9/11 took a generation of Playstation warriors and the previous generation's rightwing Black Helicopter Paranoia crowd and welded them into a constituency which drove America's policies and politics for seven long years.
Greenwald in great form.
Over the past couple decades, prior to the Bush Era, the people who needed the sort of psychological fulfillment that comes from prancing around as Hofstadterian faux-warriors waging Civilization Wars obtained their fulfillment from playing board and video games or, at worst, dressing up on the weekend in camouflage costumes and -- rather than playing golf or going fishing -- marched around in militia formations, primed to defend the nation from Janet Reno and her squadrons of hovering U.N. black helicopters. It was equally pathetic, but at least the damage was minimal.Read the whole thing.
But the 9/11 attacks and ensuing events catapulted their paranoia and powerlessness syndromes from clownish sideshow to dominant political faction. And their fevered, self-serving fantasies have empowered the Federal Government beyond anyone's wildest dreams, created a completely out-of-control domestic surveillance state, subordinated even the rule of law to the lawless dictates of Security State officials, and dismantled long-standing constitutional protections and political values so basic that they were previously beyond debate. In Civilization Wars, all is fair and justified -- torture, lawbreaking, domestic spying, limitless government power, because the imperative of their crusade outweighs all.
All of that is bad enough. But listening to the authors of these events martyr themselves by claiming that their crusades are "psychologically exhausting" is really too much to bear. The reason they pursue those crusades endlessly, and will continue to pursue them until stopped, is precisely because the only thing they find "psychologically exhausting" is the prospect of having to live without their Supreme War of Civilization, whereby they defend the greatest things ever, under siege from the most Evil villains ever, with them -- and only them -- courageous and tough enough to "do what needs to be done" to triumph.