The best way to understand what’s happening to America is to watch Goodfellas or The Sopranos. Eisenhower’s ‘military-industrial complex’ is just a mafia by another name, and they’re completely running the show. Arms dealers run up America’s debt, buy politicians and war secretaries, make a literal killing, and have driven American Empire into moral, military, and monetary bankruptcy. It’s a classic mafia bust-out. They’ve ruined multiple countries over the years, and now the rot is coming home.
A bust-out is when the mafia takes over a business — a restaurant, say — and simply runs up the ‘joints’ credit until it implodes. This is, not coincidentally, a private equity strategy also. This is what happened to Boeing. It is what happened to the American military, and America at large. Henry Hill (the character in Goodfellas) described a bust-out thus:
Paulie [the mob boss] could do anything. Especially run up bills on the joint’s credit. And why not? Nobody’s gonna pay for it anyway. And as soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and you sell it for a hundred. It doesn’t matter.It’s all profit.And then finally, when there’s nothing left, when you can’t borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out. You light a match.
In the same way, the US military could — for a long time — do anything. They ran up bills on expensive military systems to blow up the poorest people on Earth, under the flimsiest pretences, laundered through a pliant media and pompous think tanks. All the military-industrial mafia had to do was pay off the politicians, the press, and the public with a good show. They lost every war, but who gave a shit? There was more money in losing. As Henry Hill said “It doesn’t matter. It’s all profit.”
The people who planned and propagandized these wars only failed upwards, to plan and propagandize the next one. The Pentagon has failed six audits and no one gives a shit. There’s too much money to be made in the broken system, and none in trying to fix it. That’s the only thing you actually get fired (or arrested/killed) for. Julian Assange exposed the military-industrial complex, and they just disappeared him for his troubles. It’s not that complicated.
The military industrial complex funds elections, think tanks, media, retirement plans, plus the more obvious corruption. Everything Americans take as a sign of their ‘healthy’ democracy is in fact completely corrupted. Everybody’s got their hand out, and nobody sees shit. When it comes to mass murder, America has a national policy of omertà. The military-industrial complex is just an international mafia and they’ve managed to bust-out an entire Empire. Now we’re seeing what happens at the end. As Henry Hill said, “you light a match.”
That’s what America has done and is doing to country after country, and now the fire is licking their toes.
Ukraine, for example, was taken over by the military-industrial mafia in a coup and is being burnt to the ground right now. For a while, Ukraine saw endless boxes of munitions and technology coming in, but now their credit is out and nobody even picks up their phone calls. There’s no more money coming from Europe or America and they’re on their own. Ukraine has gone bust and all that’s left is declaring bankruptcy, as Russia takes over and dictates terms. They were ‘protected’ by America like anyone is ‘protected’ by the mafia. It was all a ruse to do what empires do. Make money, and fuck you.
‘Israel’ on the other hand can still “buy another case of booze.” The 2,000 pound bombs are still flowing and they can commit genocide like there’s no tomorrow, but there is a tomorrow, and ‘Israel’ has no plan for it at all. They have blown all military credit by getting clobbered on October 7th, and have only gotten more clobbered (militarily) since. Hamas still exists and is, in fact, dictating terms. Meanwhile the entire region is up in arms. ‘Israel’ is caught in a long guerilla war, and you know how that goes with America. It takes a lot of time and a lot of dying, but they always lose.
‘Israel’ is America’s flagship colony, and the collapse there threatens America too.‘Israel’ has blown the cover of the western media, who are now obviously just genocidal propagandists and tools. It has also blown the credibility of an American President, who now gets yelled at wherever he goes. As ‘Israel’ slowly but inexorably goes down, it threatens to take the whole (war) criminal enterprise with it too.
I’m just listing the most recent bust-outs. South Vietnam and Afghanistan can tell you horror stories, and Taiwan, occupied Korea and Europe will tell you soon enough. As Tony Soprano told an old school friend he drove into bankruptcy:
Tony Soprano: Well, I knew you had this business here Davey. It’s my nature, ‘frog and the scorpion’ you know? Besides if you would’ve won I’d be the one crying the blues right?”
David Scatino: “What’s the end?”
Tony: “The end? Planned bankruptcy”
Tony : [after David begins crying] “Hey, your not the first guy to get ‘busted out.’ This is how a guy like me makes a living: this is my bread and butter. When this is over your free to go. You can go wherever you want”
This is America’s bread and butter. They busted out their continent, then moved around the world to get more resources to consume. It is like the frog and the scorpion. America has kept jumping from military ‘lily pad’ to lily pad, kissing corrupt frogs to turn them into propaganda princes, then stinging and abandoning them when the going got tough. There’s deposed Shahs and Presidents and Premiers all over the world, and destroyed countries too.
America has long had a reputation as an unreliable partner, but now they’re getting a reputation as something worse. Unpowerful. Unintimidating. Dead in the water. America has lost to Afghanistan and is giving up against Russia. They’ve even getting defied in the Red Sea, by one of the poorest countries in the world. There’s literally blood in the water. Now they’re getting lit up by Iraqi and Syrian militias, places thought reliably conquered. And they can’t do shit about it. They can’t field a military anymore, nor can they manufacture. Mafias survive by intimidating people, and America isn’t intimidating anyone. This is an existential problem for America. They’re not just losing proxies, they’re losing actual power.
It’s been revealed to the world that ‘busting-out’ countries isn’t what America does. It’s what they are. Now the corrupt leadership that has only failed upwards for decades now is busting out their own country. To paraphrase Malcolm X, ‘chickenhawks come home to roost.’ America doesn’t even try diplomacy anymore, they’re just lighting matches everywhere. They’re lighting their own Empire on fire.
Millions of people are going to die for this final bonfire of the vanities, trillions of debt will be given to future generations that they cannot repay, indeed the entire planet will be scorched or worse by their carnivorous greed. But, within our lifetimes, the busters will go bust. There’s only one way mafia movies end. The good guys don’t necessarily win, but the bad guys lose. There’s no other way.