by Jacob G. Hornberger
The official enemy de jour that has everyone all riled up and scared is ISIS. If U.S. forces don’t bomb ISIS, the argument goes, ISIS will take over Iraq, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Europe, and Asia, and Latin America, and then the United States. If the bombs don’t fall on ISIS, before long Americans will be speaking Arabic and their children will be studying the Koran in America’s government schools.
It’s all just one great big racket — a racket based on “national security,” a term that isn’t even found in the Constitution and that doesn’t even have an objective meaning. The only way that the U.S. national-security state apparatus — i.e., the vast military establishment and military empire, the CIA, and the NSA — can justify its continued existence is by ginning up crisis after crisis with the aim of keeping the citizenry filled with fear, anxiety, and depression. The apparatus then becomes people’s sedative, assuring them that everything is going to be okay because the apparatus is the only thing keeping them safe.
Never mind that the national-security apparatus produces the very threats it then uses to scare people with. After all, did anyone hear of ISIS before the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq, a country that had never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so?
No. That’s because there was no ISIS before the apparatus invaded and occupied Iraq. It was the invasion and occupation, along with other interventions by the apparatus, such as in Syria and Libya, that has produced ISIS, the new, scary enemy of the day.
But of course, no statist wants to hear that. The national-security state is akin to a god, one that is keeping them safe from all those scary creatures thousands of miles away from American shores, creatures that are brought into existence by the very policies of the apparatus itself.
With its ongoing, perpetual crises and wars, the apparatus is also serving as a fount of taxpayer-funded largess for the vast armies of “defense” contractors who are feeding at the public trough on a permanent basis.
As an aside, have you noticed that while some young people are traveling to the Middle East to join ISIS, hardly any Americans are traveling to Iraq to join up with the Iraqi army to fight ISIS. I suppose one possibility is that most everyone is a coward and won’t fight to protect our “national security.” Another possibility, the more likely one in my opinion, is that deep down everyone knows that this is all a crock.
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