Washington has been at war for 12 years. According to experts such as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, these wars have cost Americans approximately $6 trillion, enough to keep Social Security and Medicare sound for decades. All there is to show for 12 years of war is fat bank balances for the armament industries and a list of destroyed countries with millions of dead and dislocated people who never lifted a hand against the United States.
The cost paid by American troops and taxpayers is extreme. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Erik Shinseki reported in November 2009 that “more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Many thousands of our troops have suffered amputations and traumatic brain injuries. At the Marine Corps War College Jim Lacey calculated that the annual cost of the Afghan war was $1.5 billion for each al-Qaeda member in Afghanistan. Many US and coalition troops paid with their lives for every one al-Qaeda member killed. On no basis has the war ever made sense.
Washington’s wars have destroyed the favorable image of the United States created over the decades of the cold war. No longer the hope of mankind, the US today is viewed as a threat whose government cannot be trusted.
The wars that have left America’s reputation in tatters are the consequence of 9/11. The neoconservatives who advocate America’s hegemony over the world called for “a new Pearl Harbor” that would allow them to launch wars of conquest. Their plan for conquering the Middle East as their starting point was set out in the neoconservative “Project for the New American Century.” It was stated clearly by Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and also by many neoconservatives.
The neocon argument boils down to a claim that history has chosen “democratic capitalism” and not Karl Marx as the future. To comply with history’s choice, the US must beef up its military and impose the American Way on the entire world.
In other words, as Claes Ryn wrote, the American neoconservatives are the “new Jacobins,” a reference to the French Revolution of 1789 that intended to overthrow aristocratic Europe and replace it with “Liberty, equality, fraternity,” but instead gave Europe a quarter century of war, death, and destruction.
Ideologies are dangerous, because they are immune to facts.
Now that the United States is no longer governed by the US Constitution, but by a crazed ideology that has given rise to a domestic police state more complete than that of Communist East Germany and to a warfare state that attacks sovereign countries based on nothing but manufactured lies, we are left with the irony that Russia and China are viewed as constraints on Washington’s ability to inflict evil, death, and destruction on the world.
The two pariah states of the 20th century have become the hope of mankind in the 21st century!