Wednesday, September 28, 2011

End To An Empire

Dear Reader, do you recall our Sound Of Cannons interpretation of the Iraq War? Well, we didn’t either.

But then we remembered. How could the Bush Administration do something so stupid? It played right into the terrorists’ hands. It put the empire on course for bankruptcy. While stirring up enemies everywhere.

Our interpretation of this was that George W. Bush and the neocons were not really trying to protect the US; they were trying to destroy it. Otherwise their actions made no sense. After all, they aren’t stupid.

In other words, they were just the witless tools of history. America had gotten too big for her britches. She had no foreign enemies that were up to the challenge of bringing her down. She needed to do the work herself.

So far, so good. The empire is going broke...and nobody seems able to do anything about it.

What’s more, the work of destruction goes on!
The United States’ audacious bid to dominate the greater Middle East by military force is going at close to full throttle. This is despite the talk in Washington about over-extension, budgetary constraints, and war fatigue. Three stories this week reveal this dismaying truth while conveying the flavor of the prevailing mindset in the White House and the security agencies.

First is the revelation that the imperial-scale American embassy complex in Baghdad already needs expansion to accommodate the 6,000 mercenaries there to ride shotgun for the 9,000 civilian employees whenever they clamber out of their bomb-proof offices. That number includes roughly 1,200 US officials and 7,800 hired help from places like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to do the laundry, clean the rooms and serve the food. The mercenaries also will guard the citadel and its satellite fortresses in Basra, Mosul and Erbil. These Blackwater types have the additional duty of escorting salesmen and agents for American businesses selling and servicing weapons for the Iraqi military. The forces commander-in-chief will be Hillary Clinton. They are in addition to the 10,000 troops that Washington is trying to impose on the reluctant Iraqi government and thousands more on call next door in Kuwait,...

The second story recounts the Obama administration’s plans to escalate further the drone campaigns in Yemen and Somalia. There is a mild debate between those who want to restrict assassinations to (supposedly) identified leaders of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaida in East Africa. Others are keen to expand the target list to include (suspected) foot soldiers; other radical Islamist groups who use violence against people on our side, i.e. remnants of the Saleh regime in Yemen or those who currently reside in the presidential palace in Mogadishu (with an American-sponsored African Union force having taken the baton from the Christian Ethiopians whom we earlier inflicted on the Muslim Somalis in a foregone bloody failure to hold at bay the Islamists); and even radical fundamentalist organizations only potentially hostile to the United States. In this latter perspective, a manifest threat to the United States is unnecessary for targeted killings and Special Forces operations. Again, there is no public statement of exactly why it is imperative to do these things that not only violate international law and national sovereignty but are counter-productive by their provoking bitter anti-American feelings among the natives — leading some to contemplate doing us harm directly.

Finally, there is the mounting military campaign to eliminate all anti-American groups in Northwest Pakistan — be they local al-Qaida residue, some variety of Taliban, the Haqqani network, their Kashmiri and Punjabi based allies and whomever else gets in the way...

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