Michael On Everything Else

America's Identity Crisis

Once upon a time I maintained a political blog with the central theme of America losing its identity post-9/11. I walked away from the blog sometime around 2010 because it became clear to me that politics in the U.S. had become very polarized and as a result it was becoming increasingly difficult to have any kind of meaningful, civil debate about politics.

I miss being able to blog about politics (and with the number of recent, political posts here, that’s probably obvious). One of the blogs I’ve followed for years, titled Sic Semper Tyrannis, recently posted an article about America’s identity crisis. As blog posts go, it’s very long but the snippets below help summarize the thrust of the post, which aligns with my notion of the nation’s identity crisis.

The profligate spending on wars, occupation and the enormous Homeland Security apparatus has been marked by corruption and incompetence unmatched in any previous national undertaking at home or abroad.1 Tens of billions disappeared into the maw of one company alone, KBR, that did not even bother to provide detailed invoices. $14 billion in 100 bills packed on pallets were flown into Iraq at the orders of Paul Bremer on C-5As only to slip away unaccounted for. $1 billion have turned up in an underground bunker in Lebanon but the Obama administration, acting through its Ambassador in Beirut, has blocked efforts to determine who the custodian is. That might be small change in Washington; but could have consequences were it to find its way into the hands of Hezbollah or IS. This dimension of the GWOT conforms to the fecklessness and slapdash approach that is the hallmark of the entire enterprise – conceptually, organizationally and politically.

I walked away from my political blog before Snowden released documents demonstrating the massive surveillance state that had developed after 9/11. Had I still maintained the blog, I would have had a field-day writing about that!

But back to the identity crisis and the other blog…here is another quote:

Little of this stunning reality is recognized, understood and responded to by an adjustment of behavior. Delusion rules. Thus, behavior remains unchanged. The overshadowing delusion is that the United States is besieged by legions of Islamist enemies scaling the walls of the Republic bent on mayhem. Only the ingenious defenses that we have erected, and the valiant efforts of our warriors in Langley, Fort Meade, and in hundreds of outposts around the world, keep this diabolical foe at bay. Actual reality: there are a few hundred poorly organized, scattered remnants who have the intention and will even to imagine a direct attack on the United States. That small coterie lacks the means. In any case, they could not conceivably replicate anything like 9/11. In our world of delusion, any Islamist group which espouses an anti-American creed is declared a grave threat. What should be an international police exercise to apprehend criminals has been transmuted into a global war on fundamentalist Islam.

The root of the problem is certainly associated with the military-industrial complex. It has its hooks deep in the U.S. government, both parties included. In fact, it has its hooks in the American populace, which is a big part of the psychosis Dr. Brenner talks about in his article.

I’m sure there will be more posts here in the future about America’s identity crisis…