The big gangsters who run the big gangs (including Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Sarkozy, and others in NATO) have shown that they can sometimes replace the little gangsters who run the little gangs, like Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi.
They have done this now in one foreign country after another. They may destroy the country’s societies in the process. They may set it back for years. They may disrupt its politics. They may create years and decades of instability. They may invite violent blowback. They may create huge waves of refugees. They may destroy enormous amounts of capital. They may incur large amounts of debt. They may kill and maim hundreds of thousands of innocent inhabitants. But all of this to them is mere collateral damage that counts for little or nothing, for the big gangsters have achieved their objectives. They have torn up old oil and military contracts. New ones are written. They have altered old political alliances, goals, and directions, to be replaced by ones of their liking, unless the little gangsters decide to kick them out and act like ornery adolescents, in which case the clock starts ticking on a new game of squeezing the little gangsters.
The big gangsters lie their way into these wars. They improvise new lies. They constantly create new enemies via propaganda.
The effects of all of this on non-western moderate to large-size gangsters, like India, Pakistan, China, Brazil, and Russia, have to be profound. Even small-size gangsters are going to adapt to smart bombs and drones. No state-gangster in any land is going to forget that a friend of the U.S. government can become an enemy overnight. The words and pledges of U.S. and NATO leaders have been devalued enormously by their deeds. They are as untrustworthy as their fiat currencies. As a result, don’t many countries now have a higher incentive to build up their military forces or lay their hands on nuclear weapons or invest in missiles that can neutralize the power of the big gangsters?
On the surface, little has changed. True, the big gangsters are much deeper in debt. They have overextended themselves further. But the far deeper effects are moral in nature. They have thrown away their moral stature, or what shreds of it were left. They have given up their claim to lead the world. No one in their heart is going to follow liars and destroyers and opportunists. Other nations will quietly take heed and plan their long-term strategies in view of the turning away from the rule of law, conscience, and justice on the part of the western governments.
Over the past 20 years, the U.S. government has created for itself a very dangerous and vicious cycle. It is the major superpower. The stronger it has become, the more inclined it has become to use that power. The stronger it has become, the more difficult it is for it to leave other nations alone or to back down, for fear of looking weak. It has not been able even to take a moderate position on anti-terrorism. Instead it has launched a worldwide war on terror.
The superpower status has trapped the U.S. into ever-increasing military adventurism. It is now expanding in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Its expenditures on the military consequently remain sky high. U.S. prestige has become something that is always on the line, if it is to remain the big superpower, and U.S. leaders find that they must constantly utter threats, as to Iran, when they meet any sort of reversal, as in Iraq, even if it is only partial or temporary.
As the U.S. hews to the superpower trap and builds up its sophisticated weaponry, the degree of imperialism rises accordingly. The prestige cannot be sacrificed. The spending must remain high and growing. The population must be propagandized. The whole country becomes more and more sensitized to any affront to American prestige, even a potential affront or threat. The overreaction to the 9/11 tragedy shows what has happened psychologically to the American psyche when it views itself as number one superpower, number one free country, and number one world leader. It could not handle that threat to its status in any other way than by a severe overreaction.
Thinking of itself as the superpower has led the U.S. deeper and deeper into alliances and entanglements all over the world. Its independence and neutrality have completely vanished.
The U.S. became a superpower after World War II along with the British Empire and the Soviet Union. It became the sole superpower after the British Empire ended and the Soviet Union dissolved.
This position as sole superpower is a dreadful trap. It is not good for America, but bad, leading as it has to all sorts of psychological derangements that are showing up in reality.
This includes highly antagonistic behavior toward Iran. It includes entry into central Asia, and it includes growing antagonism toward China. All of this traces back to the superpower trap.
Empire has to do with the extension of a government over other nations and governments and to the accompanying imperialism and superpositioning of culture and laws. The superpower trap accompanies empire but is something different and additional. It is a position that the government perceives it must maintain. It is a matter of prestige. The empire is perhaps the result of being the superpower. The superpower trap is in thinking of oneself as preeminent, as right, and as the leader, and not wanting to lose that status and position. This leads into entanglements, spending, and positions that in the end undermine the empire and the superpower status.
9:07 am on October 25, 2011 Email Michael S. Rozeff