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What The Empire Creates, It Can Also Destroy

The American Empire excels at ad hoc projects and abandoning the pawns after the game ends.

Although the public thinks prison is all about punishing wrong-doers, a prison is simply a factory for producing criminals. After the typical “war on drugs” inmate exits the gulag, he has learned how to be a much better criminal than he was when he entered. Indeed, he has little opportunity to learn anything else inside, and is remarkably ill-prepared for any sort of life other than criminality.

In a similar way, the American Empire produced insurgents to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. They learned how to organize networks of loosely allied insurgencies, command and control, and all the principles of asymmetric warfare. When the Soviets gave up and left, the insurgents knew no other life or skills, and the U.S. had no interest in offering them anything else. They were pawns in our Imperial game of revenge for the Soviets supplying the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and once the game ended we had no use for the insurgents or Afghanistan.

Why should we be surprised that many continued plying their “trade” against the “other” Empire that was still active in the region? When you only know one life, then you continue that life because there are no other alternatives.

The Empire creates what it needs in the moment, and then abandons what it has created.


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