The Imperial Class, Revisited

An important clarification of my piece on “The Imperial Class” posted this morning: the rank-and-file military are not automatically inducted into the ranks of the imperial class, and, indeed, their interests are diametrically opposed to the agenda of the War Party  and the military-industrial-congressional complex. That’s why we have seen some of the most persistent, and effective opposition to this administration’s Middle East project coming from the top ranks of the military, from generals who want to protect their soldiers — and the military machine they have built up into a peerless fighting force — from wanton destruction and useless sacrifice on the altar of the neocons’ vanity.

US soldiers are doing a job: protecting the country. The interventionists want to make their job 100 times harder — not only by invading every “enemy,” both real and imagined, in sight, but also by making the US itself more vulnerable by creating armies of anti-Americans eager to do us harm.

No wonder Ron Paul, the sole antiwar Republican presidential aspirant, received the largest amount of contributions from US military personnel, more than all the others combined.

16 thoughts on “The Imperial Class, Revisited”

    1. We should unite on the issue of ending the war in Iraq, not try to divide the vote against Pelosi.

      1. We schmucks on our keyboards can unite on ending the war in Iraq until the cows come home, but neither my opinion nor yours will make one whit of difference to those in power. Until The People are ready for some real change and give a man like Ron Paul a chance, it seems likely that the future holds only more of the same…or worse.
        On the other hand, it sure would be funny to witness the scene when AIPAC showed up with giant cheque for Congressman Raimondo…

  1. “…the rank-and-file military are not automatically inducted into the ranks of the imperial class, and, indeed, their interests are diametrically opposed to the agenda of the War Party and the military-industrial-congressional complex.”

    That’s not so clear.

    The benefit of wartime to many if not all in the military is that there are more opportunities for promotion.

    1. Not every American is a power hungry psychopath with delusions of grandeur. At least I hope not. I’m sure many soldiers love their country and the military and want to do what is right for both, meaningless wars is not what they signed up for. They signed up to protect the Constitution from foreign and domestic threats not to die in wars to satisfy the establishment’s bloodlust.

      The establishment is in our way. It must be humiliated and defeated, using whatever peaceful means necessary like finding the skeletons in their closets then beat them with the bones. Scientology has something called “Fair Game.” It is effective from what I read.

  2. I am a two time combat vet, and I couldn’t agree with you more. With McCain the most likely republican candidate we will just get more war. If it seems likely and I believe it is that the Dems will win, I fear Bush might bomb Iran before he leaves office. At that point he could use the provisions in the Patriot Act to declare martial law and not leave office. It very well might be that we will need the backing of the Pentagon brass to remove him. I wouldn’t put them much hope in them either, but the Generals might be the only chance we have of avoiding WWIII.

    Thanks for the great articles and keep up the good work.


      1. You have a good point, but it seems more likely for the Republicans than the Dems. But who knows. Hiliary does get much of her support from Isreal. I guess I would trust Obama the most of the “front” runners. However, that is saying much.

  3. Thought your article was great and this follow up was even better. Having many friends who serve in the military I do think people often ignore the distinction (sometimes out of ignorance, other times to further their own agenda [i.e. if you don’t support the war you undermine the troops, and that sort of BS]). John McCain tries to act like he represents the “avergage American” but he is an elitist who cares more about protecting America’s “status than protecting America.

  4. “the rank-and-file military are not automatically inducted into the ranks of the imperial class..”

    If the military is so opposed to the government’s policy, but chooses to carry it out anyway under the excuse of “serving the country”, then what difference does it make if they are opposed to it? They are the ones carrying it out.

    I believe if the military was REALLY OPPOSED to the govt.’s policies, they would rebel. Throw down their guns. Refuse to deploy…

    1. If one has ever been in the military, he or she would readily understand why the troops and the officer corps will not throw down their weapons and refuse to deploy. The potential penalties for such a resistance is not only life altering, but criminal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

      Like many ideals, the suggestion of insubordination by the military is far easier said than done and would require a most uncommon degree of moral courage. Why should anyone expect an individual service member to risk so much, when the citizenry, generally, refuses to risk so little by exercising their most basic rights of free speech and informed and vigilant political activism?

  5. The US soldiers are not doing the job of protecting the USA. I part company with Raimondo re his first sentence in his second paragraph above. I call on my fellow Americans to presently stop enlisting in the US military.

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