Editor’s Note: well folks, at roughly four in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve my internet decided to kick out one last time before I moved; presumably out of sheer spite. Unfortunately as I’ve been in the process of packing for a couple of weeks now this left me with no internet, precisely one video game that just happened to be in my PS4 and a grand total of one book in my possession. Disturbingly enough, that book is a signed hardcover edition of Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices” that my boyfriend only purchased for me because most of the incriminating passages about the former Secretary of State’s foreign policy decisions were scrubbed clean from the soft-cover edition. In short, this is hell.
Unfortunately, all of this has also left me unable to continue my regular writing here on this website because I can’t dig up sources on the internet; which gives me the option of either writing an article that is purely opinion with no supporting facts or focusing on a subject I know like the back of my hand and restricting myself to images already on my hard drive. In light of the fact that I’ve recently been writing about disastrous US foreign policy and impending wars, I’ve decided to stick with that theme and simply source this piece whenever I get my internet back.
In this edition of A Brief Thought we’re going to take a quick look at a basic reality that somehow still remains controversial in mainstream politics today; the fact that the marriage of capitalism, military intervention and the War on Terror has been a complete fucking disaster for the American people:
Note: if you’re having trouble reading the above info-graphic, just right click on it and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version and don’t forget to check out my brief comments after the sources section of this article.
While many readers will likely be tempted to scoff at the basic nature of the above observation, even the most cynical observer of American empire has to concede that calculating the true cost of America’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in NYC remains an almost impossible task even today; as we move closer towards twenty years of endless violence, terror and mourning.
This is a cost paid not just in blood, treasure and political capital but also in terms of opportunities lost and the tragic consequences of decisions made in the grip of manufactured fear; decisions which themselves have come with society-altering consequences like a cascading wall of deadly dominoes. This is a cost measured not just in American dollars, victims of terrorism and broken soldiers but also in shattered homelands, global environmental destruction and literally millions of innocent people murdered for profit by western imperialism. It is truthfully impossible to put a price on our collective descent into madness and fear because that bill is still being paid in things money cannot buy and our journey to the soulless bottom of a self-induced nightmare shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
Although most westerners are so desensitized to foreign deaths that it’s become a comedic trope on late night television, the mounting price our own society has paid for these “far away” atrocities is a secret all the money in the world can no longer hide from the public consciousness. Even the corrupt masters of empire in the west, who have long convinced themselves that someone else is picking up the tab for their transgressions, are now learning the folly of pairing homicidal exceptionalism with a nurtured fear of the other. After decades of demonizing Muslims to justify drone murders, war for profit and an all out assault on our civil liberties – western elites now find themselves under siege politically and facing down numerous cohesive fascist movements fueled by “patriotic” racism, weaponized fear and a fundamental belief that violence can be justified by a personal sense of injury.
The chickens of our collective arrogance and inhumanity have indeed finally come home to roost.
– Nina Illingworth