Obama announced tonight that we finally killed Bin Laden, the proclaimed mastermind behind 9-11. Tens of thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and the crushing of civil liberties that would have made even Hamilton cringe – and apparently we got 1 man. During the commentary offered by the fearless ‘leader’, I began to realize that despite this apparent victory (depending on who you ask), nothing will change despite the initial celebrations held by so many.
Did Federalism die with Hamilton? No. Did the defeat of Germany after WWI stop all hostilities in Europe? No. After WWII did we leave Germany? No. After the Korean War did we leave? No. After Somalia did we leave? No. After Saddam was captured did we leave Iraq? No. Going back further, when the Jefferson died, did the anti federalist movement stop? No. After the Charter on the First Bank of the United States expired, did we stop using centralized banks to fund government debt? No.
The point is that with the death of a man, the bringing of a nation to its knees, or a debt being paid (when Andrew Jackson brought the national debt to 0 with the abolishment of the FBUS), the policies and interventions remain. Why? Because the empire must go on.
The problem with a warfare welfare state (or empire in our case), is that it needs conflict and debt to continue expanding. Once either of those things are omitted, the empire has no more reason to expand its interest that can be justified (no matter how poorly) no matter how you play it. Unlike the days of ancient Rome where expansion was justified to bring more glory to the state, expansion today is used to further interest. To a modern day republican or conservative, this means the stomping of evil no matter what evil you have to enact to get it. To a modern day liberal or democrat, it is ‘spreading freedom and democracy’ to make the world a better place. Despite the different wording however, both employ the same methodology to obtain the expansion of their interest.
So the US Empire will do as it has always done, and continue on. National security will be used as reason to continue the station of troops all throughout the Mideast. Homeland defense will be used as a reason to maintain the Patriot Act. To fund both, taxes, regulation, and debt will be used. This comes with a string of propaganda that has ensued throughout our nation’s history – all at the ignorance of the uninformed, and coercion on the taxpayer. At first it will appear as everything is ok, just as it appeared in the mid eighties and early nineties, during which time the CIA trained al-Qaeda built itself to damaging proportions. We will have another maybe 10 years of US involvement in the Middle East uncovered by the press – after all, Bin Laden is purported to be dead, so why bother? Then once again the cycle will repeat itself. Another 9-11 will ensue as the result of more US intervention in countries involved, and everyone will act shocked and surprised once again. Just because there will not be as many troops in Afghanistan as there are now, does not mean they will not be there at all.
The driving factor is that this was never a war against Bin Laden – he was a figure head sure enough, and an effective one. However history has proven time and time again that an ideal does not die with an individual. The thing about ideals, is that (pardon the cliché) they are indeed bulletproof. As long as a group of people live to see that the idea lives on, there will always be a clashing of interest. We have been fighting wars on terror for almost 100 years now – and have we ever really won? Has the idea of terrorism on any front vanished? No it has not.
For over 6 years I have heard many troops overseas, as well as the political leadership claiming that we are winning. 10 years later we finally got this guy – now what? Do people honestly believe that this will satisfy the government, and we can bring all the troops home, stop our meddling overseas, and stop taking advantage of the situation to build a nation as our political leaders see fit in the face of a country that is culturally contrary to us? Do people believe that after winning this prize that the government will put an end to the Patriot Act, and deregulate our nation so that we can regain prosperity? I do not believe it for a second. Even if it wanted to, there is no way the US can accomplish what it will take to see all this madness come to an end, unless it dropped its empire mindset, and truly start caring more for itself then ‘spreading its interest’.
If by some miracle the US does not collapse in on itself before 2020, and the Patriot Act was abolished, the troops were brought home, and the foreign meddling stopped at all levels (without the same actions being taken under a different name or law), then I will happily admit to being wrong. But can anyone actually look at our past, and see this as a realistic view? Sadly I cannot.
So congratulations – I think. At a high price we managed to get one guy and a few of his cohorts. Now can anyone look me in the eye, and tell me it was worth it, and that now that he is dead and they are dead and captured, that everything will settle down, and something resembling sanity will set in? In the war of ideals and extremes, I do not see it as likely.