We all know that Mr. Bolton is right, that without robust projection of American power there can be no American prosperity, but we pretend otherwise to our great shame
America became what it is today, or at least what it was yesterday, i.e. rich and powerful, by waging what we now recklessly call endless warfare. In this, it was no different than any other rich and powerful country that had ever existed or will ever exist. It started with clearing the better (literally) part of the North American continent from the European colonial powers of Britain, France, and Spain, not to mention of the stone-age tribes we collectively call Native Americans.
In parallel, America, from its very infancy, established itself as a warlike naval empire, aggressively defending its naval interests such as trade and whaling, while aggressively engaging in semi-official piracy known as “privateering” against anyone who was not American.
Like all great empires, America has waged endless conflicts, some larger, some smaller first around its periphery and later everywhere on Planet Earth. These conflicts received various names such as the Truman Doctrine and Gunboat Diplomacy, two world wars, the War of 1812, the Spanish War, North Korea, Vietnam, and finally the various wars and low-level conflicts in the Middle East. None of this is remotely remarkable because, as already mentioned, this is par for the course for all empires, all nations who are, or aspire to be, rich, powerful, and influential.
Exactly 18 years ago, on September the 11th, 2001, America took a sucker punch from, somewhat surprisingly, its close Middle Eastern ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In response, America lashed out, for reasons of internal corruption in the highest echelons of its power elites, not at the perpetrators of the attack, though they were well known, but at the least important of their flunkies, the Taliban and against a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks, Iraq. In addition to the misplaced military action, American government used the pretext of the attacks to grow, by many orders of magnitude, the size of the federal government and to implement an internal security and spying regime against its own citizenry the likes of which were hitherto unknown in the worst totalitarian regimes, a state of affairs that persists to this very day.
The 9/11 attacks and the subsequent American action, both abroad and at home, engendered in America a crisis of confidence of enormous proportions that led to the election of Presidents Obama and Trump, both as far removed from the typical American politician as humanly possible.
This crisis of confidence has had repercussions that are far beyond the scope of this article, but not the least among them is the tendency, by many Americans including perhaps the majority of president Trump’s voters to call any foreign military presence or small scale action by the ominous moniker “war”, a tendency adopted by Mr. Trump himself. In short, Mr. Trump and his supporters wish to retain all the benefits of riches and power without paying the price that such benefits demand: continuous warfare of varying intensity.
The dishonesty and disingenuity of this stance is only exacerbated by the loose talk of the MOAB or “nuke” kind. As everyone full-well knows, if, God forbid, the US suffers another 9/11-style attack and even if the perpetrators can clearly be identified, there will be no “MOABing” (except for show of empty canyons) end most certainly no “nuking”. There will be a few cruise missiles, a few “smart” bombs, but that’s about it.
“Welfare queen” is a moniker for a woman (usually) who manipulates and abuses the welfare system to her advantage, never intending to use it as intended to get a hand up in her hour of need, but as a full time occupation so to speak, disingenuously and fraudulently milking the American taxpayer whose money she is illegally appropriating. Trump’s “anti-war” supporters tend to ridicule these ladies, while themselves being as guilty as they are, if not more, of intellectual dishonesty and manipulation.
They, like the welfare queens, know deep down that they are committing fraud, know deep inside them that Mr. Bolton is right and that a robust and continuous projection of America’s might abroad and in particular in unstable and troubled areas like Afghanistan is the absolute necessary condition for American continued power and that America’s prosperity derives only and solely from that power. They know it, but they choose to ignore it because it suits their sensibility du jour and because it allows them to virtue signal to their circle of like-minded friends.
In his tweet this afternoon announcing Mr. Bolton’s firing, a tweet that was likely a misrepresentation (to put it mildly) of what had actually transpired, Mr. Trump pandered to his base and in this he is, of course, no different than any other politician. But that, my fellow Trump supporters, is precisely the problem.
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