Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 403, January 28, 2007

"Americans do not have a government suited to a free people."


CFR: Spreading the Wealth Around, and Other Ramblings on Empire
by Alan R. Weiss

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

The internet truly amazes me, and never so much as when we find formerly dry, relatively obscure (and obscuring) power-elite organizations with websites and a public persona. Take, for example, the website of the Council on Foreign Relations ( This old-line Rockefellian Anglo-American foreign policy establishment group used to be the whipping boy of the right wing conspiracy theorists.

But where is the fun in conspiracy theory now if they simply discuss things right out there in public now? No more guessing at the behind-the-scenes machinations of the New World Orderists for this group! They're putting out their messages for all the world to see, and you don't even have to go to a bookstore or a college library and look up that dry-as-toast "Foreign Affairs" journal to read all about it. Its rather like pornography, actually: when it was hidden, forbidden, quietly published by off-off-brand publishers and sanitized a tad by the girlie magazines, it was furtive, smarmy, and downright sexy. Nowadays, you don't even need to dial-a-porn: its broadbanded and beamed all over this planet, as available as a web browser (and not all that interesting, after awhile, either).

So too with the hoary old school Council on Foreign Relations. Take this latest tidbit from Michael Moran, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and CFR honcho:

"Germany's military, while still large by European standards, atrophied badly after the Cold War ended. A report from the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University noted in 2000 the Bundeswehr lagged behind EU militaries in moving from a draftee army to a professional corps (Deutche Welle ). " Most of Germany's armed forces still consist of the same vehicles and weapons as in the 1970s and 1980s, and are thus lacking most of the smaller, more flexible equipment needed for UN missions." The German Institute for International and Security Affairs looks at Germany's efforts to develop a more effective peacekeeping capability.

The new plan would address this by creating a 35,000-strong rapid reaction force ready for deployment into hot zones, and another 70,000-strong "stabilization" force tasked with peacekeeping duties such as those German forces currently carry out in Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Middle East (Der Spiegel). The blueprint also promises a more capable surface and submarine fleet, modernizing the Luftwaffe's 1970s-vintage fighter wings, and a large increase in airlift capacity—one of Europe's major military failings. The New York Times, in an editorial, called the plan "a welcome expansion of Germany's role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and antiterrorist actions."

[very long link to CFR site]

There it is, folks: genuine, authentic Anglo-American foreign policy machinations, right out where little Johnny and Janey can see it! Bald-faced policy movement, spin, and rationale available for free, for God's sake. But about the meat of the message. . . here is my little take on this:

So the Germans are catching The Empire Disease again, eh? It seems that no country can resist the charms of wanting to play on The Grand Stage. Koizumi of Japan has the disease, too. But how much of this is prompted by the American foreign policy establishment? Americans, realizing the horrendous cost of empire (in an age when the flip side, the profitable side of empire, is not available, i.e. you can't just go steal riches and slaves and raw materials from countries any longer), is the CFR/Trilateral Commission waking up to find it must spread the costs of empire around a little more? "Hey, Frtiz, Hey, Matsuki, can ya lend a brother a hand?"

Come to think of it, that's sort of the problem with Empire, isn't it? I mean, if it all worked, we might get a decent return on investment ("we" being the American people, because, you know, "we" are a republican democracy, aren't we? <:ahem> I said, AREN'T WE?). "We" might actually, er, go for it (since, apparently, "minding our own business" is a lost American trait). Look at Britain—Empire produced dandy plot lines for lots of movies and stories, rising wealth for its citizenry, and the spread of English to foreign lands to make it just a bit more convenient to visit those exotic locales, eh Cadwallider? But Empire today just means, "pay and die." Where's the profit in that? Its not even good fodder for romantic coming-of-age adventures these days. No one comes of age today dressed head to toe in Kevlar (if you're lucky enough to get some), an ugly black plastic/metal M-16 instead of a real battle rifle like the M1 Garand in your hands, trying to "keep the peace" when the local citizenry fervently wishes to kill one another, and you, too.

Meanwhile, China and India, the two annointed "rising world powers", saves their money and practices what used to be American foreign policy: no foreign adventures off their own continents, trade with all—even one's enemies.

I give the CFR credit for this: at least they're not hiding their debates any longer on the dusty shelves of Barnes and Noble's ignored Politics section of magazines, nor in the library stacks of your local University. Read all about The Grand Plans on the web. Good show, old chaps, that's the spirit.

Alan R. Weiss devised a new game on his last trip to Denver: fly Texans to the Front Range, dump 3 feet of snow on them, give them snow shovels, and wager how long it will take for the first one to drop dead from lack of oxygen and over-exertion. He is seeking funding for a reality game show based on this concept.


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