The 9/11 slaughter was a byproduct of the "Great Game," a phrase Kipling popularized in his classic novel Kim to describe the rivalry in Asia between the British Empire in India and the Russian Empire, which was subduing the Muslim "Stans" of Central Asia and pushing, vaguely, in the direction of India. From roughly 1813 onward,
Now, in the apocalyptic calculus of the Cold War, the 9/11 blowback was eminently a price worth paying. If in 1980 you asked me if I would trade 3,000
But the Cold War is over. We won.
In Kipling's novel, the "Great Game" sounds like tremendous fun, but, when you stop and think about it, Christ Almighty, it's only Afghanistan they are squabbling over, after all, not the Monterey Peninsula.
And that raises a more general issue. The "Great Game" is only a specific version of the "Game of Nations" (which was the title of a 1969 book by CIA agent Miles Copeland, father of Stewart Copeland, drummer of The Police).
For example, the U.S., apparently, recently encouraged Ethiopia to invade Somalia, as part of our revival of the Grand Strategy of the Crusaders, which was to make contact with the Christian King Prester John on the far side of the Islamic World and encourage him to open a two-front attack on the insolent Musselmen.
When I was younger and more testosterone-driven, this kind of thing seemed very exciting. Why, yes, of course
But now, just thinking about it makes me very, very tired. I have no faith any longer that the
I'd imagine that our machinations in, say, the Horn will get people killed, and that only some of them will deserve killing. Further, I presume that some of the killees will have loved ones who will swear colorful desert nomad vows to wreak vengeance on Americans in return, and when some of them eventually carry out their promises, that will just encourage future American government officials to believe that we simply have to play the Game of Nations even harder. Rinse and repeat.
It strikes me that America has some straightforward national interests that are in line with at least some of the interests of other powerful countries, who would be happy to follow American leadership if we mostly restricted ourselves to:
- Defending existing national borders from wars of territorial conquest
- Discouraging the further cartelization of oil exporting capacity (you'll note that our globally popular leadership of Desert Storm in 1990-91 combined these two interests)
- Defending freedom of the seas and the like
- Encouraging good government (most importantly in Mexico, a country that our foreign policies elites pay remarkably little attention to, relative to farther off lands).
On the other hand, maybe
On the other other hand, we have the example of the late, unlamented Soviet Union, which enthusiastically played the Game of Nations in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Cuba, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and other strategically vibrant hellholes. How's that working out for them?
I outlined my one-word Grand Strategy to replace the Bush Administration's Invade-the-World-Invite-the-World here in VDARE.com. But perhaps I'm being naive ...
In summary, please let me know your views. Can