A meditation on the anniversary of 9/11 and the publication of Undergroud Empire
These sanctions always make me think of papal interdicts 800 years ago. At first a powerful tool then people stopped caring about them when they were used for trivial purposes. We will dull our weapons with overuse
I know this point doesn't deal with the main point of this article but I'm bemused by the idea that the 2nd war with Iraq 'yielded marginal gains for U.S. interests'. If it wasn't that I highly regard the hard working staff at DreznerWorld I'd be laughing in the fact of absurdity. Unlike the removal of the Taliban from Kabul and al-Queda from Afghanistan I cannot see any gains at all to American interests from the occupation of Bagdhad. The loss of American prestige when it was found there was huge when no WMD program was discovered, the loss of blood was big the loss of treasure was huge. The power and influence of Iran was enhanced and as I write this and further rack my brains and squint my intellectual vision I still can't see any modest gains for US interests at all. Have I missed something?
I've started to read Underground Empire. I expect it's going to do a good job of explaining how we use global financial and communications systems to project power into the world. But I'm also curious whether we profit financially from the empire in the book's title, and if we do, how it works on a nuts and bolts level.
A different way to phrase the question is, why has America been so prosperous, and to what extent does our prosperity depend upon our foreign policy? It seems intuitively obvious to me that we're benefiting from our central role in the global economy, but I don't really know that's true, or how it works, if it is.
For context, when I was born, it had been roughly 22 years since D-Day!!