Note from Tom: Today’s post is an excerpt from my newest book, A Nation Unmade by War, my personal portrait of our increasingly mad world. It’s just hitting the bookstores, so do support TomDispatch (and me) by picking up a copy.
This sounds interesting - I think I’ll take a look at it.
Tom is one of the most historically aware commentators I know of, so I’d expect him to accurately handle subtleties of USA’s transformation into hell on Earth. In particular, I’m reminded by the carnage in Gaza of the USA’s similar (ongoing, actually) original sin: extermination of the indigenous, considered subhuman. This is practically a unique bond of savagery between the USA and Israel. Some similarly genocidal incidents occurred in Australia and Canada, but both of those governments eloquently apologized to their indigenous populations.
Imperialism abroad, slavery by any means necessary at home. That’s our hellish American Heritage (you can put it in the dictionary).
the U.S. military has been deployed across vast swaths of the planet and somehow, again and again, has found itself overmatched by underwhelming enemy forces and incapable of producing any results other than destruction and further fragmentation
I suspect this is a feature, not a bug. $5.6 trillion to avenge the deaths of 3000. That works out to about $2 billion a death. Think of how many lives could have been saved and made better by a wiser use of those funds…education, healthcare, real science, the greening of the planet…
After listening to the news over the past days about the Iraq election results, the suicide bombing attacks in East Java, and the far too-frequent Taliban insurgent’s deadly attacks in Afghanistan, I cannot see what of any use has been accomplished for the people of the US, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, or the Far East by the US invasions, occupations, and continuing military operations. The Pentagon is running amuck at extremely high cost to the United States and the planet. In carrying out its war on terror (which really has no realistic objective with respect to ending terror or violence anywhere), the USA has become a threat to the stability of governments around the world.
I am very glad I came to Common Dreams today and found this TomDispatch. My wish is for it to be shared widely. It must be sent to the representatives and senators of everyone who reads it. It must be sent to family and friends. These facts and realities and Tom’s point of view are not available to the broad public. Absent this kind of exposure of the costs of Bush et.al’s vainglorious beliefs, this fools errand will not end; neither will the blow-back.
The MIC profits may be the feature?
Tom: This has always been the US since the beginning. We have marched towards conquest with manifest destiny and god on our side as we killed and stole the Natives’ land. Then onto Mexico. Then S. America and the Spanish-American war which rewarded us with their empire. We made it clear that S. America was ours to do with as we pleased.
Then China and Asia came into our sights. WWI got us into the middle east ownership. Would the US have gotten into WWII if it wasn’t for our butting heads with the Japanese over territory that both coveted in the Pacific? Maybe.
From then on more Asia S. America, and the ME. As the British use to brag, the sun never sets on our empire. Now we are demanding that Europe do as we tell them or they will be punished for disobeying us.
This empire and the Gates of Hell has been long in the making. Empires tend to over extend themselves to where the cost is not paid by what the empire gets out of it. Then the home doesn’t have enough money to pay for both, the empire comes first. That was why Rome fell, it neglected the home and it rotted and fell from within. The British also discovered that they couldn’t afford their empire any more.
Most likely that will be our fate also as we continue to ignore the home while spending more and more for our empire. We will collapse from within. How quiet will the end be?
Tom, this leaves me nearly speechless. It is your best effort yet; one which would make the
late, great Chalmers Johnson proud. I look forward to reading your forthcoming book. From the excerpt above, I am sure it will be a classic 50 years hence to whatever scholars and laymen who survive, as the “go-to” source for understanding how the former United Sates of America
made the wrong choices, for the wrong reasons, in the process of committing a societal suicide.
And to the “end-timers” and all those who were so obsessed with Tim LaHaye fantasies, that they willingly supported those psychopaths, chanting “USA,USA, USA” as they opened the gates of Hell on Earth.
The only heaven or hell that exists is what me make here on Earth. It’s man made. The garden of Eden is here too if we’d stop killing each other instead of turning it to toxic soup and ashes.
This article is not one of Tom’s best. It’s more of a vignette about his new book. He says his parents wouldn’t understand what is going on, but what about the Korean war? Regarding the costs and the casualties, Americans are not supposed to kill civilians. I know they have and do, but it would take a massive escalation of killing to “win” anything, as if that were anything to win. We aren’t trying to take territory, we aren’t trying to win a battle, but to establish proxy leadership and (mostly) leave. That strategy doesn’t work with adherents to another religion, not to mention people under stress due to climate change and a deteriorating local environment where they live. I don’t think people around the world admire the US and want to live here like they used to.
Brilliant interweaving climate change with the U.S. military, which relies on GHGs to function, doesn’t count its GHG footprint, and keeps GHG infrastructure in place.
The U.S. is crumbling the planet.
I agree. That’s why I said “Hell on Earth”.