No 1447 Posted by fw, September 10, 2015
“Throughout its history America’s leaders have echoed the mantra that it is a beacon of freedom and equality: that its actions abroad are based on democracy and morality. And that it’s the greatest country on earth. America’s actions, we’ve been told, have been for the greater good. That its citizens are in this together, united under the banner of one nation under God. But history tells a different story…. A world dominated by US hegemony, and the corporate power structure it serves, is cracking. And our digital age provides the great ability to build empathy, consciousness and global solidarity.” —Abby Martin, from The Empire Files
Abigail Suzanne “Abby” Martin (age 31) is an American journalist and former host on the RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. Before hosting her own show, she had worked for two years as a correspondent for RT. Martin is also an artist and activist, and helped found the citizen journalism website, Media Roots.
Martin debuts teleSUR’s The Empire Files exploring the U.S. Empire and its rise to world hegemony. The Empire Files airs every Friday night at 9:00 pm. To access TeleSUR’s English language program schedule, click on this link: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/section/programs/index.html. FOLLOW @EmpireFiles & @AbbyMartin LIKE facebook.com/TheEmpireFiles
Below is the embedded You Tube video of The Empire Files, followed by short transcripts of the opening and closing scenes. To view the original version on the teleSUR website, sans transcript, click on the following linked title.
[You Tube title: Empire Files with Abby Martin Launches First Show (25:17 minutes)]
TRANSCRIPT segment from the opening scenes
Throughout its history America’s leaders have echoed the mantra that it is a beacon of freedom and equality: that its actions abroad are based on democracy and morality. And that it’s the greatest country on earth. America’s actions, we’ve been told, have been for the greater good. That its citizens are in this together, united under the banner of one nation under God.
But history tells a different story.
When we think of Empire we think of ruthless civilizations like Rome, where an emperor class reigned supreme over the masses, brazenly conquering and enslaving their neighbors. But these feudal remnants linger still today. And despite the trappings, the core system of Empire remains.
TRANSCRIPT segment from the 19:52-minute mark to the end at 25:17
Wasting tons of cash and causing massive suffering aside, the war machine also regularly decimates the environment. In 2013 a US war ship tore through a protected marine and bird sanctuary in the Philippines causing massive damage. In 2010 US military construction of a base on the coast of Jeju Island, South Korea, threatened the fragile habitat of 9 of the world’s 66 global geoparks.
An astounding 600 US military installations across the pristine Alaskan landscapes have left a legacy of carcinogenic contamination. And this past summer the navy again began carrying out war games in the Gulf of Alaska, detonating tens of thousands pounds of toxic munitions and unleashing untold damage to wildlife.
Like days of old, the Empire only unleashes its military to protect its own power and wealth. It uses it as a battering ram for its economic policies and employs a transnational corporate capitalist power structure which prioritizes profit over welfare of the planet.
Through extortion and subjugation, organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have created new forms of debt slavery and colonialism.
All US marines learn about Major-General Smedley Butler who, at the time of his death in 1940 was the most decorated US marine in US history, winning five medals for heroism. What marines aren’t told is that Butler became one of the most outspoken critics of US militarism. He said:
“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico…safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American Republics for the benefits of Wall Street… I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”
9/11 presented another golden opportunity for the Empire. It exploited fear and tragedy to pillage resources across the Middle East, its threat clear – conform to our rules or face destruction.
At home, the Empire assured a permanent war economy by institutionalizing collusion between big government and business. In 2008 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that a startling 52 of the biggest defence contractors employed 2,400 former generals, senior executives, and officers: a whopping 70% of the top generals who retired between 2009 and 2011 stepped directly into positions in the defense industry.
Lobbying for wars was even more blatant. Of the top ten corporate PAC donors in 2015, half were defense contractors and war profiteers. And what do you know? Turns out that the top four politicians with the most authority over defense spending are also the top four recipients of defense behemoth Lockheed Martin.
The bedrock of America — the myth of democracy, that somehow Empire will dismantle itself if the right leaders are elected. And we can just go back to what the founding fathers intended this country to be. That America was founded on colonization, the extermination of an indigenous population and the enslavement of an entire race, all of which laid the foundation to its rise to Empire.
At home the Empire rots. Economic warfare abounds. And the richest country in human history, millions sit in poverty. Militarized riot cops stalk with impunity, racism entrenched. The surveillance state spies unhinged, and political opposition incessantly quashed.
The system can’t afford alternatives. And we’ve seen how far it will go, with no remorse. That the machine that runs on death and destruction killing thousands of our brothers and sisters every day.
But every Empire falls. And the history of Empires, the history of resistance to it, where people have won time and again against impossible odds to defeat their subjugation.
A world dominated by US hegemony, and the corporate power structure it serves, is cracking. And our digital age provides the great ability to build empathy, consciousness and global solidarity.
Information is power. We need to fight to unmask the Empire every day in order to stop it. And every file here is a tool that will arm us in battle.
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