A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a "Failed State" Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Global Research, June 2, 2010


A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a "Failed State"
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research, June 2, 2010
- 2010-06-01

Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary US Treasury, Associate Editor Wall Street Journal, Professor of Political Economy Center for Strategic and International Studies Georgetown University Washington DC.

Question: Dr. Roberts, the United States is regarded as the most successful state in the world today. What is responsible for American success?

Dr. Roberts: Propaganda. If truth be known, the US is a failed state. More about that later. The US owes its image of success to: (1) the vast lands and mineral resources that the US “liberated” with violence from the native inhabitants, (2) Europe’s, especially Great Britain’s, self-destruction in World War I and World War II, and (3) the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism.

After World War II, the US took the reserve currency role from Great Britain. This made the US dollar the world money and permitted the US to pay its import bills in its own currency. World War II’s destruction of the other industrialized countries left the US as the only country capable of supplying products to world markets. This historical happenstance created among Americans the impression that they were a favored people. Today the militarist neoconservatives speak of the United States as “the indispensable nation.” In other words, Americans are above all others, except, of course, Israelis.

To American eyes a vague “terrorist threat,” a creation of their own government, is sufficient justification for naked aggression against Muslim peoples and for an agenda of world hegemony.

This hubristic attitude explains why among most Americans there is no remorse over the one million Iraqis killed and the four million Iraqis displaced by a US invasion and occupation that were based entirely on lies and deception. It explains why there is no remorse among most Americans for the countless numbers of Afghans who have been cavalierly murdered by the US military, or for the Pakistani civilians murdered by US drones and “soldiers” sitting in front of video screens. It explains why there is no outrage among Americans when the Israelis bomb Lebanese civilians and Gaza civilians. No one in the world will believe that Israel’s latest act of barbarity, the murderous attack on the international aid flotilla to Gaza, was not cleared with Israel’s American enabler.

Question: You said that the US was a failed state. How can that be? What do you mean?

Roberts: The war on terror, invented by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime, destroyed the US Constitution and the civil liberties that the Constitution embodies. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. The Obama regime has institutionalized the Bush/Cheney assault on American liberty. Today, no American has any rights if he or she is accused of “terrorist” activity. The Obama regime has expanded the vague definition of “terrorist activity” to include “domestic extremist,” another undefined and vague category subject to the government’s discretion. In short, a “terrorist” or a “domestic extremist” is anyone who dissents from a policy or a practice that the US government regards as necessary for its agenda of world hegemony.

Unlike some countries, the US is not an ethic group. It is a collection of diverse peoples united under the Constitution. When the Constitution was destroyed, the US ceased to exist. What exists today are power centers that are unaccountable. Elections mean nothing, as both parties are dependent on the same powerful interest groups for campaign funds. The most powerful interest groups are the military/security complex, which includes the Pentagon, the CIA, and the corporations that service them, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the oil industry that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street (investment banks and hedge funds), the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the agri-companies that produce food of questionable content.

These corporate powers comprise an oligarchy that cannot be dislodged by voting. Ever since “globalism” was enacted into law, the Democrats have been dependent on the same corporate sources of income as the Republicans, because globalism destroyed the labor unions. Consequently, there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, or no meaningful difference.

The “war on terror” completed the constitutional/legal failure of the US. The US has also failed economically. Under Wall Street pressure for short-term profits, US corporations have moved offshore their production for US consumer markets. The result has been to move US GDP and millions of well-paid US jobs to countries, such as China and India, where labor and professional expertise are cheap. This practice has been going on since about 1990.

After 20 years of offshoring US production, which destroyed American jobs and federal, state and local tax base, the US unemployment rate, as measured by US government methodology in 1980, is over 20 percent. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled. Millions of young Americans with university degrees are employed as waitresses and bartenders. Foreign enrollment comprises a larger and larger percentage of US universities as the American population finds that a university degree has been negated by the offshoring of the jobs that the graduates expected.

When US offshored production re-enters the US as imports, the trade balance deteriorates. Foreigners use their surplus dollars to purchase existing US assets.

Consequently, dividends, interest, capital gains, tolls from toll roads, rents, and profits, now flow abroad to foreign owners, thus increasing the pressure on the US dollar. The US has been able to survive the mounting claims of foreigners against US GDP because the US dollar is the reserve currency. However, the large US budget and trade deficits will put pressures on the dollar that will become too extreme for the dollar to be able to sustain this role. When the dollar fails, the US population will be impoverished.

The US is heavily indebted, both the government and the citizens. Over the last decade there has been no growth in family income. The US economy was kept going through the expansion of consumer debt. Now consumers are so heavily indebted that they cannot borrow more. This means that the main driving force of the US economy, consumer demand, cannot increase. As consumer demand comprises 70% of the economy, when consumer demand cannot increase, there can be no economic recovery.

The US is a failed state also because there is no accountability to the people by corporations or by government at any level, whether state, local, or federal. British Petroleum is destroying the Gulf of Mexico. The US government has done nothing. The Obama regime’s response to the crisis is more irresponsible than the Bush regime’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Wetlands and fisheries are being destroyed by unregulated capitalist greed and by a government that treats the environment with contempt. The tourist economy of Florida is being destroyed. The external costs of drilling in deep waters exceeds the net worth of the oil industry. As a result of the failure of the American state, the oil industry is destroying one of the world’s most valuable ecological systems.

Question: What can be done?

Roberts: The American people are lost in la-la land. They have no idea that their civil liberties have been forfeited. They are only gradually learning that their economic future is compromised. They have little idea of the world’s growing hatred of Americans for their destruction of other peoples. In short, Americans are full of themselves. They have no idea of the disasters that their ignorance and inhumanity have brought upon themselves and upon the world.

Much of the world, looking at a country that appears both stupid and inhumane, wonders at Americans’ fine opinion of themselves. Is America the virtuous “indispensable nation” of neoconservative propaganda, or is America a plague upon the world? 2

Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research

Emil to Prime Minister of Canada. Copy to Opposition.

Dear Prime Minister.

Paul Craig Roberts is an economist and a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as a co-founder of Reaganomics. He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service.

Please have your staff research Dr. Roberts and his position on Israeli piracy here:-


Also please ask RCMP and CSIS to research Dr. Roberts writings which will help Canada expose who murdered 24 Canadians in New York on 9/11, 2001.

Thanks. John Duddy.

PCR is incredible

Every time I read an article by or an interview of PCR, it amazes me. This guy has a knack for summing up things that I've been feeling but am never able to characterize.

For example, the point at the end of the article about American people being in la-la land of hubris is from my perspective spot on. I've gotten this growing feeling when trying to talk to people about 9/11 that many Americans do not want to know the truth. It's as if, they instinctively understand that knowing the truth and accepting would imply that their grandiose view of their country and their place in the world would be torn usunder. They would then have the face the harsh reality that they are no better than anybody else in the world. As a result, for many of these people, they simply refuse to believe anything having to do with 9/11 truth, coming up with all sorts of false reasons that the story they know has to be true. Many even attack the messenger.

I've been wondering what made PCR hang up his pen, so to speak. From this interview, it seems like I detect maybe the inklings of a reason... it seems that PCR has become disillusioned with the American people themselves and not just the government or the corporate bad guys.

STOP Confusing the Stranger on the Street! Make it Simple!

lemmingbar says,

"They [Americans] would then have the face the harsh reality that they are no better than anybody else in the world."

The only thing Americans would have to face are the few megalomaniacs in the Federal government that caused the attacks.

Most Americans don't know what to believe about 9/11, and who can blame them. A truth activist approaching a stranger on the street with talk of metallic microspheres is enough to cause the stranger to walk away even more confused.

Dean Jackson/Editor-in-Chief DNotice.org
Washington, DC

sad but true

Many would call PCR a traitor to his country but I applaud him for having the guts to stand by his clear, although unpopular, opinion.

American Exceptionalism has grown to mean exceptionally stupid, idolatrous and callous.

9/11 and Nov. 22, 1963

This interview, terse, brilliant, and sad, reminds me of the words of Jim Garrison regarding the Kennedy assassination. This sentiment seems now tragically truer than ever:

"The Constitution is on a respirator."

Has the respirator been turned off?

American Nationalism (not unlike Israeli Zionism)

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ''Patriotism'' is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by ''patriotism'' I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare --never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but IDOLATROUS WORSHIP (caps for emphasis).

Erich Fromm
1900-1980, American Psychologist

I, as a Canadian, and global citizen, weep (literally), over the loss of our friend and neighbor, and what you could have been, and were intended to be for this troubled world, as a radiant beacon of light and hope, and a model of civilized leadership. It is a great loss, of incalculable value. Cheney and Bush put the final nail in the coffin, and Obama runs nowhere with what was passed onto him, and is deluded if he thinks otherwise.

It's very very sad.

However, since all happiness for man must arise exclusively in relation only to some unhappiness, already experienced (Gurdjieff), if this suffering and sorrow and impoverishment might itself bring about an ego death, then there is still HOPE for a resurrection and a new dawn, at some point, in the fullness of time and history, regardless of how long it might take, and therefore hope still prevails, and eternal optimism, the only rational response. It is APATHY, which is the greatest enemy of all now, and in that regard PCR does us both a service by bringing the truth to light, and a disservice in suggesting that all is lost.

And if Paul Craig Roberts would like to DO something, instead of merely bemoaning the sins of his nation, he would run for public office..

If you are not part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem, no matter how enlightened as to the root causes of the problem at hand.


To me it looks like PCR is in a depression.

He obviously cares very deeply about humanity. I do hope he keeps finding ways to talk and write, since his words and thoughts are incisive. In his case, communicating like this is "doing something."

9/11 Truth and campaign reform...

When PCR states that there is no hope for this country because the two political parties feed from the same corporate trough, he is of course, absolutely correct....about the two parties being the same...but not the country...

This is why when I hand out my 9/11 Truth for World Peace and Justice flyer, included in it are websites dedicated to reforming voting...most noteably, for taking corporate money out of politics.

Additionally, on the back side of my huge 9/11 Truth for World Peace banner are voting reforms:

...public funds for elections...
...paper ballots across the USofA...
...a new federal paid holiday for voting...

As long as we Truthers focus upon facts and data about 9/11 [an incredibly important thing], and do not give the average citizen some actions for them to take when they "GET" our information, the average citizen WILL DENY the information...no matter how eloquent we state our case.

The 9/11 Truth for Peace Movement simply has to mature into providing citizens something to do with our exposure of this emboldened and pervasive EMPIRE.

We got the stuff...now we have to help citizens to do something about it. Without a "take action outlet", people will remain distant to our message.

Most Truthers forget how strong, fearless, caring, well informed and proactive we are...and do so concurrently while forgetting, or not realizing, how weak, vulnerable, fearfull and deliberately uninformed the average citizen IS.

PCR has abandoned our ship...and I have and will not!

And everyone can vote...PRIVATELY...its our major hope...

The 9/11 Truth for Peace Movement is all about information...lets trust the goodness in people once they have become well informed...and once they are given something TO DO with this world shattering information.

We are missing a step...

Throw the Bums Out...and replace them with NON-CORPORATISTS!

Love, Peace and Progress and...

9/11 Truth for World Peace and Justice

Robin Hordon
Kingston, WA

Almost right there Robin..

These are good suggestions but I think it has to go even further that. I agree that the 9/11 Truth movement should NOT be a politcal presence (as in Sander Hicks attempt to politicize the movement) but if there is one political issue we can be behind and that is revocation of the Federal Reserve Act. The only way to break up the big banks is to break up The Fed and move to an honest monetary system which is represented by real value and does not rely on printed FIAT money. No FIAT currency in the history of the Earth has been successful and there is no reason to think this one will. The constitution states that it is the responsibilty of the Congress to coin money and regulate its value. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives them the power to relent that responsibility and we must take that power back.

I try not to recommend too many books and/or websites as I don't want to be spokesman for any of them, but if you are interested in real workable solutions for monetary reform, this was a very good read:



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." -- Mayer Amschel Rothschild

OOPS - One mistake here..

I love this guy but I feel compelled to correct one slight error in the presentation: "3) the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism."
That may be what one's economic model or ideology requires but it's not historically even arguable. The USSR went from a backward impoverished country to an advanced, industrial country in 30 years - DESPITE being nearly totally destroyed in WW2, despite world capitalist encirclement, sabotage, etc. China - can anyone seriously maintain it has been economically ruined by "communism or socialism". ?!?

No Communism Anywhere Yet

dave mann,

I'm afraid both you and PCR are mistaken. There's never been communism or socialism in the USSR or China. What one had was an economy totally controlled by the State.

Communism was what Marx thought would come about from 'advanced' capitalism. He wouldn't predict when this would transpire however. Communism is still a theoretical supposition since it hasn't transpired anywhere on Earth.

The USSR had to forgo strict Marxism and skip (for the mean time) the capitalist economy for political reasons. One can't fight the West with a capitalist economy.

It annoys me that people like PCR thinks the USSR had a communist economy!

Dean Jackson/Editor-in-Chief DNotice.org
Washington, DC

No the USSR wasn't Communist

in the true sense, but that is slightly beside the point. PCR is maintainining that the economic systems pertaining in those countries, that is PLANNED ECONOMIES as opposed to "MARKET ECONOMIES" , if you will, were a total disaster. USSR was a miraculous success story when not seen through ideologically colored glasses.

Basket Case

dave mann,

the USSR was a disaster, as would have been predicted by Marx if he were around in 1917.

The only way the USSR managed to stay afloat was thanks to the capitalist economies. Without the pricing system that existed in the West, the USSR would have spiraled into chaos. The USSR used the West's prices to guesstimate their prices.

The USSR was/is blessed by natural resources, however being blessed with natural resources doesn't inform the central planner as to where labor, capital and resources are most urgently needed. And a controlled economy has no need for entrepreneurial activity which not only sees deficiencies in the current labor/capital/resources allocations, but also produces new processes for expanding economic growth.

Dean Jackson/Editor-in-Chief DNotice.org
Washington, DC

Off Topic - Short - Inspirational - hopeful

“When the goal of life is attained one achieves:
The reparation of all wrongs,
The healing of all wounds,
The righting of all failures,
The sweetening of all sufferings,
The relaxation of all strivings,
The harmonizing of all strife,
The unravelling of all enigmas,
And the real and full meaning of all life –
Past, present and future”
Meher Baba


And surely this realization or "goal" will be accomplished through forgiveness by the power of love, since love is at cause in creation, and I do believe that Mr. Baba would agree on that.

As usual Dr. Roberts calls it like it is

or like it mostly is. I can't really disagree with any of the good Doctor's analysis he seems to hit the nail on the head most of the time. I can see why he feels the need to withdraw from the stress of his knowledge of the situation coupled with his inability to foster real change in what is a most corrupt system. I do feel the sadness for the loss of our Republic. However, the larger trend is that the economic model is failing. Global capitalism with respect to current population levels and trends cannot succeed. People wil be forced to realize that there will never be enough jobs in a for-profit system. Some distraction to libertarian concepts and anti big government rhetoric will surface for awhile but eventually people will figure out that the monetary system exists to support various competing oligarchies and the common man doesn't have a chance. More importantly the unproductive masses will be forced to really question what is best for humanity and resent the class system which has been camourflaged in this for profit ponzi scheme. Right now we should have tens of thousands of people cleaning up the oil spill saving wetlands, wildlife, our planet. But who would pay for this? Sure BP will most likely pay the lawsuits and damages it needs to but in the end nature and the planet will take the loss for the irresponsible bottom line mentality of the current masters of the universe. The scarry part is that the oligarchies have already done the numbers and may very well try to change the population levels and trends by nefarious means so the rape and pillage of humanity can continue with business as usual.

what he just said - peacefulwarrior

it's so outlandish a proposition, that it's almost funny in its absurdity, given the utter folly and uselessness of greed and self will run riot - I therefore laugh out loud at the oligarchists or whatever you want to call "them", what we used to simply refer to as "assholes".

Losers, who bring us all down with them, those who would exalt themselves, and who, in the final analysis, will be humbled, one way or another. They're fucking up royally and everyone is now starting to catch on to the fact, so their time ultimately is numbered, and they are merely a house divided, built on the shifting sands of history.

That's my prophecy, once we all get the sick joke and decide we'd all like to participate in something better yes even by an infinite degree from what they're spewing out to us. We're just not buying it, and their entire facade is fast becoming increasingly transparent.

In the realm of the psycholoigical warfare, the truth is beginning to surface and eventually, it will ge the upper hand, and then everything changes, in the twinkling of an eye, and we're suddenly thrust into a whole new world and a new domain of fresh new possibility. That is my hope and prayer, so that, by God we can laugh and play again under the free dome of the stars of the heavens, as children of a loving God, one family, one house and oh what a wonderful house it is, if only we would all look up again, as if for the first time, in mutual wonderment, adoration and joyful celebration!

In other words, the joke's on them, and we get the last laugh, praise the Lord hallelulia!!! : )

"blessed, are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of the most high."

Blessed we are indeed, we can feel it, the liberty of being based in historical reality, and willing to face down the evil, no matter how monstrous or barbaric.

There IS laughter on the other side of this, something wonderful and revivifying, at least that's what I've come to discover and wish to share. It's beyond mere hope, it's a knowing. Their house can't NOT fall, and that it will fall is their greatest fear, so at some point yeah, the proverbial sh_t will hit the fan, and perhaps that is the day of the Lord.. the day we all laugh out loud and then lay claim to our inheritence, as the meek in spirit.. hey anything's possible..!

Let that time, that new age of reason, and of grace, begin here, and now. If not now, then when, and if you not and me, then who?

It makes me smile.

No fear, only faith!

: )

Robert, I love your Optimism and Way With Words

I think PC Roberts is challenging us in a round-about way to intensify our efforts.

Reverse psychology as it used to be called.

There are just, TWO THINGS..

that we must DO.

One) "We" must, in the words of G. Edward Griffin - COME TO POWER. and,

Two) Capture the hearts and minds of one entire American and Global Generation. And we're about a third of the way there already..!!!!!! Just think about the progress we and like minded movements have made in awakening the masses.. it's incredible actually, thanks be to the Internet!

So there's still much work to do, to inspire the young and come to power - that's both present moment and long term thinking, capable of moving mountains of historical causation.

Think about it - I think that's the bottom line, so, for those who can, we must run for public office and become "politicians" of all things, our hidden agenda, to undo theirs, and otherwise, work on the hearts and minds of every 20 and 30 something year old, everywhere, and therefore the colleges and universities ought to be our target.

Our power is in our numbers, and their weakness, the lack of consent of the governed, and their small even TINY numbers by comparison. Who knows, maybe people like Kissinger and Cheney and Brzezinski might get that hard knock on the door someday, in this generation, while they are still alive.. anything's possible.

But what matters most is that we "reclaim the ship" from the pirates who stole it from we the people, it's rightful owner, captain, and stewards.

Watch this Youtube Video, if this idea makes sense to you, this two pronged approach to setting history right again.

*An Idea Whose Time Has Come*


We need the power to alter governments and change the world and history - so please take the time to watch the video, which I recommend for our movement, to better understand how to come to power without at the same time politicizing our "movement", and this can be done, probably more easily than we might imagine at first blush.

We must all agree upon a common solution to our common problem, and this video points in that direction, to this two pronged solution that I've mentioned here.

This is your mission, if you choose to accept it, and best of all, it resides within the realm of possible, however improbable it may seem at any given time.

Time and history is on OUR side, friends, more good news - it just keeps on getting better eh? It sure does.

No fear only faith!


that was my best "dont' f with me Im very serious and entirely rational AND optimistic" smiley. : )

Seriously - it really comes right down to those two things, one generation coming to power, to all the positions, at all the levers of power, to undo their fucked up mess, and reclaim the ship for ourselves, our friends and neighbors and for all generations, from generation to generation, and from age to age. Prior generations gave a lot more... it's the least we can do, and in fact the ONLY thing TO DO!

So yeah, lets make of PCR's little tirade a rallying cry for the couragious, and those willing to go to any lengths to DO SOMETHING, and in the process maybe even set things right again. since nothing, with sufficient imagination, is impossible, especially if it's righteous, and formative.

We can wipe them out with a wave, a power wave, and an info war, a psychological war - and it's coming to within our reach, even now and most of us don't even realize it, how close we really are now.. therefore NOW is the time to ACT.

On the idea whose time has come...

Robert, the video is interesting. I like the fellow's speaking style. It does take quite a while to listen to the whole thing. But it seemed well worth it to me.

I am quite interested in his answer about religion: "Collectivism is the enemy of all religion," due to collectivists not wanting any allegiance to anything but the collective. That statement, if true, puts it all back in every individual's hands. Does it not mean that we can simply focus our loyalty on the Divine within, as a powerful way to revolutionize society? None of us needs to become beholden to the collective -- the government, the corporation, the party, or whatever.

He wants us to "reach for" the power centers. Grab power? Become Leninists? I do suspect that is the same as joining the beast. I doubt there is any way to both have power and not become part of the beast. I wish this were not so but it looks like it is.

I wonder if an alternative would be a mass spiritual revolution. The best example of this that I can think of, in modern times, is that of M. K. Gandhi. He rejected political power but wielded great spiritual influence, by love essentially. Another example of this, and far grander throughout all time, is Jesus. And, looking at today's scene, the Dalai Lama does quite well along these same lines. It is a different kind of power that the great lights of humankind wield.