No matter how many times a commentary is provided on the subject, it is still nauseating to witness fervent tribalism perpetuated in real time. Weird how the one side of the demographic that was all in favor of finally “Ending the Forever Wars” for 4 years during the last Administration, are now the same ones clutching their pearls and regurgitating talking point after talking point of State Department nonsense to prolong that catastrophe. Where did all that “drain the swamp” rhetoric go?
Vice-versa, the ones that are now presumptuously patting themselves on the back — as if the dementia patient they empowered to currently reside in the Oval Office is in any way cognitively functional enough to do anything other than get out of bed in the morning — didn’t just spend the last four years foaming at the mouth at the dare mention of a withdrawal.
It is the false “Left vs. Right” paradigm on display. Odious and pestiferous as ever.
Neocolonialists are once again saturating the public with the same tired mantras of the Bush era; grandstanding with outdated Ronald Reagan quotes, draped in an American flag with the scent of apple pie. Pitting Americans against each other because “you don’t love your country enough”, “the little people of the world need help and America must save the day!”
Leaving out the fact that they “need rescuing” from the disaster we caused.
It’s so easy to package up this issue, put a nice little bow on it, and say “It’s the other side that’s to blame. But not me, not my team!” It feels good, it’s virtuous, it’s self-righteous, and it is also a gross oversimplification of events; that in every feasible way has been facilitated by the entirety of the ruling class for decades. Not just the side you don’t like.
If there’s any lesson that is to be learned from the fall of Kabul, it’s that it is time for Americans to wake up and take some responsibility. Take a pragmatic look at the nature of the American war machine. Not the flag waving raw-raw “we’re spreading freedom and democracy” resoundingly illiterate inculcations spoon fed to the masses in movies and on prime time television — but tangible facts concerning our monstrosity of a foreign policy.
Can we stop pretending that wars of aggression justified under false pretext, and fought at the behest of corporate interests are in any way spreading ‘freedom and democracy’ around the globe? Do people really still believe that? Surely you jest. It is purely a nationalist fantasy.
Since the day President Eisenhower cautioned us of an emerging military industrial complex — in which Eisenhower himself echoed the sentiments of legendary Marine Corps General Smedley Butler some 30 years prior — We have all bore witness to the assembly of that forewarned apparatus coming to fruition in stride.
“America the beautiful” has become an ugly corporatist empire. That is not just a pessimistic hyperbole of pseudo-progressivism, as some assert. It is a harsh reality grounded in fundamental truth.
The United States has approximately 800 military bases in over 70 countries spanning the globe, with the DoD acknowledging active personnel in at least 160 countries. Not counting clandestine operations still classified from the general public. What other nation can make such a boast? None.
“We have to be strong because we’re the leader of the free world!” some assert. But that’s hardly the case, yet they assert it none the less. Despite the blatant hypocrisies and pertinent facts that should have debunked that mythology long ago.
Meanwhile, though the US has been in a state of constant warfare for at least two generations throughout the war on terror, the truth is no one alive today can actually recall a time when America was at peace. Since 1776 we have been engaged in some state of war for an estimated 228 years, out of a total of 245.
To say that the US exists in a state of perpetual war is an understatement.
In fact, when former President Jimmy Carter reiterated that claim in 2019, he followed it up by saying the United States is the most warlike nation in the history of the world. While that claim is admittedly arguable to students of ancient history, it’s not without merit. However with regard to modern times it is certainly accurate. In the past 300 years no other global superpower has come as close to achieving full spectrum dominance on such a scale as the United States.
Their revolving-door of perpetual war is not without benefit to the ruling class either. The immense profits reaped from continued bloodshed are what specify ours as a corporatist empire unlike any other. Recent reports have shown that returns on initial defense contractor investments in the war skyrocketed. War profiteer corporations made a killing off of senseless killing.
An investigation from The Intercept highlighted well over 900% return on investment for some of the largest defense contractors.
Specifically, Raytheon saw a 331% return, followed by General Dynamics at 625 percent. Boeing and Northrop Grumman were among the top three who broke the nine hundred percent return barrier, gaining 975% and 1,196% in returns respectively. Only surpassed by Lockheed Martin, who raked in a whopping 1,236% return on investment…