Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The War Of Terror...oops...War ON Terror: Can We Win?

I fully realize I am going into enemy territory by writing what I'm going to write. But, I don't care. Who the hell reads this anyhow? Is it anti-American to point out what you believe to be bad policy? Is it anti-American to criticize failed policy that continues? Maybe to some. But I don't think so. 

I believe it to be high time that we rethink our strategy in regards to combating terrorism. We all know that there is no "winning" the war on terror. No matter how badly we want to think that we can smash anti-Americanism into the ground, we all know deep down that it's not possible through military action and causing chaos wherever we send our military. Now, I'm not going to sit here and claim to know anything more than anyone else. It's just an opinion, but an opinion born over a period of 10+ years of sitting on the fence as well as having been on both sides. It's been a huge cycle of emotion for me, this war on terror that we (the USA) have waged. 

We got hit and hit hard on September 11, 2001. Some spoke of it as a wake up call. I say it was a wake up beating. Our wake up call should have been years earlier when these smaller incidents were taking place. The USS Cole, the first WTC attack, the hostages taken in Iran, the US base and embassy bombings in Beirut, the embassy bombing in Kuwait, and numerous hi-jackings that took place against American interests. These events were taking place in the 80's and 90's and for some reason, we never put them all together and said "You know....I think we have a problem with militant Islam." No, we just went about our business, because that stuff wasn't happening on our soil (for the most part). Our leaderships refusal to see what was happening was neglectful enough to allow the killing of thousands of civilians in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. in 2001. We paid the price for thinking it wouldn't happen here. 

Not that we were unaware that something could happen on our turf. There were enough clues, that were never shared between security agencies, that should have led to more widespread investigation into various terror threats. Hell, we actually funded or indirectly supported many of the "bogeymen" that we have been whacking over the past decade or so (Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Mohmar Gaddafi). Build 'em up, then tear them down. But enough about "woulda, shoulda, coulda" for now. There is enough blame to go around, from Jimmy Carter, straight on through to Barack Obama. But this isn't about blame. It's about taking a look at what we are doing and thinking about if we can do things differently to get a different result. 

There isn't anyone reading this, who should think I'm being critical of our armed services or the men and women who serve in them, directly. It's our policy that I'm concerned with. The hi-jackings on September 11th had nothing to do with Iraq, yet we have terrorized that country by, crippling their infrastructure and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians (directly or indirectly). Our embargo of goods to Iraq after the first Gulf War was responsible for the death of several hundred thousand children. Madeline Albright thought it was an acceptable situation and said so on "60 Minutes".

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)

Well, I don't think the price was worth it. And the second war in Iraq wasn't worth it either. The attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan was justified in my opinion, as they were responsible for training and funneling money into terror groups like Al-Queda. But, after putting them on the run, we focused on Iraq (and building a billion dollar base, err embassy) and now the Muslim extremists are enjoying a resurgence. We are going to leave Afghanistan defeated, just like the Soviet Union did. The price is going to be tremendous as it is going to further embolden militant Islam in its' fight against the United States and our interests around the world. 

I suggest that maybe we put some of these smart people in DC to work, figuring out ways to come to terms with our own imperialistic ways. Our military and our nation deserve better. Enough of killing as a way to stop killing. It's not working. Shouldn't we try to understand our enemy? What makes them hate us? If it's because we like to eat at McDonald's and listen to IPods, well, fuck 'em. But, maybe it's because we involve ourselves in their politics. We push to choose their leadership. We threaten their way of life, many times, because it's not OUR way of life. Education, knowledge, and understanding is the ONLY way that we are going to solve this huge problem. And it's not our problem. It's the world's problem. We ALL need to start seeing each other as part of the same humanity. And yeah, negotiating is part of that. If we are not willing to listen to and talk with any leadership of any nation on this planet, we are part of the problem and not a part of the solution. When we sacrifice the lives of the innocent to maintain our interests (ie, protecting oil fields in Iraq while the ammunition caches were left open or having our soldiers protecting poppy fields 24/7, while we spend billions of dollars fighting drug use and smuggling) we are the problem. 

I blame our leadership for being at the beck and call of the "Military Industrial Complex" that Eisenhower warned us about. But, we, the common citizen have to take some blame. We buy into the false nationalism. We buy into the thought pattern that is sold to us, that we are just over here minding our own business and they hate us because we eat deep fried Twinkies. Bullshit. We have been using Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Iraq for decades as temporary bases or fly over areas so we can launch attacks on other Muslim nations. We cozy up to foreign governments in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while their people are treated like animals and impoverished. We have bullied and coerced our way into sucking up their resources on the cheap.

The USA is better than this garbage.......or at least, we, the people are. Stop listening to the politicians and the news media and start researching and thinking for yourself. Read some interviews with anti-American Muslim leadership. Listen to Osama Bin Laden.....I don't condone the killing of people to make political points, but after reading this, there is no way you can come away feeling like there would never be a reaction to our actions;

Osama Bin Laden:
(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.
(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctity, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.
(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.

Oh, I know some of you are gonna be pissed for me putting that in here. But all I'm doing is trying to get you to see that there is another side to the war. They have an entirely different way of life and we have used our power to infiltrate it. How many of you bitch about China owning so much of our country? What if Iran put a base in the Gulf of Mexico? What if South Korea put a military base in Canada? Do you think we'd feel threatened? What if Russia led an embargo of oil to the United States? Would any of that make you feel threatened and angry? 
I'm closing with this; I am in NO WAY saying we deserve anything that has happened. But, we saw the warning signs and our leadership ignored them. Now, we are paying the price. I'll get into your head a little more......what if our leadership WANTS us to be scared and threatened? Isn't it easier to get a hold on resources and make decisions if you don't have to worry about the reactions of a scared population? Recently we have been hearing about cuts to military spending and operations will hurt the economy even further. Wow...really, so now we have to continue bad policy, continue to put our young men and women at risk, and threaten the lives of civilians around the world, so our economy will remain "stable"? And I think to myself....what a wonderful world.
I won't ask you to agree. But I will ask you to think. 

1 comment:

  1. There's not much to argue with here. We should never underestimate the incredibly shallow, yet pervasive thinking of the neo-cons who want us to express ourselves militarily not less, but far MORE in the future. Bombing and wrecking Iran is a completely tight idea for this crowd. We are tacitly telling Israel to go ahead on, currently, as we will watch - should this occur - an up-welling of Anti-Americanism the likes of which we have only dreamed of so far. It would set up a conflagration in that area which would include Gaza, Hezbolla, Iraq and Bani-Sadr - and which would see our allies in Jordan, Kuwait, even the Wahabbi's in Saudi Arabia, stressed out to the max, facing huge resistance within and unable to offer help. Lebanon could go to the shutter too. Crazy days with mental midgets running stuff and a media whose fascination with enabling all this cool violence just about ready to backfire like crazy.