Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2
That America has enemies is a truth ascertained by the eminent George W. Bush in 2001. However questionable and suspicious the whole 9/11 business was (and still is), he said it happened because “they envy our freedoms.” The event enabled and justified an almost unthinkable enlargement of an already gigantic military and spying machine and budget. So as to create what Shakespeare compared to “a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands.” (1).
But who were/are the envious enemies? The answer is “Search and Destroy” them. First, it was a grey-bearded man, with sandals on his feet and a turban on his head, living in a cave in the mountains of Central Asia. It was he who, from the cave, organized 9/11….
But how is it justifiable to spend 31,500 dollars per second, 24/7, year-in and year-out (the Pentagon budget), to get rid of just one man? Why not a country? Thank God for the Taliban of Afghanistan, providing the grist for the war machine.
It is true that the few Taliban glimpsed at in the occasional pictures, hardly look as if they would envy our freedoms. They would have rather kept theirs, but that was not to be, at least not until now, when apparently (most of) the liberators have gone.
Then there was a cast of “evil dictators”, guilty of wanting to exit the dollar monopoly and of providing welfare to their own populace. But though all dictators are dictatorial, not all dictators are evil. Saddam Hussein and Gadhafi were, but not, for example, the Egyptian Mubarak, or his successor Sisi, who condemns people to death one thousand at a time, as softly reported even by the regime media.
Not to speak of Saudi Arabia, where the freedom-loving monarch beheads more people monthly than ISIL has done through its history, (so far).
With Saddam Hussein assassinated, religion came to the rescue by providing enemies. Until George W. Bush few if any knew of the existence, let alone the difference, between Sunnis and Shias. But now the Sunnis were the enemy, though the Shias share dangerous religious affinities with the prevailing Islamic denomination of Iran. Iran is another good enemy in reserve, just in case there were a dearth of foes.
Still, with a disposable budget of 32k$ per second, and considering that there are 86,400 seconds in a day, it means that the military must spend 2.7 billion $ every 24 hours. Going by the statistics, assuming one million Iraqis dead in 10 years (some say many more), and a military expense of 1 trillion a year, we have the dizzying sum of 10 trillions spent in 10 years to kill one million people – or 10 million $ per dead enemy. Distinguishing between armed enemies and unarmed civilians is a task for sissies and irrelevant to the disposition of the budget.
But “everything that grows holds in perfection but a little moment” (2), (perfection for the war machine, that is) and even the Iraq war could not last forever. It ended with America declaring a victory and her enemies (thank God there are still some) declaring her defeat.
No matter who won, more enemies were and are needed. Gadhafi lasted too little. Assad of Syria has become an enemy, though few know why, but bombing Syria without a shade of reason seemed inappropriate. ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), providentially burst on the scene and the Pentagon could not have found a better enemy. They are obviously brutal, obviously barbaric. We do not know if they halt at cannibalism, but nevertheless they are interesting.
Because, being Islamic, one would think that their first natural target enemy is Israel, for obvious reason. And yet ISIL beheads Western journalists, kills Shias and fights Assad, but has said nothing about Israel.
In fact – these days it is hard to believe anything until it is denied – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the so-called ”Caliph” and head of ISIL is not who apparently is.
According to sources reputedly originating from Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an actor named Elliot Shimon, a Mossad trained operative. He has cooperated with the U.S. Secret Service, British and Israel to create an organization capable of attracting terrorist extremists from around the world.
For the Pentagon this is the classic best of all possible enemies. In fact ISIL is a Public Relations miracle, a Godsend to increase the hate in the populace and the money for the Pentagon.
While the sudden, mysterious appearance and the very opacity of ISIL allows for endless Pentagonly profitable ramifications. Because new enemies can come into play on call, and become perfect propaganda fodder and a relief for the Pentagon’s budgetary surplus.
One such recent example are the Khorasans, never heard of before, but now evil among the evil – a cross between Genghis Khan, the Klingons and the Khardashians. A perfect combination, as nobody cares about the Khorasans, but many have heard of Genghis Khan and (I assume all), of Kim Kardhashian – Kim Khardhashoff, before a name change. Kardhashian is a sex-tape vixen, TV starlet, freedom fighter and entrepreneur. She recently paid a (paid) visit to Bahrain, one of the world’s more oppressive regimes, to help generate publicity for a ‘Millions of Milkshakes’ restaurant chain.
Still… should the Khorasans prove disappointing as an enemy, the Pentagon has found a new rich vein of potential other candidates. Literally, to divide them inventorially would dizzy the arithmetic of memory.
Remember the Yazidis, who came and went “like the lightning, which doth cease to be, ere one can say – it lightens?” (3) Their religion mixes Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. And then there are the Kakais, the Shabaks, the Marsh Arabs, the Mandaeans, the Feylis, the Circassians, the Baha’is, the Bedouins, the Ajams, the Romas, and of course the Kurds – each group mixing sundry religious strains in varying proportions.
No wonder the Pentagon is increasing the budget, while generals, contractors and subcontractors laugh all the way to the bank. And the Administration has informed the American people that the new war to “defeat” ISIL may take years. This grandly outperforms Orwell. What a perfect solution for a perpetual war.
(1) King Richard II
(2) Sonnet 15
(3) Romeo and Juliet
In the play. Sent by the King, the pompous Osric used grandiose and circumvoluted words to describe Laertes’ fencing ability to Hamlet. Hamlet responds in kind.
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