The Empire: A Colossus With Feet of Clay

Turmoil Favors Obama’s Impeachment

So contemptuous of the people is the elitist Barack Obama that he has plunged the United States into yet another war without so much as pretense of a Congressional vote. He emerges as more brazen by far than George W. Bush, who lied about Saddam Hussein’s Al-Qaeda link and his weapons of mass destruction, in order to win a Congressional “authorization” for war. Obama simply ignored the Constitution and is playing the part of King. This is the highest of crimes and misdemeanors and the profoundest of threats to our already weakened democratic institutions.

Hence, we have begun a Right/Left Coalition to impeach President Barack Obama for violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which gives Congress, not the Executive, the sole right to declare war.

Two major obstacles stand in our way. The first is the loyalty of the liberal elite to one of their own and to the Democratic Party, no matter the cost in life to the peoples of other lands and to the often impoverished soldiers in the army of Empire who rarely come from the ranks of the elite.

The second obstacle is deeper and more destructive to the antiwar, impeachment and democracy movement. That obstacle is defeatism which hangs like a noxious cloud over every movement for change. Don’t fight the Empire, they tell us; it is too strong. You will lose.

Is that so? Behold the state of affairs around the world just in the last few weeks and you will see that the U.S. Empire is a colossus with feet of clay, a Pagod that may collapse at a moment’s notice if pushed properly and with vigor. Consider the imperial colossus in the Middle East and Central Asia. The Empire has worked nearly a quarter century to pacify Iraq, beginning with sanctions, proceeding to war and now occupation. And yet Iraq, although reduced to rubble by the Empire, is not pacified. Its people remain defiant; otherwise the armies of Empire would have departed long ago. Afghanistan, the object of a decade long effort of conquest, continues to rebel. The people of Egypt, Bahrain, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan are defying the cruel satraps installed by Empire. Iran hurls insults at the Empire and its puppeteer Israel on a daily basis. Turkey is no longer much enthused about the imperial colossus.

Now tiny Libya, whatever one may think of its ruler, has poked a finger in the eye of Empire. In this latest misadventure the U.S. was isolated from all the other great powers in the world at the UN, relying for approval on small, weak and backward countries easily bullied or bribed. The only exceptions were the sad little NATO allies, the UK, ever Empire’s poodle, and France which under the racist Sarkozy has lost all dignity and independence even as its foreign policy comes increasingly under the sway of the U.S. and Israel. Sarkozy’s party was defeated soundly in elections in the last two weeks, elections where he was to be aided by his appearance as the conqueror of Libya, the “second Napoleon,” in the words of the windbag court “intellectual,” Bernard-Henri Levy.

And look at the rest of the world. Russia has long ago learned not to trust the U.S. Certainly Qaddafi’s fate has enforced that view, showing that North Korea’s leaders were wise in terms of survival for keeping their nukes in the face of the threats of Empire. Iran and Libya have now learned the same. Consider the meaning of this. By its actions the Empire promotes nuclear proliferation, a logic rarely mentioned by the liberal elite’s “disarmament” groups stationed in the imperial city. Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua are not to be pushed about by the colossus and tiny Cuba is unyielding after 50 years of imperial siege. They too will consider the need for nukes.

In the United States itself, the grim recession grinds on. Government workers are laid off, shut out and deprived of union rights. The unemployment in all sectors continues at much higher levels than the massaged stats would indicate. And the situation is likely to grow worse. China, whose economy has been the chief brake on the deepening of the worldwide depression, is turning inward for its new five- year plan. Production and consumption will be oriented toward the domestic market, a boon to the poorer Chinese in the western part of the country. But as China turns inward an important economic prop for the Empire will be removed. In response we may expect dissatisfaction and rebellion in the U.S. to increase.

If one turns one’s attention from recent events and gazes back over the imperial wars of the last half century, things do not look so good for the Empire. The U.S. “lost” China as the embers of World War II cooled. And if one looks at the ensuing wars, the Empire has been vanquished repeatedly – in Korea, in Vietnam and now in the Middle East and Central Asia where it cannot eke out decisive victories over tiny adversaries.

Most important is that no informed observer outside the West believes that the U.S. is on the side of democracy and human rights. Obama more than any other president has shown that these are but slogans, empty words, flatus vocis to justify the depredations of Empire.

The Empire is not so mighty after all. Its elite is arrogant, not especially wise or intelligent, and increasingly focused on its own petty squabbles to determine which faction can squeeze the most cash out of the American people or which can lodge themselves in the seats of political power. Their narcissism long ago displaced their minuscule patriotism. They are to be held in contempt but not to be feared or overestimated. In fact their petty divisions should be fully exploited – and that is one important element in the drive for impeachment.

The world is in disorder and the Empire has lost control as events swirl about it like so many sandstorms. It can still lash out and cause immense suffering, but it cannot prevail, because despite outward appearances, it is weak. Its every move will bring more turmoil and resistance. This state of affairs is superb.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..