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Wars under the Democratic/Republican Uni-Party
Wars are more than very expensive in lives and money. (Ask a veteran) The longer they are the less effective they become. The two longest wars in the history of the United States - Vietnam and Afghanistan - have been our least successful. The more time that goes by (over ten years now for Afghanistan - longer than Vietnam) the more we become tolerant of corrupt dictators abusing their people because they are on "our" side and the more we use the false "sunk cost" argument that if we have sacrificed this much money and lives, we can't pull out now.
How many wars are we fighting now? Certainly we are fighting wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain, Syria and are beating the drums for war in Iran. There are also credible reports of US sponsored war activities in several central African countries and the Philippines. The Obama White House is outright lying about the extent of our involvement.(3)
The most recent public comments which are verified by Wikileaks and reporters in the field are that there are not more than a few hundred Taliban in Afghanistan and much of their support comes from Pakistan which we have given billions of dollars to over the years. Wikileaks and on the ground correspondents also have documented the utter corruptness of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Is this worth even more of our national treasure as well as the irreplaceable lives of our soldiers and sailors?
In the Naval War College two basic questions are "What is the threat?" and "What is the appropriate force or other means to handle the threat?" Our expenditure of money, lives, and wear and tear on the military is completely out of balance with a few hundred Taliban who get all their support from Pakistan. Also missing is a real (not pretend) exit plan. It is past time to take a hard skeptical look at our longest war - now longer than Vietnam.
We should ask ourselves bluntly if we are doing precisely what the terrorists want us to. In 2004 Osama bin Laden said frankly in a videotape their strategy was to “provoke and trap.” “All we have to do is…raise a piece of cloth on which is written ‘Al Qaeda” in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses.” (1)
We should do our homework first, know what the threat is, weigh options of using other countries and other means, and be very reluctant to enter any military conflict. Certainly we have an international interest, there are activities that only the United States can do, and nobody is advocating eliminating the military. But we are not all powerful and must consider our actions first. As Fareed Zakaria said, “Washington has to move out of the eighth century A.D. adjudicating claims between Sunnis and Shias in Baghdad, and move into the twenty-first century – to China, India, Brazil – where the future is being made.” (2)
Is getting involved in the very serious business of starting a war right or wrong dependent solely on whether it is a republican or democrat who starts it? Obama and almost everyone in congress on both sides of the aisle cheerily act as if that is the sole criterion. War may be acceptable as a last resort, but it is past time we ended the decades long practice of both major parties of having it be our first resort to gain political popularity.
1) Fareed Zakaria, “The Post-American World Release 2.0,” (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011), 269-270.
2) Fareed Zakaria, “The Post-American World Release 2.0,” (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011), 263.
3) See comments by Cherokee Girl and Vern under “The Many Facets of Spin” blog on this website for documentation.
4-Antiwar movement revitalized by Independents and third party groups
5-360M lost to insurgents, criminals in Afghanistan
6-Iraq Withdrawal? Don't Take it to the Bank
7-Bush 2.0: 100 Ways Barack Obama Is Just Like George W. Bush
8-Ending Wars on Time Would Save $200 Billion, One-Sixth of Debt Reduction Goal (leaving open the question of how much we would save if we ended the wars early!)
9-Libya: 'Humanitarian' Snow Job
10-Libya: Never Believe It Till It's Officially Denied
11-Libya: Enough To Make You Cry
12-Is Washington Out of Gas?
13-How Washington Creates Global Instability
14-Freedom Is Not Free at the State Department
15-Obama waives penalties on countries that employ child soldiers – again!
16-Panetta: No clear plan on end to Libya mission
17-Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail?
18-Afghanistan to back Pakistan if wars with U.S.: Karzai
19-The Military Spending Fairy
20-U.S. General Fired for Criticizing Hamid Karzai
21-An All-American Nightmare: This Is What Defeat Looks Like
22-Obama Moves to Legalize Cluster Munitions
23-Chicago Rally to Thank Obama for Supposedly Ending War in Iraq Turns Up 30 Speakers and 10 Audience Members
24-450 Bases and It’s Not Over Yet
25-Obama’s Proliferating Wars: Empire on Full Throttle Offensive
26-Those Weak Losers Who Care about “Law”
27-The End in Afghanistan?
28-The 0% Doctrine
Obama Breaks New Ground When It Comes to War With Iran
29-A New Age of Enemies
What We Lost in Iraq and Washington, 2009-2012
31-The Smog of War
32-What the Laws of War Allow
33-Obama Supports Military Coup in Maldives
34-Ex-Maldives Leader Rejects US Compromise Call
35-Memory Failure at the Pentagon
36-A History of the World, BRIC by BRIC
Neoliberal Dragons, Eurasian Wet Dreams, and Robocop Fantasies
The Nearly $1 Trillion National Security Budget
38-Mission Failure: Afghanistan - A Message Written in Blood That No One Wants to Hear
39-The CIA and a Blowback World
40-How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan or America:
A Guide to Disaster at Home and Abroad
41-US Drone Strikes Target Rescuers in Pakistan – and the West Stays Silent
42-Green on Blue Attacks: The Story Neither Democrats Nor Republicans Want to Talk About
43-The Best Laid Plans: How Quickly Will the U.S. Leave Afghanistan?
44-Cost of the Afghan War
45-We Are at War
46-Washington Invested in War
47-Military’s Own Report Card Gives Afghan Surge an F
49-Disaster on Autpilot
50-Killing the Kids That Don't Need to Die
51-Obama's Foreign Policy: Is he Hawk or Dove?
52-Time to Pack Up
53-The Alliance from Hell - How the U.S. and Pakistan Became the Dysfunctional Nuclear Family of International Relations
54-Embassy Attack Shows Folly of Arming Zealots
55-Preparing for a Digital 9/11
56-Obama Adviser Robert Gibbs Blames Denver Teen’s ‘Terrorist’ Father for His Drone Death
57-Exposed 'Kill Matrix' Gives Permanence to US 'War on Terror' -
The Washington Post Reports on the Codifying of Obama's 'Kill List'
58-Drone of Silence: The National Security Policy that Obama and Romney Won’t Debate
59-Terror Tuesday Cubed: The ‘Disposition Matrix’ Normalizes State Murder
60-Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection
61-Troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014
62-Obama Notifies Congress of Troops Deployed to Libya and Yemen
63-1939 Peace on Earth Animation
64-Pentagon to Send Missiles, 400 Troops to Turkey
65-US Deploying Troops to 35 African Countries
66-US Drone Strikes, Cyber Attacks Carried Out Under Cover of the Christmas Holiday
67-3,000 US troops secretly return to Iraq via Kuwait
68-Panetta Urges New Focus for NATO
69-WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says
70-Sen. Claire McCaskill leaps hurdles to overhauling wartime contracting
71-Military expenditure (% of GDP)
72-On Its Way Out, the US Will Give Afghanistan Its Very Own Fleet of Drones
73-Special Afghanistan inspector blasts Pentagon, USAID waste
74-The United States government is, far and away, the greatest threat to world peace.
75-The Pentagon as a Global NRA: For Washington, There Is No Arms Control Abroad
76-U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market
77-U.S. troops arrive in Turkey to help protect border with Syria, prompting some skepticism
78-US Support for Dictatorship in Iraq Sowing Future Chaos
79-Why Obama's CIA Nominee Is Responsible for the Deaths of Pakistani Civilians
80-World Military Spending
81-Bill Moyers Essay: When We Kill Without Caring
82-Ann Jones, The Afghan End Game?
83-Dumb and Dumber: A Secret CIA Drone Base, a Blowback World, and Why Washington Has No Learning Curve
84-Justice Department Memo Reveals ‘Legal Case’ for Drone Strikes on Americans
85-United Nations: US Attacks Killed Hundreds of Afghan Children
86-Wars That Aren’t Meant to Be Won
87-Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Operator
88-With Little More Than a Note, Obama Deploys US Troops To Niger
89-5 lessons of the Iraq war
90-Buying the War
91-Ever More Shocked, Never Yet Awed: Iraq War Among World’s Worst Events
92-Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion and interest payments could swell cost to more than $6 trillion - study
93-A Rape in Wartime
94-The Iraq Anniversary and the Washington Post
95-UN says US drones violate Pakistan's sovereignty
96-Will Congress Act to Stop US Support for Honduras' Death Squad Regime?
97-Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook– Al-Queda is a computer database (he died 4 weeks later…)
98-Iraq, Afghan Wars to Cost US Over Next 100 Years
99-Study: Iraq War Cost 190K Lives, $2.2 Trillion
100-An Anniversary Many Would Like to Ignore
101-Thoughts on War, 10 Years Post Shock and Awe
102-US Support for Emerging Dictatorship in Iraq May Have ‘Catastrophic’ Effects
103-US-Backed Regime in Bahrain Bans All Protests: Obama continues to support the brutal Bahraini dictatorship, valuing ruthless control of the Persian Gulf over democracy
104-Experience: I was a whistleblower - 'I had been prepared to fight the enemy in Iraq, but I never expected to feel betrayed by my own people'
105-Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres: Exclusive: General David Petraeus and 'dirty wars' veteran behind commando units implicated in detainee abuse
106-“Most Expensive Wars in US History”: Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan
107-Paying the Costs of Iraq, for Decades to Come