In Case You Had Any Doubts As To Who Is Really In Charge

From an alert reader:

The United States of America in one short scene, from Politico:

MILITARY OFFICERS TOUR JPMORGAN — JPMorgan Chase yesterday hosted about 30 active duty military officers (across all branches and agencies) from the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. The officers met with senior executives, toured the trading floor and participated in a trading simulation. They discussed recruitment, operations management, strategic communications and the economy. Aside from employees thanking them for their service as they passed by, they also received a standing ovation on the trading floor. Said one officer after a senior JPM exec thanked him for his service: “We promise to keep you safe if you keep this country strong.

Now I know this was just a casual snippet, but these offhand remarks often speak volumes.

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  1. Kevin de Bruxelles

    We promise to keep you safe if you keep this country strong.

    I don’t know, to me this is clearly a conditioned promise, and I think many people would agree that the bankers are not “keeping this country strong”. At the point the condition is not met, the statement could be read as a threat.

    So the real question is, what will the military do once they realize that Wall Street is indeed making this country weak? If we believe the above statement, then it should be opposite of “keeping Wall Street safe”

    If one accepts the premise that Wall Street is destroying America, then it is only a matter of time before the Financial Investment Complex and the Military Industrial Complex start locking horns. One possible area of dispute could be Wall Street feeding the rising power of China.

    One recurring theme in the decline of great powers is internecine battles among the elites. So far America’s elites are united; but for how much longer?

    1. Sufferin' Succotash

      That’s one way to interpret the quid pro quo statement.
      But there’s another possibility, namely that both JP Morgan and the USMC are considering eliminating the middlemen–the now largely-decorative political class–and dealing with each other directly.
      If Smedley Butler were alive now he’d be turning in his grave.

      1. Kevin de Bruxelles

        If we think this through, I think your (quite correct) premise that the US government is powerless, combined with the conclusion that Wall Street and the Pentagon are conspiring to remove this powerless entity, raises the obvious question: why?

        Surely the American government and its constitution lend legitimacy and moral cohesion to both institutions. What better way to justify looting the taxpayers than to have a majority of 535 clowns voting in favour of it and then having a clown-in-chief signing it? Same with a war. A dismantling of the US constitution would be devastating to the moral cohesion of especially the US military. There would very likely follow a serious civil war, with the big guns, between different factions of the military, if such an event took place. Not to mention all the moral cohesion such a move would give the masses to start to rebel against the new regime.

        Now if you told me that the US government was extremely powerful and represented a threat to either Wall Street or the Pentagon then I could understand why they might consider paying the price of getting the government out of their way. But do you really think either of these institutions has the slightest trouble getting the Obama Administration to ask how high any time either Wall Street or the Pentagon orders it to jump?

        No that “government is the enemy” storyline is just ear candy for the masses. The truth is the government is the handmaiden of both Wall Street and the Pentagon.

        Now if you told me Wall Street alone was planning such a move then I may have to believe you. The military thinks a little more long-term than those Bankstaz though so I have my doubts they would agree to such a move.

  2. Doug Terpstra

    Next line from the Digby link: “And then they all went to church together prayed …”

    Sure it’s a jest, but after reading Chris Hedges’ “American Fascists” about the rise of the religious right, it adds a creepy dimension to the scene: the Military-Financial-Religious-Complex?

  3. Attitude_Check

    Sorry, but notice these were senior military from the US WAR college. That would be mostly Col’s. War college is to provide training of national strategic thinking vice tactical. Certainly an understanding of markets and the US financial system is critical knowledge for these senior military folks, some of which will go-one to be General officers.

    I think most of you are reading WAY TO MUCH into this.

  4. TC

    What gangster does not embrace Vito Corleone’s wisdom imploring family bosses to keep their friends close and their enemies closer?

    That highlighted quote is rich! Too back it’s 2010 and not 1907…

  5. Peterjb

    A Military Coup d’etat is historically consistent with a failed state aka banana republic as the watching World now ( for some time)sees the USA.
    From where we sit, the whole of Washington DC, Congress, Senate and the US MSM is a huge pit of vipers and hungry ghosts which have driven the former US Constitutional Republic into the Pits of Hell for personal Agenda; too bad.
    And, a Military Government could be a refreshing comic relief from all that sickening electioneering hysteria ad infinitum ad nauseum.

    Odes of the ‘Course of Empire’ by Thomas Cole

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