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September 11, 2011

Reflections on 9/11: Wars that can't be won.

Despite the recent patriotic hoopla on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the assassination of its principal architect on May 2, it must be admitted that 10 years ago, Osama bin Laden scored an enormous victory with a small investment; one that has continued to grow because his perceived enemies are now mired in a financial catastrophe with no end in sight. Joblessness in the United States is at levels not seen since the Great Depression, and neither political party has a clue about how to reverse it. Difficult as it may be to remember now, the Clinton Administration had somehow left Bush and Cheney with a balanced budget just nine months before the attacks.

As Dana Priest's series confirms, the US response was to spend so much money on intelligence gathering, futile nation building, and two disastrous wars leaning heavily on contractors, that we still can't measure their total cost, turn them off, or pay for them; primarily because global financial markets were thrown into a crisis of confidence in 2008. Not to mention that a majority of the world’s humans are failing to acknowledge serious problems with human overpopulation, critical resource shortages, rapid climate change, and growing political instability.

Until about five years ago, I was foolish enough to think that simply exposing some of the more blatant failures of our drug policy might hasten its political defeat, but recent developments, together with what I've learned about human nature from the study itself have convinced me otherwise. It will take far more than a few lonely voices; particularly in a world preoccupied by fear.

Nevertheless, we may also be close to a point in history where our species will have to choose between its own survival and continued exploitation of the global environment in pursuit of wealth. How such a choice might be recognized, let alone be made, is of course impossible to know at this moment. However if we do nothing, our problems seems almost certain to become worse. Thus continuing to rely on denial, will likely continue our present downward spiral.

As usual with things I blog about, there's a drug war connection here. It is also an expensive policy disaster based on greed and fear. It has already been failing expensively in plain sight for four decades (as opposed to just ten years for the 'War on Terror").

Go figure.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at September 11, 2011 07:15 PM