophy, will be able to ignore us or our concerns or shut us out of the highest levels of government." He was right.
[Beware the CNP Troopers storming the streets! Sorry, Pitt, CNP just isn’t catchy enough. Couldn’t you pull an evil rightwing organization name out of your magic hat that rolls off the tongue better, Pitt?]
CNP’s first president and co-founder is Chris LaHaye, author of the Christian fundamentalist/apocalyptic ‘Left Behind’ book series. He was followed by Tom Ellis in 1982, who served as the director of the Pioneer Fund, an organization that has worked hard to promulgate the idea that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Subsequent leaders of CNP have pushed the overweening goal of the organization: To infiltrate government from top to bottom, and to establish the Christian Reconstructionist goal of leaving aside the Constitution in favor of Old Testament law.
[So, Pitt, where on the Web can I buy a CNP Tinfoil Hat? CafePress?]
The rise of George W. Bush, leader of the evangelical/political wing of American Christianity since 1996, to the office of the president has been the fulfillment of the dreams of movement conservatives and their representatives in the CNP. September 11 cemented their ascendancy. Now, permanent war and rule by fear are accepted without question. Now, the news media owned by the combine opens the public dialogue to these radicals while painting them as moderate, rational Americans. Now, the dominance of the military/industrial/petroleum combine is unquestioned. Now, the idea that America is engaged in a holy war has been widely disseminated.
[9-11 really had nothing to do with terrorism or Al-Qaeda. It was REALLY about cementing the power of CNP in Pied Piper Pitt’s world view. This makes about as much since as his Hockey Game Theory of Geopolitics.]
There are several cracks in the veneer, however, many of which began during the second empire. The weapons disbursed across the planet during the Cold War are now being pointed at us. Many of our former client states such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which served us so well during the Cold War, have now become profoundly debilitating problems that have exposed our vaunted national security system and military forces as less than adequate to the tasks of empire. The dollar is failing slowly but surely, and new power combines between nations like China, Russia and Iran threaten to destabilize American dominance. Oil, the true coin of this realm, is also becoming scarce. The extremism that always comes when one overwhelming force spreads its wings has passed the point of management, and has itself become both organized and well-funded.
[Actually oil is only becoming scarce in this country because of leftist restrictions on drilling. There rest of the world is awash in the stuff. But please return to your CNP shtick, Pitt, the real purpose of your overlong post.]
It seems all too clear that this third American empire is preparing to collapse under its own ponderous weight. The movement conservatives cannot contain the forces that have been unleashed against them. The American military is proving itself to be incapable of sustaining the unreasonable demands being placed upon it. The ghosts from the second empire loom large, in Europe and Africa and the Middle East and Central Asia, and the power of Jesus cannot hope to contain them. The American economy, sustained for sixty years by petroleum and war, stands at grave risk of being subsumed by both.
[Didn’t we just have democratic elections in Iraq? No matter. It is counter to Pitt’s doom and gloom screechings.]
There will be a fourth American empire. Like the previous three, its realities will exist far beyond platitudes and utopian desires. If the ultimate collapse of the third empire is as debilitating as it threatens to be, this fourth empire will be hard put to sustain itself any better than its predecessors. In the collapse of the third empire looms the ultimate threat: A breed of American fascism that will dwarf in both scope and brutality all previous breeds of harsh authoritarian rule.
[Yeah. Right now the fascist regimentation here is worse than what is going on in North Korea. I can just picture the Fourth Amerian Empire filled with goosestepping CNP troopers screaming “USA! USA! USA!” And worst of all those horrible fascists will be openly mocking good progressives like Pied Piper Pitt. Oh, the Horror! The Horror!]
Tomorrow’s history is being written today in blood. Empires always fall. Always.
[Do I have your permission, Pitt, to laminate that profound saying and place it into my wallet. Oh, and one other thing, Pitt. After reading your factually deprived hilarious bloviation with its tinfoil hat theories and bizarre speculations that make less than no sense, I just have to ask you this, Pitt: Are you a LOUSY FREEPER TROLL whose purpose is to make the DUmmies look even Dumber than they already are, if that is possible?]
I like where you are going with this....have sent it to a social historian for collaboration.
[You sent it to Professor Ward Churcill, DUmmie paineinthearse?]
Seems like an outline for a great book. The conclusion needs a bit of fleshing out imho. Are you saying that the third empire will collapse (and with our current hubris and escalating debt I fear it will), and that a fourth fascist theocracy will arise? It seems to me that we are at the tipping point of that transition and it is actually the end of the third empire. The question to me is that if we cannot stop this, how much of the world will we take with us?
[A great book? Start the presses at Pluto Publishing rolling! I can see the title now, “The Great CNP Conspiracy” (with Tinfoil Hat insert).]
Also, if/when the US does finally tank, its not going to be rising up as a dangerous fascist state anytime soon. Even if the government wants to be authoritarian, the resources simply will not be there -- we are rapidly moving towards a nation that is economically crippled, and therefore incapable of military shows of strength. Wars cost money. The US has the potential to fall shockingly hard and wind up like 1990's Russia.
[Do I detect a strong note of hope in your voice?]
Will. it reads like an outline for a book, in my opinion...The premise being so large that it is difficult to read, and write I presume, but it seems like each paragraph could be a chapter.
[Difficult to read? That’s the UNDERSTATEMENT of the year.]
The truth of the radical Right's power over the past 20-some years is that it has very little order, and that which it takes has alarmingly medieval origins. The Cold War was, to them, a last run at the Asian Menace of Huns and Mongols and Avars and Turks. The 'War on Terror' is just a last run at the problems that led to Tours And Poitiers and the Crusades. The 'War on Drugs' is another argument with hostile Indian tribes. And somewhere between all of that, there's some foggy ideal of England circa 1600 as a way to run the United States in perpetuity. It's the Middle Ages being given one last run. One last evasion of Modernity.
[It’s nice to know that Pied Piper Pitt isn’t the only one with expertise in slapdash non-history.]
Some of the syntax is pretty strained. The metaphors seemed forced in places. And the tone varies between would-be epic, straight historical, and mildly colloquial.
[You left out wildly overblown Tinfoil Hat conspiricist slapdash non-history with more than a strong touch of bloated self-importance.]
t started as an outline, staggered into becoming an essay, and collapsed under its own weight about six paragraphs before I finally put a bullet in its head. I wanted to get some feedback on the skeleton here, and yours is exactly what I'd hope for. I'm going to attack it again in the morning.
[Are you SURE you’re not a LOUSY FREEPER TROLL, Pitt? You post a hodepodge of conspiracy theories that make than no sense and then you ask the DUmmies to make complete fools of themselves by commenting on it seriously. Confess, Pitt, because your shtick in making the DUmmies into even more of the laughlingstocks than they already are.]
BTW: aren't we lucky to get first dibs on will's excellent articles, wooHoo!
[WOO! HOO! We have FIRST DIBS at Pitt’s nonsense. WOO! HOO!]
Hello from Germany to Mr. Pitt! I remember reading an interview with you in a (small) German daily just about a few month ago, that's how popular Mr. Pitt is around the globe!
[The German’s must LOVE, Pitt. See, by pronouncing the Third American Reich, oops, I mean Third American Empire, as the focus of EVIL in the world, it takes the heat off a certain Third Reich.]
There is not enough emphasis the blowback perspective of 9/11. September 11 as the inevitable consequence of 50 years of US foreign policy based on the principle that my enemy's enemy is my friend, that bred Saddam, OBL among other notorious characters. September 11 as part of the price the US had to pay to win the cold war.
[Send my regards to your professor, Ward Churchill.]
From a historic persepective, our times remind me of the rise of Nazi Germany behind the vaunted Panzer Army that struck terror in the hearts of Europeans until Zhukov turned back the tide on the outskirts of Moscow and Chuikov demolished the Sixth Army in Stalingrad.I do believe that our fall will come from an unexpected corner most likely from knowledgeable people with the least resources.
[Third American Empire = Third Reich. I GET IT! I GET IT!]
The forth empire is what you should funnel it into. I will buy your book because it will offer questions and not easy answers.The easy answers may be the downfall of humanity. The technology is here for us to use or have it use us.
[Will Pitt’s book include a CD-ROM insert for the color comix stories?]