Monday, May 23, 2011

Bin Laden: Dead and Loving It

May 24, 2011

by  Jeff Huber
Count Bin Laden meets his
72 wirgins.

Alexander the Great, eat your heart out.  Et tu, Julius Caesar.  The same goes for you, Charlemagne.  Dead or alive, Osama bin Laden is the greatest military and political strategist in human history, bar none. 

Neither Alexander nor Caesar nor Charlemagne managed, as bin Laden has, to lure the best-trained, best-equipped military of the world’s all-time mightiest nation in a series of inescapable goat-rope entanglements without so much as an army or a navy or an air force of his own.  Moreover, humanity’s other great conquerors’ achievements barely lasted beyond their lifetimes.  Alexander’s empire, which stretched from modern-day Turkey and Egypt to the border of India, collapsed almost immediately upon his death, reputedly caused by poisoning, at age 32.

Big Julie’s wet impeachment sent Rome on a long tumble that led to its fall when the military that had created it took control of it and sold it to the Barbarians they were supposedly protecting it from.     

Navy Seal Charlie Sheen puts
a silver bullet right between
the fangs.
Charlemagne managed to organize the barbarians into a single European empire, but when he died in 814 CE his realm split up into France and Germany, and you know what sorts of trouble those two caused until the 20th century when two world wars and an upstart country in the new world put the kibosh on their escapades.  

The upstart United States went on to consolidate its gains in the Cold War when the “Evil Empire” succumbed with a whimper, and became the first truly global hegemon.  The American warmongery was lost at sea.  How could they possibly continue to coerce Congress into continued cash caisson and gravy boat and wild blue budget defense spending?  
Now, some folks said he looked like
Zubin Mehta...

Along came a fantastic new superhero of the neoconservative movement and no, I’m sorry to disappoint you Frank Zappa fans, it was not Studebaker Hoch.  It was Bill Kristol, the slow-witted son of the “godfather of neoconservatism” Irving Kristol.  Bill’s brain, Robert Kagan, whose even plumper brother Freddie is said by some to have been the “godfather of the Iraq surge,” talked Bill into forming a tank thinkery called the Project for the New American Century, and the rest, as they say, is the history of yet another empire that took a swan dive off a cliff in the Khyber Pass

Bob Kagan gathered a kennel of the world’s most rabid right wing war wonks like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld who got down to work—or rather the glittering young Stepford Republicans who do their work for them got down to work—and cranked out a forest’s-worth of letters and statements and publications and reports about what American needed to do.

One such literary masterpiece was their 1997 Statement of Principles, a harangue that principally stated that even though America’s leadership had produced an era of global peace and prosperity unknown in any previous age, America’s foreign policy was “adrift.” 

To correct the alarming global trend toward a post-modern renaissance, the New American Centurions insisted that, “we [Americans] need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global 
responsibilities,” and that, “we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.”  By “our principles,” of course, they meant good old conservative principles rooted in the grand traditions of cross burning, lynching and brainwashing poor white people into thinking cake is a super food.

Then in ’98 they wrote a letter to President Pants demanding that we (Americans) invade Iraq before Iraq invaded us or somebody just like them did.  I was wrapping up my naval career at the time, and though I correctly diagnosed the New Centurions as a flock of crackpots suffering from Cold War withdrawal, I unwisely dismissed them as a harmless flock of crackpots suffering from Cold War withdrawal.  By Sept. 2000 it looked like their handpicked finger puppet and his master Dick Cheney might actually gain the White House, and the Centurions bared their fangs with their Neoconservative manifesto, Rebuilding America’s Defenses.

RAD revealed the center of gravity of the oncoming administration’s foreign policy: global domination through military occupation.  Invasion of Iraq was a key first phase of the neocon strategy.  It had nothing to do with terrorism, or with weapons of mass destruction, or even with getting even with our long-time former ally Saddam Hussein.  Ending Hussein’s regime was merely a convenient excuse to establish a permanent military base of operation in the center of the oil rich Gulf region. 

But the Centurions admitted that the American public wouldn’t go along with a scheme as crazy as theirs without some sort of “new Pearl Harbor.”  I turned in my retirement request right about that time, thinking that if I were a maniac bound and determined to outdo Bill Kristol’s maniacs, I’d give the crazy bastards exactly what they were looking for. 

I don’t know if Osama bin Laden had the same thought, but he might as well have, because he couldn’t have picked a better stratagem than the 9/11 attacks to goad us into becoming the victim of our own military/industrial establishment, the one that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us in 1961 would take over if we didn't stay on guard against it.

Those of us who hoped young Mr. Obama’s election would mean an end to the unwarranted influence of the American Pentarchy have been sorely disappointed.  The promised withdrawal deadlines for Iraq and the Bananastans have vanished like a twenty-dollar tip, and we’re bombing Libya into so many smithereens that it will take Dick Cheney’s Halliburton pals forever and a day to put it back together again. 

The strategic genius of Osama bin Laden has turned our once great Republic into a militaristic oligarchy that will ruin us, just as the Praetorians ruined Rome.   The only things I can see stopping that from happening are a) if Denny Kucinich takes the Democratic nomination and the White House in 2012 and has a filibuster-proof congressional majority backing him or b) if the Vulcans reveal themselves to us and give their matter/anti-matter technology. 

But what are the odds of either of those things happening?

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.


  1. Strategic genius, or just stepped into it?

    Buffet and Gates are not rich because they were brilliant.

    Entropy is vastly underrated.

  2. Hold the phone-- Didn't the USSR also fall in the Great Gamble? By whose hand?

  3. I can't speak for Buffet but I think Gates knew a thing or two about computers and predatory business practices.

  4. Bravo! Why isn't this also in the New Yorker?

  5. I keep asking The New Yorker that and they won't answer my emails.


  6. Nice to see the refreshing comments from Jeff Huber again.

  7. Thanks for the nice words, Jergen.

  8. Bloody great mate. This is basically a brief history of C21st USA, and the great pity of it is that most US citizens would not have a damn clue what you are talking about, even if they bothered to read it.

    Bloggers like yourself should be winning medals. Pulitzer Prizes, even - because there is more truth in this one blog post than a thousand editions of any mainstream newspaper. But sadly, as Matt Taibbi said the other day "There's no money in doing the right thing."

    And that's basically an epitaph for Capitalism, isn't it?

    And Capitalism, as we all know, is the USA's true religion. Uncle Sam will gladly die for it.

    And that looks like where things are headed.

    We live in hope. And not Obama's trademarked version, either.

  9. Thanks for stopping by and posting, Gary.


  10. hehehe i cant stop laughing, amazing how humor can always always be so true

  11. A sign says: What deficit? There's always money in the Bananastand!

  12. Remember, he's not dead as long as we remember him:

    US lawmakers pass $690 billion Pentagon bill

    OBL, the gift that keeps on giving.

  13. You just had to have loved tonight's 'tribute' to the war dead coming direct from, where, Washington, Arlington cemetery?

    It had all the hallmarks of a Bill Kristol 'American experience' - actresses portraying proudly-bereaved mothers recalling dead kids, a lounge lizard piano bar maven hugging the troops while singing patriotic lieden (that was a little more than just G-Y.). So full of bunk and hooey that the distaff side, the 'massacre' at Wanat and how the Army had 'absolved' itself laying the blame on the platoon CO and the first Sgt for getting a whack of heroes dead, looked far more interesting.

    No doubt the 'bad attitude' displayed by those bereaved mothers wasn't welcome at the 'tribute'.

  14. All this as Gates is pushing for reduction in veterans' benefits.