Sunday, January 11, 2009

How Bush Unwittingly Helped Bin Laden's Plan To Wreck U.S. Economy


"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."
---Osama bin Laden, 2004 videotape statement.

"The past eight years of imperial overstretch, hubris and domestic and international abuse of power on the part of the Bush administration has left the U.S. materially weakened financially, economically, politically and morally. Even the most hard-nosed, Guantanamo Bay-indifferent potential foreign investor in the U.S. must recognize that its financial system has collapsed."

---Willem Buiter, London School of Economics, 2009.

Contrary to what George W. Bush would have us believe, Osama bin Laden does not hate America for its freedoms. Nor has bin Laden ever harbored ambitions of destroying America in a military confrontation.

No, actually, what bin Laden has long sought is to diminish America's standing in the world by wrecking our economy. Bin Laden believes this is possible because he saw first-hand how the Soviet Union met its demise.

As bin Laden said in a 2004 statement, "We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat."

It's clear that the main goal of the 9/11 attacks was to provoke the U.S. into a costly war in Afghanistan that would drain our treasury and ultimately weaken the main lever of America's global power and influence: the U.S. dollar.

Unfortunately for America, after 9/11, Bush took bin Laden's bait. As bin Laden put it himself in 2004, Al-Qaeda found it "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration."

In fact, bin Laden succeeded beyond his wildest dreams in provoking America into not one, but two disastrous and ruinously expensive wars that have done untold damage to America's global standing, as well as our economic power.

Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, America's economy is in the worst shape it has been since the Great Depression. But the damage is actually far worse than that. As bad as things were in the 1930s, few people then seriously expected the dollar to collapse or for America to become a bankrupt nation. Now, such forecasts are increasingly common.

It's becoming frightening clear that the U.S. dollar is now teetering on the edge of a cliff. For all of the economic misery of 2008, the dollar managed to avoid a steep collapse in value. But it's increasingly likely that in 2009, the East Asian nations that hold trillions of dollars in U.S. debt will finally start off-loading their assets. And when they do, the dollar will crumble in value.

The destruction of the dollar's value will mean an end to America's reign as the world's sole superpower. Once upon a time, such a scenario was embraced only by an alarmist fringe of commentators who weren't taken seriously. But these days, more and more mainstream respectable observers now believe this will be America's fate in the near future. Even Warren Buffet, the wealthiest man on earth, has said the U.S. is at risk of becoming a "sharecropper’s society."

How Bush Took Bin Laden's Bait

During the Soviets' disastrous war in Afghanistan, bin Laden saw first-hand the devastating effects that imperial overstretch can have on a nation's economy. Clearly, that costly fiasco played a role in the ultimate demise of the Soviet Union.

The 9/11 attacks were meant to provoke the U.S. into a similarly costly and debilitating war. And in this, it succeeded beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams, as Bush proceeded to launch not one, but two disastrous wars. (That one of these wars was against the secular state of Iraq, headed by bin Laden's old nemesis, Saddam Hussein, was the icing on the cake).

The 9/11 attacks presented a series of challenges to George W. Bush. The challenges were clear: kill or capture bin Laden and destroy Al-Qaeda.

Eight years later, it's difficult to comprehend just how much Bush has utterly failed to meet this challenge. Bin Laden remains a free man. Al-Qaeda remains intact and is still as lethal as ever. And the Taliban are back and growing in strength.

On the other hand, America is a profoundly different nation than the one that existed before 9/11. We're now a country that is widely despised, feared and hated around the world. We're a vastly weaker nation, economically, than we were before 9/11. America's debts have mushroomed to fantastic levels that threaten the nation's economic security.

About the only thing future historians will remember about Bush's presidency is that he presided over the beginning of the end of the American empire. And it's clear that his bungled response to 9/11 was a key factor in America's ultimate demise as a superpower.

It's this last point that is especially noteworthy. Bin Laden realized early on that his ragtag group of Al-Qaeda fighters could never defeat the U.S. militarily. And horrific as they were, the 9/11 attacks by themselves were a mere pinprick on the overall American economy.

For bin Laden to succeed, he needed the unwitting cooperation of George W. Bush. And that's exactly what bin Laden got, with Bush's disastrous, bungling response to the 9/11 attacks.


donna said...

I don't know how many times I pointed out to people that bankrupting the US was bin Laden's stated goal.

Bush certainly followed the game plan.

Anonymous said...

"Bank Holiday" in February or March. It will get more dangerous around February - June as more people lose their homes and everything they have. They will realise the bailouts were not ever meant to help them. Would appreciate some research on marshall law coming soon around April - June. Gold confiscation coming maybe by mid year, if not before. The govermnent by then will have already pulled all the tricks from their hats, other countries will not help. Thats when they will take the gold. Depression coming too.

Manifesto Joe said...

I try to point out as often as I can that Bush and his family aren't really from Texas, so that the rest of the country can understand that all Texans aren't that ignorant.

A thing that occurs to me, too, is Bush's eye-level trust in Pootie-Poot. Not to demonize Vladimir Putin, but making a judgment by looking into his eyes turned out to be ludicrous. Putin is no Stalin, but he certainly hasn't turned out to be any little-d democrat, and certainly not a Bush ally. This is yet another example of Bush foolishness.

Batocchio said...

This point has been made before, but it needs to be repeated much more often, and this a good rundown. Bush's invasion of Iraq has been a great recruitment tool and made us less safe (not to mention all the unnecessary death and destruction). The psuedo-tough guy approach is almost always counterproductive. In our era, economic might and influence will often be more important than military might.

One more thing - the neocons and other hawks are true believers to a point, but I think there are other factors worth noting. Reconstruction was horribly mismanaged for a variety of reasons, but the Bushies pissing away money to their pals and hiring hacks was completely in line with the Starve the Beast strategy, and a general policy of heavy defense spending. There's also the oil factor with Iraq. So I think "unwittingly" is too kind - reckless, selfish, irresponsible, corrupt and immoral might be more apt.

Anonymous said...

This was all the neo-cons doing, not bin ladens.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi MinionZero,

Thanks for your comments. You raise interesting points, many of which I've heard before.

And I'm with anyone who believes that the government's official version of 9/11 is a pack of lies.

But one can believe this without necessarily accepting that 9/11 was an inside government job (or that Bin Laden was actually secretly killed by the CIA long ago).

But frankly, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense that Bush wouldn't have been screaming from the highest rooftops for the past eight years that he succeeded in getting OBL.

No, Bush just sat there quietly for eight long years, as the Dems constantly pounded him for his failure to get OBL. Wow, what self-control and discipline he has. And here I thought he was just a egotistical, rude frat boy who enjoyed fart jokes.

Look, I'm GLAD the 9/11 Truthers are out there, stirring the sh*t storm and raising questions. But frankly, you guys can get a little shrill and hysterical at times. If you ever want to convince the Teeming Masses of America, you really need to tone your hysteria down a notch or two. At least that's my opinion.

>>>"Further, even U.S.
>>>intelligence admits...."

You're actually putting some credence in what U.S. "intelligence" has to say? Those bumbling, idiotic Keystone Kops? And you're accusing ME of being naive?

>>>No, the administration has
>>>NEVER viewed 9/11 in terms
>>>of "challenges"; only

Hey, I'm WITH you on this. I've been writing for years that Bush milked 9/11 for all he could. But one can believe that, without necessarily embracing the idea that 9/11 was carried out by the U.S. government. And NO, I'm NOT defending the f*cking rotten-to-the-core U.S. government. In fact, I look FORWARD to the day when the People's Revolution comes---and I'll be there on the front lines of the barricades.

The 9/11 Truthers would have us believe that people like Bush are involved in all kinds of complex, diabolical James Bond-like plots to rule the world. Actually, I think all the Bush Crime Family is really interested in is plain old grubby money.

All they really want is to steal as much of the people's money as they can get their hands on. And frankly, in order to do that, they don't need to resort to fantastic schemes like staging 9/11-type events.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Donna, Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. I was really bashed by a number of hysterical 9/11 Truthers with this article. So it was nice to hear some kind words, for a change!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Manifesto Joe, thanks for your comment. I would like to point out that (as has been the case with other nations from Cuba to Venezuela to Iraq) we need to take what disgruntled exiles say with a grain of salt. A lot of dissident exiles are bashing Putin. But the fact is, he was democratically elected and he remains wildly popular within Russia. And frankly, his "get-tough" policy and crackdown was inevitable after the ordinary people got fed up with the billionaire gangsters stealing everything in sight. I'm not defending Putin---although I do think Bush is a much bigger criminal and has a lot more blood on his hands.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Batocchio, thanks for your comments.
I agree with your comments about economic "soft power." The EU and Japan, among others, practice soft power these days and I think they get much better results than military force could ever achieve.
I find it interesting how the biggest advocates of military force are these NeoCon chickenhawks who've never been anywhere near a battlefield.

Jack Jodell said...

Marc, thank you for this accurate and comprehensive analysis. VERY well done! Bush couldn't possibly have damaged this country more had it been his deliberate intention from the very beginning. THANK GOD we'll be rid of this beast on Tuesday!!! But too bad his effects will linger like the odor of decaying flesh for decades to come!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for your kind words. Bring on Tuesday!

opit said...

Excuse me while I do one better than 9/11 Conspiracy : how about bin Ladin being a phony ? Who hasn't wondered how a tall skinny man, friend of the Bush family, member of the House of Saud, leader in the CIA/Afghan war against the U.S.S.R. ( Charlie Wilson's War ) escaped 'Extreme Prejudice' ?
It would fit right in with the pattern of effrontery evidenced by constant Orwellian propaganda and irony.Never underestimate the comprehensive media control and fabrication of the Empire.
Rove Rulz!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Opit, thanks for your comment. I keep an open mind on all things 9/11 related. But as far as Bin Laden goes, I think the odds are that the reason we haven't gotten him is simply that (A) he's crafty and good at evading capture and (B) our intelligence services are a f*cking joke (more Keystone Kops than Tom Clancy) and (C) Bush took his eye off the ball at Tora Bora to focus on launching the Iraq fiasco.

The problem with America's intelligence agencies is that, over the decades, they've spent too much time going around the world, wreaking havoc and overthrowing democratically elected governments, instead of doing what We The People charged them with originally: to defend our nation.

They're part of the bloated Military Industrial Complex: a grossly inefficient monster that does little except suck up trillions of our tax dollars and enrich the likes of no-bid contracters like Halliburton.

There's no accountability and no oversight. Cronyism and corruption are the order of the day. Under these conditions, it really shouldn't be surprising that the whole bloated monster is incapable of doing ANYTHING positive for our nation. And frankly, to me, that's just as troubling and scary as any 9/11 conspiracy theory could ever be.