The Decline Of Influence

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James E Miller of Mises Canada,

The world is seemingly aflame in chaos right now. The Israeli military has invaded the Gaza strip after the breaking of an 18-month cease-fire agreement. Which side broke the accord is still an open question. A commercial airliner was shot down over Ukrainian airspace. Western media and politicians assume the indefensible act of violence was committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to conquer the contiguous area. In Iran, the government is ostensibly pursuing nuclear arms, much to the consternation of globalist tinkerers. Next door, in the Devil’s playground of Iraq, radical Islamists are causing massive amounts of destruction, including destroying historic churches from the apostolic times.

All of this disorder is the fault of waning American prestige according to Robert Fulford. In his latest column for the National Post, Fulford laments the indifference on display by President Barack Obama as violence erupts in planet’s most dangerous corner. He writes that Washington is no longer viewed as a legitimate threat by much of the world. Under the Obama presidency, he attests, “U.S. policy has become erratic and half-hearted, subject to arbitrary change without notice.” Fulford notes the lack of a strong response to the Syrian civil war as just one example where America backed away from the limelight. If the U.S. doesn’t soon take back its leadership role on the global stage, the “future looks increasingly dire.”

Fulford is far from alone in his fault-finding. Journalists from both political camps have been critical of the President of late. Arch neoconservative Charles Krauthammer called Obama’s comments on the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner “passive” and demonstrative of a governing philosophy of disinterest. James Kirchick – the token leftist warmonger who takes great pleasure in American might displayed abroad – demanded it’s finally time for “the West to stand up to Putin” starting with U.S.-backing of the Ukrainian military.

All of these critics assume that America is capable of flipping a switch and rearranging the world’s affairs to meet its own standards. They don’t recognize the path the U.S. imperial state is on is slowly coming apart. It’s no longer the 1950s. The ceiling on Washington’s budget is getting closer by the day. The national debt is $17 trillion and counting; an unfathomable number that is impossible to maintain in perpetuity. The domestic economy is still sluggish from the 2008 market crash. The time of America’s dominance may soon be coming to an end. And the truth has yet to hit the people employed in the business of imperium.

The talking heads who opine on Sunday morning talk shows are still stuck in Cold War-mode. They refuse to face the truth about foreign policy: that there are always too many functioning  gears for good and evil to be readily apparent; and that truth and fiction often trade places depending on one’s preconceived agendas. The so-called experts forget the advice of realist Walter Lippmann who noted that rational foreign policy “consists in bringing into balance, with a comfortable surplus of power in reserve, a nation’s commitments and the nation’s power.”

More importantly, the media chattering class doesn’t seem to realize the conflicts taking place today are not the result of warring factions. The people of Iran, Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Russia, and every other country under the influence of Western power didn’t originate their gripes from out of thin air. The incessant meddling of governments, specifically Washington, have fomented the fights we see today. Many are the direct, or indirect, result of overanxious global planning with scant knowledge of possible unintended consequences. Should the Obama Administration heed the complaints of interventionists longing for action, the result could be more death, more violence, and less peace.

The clashes going on currently have the mark of U.S. government meddling all over them. In Ukraine, the conflict between nationalists and separatists sympathetic to Russia is an immediate consequence of the overthrowing of President Viktor Yanukovych. The coup was surreptitiously supported by Washington and its sock puppet batch of non-government organizations. The annexation of Crimea and ongoing violence in the area can be traced back to Western agitation of Russia.

Iraq is more of the same calamity. Former dictator Saddam Hussein was no angel, but under his rule, radical Islamic elements were kept largely at bay. His toppling by U.S. forces has left the birthplace of civilization anything but civilized. The country, which was arbitrarily formed by European colonial powers following World War I, is slowly lurching toward a three-way split along ethnic and religious lines.  Terrorists with allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are wreaking havoc across the country, a spillover effect of embattled nations such as Libya. The latter battlefield is, of course, the result of Western intervention financed primarily by the U.S. government.

The experiment where America takes up where the British Empire left off appears to be finally coming to an end. It was never designed to work in permanence. The contradictions in intervention are not bringing tranquility or even supremacy. The control freaks beside the Potomac have allowed hubris to take hold. Their grip on other countries is loosening due to the very disarray they created. The irony is about this new reality is the outcome was easy to predict. Arrogance over one’s own intelligence is always a human failing. It was never possible for a cabal of political actors to guide the world’s affairs smoothly. As Friedrich Hayek wrote, “[N]o human mind can comprehend all the knowledge which guides the actions of society.”

If I had to take a guess at what drives the yearning for worldwide dominance, I would say it’s ideology. Everyone has their own, but the fervor at which interventionists opine is more passionate than most. They don’t yearn for just control, but seek a complete transformation of other peoples and cultures so that a uniform attitude is adopted by the world’s populace. Much of the propagating is done under the guise of human rights. With everyone kowtowing to the same lies of democratic celebration, liberty is dissolved.

From Alexander the Great to British rule, history, if it has a lesson, teaches us that no group of men can conquer the world. It’s simply too big, too vast, and too complex. Humanity is far too restless to sit and take orders from dictators halfway across the globe. Likewise, the outcome of intervention does not exist in a vacuum. It often has far-reaching effects that can’t be known in advance. Those decrying the decline of American power on the global scene have yet to learn these valuable lessons.

The mindset that wishes one country to have an iron-grip on world affairs is horribly naïve. Empires are not free. Washington’s credit card can’t be charged to infinity. The need for prudence is growing larger by the day. For the sake of average Americans, and peaceful citizens across the world, let’s hope it gets here sooner than later.

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Deathrips's picture

Influence ..fuck that..theres some zombies out there programmed by TVs.



john39's picture

one of my favorites:

Tao de Ching, Chapter 29

Those who wish to take the world and control it
I see that they cannot succeed
The world is a sacred instrument
One cannot control it
The one who controls it will fail
The one who grasps it will lose

Because all things:
Either lead or follow
Either blow hot or cold
Either have strength or weakness
Either have ownership or take by force

Therefore the sage:
Eliminates extremes
Eliminates excess
Eliminates arrogance

Spastica Rex's picture

A man came forward from the crowd and said, May I ask now?
The Master nodded.
Master, what have you learned on the Mountain?
Everything, the Master responded.
Have you knowledge above man?
The Master's eyes slowly focused on the humbled interrogator and a chill came over the crowd.

The Master spoke:
In the scope of the Universe, man knows little.
But in his minute wisdom, he thinks himself a god among the other creatures of this planet.
How wrong he is can be seen by observing the uses to which man puts his tiny ration of intellect.
He gloats over his gold.
And lusts after material possessions.
And all the while his most precious possession slips through his fingers like the waters of a running brook.
He lets go the one thing he cannot nor ever will be able to purchase once it is gone, the precious possession that cannot be borrowed or sold.

Time? Is Time the most precious possession, Master?

No, my son, the Master replied, but you're close.


-Kehlog Albran

deeply indebted's picture

The author believes we can still turn this around.


Nieve, but cute...

toady's picture

"U.S. policy has become erratic and half-hearted, subject to arbitrary change without notice.”

How can you tell?

SafelyGraze's picture

no group of people can take over the world

we love that

repeat it often

the cfr masonick pilgrimmatti society

chumbawamba's picture

Exactamendacious.  The deed is already done.  Otherwise, why would anyone outside of the US care who the president here is?  These days that's international news.  We know who calls the shots, at least at present.  And the power will eventually move to somewhere else, where ever the puppet masters deem it most likely for continuity of the story, the fable, to make sense, to keep the captive audience enthralled, ignorant of their own surroundings and dependent upon what men thousands of miles plus infinity away from them are doing.

What's the moral of the story?

I am Chumbawamba.

HardAssets's picture

You miss the author's point. It's not about 'we' turning this around. It's about plans for absolute control of everything & everyone falling apart. The whole notion of such control is mechanical & of the 19th Century. It doesn't even keep up with current science.
Years ago my buddies & I used to say, "The Navy was designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.". Well there are a lot of idiots out there, and those who are lazy, and those who just don't give a damn. And that's who the globalists ultimately have to rely on because there are more of us than them. They need some of us to carry out their plans.

It's obvious that such plans could only be conceived by megalomaniacs born to money and spoiled to get whatever they wanted with a tantrum.
So not only do they have to rely on the idiots, - they aren't even geniuses.

oudinot's picture

It's, "naive", not,"nieve".

logicalman's picture

You don't know how much time you've got.

You can't get any more.

Don't waste any.

Said this to my kids since they were old enough to have any clue what I was talking about.


Stares straight ahead's picture

If not time, breakfast cereal?

"A bowl prevents it from slipping through your hands like the waters of a brook, wise man!"
-Kellogg Allbran

Raging Debate's picture

John39 - Great quote thanks for that. Tao recognized we live in a binary system a long time ago. I believe we will see a lasting global government when the majority can decide how it is run, not a minority.

What I chuckle about is by then we will shortly after have the tech to evolve back to energy. When you grow old, shit yer pants what point is conquering the world? We should be uniting to conquer death which is now technilogically possible using bio medicine for life-extension to 120 years then physics matter to energy.

Then no need to shit pants and die attempting to conquer the world :/)

TeamDepends's picture

Here's what ya do, see. Ya rebrand communism as "progressivism" and the idiots will line up to slit their own throats!

Anusocracy's picture

Here's what ya do, see. Ya rebrand government as beneficial and the idiots will line up to slit their own throats!


Here's what ya do, see. Ya rebrand government as freedom and the idiots will line up to slit their own throats!

All better.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Just another hippy pinko who is against Merican manly men acting manly, and the troops.

Ratscam's picture

always follow the money trail, back into history.
nothing will surprise you in our present days, if you dare to think!

blu's picture

But but ... it was supposed to be different this time ...

Super Hans's picture

The decline of influence in a powerful country occurs when a populous stops dealing with reality, and ignores their leaders actions; and does not hold them accountable as their founders had hoped.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Success tends to do that.   The law of unintended consequences plus the miracle of compound interest times 50+ years of socialism working results in now.  

NoDebt's picture

"no group of men can conquer the world. It’s simply too big, too vast, and too complex."

It's different this time.  You'll see.  We got this all figured out.

viator's picture

"and peaceful citizens across the world,"

and Russian, Ukrainian, Latin American, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, English, American, Turkish, Mexican, Korean, Slavic, Bulgarian, Muslim, Hindi, and African mafias across the world.

kurt's picture

Smoke and mirrors to provide cover for the Beast with the NWO crown

border dog's picture

At this rate of decline, no need to worry about the immigration problems at the southern border.  Soon the children will stay home as they will realize more opportunities in Honduras and other areas, rather than the USA>

logicalman's picture

When the PetroDollar dies, American kids will be heading to Central America.

TungstenBars's picture


That's one of them terrorist words. 

Duc888's picture


Easy reset.




De-fund in all ways.


Game over for the psycho's.

Fuku Ben's picture

There have been an awful lot of major distractions and conflict escalations in the last several weeks. I'm not watching the magician's right hand. I'm watching the left. (7/20/2014 +7)

3 Crescent Moons (July 27, 2014 - Sept. 3, 2014)

JR's picture

They don’t recognize the path the U.S. imperial state is on is slowly coming apart… They refuse to face the truth about foreign policy… James E. Miller  

The talking heads refuse to tell the truth about why the US is waning.

Is there no high ranking American who will say it?

Is the stigma of anti-Semitism and the threat of a massive media attack so great that no top US statesmen, no captain of industry, no widely respected intellectual, will forsake his career to take the arrows to save free speech and representative government in America?

What must he say?

That America’s “special relationship” with Israel means politicians are now powerless to keep the US from fighting massive wars against Israel’s enemies. He must say that Jewish men and women hold most all key government positions in the finance industry, that there is a Jewish controlling influence in media, academia and Congress.

He must say that the largely Jewish owners of the Federal Reserve control every aspect of US currency -- its rate, to whom it is denied, and to whom it is awarded, the latter namely their friends and political cooperatives. This is the reason almost no major media outlet, no politician or no major corporation can oppose the Israel Lobby.

Now we come to the last straw. Stanley Fischer, one of the most highly-connected economic insiders in the world and the holder of dual Israeli-US passports, is now the primary policy official with the Federal Reserve. Will no one now speak up?

Congress delegated its authority over the American financial system to the Federal Reserve. Will it now delegate its sovereignty to the State of Israel?

Here are a few of Fed Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer’s interests, many that have a potential conflict with the interests of the American governmental system:

Former head of Israel Central Bank

Current vice-chairman and believed to be chief policy master of the U.S. Federal Reserve System

Openly dual Israel-America citizen

Overhauled how US trade packages are delivered to Israel

Long-term boosters: AIPAC and most politically active American Jewish and Zionist organizations

Member of Reagan Administration Group providing largely unilateral lowering of US trade barriers to Israel

Visiting scholar Bank of Israel 1980

Member US-Israel Joint Economic Discussion Group for Israel’s 1984-85 economic crisis (resulting in $1.5 billion additional aid over already promised $5.6 billion

After input of Fischer team most subsequent US aid to Israel is now in grants, not loans, never to be repaid or conditioned when Israel takes actions the US opposes

As Bank of Israel governor was central to implementing AIPAC-generated sanctions against Iran

As Bank of Israel governor met regularly with AIPAC-backed US Treasury “Terrorism” Chief Levey, Israel’s prime minister, foreign minister, and chiefs of Mossad and Shin Bet to get sanctions on Iran past Russian and Chinese opposition

Authored many pro-Israel articles such as a widely circulated AIPAC 1986 Wall Street Journal piece detailing Israel’s importance to the US, justifying its place as the largest recipient of foreign aid, now mostly taxpayer grants rather than loans

On Israeli television he concluded that financial sanctions were not enough to stop Iran’s nuclear ambition

Former managing director of IMF, overseeing emergency bailout and austerity programs for Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil and Argentina. Former vp and chief economist, World Bank

Fischer’s Free Trade agreement for Israel was opposed by 70 American industry groups but they were disenfranchised when AIPAC illegally obtained a classified US government compendium of their market and trade secrets and delivered it to Israel to use against the companies in lobbying

Born Northern Rhodesia; London School of Economics, assistant professor economics University of Chicago, Ph.D. economics MIT., chairman MIT Economics Department, member Council on Foreign Relations and Guggenheim Fellow

Former vice president of Citigroup recruited by Sandy Weill, worked under Robert Rubin.

Mentor and Keynesian advisor at MIT for protégés Mario Draghi and doctoral student, Ben Bernanke, as well as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Bush White House Chief Economist Greg Mankiw

Member of Washington-based financial Group of Thirty, the highly influential insider group that creates regulatory policy for implementation by politicians

Father of David Fischer, former Google vice president for online sales and operations (one of top five executives at Google) and now top Facebook vp for marketing. At US Treasury David Fischer worked with Sheryl Sandberg (now Facebook COO) who was then chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, followed her to Google in 2002 and now to Facebook. David Fischer along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives is a key player in expanding Israeli Facebook ties and ad revenue.

Along with former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos, Stanley Fischer was a protégé at MIT of Franco Modigliani, Nobel Prize economist who left Italy after Mussolini’s new laws against Jews.

Before confirmation to the Fed, Fischer disclosed personal assets of as much as $56.3 million.

IndianaJohn's picture

Don't be put off by the title. We must follow the best example;


JR's picture

There is rhyme and reason in history. The statements you provided from U.S. Grant of those taking advantage of war for trade are interesting:

On December 17, 1862, General Ulysses Grant wrote to the Assistant Adjutant General of the US Army:

"I have long since believed that in spite of all the vigilance that can be infused into post commanders, the specie regulations of the Treasury Department have been violated, and that mostly by the Jews and other unprincipled traders. So well satisfied have I been of this that I instructed the commanding officer at Columbus to refuse all permits to Jews to come South, and I have frequently had them expelled from the department. But they come in with their carpet-sacks in spite of all that can be done to prevent it. The Jews seem to be a privileged class that can travel anywhere. They will land at any woodyard on the river and make their way through the country. If not permitted to buy cotton themselves, they will act as agents for someone else, who will be at a military post with a Treasury permit to receive cotton and pay for it in Treasury notes which the Jew will buy at an agreed rate, paying gold."

Also, on December 17, 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Orders No. 11. This order banished all Jews from Tennessee's western military.

General Orders No. 11 declared: "1. The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, are hereby expelled from the Department.

"2. Within 24 hours from the receipt of this order by Post Commanders, they will see that all of this class of people are furnished with passes required to leave, and anyone returning after such notification, will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permits from these headquarters.

"3. No permits will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.

"By order of Major Gen. Grant.

"Jno. A. Rawlings,
Assistant Adjutant General"

Flying Wombat's picture


Understanding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash And Israeli Actions In Gaza – Paul Craig Roberts

TND Editor’s Note:  This is a truly outstanding interview.  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts discusses the big picture regarding US relations and reactions to Russia, including placing the downed plane into context.  The second half of the show focuses on Israel.

Dr. Roberts spoke with Norbert Lichtner, a radio producer in Slovakia. 

yellowsub's picture

Humanity has drones and other unmmaned weapons to fear that can kill from afar and w/o conscience...

pakled's picture

"let’s hope it gets here sooner than later."



This is strictly subjective, anecdotal, and slightly parenthetical.... but the one noticeable shift in the language I've noticed lately, and I've been trying to pay attention for about 15 years, is the growing urge to get the crash over with. Let's have the crash. Then let's pick up the pieces and move forward. That meme is getting stronger and stronger.


And I might add that this where the use of the term "never let a good crisis go to waste" could be put to a high minded use. We could use the opportunities to be shortly thrust upon us to make a few slight improvements in the way we humans treat each other. Every corruption currently existing traces back to that.

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

I agree with your point, for what that's worth.

I think most ordinary American people would desperately like to move on from this place. They know it will cause hardships and that it won't be easy, but they're ready to run their risks and get on with it. We are all anxious to confront what we know is coming anyway.

I wrote here the other day that I think a lot of people voted for Barack Obama back in 2008 precisely because they subconsciously wanted a Gorbachev figure who would help to shut down the machinery of the failed state, and Obama was sending out sub rosa signals saying that he understood the message and that he would be the outsider's insider. Of course, that turned out to be one big fraud, just like everything else about the man.

Subsequent events have certainly complicated the narrative, but that does not change the fact that the American people already voted for "let's have the crash." They did so six years ago. They were denied that opportunity by a counterfeit candidate who played on their subconscious emotions and pulled off the mother of all bait-and-switches. Even the crash turned out to be yet another shattered dream.

If I had to guess, I would say that the next election will see the desire for swift and decisive measures emerge as a subconscious theme. Americans will vote for anybody who looks like he will break a few eggs, with the implication being that he will eventually get around to making an omelette. Brutal demagogues have been known to take advantage of such conditions, but that need not always be the case. What I would ask for right now is simply a better vetting of the candidates. The experiment of allowing an unknown Kenyan Farquaad to make it on nothing but cheap slogans and white guilt must never be repeated.

Ghordius's picture

interesting point. Gorbachev brought two changes to the USSR: Perestroika (aka reform) and, more importantly, Glasnost (aka transparency, openness)

"Russian human rights activist and dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva explained "glasnost" as a word that "had been in the Russian language for centuries. It was in the dictionaries and lawbooks as long as there had been dictionaries and lawbooks. It was an ordinary, hardworking, nondescript word that was used to refer to a process, any process of justice of governance, being conducted in the open."

Glasnost can also refer to the specific period in the history of the USSR during the 1980s when there was less censorship and greater freedom of information."

Iwanttoknow's picture

i  beg to differ.If the citizenry becomes active,We can still restore the republic.long live the republic.Death to the empire.

q99x2's picture

Ya and the bastids are running the booty back to their holdup in the City of London. Don't let them get away.

itstippy's picture

We need more wars that pay for themselves through lucrative rebuilding contracts.  Why do we keep pissing our National Treasure away on losing propositions?  Surely there are still some resource-rich countries out there that yearn to be liberated!  

Find some poor oppressed population somewhere longing to live free, who are sitting on a shit-ton of oil or gold or bananas or something worth having. Then form a coalition of the willing, gather the forces, and go in there and liberate the Hell out of the place.  

Identify conflicts that will pay off and send money, guns, and lawyers.

For the others, just send John Kerry over there to assure them they've got our "full moral support".

espirit's picture

Liberation is a dicey word.  Liberate from who?

We keep what we conquer, isn't that the way it's suposed to work?

7-11's and Jiffy Marts on every corner.  Woo-Hoo!

Billy Shears's picture

This essay is a written form of what progress would be like if it could be put into action. But, as is stated, no one is paying the least heed and the hubris is monumental.

Karaio's picture

1,995 if I'm not mistaken. 

Had a professor in the School of Geography, General (retired). 

Had fought in IIWW, was a lieutenant at the time. 

Professor of Geopolitics at the Catholic University of Santos (São Paulo, Brazil). 

Gentleman fluent in French, Italian and German, a Brazilian military managed the French School of War (who loved a good French wine). 

The old man was very cool. 

Twice he gave a ride to the Faculty to the building where he lived. 

He respected me as his soldier, I was the only one in class who was ex-military Army (black foot, infantry). 

Somewhat taken during the class, he said: 

"- There is no way to keep so many military bases out of a country without financial returns that sustain the Roman Empire tried that and it did not work ..." 

I always say there is: 

"Still in this life, I will see foreign soldiers to swim back to their homeland." 

Everywhere one sees that the U.S. $ is imploding, the world is fed up with so much war. 

We are witnessing the death throes of an empire. 

My hope is that it lie. 

If you pull the trigger before bedtime, the shit is done. 

Maybe he implodes without any damage to the rest of the world (in Civil War). 

These are just some memories, better not read carefully. 


arby63's picture

LIFE. I like that answer. Life and freedom. Hold them dearly.

Karaio's picture

Today died a great Brazilian. 

Ariano Suassuna: 

Link to a few sentences: 



matrix2012's picture


It will draw more attention if you may help to translate into Eng those few sentences... :-) i hate to resort to the nsatools to do it

Karaio's picture

Mankind is divided into two groups: those who agree with me and wrong

Isso serve, "equivocados" é uma linguagem estranhamente política.

Coisa de diplomatas.