Wednesday, May 30, 2018

If you break it ... you own it


As followup to "The war ..., the well worn phrase of "if you break it, you own it." applies to the US as the only thing this nation knows how to do is break things ... at enormous cost.

The United States is "incapable of producing any results other than destruction and further fragmentation across staggeringly large parts of the planet," argues Tom Engelhardt, A Nation Unmade by War. Since 1991, the US has been engaged in a misguided and destructive exercise of triumphalism. In this interview, Engelhardt discusses why the US is an empire of chaos.

Mark Karlin: How much money has gone to the US "war on terror" and what has been the impact of this expenditure?

Tom Engelhardt: The best figure I've seen on this comes from the Watson Institute's Costs of War Project at Brown University, and it's a staggering $5.6 trillion, including certain future costs to care for this country's war vets. President Trump himself, with his usual sense of accuracy, has inflated that number even more, regularly speaking of $7 trillion being lost somewhere in our never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East. One of these days, he's going to turn out to be right.

The death of empires always involves the following:
  1. Environmental degradation.
  2. Resource depletion.
  3. Infrastructure collapse.
  4. Corrupt and inept politicians running said empire and ...
  5. Over reliance on military.
Sound familiar?

To get another take on the US Chaos engine, check out Pepe Escobar, you will not be disappointed.

Addendum: Bin Laden has apparently absorbed the Reagan strategy. It is difficult to know whether he really thought that a handful of terrorist acts would hobble the United States or that al Qaeda and the Taliban could defeat the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan. What he must have anticipated, however, was the predictable U.S. response: to throw money at the Pentagon.

Any questions?

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