By Dr. Kevin Barrett
After Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) belabored the obvious by implying that the U.S., not Vladimir Putin, blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the maverick politician was accused of “anti-American propaganda” and even “treason.”
Greene had tweeted:
“I predicted back in Feb. this year that U.S. interest in Ukraine was about natural gas deals. With the apparent attack on Nord Stream 2, everyone should take notice. I have voted NO to every penny & U.S. involvement in the war in Ukraine [because] it has nothing to do with Democracy.
“U.S. interest in Ukraine isn’t about preserving Democracy; it’s about natural gas deals to Germany and Europe. And small arms contracts in the billions. The winners are weapons manufacturers, natural gas suppliers, and invested politicians. The losers are American taxpayers.”
When truth is treason, truth-tellers are traitors. But who are they betraying? Certainly not the American Republic founded in the 1780s under the banner of anti-imperialism. On the contrary, courageous patriots like Greene are betraying the Empire of Lies—a term popularized by Russian president Putin that is unfortunately all too accurate.
Just as the Devil’s greatest trick was to convince the world he doesn’t exist, the Empire’s greatest lie is to convince the world that it is not an empire but a democracy. In fact, the U.S. has obviously not been a democratic republic since at least the 1960s, when President John F. Kennedy and his about-to-become-president brother Robert were murdered in back-to-back coups. The real power center of the imperial oligarchy is a small group, perhaps a few hundred people, that dominates the interwoven worlds of high finance and the permanent national security state. Voters and their elected representatives no longer have much say, if any.
The case that the U.S. is now an empire, and no longer a democratic republic, has been convincingly argued by numerous authors on the left, right, and center. For space constraints, I will only mention a few.
Professor Chalmers Johnson, a political moderate and former national security state insider, has pre-written the obituary of the collapsing U.S. empire in a series of notable books. “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both,” Johnson writes. “If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.” According to Johnson, that has largely already happened; we live under a barely disguised dictatorship.
But don’t our constitutional institutions still exist? Aren’t there still presidents, senators, justices, judges, and congress-critters? Yes, but they are mere window-dressing, argues Michael J. Glennon in National Security and the Double Government: “Large segments of the public continue to believe that America’s constitutionally established, dignified institutions are the locus of governmental power… the public’s impression is mistaken… the United States has, in short, moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system—a system of double government—in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy.”
Another notable scholar, Andrew Bacevich, makes similar points in The American Empire and other books. Bacevich skewers not only foolish and dictatorial post-9/11 policies, but also the hypocrisies of concealing imperial reality behind democratic-republican window dressing.
Raw imperial reality is often ugly. The CIA, theoretically barred by law from operating domestically, in reality has carte blanche de facto authority to kill or otherwise disable anyone it likes, up to and including the President of the United States—as happened in 1963. A former CIA operative has described to me how he once killed several people in a public restaurant, in self-defense as it happens, on CIA business; the CIA cleanup team made sure that as far as the police, courts, and media go, “it never happened.” Such events are far from uncommon. The Empire’s secret police do whatever they like, inside or outside our borders, and officially none of it ever happens.
So, when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lashes out against the corrupt forces that led the Empire’s covert operators to blow up Nord Stream, her treason against Empire is in reality a brave and noble act of service to the once and future Republic. For any real red-blooded American, there can be no greater act of patriotism than to do everything in one’s power to destroy the Empire that has sidelined our democratic-republican institutions.
That means that such nations as Russia, China, and Iran, which seek to escape the stranglehold of the unipolar one-world neoliberal empire, are the allies, not the enemies, of patriotic Americans. We don’t have to like the way those countries are run to sympathize with their desire for sovereignty; for we, too, seek to regain our sovereignty.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.