Boy, oh boy, that Sheldon Richman…I was working on a post about the calamities that have befallen much of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, and the corresponding role played by the West – primarily the United States – in both creating and dealing with these calamities, and what do I read but this:
If one tried to design a foreign policy to embroil Americans in endless conflicts that would otherwise be quite remote, one could hardly do better than recent presidents of the United States. What could you do that these men have not done to keep Americans mired in distant turmoil?
Signs of apparent failure abound while the ruling elite feigns ignorance of the connection between U.S. intervention abroad and widening regional wars.
Yeah, that’s what I was going to say (well, not exactly and not nearly as well, but you get the idea).
Before I read Richman’s piece, I already had pulled together some quotes from other writers to help me construct my post – really, I did! For example, from Glenn Greenwald’s piece, entitled “Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite”:
One can debate whether all of this is done by design or by “accident”: if you realize that U.S. actions create further pretexts for war, then those who do this for a living must realize it, too (their own studies say this); and how many times does something have to happen before “accident” is no longer a viable explanation (as in: oops, our bombing policies keep killing large numbers of civilians, but we keep doing it anyway, and keep claiming it’s all just a terrible “accident”)? But whatever else is true about motive, there is no question that U.S. militarism constantly strengthens exactly that which it is pitched as trying to prevent, and ensures that the U.S. government never loses its supply of reasons to continue its endless war.
See, I was going to say that it isn’t an accident – and it isn’t a failure. They aren’t stupid and they aren’t blind. Obama isn’t a dummy. They know that their previous interventions are behind the current turmoil and will then demand future interventions.
But why? Why do they do it? Richman answers the question:
We must acknowledge, of course, that what looks like failure to us Americans outside the privileged elite may not actually be failure for our overlords. After all, turmoil is integral to the ingenious political perpetual-motion machine. Turmoil furnishes the “threats” that then can be called on to justify the very policies that manufactured those threats in the first place. How clever!
See, I was going to write something like that, referring to Jeff Brown’s piece entitled: “Behind the Great Western Firewall Is the Ugly Truth”:
False flags are ingrained in the DNA of Empire, to control and manipulate their subjects. Empire keeps on perpetrating false flags relentlessly, because they are so ruthlessly successful at achieving their aims. False flags brilliantly create mass fear and uncertainty among the people and justify the persecution of the group to be dehumanized for exploitation or destruction. The shock and awe of false flags allow governments and capital to herd the masses like sheeple, to induce them to gleefully go to war, commit genocide, accept economic servitude and environmentally destructive resource extraction, while willfully renouncing their free will to the tyranny of fascism and oligarchy, for “security and safety”.
And furthering it with a paragraph from Gary North’s piece entitled “How to Teach History Without a Textbook”:
It is not a radical thesis to argue that the financing of a war and the outcome of a war changes society more than almost any other non-military events. War is well understood as a device for radical social change.
What radical social change? That’s the easy part – just look around at the changes since September 11, both within the US and outside.
Lather, rinse, repeat. It has worked very well in the US ever since Hearst moved the people to “remember the Maine.”
Back to Richman:
While failure may in fact be success for the empire’s custodians and profiteers, the victimized foreign populations and American people have not been so fortunate, and there’s no end in sight.
It isn’t failure; it is working exactly as desired. I was going to write that, too, but here I find it in Richman’s piece.
War is for control – control of the people. Nothing else. (Check the date on that link – you will see I got there first!)
In all seriousness, Richman’s piece is golden – much better than anything I could have done. It is worth reading in its entirety.