The Roman formula for governance was “bread and circuses”. The modern equivalent is “Walmart, online shopping, media, the NFL, and threats to well-being.” Fear that promoted docility was no doubt present in the Roman era as well as concern about barbarian invasions. But fear was constrained by belief in the gods and antiquity’s clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Modern fear is conditioned by multiple threats and unknowns linked to job security, health care, marital stability, performance of one’s school age children, government regulations, changing roles, and a host of lesser recognized threats. The threats may be categorized by type and degree, but certainly, in any categorization, American Foreign Policy (AFP) would provide a cacophonous string section as background to the more “front and center” anxieties that Americans face. The orchestrated stridency of AFP is geared to distract Americans from the proximate issues that threaten well-being. The constant beat of war drums and threats to nations and peoples emblazon the pompous belligerence of a bankrupt mentality. War and death are the great equalizers for an empty spirit and declining economy.
1. Disrupt Russia. Bring economic despair and dethrone Putin. Reestablish the oligarchs. Acquire vast natural resources and pressure China. Russia is the big prize in the Global Monopoly game to be shared by Europe, Britannia, and Japan (for good behavior), with the lion’s share to the US.
2. Get in bed with the Saudis. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. In addition to oil reserves and American treasury bills, the Saudis share a common interest with US neocon policy to impoverish, disrupt, and bring chaos to the Iranian state. Iran borders countries contiguous to Russia. A decimated Iran magnifies exposure of Russia’s southern flank to military and terrorist incursions. With military forces already threatening Russia from the West, the addition of the South puts in place the means for tactical encirclement. Russia has always defeated invasions from the West, but threats on two fronts create a new gambit –potentially far more dangerous to Russia. As a bonus, the Saudis’ brand of fundamentalist Islam justifies Jihad –ultimately, a benefit to the defense business and the burgeoning “security” and spy bureaucracies.
3. Destabilize Middle Eastern nations not allied with the US to weaken Russian influence. The same rationale that underlies the awkward alliance with the Saudi potentates accounts for the general US policy toward the region. Drones, occupation and special forces operate in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Syria with push-back from Russia and Iran in Syria. Although this “pissing contest” may tip into world war, adversaries appear to view Middle Eastern pandemonium as the “new normal”.
4. Maintain the love affair with Israel. After all, “Israel is the 51st state.” I received this quip during a conversation with a Arab Israeli in the old city of Jerusalem.The comment seems an accurate assessment of Israel’s special status in US policy.
5. Stay at war in Afghanistan to maintain a strategic presence for the indefinite future to threaten the Silk Road and provide a land route to Russia.
6. Swagger in the Pacific. Intimidate the Chinese. The US is the 900-pound gorilla at the tea party and Japan is its ally.
7. Disrupt African governments, promote and support dissonance, to undermine Chinese economic assistance and influence.
8. Face-off with the evil North Koreans who threaten the global empire. Blame the Chinese.
9. South America: Support “friendly” regimes, destabilize “unfriendly” regimes where friendly is friendly to US corporations and financial interests. Build a wall.