Mohsen Abdelmoumen: We are on the eve of the American presidential elections. Don't you think that the USA has never been as divided as it is today?
John Stauber: The American Empire is collapsing from within. The huge divisions - rich versus the rest of us, white versus colored, young versus old, religious extremists versus rational thinkers, xenophobes versus internationalists, urban versus rural, elite versus populist, radical versus reactionary, etc. - have never been so pronounced. This is the result of decades of the nation falling apart, especially since the 1960s and the horrific American war in Vietnam.
I remember well the period of 1965 to 1973 when the United States was rocked by riots across America and scores of Blacks were gunned down by armed National Guard amid burning urban centers. At the same time hundreds of thousands of 19-year-old male draftees, mostly poor and disproportionally non-white, were being sent to Vietnam and killed millions of Vietnamese peasants in genocidal bombings, napalming and chemical warfare, such that the military grunts themselves revolted against that bipartisan horror. The Civil Rights, Peace, Social Justice, Feminist, Ecology and Counter-Culture movements grew strong and united millions of young Americans in activism against their parents’ and grandparents’ racist policies, stifling conformity to corporate America, destruction of the natural world and Cold War militarism. In response the US unleashed its police and secret police, gunning down Black Panthers, and infiltrating and destroying movements via its Cointelpro program.