Just as the Bush Faction has replicated every mistake, misdeed and miscalculation of the Vietnam quagmire in Iraq, so too the "grand strategy" of the "War on Terror " replicates the worst strategic mistake of the last quarter of the 20th century: arming and training violent, obscurantist Islamic militias -- in effect, creating (with Saudi and Pakistani partners) the global jihad movement as an effective force -- in the vain and frankly stupid hope that these groups could be manipulated into serving American policy and then safely set aside where their usefulness was through.
I have been writing here for years about the Bush Administration's openly declared intent to arm and fund violent militia groups all over the world, especially in "inaccessible" places where the US cannot operate openly. Hersh has confirmed this "strategy" several times in his reporting.
There are really no words to describe how morally depraved and monumentally stupid this policy is. It is of course not all that surprising that it springs from a family whose political fortunes are founded, at least in part, from the financial fortunes it reaped from helping build the Nazi military-industrial complex; a family that continued trading with the Nazis even after Americans were in battle against Hitler's forces. The Bushes and their outriders have always been attuned to the kind of brutal realpolitik that is willing -- at times eager -- to see American blood shed in order to advance their elitist agenda. (Which they have of course internalized as being identical with the "national interest.")
But as we've also noted many times, this political "philosophy" is by no means unique to the Bush Family faction. It is resolutely bipartisan, and deeply embedded in the mindset of the American Establishment. The Bushes are nothing but second-rate camp followers, empty shells and non-entities, originating nothing, ignorant and cynical in equal measure, their only unusual trait being how open they are in their scorn for the worthless rabble and the bullshit Constitution that the crypto-Commies like Madison and Jefferson foisted on the proper rulers of the country. Otherwise, they simply regurgitate the unprocessed prejudices, unexamined assumptions and vulgar ambitions of the clique that spawned them.
Of course, at times the idiot George W. Bush and the criminally ignorant crew that surrounds him have brought the inherent lawlessness, greed, brutality and incompetence of the American elite to what seem like new heights -- although even the sick-making murder of the Iraq campaign has still not approached the genocidal fury of, say, the bipartisan bombing of Indochina, and the millions of dead that the "best and the brightest" left behind there. Nor have Bush's domestic repression and flagrant abuse of authority -- as bad as they are -- yet approached the toxic and all-pervasive level of the "Red Scares" launched by Democratic icons Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman. (Joe McCarthy merely took the ball that Truman put into play and ran with it.) And sufficient unto the day is the trouble thereof; the crimes of the Bush Administration are not any less heinous -- and the people they have murdered are not any less dead -- just because these crimes are not some aberration of the idiot and his crew but are instead continuations and at times accelerations of long-standing Establishment thinking and policy.
But with each passing decade, the technological tools of repression and militarism grow more overpowering and far-reaching. With each passing decade, the pernicious aftereffects and blowback from past depredations build up and compound, breeding new evils. With each passing decade, the societal rot engendered by the rapacity of the elite spreads deeper, eating away at the foundation of the Republic and the fabric of our communities, and weakening or destroying the social and institutional counterbalances to unchecked greed and ambition.
Thus in one sense it doesn't matter if the Bush Faction is any more or less criminal and destructive than other administrations. The world in which they are blundering around killing people is far more unstable and dangerous than before, because it is filled with the compounded evil and folly of previous times. For instance, there are more nuclear powers now, as nations seek to emulate the strength, prestige and dominance of the only nation that has ever committed mass murder with nuclear weapons (or to defend themselves against that nation). And there far more weapons available to armed groups than at any time in world history -- again, in no small part due to the blind greed of the elites of the "civilized" world who have promoted weapons sales with the shameless avidity of carnie barkers for decades. A couple of goobers with a grudge against some government can now buy .50- caliber rifles at a flea market and knock airliners out of the sky. The spread of weapons -- and weapons technology (not to mention the refinement of terrorist techniques, such as those taught by the CIA to the jihadists back in the 80s) -- has broken the monopoly of armed force once enjoyed by states. Together with the spread of nuclear arms technology, this development means that no great power can simply impose its will hither and yon without facing the prospect of substantial consequences from "asymmetric actors."
And today, the time lag between a criminal policy and its consequences grows much shorter all the time -- just as the virulence of that response is potentially much greater. For example, the United States engineered an illegal and stupid "regime change" in Iran in 1953, but did not have to face any direct consequences of this folly for more than a quarter of a century, and even these consequences were relatively limited. But there is general agreement that an attempt at "regime change" in Iran now would result in horrific consequences, immediately, including the possible collapse of the oil-based global economy, Shiite uprisings throughout the Middle East (especially against American forces in Iraq), "asymmetric" retaliation at American targets both at home and abroad and other pleasantries. (Similarly, the lag time between supporting the global jihad – which began in 1979 under Democrat Jimmy Carter – and the first fruit of that blowback, the first bombing of the World Trade Center, was just 14 years. How short will be the blowback from this latest arming and funding of al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists? A few years? A few months? Or right now – as many of these groups are allied with the Iraqi insurgents?)
And so, beyond the inherent immorality of supporting al Qaeda (yet again); beyond the inherent immorality of fomenting terrorist strikes inside Iran (and elsewhere); beyond the inherent – and downright Hitlerian – immorality of invading Iraq and possibly invading Iran, we have the simple fact that in today's world, the United States simply cannot "get away" with such extravagant stupidities anymore, for any length of time whatsoever. The rot is too deep, the compound interest is too high and the consequences too dire and immediate.
Not that any of this will make the slightest bit of difference to the idiot elitists in the White House now, of course.