Meet the new warmongers, same as the old warmongers. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
Biden has been a major disappointment for those who hoped that he’d change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts.
The new White House Team has been in place for more than a month and it is perhaps time to consider where it is going with America’s fractured foreign policy. To be sure, when a new administration brings in a bunch of “old hands” who made their bones by attacking Syria and Libya while also assassinating American citizens by drone one might hope that those mistakes might have served as valuable “lessons learned.” Or maybe not, since no one in the Democratic Party ever mentions the Libya fiasco and President Joe Biden has already made it clear that Syria will continue to be targeted with sanctions as well as with American soldiers based on its soil. And no one will be leaving Afghanistan any time soon. The Biden team will only let up when Afghanistan is “secure” and there is regime change in Damascus.
A big part of the problem is that the personnel moves mean that the poison from the Barack Obama years has now been reintroduced into the tottering edifice that Donald Trump left behind. Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice once made the case for attacking the Libyans by explaining how Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi provided his soldiers with Viagra so they could more readily engage in mass rapes of presumably innocent civilians. Unfortunately, Sue is back with the new administration as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council where she will no doubt again wreak havoc in her own inimitable fashion. She is joined at the top level of the administration by Tony Blinken as Secretary of State, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, Samantha Power as head of USAID and retired General Lloyd J. Austin as Secretary of Defense. All of the appointees are regarded as “hawks” and have personal history working with Biden when he was in Congress and as Vice President, while most of them also served in the Obama administration.
The proponents of America’s perma-war cannot point to any successes the last 50 years, and these failures have come at tremendous cost. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
The United States is the world’s most militarized and belligerent nation. Stating this reality shocks and outrages Washington policymakers. Yet the facts are incontestable, like the sun’s rise.
Last week the Biden administration ordered airstrikes in Syria against Iranian-backed forces. The attack was retaliation for a rocket assault on a U.S. base in Iraq. That event responded to previous US attacks in Iraq, including one which killed several local officials, along with Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani. Alas, the latest bombing won’t stop threats against Americans but will further entangle Washington in Mideast conflict.
The US military should not be engaged in combat involving any of these nations. Yet last week’s action was not unique. A new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute found that between 2018 and 2020 the US backed surrogate forces in combat in four countries, unleashed air and/or drone strikes in seven, engaged in combat operations in eight, undertook military exercises in 41, and participated in military training in 79. All of these were labeled “counter-terrorism” operations.
Washington’s endless “global war on terrorism” has been a notable failure, with ever-increasing terrorist threats attracting ever-expanding military action. US officials obviously have been much better at creating than eradicating terrorism. Which should surprise no one: al-Qaeda arose in response to Washington’s aggressive, militaristic policies, including America’s support for oppressive Arab regimes and Israel’s occupation over millions of Palestinians, military presence in Saudi Arabia, and attacks on Muslim-majority states. Although Americans typically view themselves as innocent Vestal Virgins circling the globe seeking to uplift the world, those suffering under US bombs often violently disagree.
Biden says he just wants the US to get along with the world, which won’t play well with the neocons and neoliberals in his administration. Meanwhile, the American people are concerned with a plethora of problems here at home. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“What is America’s mission?” is a question that has been debated since George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1797.
At last week’s Munich Security Conference, President Joe Biden laid out his vision as to what is America’s mission. And the contrast with the mission enunciated by George W. Bush in his second inaugural could not have been more defining or dramatic.
Here is Bush, Jan. 20, 2005:
“From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth…
“Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation… Now it is… the calling of our time.”
“So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”
America’s mission is “ending tyranny in our world,” said Bush.
Biden’s declared mission is far less ambitious.
Any similarity between the US and Israel government’s version of Syria and the truth is coincidental. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
The first week in February was memorable for the failed impeachment of President Donald Trump, the “re-elect me” State of the Union address and the marketing of a new line of underwear by Kim Kardashian. Given all of the excitement, it was easy to miss a special State Department press briefing by Ambassador James Jeffreyheld on February 5th regarding the current situation in Syria.
Jeffrey is the United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement and the Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL. Jeffrey has had a distinguished career in government service, attaining senior level State Department positions under both Democratic and Republican presidents. He has served as U.S. Ambassador to both Turkey and Iraq. He is, generally speaking, a hardliner politically, closely aligned with Israel and regarding Iran as a hostile destabilizing force in the Middle East region. He was between 2013 and 2018 Philip Solondz distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank that is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is currently a WINEP “Outside Author” and go-to “expert.”
Political leaders are always trying to get the citizenry to go to war by claiming provocation by the other side. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
There’s an old joke about an adult asking two boys how a fight started between them and one boy responded as stated above.
When two children are involved, we might choose to lecture them both and possibly punish the one who instigated the fight. But when nations are guilty of the same behaviour, we tend to simply accept the rather absurd explanation as being reasonable.
Back in the 1950s, the US sought to establish a presence in Vietnam. First, “military advisors” were sent in, then armaments. But soon, US troops were added. When the US public objected to their country instigating a war halfway around the world, where it had no business being, President Johnson made the announcement that the destroyer USS Maddox had just been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin.
As it turned out, the Maddox had sailed into the North Vietnamese harbour uninvited and began firing on North Vietnamese ships. The ships returned fire. Although only one bullet actually hit the Maddox, several North Vietnamese ships were damaged and Vietnamese sailors were killed.
President Johnson used this incident to convince the American people that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship and they needed to be taught a lesson. It was at that point that the US began the Vietnam War in earnest. It ended in defeat for the US, but not before over 1.3 million deaths were totted up.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged American interventionism, George W. Bush, Iraq War, Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam War
As guardians of liberty, both Congress and Trump should be tossed out, and we should just start all over again. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Imagine that President Trump spent his phone call with the Ukrainian president threatening to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government agreed to use the money to purchase weapons from a US manufacturer. Does anyone seriously think that foreign service professionals and deep state operatives would be so shocked and offended by Trump’s request that they would launch efforts to impeach him? Would Congress view this as “high crimes and misdemeanors” or applaud Trump for carrying out one of modern presidents’ supposedly most important jobs — acting as salesmen for the American military-industrial complex?
This hypothetical shows that impeachment is not about President Trump’s abuse of power. Instead, it is an attempt to make sure President Trump, and all future presidents, confine their abuses of power to items that advance the agenda of the political establishment.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democratic candidate who is talking about, and criticizing US foreign and military policy. Incredibly, she’s being criticized for not talking about things that “matter.” From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
Meanwhile, her fellow Democrats appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in August 2019. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore)
The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”
Both parties wholeheartedly endorse interventionist policies and endless war. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
The most shocking thing about the House impeachment hearings to this point is not a “smoking gun” witness providing irrefutable evidence of quid pro quo. It’s not that President Trump may or may not have asked the Ukrainians to look into business deals between then-Vice President Biden’s son and a Ukrainian oligarch.
The most shocking thing to come out of the hearings thus far is confirmation that no matter who is elected President of the United States, the permanent government will not allow a change in our aggressive interventionist foreign policy, particularly when it comes to Russia.
Even more shocking is that neither Republicans nor Democrats are bothered in the slightest!
Once upon a time the Democrats were the peace party, but that was long ago. From Andrew Moran at libertynation.com:
Is foreign policy the main issue for voters heading into 2020? For the Democratic base, the top priority is ousting President Donald Trump by any means necessary, even if that is casting a ballot for a far-left candidate or sticking with a Swamp establishment creature. While the men and women vying for the nomination squabble over minute details regarding free stuff, there seems to be a broad consensus among the presidential contenders – minus a couple – of maintaining an interventionist foreign policy.
Hillary Clinton (left), Vladimir Putin, and Tulsi Gabbard (right)
The all-female team of NBC/MSNBC debate moderators questioned Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and her criticism of Hillary Clinton as the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.” Gabbard then responded that the donkeys are no longer the party “of, for, and by the people.” In an obvious attempt to renew the rivalry and give her an opportunity for retribution, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was asked for her thoughts, even though it had nothing to do with Harris whatsoever.
While the two ladies sparring was meant to capture headlines, the quarrel and her subsequent foreign policy comments exposed Harris as someone who will inevitably continue the status quo.
America has become a militaristic country whose citizens cheer killing and death as long as they’re far removed from the United States. From William Astore at tomdispatch.com:
The Decay of Democracy in America
When Americans think of militarism, they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms encrusted with medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state. (Was Donald Trump only joking recently when he said he’d like to award himself a Medal of Honor?) And what they may also think is: that’s not us. That’s not America. After all, Lady Liberty used to welcome newcomers with a torch, not an AR-15. We don’t wall ourselves in while bombing others in distant parts of the world, right?
But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the “hard” ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. Even in the heartland of Trump’s famed base, most Americans continue to reject nakedly bellicose displays like phalanxes of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, Psychology, Society, War
Tagged American empire, American interventionism, militarism