Exit Strategies

Death of a Bogeyman

Our president’s assertion that he was born in Hawaii strikes me as far more credible than this evening’s reports that the Central Intelligence Agency has just killed Osama bin Laden. 

The theory that bin Ladin was a CIA asset all along perhaps goes a bit too far down the rabbit hole... however, there was reason to believe that the recent videos and recordings of the 9/11 “mastermind” were phony and that the man has likely been dead for years.

My hunch is that those who put on the media-political circus decided that their bogeyman of the decade had outlived his usefulness and it was time he got vanquished by “the good guys” before the public completely forgot who he was. (And with the birth certificate, Trump, and being outshone by the martially dressed Princes William and Harry, perhaps Obama’s handlers felt that he needed to do something big.) 

Putting intrigue aside, let’s, for the sake of argument, accept fully the story the president and CIA have just presented to us. Let’s, for the sake of argument, believe that, in the words of Dubya, “No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.” And let’s take an account of the United States of America before and after it sought to  “rid the world of evildoers.” (Since the hour is late, I’ll keep it brief.)  

The U.S. has fought--indeed, is still fighting--two Middle East wars that have lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans, millions of Arabs, and whose explicit costs run well over $1,250,000,000,000.

The indirect and opportunity costs are unfathomable. Imagine, for instance, the benefit of spending a tenth of this treasure on securing the Southern border and keeping the country’s historic majority from being completely displaced by Hispanic migrants.

Moreover, as a direct response to 9/11, Washington has created a vast security state, whose most noticeable feature is the perverted TSA but which encompasses most of American society. As the Washington Post reported last year (and one can expect the paper to sugar-coat matters),

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.>>

Economically, in the past decade, the U.S. dollar has lost some 25-30 percent of its value; the national debt has ballooned from a scary 5.6 trillion to a ridiculous 14. Total indebtedness of Americans has reached some three and a half times GDP.    

And these are just some of the more obvious numbers, which, much like the War on Terror, are themselves symptomatic of a deeper rot.

Can anyone claim that our culture isn’t even more vulgar and indefensible than it was 10 years ago? That our people haven’t become even more cretinous and childish and self-absorbed? Yes, I know, we now have Facebook and Twitter, but is anyone willing to argue that this country has become a better place to live in since 2001?

Can anyone claim that Osama bin Laden hasn’t, in some ironic way, won?

A dispassionate observer might conclude that the mysterious Saudi didn’t merely kill 3,000 people on September  11, 2001, but, in fact, laid waste to a country already in advanced decline.      

(Hat tip YWC for the video.)