The Los Angeles Times is upset about the coup in Myanmar, where the military has once again taken full control of the government. In an editorial, the Times says the U.S. government should impose “sweeping economic sanctions” to punish Myanmar’s military rulers that will “prohibit American companies — and foreign companies subject to U.S. jurisdiction — from dealing with those Myanmar businesses or designated military individuals.”
Yep, we have a brand new president and the same old corrupt system of foreign interventionism — and the same old destruction of economic liberty of the American people that we have seen with similar sanctions against countries like Cuba, Iran, and elsewhere.
The Myanmar coup is also a reminder of America’s national-security governmental structure, one that the U.S. mainstream press, unfortunately, has become loyal and patriotic supporters of.
Like the United States, Myanmar is a national-security state, which is a totalitarian form of governmental structure consisting of a vast, powerful, and permanent military-intelligence establishment. Even though the people of Myanmar would prefer a civilian limited-government form of governmental structure, they cannot get it. That’s because the military-intelligence establishment is simply too powerful. If people even suggest that it should be dismantled in favor of a limited-government democratic republic, they are put down through arrest, torture, and even execution. The Myanmar people simply lack the ability — the armaments — to resist the omnipotent power of the national-security establishment.
For some 10 years, the national-security establishment has permitted the veneer of democracy in Myanmar. Elections have been permitted, which ended up showing the tremendous popularity of the political party of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
A recent landslide electoral victory for Suu Kyi’s political party proved to be too much for Myanmar’s national-security establishment. It arrested Suu Kyi and other senior officials and decreed that it would be back in charge for at least another year.
But the fact is that it was always in charge. It was simply permitting Suu Kyi and the Myanmar people to have the veneer of power.
That’s the way things operate in a national-security state. That’s in fact how things operate here in the United States. Once the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state took place after World War II, everything shifted with respect to power within the federal government. The national-security establishment part of the government — the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA and, to a certain extent, the FBI — became the dominant sector within the government. The other three sectors — the executive, legislative, and judicial — were permitted to maintain the veneer of power, like in Myanmar, but they were all expected to defer to the ultimate authority of what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex.”
That’s one of those uncomfortable truths that the LA Times and the rest of the establishment media simply cannot bring themselves to acknowledge. It’s much easier to recognize this type of thing in a foreign country and call for the expansion of federal power here at home to address what foreign regimes are doing to their citizens.
In previous articles I have recommended a book by Michael J. Glennon entitled National Security and Double Government, Glennon is not some sort of crackpot author. He is a professor of law at Tuft’s University. He has served as counsel to congressional committees. The theme of his book is that the national-security establishment is the real power in the federal government and that the other parts of the government are simply permitted to maintain the veneer of power.
Look at Congress. What are the chances that it would ever buck the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA? None. The national-security establishment gets everything it wants from Congress. After all, how many veterans are members of Congress? Close to 100? How many “former” CIA officials? And then consider that every member of Congress has military bases or military projects in his district or state. All the Pentagon has to do is threaten to shut them down and that member of Congress is toast in the next election.
Look at the Supreme Court, especially in the context of the Pentagon-CIA torture and prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. The Constitution is clear: the federal government cannot hold people indefinitely, cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishments, must give them a speedy trial, must guarantee them effective assistance of counsel, must give them due process of law, must provide them with the right to confront witnesses against them, and must provide them with the right of trial by jury of their peers.
Ever since the first prisoner arrived at Gitmo, the Pentagon and the CIA have consistently violated all of these rights. It is the constitutional duty of the Supreme Court to enforce the Constitution. But when it comes to the Pentagon and the CIA, it doesn’t. It defers to their authority, while being permitted to maintain the veneer of power. The fact that there are still prisoners in Guantanamo who have been there more than 10 years, all the while being brutally tortured, is proof positive of that fact.
Consider the president. Even since the regime-change operation that took place on November 22, 1963, no president has dared to take on the national-security establishment. President John Kennedy was determined to end the Cold War racket, which would have ended the original justification for converting the federal government to a national security state. The war was on between Kennedy and the Pentagon and the CIA. Kennedy lost. Every president since then, including Trump and Biden, has deferred to the supremacy of the Pentagon and the CIA. Playing their own deferential role, the mainstream press has steadfastly hewed to the official lone-nut theory of Kennedy’s assassination, as ludicrous as it might be, and steadfastly chosen to ignore the mountain of evidence establishing the fraudulent autopsy on JFK’s body that the national security establishment conducted as part of its cover-up.
Rather than devote their attention to what is happening in Myanmar, the LA Times should be devoting its attention to what has happened here at home. What better way to lead the world than by example — by dismantling, not reforming, America’s warfare state and restoring our nation’s founding governmental structure of a limited-government republic?