Fourteen years after 9/11, the United States is still marching, undeterred by the millions killed and trillions of dollars wasted, towards something beyond grim, according to Riley Waggaman of Russia Insider who writes:
“Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives.” So begins Thoreau’s greatest treatise against trains and fools with too much money, Life Without Principle. (And not to spoil the gripping plot, but Thoreau argues that we do not spend our lives particularly well. Why does Henry David Thoreau hate Facebook?)
Since it’s September 11, the day we are supposed to Never Forget, we thought it would be instructive to ask: Do we really want to remember the last fourteen years? Or to cannibalize Thoreau: Let us consider the ways in which we have terrorized the entire planet (and ourselves) since September 12, 2001.
Since September 12, 2001, we’ve invaded and/or bombed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria and — wait for it — the goddamned Philippines. But these are only the humanitarian interventions and freedom bombings that have been made “public”: The United States Military is currently operating in at least 120 countries around the globe — a world shadow war shielded from public scrutiny and debate. U.S. “defense” expenditures are 45 percent higher than they were before 9/11, putting our glorious nation on a seemingly permanent war footing.
Our never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while killing at least a million natives (that’s just in Iraq — there are no accurate figures for Afghanistan), will end up costing approximately $6 trillion, the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household, according to Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Yes, $6 trillion. Think about how many iPads that could have bought! But then…How would Raytheon make ends meet?
It’s not even possible to calculate how many people have been maimed or displaced by America’s War Against Terror. Let’s just say “a bit more than the 3,000 who died on September 11, 2001.”
Since September 12, 2001, our military and intelligence services have tortured and raped countless men, women and children — and they even took Instagram photos and cellphone videos, for posterity. Who knew there were so many scrapbook enthusiasts at the CIA?
Speaking of the CIA, you are not supposed to know about their terrorist-fighting torture camps dotted across Africa and Europe. Or their “extraordinary rendition”.
You are, however, supposed to admire and respect the mine-resistant humvees now driven by police officers in Cabbage Patch, America. Meanwhile, SWAT teams work around the clock to keep us safe from toddlers, barbers without licenses, and black people. Thanks to their diligence, our prison population is the envy of the world.
Those not yet in prison are being monitored by a surveillance apparatus that is more horrifying than a KGB-Stasi love child.
And to top it all off, the top 0.1% of American society is worth as much as the bottom 90%. (We’re speaking in dollar terms, because after all, dollars are the only thing of value.)
Let’s stop while we’re ahead. Things are looking up!
Let us consider the way in which we flushed the “peace dividend” and an entire century down the toilet.
Was it worth it?