Are Washington’s relentless bombings and military immersions in sectarian battles within Arab and neighboring regions accelerating the spread of terrorist attacks? Yes. The recent rash of terror attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, Somalia, France, and other countries are tragic examples of the strategic failures of our government and its very heavy reliance on military interventions, including the omnipresent drones that terrorize civilians.
From the first bombings of al-Qaeda’s small band of fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan to the toppling of the Taliban government there by President George Bush in 2001, all Washington’s weaponry, soldiers, and trillions of dollars have accomplished is to spread al-Qaeda’s numerous offshoots into over a dozen countries.
The CIA calls this “blowback.” For fourteen years this “blowback” has destabilized countries, initiated civil wars costing millions of mostly civilian lives and leaving others sickened and injured, and caused many families to be driven out of their homes as masses of weeping refugees.
In the meantime, hatred of the U.S. in those regions grows. The attackers we have helped to provoke are becoming better trained on how to use their weaponry to create more devastation over larger ranges of territories.
Could there have been an overreaction by the U.S. militarists, including Republicans such as Senator Lindsay Graham (R- SC) and Democrats such as then-Senator John Kerry (D-MA)? Kerry, especially, had a record in the Senate so extreme as to criticize the belligerent Bush/Cheney administration for not deploying more weaponry and soldiers and invading more countries.
The effects of this widespread violence that overrides sovereign rights of other countries and violates international law and our Constitution also have ongoing domestic consequences. All empires eventually devour themselves; the U.S. is proving to be no exception. Unlawful mass surveillance and violations of due process and civil liberties by the misnamed Patriot Act have created a climate of suspicion that criminalizes speech and expands malicious prosecutions.
Moreover, trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been wasted destroying other countries and bloating our military budget. Our soldiers and veterans pay the price with painful (physical, mental, and emotional) experiences. The massive sums of taxpayer dollars could have been used to create well-paying jobs repairing and rebuilding America’s crumbling public facilities—its schools, water/sewage systems, public transit, roads, bridges, airports, ports, clinics, libraries, and parks. Knee-jerk militarism and corporatism do nothing to improve the quality of life in our country or to promote global security.