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
A former soldier comes to the defense of a comrade in arms. From Danny Sjursen at truthdig.com:
“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” —Arundhati Roy
Once again, Arundhati Roy—the esteemed Indian author and activist—more eloquently described what I’m feeling than I could ever hope to. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a lifetime in the Army and burying several brave young men for no good reason, I couldn’t remain silent one moment longer. Certainly not about the madness of America’s failed forever wars, nor about domestic militarization of the police and the border, nor about the structural racism borne of our nation’s “original sin.” Still, most of my writing and public dissent has stayed within the bounds of my limited expertise: the disease of endless, unwinnable and often unsanctioned American wars.
“Isolationism” wouldn’t isolate the US, it would merely keep the government from intervening in foreign countries, allowing private contacts, commerce, and trade to flourish. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.com:
When President Trump decided to relocate a few troops on Syria’s northern border and announced that he would withdraw all the other U.S. troops from Syria, interventionists went ballistic. They said that Trump was leading America to “isolationism.”
A B-2 Spirit soars after a refueling mission over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, May 30, 2006. The B-2, from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., is part of a continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)
That’s pretty funny, given (1) there is still no assurance that the Pentagon and the CIA are going to permit Trump to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria; (2) Trump is sending troops that he withdraws from Syria into Iraq and Saudi Arabia; (3) Trump continues to maintain troops in Afghanistan despite having had three years to have taken them out; (4) Trump continues to partner with the Saudis in their brutal war in Yemen; (5) Trump imposes sanctions and embargoes against any regime that bucks his will, including Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China, and others; (6) the Pentagon and the CIA continue to maintain foreign imperial bases and secret prison camps all over the world; (7) Trump has kept the United State in NATO and other entangling alliances; and (8) foreign aid continues flowing into foreign regimes, dictatorial ones.
By now the yawning gap between the American governments’ rhetoric and its actual foreign and military policies are obvious to even the most dimwitted of dolts. Mitch McConnell apparently can’t even hop over that low bar. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
I’m convinced of it. Politicians definitely live in a parallel universe, one that could easily be called Bizarro World.
Just read a recent op-ed in the Washington Post by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It provides irrefutable proof that these people live in an alternative universe.
The title of McConnell’s article is “Withdrawing from Syria Is a Grave Mistake.” As you can tell from the title, McConnell, like the good little Republican he is, is an interventionist . That means he believes that the U.S. government should intervene in the affairs of other countries, like with coups, assassinations, invasions, bribery, extortion, sanctions, and embargoes, even while lamenting when foreign governments (e.g., Russia) intervene in the affairs of other countries in the same ways.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Military, Politics, War
Tagged American interventionism, Mitch McConnell, President Trump, Syria, Syrian withdrawal
The US empire will meet the same fate as every other empire throughout history. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison
Eventually, all military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.
It happened in Rome.
It’s happening again.
At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:
The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.
The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Military, War
Tagged American empire, American interventionism, military-industrial complex