A stunning question just popped into my head this morning; “What is it international terrorist groups hope to gain?” Looking at the whole concept of Bush II’s “War on Terror” – I cannot help but wonder if there would be any crisis at all if my country withdrew totally from the world stage. Could it be that my country is the only hurdle standing in the way of peace?
I was reading a report today from the learned author of “War and Empire: The American Way of Life,” Paul Atwood. The CounterPunch story about America’s Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) making blood money off endless wars is telling. Many of us have spotlighted the corporations that cripple any chance for world peace, but none so effectively as Atwood. This passage encapsulates his argument on our endless war stance:
“In fact, the “permanent warfare state” has been erected on the backs of American taxpayers by fraudulent claims of threats to our national security. In the case of “terrorists,” these adversaries were the result of our own interventions in Muslim countries. In truth, no nation is, or ever has been, or ever will be capable of invading the U.S. or otherwise subjecting us to its will.”
This leads me to another question, “How do you create an enemy, a terrorist?” I mean, if it is true the corporations that run Washington are behind our ceaseless conflicts, surely they used a prescription and a strategy. The broad view on this can be summed up by Danny Sjursen, who is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. Sjursen identifies our policies as; “hyper-interventionist, highly militarized foreign policy (that )has defined Washington since at least the days of President Harry Truman.” At the heart of this argument is the new Trump National Defense Strategy that calls for about $1.7 trillion in new subs, nukes, and tech weapons to combat America’s foes new and old.
When you read these plans and assessments, you cannot help but wonder if were are doomed to World War III no matter what. The whole system from the defense industry to military politics is disturbing to look at. Forget the staggering costs monetarily, the wasted human potential of this situation we are in boggles the mind. To make matters much worse, US Special Operations forces deployed to 75% of the world’s countries in 2017, but Islamic fundamentalist threat groups continue to rise up as in the Africa case.
The short answer to the question of “creating terrorists” is blunt like a caveman club. You just kill their loved ones and then hand them some arms. I would add here, that pointing them at a convenient enemy like Syria’s Assad or Libya’s Gaddafi helps the game heat up too. Who can forget then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bragging about killing Libya’s leader on CBS News with, “We came, we saw, he died,” back in 2011?
And America almost elected this psychopath as president in 2016. Carrying this forward, the book “Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, by Andrew J. Bacevich brings to the forefront how Clinton and other American leaders unashamedly boast of exerting our power. In Clinton’s very first foreign policy address, she cited the American revolution radical Thomas Paine’s call “We have it within our power to begin the world over again.” The power-hungry Clinton chided, “Today, we are called up to use that power.” And we did. And the result was more chaos and terror. And more billions in profits for the militarists of the liberal world order.
Finally, the big lie of the perpetual militarist state is that Americans and the world’s peoples are safer. We are not safer, for safety under the yoke of the central police state is totally subjective. Who out there has the capacity to invade the United States of America? What impediment is there the schemes of the lone terrorist bent on destruction inside our borders? These are questions the average citizen does not even ponder. For if Jane or John Doe only knew the answers, then Raytheon or another war machine might lose market share.
In his book, Bacevich says Americans are blind to the significance of the perpetuated global hegemony. The author’s insightful look frames Americans’ consent to the state of “Semi-War” in this way:
“Like corruption or hypocrisy, the national security consensus has long since become part of the wall-paper of national life, attracting attention only when some especially maladroit escapade comes to light.”
The United States spends more on defense than all the countries of the world combined. We all know this. But what is obscured is the fact American taxpayers are not spending money on defense but on offensive globalization. The $700 plus billion being spent to allegedly protect American, is actually being spent to perpetrate terrorism and conflict. And thereby, Washington’s policies actually endanger citizens. I leave you with another quote from Atwood, a prescription for humanity, as it were:
“Our nation as a whole must stop our investment in this mass murder machine or continue to take the fateful strides toward our own failure as a species.”
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”