|Image Source: Cagle Comics|
Topics: Civics, Existentialism, Politics
Banana Republic, Cambridge Dictionary (noun): a small country, especially in South and Central America, that is poor, corrupt, and badly ruled
Also from Cambridge Dictionary, Junta (noun): a government, especially a military one, that has taken power in a country by force and not by election
Now by the purity of the definitions, the United States is not small by a long shot and takeovers by Juntas are usually bloody and violent. With the advent of cyberwarfare and hacking attacks, we may be living through the prescient original Star Trek episode "A Taste of Armageddon." However, at the abdication of leadership on the world stage, it makes us appear "small." Diplomacy-by-tweet and not studious discipline devoted to LEARN the job can be construed as badly ruled. The United States - with little analysis and observation is approaching a stratification between classes; wages have been pretty much stagnant since the 1970s such that there is a dangerous paradigm we're approaching as a nation that we won't be able to incarcerate ourselves out of (by that I mean our fellow citizens, specifically people of color that can't afford high-price lawyers). It is a recipe for modern Eugenics.
American influence is less hard power (military, nukes) than soft power (culture, influence). Retreating from the world stage leaves us lacking in the latter and backed in a corner where the former may be our only deadly lever. Another ominous recipe for species extinction, for which there is no reset button.
This is something I originally said on Facebook with reference links I've added to explain the source of my feelings at the time of the post.
To Whom it May Concern:
I share my thoughts as a US Veteran (and I sincerely hope I'm wrong).
I'm sorry, I CAN'T:
1. As someone who possessed a Top Secret Special (now called Sensitive) Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) clearance as a Communications Officer for an Intelligence Squadron, I recognized the last election as an intelligence operation, as people like Malcolm Nance et al did.
2. Chaos in our body politics on both sides only helps the interests of Putin and other oligarchs, who gave up being communists a LONG time ago for the pure pursuit of money.
3. That being said, they expertly had Paul Manafort lobby and REMOVE all language from the GOP platform hostile to Russia and their invasion of the Ukraine.
4. Their bots/hackers have been active in France, England and soon Germany's democratic elections.
5. The Russian economy only has one product and industry - oil, and no other diversification. It is the major reason the fossil fuel industry and the oligarchs are so "friendly" with one another (e.g. Ex-Exxon CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson receiving the Order of Friendship directly from Putin).
6. Returning to the chaos theme of point 2, it behooves Russia to have constant infighting within both major political parties such that they are essentially nonfunctional. Third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are merely used as related-to major political parties tangentially (right e.g.: Ross Perot with the Reform Party as "republican-lite") as spoilers to drain votes. If an independent like Bernie Sanders were to gain traction, bots/hackers would disseminate disinformation on HIM; American political tribalism and racism (Antisemitism) would take over.
Our republic is lost. (Postscript: Only if we want it to be.)
"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Know thy self, know thy enemy. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
1. Exxon Fined $2 Million for Violating Russia Sanctions While Tillerson Was CEO, Inae Oh, Mother Jones
2. Why the GOP and the Bernie Left Don’t Care About “the Russia Story”, Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams, Extra News Feed
3. Party of Apocalypse, Essay