Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Trump Hastened Inexorable Demise of American Empire by a Decade: 1

Trump Hastened Inexorable Demise of American Empire by a Decade: 1

The world is full of idiots who keep chasing every new morsel of whatever passes for news, while almost deliberately ignoring larger trends at work- especially if the later contradict their existing mental model. While this intellectual deficiency is seen in all races, countries and eras of human history- it is especially prevalent in unstable and decaying societies who still mentally live in a previous (and often mythical) era. And yes.. I am talking about USA and its vassal states. The rest of this short series is about my contention that election of Trump and his presidency has sped up the inevitable demise of American Empire by at least a decade. However, it is important to note that he was not the first president to ‘preside’ over the inevitable demise of American Empire. That dubious honor goes to Richard Milhous Nixon.

Some of you might remember a few of my previous post (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4) about why USA has not won a real war against any semi-competent army or been able to successfully occupy any place beyond a few Latin-american countries since the end of WW2. Moreover the ability of USA to pull off successful coups (outside Latin-america) had dropped pretty dramatically since early 1960s. In retrospect, these should have been the first warning signs that American Empire came with an expiry date. At that time, almost nobody cared or believed this was the case because a long post-WW2 socio-economic boom, which in some parts lasted until mid-1990s, has ensured internal stability. Then again, everyone and their dog is smart, handsome or beautiful and invincible until winds of fortune start blowing in a different direction.

The full list of reasons why things started going bad for USA is rather long and beyond the scope of this post. Let us instead focus on a subset of those reasons, specifically how many decisions and actions of successive american governments has sped up this process- increasingly in an exponential manner. As late as the beginning of 21st century it appeared that the American Empire could go on (in some form) until the 2040s. However three events and their sequelae, which occurred almost 8 years apart, have drastically shortened the remainder of its potential life. It should be mentioned that such a fast decline is not uncommon- just think of where UK was in 1938 compared to where it ended up in 1948. Or the difference between USSR of 1982 and 1992. Declining empires are rather fragile and unable to withstand otherwise small setbacks.

The first of these major acts of self-inflicted stupidity came in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The invasion and occupation of Iraq (and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan) in the immediate aftermath of that attack was one the dumbest possible moves. While there are those who want to believe that those colossally expensive mistakes were some fancy 4D chess moves, the judgement of reality is far harsher. Both those failed and expensive occupations ended up exposing something which every smart bully dreads- their lack of actual capability and hidden vulnerabilities. As some of you know, smart bullies never push hard enough to get into real fights because it is hard to maintain the image of cool dominance once you get your ass kicked hard.

To make a long story short, the failed occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan showed the rest of world that USA did not have the capability to win long and drawn-out insurgencies, even if they possessed magnitudes more military hardware and other resources than the insurgents. While it may not seem like a big deal in 2019, the idea that USA could not win against rag-tag local militia in 2004 was a massive shock to the egos of many flag-waving idiots.. I mean patriotic Americans. Countries such as Iran, Syria and DPRK took an even more important lesson from those two american debacles, namely that USA was fundamentally incapable of successful occupation or fighting insurgencies. As you will see, this had a huge impact on our present.

The next major act of self-inflicted stupidity took the form the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, or more precisely its aftermath. Prior to that crisis, a significant percentage of the world believed that the financial system of USA and its vassal states was run by smart and competent people in a reasonably safe manner. As it turns oust, GFC 2008 quickly and thoroughly destroyed global belief in the “american way” of running financial systems. While this loss of faith was less evident and slower to manifest itself in USA and west European vassal states, the rest of the world got the message loud and clear. If you don’t believe me, just look at how countries such as China accelerated internal investment and creating its own consumer class after 2008.

Of course, GFC 2008 had a major cultural impact in USA and its vassal states. There is a reason why Brexit won in 2015, Trump won in 2016 and why almost everyone born after 1970 seems to be into socialism. That is also why right-wing populist parties suddenly started winning seats in multiple European countries. All of this, however, is best left for another post. Getting back to the issue at hand, how exactly did the election of Trump speed up the inevitable demise of american empire by a decade? Some of you (especially ‘centrists’ such as MikeCA) might attribute this to Trump being a buffoon and laughing stock of anybody in the world with more than half-a-brain. Mike also likely wants to believe that ‘The West Wing’ could someday become reality.

While almost nobody denies that Trump is an amphetamine-abusing buffoon and braggart, those qualities by themselves are simply not sufficient to speed up the decline of American empire by a decade. The reason why even the first two years of his presidency has “achieved” what none of his predecessors could, has a lot to do with something that LIEbrals and establishment democrats don’t like to talk about. Indeed, the very decisions and actions which are now greasing the tracks for inevitable demise of American Empire happen to be the only things which establishment democrats like about Trump. In case you are wondering, I am referring to his tendencies to act as if the world is still stuck in the mid 1990s or perhaps 1950s. To understand what I am talking about, let me ask a question- one that very few are asking.

What is up with Trump’s neocon-on-steroids policy towards countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China etc. What sort of idiot will enter into so many different conflicts at once? This is even more peculiar given his desire to “win” or at least appear to be “winning”. Let me rephrase that question- what is going through Trump’s mind to make him believe that he can antagonize so many different nations (including one with same number of nuclear weapons of USA and another with the world’s largest economy in real terms) and appear to “win”? Or ask yourself why Obama44 or Bush43 (especially the later) decided against getting involved in the sheer number and types of conflicts that the orange buffoon has gotten himself into?

The simple answer to that question is Bush43 experienced the fundamental weakness of american imperial power in a very personal manner, after his misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan ended as incredibly expensive defeats. While the village idiot from Texas was gung-ho about american power until late 2004, the stench of failure became too strong to ignore. That is why necons lost favor in the last two years of his presidency. But by then, the damage was already done and he is the reason why people voted for a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama in 2008. Obama44 being somewhat smarter than Bush43 chose to not get involved in any big dustups around the world because he cared about his legacy, especially as it relates to lucrative lecture and book deals after his presidency. On the bright side, this ensured a relatively uneventful presidency.

Trump, as I have mentioned in previous posts is street smart, but very poor at strategic thinking. It does not help that he lacks the ability to think through problems systematically and to put it bluntly- likes to get high on his own supply of MAGA. Having assorted delusional idiots with no skin in the game such as Pompeo, Bolton etc does not help the situation. To make a long story short, it is very likely that the numerous conflicts Trump has entered into over past two years are going to backfire on his presidency in a synergistic manner. He seems unable to accept the hard limitations of an inexorably diminishing American Empire. Trump does not understand that American Empire is like an old ex-Boxer who thinks he can enter into a street brawl and win against multiple far nimbler and competent younger opponents, just because he is rich.

In the next part, I will tell you my thoughts on how this darkly comic attempt by Trump (and his flunkies) to enter into multiple brawls against nimbler and often equally powerful opponents might end- and what connection the outcomes might have with on the speed of diminution for American Empire.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. nyolci
    May 9, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Haha, extremely good piece, congrats! One thing of lesser import is the event that made me realize how far the Empire was down was the 2006 war against Hezbollah. I’d been kinda unconsciously aware of the actual situation before, but this war demonstrated in small scale and extreme clearness the whole thing. If you remember, a small but disciplined actor, Hezbollah downright won this war in cc 1 month against Israel. What was shocking for me in the beginning (but now I find it “normal”) was the incredible amount of BS in the press. I was no expert, and not even “knowledgeable” in those matters. I had been a normal guy with perhaps a bit wider range of interest. And, voila, I could easily tell that this and this news piece was BULLSHIT.

    My thought was from the beginning that this war would’ve been the next phase for dominance in the Middle East, and the planners were imagining an easy and quick war. At least in the latter they were right. Defeating Hezbollah would’ve provided the background for the US attack on Syria, also imagined easy and quick. After “securing” Lebanon an Syria, they would turn on Iran. Hezbollah stopped this pipedreaming.

  2. Conscience Constituent
    May 10, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Can you talk about bolsanaro and the situation in Brazil?

  3. May 10, 2019 at 6:44 am

    “what is going through Trump’s mind to make him believe that he can antagonize so many different nations”

    Trump lost contact with reality sometime in the 1990s. Ever since then, his entire life has revolved around one thing: Public Relations. In other words, media horseshit.

    Trump lost his mind a long time ago.

    Americans and America will be happier once they accept that they are a minor power -not a major one. The US of A is a distant second to China. Maybe third place or fourth place, to be honest.

  4. Yusef
    May 10, 2019 at 10:47 am

    You often remark about America not winning a war since WWII, but in terms of assessing American decline, I think you need to take a closer look at American “victories” in WWI and WWII.

    In WWI, America didn’t enter the war until relatively late in the conflict. As a matter of fact, American troops were in combat in Europe for quite a bit less than one year. It is true the American intervention tipped the balance in a way which was decisive, but at the same time, it is ridiculous to give America all the credit in the victory or to see in America’s involvement there a sign of American military superiority.

    In WWII, America’s alliances with other European powers was important, especially the alliance with the USSR. It is clear to me America probably wouldn’t have won the war without the USSR for exactly the same reason America can’t win these other wars– infantry on the ground wins a war, bloodily and at high cost in human terms. America supplied the aerial bombing and the armaments, but the USSR, tougher than hell, fought the real war on the ground. About 250,000 Americans died in WWII; about 20 million USSR citizens died.

    Americans have never given the USSR proper credit for its role in that defeat of European fascism. Obviously if they did, it would take the glow off our own sense of supremacy then. Don’t buy into it. Americans are not tough. Americans aren’t even warriors because warriors have a code of honor American louts with weapons do not possess. I don’t think any other nation will actually provoke a war with America just to provoke one, but I do believe a leader such as Putin has a very shrewd understanding of the limitations of the weaknesses and how to go around them.

    • May 10, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      Agreed, except perhaps with the “not tough” opinion. I certainly don’t see we USAins as tougher, now or previously, than any other nation; but neither do I see us as less tough than others.

      I’m a 63-year-old, white, retired self-employed-contractor-builder, married-39-years-with-six-kids, who grew up middle middle-class in New England in a conservative extended family and with a blue-collar dad who had been combat-wounded in the Korean intervention. I’ve lived in rural mid-TN since 1992.

      Meaning, I’ve been primarily surrounded by the red-white-and-blue, God-bless-the-USA-bastion-of-righteousness-and-liberty-for-the-world since birth.

      However, studying history, and observing US events since I was precociously aware at age ten in 1966, evidenced to me before I was age 25 the self-inflating propaganda lies the US (same as any tribe) tells itself. To me, our self-magnifying, self-glorification is simply a model example of human survival instinct. “Our team is The Best, our players The Greatest, no one can ever defeat us!”

      Much of any success we as a nation did have was because, at the particular moment, we happened to be the biggest bully on th’ block with the biggest stick, not due to any intrinsic national moral, physical, nor intellectual superiority.

      • nyolci
        May 10, 2019 at 11:07 pm

        Joesantus, your self awareness is sober and honest. It is very rare. Congratulations.

      • Yusef
        May 13, 2019 at 4:51 pm

        The reason I say Americans are not tough is in the numbers. As I mentioned, 250,000 Americans died in WWII compared to 20 million Soviets; around 50,000 Americans died in Korea compared to 4 million Koreans; around 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam compared to 4 million Vietnamese. Something similar has transpired in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only are the numbers small in sheer magnitude, but as percentages of the comparative populations, minute. At the time of the Vietnamese War, there were about 16 million Vietnamese. This means the American military forces decimated Vietnam’s population, TIMES 2.5!

        Grenada, the Falkland Islands, and the first Gulf War, which supposedly cured us of “The Vietnam Syndrome” I viewed as disgraceful bullying. I never view bullies as tough, and I never will.

        I’m also appalled by such American tactics as the use of drones for assassination, bombing civilians from high altitudes, and such events as we’ve witnessed first hand via Wikileaks and others of American atrocities involving the cowardly misuse of overwhelming technical superiority and firepower. I’m appalled to see America bring discussions of using nuclear weapons or even threaten their use back onto the table and I don’t think it makes Americans or their leaders look tough but quite the opposite

        I don’t really mean, however, what American troops have exhibited in combat doesn’t seem tough enough. They obviously have paid the price to be called tough. Strangely, my experience with combat veterans has been they don’t think of themselves as tough and they view many of these military ventures with as much shame as I feel. These men I knew have passed away, and I kind of wonder if that’s a factor in all the new tough-talking B.S circulating.

  5. Gp
    May 11, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    China seems to have begun trade offensive. Americans seem shocked and surprised. Trump got a taste of his own medicine when the Chinese flipped at the last moment from negotiation. Lol
    Do a piece on trade war and where you think it would lead to

  6. WarOnDrugs
    June 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

    “Trump does not understand that American Empire is like an old ex-Boxer who thinks he can enter into a street brawl and win against multiple far nimbler and competent younger opponents, just because he is rich.”

    This is great!

  1. May 26, 2019 at 1:33 pm

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