Torture and Terror are Tools of Empire

Make no mistake about it — all empires are evil empires, and America is an empire. No nation begins as an empire, and no nation intends to become an evil empire. But it has been shown time and time again over the history of humankind that the evolution of empires requires lust for greed, wealth and power that always result in evil behavior by the rulers and the ruled of each empire.

For the Romans to achieve world domination and empower their ceasars, the Roman legions had to subjugate the armies and the citizens of all the lands they encountered. The same is true of private soldiers in the U.S. army and the Marines. Boots on the ground carry out orders from the top, and real, live, often-innocent people have to be crushed by those boots to make the scheme work.

Terror and torture are routine tools of empire. It is easier to subjugate another people if they are terrorized and put down their arms. It is easier to obtain information on the plans and maneuvers of the subjugated if the people are tortured for their information. Even if the information is of poor quality, torture breaks the will of some, though it also can result in "blowback" and retaliatory actions that eventually can break the power of the invading, occupying empire.

Empires are not benevolent institutions, though they routinely pretend to be. We have heard in the news lately of "pretexting" in the realm of industrial spying. A "pretexting operator" lies, or scams someone to obtain information not legally acquired by truthful means. Empires uses pretexts or pretenses or outright lies to fool their victims and their own public. U.S. citizens have for many years been duped into believing that the U.S. Empire is a benevolent one that is really working for peace, democracy and freedom around the world. But William Blum, Noam Chomsky and others (including, lately, Hugo Chavez) have long detailed the realities of hegemony that are exactly opposite the pretenses publicized by the American Empire, especially in the twentieth century and extending into the New Millenium.

But all empires fade and fall. The tools of terror and torture cannot succeed indefinitely. Empires tend to overextend their reach, they become decadent and corrupt to the point of inefficiency and collapse, and collapse they eventually do.

The American Empire has peaked, and like Humpty Dumpty, sits on the wall, waiting to fall. The non-aligned nations of the world have learned to evade the nooses and the traps set by the empire. Nations are moving away from international institutions that have tended to exploit them for the benefit of the U.S., such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Nations are forming alliances, which exclude the U.S. from their lending and financing packages. Nations are trading more with each other and less with the U.S. Nations are making energy deals in currencies that bypass the U.S. dollar.

There are numerous signs that the world is no longer the oyster of the U.S. And the decadent society of U.S. citizens is primed for a very hard fall due to staggering debt, loss of industrial potential, failures of the education system, ill feelings fostered around the world by the victims of U.S. hegemony, and by the rise of powers that have long memories of past ill-treatment by the American elite.

All the kings horses and all the kings men will not be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again. But for right now, torture and terror continue, horrific memories of victims are being manufactured by the day, and few Americans seem to have any ability to perceive reality. But reality has a way of making its presence felt when unreality can no longer persist.