More Deception about Iraq

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An Iraqi woman looks on as U.S. Army Soldiers ...

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So American troops fight in Baghdad after “all American combat troops have been withdrawn.” Anyone with minimal intelligence should have known that combat for American troops would not end in Iraq. Although Mr. Obama had the good sense not to declare victory, as Mr. Bush did when he announced the end of “major combat operations,” his actions remain deceptive. So-called support troops will come under fire from insurgents, and they will have to choice but to defend themselves. Iraqi forces will become overwhelmed at times, and U. S. troops (and “civilian contractors” in some cases) will come to the rescue. Mr. Obama claims all U. S. troops will be withdrawn by the end of 2011. I’m not holding my breath.

The Iraq war began in deception and continues in deception. How many more Americans and Iraqis will die or be maimed for life due to this insanity? It may take the United States many years to recover from the foreign policy blunders of the previous administration. I had hoped that the new administration would not follow suit. Unfortunately that hope has been dashed as the American empire continues to gasp its dying breaths. The aftermath, I fear, will be ugly.

The Neverending Warfare State

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Oval Office

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For anyone who believes that the so-called “withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq” means the end of the Iraq War for the United States or the end of American and Iraqi casualties, you can also believe I have terraformed the planet Mars. Mr. Obama has been a huge disappointment in foreign policy for anyone who opposes continual U. S. engagements in places it ought not to be. President Eisenhower, in his January 1961 Farewell Address, warned of the dangers of the growing power of “the military-industrial complex.” What many Americans don’t realize through the fog of war rhetoric is that many people profit from war. The defense industry profits. The workers in the defense industry benefit, for they keep their jobs. A small-time defense contractor told me once, “I love Republicans,” since Mr. Bush had pushed the United States into a needless and costly war in Iraq. But Democrats do no better, as Mr. Obama shows. In the end, they also yield to the forces of the military-industrial complex. It is dangerous for a country to have a large portion of its work force in both the armed forces and in the defense industry. This situation only pushes the United States into further military adventurism–a prospect it cannot afford. The short-term pain of a smaller standing army and a smaller defense industry will be outweighed by the long-term gains of a smaller budget deficit and a more diverse economy. In addition, the risk to freedom resulting from a nation have a large standing army would be reduced. Mr. Obama could keep his promise and withdraw all U. S. forces from Iraq. He could do better and withdraw all U. S. forces from Afghanistan, and South Korea. Closing European and Asian bases would be helpful as well. If a massive reduction in U. S. defense spending does not become reality soon, the U. S., like the old Soviet Union of the 1990s, will spend itself, if not into disappearing, into becoming a third world country (especially if China and Japan refuse to buy U. S. bonds to finance the deficit). War is a waste–of soldiers’ and civilians’ lives, health, and productivity. I say to my fellow conservatives: it is a conservative position to oppose the military-industrial complex–what, after all, is more big government than that alliance between the federal government and the defense industry? Where else is there such a concentration of power, power that conservatives claim they eschew? Conservatives, libertarians, and anti-war liberals should ban together in opposing the constant state of war in which the United States has fallen. I recommend that everyone take a look at http://www.antiwar.com and read the articles from an alliance of people from all sides of the political spectrum who desire the United States to withdraw from current wars and stay out of future ones.

The Push for War with Iran–Please, No More Warmongers!

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Iran

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The push by both parties in Washington for war with Iran is the continuation of the insanity that began with the invasion of Iraq. No watchdog agency believes that Iran has the capacity to make nuclear weapons at this time, nor will it have that capacity for a number of years. This is not to say that Iran is not considering making nuclear weapons as a counterweight to U. S. involvement in the region. Even if it did gain nuclear weapons, it will not be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons–Israel has quite a few, and Israel did not sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (Iran did). It is ironic that the United States effectively destroyed Iraq as a counterweight to Iran, with a pro-Iranian government now in power in Baghdad, and not wants to extent its aggression into Iran. The stupidity of American hubris knows no bounds.

Do those people in Congress consider the risk of strikes against Iran? American troops in Iraq would become more vulnerable, and the United States itself would most likely be subject to Iranian-instigated terrorist attacks. Wars are costly, and in a time of massive budget deficits wars only compound the nation’s debt. The cost to the civilian population of Iran would most likely be as high or higher than the cost to the civilian population of Iraq.

The war in which the United States is most active, Afghanistan, is a quagmire. Although the casualty figures are not nearly the level of the Vietnam War, they are bound to rise. If only the United States had followed the initial CIA plan of sending small units into Afghanistan to hunt for Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts, the conflict would have been limited to the police work it should have been in the first place. Now Iran is a larger country than Afghanistan with more resources, including military resources. And if the United States were to destroy Iran’s formal military, it could engage in an effective guerrilla war for decades. The war party could argue that an attack on Iran would be limited to air strikes, but does anyone believe that the war could be contained to air strikes or that air strikes could destroy Iran’s entire nuclear program.

It is long past due time that the American empire unraveled itself and formed a more humble foreign policy without the endless wars that drain U. S. resources and result in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths as well as thousands of deaths of U. S. servicemen and women. It is not too late to change for the better. One way to change is for both conservatives, moderates, and liberals who oppose endless wars to put aside their differences in other areas for the moment to find candidates who oppose the endless war machine of the military-industrial-government complex. Each political party needs to clean house on this issue–lives depend on it.