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Reflecting on CounterPunch’s “The Good Americans”: An Untold Summary of Everything Wrong with the United States Empire

If I had to pick one of the best pieces of writing I ever read on the internet that satirically summarizes everything historically wrong with the United States empire from start to finish, it would be CJ Hopkins’ “The Good Americans” from CounterPunch. It perfectly exposes all the sins of the country that its own citizens know little about. The following is a list of quotes from the source that struck me as worthwhile reading for all to reflect on:

The United States of America being a profoundly authoritarian society (whose citizens have been conditioned from childhood to follow orders, go through channels, submit to a host of humiliating rituals devised by an ever-expanding range of government and private “security services,” and to worship leaders, police, soldiers, and, basically, anyone wearing a uniform, or a Giorgio Armani business suit), this ruling class soft coup is cause for celebration.

This is unfortunately true of most children growing up in the United States. One would think back to a civilization wiped out in the same land by Columbus’ men where the same children were encouraged to think for themselves, and do not submit to any authority. Today, some of the best educational systems in civilized countries like Finland do a better job enlightening children, and focus on what makes them happy. Unfortunately, children in the United States are instead conditioned with punishment inspired by a culture of mass incarceration. From detention after school hours to handcuffs due to minor offenses like dress codes and tardiness.

A culture of fear is really what forces children to follow orders. Any natural signs of resistance to authority leads to an unnecessary and dehumanizing punishment. This capital punishment culture is not only found in schools, but in our prison system, the militarized police, and all the military branches. Sure, we celebrate and applaud the highest ranks in positions of authority, but what exposes this country as an authoritarian society is when one looks at how these same authority figures punish the oppressed whether it’s imprisonment due to civil disobedience or sending a lower rank to Captain’s Mast due to an inaccurately exaggerated report by a higher rank where the victim has little power or opportunity to challenge the report.

At which point they, these Good Americans, will pour en masse onto Lafayette Square, hooting, hollering, and waving flags, as they did when Obama sent Seal Team Six to roust the former CIA asset, Osama bin Laden, out of bed, shoot him several times in the face, and then dump his body in the Indian Ocean, or whatever it was that actually happened.

Americans seem to enjoy war, violence, and the killing of any human being as long as they are labeled the bad guy. As always, Hopkins is stating one fact after another. The United States has been utilizing this CIA asset strategy for decades in other countries that prove an inconvenience to corporate capitalists in power of this country. Not the President of the United States. Hopkins ends with a strong skeptic’s conclusion on what really happened to Osama bin Laden. History repeats itself. The corporate media in servitude of the United States government has lied to the American people before. The assassination of JFK and 9/11 come to mind.

What with all the demands of work, family, Facebook, Twitter, yoga, shopping, keeping up-to-date with the latest dining trends, not to mention the new season of House of Cards, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to scrutinize everything their leaders are doing, or the “information” the media is feeding them.

True. And what sources of media dominate our lives? The corporate media. CNN. MSNBC. Fox News. Whatever happened to real investigative journalism? The American people need a media that reports facts. Imagine having The Young Turks, The Jimmy Dore Show, Secular Talk, The Real News Network, CounterPunch, Truthout, and Truthdig dominate the media instead. We need more progressive voices to inform the American people, or there will be no democracy. The good news is that progressive ideals have been growing ever since the Trump administration took over. The same list of progressive media organizations I just named are growing more popular in social media.

The United States isn’t Nazi Germany. OK, sure, we wiped out the Native Americans (and sadistically named some of our sports teams after them), but that was hundreds of years ago. The same goes for slavery … ancient history. And, alright, so the United States, and the indigenous death squads we have trained and funded, have murdered millions of men, women, and children in places like Indochina, Indonesia, Central America, South America, and the Middle East, and we’ve bombed and invaded a long list of countries that posed no threat to us whatsoever purely to advance the interests of the corporations that own the government, and their ongoing quest for global hegemony … still, it’s not like Nazi Germany, where people went blithely on with their lives, pretending they had no idea what was happening.

Yes, Christopher Columbus and his men have committed genocide on one of the most peaceful civilizations of that century. The United States government has armed, funded, and trained terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida. Worst of all, we do the same thing for countries that expand terrorist organizations like Saudi Arabia. We are allied with a country that may have a connection with the 9/11 attacks. The United States military is under misleading orders of propaganda, but the objective is clearly to occupy and invade any country that poses a threat to corporate world domination. In other words, any country that is about to show signs of economic and democratic independence will be bombed. Countries like Iran and Libya come to mind. Hopkins points out that a lot of the American people have no idea what is going on with their country. There is a lack of anti-war resistance. This is nobody’s fault. Resistance still exists. The struggle between rich and poor is still going on. Corporate media is too powerful. There’s a lack of anti-war voices in the mainstream.

Coincidentally, a lot of these bad guys, in addition to being hideously evil, have been, circa the time of their removal, interfering with the vital interests of the corporations that own our government. Bashar al-Assad, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein are the most recent examples, but we’ve been doing this since the late 1940s. A partial list of CIA ops, including assassinations, torture, election rigging, coups, and so on, stretching back to the post-WWII period, when we re-installed fascists in Greece and Italy and smuggled Nazis like Reinhard Gehlen, Klaus Barbie (a/k/a “the Butcher of Lyon”), and Eichmann’s good buddy, Otto von Bolschwing to America to help us defeat “the Communists,” is available for perusal online, and in any number of books and articles. It’s not like this stuff is secret or anything.

The corporations that own our government have committed global crimes like rigging elections of other countries, replacing democratically-elected leaders with fascists, and assassinating revolutionaries like Muammar Gaddafi. Yet, here we are lying to the American public with constant propaganda that other foreign countries are rigging our election system, and that Bashar al-Assad attacking his own people authorizes our military to kill innocent lives. All these same lies have also led to killing of a million innocent lives in Iraq thanks to the Bush administration. Bush’s father led the attack in Panama that killed many innocent lives and infrastructure.

But whatever … no government is perfect, right? And Good Americans are grown-ups, after all. So they understand that all that crap about democracy is important to teach the children, and to put on the masthead of your newspaper, or whatever, but the real world doesn’t work like that. In the real world, where the Good Americans live, safely insulated from the abject poverty they are not in any way responsible for, sometimes you have to hire a few Nazis, or support a couple of fascist regimes, or sell a few buttloads of arms to the Saudis, despite the fact that they’re a brutal theocracy and the primary sponsors of the Terrorism we claim to be bombing the Middle East to stop, or bankrupt a few hundred thousand Americans to bail out your pals at the Wall Street banks that bled them dry with their Ponzi scheme, or support an Apartheid state like Israel, or sell Americans some convoluted corporate-friendly healthcare plan as if it were somehow completely impossible to provide a universal healthcare system like every other developed country, or lead the world in mass incarceration, primarily of the lower classes, who are already mass incarcerated in ghettos patrolled by militarized police, which of course bears no resemblance at all to the ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe, and is regrettably just a permanent feature of the grown-up reality the Good Americans are utterly powerless to ever change.

This summarizes everything Hopkins has said, and validates everything that I have reflected on so far. Our government is allied with the Saudis, sponsors of the same terrorism we claim to be at war with. Strange. Americans do not often hear truths like that covered on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. Perhaps we should include reading more independent media like CounterPunch. Our government occupies and oppresses other people’s lands just as the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians. The oppression happens in the United States as well. The poor are incarcerated by a militarized police, there’s a lack of funding a good educational system that teaches students to think critically, and people die due to a medical system that denies them care in any possible way combined with ridiculous costs. Worst of all, Capitalism is making corporations richer for every dead person, every loss of a home, every denial of medical care, and every student struggling to pay for college.

Hopkins concludes:

Alright, I know you’re probably thinking that sounds a lot like the rationalizations the Good Germans used to excuse themselves for not resisting the horrors of the Nazis, but it isn’t the same kind of thing at all. The Good Americans are resisting … they’re resisting Trump, who, after all, is the one responsible for all that stuff, all those wars of aggression, the CIA coups, the torture, the death squads, the ghettos, et cetera … our entire seventy-two-year history as Enforcer of global Capitalist empire and all the incalculable human suffering and irreparable damage to the planet it has caused … all that is somehow the doing of Trump and his puppet-master, Vladimir Putin. Or at least it’s not Obama’s fault, or the fault of any of his Democrat predecessors, those champions of the poor and downtrodden who never need to be resisted.

So please join the Good Americans this weekend as they do their part to help the corporatist establishment make an example of this monster (whose evil outstrips that of Hitler, and Pol Pot, and Stalin, and, well, pick your monster) and discourage any future billionaire ass hats from screwing with their simulation of democracy. They’ll be staging huge rallies all around the country to whip up support for the Pink Revolution, and possibly even all-out Blitzkrieg against our bestial Slavic enemies before they “influence” another election, or hack another rural power grid. They’re calling it the “March for Truth.” It’s a totally grassroots volunteer effort that has absolutely nothing to do with David Brock, Peter Daou, or Shareblue, or the Democratic Party, or any of its neoliberal backers. This one probably won’t quite match the Nuremberg rallies for flat-out hysteria, but give the ruling classes some time … “Resistance Summer” is just getting started.