The National Security State’s Crisis Racket

by jacob g. hornberger

Imagine that Russia announced that it was reconstituting the Warsaw Pact and that Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Bolivia had signed on as members.

Imagine also that Russia fomented a regime-change operation in Mexico that succeeded in ousting the democratically elected president of the country and installing a pro-Russia ruler in his stead.

Imagine that Russia then embarked on a plan to build military bases and install missiles in all of those countries, including all along the US–Mexico border.

I ask you: What would be the reaction of President Obama, Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the US mainstream press?

I’ll tell you: They would all be screaming like banshees! “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” they would be exclaiming. “We need to do something!” It would be a monumental crisis.

Even if Russia were to announce that its designs were entirely peaceful and friendly, nobody would believe it. There would be embargos, sanctions, and threat of nuclear war, until Russia capitulated, closed the bases, removed the missiles, and returned home.

What’s fascinating, however, is that when the roles are reversed, the mindset changes, owing largely to the dominant role that the US national-security state plays within the federal government and the extreme deference that the political elite give it.

Consider Ukraine.

When the Cold War ended, the logical thing would have been to dismantle not only the Pentagon and the CIA but also NATO.

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After all, the US national-security state apparatus, which resembled those in totalitarian regimes, was entirely new and alien to America’s governmental structure, as President Eisenhower observed in his Farewell Address some 15 years after the Pentagon and the CIA were established. The only reason this totalitarian structure was adopted was to oppose the Soviet Union (America’s WWII partner and ally) in a Cold War.

Moreover, the ostensible purpose of NATO was to protect Europe from the threat supposedly posed by the Soviet Union. It committed the United States to come to the defense of European countries in the event of a Soviet invasion.

So, the Cold War ends. Why not dismantle the entire national-security state apparatus and the entangling alliance of NATO that came with it? Wouldn’t that be the logical thing to do?

Not if you want to maintain the national-security branch of the federal government into perpetuity. For that, you need crises — lots of crises — ongoing crises.

So, they go into the Middle East and poke a bunch of hornets’ nests, which ultimately brings us the perpetual “war on terrorism,” along with ever-growing budgets for the Pentagon and the CIA, not to mention the never-ending infringements on our freedom and privacy in the name of keeping us “safe” from the supposed danger that they themselves produced.

Meanwhile though, the national-security branch wasn’t ready to let go of its old Cold War nemesis, even if the Soviet Union had been dismantled. After all, there was still Russia, headed by a former member of the KGB, the Soviet Union’s counterpart to the CIA.

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So, NATO remains in existence and even worse, begins absorbing former Eastern European countries that had been members of the Warsaw Pact. Through NATO expansion, the US national-security state moves slowly but inexorably toward Russia’s borders, ultimately reaching Ukraine, which borders Russia.

The big challenge, of course, was how to get Ukraine to also join NATO, which would then bring the US national-security state all the way to Russia’s borders, including Crimea.

The problem, however, was that the democratically elected regime in Ukraine was pro-Russia.

No problem. Just foment a coup, just like in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, and other countries around the world. And, of course, deny that they’re behind it, just like they denied that they were behind the coups in those other countries. Even if they’re caught lying about it, as CIA Director Richard Helms was after the Chilean coup, nothing much would happen anyway.

So, what’s the outcome of all this? Civil War in Ukraine, not much different from the decades-long civil war that the US coup in Guatemala produced. Plus Russia’s annexation of Crimea to ensure that the long-established Russian military base there didn’t fall into US hands.

Oh, and of course a new Cold War, one in which the US is now sending military equipment and armaments into Eastern Europe, ostensibly to protect Eastern Europe from Russian aggression. And it’s all done through the Pentagon and the CIA, not through the elected representatives of the American people in Congress.

I repeat my question: What would President Obama, all those presidential candidates, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the mainstream press be saying if Russia did the same things in this part of the world that the US national security state has done over there? Again, the answer is: They’d be screaming like banshees.

John McCain in Ukraine's Maiden Square supporting the revolution calling for regime change. Imagine Putin or a high ranking Russian politician doing this in Mexico.
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John McCain in Ukraine’s Maiden Square supporting the revolution calling for regime change. Imagine Putin or a high ranking Russian politician doing this in Mexico.

The answer to the crisis racketeering lies with the American people. When a critical mass of Americans finally realize that they’re being had, they will demand a restoration of the limited-government republic called for in the Constitution and a dismantling of the totalitarian structure known as the national-security state and an end to NATO and other entangling alliances. That would not only bring an end to the perpetual crisis and chaos, it would also provide the foundation of a peaceful, prosperous, harmonious, and free society.

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Reprinted from the Future of Freedom Foundation.


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