The Decline of America. Trump Protects Saudi Crown Prince MBS. The Pillars of the US Constitution are Gone

The views of Gore Vidal


President Trump’s fateful decision the other day to protect the Saudi Crown Prince MBS who without doubt ordered the murder of journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul is totally morally and ethically wrong and dangerous for America. It will haunt US national interests now and decades ahead.

Money, oil and Iran cannot be acceptable reasons for pursuing an obscene, immoral and inhuman foreign policy that stands against everything the USA has claimed to stand for in  two and half centuries of its existence.

It is not only Khashoggi’ s grieving family and fiance that President Trump’s decision betrays. The decision betrays all Press, even all of us humans who feel the family’s pain and grief. To many across this planet, the USA. Washington hardly looks like the ultimate Super Power glorious city on a glittering hill; more like an uncivilised insane rogue city and State. It looks like what it has now actually become; a country where the poor are very poor; an isolated rogue nation, though currently the world’s only hyper-power, with unenviable friendships almost only with totalitarian barbaric and murderous States like Saudi Arabia and Israel.

America has bankrupted its economy, its original ideals and now, after Khashoggi’s murder, its sense of decency, its core morality. These are all gone forever.

One book that predicted and encapsulated the description of what America was and will be was published in July 2002, it was in fact a series of essays written over 10 years. Its name ‘The Decline and Fall of the American Empire’ written by the outstandingly unique genius, the late Gore Vidal.

However rather than I pontificate on the wisdom of Vidal, I suggest you stop reading and judge for yourself by watching this hour or so lecture by him from 2003 that sums up his thoughts of, the United States of Amnesia, as he liked to refer to it.

Gore Vidal explains how the pillars of the US constitution are gone & they’re gone forever until we force a violent people’s revolution. That there has been a silent coup in America by the NeoCons creating what we now call ‘the Deep State’.

In the first decade of the 21st Century we have witnessed the destruction of the constitution & due process of law. The start of endless wars. Also the fall of the American republic, which inevitably will be followed by a totalitarian led police state, even soon maybe Marshall law, possibly rationing with basically eventually America reverting to third world status.

The video speaks for itself but I would like to quote now – for those of you with staying power – extensively from an interview Vidal gave to the BBC in 2001.

In Gore’s opinion, “the [American] Republic ended in 1950. Since then we have had an imperial system.” What are the chief characteristics of this system?

First, the USA intervenes in an aggressive way in every part of the world. According to his researches, since 1950, the USA has waged at least 300 wars in different parts of the globe. Yet, although the Constitution stipulates that any war must be approved by Congress, not one of these conflicts has been so approved. In fact, the last time an American president sought and obtained congressional approval for a war was in 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

Image result for The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Vidal points out something that has been long known to us, but has never been admitted, namely that President Roosevelt deliberately provoked the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. “Roosevelt wanted the USA to enter the war against Hitler, but he knew that 80 percent of Americans were against this. He knew that the only way to change this was by a major shock, and therefore set out to provoke the Japanese – who were the allies of Germany and Italy – to attack the USA.

Vidal then explains how President Truman got the USA involved in the Korean War (“which we lost”) by presenting it as a “police operation” that did not require the approval of Congress. Instead he referred it to – the United Nations! The US military aggression in Korea took place under the banner of the UN – like many many subsequent adventures.

Finally its important to reflect that Vidal was a most effective raconteur, who also possessed the necessary sense of humour. In his hands, wit is a deadly weapon, as sharp as a dagger. George W. Bush (“How I love that man!”) provides him with an endless source of anecdotes, one of which was new to me and worth repeating. Bush’s opinion of the French: “The trouble with those guys is that they just don’t have a word for entrepreneur!”

Vidal speaks with a smile, but in the words of Dylan Thomas, his smile is as sweet as a razor. The form may be amusing, but the content is deadly serious.

He points out that the much-vaunted American freedom is largely fictional: around 5% percent of the population is either in jail or on parole, connected up by electric devices to the prison administration. There is very little real freedom. Freedom of the press? “The press and the media are owned and controlled by ‘our corporate masters’. I’ve never seen the media so tightly controlled as now. They control all the flow of information, so that the great majority of Americans do not know what is going on.”

What about living standards in the USA? “Ninety percent of Americans have been falling behind since 1973. That is the date they usually cite for the oil crisis.

Nowadays a husband and wife make less money than the husband alone made at that time. On the other hand, some people have become fabulously rich. One percent owns everything – like the CEOs who now seem to be queuing up to go to jail!

Under them there is a further twenty percent who support ‘the Empire’. These are the lawyers, the journalists, politicians and bankers and so on;…and the one percent hires the twenty percent.”

Gore Vidal had personal experience of American “press freedom”. When after September 11 he wrote an article pointing out that the USA had brought this on itself, building up bin Laden and the Taliban against Russia. The article was not published by any US paper or magazine, including the supposedly “left wing” The Nation, for which Vidal has contributed articles for half a century. “The media never asks why,” he says:

“We still have not been told the reason why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor! Roosevelt provoked the attack, but the national mythology requires him to be a Saint, so nothing is said about it. Then we demonise Osama bin Laden, who was not a very nice man and looks the ‘boogie man’ part. We do not really know what degree of involvement he had in the September 11 attacks. Nor for that matter do we know to what degree American neocons with Israel played in the tragedy.

Nevertheless George W. Bush immediately says: ‘Dead or alive, we’re going to get him.’ Well, they have not got him. And he is not the reason America is in Afghanistan.

In fact, one journalist got into Afghanistan early on, which he was not supposed to do, and asked a US general there where Osama was. The general did not even remember who Osama was. Only when the astonished journalist reminded him, did he recall what the aim of the mission was supposed to be!”

In Vidal’s opinion, the USA’s interventions are connected with only money; mega-projects with oil interests. For example, to build a pipeline connecting the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. “They want stability in Afghanistan to build the pipeline. The Taliban did not give them stability, so they decided to overthrow them.”

No matter how imperfect or incomplete you may feel Gore Vidal’s analysis is, it is not really the point. The point that was underlined by Andrew Marr, a respected British political commentator (and certainly no Marxist) is this: How does it happen that America’s then greatest living writer [Marr’s words] did not find it possible to get his opinions printed in the USA? Eventually, he had a collection of articles published in book form in Italy, where it was a best-seller. It was also published in other European countries. The only other great writer I know with this problem that still exists today, of not being able to publish in America is the irrepressible and brilliant Seymour Hersh.

Worth mentioning is Vidal’s book Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, which was published in the USA, but then, as he remarked wryly, it got worse. Not a single paper was prepared to review the book. There was no publicity and no advertisements were accepted. As a well-known public figure and broadcaster, he received seven invitations to appear on different television programmes. Five of these were soon cancelled. CNN had invited him to debate his views, but the programme was cancelled half an hour before it was due to commence. The instructions evidently came from the top level in Washington.

“Citizens’ rights have been demolished in our country. The Bill of Rights has been either suspended or cut down. Bill Clinton started the process at the time of the Oklahoma bomber. Then they passed the US Patriot Act, a document of 300 odd pages that nobody bothered to read. It permits the government to organize surveillance, arrests and deportations. In fact, if you criticise the government you could be arrested for ‘giving comfort to the enemy’. And Congress passed this Act and the President signed it immediately!

And what are Gore Vidal’s conclusions? “Our liberation from this system will come about as a result of an economic collapse,” he asserts. “This is inevitable, on the basis of the colossal debts we have been building up. This must lead to monetary breakdown at some stage. The writing is on the wall.”

His only hope seems for, as in the Depression of the 1930s, a reforming President like F. D. Roosevelt will introduce something like the New Deal. “If not, we will end up with a dictatorship.”

The fact is, as Gore Vidal was the first to point out, America is already ruled by a dictatorship – the dictatorship of Money, of the “corporate masters” who take all the real decisions while giving the masses the illusion of democracy. There is one Party in America, the Capitalist Party, with two wings, Democrats and Republicans.

In effect, simply put, his recipe was to put the clock back about 200 years, to return America to its pristine roots of Republicanism.


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Articles by: Richard Galustian

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