Recently by Jack D. Douglas: The Lull Before the Social Storm
Almost everyone analyzing the many political crises and scandals erupting at the top of the U.S. is overlooking the Big Picture of the vast struggles for power at the top. There are always such struggles in powerful nations and in vast imperial powers there are commonly fierce struggles. Even totalitarian regimes in which “one man dictatorship” is what people outside see are riven with fierce struggles at the top. Hitler by the late 1930’s was about as close to being a one-man dictator as anyone ever is. He is still referred to that way routinely in the U.S. But that was the Public Front he worked furiously to maintain while carrying out fierce struggles of many kinds against the SA heads, against most of the General Staff of the Wehrmacht which was led by the top General Ludwig Beck, and against many other plotters, some of whom eventually joined von Stauffenberg’s Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler and sue for peace with the West.
I and many other people have been writing about these struggles at the top in the U.S. for many years. They were fierce in the Vietnam era of the 1960’s and into the 1970’s and involved many conspiratorial groups from the generals to the FBI, the Kennedy and LBJ coalitions, and so on. They are every bit as fierce now.
The U.S. government, Fed, et al., have produced The Greatest Financial Crisis in history and are digging this Black Hole deeper and deeper; they have triggered vast catastrophes in the Middle East and Central Asia, especially in Afpak; they have pushed Western investment in China which has transformed China from a poverty stricken cauldron of civil wars into the most mighty industrial power and a great power in general; they have recently been threatening a Global Financial Implosion by threatening a Great War against Iran which can shut down the Persian Gult oil, and wars against Russia and China that could become nuclear showdowns.
There are vast political and military and secret police conflicts over all of these. These are life-and-death issues for the U.S. Empire and nation and it is impossible to get agreement among all the elites who are “All In” on the Empire and nation in such life-and-death issues, especially in a nation as torn as the U.S. is, just like totalitarian Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Stalin’s USSR, Imperial Japan and FDR’s U.S. Anyone who has seen historically truthful movies about any of these will remember some of the striking portrayals of political revolts against the “one man dictators” or “party dictators.”
Though the conflicting elites and agencies are carrying all of these vast struggles out in great secrecy, with leaks in the vast Media Warfare involved in all of this, and struggles cut in many directions and change over time, some general properties of the Big Picture of the struggles for power now seem reasonably clear.
The top U.S. military people in the Army and Navy and many officers and grunts at all levels are clearly extremely angry at the political leaders who are largely fighting each other to a state of near paralysis. The Army brass and to a lesser extent the Navy brass have in recent years been largely making the decisions about the wars and potential wars. I have argued, for example, since Bush 2 and his Neo-Con conspirators began strangling Iran that the military brass has been quietly opposing such a vast war that could produce a global implosion, that this has continued for the most part in opposition to the Obama conspirators and Israelis conspirators who keep tightening the nooses around Iran. [For one thing, I cannot imagine the Navy admirals have become so incompetent that they would actually support having their most vital ships in the Persian Gulf pond with vast Russian-Chinese, top-grade missiles and much else within striking range from the vast nation of Iran.] I think they have mostly been appalled by Obama’s flip-flops in the Middle East and his support of utopian schemes like “Democracy in Syria” which are producing vast chaos and possible armageddon at the middle of all that oil and gas and vast populations.
These subterranean struggles broke out into the open when Gen. Petraeus’ subordinate in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal, went along quietly with his top staff officers openly making fun of political leaders around Obama which got into Rolling Stone. I believed then and believe now that those officers were just expressing the secret views of almost all competent officers from the field to Petraeus at Central Command and that they directed their contemptuous spoofing at Biden only to avoid directly showing contempt for the Emperor. Biden is actually knowledgeable about foreign affairs, while Obama knows very little and entered the White House very ignorant.
I think the officers, especially those top brass in Afghanistan, have gotten more furiously opposed to the politicians recently as the politicians moved quietly behind the scenes to try to get a Fig Leaf Agreement with the Taliban and other major guerrilla groups of Afpak so the U.S. can withdraw behind the fig leaf to avoid looking like losers right away and deserters of the totally corrupt and incompetent Karzai regime the U.S. imposed by corruption on the Afghans. This would make Obama et al. popular at home and allow them to deal with bigger, more deadly crises at home, but it would make the “All In” brass the “Losers,” very much like Westmoreland et al. were hung out to dry and swing in the winds in Vietnam by LBJ, Nixon et al. [N.B. I totally support getting out–and never getting ALL IN anywhere. But I can understand how the brass and so many lower officers and grunts and their families feel–betrayed.]
Petraeus has been one of the top, secret opponents of the politicians, in my estimate the “top dog” of what has been emerging slowly as the Real U.S. government behind the political front in Washington.
The politicians and the FBI, probably the only secret police agency they can count on along with the Secret Service, set out certainly by the time of the McChrystal eruption, to secretly set up these conspirators to regain control over them. They did this with all the SOPs of secret police from the early days of the Soviets, Hitler and the Gestapo and special ops, FDR and Hoover, et al. They use “honey pots” to lure them into crimes and scandals, informants to spy on them, traitors to lie about them, and on and on.
When Benghazi erupted into massive public view Obama et al. quickly started a SOP op to shift blame to others, such as the CIA, by lying in all necessary ways. Petraeus made it clear he was not going to take the blame as Director of the CIA and the latest internecine struggle was on. The Obama-FBI plot to get Petraeus by giving him a deal he can’t refuse was set in rapid motion to keep him from testifying as head of the CIA to the Senate Intelligence Committee, an admiral in command of an attack carrier Task Force near Iran and Libya was summarily removed from command, the Seal officers who revealed some of the Lies of Obama’s Hero Story about killing bin Laden were strongly reprimanded and their careers almost certainly ended in the near future, and it keeps erupting.
I think the politicians immediately seized their reelection as a proof of their power to try to put down the military and secret police conspiracies and they were flying sky high with hubris so they did not think much of the dangers of doing this.
No one who is not at the heart of these vast, conspiratorial struggles for power at the top of the U.S. can have any clear idea of where they are now headed. I doubt the conspirators really do, though anyone sky high on Hubris may think he knows and can make whatever he wants happen.
I certainly do not have prophetic powers to predict the outcomes of such vast power struggles at the top of the Greatest Empire in history. My best guess is that anything can happen. This seems very explosive and seems to be getting more so in the midst of these vast crises the U.S. and the world are trapped in now. I keep wondering what might have happened to Hitler when he managed to outwit and betray Beck and most of the other top staff officers of the Wehrmacht and Abwehr [military intelligence], if those officers had commanded many thousands of Special Ops killers and Hitler had not long before started the vast SS with their personal allegiance all down the line to him. And what might have happened to De Gaulle as Pres. of France when he pulled out of Algeria and let the brass take the blame as “Losers,” if the brass in Algeria had had their own jets and Special Ops and helicopter assault ships and Hell Fire drones.
Oh, of course, such things cannot happen in the happy Let’s Pretend land of the U.S., no matter what happened to people like JFK and Nixon who tried to get control of the brass and CIA and negotiate a withdrawal from Vietnam and a detente with the Soviets that they fiercely opposed. Things like that can’t happen in the U.S. any more than Great Financial Crises and military defeats by small peasant nations can.
Perish such thoughts and have a nice day.
Still, I have to admit all of this makes me a bit queazy and glad I’m not in the White House. Maybe knowing the history of other empires and this one makes me a wimp.
Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.