The Empire's Ship is Sinking

2015 ,    »  -   33 Comments
Ratings: 9.09/10 from 262 users.
The Empire's Ship is Sinking

History has shown us that empires crumble when their thirst for power overtakes all other sensibilities. According to United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, America could stand on the precipice of such destruction. His insights form the foundation of the short documentary The Empire's Ship is Sinking, and it's a rarely-heard point of view from inside the heart of the beast.

Wilkerson knows of which he speaks. He flew over a thousand combat missions during the war in Vietnam. He later served as the National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and as Chief of Staff to General Colin Powell during the administration of President George W. Bush. He possesses intimate knowledge of the inner workings of war, and has witnessed first-hand how the propulsion of endless conflict continues to line the pockets of the very wealthy and decimate the existence of the lower classes worldwide.

Many key tenants of modern-day warfare are covered in the brief, yet wide-ranging interview that structures the film. From the more than 800 bases the United States military operates across the globe to the increased proliferation of weapons manufacturing, conflict means big business for the American elite. There seems to be no profitability in peace. The wealth created by these global skirmishes does not promote a more productive capitalistic society, because none of it falls downward in support of the lower classes. In some cases, as Colonel Wilkerson points out, foreign policy is based more on business considerations than humanitarian ones.

The issue is so complex and far-reaching that pinning the blame on a single culprit becomes muddied and elusive. In a way, we are all complicit. According to some reports, over 70% of retired military generals are recruited by the nation’s top weapons manufacturers as spokespeople and advisors. It falls on them to convincingly sell the need for continued conflict to the American people. In large part, the citizenry accepts these arguments without question or protest.

Wilkerson contends that such a path is unsustainable, and will surely spell doom for America's reputation, economic vitality and moral dominance in the world. The Empire's Ship is Sinking forces us to consider the corporate complex that drives America’s violent incursions across the globe.

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33 Comments / User Reviews

  1. kenneth

    So instead of weapons, we should be manufacturing what exactly? Military contacts pay exactly the same and they only provide jobs for US citizens. As an engineer, i would rather be working on technology that would save someone's life than another dead end consumer electronic

  2. Temeika Beasley Spruiells

    Abby Martin's voice is peculiar for a journalist, however, this is what makes her intriguing and interesting to watch. I am on the fence about her creating a show that basically bashes America. What is taking place in foreign policy is not "American", it is a few people in power who have hijacked political positions for financial gain and act as an American. I believe she could employ more objectivism and her presentations could evolve into an informative presentation.

  3. Shea Lawry

    Dear Kenneth,

    I do not agree with your previous statement. Producing something that could be used to kill people is very different then must consumer goods. Producing a weapon or a weapon system could end up killing innocent people. And the producer is joining the chain of causality as well as chain of responsibility.

    If I would produce a drug, but wouldn't be distributing it. I could argue that my job itself is much better then producing any other thing. I could even argue that it makes people happy, and it is only those who overdose who die. Which is not my responsibility (or at least in your train of thought).

    I know it is very deep inside of the American culture to believe that the individual is ultimately responsible. And I have agree to a certain degree. But there is such a thing as shared responsibility.

    As I am convinced there are ways, how a weapon could save someones life, it is a matter of fact that in most cases (something like 99% of all cases) it is rather the opposite way around.

    If war is profitable as it is right now, it will be continued. Those who suffer, wont be "enemies". Iraq have lost more then 1.000.000 of its inhabitants even so the soldiers killed in the war have been only 30.000. That's is a 3-5% enemy vs a 95-97% civilian ratio.

    Your comment makes one things very clear, so you might think little about all the "foreigners" who are subjected to deadly force worldwide every day, I urge you to overthink your position.

    Any weapon produced will be used. And I assure you, not to your liking.

  4. Chard

    Kenneth, there are plenty of technologies that can benefit and/or save mankind that don't involve weapons. One that springs immediately to mind is the burgeoning field of nano-technology, which has applications in almost every aspect of life, including the military. As an engineer, maybe you could help show the future generations of the USA that there are other things to manufacture than weapons. Imagine if the states were exporting technology that could change the world for the better. Not only would it be profitable, but it would change the whole dynamic of world relations, as well as make the rest of the world rethink their views of the US.

    Which brings me to Temeika's comment. You obviously love your country and are probably a very genuine person, but I have to say that your views seem to be quite naive. America's foreign policy is, for better or for worse, a direct reflection of the American ideology. From the outside, it is clear that corruption is rife within the American political system. The "few people in power who have hijacked political positions for financial gain and act as an American" are, in fact, American citizens, and they represent the interests of the country as a whole. Clearly, someone like you is not part of this, and if you had your say I'm sure things would be different, but it is important that you see the full picture of what is happening in your country. Unfortunately your good intentions do not extend past the sphere of your own influence, and the ones who have the most influence are the ones who are creating a country of corruption and genocide. Please do not take this as an attack - the point I am making is that the documentary is a lot more objective than you might want to believe. These things are happening and it is important that good-natured people like yourself see the truth and accept it. To use a militaristic metaphor, you can't fight an enemy that you don't even acknowledge.

  5. Heather

    Kenneth, for one we could start a building boom of Earthship houses (which are currently not "permitted" because they don't feed dollars upward into the hands of the big utilitiy and timber companies!

  6. Enrique Moliterno

    A very interesting interview, especially coming from someone within one of the most inglorious administrations in US history. Since Eisenhower's warning on the need to check the military-industrial complex, nothing has struck so hard society and economy as the business of war, arguably the most profitable, give or take drugs and Wall Streeters. When Colonel Wilkerson says that the only way to start to reverse this statu quo is for a majority to stand up and say 'we're fed up!', I agree but ask myself if a sufficiently large portion of the American society realizes this. Just look at the majority of wanna bees in the current presidential campaign; how many of them speak about cuts on the defense budget? Why? Because like it or not an important portion of the constituency has been led to think for decades that, as long as the US remains strong as the world's PD, it'll be a safe place to live. At least for some people.

  7. Capn Canard

    Empire never has enough. Everything is not enough. And the Empire seems to gleefully distribute despair...

    That is perhaps the most depressing aspect of human civilization, but whether it is a universal quality or just a quality of the decaying scarcity meme of capitalist economic philosophy is still not entirely proven to me. That said, I hope I am wrong.

  8. Aaron

    Either humanity is going to learn from learning or it is going to learn from suffering. At this moment in time it seems that humanity prefers to learn through suffering rather than other non violent means. The military is run by the dark occult (those who use hidden knowledge for evil purposes) and high level Satanists. I refer anyone who is interested in understanding and knowing this to check out Mark Passio's work that you can find on Youtube.

    We are in for some serious problems if we continue to be ignorant of what is going on not just around us but within us as well. The world is run by psychology and most of humanity could care less about their own mental health and therefore we create this sick world in which we live in.

  9. Dave

    Wilkerson is genuine, at an age in his life when honesty is far more important than pretenses. But he only scratches the surface of how the entire world has been hijacked by militarism. He does not mention the CIA, with it's hands deep into drug smuggling for cash to finace black ops. He does not mention how the deep state actually manufactures terrorism now to perpetuate the fear required for full funding. Half or more of the "terror" events in western countries over the last two decades appear to be inside jobs, specifically engineered to perpetuate the war economies in each country. We are fools to believe anything the Pentagon tells us these days, judging by history.

  10. Notchbeard

    Excellent doc. This man is genuine, truthful and he expresses himself in a thoughtful way that gets the message across with just the right amount of dark humor. I nominate him the George Washington of our revolution!

  11. Tamara

    This confirmed all I speculated regarding my opinion of military presence in afore mentioned countries, and I may have to watch again to memorize the quote used in response to the question of who the US military serves. I'm an irate American, a perturbed tax payer, a distrustful citizen of government and government agencies, as well as a mom to a young son, and a conspiracy educated sometime skeptic. ..... I heard New Zealand is nice.

  12. Skip Harper

    It's not "bashing America" to face reality and learn from past mistakes, as opposed to continuing to march toward disaster. Even when you're on the "right road" you can't close your eyes.

  13. Roger Andout

    Too lightweight an interviewer for such a profound topic and interviewee. Incidentently, why was this edited in places?

  14. Dwight Hayes

    It is the Jesuit Order that owns the small conglomerate of corporations which own 40% and 60% of all the stocks and bonds of World Banking system. The Jesuits are the Secret Military Order of Rome and have been around for miliniums and have stolen all the American Gold from Fort Knox and are keeping a big piece of it in the repository under New Yorks Wall Street. They have been busy instigating permanant war for profit and steeling all the wealth of the world. That is why the only banks that failed were the Jewish banks. All the Jesuit Banks survived and they don't care for the Jews at all. They have been slowly buying out any non Jesuit Corporations and banks and have taken complete control over the White House and it's staff and the U.S. Military. The Jesuits created the CIA to be the new Intel of Rome in modern era and used them to take over America's National Intelligence system in 1940's with very little resistance. They are continueing to buy out, merge with and steal all the wealth of the world. They created this New World Disorder which we now live in, to further their thieving plans with no concience of the millions of humans that they have massacre for their great profit. They invest in both sides of every war and squirmish and they are the only ones who really reap the spoils of wars. They have said that they do not care about humanity. They are doing it just for profit and GREED. They hold in their Vatican Bank that controls all other banks of the world all the wealth and treasures they have stolen this way for miliniums and they aren't going to stop anytime soon. Their plan is to collect all the wealth of the world and kill 6 billion human inhabitants so they will not have to share it with anyone else. They have even said so iin their Travistock and Freemason meetings.

  15. dick dastardly

    The problem is simple; over-population will cost more lives than any war ever could. We are at a trickle of 7 billion and considering that a mere 5% are either mentally challenged, physically challenged or sight challenged (I'm being nice) we spend more money looking after those who don't even know that they are alive. Practicality, now there's a word if there ever was one...if the human species is to stay alive it needs to consider the reality of life. Hard decisions need to be made IF we want to keep breathing, this is where the military comes in. They - coupled with the alphabet agencies, will devise plans to take over certain countries and in doing so reduce the population a little, however this isn't near enough to meet the output of human copulation. People more so than ever are sex mad today and this is going to be our downfall. Once the population rises to over 8 billion there will be food shortages, water shortages and so on - so, something HAS to be done! Will YOU make the decision to reduce population? Of course not, and why, because there is always a leftist out there who thinks that there is another way to live. Unfortunately our world is starting to show the pangs of over-population, she is killing dolphins, birds and whales in order to keep the balance, but people won't stop f&cking!! Once the pop reaches 8.5billion it will start to increase almost exponentially and you know what that means!? Sooner or later a decision is going to have to be made to 'cull the herd' and I believe it will be biological, as much as I hate to bang on about the greed of men and so on, the REAL problem is still staring us right in the face but the only problem is - who has the b&lls to make the decision required in order to save both the earth and it's inhabitants?

  16. Robert Vogel

    The U.S. is addicted to militarism. There is no sign that we can beat our swords into plowshares. That, empire, over population, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and obliviousness to climate devastation mean the kids are doomed.

  17. Keith

    Only a fool will believe that you can stop terrorism with terrorism (Bombing our way into Peace) foolishness. ..Especially when terrorism has increased over 600% in the last 15yrs ...Anybody that goes along with this nonsense including puppet politicians are part of the problem. .not the solution. ...Technology should be used to benefit humanity not destroy it
    I think if the evolution of Humanity had kept up with the Evolution technology. .we would all be living in peace. but we decide to engage in primitive animalistic behavior to demonstrate which one is more powerful. ..#Self-Destruction

  18. Chet Anderson

    Tenants=people who rent a place

    Tenets=ideas, concepts (Paragraph 3, above)

  19. Tim Stadler

    Hi Tamara, yes New Zealand is nice, I left the U. S. in 1999, ostensibly because I felt it an immoral act to pay taxes there, I remember how my stomach would churn when I had to write out a check to the IRS knowing how perniciously some. if not most of the money would be used both in and outside of the U. S. I saw other people that had challenged the mighty state and paid a very high price and decided that I had no chance to change anything and chose to vote with my feet.

  20. Mahmoud BouRaad

    Values mater. So does freedom.
    It is absolutely true that our foreign policy strictly is based more on business consideration than humanitarian ones which serves the purpose of the nation's top weapons manufacturers. This one of more reasons to create more conflicts, proxy wars and direct wars in other countries and every where possible in the world. Instead, why don't they put more money and more investments on technology that would save more lives than adding many more dead. In conclusion, the US foreign policy stings.

  21. philip croft

    Here is a very brave , trustworthy, and knowledgeable man. He says nothing that surprises me at all, it can only get worse, as the Constitution disappears before your eyes. NEVER give up your weapons---don't make it easy for them.

  22. Psyintz

    Temeika, you've stated: "What is taking place in foreign policy is not "American", it is a few people in power who have hijacked political positions for financial gain and act as an American."

    As much as I agree with you, you must know that this practice is nothing new and has been going on for decades (if not centuries). Unfortunately, I cannot see anything being able to interfere with such corruption. We've already given them too much power and it's gotten to the point where they are, as they love to say, "too big to fail" at this point. It's a sad state of affairs that we live in these days.

  23. Peter W.

    At the very core of all the problems is confusion concerning basic human rights. Why? Because a "government" person can only be determined to be violating human beings by determining whether that "government" person is violating another person's basic human rights.

    The Bill of Rights does not clearly state what our basic human rights are. It states how "government" people may "properly" violate the basic human rights of a given person or group of persons.

    The UN Declaration of Human Rights states a few of our basic human rights and then adds more statements declaring how those rights may "properly" violate the previously stated rights. Some "rights" then effectively contradict other stated rights.

    A supposed authority on human rights, Human Rights Watch, doesn't even have a rational definition of our basic human rights. I called them. If pressed, they fall back on the UN declaration.

    If political entities are left to tell us what our basic human rights are (the status quo), well, we already see how that is going. The process was started hundreds of years ago by philosophers, and was hijacked by "revolutionaries" in the USA and France before the general populations were able to effectively participate in the debates, which would have certainly led to a rational and evolved understanding by all educated people today.

    Well, we have a lot of catching up to do.

  24. bungabunga

    The notion that the world can't sustain 7 or 8 billion people is a preposterous myth propagated by the very same people who have created this problem. Do you realize enough food is thrown in the garbage every day in america to feed multiple "3rd world" countries? and i'm not talking rotting garbage food, i mean good food thrown in the garbage because americans bit off more than they could chew at the buffet. Don't believe anything you hear on any mainstream source.

  25. David

    Kenneth has succumbed to the brainwashing of the corporate media. He also lacks imagination and an open mind as do many republicans.

  26. David

    Let's go Bernie!!!!

  27. David

    Dave - What books or articles have you read that suggest terrorist acts have been inside jobs? I kinda think you're right, and I'd just like to know your sources.

  28. Derek J Sowa

    Perhaps it is time for American soldiers to lay down there arms and let the ruling elite pick up where they leave off. Fighting unjust wars just so the elite can continue to dominate and prosper leaves little to be desired. Humanity is surely eroding and will soon disappear. Time for a REVOLUTION is at hand!

  29. bluetortilla

    What a great episode. I agree- it's time for a revolution. If fifty percent of Americans were courageous enough to join the cause we'd have one. How can we utilize the Web to expose the lies and take back our lives most effectively.
    Though the seeds for the quest of freedom are ancient, the real upheavals have only happened in the past few centuries. No reason to stop now. Keep freedom alive! Do your part. It's up to you.

  30. CommonSense

    It should be obvious as to the root of the current military expenditures in the middle east; I$rael! The day the U.S. stops supporting Israel's acts of terrorism, is the day we war no more over there and instead focus on humanitarian efforts. We are currently experiencing The Crusades 2.0 but instead of popes instigating it, we have CEOs perpetuating it.

  31. doru

    Any concentration of power is evil. Power must be shared.

  32. LeeJai Cook

    August 13, 2016. LeeJai Cook, Roaring Springs, Texas USA. Our world civilization is rushing heedlessly towards the Day of Armageddon. On that Day the world as we know it will vanish. Our present civilization will never again rise in its present form. Jesus has elevated Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, to the position of World Ruler. [Malachi 4:5] Elijah will oversee the few remaining years that stand between us and the Day of Armageddon. I do not know when he will appear on earth.

  33. steve

    take a critical look at the state of our home. learn all the facts. try to be empathetic towards people being displaced by war.Why do these things happen? I'll tell you ,its to keep us all down and talk nonsense on the net instead of fighting for a more just world..... the wool is being pulled over all our eyes,time to wake up and realize who the real adversary is and how to go about doing something productive to make this home, earth, the world what it can and should be, ignorance is the thing to be feared most, dont be misled by sound bights and simple answers .

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