I really like the way CJ Hopkins puts it:
America is a simulation. It is the mask the global capitalist empire wears to conceal the fact that there is no America … that there is only the global capitalist empire.
The whole idea of “World War III,” of powerful nation-states conquering other powerful nation-states, is pure nostalgia. “America” does not want to conquer Iran. The empire wants to restructure Iran, and then absorb Iran into the empire. It doesn’t give a rat’s ass about democracy, or whether Iranian women are allowed to wear mini-skirts, or any other “human rights.” If it did, it would be restructuring Saudi Arabia and applying “maximum pressure” to Israel.
Likewise, the notion that “America” has been making a series of unfortunate “strategic mistakes” in the Middle East is a convenient illusion. Granted, its foreign policy makes no sense from the perspective of a nation-state, but it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the empire. While “America” appears to be mindlessly thrashing around like a bull in a china shop, the empire knows exactly what it’s doing, what it has been doing since the end of the Cold War, opening up formerly inaccessible markets, eliminating internal resistance, aggressively restructuring any and all territories that are not playing ball with global capitalism.
He doesn’t label things quite like I would, but it’s the same basic story I’ve been telling for years. It was never about America; the US government is just a front for something else entirely. Our military is the canon fodder, the disposable assets that, once used up, will be replaced with some other poor saps. Meanwhile, the real war resides in the virtual realm; it’s an information war.