The Empire of Chaos

­­­­Source: Tom Engelhardt in Salon, November 15

…It’s something of a cliché to say that, sooner or later, the frontier wars of empires come home to haunt the imperial heartland in curious ways. Certainly, such has been the case for our wars on the peripheries. In various forms – from the militarization of the police to the loosing of spy drones in American skies and of surveillance technology tested on distant battlefields – it’s obvious that America’s post-9/11 conflicts have returned to “the homeland,” even if, most of the time, we have paid remarkably little attention to this phenomena.

And that, I suspect, is the least significant way in which our wars have been repatriated. What Election 2016 made clear was that the empire of chaos has not remained a phenomenon of the planet’s backlands. It’s with us in the United States, right here, right now. And it’s come home in a fashion that no one has yet truly tried to make sense of. Can’t you feel the deep and spreading sense of disorder that lay at the heart of the bizarre election campaign that roiled this country and brought the most extreme kinds of racism and xenophobia back into the mainstream.


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