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Now About That “Mistake”
per Sudhama Ranganathan
Correu-e: firstname.lastname@example.org (no verificat!)
18 jul 2011
Lately war has been a hot topic. There have been the events of the Arab Spring and all the activity there. There has been the locating and subsequent killing of Osama Bin Laden, negotiations between our government and the Taliban and the ramifications those things have for Afghanistan and the promise made to track down the person most responsible and then leave. There has also been exasperation about the ongoing situation in Iraq America can no longer afford.
During the Cold War from the end of WWII to 1989 war fueled everything we did. We had this ideological enemy and we focused like a laser on him and the struggle against communism until the fall of the USSR. Of course there are still many people here in our government and military that want to continue to have war drive us. They are stuck in a rut and a way of thinking reeking of moth balls needing to smell less. They have relied heavily on primitive ideas of getting what they want.
Violence is seldom a solution and only best when used in defense. Walking in and clubbing people until they give you what you want is a temporary solution to any problem at best and eventually backfires. What happens is sooner or later pent up resentment, aggression, anger and bitterness stemming from that action turns into hatred and then eventually people are faced with insurgents, terrorists and rebels. Then comes the need for more and more troops and “intelligence” operations to stem the rising tides of discontent both from those being clubbed and those on the front lines tired of doing and paying the price for the clubbing.
Of course all the fighting, intelligence and let's not forget nation building costs money – lots of it. Our tax dollars are the lifeblood of such monstrosities and the monsters we create become parasites whether they want to or not. As they grow fatter and sloppier we lose blood. A little here a little there and no-one notices, but when a little turns into pint upon pint it begins to wear out the host and can drain and break the host itself potentially killing it. Who does that benefit?
The majority of people paying those taxes are middle-class Americans. Funding the Cold War was something we could afford and why not? Our credit was great just ask the people that lent us so much of our money at that time – the Japanese (who we still owe money to). But as our jobs got quietly shipped off to countries run by dictators, autocrats and communists during that time what the people allowing those jobs to be shipped off neglected to mention to middle-class Americans was that the amount of money middle-class Americans took in would decrease and there would be no jobs to make up for the loss despite all the promises from politicians of both parties.
The debt kept building and we kept having to pay more and more. We were left living in the suburbs of rust belts and cities of litter and glass strewn sidewalks. Not only were we funding quiet wars but our tax dollars were funding our military to act as private security guards for large American corporations with “interests” overseas such as oil companies and oh yes the factories those jobs once located here were relocated to. We not only elected people that allowed our jobs to be sent overseas but then were forced with threat of imprisonment to pay for security for those factories. There's long term thinking.
The corporations that were protected by our dollars got richer, but that did not translate into more money for the average American. In the suburbs more and more people went from working one job to both parents having to work two and three just to meet the bills. In poorer communities, especially urban ones, people were lucky to have jobs if they had them, and the situation grew even starker. People became poorer as the jobs which helped poor inner city folk raise their standard of living were exported. The quality of education once on the rise and at the top across the world dropped significantly as we could no longer afford decent educations in our inner cities and elsewhere.
What good has all that gotten us? Safer? Do you feel safer? Richer? Do you feel more prosperous? Freer? Do you feel more liberated? Are you? We cannot allow nostalgia for the old ways of the Cold War and that “the rich will save us” mentality on the part of certain people hold us back, break our beautiful nation and make us poorer as a people and a country.
Now add to that the two wars. Afghanistan had a reason behind it, we needed to get Al Qaeda and the Taliban refused to hand them or at least Osama Bin Laden over. As far as the Taliban the Bush administration just prior to that had approved $43 million dollars in aid to the Taliban. (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3556http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3556http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3556http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3556 ) Interesting.
We went in there to get Al Qaeda and went to war with the Taliban since they would not hand Bin Laden over. Funny thing happened on the way to accomplishing that mission. After all the post 9/11 speeches, fund raisers, concerts, movies, TV shows, songs and more President Bush on March 14, 2002, less than a year after the attacks, said of Osama Bin Laden, “He's a person who's now been marginalized. His network […] his host government has been destroyed. [...] So I don't know where he is. I just don't spend that much time on him. To be completely honest with you.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLVd7_66ds&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLVd7_66ds&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLVd7_66ds&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLVd7_66ds&feature=related ) Huh?
And then came the “mistake.” The one in Iraq. The one that has cost us trillions and will continue to cost us billions per month until we pull out. We were told we were there because of WMD and sold on some murky lines about a hazy unclear connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda. We believed it and devoted ourselves as a country to following the pain we absorbed after 9/11 to eradicate its source.
Yet after going into Iraq we found nothing at all. President Bush when questioned on Iraq and Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons said, “the main reason we went into Iraq was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction.” When a reporter during the same press conference asked him what Iraq had to do with the attacks on the 9/11 on the World Trade centers he said, “Nothing.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwMTjeu5f4&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwMTjeu5f4&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwMTjeu5f4&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwMTjeu5f4&feature=related )
He talked about all the resentment in that part of the world as a reason for being in both places, but Afghanistan is not in the Middle East and it is culturally completely different from Iraq with a totally separate people, history and even balance regarding religion. Iraq is mostly Shi'a and Afghanistan is mostly Sunni. In fact we recently learned how false all those assertions have been when during the Arab spring people were not calling for anti-western anti-American style governments. Actually they wanted to be more like us. Apparently they had been wanting western style democracy for a long time. Once again Bush had wrong intelligence apparently.
We went into Iraq based on faulty evidence from the CIA presented to us by the Bush administration that had been warned by Joseph Plame and the Department of Energy there was insufficient or no evidence. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd_://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd_intell_09jul2004_report2.pdfhttp://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd_://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd_intell_09jul2004_report2.pdf ) (http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2005/wmd_report_25m://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2005/wmd_report_25mar2005_chap01.htmhttp://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2005/wmd_report_25m://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2005/wmd_report_25mar2005_chap01.htm ) We have spent over $700 trillion since the start of the Iraq War there alone and we learned in 2004 there never were any WMD or links to 9/11 from the horses mouth – then President Bush.
Why are we still there? We are a generous people and would love to help other nations rebuild if we can. But we are falling apart rapidly. Are we going to let terrorists break us? We have bills we cannot pay and the trillions being dumped into Iraq and Afghanistan need to come back home – today. President Obama has said the time to discuss accelerating the drawdown in Afghanistan is now. Secretary of defense Bob Gates backed that up specifically linking the two wars when stating after being asked about why we were talking to the Taliban, ”First of all we just killed the guy who was responsible for attacking us on September 11th. And we have taken out a lot of other Al Qaeda as well over the years. Look we ended up talking to people in Anbar Province in Iraq who were directly killing had directly been involved in killing our troops. That's the way wars end.” (http://sotu.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/19/the-robert-gates-exit-interview-spe://sotu.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/19/the-robert-gates-exit-interview-speaking-his-mind/http://sotu.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/19/the-robert-gates-exit-interview-spe://sotu.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/19/the-robert-gates-exit-interview-speaking-his-mind/ )
It was the right connection at the right time as the Iraqi government has recently stated when a US congressman suggested we be repaid by them for some of the reconstruction of their country absolutely not. Obviously they don't even want us there. Are we there to rebuild a country that doesn't even want us to rebuild it, and that we can never afford to rebuild? WTF are we doing there?
It's time to cut the cord, take off the training wheels and let them do it on their own. It's overdue and we cannot afford it anymore. People claiming that simply want us to protect oil companies that have not paid US taxes for years in many cases. Companies that are incorporated overseas to avoid the taxes we pay to protect them. American companies? Please. Let them hire their own security guards. They can afford it. We can't.
Let's get back to the promises of change and hope here. Whoever wishes to be at the front of that campaign whether Democrat, Republican or other let's hope they mean real change and a new direction for tomorrow's America. Let's rebuild our nation, become competitive again and robust. Let's become a world leader again not turn into fools that used to be great, but allowed themselves to rot and go fallow protecting oil companies that never cared a thing for them anyways. Stop the primrose path and the lies!
Let's do it for us. Let's do it for the children. Let's do it for the promise of a better tomorrow. Let's do it to avoid becoming impoverished. Let's elect a leader this time that will deliver on that for sure or has. Let's find out who has the guts to do the right thing and the spine to stand up to the oil companies and other “interests” for the promise of the new tomorrow for America. Let's let action be the guide.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
This work is in the public domain
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