Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 8:25 pm

National Security Inc.

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 8:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

I still haven’t read every last word of The Washington Post’s multi-part project from last month, “National Security Inc.” But I have read enough to take away what I think is the most important conclusion:

The War on Terror will go on without end.

The War on Terror has sucked up and will continue to suck up not just a disproportionate but a crippling share of our national resources, broadly defined.

The War on Terror has been and will continue to be used as an excuse for all manner of government and corp0rate violations of individual rights.

The War on Terror will disproportionately benefit the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of small and medium-sized businesses and individual taxpayers.

The War on Terror will not protect us from terror. It will only break us, legally, financially and socially.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s because the War on Drugs did exactly the same thing. (And while I believe it to be coincidence that the War on Terror is accelerating just as we’re finally starting to have a sane national conversation about drug policy, or at least marijuana policy, I can understand perfectly well why a lot of people believe it to be no coincidence at all.)

The difference is that this time, we’re much more vulnerable, as individuals and as a society.

The difference is that this time, no one — no one with the ability and will to do anything about it — is watching the watchers.

The difference is that this time, if we pursue this war, by far the likeliest outcome is that the United States will cease to exist in any meaningful — that is, exceptional — way. It will become, at best, one more banana republic. And the outcome might well be worse than that — worse in terms of violence and many other forms of human misery.

America. It was a really good idea.


  1. And yet — and follow the thinking through to the end here — if we could elect some politicians with the vision and will to tackle the funding and political headwinds for a alternative/new/breakthrough energy project, and we could FIND IT, then we could let that whole part of the world that is the cradle of terror more or less go to hell. We’re only dealing with those nations for one reason, and we all know what it is. We need politicians with the stones to take on Big Oil, commit the resources to new energy, and basically set a similar goal to Kennedy’s paradigm-shifter of putting a man on the moon. It seems to me this kind of huge, world-changing innovation is just what America is best at, given the will and resources. Then: troops out, diplomatic relations pared to minimum, aid slashed, and we’ll watch those societies implode.

    Comment by Blair — Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:48 am @ 12:48 am

  2. [[if we could elect some politicians with the vision and will ]]

    And that, my friend, is the fly in the ointment. Not only can such people not be elected, in most cases they’re not even running, money being the biggest obstacle.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:06 am @ 8:06 am

  3. ‘Tis true. We get the politicians we deserve, who (most scarily) reflect the thinking of the average voter.

    Comment by Blair — Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:21 pm @ 1:21 pm

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