The US war machine is a lumbering giant and a slow thinking Behemoth. It is also something of a weakling on a pound-to-pound basis. But because of its vast bulk and giant sack of expensive toys, it is at least something to be reckoned with.
Riding on the sacrifices of its allies in WWII, the Great Monster seemed much more formidable than it ever truly was. The Chinese leader Mao Zedong first hinted at this when he called it a paper tiger. But, in the case of the defeated Axis powers, it seemed not only to have won the war but also the peace in an impressive fashion.
The rest of the post-war period, however, was to present an interesting learning curve for the Great Beast.
First it blundered into wars in Korea and Vietnam, and, after much spilling of blood and treasure, it came to the slow realisation that it couldn’t really fight the little yellow man, and would have to stay largely offshore.
Then, after a period of licking its wounds with a film or two, and slowly building up its confidence by squashing a gnat here and there—carefully ignoring the bouts that the gnats actually won—it decided that it might be able to strut its stuff on the desert sands of the Middle East, especially as its always shaky self-confidence had just got an unexpected boost from the self collapse of the Soviet Union.
Gulf War 1, in which Saddam foolishly set up Iraq’s forces like a giant piñata, seemed to suggest that the great military monolith had finally found its true home. Zionist donors rose to the occasion and the Neocons soon crafted a philosophy to keep keep the Lumbering Monster in the Middle East forever.
Overcome by whatever the f**k happened on 9-11, the natural reticence and conservatism of the American right stepped out of the way and allowed the Bush Wars to commence—cue Afghanistan and Iraq.
Yes, the Great Beast could win wars again, but then, with the paint still not dry on the “Mission Accomplished” signs, we found out with distressing alacrity that it was pathetic at the follow-up peace, meaning that the wars that had just been won had now been un-won.
Trapped in a Neocon nightmare, and pricked on every side by an enemy who lived where it only trod, the Great Beast slithered away, first into its fortified camps then to its air bases and back to America. This was how it shamefully exited Iraq, and how it has now abandoned most of Afghanistan to the ascendant Taliban. Another painful lesson and, like the one against the little yellow man, 20 years in the making.
Yes, pity the poor beast, it can’t stand up in East Asia, nor can it lie down in the Middle East. Is there nowhere for it to call home?
Now, in its dull, slow way, it is casting its eye slowly around the world in search of a new place, where it can both win the initial war and rule the subsequent peace. The smell of oil on the air is an added inducement. Perhaps Venezuela with it’s unwarlike ways and pliable people offers the answer to the great beast’s problem.
It also has the added benefit that, if the beast fails here as well, its distance of retreat will be all the shorter.