by Duns Scotus

Setting aside the fact that September 11th is also the anniversary of the Pinochet coup in Chile (thanks, CIA!), this is the day when we remember the momentous events in New York and Washington in 2001.

But what do we remember? Again, like most things these days, it is something of a Rorschach test, with each person seeing a little of what he or she wants in the event. But there are some "big picture" truths that also emerge.

The most obvious one, I will argue, is that 9-11 was another major milestone on the road of America's decline.

In the decade or so before 9-11, there was a delusion that "America had won history." This was mainly because the Soviet Union had just done a bit of naval gazing and had unexpectedly blown its brain out; while the rest of the World was mired still in a post-WWII nadir. Also China hadn't made its big moves yet.

America seemed hegemonic, but this was a false perception. America's external or imperial strength has always depended upon its enemies. When the Nazis were particularly toxic, America was able to rise up and mobilize. Likewise, when the Communists threatened post-war conquest, this too galvanized the nation.

But America has always been an extremely difficult nation to galvanize. The Vietcong realized this and played upon it to win their war, fighting a conflict that subtly "aped" America's own independence struggle 200 years previously. What a troll!

The truth is that America is an Empire that really doesn't have much stomach for a fight and regards conquest with deep disdain. The last batch of wars—Afghanistan, Iraq, and whatever it was that happened in Libya—were all leveraged on the back of the supposed "Second Pearl Harbor" of 9-11. But like a rich sauce poured over rancid meat, they simply revealed America's sharply declining Imperial appetite.

Whether you think 9-11 was a genuine terror attack or some kind of Deep State inside job is largely irrelevant. The significance of the event is that, in order for America to knock over two weak states in the Middle East, it was necessary for an attack to happen in its capital and its biggest city, killing thousands of its citizens. Whoever was behind 9-11 had to work extremely hard to get America's flaccid imperialist cock temporarily hard.

Recently the news broke that Trump is a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course he's unlikely to win. But one reason his name has been put forward is because he hasn't involved America in any new wars, while also dialing down US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But this is not really Trump's doing. The real reason for America's relative pacifism is because wars have always been a hard sell to the American people, despite the state being a de facto empire. The results of every war since WWII prove that the American public is right (and even the results of WWII are problematic for some parts of the Dissident Right who clearly lament the lost German lessons). Even the best of those wars—the ones in Korea and Vietnam—had negative results, and those wars were necessitated by the rampant expansionism of rival empires.

The death of Empire
9-11 demonstrated what it took to get America back in the military saddle—mass death on its streets. A strong Empire, by contrast, would have a strong enough ideology that it could justify whatever wars were necessary without its skyscrapers tumbling down.

9-11 was a substitute for a strong imperialistic ideology, and the fact that the US could only fight two small and ultimately unsuccessful wars on the back of it, reveals the ideological vacuum at the heart of Americanism.

It is not also this sucking chasm that explains so much of what we are now seeing on America's streets, where it looks like the country is going through something that looks increasingly like internal decolonization?