Donald Trump stands cluelessly at the edge of history, exemplifying everything wrong with the past, oh, 10,000 years or so.
The necessity for fundamental change in humanity’s global organization is not only profound, but urgent.
Trump’s latest outburst about North Korea’s nukes – threatening that country “with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before” – creates a comic book Armageddon scenario in the media, except, of course, his power to launch a nuclear war on impulse is real.
What this makes clear to me is that no one should have the authority – the power – to declare any war whatsoever. The fact that this is still possible, so many decades into human awareness of war’s utter insanity, reveals the paradox that civilization remains economically tied to its own destruction.
Another icon of this paradox is Erik Prince, immensely wealthy mercenary, notorious founder of the terror organization Blackwater, who had cozy ties to the Bush administration back when the 21st century’s endless wars were just getting underway and now, with another unelected Republican in the White House, has recently made a grab at the business opportunity still represented by these wars:
Let’s privatize the quagmire! Sixteen years on, the war in Afghanistan is the longest in American history, and presently in a state of “stalemate,” according to the mainstream consensus that unquestioningly justifies this country’s ongoing militarism. For instance: “The U.S. can’t win but can’t afford to lose,” USA Today opined in a recent editorial about Afghanistan, inanely demanding that Trump “at least should decide what to do next” and setting the stage for Prince’s business plan, which is to restructure and privatize the war.
And suddenly there it was, the American paradox in full splendor: Oh yeah, we’re fighting terrorists. We have to keep killing people, keep pouring trillions of dollars into our wars, because bad people are out there threatening us because they hate our freedoms.
Blackwater contractors were accused of “firing wildly into cars stalled in mid afternoon traffic at Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, pouring machine-gun bullets and grenades into crowds, including women clutching only purses and children holding their hands in the air,” as the Washington Post reminded us recently.
This act of carnage, in which 17 Iraqis were killed and 20 more injured, typifies what you might call American terrorism. It may, at some quasi-conscious level be religiously motivated. Indeed, Jeremy Scahill, reporting in 2009 for The Nation on the lawsuit filed on behalf of Iraqis harmed in the Nisour Square massacre, wrote that, according to a former Blackwater employee who testified in U.S. federal court during the trial:
“Prince ‘views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,’ and . . . Prince’s companies ‘encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.’
This article has been excerpted from: ‘Terrorism for Profit’.