The “Global War on Terror” may have been semantically erased by the propagandists of the Obama Administration, but on the ground, it is still going on — and still spawning a multititude of malevolent consequences, as Patrick Cockburn details in a powerful series of articles. Cockburn’s look at the historical record doesn’t begin with 9/11, of course; the fatal alliance between Washington and the most retrograde and repressive forms of Islam — which gave rise to the Terror War and its present reality — go back several decades. [The first three parts of the series are here, here and here.]
But as Cockburn rightly points out, the ostensible enemy that America’s national security state is ostensibly fighting — violent, hidebound, Sunni extremism — is now more powerful and deadly than ever … and has been made so at every turn by the actions of America’s national security state.
Cockburn’s series is a shattering read. Not much of it is new to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to reality in the past 10 to 20 years, but it is still a very useful reiteration of what is really going on behind the torrent of blather and bullshit that constitutes our “public debate”. Reading it, one can’t help but think of those chilling lines from T.S. Eliot, which have echoed in my head for years as I’ve watched our bipartisan political (and imperial) elite lead us from disaster to disaster:
I think we are in rat’s alley,
where dead men lost their bones.
Read it and weep — if you have any tears left in you.