American troops left Iraq at the end of December, and President Obama declared the war ended, at a ceremony for returning soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
I thought I should review my guesses about how the war might turn out, from the time near its beginning. So, I turned to an article I haven’t seen in 7 years:
How Will The Iraq War Affect Americans?
and found this:
(Swans – February 2, 2004) Imagine a future, eight years hence, based on a continuation of present-day trends. A political commentary of that time might be something like the following:
Working Americans had been robbed of their savings and of any economic future by a wholesale financial swindling and artificially accelerated concentration of wealth and corporate power, all resulting from government policies they had no influence over. Their dignity had been assaulted by political and judicial repression invoked in the name of greater security, their sense of decency had been shocked by the crass mentality behind a pandering mass culture aimed at manipulating them purely for corporate advantage, their civic ideals and sense of community spirit had been insulted by the intolerance foisted on their children through the contraction of the educational system put under the control of religious fundamentalists, and their national feelings as Americans had been revolted by the deceptive rush into an unnecessary and unending war, which left them seeing only one alternative to compensate for having experienced the ruination of their dreams and their ideals of an abundant and just American society — that alternative being the disappearance of the entire corporate system of “globalization” and “free trade,” what is quite simply the American Empire.
— Carlos Marcos, The Second American Civil War, 2011.
Can we even imagine a second civil war erupting? Could the American people be awakened to such extremes? Perhaps, given sufficiently bad personal economics, and a series of colonial wars that go badly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Not bad for an old engineer, hah!
Well, to be perfectly honest, I cribbed it from Karl Marx, but I changed it a little. Here’s the original, which refers to the unsuccessful revolt known as the Paris Commune of 1871:
“The empire had ruined them economically by the havoc it made of public wealth, by the wholesale financial swindling it fostered, by the props it lent to the artificially accelerated centralization of capital, and the concomitant expropriation of their own ranks. It had suppressed them politically, it had shocked them morally by its orgies, it had insulted their Voltarianism by handing over the education of their children to the frères Ignorantins, it had revolted their national feeling as Frenchmen by precipitating them headlong into a war which left only one equivalent for the ruins it made — the disappearance of the empire.”
Objectively, my article did nothing. The war proceeded, the economy was wrecked, and most people are indifferent about these results, unless they feel a bit pinched by them.
Subjectively, the article helped me focus my discussion when someone in my family would ask about the Iraq War; and like many of my articles it annoyed the kind of people I am happy become annoyed by what I say and write.
Maybe Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the first glimmer of “The Second American Revolution.”
“Every person determines on his own authority the price that he can pay, or refuse to pay, for his life, and in the same way everyone decides what sacrificium intellectus he can make for the preservation of the valuable concord with his friends.” — Manès Sperber (1905-1984)