Here we are yet again.
Terror, death, chaos.
Already the drums are sounding, the trumpets call us to arms.
War is coming yet again.
But … well, it’s not the war I wonder about, it’s what comes after.
In a comment on my Facebook page, somebody asked how this could happen. Paris. How could this happen and nobody see it coming? It seems as if terrorism sprouts like mushrooms, the commenter puzzled, one minute the world is normal, and the next BOOM!
Indeed, terrorism is like that. Boom. Everything is normal, then boom.
But it only seems that way.
You see, terrorism like this doesn't just pop up like mushrooms.
It grows, inch by inch, day by day, cell by cell, recruit by recruit. Most of the time it grows right out in the sunlight, ignored - not unnoticed, ignored. Just as it was here in the US, because it's over there, somewhere, in some Third World shithole and we just don't care so long as it's not us.
And in this case it's been doing exactly that in Syria and Iraq and North Africa for years now.
It's not just us, this blithe happy ignorance. It happens all over the world and has for as long as there has been civilization. In recent memory, Russia, France, Spain, the UK, Northern Ireland, Italy, Somalia, and the Middle East. It is the nature of human beings to argue and squabble and dismiss until it's too late. Climate change, pollution, failing economy, poverty, disease, collapse, war, it's all the same.
Terrorism? It comes from chaos. From conflict and exploitation, from endless ruin and crushing poverty and bleak desperation. It comes from religion and ideology run mad.
You want to know why someone would strap an explosive belt to themselves and run into a crowd?
I’ll tell you.
It’s not complicated, it’s because they have literally nothing better to do, that's why.
It’s because the vague promise of some glorious afterlife is better than anything else in their lives.
It is absolutely no different, no different, from those who would let the world burn because they believe their own prophet is coming soon to rapture them away to some eternal bliss while the rest of us roast in eternal torment. The only difference is in degree.
We created this. Paris. Yes we did.
Oh, you’re offended, are you? Offended that I say it’s our own fault. That we created this. You’re offended. Got your red, white, and blue panties in a bunch? How dare I? How dare I?
Yes? That’s it, isn’t it?
Tell you what, fuck off. Shove your reflexive self-righteousness patriotic jingoism right up your ass.
If you want to do something about terrorism, actually do something about terrorism, then you start by being honest with yourself.
We created this.
Terrorism, the kind we face today? It comes from the fact that we, us, we keep blowing up civilization and leaving nothing but death and ruin in our wake. Terrorists are like cockroaches, they thrive on chaos and destruction and we're damned good at creating that chaos. I know, I spent most of my life in the business of war.
We created this.
Yes we did. We created the conditions for it to grow. To incubate, ignored over there, in the chaos we created.
Thirty years ago we denounced the Soviets for destroying Afghanistan and leaving nothing but ruins, a destroyed civilization, chaos. But we, we Americans, we were right in there, weren't we? Funding and fueling the Mujahedeen - creating our own enemies, just as the Romans did 2000 years ago. We could have done something about it, sure. We could have rebuilt that civilization after the Soviet Union pulled out. We could have made the Mujahedeen our friends. We could have. But it would have cost us money. Our money. Lots of money, vast, vast sums of it. It would have taken decades of sustained commitment. It would have taken effort.
And so, instead we left. Fuck it. Not our problem. Enjoy your freedom, Towelheads.
And the Mujahedeen became what?
The "freedom fighters" we trained, we equipped, we left behind, became what?
They became the Taliban.
They became Al Qaida.
They became the seeds of our own destruction.
And we learned nothing.
Then the same amoral sons of bitches who diddled in Afghanistan without regard to the consequences took us into Iraq.
And we reduced Iraq to lawless ruin.
Oh, we won the war, I know, I was there. We won the war, sure we did and they cheered us in the streets just as our leaders told us they would.
Then it all went sideways. It all fell apart. It all fell apart because we are damned good at destroying nations, not so good at building them.
Destruction is easy, creation is the hard part.
We had no plan. We didn’t care enough to have a plan, to see it through, to govern what we’d won, to rebuild the nation we’d destroyed, to beat swords into plowshares, to earn the respect and keep the friendship of the people we’d supposedly freed. We let it fall apart. And then, like Vietnam four decades before, we walked away. See yah, have fun with your freedom!
We let Syria disintegrate and we still can't make up our minds who to back, the evil dictator who hates us, or the Islamic state who hates us, or the Russians who we hate. And Syria is just one of a dozen places currently falling apart.
And so, war, destruction, desperation. Chaos. The perfect breeding ground for terrorism.
Meanwhile, right here in our own country, a bunch of religious lunatics who pray to their small and mean god every single day for their own idiotic rapture, make it worse by throwing gasoline on the fire at every turn in their unending obsession with the end of the world. War, war, war, they just can’t get enough in the name of their religion of love and peace.
We haven't cleaned up the last mess and they want more war, more chaos, want to destroy yet another country. They gleefully point to the horror they helped make and proclaim it a sign from upon high, glory glory hallelujah, the End Times are come. Praise Jesus!
Well, it looks as if their miserable god has finally answered their prayers and they'll get their wish. War. Again. Because now we have no choice.
And I will bet you whatever sum of money you like, because I used to do this for a living, that right now the war machine is spinning up. The sabers are rattling, the ships are preparing to sail, the bombers are fueling up, and the trumpets are sounding To Arms, To Arms! As they must for the barbarians are at the gate and now? Now we have no choices at all.
But what comes after?
We’ll rush in, like the fools we are, heedless yet again. Our own children will march off to war to the sounds of cheering crowds and they’ll come home in bags, hidden away from public view. We’ll speak the solemn words, sacrifice, patriotism, duty, honor, courage. We’ll bomb another country to ruin, kill thousands, millions. Oh, we’ll win the war, don’t you fear, of course we will, we always do. We’re good at it.
But meanwhile, what comes after?
What’s the plan this time?
What have we learned? What have we learned from all those lives? From all that blood? From all that destruction?
What have we learned from terror?
Terrorism grows like bacteria in warm agar, among the destruction and ruin of war. Terrorism grows in the gaps between civilization. And so what is the plan for after the war? After we’ve blown up the world yet again?
What comes after?
It does you no good to kill cockroaches if you don’t clean up the rot and mess and the filth they live on, if you leave chaos and darkness for them to breed in. More will always come in an unending tide.
So what’s the plan for after?
Paris was caused by Iraq. By Syria. By Afghanistan. By chaos and destruction and because the terrorists had nothing better, literally nothing better, to do with their miserable lives.
Unless we do something about that, then Paris isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning.