US imperialism was once a fearsome force – -mainly for ill. Under the latter heading, Washington’s savage destruction of Vietnam four decades ago comes readily to mind. But now the American Imperium has become just a gong show on the Potomac – even as its weapons have gotten more lethal and its purposes more spurious and convoluted.
There is no more conspicuous proof than Obama’s quixotic ‘war’ on ISIS. The quote marks are necessary, of course, because the White House insists that this is merely a counter-terrorism project that is not really a war; that the campaign to ‘degrade, disrupt and destroy’ the Islamic State will not deploy a single American soldier – at least not one with his or her boots on; and that the heavy lifting on the ground against the barbaric ISIS hordes will be conducted by a ‘broad coalition’ of so far nameless nations.
In truth, the whole thing is a giant, pathetic farce. There will be no coalition, no strategy, no boots, no ISIS degradation, no gain in genuine safety and security for the American homeland. This is an utterly misbegotten war against an enemy that has more urgent targets than America, but a war which will nonetheless fire-up the already boiling cauldron of Middle Eastern tribal, religious and political conflict like never before. There is no name for what Obama is attempting except utter folly.
Even before Secretary Kerry brought his medicine show to Paris, it was evident there is no coalition of the willing – or even the bought. The best that the 26 odd signatories to his communique could muster was a vague endorsement of Iraq’s boundaries and a pledge to support its still only partially formed, three-week old government ‘by any means necessary’………except not by a single one of the ‘means’ that are actually available.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 18, 2014.