Tag Archives: American interventionism

The Evil America Does Is the Evil It Gets, by Chris Hedges

As ye sew, so shall ye reap. From Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:

The hijackers who carried out the attacks on 9/11, like all radical jihadist groups in the Middle East, spoke to the U.S. in the murderous language it taught them.

Original illustration by Mr. Fish.

I was in Times Square in New York City shortly after the second plane banked and plowed into the South Tower. The crowd looking up at the Jumbotron gasped in dismay at the billowing black smoke and the fireball that erupted from the tower.

There was no question now that the two attacks on the twin towers were acts of terrorism. The earlier supposition, that perhaps the pilot had a heart attack or lost control of the plane when it struck the North Tower seventeen minutes earlier, vanished with the second attack.

The city fell into a collective state of shock. Fear palpitated throughout the streets. Would they strike again? Where? Was my family safe? Should I go to work? Should I go home? What did it mean? Who would do this? Why?

The explosions and collapse of the towers, however, were, to me, intimately familiar. I had seen it before. This was the familiar language of empire.  I had watched these incendiary messages dropped on southern Kuwait and Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War and descend with thundering concussions in Gaza and Bosnia. The calling card of empire, as was true in Vietnam, is tons of lethal ordnance dropped from the sky.

The hijackers spoke to America in the idiom we taught them.

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Looking For Monsters to Slay, by Andrew Napolitano

The American empire is a moral and Constitutional abomination. From Andrew Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

The debacle of the nearly 20-year American occupation of Afghanistan continues to unfold. This disaster began when President George W. Bush — stung deeply by the intelligence that he failed to heed, thus enabling the attacks of 9/11 to take place unimpeded — convinced the American people and Congress and most of our allies that the bad guys who ran Afghanistan in the early part of this century needed to be taught a lesson, whether they personally enabled or facilitated the 9/11 attacks or not.

This moral monstrosity was executed in the name of retaliation, deterrence and liberation, but in reality, it was American hubris.

Here is the backstory.

Bush — knowing days after the 9/11 attacks that they had been perpetrated and paid for by the Saudis — believed that by blaming the attacks on Afghanistan, destroying much of that country and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents, he would somehow teach the world that no one would “mess with us” without severe consequences.

His knee-jerk reaction, and exploitation of raw American fear in the weeks following 9/11, set in motion a series of events that culminated last week in the triumph in Afghanistan of the very mindset Bush and his military, and his 2 trillion borrowed American dollars, tried to destroy.

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PATRICK LAWRENCE: No Insight After Afghanistan

One thing you can count on after the US withdraws from Afghanistan—the US foreign policy establishment will have learned nothing from the two-decade fiasco. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Remaking the world — all of it — in the U.S. image has been a foundation stone of American foreign policy since the Wilson administration — a century ago.

On July 8, U.S. President Joe Biden said there was little likelihood of the Taliban “overrunning everything and owning the whole country.” (White House, Hannah Foslien)

Tragedy, a scholarly friend reminds me, does not mean merely a disastrous event or events — serial murders, a ravaging hurricane, losses in war, famines. Tragedy entails self-knowledge through suffering, transcendent clarity after great destruction.

In Sophocles’ celebrated tragedy, pride and hubris have blinded Oedipus to who he is and what he has done. He hunts his father’s murderer only to discover he is the patricidal killer. When he blinds himself in despair, it signifies he has seen the truth. He knows himself at last by way of another kind of sight and that is insight.

The debacle in Afghanistan is not a tragedy however many times we call it one. The 20 years of violence and destruction are a disaster, yes. Nearly 160,000 people have died, the Watson Institute’s Cost of War Project tells us, and the U.S. wasted $2.3 trillion it could have spent bettering the human condition anywhere it wanted at home or abroad.  Is there clarity, self-recognition, insight? Don’t look for any now that the Afghan adventure is over.

Sarah Abdallah, a Lebanese journalist with a lively presence on Twitter, compiled a list of eight U.S. presidents who had a hand in the Afghanistan war — her chronology extending back not two decades but four.

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Blame Biden for Losing Afghanistan? by Jacob G. Hornsberger

The U.S. government went in search of monsters to destroy and it found them. It didn’t however, destroy them. Afghanistan was lost the day the U.S. military invaded, and it only took them twenty years to figure it out. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

It is becoming increasingly clear that the strategy of interventionist dead-enders is to blame President Biden for losing Afghanistan to the Taliban. If only he had kept U.S. troops there a bit longer or even indefinitely, their argument goes, the crooked and corrupt U.S.-installed Afghan puppet regime could have won the war and finally brought “enduring freedom” to Afghanistan.

Never mind that the U.S. national-security establishment had twenty long years to achieve its goal of bringing a model society to Afghanistan.

Never mind that U.S. officials sacrificed the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Afghans in their quest to bring “democracy” and “enduring freedom” to Afghanistan.

Never mind that U.S. officials spent around a trillion dollars in U.S. taxpayer money on their intervention, much of it ending up in the personal pockets of their crooked and corrupt Afghan puppets.

Never mind that the Trump administration entered into an agreement with the Taliban to exit the country last May. Given that Biden unilaterally broke the agreement by extending the U.S. exit to September, the dead-enders argue, he should have just broken it even more by extending the exit date another several months or perhaps even indefinitely into the future.

The defeat of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, after 20 long years of massive death and destruction, provides the American people with an opportunity to engage in some serious soul-searching as to where we are as a nation and we should go from here.

On the one hand, things can proceed in a business-as-usual fashion, with no fundamental changes, simply saying that the Afghanistan intervention was a “mistake” that we need to put behind us and move on.

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Why America Can’t End Its ‘Forever Wars’, by William M. Arkin

It’s hard to believe this excellent article was in Newsweek, it’s so non-mainstream media. From William M. Arkin at newsweek.com:

FE_Forever War_Banner
The American way of war actually makes it harder to end our “endless wars.”
Stocktrek Images/Getty
A peace agreement with the Taliban and a May 1 deadline for American withdrawal of troops. A new pledge by President Biden to end the war. A Congressional step toward revoking the 20-year-old consent to use military force in Iraq. Talk, even, of rescinding the post-9/11 authorization to pursue Al-Qaeda. You might think America’s forever wars are finally coming to an end. They’re not—because everything we’ve learned from the past two decades at war has made it more difficult to actually end the wars.
Though the new administration seems intent on ending America’s oldest war and there is growing fatigue over endless wars in the Middle East, and though the Pentagon is scrambling to refocus resources and attention away from counterterrorism to big war pursuits against the likes of Russia and China, war isn’t going to actually end. That’s because there is something about the way the United States fights—about how it has learned to fight in Afghanistan and on other 21st-century battlefields—that facilitates endless war.
This transformation of the American military happened gradually as the armed forces shifted the preponderance of tasks away from boots on the ground, away even from dependence on regular soldiers. The new American way of war moved even the means of bombing and killing—mostly through aircraft and drones, but also virtually in cyberspace—out of the actual war zones.

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Senior U.S. Official Acknowledges Washington Has Spent $143 Billion to Destroy Its Own Government in Afghanistan, by Martin Sieff

No problem, $143 billion grows on trees, and anyway, who said that Afghans deserve honest government, even if it is just a puppet of the US government? From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

The U.S.-created and supported government of Afghanistan is on the brink of collapse. It has lost all credibility with its people because of its incompetence and unbelievable corruption. If U.S. military aid and the enormous inputs of international aid were to be withdrawn, the Taliban would be at the gates of Kabul and poised to take over the entire country in a matter of days.

Since President George W. Bush idiotically proclaimed the goal of creating a modern, progressive, pro-Western, stable, democratic state in Central Asia from scratch 20 years ago, the United States has poured $143 billion into Afghanistan reconstruction. And it has all been wasted.

Today, the biggest factor destroying the credibility of the Afghanistan government among its own people is not the attacks and military opposition of the insurgent Taliban: It is the U.S.-dominated and directed international aid which has totally undermined and discredited the very government it is supposed to support.

These elementary truths have been repeatedly pointed out by outspoken critics of the disastrous U.S. military misadventure in Afghanistan over the past two decades. I and many other contributors to this platform have repeatedly made them. But on March 10, they were all stated – clearly and unequivocally – by the most senior U.S. government official charged with monitoring the war effort in that unhappy Central Asian nation, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko himself.

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9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East, by Michael Snyder

Would anybody be surprised that the same crew who brought us Libya and Syria forever wars would start a new one in the Middle East? From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control.  Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East.  I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable.  While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn’t start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting “American influence” all over the globe once again.  Most Americans don’t understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.

In this article, I would like to examine some of the chess moves that have been made since Joe Biden entered the White House.  As you will see, a very troubling picture emerges once you start putting all of the pieces together.

#1 Literally one day after Biden was inaugurated, a massive U.S. military convoy rolled into Syria

A large US military convoy entered northeastern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state news agency SANA reports, citing sources on the ground.

According to the report, the convoy included some 40 trucks and armored vehicles and was backed from the air by helicopters.

President Trump had tried very hard to disengage from the war in Syria, but Biden has made it crystal clear that the U.S. will be heavily involved in that conflict moving forward.

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Humanitarian Imperialism, by Alan Macleod

Neoliberals love all the same things neocons do, the propaganda is just a little different. From Alan Macleod at fair.org:

How corporate media sell regime change, Intervention and war to progressive audiences

Aversion to military intervention has been the default position of the left for at least half a century—certainly since the huge protests against the Vietnam War. Washington planners lamented the development of the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome”—a widespread progressive hostility towards US interventions (invasions, bombings, coups or economic warfare) around the world. A 2018 survey found the public still infected, with over two-thirds in support of limiting military action overseas, including 78% of Democratic voters.

President Joe Biden’s record of support for foreign intervention spurns that progressive tradition. As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden played a key role in selling the Iraq invasion to both Democratic colleagues and a skeptical public. He was also vice president in an administration that was bombing seven countries simultaneously by its end in 2016, and was a strong voice within the administration in favor of intervention (Foreign Policy, 2/25/11).

Worse, many of Biden’s cabinet picks have alarmed antiwar and human rights activists. His director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, was instrumental in covering up the US torture program, while his choice for head of USAID, Samantha Power, supported both the Iraq and Libya wars, arguing that the US must intervene on humanitarian grounds.

Earlier this week and barely a month into his presidency, Biden launched an airstrike on Syria, killing a reported 22 people, in supposed response to a rocket attack on a US base near Erbil, Iraq, that killed one US contractor. CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh (2/26/21) applauded the move, claiming Biden had successfully “sent a message” to Iran while being as “minimally lethal” as possible. For CNN, Biden had “used a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer.” Bloomberg columnist Bobby Ghosh (2/26/21) was similarly delighted, lauding the president’s unwillingness to tolerate Iranian “aggression,” claiming that this was sure to snap Iran out of its “sense of impunity.”

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Afghanistan’s Victory Over the United States, by Jim Bovard

Afghanistan’s elections are just as crooked as the US’s. The US has succeeded in making Afghanistan not safe for democracy but for the Taliban. From Jim Bovard at libertarianinstitute.org:

Acrimony and recriminations continue to swirl around the 2020 presidential election. Three out of four Republicans believe that there was “widespread fraud” in the election, while Democrats have sought to turn criticisms of the election into a “Big Lie” heresy against democracy. Senior congressional Democrats are pressuring the nation’s largest cable providers to cease carrying conservative networks such as Fox News that raised too many questions about Biden’s victory.

What could possibly go wrong with sweeping the 2020 election controversies under the rug? Clues can be found in a recent report, “Elections: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan,” produced by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). That report contains more wisdom than will be found in President Trump’s idiotic tweet in December: “A young military man working in Afghanistan told me that elections in Afghanistan are far more secure and much better run than the USA’s 2020 Election.”

Actually, “Afghan democracy” is one of the most brazen shams of U.S. foreign policy in this century. Since the U.S. invasion in 2001, the federal government has spent more than $600 million to support elections and democratic procedures in Afghanistan (part of the $143 billion the U.S. spent there for relief and reconstruction there). Hamid Karzai, the smooth operator who the Bush administration installed to rule Afghanistan after 9/11, won a rigged 2004 presidential election. President George W. Bush boasted during his reelection campaign, “Afghanistan has now got a constitution which talks about freedom of religion and talks about women’s rights…. Democracy is flourishing.” A few years later, Karzai won support from fundamentalist voters by approving a law entitling a husband to starve his wife to death if she refused his sexual demands.

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Is Biden Reenlisting in the Forever Wars? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Forever wars are forever appropriations to big, politically powerful defense and intelligence contractors, which is why these wars never end. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Thursday, in its first military action, the Biden Pentagon sent two U.S. F-15Es to strike targets of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia just inside the eastern border of Syria.

The U.S. strikes were in retaliation for a missile attack on a U.S. base in Irbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which killed a contractor and wounded a U.S. soldier.

“We’re confident that the target was being used by the same Shia militia that conducted the strikes,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

But Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Chris Murphy want to know where President Joe Biden got his authority to launch attacks in Syria, where there was no clear or present danger to any U.S. troops.

Days before the U.S. strike, Kataib Hezbollah issued a statement denying any complicity in the Irbil attack: “We absolutely did not target Erbil or the Green Zone and have no knowledge of the group that did.”

Iran has also denied any involvement in the missile attack on the Americans. On a visit to Baghdad, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called for an investigation as to who is initiating the attacks inside Iraq.

“We emphasize the need for the Iraqi government to find the perpetrators of these incidents,” said Zarif.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian forces in Syria got only four or five minutes’ notice that U.S. planes were on their way to a strike.

Bottom line: Those conducting these attacks on U.S. bases and troops in Iraq, provoking American counterstrikes, seek to ignite a conflict between the U.S. and Iran, and its proxies in Iraq and Syria.

And they are succeeding.

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