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The Counter-Containment Racket


The U.S. government is committed to containing ISIS, and ISIS is committed to containing the U.S. government. The same goes for Russia. The Obama regime is committed to containing the Putin regime, which, in turn, is committed to containing the Obama regime.

This counter-containment policy is one in which the respective parties need each other and thrive off each other. It’s all quite a racket, one in which each party to the containment battle necessarily depends on the actions of the other party to justify increasing its power and influence and expanding its own deadly actions.

This containment policy is not new. It’s actually just a repeat of the Cold War containment policy that the U.S. government adopted in the 1950s to justify the existence of the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto our original federal government structure after World War II. The Soviet Union and the communists were out to conquer the world, U.S. officials told the American people, and so it’s necessary to have a totalitarian-like structure to “contain” the Soviets and the commies, to ensure that America and the rest of the world didn’t go Red.

Consider all the regime-change operations that the U.S. national-security state engaged in during the Cold War as part of its efforts to contain communism and the Soviet Union. Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, the Congo, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Chile, and many more. The idea was that if such nations were permitted to have communist regimes or regime friendly to the Soviets, the dominoes would start following to the communists, with the final big domino being the United States.

It was all one great big racket that was designed for one purpose: to ensure the rise in power and influence of the entire national-security state establishment, or what President Eisenhower termed the “military industrial complex” in his Farewell Address in 1961.

It wouldn’t have made a whit of difference, insofar as the United States was concerned, whether any or all of those nations had communists or socialists as their presidents or even if such presidents turned out to be puppets of the Soviet Union.

How do we know this? Because today you have regimes all over the world that are communistic or socialistic and that don’t exactly love the U.S. government. China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, and many others. Do you see any of them invading, conquering, and occupying the United States?

It was never necessary for the United States to abandon its status as a constitutional republic to “contain” the Soviet Union and communism. By doing so, the U.S. government, in all too many respects, ended up becoming like the Soviet Union and the communists. Examples include: MKULTRA, secretly hiring Nazis into the U.S government, germ warfare, coups, assassinations, invasions, wars of aggression, support of brutal dictatorships, partnerships with the Mafia, torture, surveillance, and much more.

John Quincy Adams’ Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821 is instructive. Back then there were foreign dictatorships, terrorist groups, and far-flung empires trying to expand their domain, just as there are today. He pointed out that America was founded on the principle that the government that Americans brought into existence does not go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.” The idea was that the U.S. government would leave them alone, all the while striving to achieve a free society here at home as a model for the world.

Here is how Adams put it in his famous speech:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

Adams went further. He also pointed out that if the United States were ever to abandon that policy of non-intervention and republic in favor of empire and intervention, it would have a disastrous effect on our own nation:

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

There is only one solution to the counter-containment racket, and it obviously does not lie with doubling down with more bombs and more missiles on ISIS and more containment crises with Russia. That only gives rise to countermeasures by ISIS and Russia. The situation just gets progressively worse.

The only solution is this:

(1) Withdraw all U.S. troops from overseas, bring them home, and discharge them

(2) Stop the bombing, killing, torturing, incarcerating, and assassinating people without trial. That’s what totalitarian regimes do, not governments in free societies.

(3) Close America’s military empire of foreign and domestic military bases.

(4) Dismantle the national-security state, including America’s standing army, the CIA, and the NSA.

Returning to fundamental principles of a constitutional republic and non-interventionism — the founding principles of our nation — is the only way to achieve a free, prosperous, secure, and harmonious society. Maintaining the status quo of empire, interventionism, and a national security state will only make Americans progressively more unsafe and insecure, and less free and less prosperous.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.