The United States has predictably followed the model of its Roman precursor. First we fought in self-defense against the British. Then we fought in defense of allies in World War I. Then we invented allies to defend, for example, Vietnam, Kuwait or Somalia. And then we began to fight for the sake of fighting unable to define victory over international terrorism or otherwise beyond U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s memorable definition of obscenity, “I know it when I see it.”
Like its predecessors, the American Empire refuses to entertain the idea that our endless, gratuitous foreign interventions have created enemies that would not otherwise have attacked us. Upton Sinclair explained the fierce resistance to the truth: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Trillions of dollars of wealth, great power and social status lie behind our military-industrial-terrorism (MIT) complex. It thrives on perpetual war and concocted fears of danger and existential threats. Since the Americana Empire took hold after World War II, none have dared to insinuate that our chronic, objectless, military interventions in the Middle East in support of brutal, corrupt, oppressive regimes have provoked retaliation by the oppressed. We have provided material assistance to state’s featuring repression, torture and extrajudicial killings, for example, the Shah of Iran, the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia or Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak. Two fatwas issued by Osama bin Laden before 9/11 protested the presence of our troops in Saudi Arabia near the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, not our freedom of speech or religion, elections, due process, or gender equality.
Think of the analogy of a bayonet and a hornet’s nest. The nest will not harm you if you leave it undisturbed. But if you smash it to bits with a bayonet, the hornets within will sting you.
The United States would be vastly freer, wealthier, and safer if we withdrew all our troops from the Middle East for redeployment at home to protect our borders, our shores, and our skies. Israel commands more than enough power to fend for itself. With vastly less military might in 1948, Israel handily defeated Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Palestinian Arabs combined. And we should cease selling arms or providing non-humanitarian aid of any type to the region.
Our warfare state, nursed and fueled by the military-industrial-terrorism (MIT) complex, is the great destroyer of liberty. Its malignant children have been the surveillance state, national bankruptcy, secret government, and the evisceration of constitutional checks and balances.
Abraham Lincoln said it best in 1838 as we began our descent into Empire riding the militant wave of Manifest Destiny:
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. … If [danger] ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”