We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Friday, August 4, 2017
The End of the "Wars on the Cheap" for the United States
I think he makes a good point that "wars on the cheap" are no longer available to the Empire's ruling capitalist class. He provides a very good description of "wars on the cheap" strategy, and develops a good argument that this strategy, which the Empire's directors have been using so successfully since Nicaragua and the Contras, is over. [Actually CIA support for the rebel Mujaheddin in Afghanistan (later to become Al Qaeda in Iraq) began a little over two years earlier under the Carter administration) He argues that people have learned how to combat the highly sophisticated weapons supplied by the Empire and its allies so that the economic and political costs of the Empire's use of this strategy is becoming prohibitive. And when other powerful nations assist targeted governments such as Russia is doing in Syria, this strategy is completely ineffective.
What I believe the author doesn't emphasize enough is that the strategy is fundamentally ineffective because highly motivated "boots on the ground" are missing for nearly all of the foreign adventures contemplated by the Empire's directorate. To be sure, people are learning how to fight back against superior equipped forces. However, to me, this suggests that the 9/11 effect of motivating Americans and others to go on the offensive in foreign countries in expensive prolonged wars is coming to an end. Might this reality spur the ruling class directors to create another incident such as 9/11? Stay tuned (def. #2), or better yet, stay politically active and informed.