I always thought that the war on terror was an artificial construct, put in place to continue using the military/industrial/complex as a way to organize the US economy after the fall of the Soviet Union. The whole thing seemed so obviously made up and darkly farcical, but with an institutional logic and momentum that made it unstoppable. It’s obvious, in retrospect, that terrorism has been a very useful boogyman used to scare the hell out of the American public until a new boogyman could be conjured up.
However, a nation consists of its laws. A nation does not simply consist of its situation at a given time. For instance, if an individual’s morals are situational, that individual has no morals. Likewise, if a nations laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and pretty soon isn’t a nation at all.
That is the essential problem with the war on terror developments since 9/11–the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless spying, etc. If we’re really so scared of terrorists that we’d be willing to dismantle that structures and laws that made America what it is, then what does that say about us as a nation? That’s the whole point of terrorism–to frighten a nation into abandoning the rule of law and becoming just like them. That’s why they call them terrorists. They use terrifying threats to get you to degrade your own society.
In an amazing bit of luck, the degradation of our society as a result of the war on terror has massively benefitted our elite. Furthermore, I’ve come to believe that the war on terror is about deeper issues than just creating a stop-gap enemy. Rather it’s a response to the crisis of late-stage capitalism, by our feral-elite, who’ve demonstrated through their actions that everything is situational.
To this casual observer it was always obvious that offshoring the US manufacturing base was a really bad idea. Of course, I’m stupid. I lost track of all the times I was lectured on the wonders of of “free trade”, or that “globalization” is inevitable, or that all of the middle-class manufacturing jobs would be replaced by shiny new “service jobs”, or that the low, low prices offered to consumers would more than make up for this epic dislocation.
It didn’t turn out that way, did it?
A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) details the fall in life expectancy in the United States from 2015 to 2017, a streak unprecedented in modern times. The interviews the New York Times did with the researchers of the JAMA study produced some revealing quotes. “The fact that it’s so expansive and involves so many causes of death — it’s saying that there’s something broader going on in our country. The history of when this health trend started happens to coincide with when these economic shifts began — the loss of manufacturing jobs and closure of steel mills and auto plants.”
And that whole Iraq invasion thingy. It was also blindingly obvious that the main benefactor of the destruction of Saddam Hussain and his Sunni, Baathist administration would be Iraq’s more dominant demographic–the Shia. And, further, that Iran would benefit in that their major regional enemy was destroyed.
If you wait the corporate media will eventually cough up the real story (on the 14th paragraph of the article). For example, the Intercept, in collaboration with the New York Times, recently put out an article demonstrating Tehran’s vast influence in Iraq and how the Iranians have been able infiltrate every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic, and religious life.
Nobody saw that coming.