“…to the Shores of Tripoli…”
If the deconstruction of the political frame, based on that of the Roman Republic, that is to say, the reduction of an elite Senate to one reduced to a second chamber of the common people, marks one crucial fault line in the collapse of America, then the crisis in the military system is of equal importance.
America was created by the breakaway of a British colony led by General Washington, reared on studying Julius Caesar. John Jay in ‘Federalist no 2’ wrote, thanking Providence for creating ‘this one connected country, to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.’ This assured a basic patriotism, vital element in the fusion of a military force.
Jefferson foresaw that freedom of trade ‘might yet require force of arms’ and this in turn would oblige America to rule the waves, something which ‘must be paid for by frequent war.’ The next hundred years were spent in taking over the full land-mass of a continental Republic bounded by two oceans – in between the former society, the American nations of Iroquois, Navaho and so on, were almost obliterated and their remnant herded into prison-zones called Reservations.
Thus the American Army was, like the Wehrmacht in Poland and the Ukraine a century later, a weapon of genocidal power. From 1861 – 1865 the army fought itself and its own people in the Civil War. The former plantation slaves were let loose to roam, never set free because never granted civic status and means.
From Roosevelt One to Roosevelt Two marked the expansion and enrichment that indicated the evolution into Empire. The Roman doctrine of war was defined by Ferguson:
‘The prayer of the Republic, in entering on a war, included three objects: safety, victory, and enlargement of territory.’
‘The Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic’ – Book I. ch. VI
After the climax of Empire which saw a great general again in charge, Eisenhower, decline quickly set in.
That decline preceded the Eisenhower epoch with the disaster of Korea perpetrated by Truman. Truman marked a key factor in the American system, one which doomed it to failure. With President as Commander-in-Chief it presupposed a military intellect at the helm, even on the field. The sacking of General MacArthur thus is a milestone on the path to terminal collapse. He could have taken all of Korea, China was nowhere ready to take on the U.S.A. The political class got half the country and left the North to transform itself into a nuclear enemy.
In 1965, one hundred years after the end of the Civil War, President Johnson ordered military forces onto Vietnamese soil. This was the first American war which did not end with territorial advantage. The American/Roman doctrine of granting a freedom which meant financial submission had finally failed.
In 2003, the draft-dodger President, led by an un-elected political faction, invaded Iraq. In order to activate the war legally, a renowned General was forced against his will and knowledge to testify the enemy had weapons he knew they did not possess. The military have never forgiven the politicians for humiliating a respected man of military honour.
In 2010 the President sacked General McChrystal, his most brilliant military brain, and replaced him with a nonentity who only shortly afterwards had to resign over a foolish personal peccadillo. McChrystal’s departure, itself cleverly orchestrated by the General, spelled in effect that Afghanistan was a military and political disaster.
In the shortest time following the split with Britain, the American Republic could boast of a popular army. As the Republic grew it had all the legislative means to call up a loyal army by conscription. If the people were the army then the army would succeed. Ferguson:
‘And from speculative ideas on the subject, if we were not bound to be governed by experience as the preferable tutor, we should be apt to reject, as an improper mode of forming armies, that establishment by which the Romans conquered the world.’
‘The Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic Book’ – I. ch. VII
Ferguson, in the epoch that saw the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon, recognised that a state which abandoned the Republican doctrine of security at home, victory, and expansion of territory would turn from a civic society of moral values, however limited, to a society of commerce whose only dynamic would be human greed. As long as the army was the people the system would survive and expand. Once the army was itself based on a private remuneration loyalty would cease.
Ferguson dates the Roman state from its beginning so that U.C. 244 marks the transition from monarchy to Republic. So it was that in U.C. 626 an important change of Consul took place. It was in the midst of the protracted struggle of Rome against the rebel monarch, Jugurtha, that Metellus was replaced by Marius, who had up till then served under him, but now backed by the people over the patricians, reached the consular position.
Having promised a speedy end to the war, the new Consul, who had arrived by vaunting his low ancestry and insulting the nobility, now decided to increase the military. The law had excluded the needy and obliged the patricians to serve in the Legion. Marius recruited the poor thus making the army loyal to him rather than, as with the nobility, loyal to Rome.
‘This was a remarkable and dangerous innovation in the Roman State, and must be mentioned among the steps which hastened the ruin of the commonwealth. From this time forward the sword began to pass from the hands of those who were interested in the preservation of the Republic, into the hands of others who were willing to make it a prey… Marius…thus gave beginning to the formation of armies who were ready to fight for or against the laws of their country, and who, in the sequel, substituted battles for the bloodless contests which hitherto had arisen from the divisions of party.’
‘The Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic’ – Book II. ch. IV
To activate the popular invasion and conquest of Europe, which marked the American world presence in the 20th century, and which fulfilled the triple doctrine of Republican success: security at home, victory, and expansion of territory, this last followed strictly on the Roman model of granting liberty which in turn assured a submission of wealth.
The Woodrow Wilson endorsed conscription policy was passed by Congress in 1917. After ferocious battles in the Senate, by 1973 conscription ended. Under Nixon, the Gates Commission approved an all-volunteer force. Three economists, Allen Wallis, Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, served on the Commission. In Fergusonian terms this indicates a dismantling of the Republic and the inception of a private military force loyal to its paymasters. The commercial society had taken over, led by its new priesthood.
The new financial State was itself an over-reaching of its former Republican self and found itself unable to afford, financially and morally, the old missionary zeal. It found itself obliged to withdraw from land-expansion – an open financial presence in a liberated territory – to a unique sustenance based on the law of security. Security at home, itself, became the raison-d’étre of American policy, and even victory was reduced to honourable withdrawal.
The collapse of the Republican military ethos in the face of the new financial prerogatives has been manifest through all ranks. Following the new doctrines of capitalist evaluation, women have been re-defined as identical with men, and so are granted the right, yes, the right to kill in combat. At the same time a society that financially enslaves its people grants them in place of wealth-freedom the dubious right of sexual freedom. In the military this had produced the bizarre rules permitting men who want sexual intercourse with other men the freedom to bunk-down with others. At the same time, the women who are defined as identical to men have to bunk-down separately.
As a result the U.S. Department of Defence estimated that around 26,000 sexual assault cases occurred in the fiscal year, 2012, inside the U.S. military. Of these, Pentagon figures put assault on male military victims at 14,000, and 12,000 on female victims. Add on to this the apparently immeasurable condition of returning veterans from the wars experiencing mental breakdown must be confronted. Finally, the shockingly high incidence of suicide among those same veterans. The term post-traumatic-stress-disorder, from being an inadequate medical term, has become a synonym for the United States military.
The present crisis in the American military institution, therefore, from the humiliation and foolish deployment of its High Command, to the mass of soldiers both veteran and in the ranks in obvious passive mutiny – all point to a future breakdown in which the military will be, or are being, forced to overthrow the guardian political class. This will permit a military seizure of the, till now, well guarded fiduciary treasures of gold, commodities and systems-information.
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