Osama: Why is this man smiling?
I don’t know if Osama bin Laden is still alive. If he is, I’m sure he’s smiling this ninth anniversary of 911. He has largely achieved his goals. He has provoked a massive response from the US. He has forced the US to spend over $1,000,000,000,000 in a futile effort to stop terrorism–indeed the two wars he provoked have actually increased the number of America’s enemies.
Ted Koppel has a great piece in The Washington Post 9/10/10 that spells out more of the ways the US response to 911 played into al-Qaeda’s fantasies of a “clash of civilizations” that, on a limited scale, has indeed erupted. (See the so-called Ground Zero mosque and Pastor (sic) Jones)
Every day the US spends another $200 million on Afghanistan. For each civilian the US kills, it is estimated that another 6 potential terrorists are created. The regime the US is associated with is the second most corrupt on the planet. It retains power through rigged elections, payoffs warlords, drugs and duplicity. Remember the tiff over Karzai’s brother’s bank the US might need to bail out?
The huge amount of resources spent on the wars has forced states and cities to reduce their services. Americans are sacrificing college, health care and quality of life to the god of drones.
Recently Admiral Mike Mullen even said the economy needs to recover so it can continue to feed the national security state. I used to think the military’s job was to secure the country. Now it’s the other way around. And that, my friends, is militarism bold and bright.
That’s exactly what bin Laden did to the Soviet economy, with America’s help–convince them to spend themselves into oblivion.
Today is a day to mourn. About 3000 Americans on that day paid for the arrogance of US geopolitical games in the Middle East. Nine years later, about 300 million Americans continue to pay for counterproductive games in the Middle East. When will we ever learn?