Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:15 PM
KoKo (84,141 posts)
"A secret CIA drone base, a blowback world, and why Washington has no learning curve"
(A chilling read on how NYT & WaPo held back on the Saudi Base and a fascinating retrospective on how we got to where we are now.)
A Conspiracy of Stupidity
A secret CIA drone base, a blowback world, and why Washington has no learning curve
by Tom Engelhardt
The Worldwide Attack Matrix and a Global War on Terror
Maybe, like Washington, we do best to skip that episode, too. Let’s focus instead on the moment when, in preparation for that war, U.S. troops first landed in Saudi Arabia, that fabulously fundamentalist giant oil reserve; when those 100 hours were over (and Saddam wasn’t), they never left. Instead, they moved into bases and hunkered down for the long haul.
By now, I’m sure some of this is coming back to you: how disturbed, for instance, the rich young Saudi royal and Afghan war veteran Osama bin Laden and his young organization al-Qaeda were on seeing those “infidels” based in (or, as they saw it, occupying) the country that held Islam’s holiest shrines and pilgrimage sites. I’m sure you can trace al-Qaeda’s brief grim history from there: its major operations every couple of years against U.S. targets to back up its demand that those troops depart the kingdom, including the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. airmen in 1996, the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and the blowing up of the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000. Finally, of course, there was al-Qaeda’s extraordinary stroke of dumb luck (and good planning), those attacks of September 11, 2001, which managed — to the reported shock of at least one al-Qaeda figure — to create an apocalyptic-looking landscape of destruction in downtown New York City.
And here’s where we go from dumb luck to just plain dumb. Lusting for revenge, dreaming of a Middle Eastern (or even global) Pax Americana, and eager to loose a military that they believed could eternally dominate any situation, the Bush administration declared a “global war” on terrorism. Only six days after the World Trade Center towers went down, George W. Bush granted the CIA an unprecedented license to wage planet-wide war. By then, it had already presented a plan with a title worthy of a sci-fi film: the “Worldwide Attack Matrix.” According to journalist Ron Suskind in his book The One Percent Doctrine, the plan “detailed operations against terrorists in 80 countries.”
This was, of course, a kind of madness. After all, al-Qaeda wasn’t a state or even much of an organization; in real terms, it barely existed. So declaring “war” on its scattered minions globally was little short of a bizarre and fantastical act. And yet any other approach to what had happened was promptly laughed out of the American room. And before you could blink, the U.S. was invading… nuts, you already knew the answer: Afghanistan.
After another dazzlingly brief and triumphant campaign, using tiny numbers of American military personnel and CIA operatives (as well as U.S. air power), the first of Washington’s you-can’t-go-home-again crew marched into downtown Kabul and began hunkering down, building bases, and preparing to stay. One Afghan war, it turned out, hadn’t been faintly enough for Washington. And soon, it would be clear that one Iraq war wasn’t either. By now, we were in the express lane in the Möbius loop of history.
7 replies, 1247 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
"A secret CIA drone base, a blowback world, and why Washington has no learning curve" (Original post)
|kenny blankenship||Feb 2013||#5|
|Uncle Joe||Feb 2013||#6|
Response to KoKo (Original post)
Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:58 PM
leveymg (35,286 posts)
3. AQ's "extraordinary stroke of dumb luck" doesn't even begin to describe it.
If the CIA-CTC hadn't been clever(?) enough to let the attack cells into the U.S. and then keep the FBI off their tail for two years, 9/11 would never have happened. If Dubya hadn't been so damn dumb to keep some elaborate scheme going, and so incredibly reckless to refuse to order the cells rolled up when offered the chance that summer ("okay, you've covered your ass now"), 9/11 would never have happened. Extraordinary, indeed, dumb had a role at the top, but luck wasn't part of it.
Response to KoKo (Original post)
Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:59 PM
formercia (18,479 posts)
4. Killing Bin Laden and his crew at the very beginning was called-off
They had him and Management let him go....Now, why did they do that?
Junior and the Dickster know. The Energy Task Force knows. Most people capable of Critical Thinking know.....So why the fuck are we even here and those assholes are not in prison?