Saturday, September 10, 2011

Decimation

I thought after last year that our long national indulgence in the compounded delusions of self-pity and self-righteous anger were starting to fade.But for the tenth anniversary of the events of 11 SEP 2001 has brought out all the usual idiots parroting all the usual tropes; It's was all about US! OMFG it was Pure Evil! It was Such a Shock 'Cause We were just Minding Our Own Business when We were viciously mugged!Well, okay, so we've had ten years and we're STILL thinking about this.

(Anybody want to make a bet as to whether Pearl Harbor was still front page news on 7 DEC 1951? No? Didn't think so. It was a very different war in a very different time, and in many ways were were a cruder, harder, simpler...but more sensible people fifty years ago.)

So let's get a couple of things out of the way first.

That an Islamic attack of some sort was successfully completed on U.S. soil was an entirely rational and expected result of the Middle East policies we had been pursuing for decades; since 1948, at the very least. This doesn't make OBL or AQ any more loveable or "justified". But you bankroll, arm, and act as consigliere for one of the local mobs in a bad part of town, don't be surprised to wake up with a horse's head in your bed some morning. It ain't an "if", it's a when, goombah, capisce?That it succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its Saudi maker is unquestionable. If 9/11 was a battle and you looked at it trying to define "Who won 9/11?" the world's tallest dead Saudi would have to be the winner, hands down. For the cost of a relatively small number of expendable fanatics (and the bombing and occupation of a stone-age tribal wasteland back into the stone age) he sent his target rampaging through the Middle East, bombing, shooting, and - worst of all - acting like the least competent imperial power in history. Too meek to conquer, too clueless and viciously self-protective to woo, too stupid to realize the difference...Osama must look back at the past ten years and the present position of his target, exchange incredulous looks at the demons tormenting him, and all three of them must collapse in helpless laughter. Satan in all his genius couldn't conceive of a richer foul joke.That the most significant, durable, and successful effect it has had has been the erection of a monstrous internal and external surveillance and propaganda contraption that extends across multiple agencies and continents, absorbs billions of dollars and tens of thousands of careers and lives...and all in pursuit of this chimera. Al posted the link to a Naval War College journal article in the preceding post. In it the author bemoans the costly, inept behemoth we know as the Department of Homeland Security.Because it is a massive boondoggle ginned up by the world's last superpower to oppose the efforts of a handful of raggedy-assed clerics and Muslim fabulists dreaming of Caliphate in dumpy rooms in Third World shitholes that, even if successful, would be unlikely to do better than 9/11 - that is, kill a relative handful of Americans compared to the number who drive into utility poles while texting every year?

No.

Because "...we need a longer term strategy for dealing with terrorism overall. Perhaps the most disappointing non-event of the past ten years has been the complete failure of America's intellectual infrastructure, including its colleges and universities, to create a reserve of expertise similar to that funded by the U.S. government in the wake of the Soviet challenge in the 1950s."

Got it?

The threat from a tiny band of poorly-funded, tactically-incompetent, Islamic boneheadsis and should be considered the modern equivalent of the challenge posed by the world's only other global superpowermassively armed with blue-water fleets, intercontinental bombers, an trained army of spies and assassins, and, oh, yeah, fucking nuclear ICBMs.

So one would think that this tenth anniversary of the moment we started the geopolitical equivalent of slamming eleven vodka and Red Bull shooters, stripping down to our skivvies, and leaping into the beer tub down at the local lesbian softball victory party swinging a length of tire chain and shouting "I can whip any bitch in the park!" we'd be looking around sheepishly at all the angry bull daggers, picking our saggy wet Jockeys out of the crack of our stinging ass and wondering what the fuck we had been thinking.

(Stops. Sighs. Shakes his head.)

Instead of indulging in an orgy of self-pity, maudlin sentimentality, and self-righteous victimhood.

But we won't.

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