I'm not talking about the Emperor's West Point speech, however deluded it may have been, but about the hysterical reaction of the chattering classes to it, best exemplified by the New York Times' "conservative" columnist David Brooks.
Alarmed that His Most Elevated Imperial Majesty may have had a stray thought or two about - gasp! - restraint, Brooks upbraids Barack Obama for insufficient imperialism. Sure, Obama "argued persuasively" for the need to "mobilize democracies", and his UN envoy Samantha Power gave a "great" (i.e. fiery) speech to the new generation of Harvard drones, but let's remember that World War Two was the fault of America failing at its duty to rule the world.
Er, what? No, really. Brooks actually wrote that:
"In the 1920s and ’30s, for example, Americans were in a retrenching mood, like today. The result was a leaderless world, the gradual decay of the world order and eventually World War II."
Brooks frames this audacious stupidity in the context of the alleged threat from the rising number of "autocracies" to "democracies" and the world order. What order? Brooks is totally oblivious to the chaos that the lawless Empire is causing around the world. Instead, he harps on the alleged characteristics of "autocracies":
"To stay on top, autocrats have to whip up nationalistic furies. They have to be aggressive in their regions to keep the country united on a permanent war footing. Unstable within, autocracies have to be radioactive abroad."
What a remarkable bit of projection here. Because what this describes is America. Don't the mainstream media constantly whip up American nationalism, between "United We Stand" (where? for what?) and being "at war" (against whom?), waving the flag non-stop? Never mind that the flags are made in China these days, because being the world empire means manufacturing jobs are beneath one's dignity, or something.
Didn't the very same Barack Obama, just months ago, declare he didn't care for Congress so long as he had a "pen and a phone"? And haven't the media in America made this man into some combination of Prophet, Messiah and God-Emperor, who would have long since personally solved all the problems of all the people, if only the evil [insert object of hate here] didn't stand in his way?
And never mind being aggressive in "their regions," how about invading the entire world?
Ah, but Brooks calls that "assertively tend[ing] the international garden". Waxing nostalgic for the "past 70 years" (the phrase appears twice in the short op-ed) - i.e. the Cold War, an age which even court historians such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. called the "Imperial Presidency" - Brooks explains that Bush the Elder and Clinton "took military action roughly every 17 months to restrain dictators, spread democracy and preserve international norms." There is is from the horse's mouth, folks: to the Imperial commentariat, the world is an American garden, and its inhabitants mere weeds to be destroyed by "democratic" pesticide.
By contrast to the supposedly under-reaching Obama, Brooks heaps praise on Power - who champions what one observer called the "weaponization of human rights" - and Robert Kagan, the leading neocon and co-author of the 1996 Imperial manifesto for "benevolent global hegemony." By the way, Kagan is married to Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland, "midwife" to the current Kiev junta.
The entire op-ed is basically an attempt by Brooks to criticize the Emperor as too timid, and force him back into the proper "party line" by bringing up the phantom menace of "autocrats" and the alleged danger of "retrenchment" and restraint:
"It would be nice if autocrats thought in terms of international norms or according to the rational calculus of cost benefit analysis. But autocrats got where they are because they are primitives who perceive the world through the ancient calculus of power and force. What we perceive as prudence, they perceive as weakness. Absent clear and forceful counterpressure, they will cross red lines that the current or future president will have to enforce." (emphasis added)And so, because the enlightened Empire is dealing with "primitives," it must keep in mind that "the logic of force will remain central in the years ahead". For all the "multilateral coalitions to extend democracy", the previous Emperors "understood their responsibility as the world’s enforcer, occasionally operating according to the logic of menace and force."
How, exactly, does that make American "presidents" different than those supposed "autocrats"? Well, they are Americans - the Chosen Ones, who can do no wrong. It isn't what one does, but who does it to whom, remember? Or as British diplomat Robert Cooper argued in 2002, the new "liberal imperialism" should "keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle."
Weeds in the garden, primitives in the jungle... Is there no one to call out Brooks, Cooper and their ilk out for such obvious displays of dehumanization and racism? Speaking power to truth has always been more profitable than the other way around, though, so they prefer to hunt for "microaggressions" instead.
The Empire's law is that of the cudgel. "Democracy" is whatever they say it is. And all the talk about order and valued boils down to "who/whom" Leninism. Everything else is just the smokescreen for - to quote Brooks - "the logic of menace and force." I suppose I ought to thank him for such eye-opening frankness, such a blindingly clear demonstration of what imperialists stand for.
Brooks and the other court commentators are now singing in unison (but off-key): "Empire today, Empire tomorrow, Empire forever!" Not because of the manufactured autocratic peril to the world, but because the Atlantic Empire is crumbling before their very eyes, having smashed headlong into the iceberg of reality it has tried to wish out of existence for so long.
Now the hypocritical Leviathan attempting to spread its false idols of "democracy" and "human rights" (phrases which it had previously stripped of all meaning) must face countries in which words have meaning, no one is above the law, power means responsibility and not the right to abuse others, and where the world is not seen as a private garden, nor the people in it as weeds or insects.
No wonder the imperialists are terrified.