The U.S. Empire Continues To Stumble Towards Ruin

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation.

 

Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life.

 

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There’s been a lot going on this week, so it’s unsurprising that an extremely important vote in Congress failed to get the attention it deserves. What I’m referring to is the recent Russia/Iran/North Korea sanctions bill passed by the House of Representatives in a frighteningly lopsided 419-3 vote.

Let’s turn to Bloomberg for a quick analysis on the Russian reaction:

Russia threatened to retaliate against new sanctions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, saying they made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump administration’s goal of improved relations.

 

The measures push U.S.-Russia ties into uncharted territory and “don’t leave room for the normalization of relations” in the foreseeable future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday, according to the Interfax news service.

 

Hope “is dying” for improved relations because the scale of “the anti-Russian consensus in Congress makes dialogue impossible and for a long time,” Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Facebook. Russia should prepare a response to the sanctions that’s “painful for the Americans,” he said.

 

The bill, passed by a vote of 419-3 on Tuesday, would strengthen sanctions against Russia less than three weeks after President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first official meeting at the Group of 20 summit. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would let Congress block any effort by Trump to unilaterally weaken sanctions imposed under the Obama administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections and its support for separatists in Ukraine. The White House has sent mixed signals about whether Trump will sign the bill.

 

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that senators want to examine North Korea sanctions added to the bill by the House. If senators insist on changes to the bill, passage could be delayed, possibly until September, when lawmakers return from a recess.

 

“We all want this to become law before we leave here for the recess,” Corker told reporters in Washington. He added: “The White House doesn’t like this bill. The State Department doesn’t like this bill. This bill is going to become law, OK.”

 

The sanctions are “pretty sad from the viewpoint of Russian-American relations and prospects for developing them, and no less depressing from the perspective of international law and international trade,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday on a conference call. Putin will decide on a response if the bill becomes law, he said.

 

Trump will sign the law because “he’s a prisoner of Congress and anti-Russian hysteria,” Alexei Pushkov, a senator in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Twitter. The sanctions are “a new stage of confrontation,” he said.

 

Russia has prepared “economic and political measures that will be adopted if the Senate and Trump support the bill,” said Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house, the RIA Novosti news service reported. Relations with the U.S. “are at such a low level that we have nothing to lose” by retaliating, he said.

To summarize, the entire House of Representatives other than three Republicans, Justin Amash of Michigan, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and John Duncan of Tennessee, voted for this thing. Not a single Democrat voted against the sanctions.

We supposedly live in a “representative democracy,” but 99% of our so-called representatives voted for this bill. Does this really represent the will of 99% of the public? These are the kind of numbers you’d expect to see in totalitarian states, and the ironic thing is the vote was driven by a desire to put a stop to supposedly fascist Trump. We’ve got much bigger problems than Trump.

Michael Tracey put it perfectly on Twitter earlier today:

As troubling as the bill is for relations with nuclear armed Russia where tensions are already high, the response from European allies is arguably more concerning.

As much as I hate to quote CNN, it actually published a pretty good article on the subject. Here’s some of it:

The European Union has delivered a stern warning to the US over a plan to impose new sanctions on Russia, opening up the prospect of a rift between the two allies over how to deal with Moscow’s foreign interventions.

 

EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc would act “within days” if it does not receive reassurances on the potential impact of new sanctions on European interests.

 

The EU has previously coordinated with the US over sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. But it fears the latest measures could hit companies that are involved in the financing of a controversial new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.

 

Juncker said the bill could have “unintended unilateral effects” on the EU’s energy security. “This is why the Commission concluded today that if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days,” Juncker said. “America first cannot mean that Europe’s interests come last.”

 

Germany, which strongly backs the new pipeline, said it was concerned over the sanctions. It would be “unacceptable for the United States to use possible sanctions as an instrument to serve the interests of US industry policies,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer said Wednesday.

 

France called the US bill “unlawful” due to its “extraterritorial reach,” saying it could impact Europeans if enacted. “We have challenged similar texts in the past,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “To protect ourselves against the extraterritorial effects of US legislation, we will have to work on adjusting our French and European laws.”

 

The European Union expressed frustration that it had not been consulted over the new proposals. “New sanctions should always be coordinated between allies,” EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

 

The EU and the US imposed coordinated sanctions in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. President Barack Obama imposed further sanctions in late 2016 over alleged interference in the 2016 US election. Sanctions were also imposed under the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which targets Russians whom the US considers human rights abusers.

These are major EU allies furious with this bill, which makes you ask the obvious followup question. Did 99% of the House of Representatives not realize the implications of what they were voting for in their blind rage against Russia? If so, these people are extremely dangerous and have no business making important decisions for 320 million of us.

This is exactly how empires implode. Corrupt, power-drunk , disconnected elites living in an echo chamber of hubris always destroy everything in their path at the end of a geopolitical cycle. First they lose the trust of their own people (this has already happened), and then they lose the trust of their allies. This last part is happening rapidly and it’s moving much faster than even I imagined.

Unless something major changes we have to assume the U.S. empire is going down, and need to start thinking about what a post-imperial America can look like. There are countless dangers in such a scenario, but also many opportunities for a vastly improved and freer society.

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SILVERGEDDON's picture

Oh for fuck sakes.

stacking12321's picture

the usa may be failing, but look on the bright side, cryptocurrencies will usher in a new era, a decentralized one, free from government control.

vato poco's picture

sure it will. and the government will just sit back and allow this usurper currency to take power and influence from Almighty Government, because ... no....wait a moment!!

GUS100CORRINA's picture

The U.S. Empire Continues To Stumble Towards Ruin

My response: If America is ruined, ti will be because GOOD PEOPLE did NOTHING.

The radical, subversive PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL LEFT and RINOS are NOT helping.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Good people were to busy playing with toy crypto "currencies".

not dead yet's picture

Good people have voted in good representatives who can't do much until they get a couple of terms for seniority. Until then the party leadership tells them how to vote or else they chop them off and get them unelected. By the time the good guy gets his time in the sun he is already corrupted by power and divorced from reality. Whistleblowers do the right thing and then the government goes after them and eventually throws them in jail after they cop to an untrue plea after blowing a million or two on lawyers and go to jail to save their families from total economic devastation. Or they flee the country and the government propaganda machine goes into overdrive labeling them traitors or some such. Americans have killed plenty of innocent people and done plenty of bad things under the cover of war but until recent times all the war movies showed every American soldier as a big hearted guy who would sacrifice himself to save innocent people including kids while the enemy is a bunch of baby rapers and mindless killers. After researching Benghazi, especially whistleblower testimony, it shows how glaringly full of bullshit the movie 13 Hours was. A movie highly rated by the American public. Most Hollywood pictures based on true stories are far more fiction than fact. Even cartoons and kiddie programs have plenty of propaganda in them of America always good, everybody else shit and that's been going on since the media first appeared. There's that famous Hearst quote "You get me the pictures I'll get you the story."

On ZH we rant a lot about CNN and other propaganda sites but tend to forget, as we blame the good people for doing nothing, that around 95% of the media endorsed Hillary and printed all sorts of propaganda to lift her and pile shit on Trump. WAPO, The NY Slimes, CNN are just the tip of the iceburg. As I type this at a medical facility there's a bunch of current Time magazines a few feet away. Every one the cover has "revelations" about Trump and the Russians. With all this daily firepower of propaganda from all outlets what do you expect the "good people" to believe. Especially young people where the propaganda is coming thick and heavy in all educational facilities. Plenty of grade school kids have told their well informed parents that they are full of shit because their teachers said so. We've got 7 and 8 year old kids being party to lawsuits claiming the government isn't doing enough to fight climate change and want drastic measures adopted.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Child lawsuits against climate change but not against bankrupting the Treasury, tells the story right there.

bobdog54's picture

''Tis a vicious circle....

Will take a very bloody and rude awakening. Why bloody, it's all they understand as is self evident of our present Congress.

robertsgt40's picture

It's settled.  We have Repulicrats in a bipartisan coup.

Simplifiedfrisbee's picture

Build that wall! Build that wall! USA! USA! LMAO!!! LOL!!!

JRobby's picture

They will come out with their own version of a digital currency.

It will be hacked to infinity which will make great movie scripts for Chinese Hollywood. At least better than Scarlett Johansen's brain in a cyborg body wearing flesh colored skin suit

doctor10's picture

surveillance states don't generally work out too well...too many people spending all their time and energy looking through one anothers pockets, medical records, bank accounts, tax returns, businesses and bedrooms

You could always ask how it all worked out for East Germany and the USSR

barysenter's picture

They work out well for psychopaths. They don't care about you, at all.

HardAssets's picture

JRobby: " They will come out with their own version of a digital currency "

For all we know, they came up with BTC. That seems far more likely than the various fairytales told about it.

HardAssets's picture

You don't understand. An angel with an Asian sounding name invented it (we're told) and you know how smart Asian guys are and how good angels are. What other proof do you need ?

junction's picture

Final proof of the one-party system in Congress, all beholden to their NWO masters and blackmailers.  None of these Senators and Representatives bothered to ask their constituents about more sanctions for Russia.  Russia is against the destruction of Western civilization, as represented by the Israel and USA neocon backed jihadists.  This vote by these elected running dog office holders is a strong argument for single term limits.  

bobdog54's picture

Nailed it. Add no corporate campaign donations and private lobbying (public only) and a donation limit and much of the corruption is gone.

barysenter's picture

The cashless society is tptb plantation for you. We were warned.

Winston Churchill's picture

Short term greed has a way of blinding homo sapiens to the obvious.

One day Satoshi will be revealed to have been Alan Greenspan.

SILVERGEDDON's picture

Stacking 321123 backwardation snowflake zipperhead thinking at work.................

vato poco's picture

must be the weekend. ZH running 'sponsored' Doom Porn from that asshole kreiger again. *sigh* ah well. at least this time, he didn't trot out 5000 words praising his own unique and special and virtuous 'independence' 

cherry picker's picture

Now you know why Congress always has approval ratings in the teens.  No one wants congress.

gregga777's picture

The 535 war criminals in the US CONgress know exactly what they are doing. They along with previous members of the US CONgress and members of the "Bush the Moron" and Obunghole administrations should all be arrested and delivered to the appropriate courts to stand trials for war crimes.

JRobby's picture

I like a mass trial with all the perps in cages raising a rukus until they get hit with a cattle prod or one of them is hauled out of the cage and shot dead in front of the whole "congregation" to shut them all up. Yea, that's the ticket!

SILVERGEDDON's picture

Nope - wrong. Funhouse slide into an airoprt snowblower running at full power. 

Make them pay for the slide, too.

After all, they been taking us for a ride for the last 250 years.  

micksavage2010's picture

too complicated. go woodchippers.

Dr. Engali's picture

Dem dam ruskies be sum scary people. We need to rain down sum freedumb bombs on there heads and liberate dem bassturds.

Dr. Engali's picture

Wut? Why all the negativity? Bunch of haters. Rain down sum freedumb on you two.

UnschooledAustrianEconomist's picture

Your sarcasm is lost on the crowd.

Dr. Engali's picture

It's been a while since I posted. The new blood here has no sense of humor.

rejected's picture

Yes, there are a lot of new blood but the strange thing is many show 3-5 years at the hedge. I've been here 4 years and and don't recall any of them.

waldo simon's picture

@rejected, yes, that seems to be the case. a little strange, huh?

 

rejected's picture

Sarcasm is a sign of humor. Humor is a sign of intelligence.

All three are extremely rare in the US. Thus your negatives.

NoWayJose's picture

Get a cheap house and pay off any mortgage. Get out of debt. Get enough gold to pay 10 years of taxes. Get some long term food. Get a way to protect your home and family. Grow a garden. Learn how to can vegetables. Then start stocking up on toilet paper and other necessities.

ClownBaby's picture

I like your style, Dude.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Get a way to protect your home and family------Where is this safe place.

I don't ask in a sarcastic way, but this isn't 1817-1917 times.

I do agree with your thinking

Beyond Organics's picture

You will find it at MOE Farms, Google it.

Beyond Organics's picture

You will find it at MOE Farms, Google it.

Koba the Dread's picture

Toilet paper is not a necessity, it is a luxury, you anal puritan, you.

gilhgvc's picture

just make damn sure you keep your fingernails trimmed

World citizen's picture

I still need to see any conclusive proof that Russians meddled in the elections...

...assuming such meddling is materially possible, which is a long shot...

It's a farcical / hysterical moment of U.S.history. I hope it will stop before damage is done. 

Grandad Grumps's picture

I did not know that Cicero wrote in modern English ... imagine that!

Russia is not the enemy of the American people.

Salzburg1756's picture

So tell me again how superior democracy is to fascism and nazism. Think!

ScratInTheHat's picture

Democracy sucks and so does socialism! That’s why we need to get back to a Constitutional Republic with States Rights! Lincoln screwed the pooch and we need to unscrew it!

Koba the Dread's picture

Yes! The last decent president we had was Andrew Jackson.

veritas semper vinces's picture

But if the Constitutional Republic with States Rights was so good,why did you lose it in the first place?How come you ended with a Parasitocracy,masquerading as aConstitutional Republic?