DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms
John Rachel interviews Coleen Rowley
Coleen Rowley is an attorney, peace activist and whistleblower. She’s a retired FBI Special Agent and former FBI Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel. For her exposure of the FBI’s pre-911 failures, she was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. Subsequently, she was a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district, one of eight congressional districts in Minnesota in 2006. Colleen is now a public speaker, writer, and blogger on The Huffington Post, Consortium News, and other prominent media channels. Her activism stresses the need to strike a balance between giving intelligence agencies the ability to conduct rigorous investigations of dangerous individuals, and protecting the civil liberties of the public.
We focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time, specifically addressing the role of the U.S. in the tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We are looking for paradigm-shift ideas for improving the prospects for peace. Her responses below are exactly as she provided.
Here is what Coleen had to say.
Q. We’ve had decades of international tensions. Recent developments have seen a sharp escalation in the potential for a major war. The U.S. apparently cannot be at peace. “Threats” against the homeland are allegedly increasing in number and severity. The trajectory of our relations with the rest of the world appears to be more confrontations, more enemies, more crises, and more wars. Is the world really that full of aggressors, bad actors, and ruthless opponents? Or is there something in our own policies and attitudes toward other countries which puts us at odds with them, thus making war inevitable and peace impossible?
Q. Our leaders relentlessly talk about our “national interests” and our “national security”, warning that both are under constant assault. Yet, we spend more than the next nine countries combined on our military. Why does such colossal spending never seem to be enough?
CR: I think the main reasons for U.S. spending trillions of dollars—money it doesn’t really have but just prints, hugely increasing the national debt and hollowing out the economy---on its military and weapons systems are not due to actual security threats but to the insatiable greed of weapons and military corporations which have effectively corrupted US politicians and created the MICIMATT monster described above. Most American citizens have not cared enough about ending this wasteful spending on US perpetual war because the various costs of war were made effectively invisible to them by ending the military draft, not raising taxes to actually pay for the wars, and by relying on the aerial bombing of foreign lands and use of foreign proxy forces (to even include terrorist and neo-Nazi groups) which only kill foreign people and destroy foreign lands—see my piece: Recipe Concocted for Perpetual War is a Bitter One – ConsortiumNews
If the U.S. dollar ever loses its status as the world’s reserve currency—with indications that this is already beginning to happen--it would seriously erode its ability to wantonly and endlessly print money and go further into debt. But of course that fear also fuels an ever more desperate U.S. to wage war to try to achieve hegemonic power, so that the dollar stays as the world’s reserve currency making U.S. debt irrelevant.
What happens if we determine that those shaping current U.S. policy don’t care what the citizenry thinks, are simply not listening to us? What if we conclude that our Congress, for example, is completely deaf to the voice of the people? What do we do? What are our options then? What are the next concrete steps for political activists working toward a peaceful future?
Of course, I can't answer for others in the ever-dwindling "peace movement" here in the U.S.--diminished even further due to the persistent division (with a couple of Quincy Institute-type exceptions) between antiwar conservative libertarians on the right and antiwar "progressives" on the Left. These few stalwarts do continue to write and speak out as best as they can to ever smaller audiences, to demonstrate in ever smaller numbers, and in ever less successful efforts to reach fellow Americans, in ongoing feeble efforts to counter the enormous power of Warhawk propaganda coming from the U.S. MICIMATT complex.
But if you're merely asking what will we do, it's a no-brainer to expect the same efforts to continue. Even if it's difficult to muster much enthusiasm for continuing to make such feeble efforts, lacking all realistic expectation of any bit of success reaching people here in the U.S. due to the effectiveness of the recipe the hugely powerful MICIMATT has concocted for perpetual war in its pursuit of world domination. In my opinion, the deadly "banality of evil" obliviousness here is a combination of Big Media propaganda-induced dehumanization-based war fever and the well-accepted notion that only foreign people suffer the costs, that the U.S. is too powerful, too exceptional, and too virtuous to ever suffer any actual adverse consequences of its wars and fools' errand quest for world domination. In contrast to Europeans who are increasingly beginning to suffer real costs, most Americans seem to think it will always be possible to stay a step ahead of war blowback. Most will simply remain in complete denial and simply be devoid of any ability to care, as I repeatedly attempt to explain when there are no visible costs TO THEMSELVES. Obviously, the overriding majority of Americans don't want a military draft forcing them to kill or be killed; they don't want higher taxes and they naturally don't want more American casualties. Talk of nuclear war is far more acceptable than any such real sacrifice. But mostly Americans believe they are exceptional, that war will never directly impact them as it hasn't happened on US soil for over 150 years. So try as we might, I'm afraid that people in this American empire just don't want to hear or know that war costs are already coming home to roost.
The related question: what should we do is a lot harder to answer. I constantly receive ideas from peace activists on various lists and some seem good but most are recycled ideas from what worked during the Vietnam War era (when Americans DID increasingly suffer costs to themselves so became less vulnerable to propaganda manipulation and consequently started to care). Given the level of MICIMATT propaganda that has so effectively blinded and manipulated people in the U.S. by pressing their emotional buttons, their vulnerability to fear, hate, greed, false pride, and blind loyalty, I don’t think a silver bullet answer actually exists. I admit to being pessimistic as to what we effectively can do to stop or even curtail-NATO military aggression, living in this end-of-empire moment when the democratic process becomes weaker and weaker, elections are between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum hawks of both war parties, when U.S. leaders have become more and more desperate to hold onto power and thus more reckless, an Orwellian situation where most average citizens have also been so effectively brainwashed as to believe that war is peace, that their perpetual wars are humanitarian and virtuous because bombing a village is how to save it (for our "rules-based order"). No action presently being implemented or which I’ve seen suggested these last years, therefore, appears to have any significant chance of turning this militarily aggressive, pro-imperialist mindset around given the decades-long, solidly entrenched MICIMATT control of the U.S. which has now come to include prosecution of whistleblowers and publishers exposing war crimes and nearly full censorship of any effective anti-war voices in violation of the First Amendment.
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(1) EDITOR'S FOOTNOTE: I feel this point needs stressing along with a bit of clarification. As Coleen herself points out, it can be argued that neither in intent nor in terms of sheer magnitude are the Western and Eurasian propaganda machines (Russia, China, Iran, etc.) comparable at this point. The Western machine—anchored in the US disinformation apparatus, which includes its powerful pop culture component—is immensely superior in reach and global penetration, a demonstrable case of asymmetry favoring the West. Further, while the US uses this huge hybrid war capacity to advance what can only be defined as a criminal and deception-riddled hegemonic agenda, neither Russia nor China (or Iran) are interested in doing so, being, in fact, champions of a new world order based on egalitarian sovereignty, peace, non-predatory international relations, and multipolarity. A case could be made that the world woul not find itself in this horrible pickle if it were not for the monstrous Anglo-American propaganda power. If we survive this chapter, it is hoped that humanity will learn to control the ugly dimensions of this sort of invisible power, and insure a far more democratic, truthful, and untrammeled distribution of all informational spaces.—PG
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We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.
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What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.
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Enormously many provocative articles! ”Political campaigns become immediately corrupted due to the Big Money needed to reach voters” ”in ever less successful efforts to reach fellow Americans” ”lacking all realistic expectation of any bit of success reaching people here in the U.S. due to the effectiveness of the recipe the hugely powerful MICIMATT has concocted for perpetual war in its pursuit of world domination.” Yes! MICIMATT did it. Poor fellow citizens have gone fishing and turned off (left/forgot home) their mobile devices, so … they can’t be … REACHED. They can’t see what’s going on – since decades ago –… Read more »