If you don’t refugees in your country, your government should stay out of theirs. From Patrick Cockburn at unz.com:
Desperate refugees crammed into cockle-shell boats landing on the shingle beaches of the south Kent coast are easily portrayed as invaders. Anti-immigrant demonstrators were exploiting such fears last weekend as they blockaded the main highway into Dover Port in order “to protect Britain’s borders”. Meanwhile, the home secretary, Priti Patel, blames the French for not doing enough to stop the flow of refugees across the Channel.
Refugees attract much attention on the last highly visible stages of their journeys between France and Britain. But there is absurdly little interest in why they endure such hardships, risking detention or death.
There is an instinctive assumption in the west that it is perfectly natural for people to flee their own failed states (the failure supposedly brought on by self-inflicted violence and corruption) to seek refuge in the better-run, safer and more prosperous countries.
But what we are really seeing in those pathetic half-swamped rubber boats bobbing up and down in the Channel are the thin end of the wedge of a vast exodus of people brought about by military intervention by the US and its allies. As a result of their “global war on terror”, launched following the al-Qaeda attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, no less than 37 million people have been displaced from their homes, according to a revelatory report published this week by Brown University.
The study, part of a project called “Costs of War”, is the first time that this violence-driven mass population movement has been calculated using the latest data. Its authors conclude that “at least 37 million people have fled their homes in the eight most violent wars the US military has launched or participated in since 2001”. Of these, at least 8 million are refugees who fled abroad, and 29 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have taken flight inside their own countries. The eight wars examined by the report are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, northwest Pakistan and the Philippines.
Ron Paul got booed in a presidential debate for suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were blowback for US interventions in the Middle East, but that was exactly what they were (if they weren’t a false flag, which is certainly a possibility). From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
With today being another anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it’s important to recall why it was that that deadly event came about.
No, the terrorists didn’t attack us because they hated our “freedom and values,” as U.S. officials and American interventionists claimed after the attacks. Instead, the attacks occurred in retaliation for what the U.S. national-security establishment, specifically the Pentagon and the CIA, had been doing to people in the Middle East prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Recall the Persian Gulf War in 1991, when the U.S. government intervened in a conflict involving their old partner and ally, Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Iraq had gotten in a territorial dispute with Kuwait, which ended up with Iraq invading Kuwait.
U.S. officials felt that they could not let Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait to stand, which is somewhat strange given that the U.S. government supported Iraq when it invaded Iran in the 1980s. Without the congressional declaration of war the Constitution requires, the U.S. government went to war against Iraq, killing multitudes of Iraqi people in the process and wreaking untold destruction across the country.
During the conflict, the Pentagon ordered the destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plants, after a study revealed that such destruction would help spread infectious illnesses within the Iraqi populace.
The case for leaving troops in Iraq is just as solid and air-tight as the cases for leaving troops in Afghanistan and Syria. The only way for outsiders to win in the Middle East is to stay out. From Bonnie Kristian at nationalinterest.org:
Prolonging U.S. military intervention is making it more difficult for Iraq to achieve stability and sapping American defense resources.
raq does not need “direct and military support, and support on the ground” from the United States, new Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in an interview last week before his visit to Washington. His country might want U.S. “cooperation and assistance” at different levels in the future, Al-Kadhimi allowed, depending on “the changing nature of terrorism’s threat.” But the support he mentioned—military training and arms provision—would be a marked drawdown from the current U.S. role in Iraq.
American policymakers should take notice. After seventeen years of fighting, the war in Iraq is a demonstrable failure—and yet a failure with no end in sight.
The Trump administration has repeatedly promised to draw down the U.S. military presence in Iraq, but it’s not clear President Donald Trump really wants to leave. Apparently unguided by any coherent strategy, he threatens further escalation as easily as he condemns the initial invasion. His passion for ending “endless wars” is perhaps not all-consuming.
There are about five thousand American troops in Iraq now, basically the same deployment level as when this administration began. When the Iraqi parliament in January demanded all foreign troops leave their country, the administration rejected the request. “At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how best to recommit to our strategic partnership,” said the State Department, “not to discuss troop withdrawal.”
This is unsurprising, as key administration advisers evince no urgency toward departure: the commander of U.S. Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., is open about his belief that the United States should continue to occupy Iraq forever, perpetually on hand to combat remnants of the Islamic State or whatever group succeeds it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday promised the U.S. military would be busy in Iraq for a long time to come, refusing to discuss the possibility of withdrawal, asking reporters “not to focus on that.”
Afghanistan is too geopolitically important for Washington to just up and leave. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
Nineteen years after September 11, 2001 and 17 years after launching its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. seems ready to cut a deal with the Taliban in order to freeze out its Eurasian rivals.
The central government in Kabul has in recent years granted a leading role to Moscow and Beijing in efforts to pacify the country by bringing all parties to the negotiating table. A successful outcome would allow Afghanistan to reap the benefits of its geographical position vis-a-vis Sino-Russian infrastructure projects.
The entry into Afghanistan’s dynamics of China’s economic power and Russia’s military weight promises to spark a multipolar revolution in the country and beyond that would spread to neighbors like India, Pakistan and Iran.
Moscow had even initiated historical negotiations with Taliban representatives, culminating in a visit to Moscow. U.S. sources at the time voiced doubts about the success of any peace plan and tensions between the U.S. and Iran were high, with sanctions imposed on Iran and pressure placed on U.S. allies in the region like India to boycott Iranian oil.
Posted in Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, War
Tagged Afghanistan, Belt and Road Initiative, China, Russia, US Interventionism
One way to greatly burnish one’s credentials as a seer and a sage and increase one’s book sales is to be consistently wrong. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
History is over. The world is flat.
These were the sort of self-congratulatory and wildly grandiose platitudes that passed for wisdom in first decade after the United States declared “victory” in the Cold War. Neither slim statement is true – at least not in the sense they meant them – naturally: literally (of course), or even figuratively. Then again, it isn’t strictly true that the U.S. “won” the Cold War, or “defeated” the Soviets, surely not militarily, either.
There’s reams of evidence that the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the consequent America-piloted globalization crusade, didn’t usher in world peace or cover the world with Western-style, liberal governments. Yet, even in the face of such pesky facts, a staggeringly sizable core of establishment foreign policy elites, in that intellectual wasteland of Washington D.C., still cling to these comforting fictions. As if just a bit more effort, one last good old college-try, by their “indispensable nation” could get the job done. Thankfully, there are eloquent voices from outside the Beltway echo chamber doing their best to deep six these harmful myths.
For example, recently, I read – dissected really – my longtime muse Andrew Bacevich’s new book, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered its Cold War Victory. It’s damn good. To emphasize his point, Bacevich conjures the (still living) ghosts of Francis Fukuyama and Thomas Friedman. Fukuyama was the prophetic one, and the lead phrase up top was his. His bold assertion was that, as the Cold War wound down, the future would belong to American-style governments, specifically that: “The end of history means liberal democracy is the final form of government for all nations.”
Aside from the Vietnam War, since WWII Americans have for the most part embraced US wars and the military-industrial-intelligence complex. From Donald Jeffries at lewrockwell.com:
Donald Trump’s recent assassination of Iranian Maj. General Qassem Soleimani was not an exceptional act of madness by a deranged president. It was instead the continuation of a long, unfortunate American tradition. Military aggressiveness has been a feature of U.S. foreign policy for a very long time.
As I detail in my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, Americans love to portray themselves as the “greatest,” the “good guys” in each of their nearly continuous foreign skirmishes. While it certainly appears to any disinterested observer that we are the initiator in most, if not all, of these conflicts, the official mantra is that we are never at fault. We are only defending ourselves, even if the opponent is smaller and weaker to a laughable degree, as it usually is.
Abraham Lincoln set so many horrific precedents, and his manipulation of events that resulted in the South technically firing the first shot at Fort Sumter, paved the way for false flags like “Remember the Maine” in 1898, the sinking of the Lusitania which “forced” us to enter World War I, the “sneak” attack on Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which is now universally acknowledged to have never happened, the “weapons of mass destruction” lie under Dubya Bush, and many other less obvious ones.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Intelligence, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged assassinations, Atrocities, US Interventionism, Whistleblowers
America’s global interventionism is destroying America and wreaking horrific damage in places like the Middle East. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad. This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. America must be restored to a proper role in the world. But we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves…. together we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us from the beginning. From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America. From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.”—George S. McGovern, former Senator and presidential candidate
I agree wholeheartedly with George S. McGovern, a former Senator and presidential candidate who opposed the Vietnam War, about one thing: I’m sick of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
It’s time to bring our troops home.
Bring them home from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Bring them home from Germany, South Korea and Japan. Bring them home from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman. Bring them home from Niger, Chad and Mali. Bring them home from Turkey, the Philippines, and northern Australia.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Cronyism, Debt, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, War
Tagged Iran, Military spending, US Interventionism
The US has plenty of blood on its hands. From Brett Wilkins at antiwar.com:
In 1965, the Lyndon B. Johnson administration backed a military coup by a right-wing Indonesian general named Suharto – who like many Javanese used only his given name – that overthrew Sukarno, hero of his country’s freedom struggle against Dutch colonialism and its first post-independence president. Sukarno, an ardent anti-imperialist, had made the fatal errors of protecting Indonesian communists and cozying up to the Soviet Union and China, and was marked for elimination. In service of this, the US Embassy in Jakarta gave Suharto’s forces “shooting lists” of known and suspected communists; US officials later admitted checking off names of victims who had been killed or captured.
“It was a really big help to the army,” explained former diplomat Robert Martens. “They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad.” Suharto consolidated his power and, with US support, ruled Indonesia by 1967. More than half a million Indonesians died in what the New York Times called “one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history.
The American government and media have a nasty habit of ignoring all history prior to any supposed “outrage” committed by any nation against the US. Iran has been sinned against by the US far more than it has sinned. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
We, as Americans, are now living in different realities. The almost completely partisan response to Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate one of Iran’s top leaders proves that once and for all. To listen to Mitch McConnell versus Nancy Pelosi – and just about all their underlings – argue about the execution, is to almost believe each are talking about a different event! It’s surreal. Trump hit Iran, he says, because Iran hit us. Trump calls Soleimani a “terrorist” mastermind; Iran calls the assassination an “act of terrorism.” Are both right? Who knows…but…who started this whole mess?!?
Truth is, few politicians or commentators on the mainstream left or right bother to ask who started the now open-shooting-conflict between Iran and America. Don’t get me wrong, both sides starkly disagree on whether Trump’s assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani was strategic, (it wasn’t) or whether the president ought to have sought congressional approval (he should have). Still, both Democrats and Republicans almost unanimously believe that – whether war is the answer or not – Iran is ultimately in the wrong, the villain of the whole sordid tale.
The Afghanistan war is a typical federal government program: it was sold with a lie, it’s been continued with more lies, it’s never going to end, and a lot of scuzzy people and companies have gotten rich from it. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”.
This week, the venerable Washington Post newspaper revealed a bombshell, 2,000 page, secret Pentagon report detailing the astounding failure of US war strategy in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.
Americans have been fed a steady stream of lies about the Afghan War, concluded the Post. So asserted this writer in ‘American Conservative’ magazine in 2003 when the US invaded Afghanistan.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Morality, Politics, War
Tagged Afghanistan war, US Interventionism