Will the U.S. be bled dry by endless war?
I arrived as usual at my city engineering field office in San Diego at 7:00 AM on 9/11/2001. I joined about 40 staff and city engineers standing in the conference room viewing the TV wall monitor as it showed a collapsing South World Trade Center Tower. Within half an hour, another plane hit the North Tower, and it also collapsed. I stood there transfixed, rejecting the terror of reality, yearning for that detached state of mind as when watching a Hollywood movie. The incredible drama unfolded before my blurring eyes but didn’t seem real to me. We all stood there stunned and silent.
We didn’t do much that day beyond speculate who did it and why. As I sat at my desk, my mind shifted from shock to analysis: once the perpetrators were identified, then would come a declaration of war; after that, our wounded limping home. The first plane crash could have been a fluke accident. But the second confirmed coordinated terrorist activity. News came of a third plane plunging into the Pentagon, and a fourth diving into a Pennsylvania meadow. After the dust settled from the collapsing Towers, 3,000 people had died, 400 as first respondents. It was the worst terrorist act in all American history. That day America became a nation in mourning.
Years prior to this act of terrorism, The City of San Diego had hired many engineers from the Middle East, mostly Chaldean Christians who had fled persecution there to settle here. Most were supportive of our invading Afghanistan, host of bin Laden in 2001.
In 2002 bin Laden published a letter admitting his involvement in the 9/11 attack.
At the end of that year, rumors circulated that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and hosted bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. So we and our allies planned to invade there in the spring of 2003. Just before that happened, I had a revealing conversation with a fellow engineer, an Iraqi Chaldean.
“It’s a stupid mistake, invading Iraq,” Jamal said. “We’ve got idiots in charge!”
“How do you figure?” I asked.
“Well first, off, the hijackers weren’t Iraqi. They were mostly Saudis. So why isn’t the target Arabia? I’ll tell you why. America and Arabia’s Arco secretly engaged in financial dealings that keep the pricing of world oil sales in US Dollar. But in return we give them priority in military deals, which keeps Arabia our devoted lap dog.”
“I suppose you’re right, but what else?”
“Did you know the U.S. put Saddam Hussein in power and have kept him there? I know this from a friend of mine on his staff. His strong-arm tactics are the only thing keeping the radical Muslims from taking over. Remove him from power and all hell breaks loose.”
“So, who do you think is behind all this terrorism?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you who the real culprit is, and this I got from a friend back home whose son is in Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is at the bottom of all this, but the U.S. needs a pop-media target while Osama remains hidden. The CIA has known from the 1980s that bin Laden has been trying to lure the U.S. into a war of attrition. He’s finally succeeded with those Tower attacks. His ultimate plan is for the economic ruin of all Islam’s enemies by “bleeding them dry” in an endless war. And he has the ultimate weapon, even more powerful than the hydrogen bomb.”
“And that is?”
“Suicide bombers blindly devoted to his cause. He gives the order and you’re dead ― no matter who you are, where you go, or how much money you have in bodyguards.”
The invasion of Jamal’s homeland occurred on March 20, 2003. Precision cruise missiles ― Raytheon Tomahawks costing $1.4 million each ― did most of the heavy damage, with over 45,000 defenders dead versus a few hundred allied forces. Firing all those expensive weapons was certainly cheered by our military industrial complex. As Jamal predicted, all hell broke loose when Saddam Hussein and his two sons were killed. Chaos ensued with rampant looting as armed rebels took over entire city blocks.
Bin Laden’s plan for the economic ruin of Islam’s enemies by “bleeding them dry” in endless war is not thwarted. Perhaps we’ve merely been enjoying a pause.