Sunday, June 30, 2013
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Let the bullets fly: War is a great business
By Mike Krauss
Bucks County Courier Times
Defense contractors and Wall Street banks have been among the biggest winners in the nearly 12 years the United States has been at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now Syria. Maybe the only winners.
And it seems the “Freedom Loving” peoples we support are not actually all that Freedom Loving; more like “Being-in-Control Loving.” All the American people and our armed forces have to show for the enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure is a tangle of vengeful ethnic, tribal and religious homicide and no really dependable allies.
We didn’t even get the oil in Iraq. China did. But maybe we’ll have a shot at the “rare earth” minerals that the Defense Department has mapped in Afghanistan. Or at least the Wall Street banks will get to launder the money from the opium trade.
The losers are more easily identified: the American dead and wounded and an estimated 220,000 men, women and children dead and several times that wounded , the overwhelming majority of whom were innocent of any aggression and posed no threat to the security of the United States. [Note: Counts of dead and wounded are contested. I selected the lower range of counts by the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that I consider most trustworthy. U.S government counts are a widely disparaged undercount.]
Civilians continue to die under drone strikes and rules of engagement that label anybody, anywhere near one of our targets as an “enemy combatant,” to justify the deaths.
Great way to win hearts and minds.
The president has recently wrung his hands over these tactics and shared with the American people how troubled he is by the tough decisions he makes. But there is no indication that he will not go right on doing as he has.
So get ready, Syria, for help from the Freedom Loving U.S. administration and Congress. It is being carefully orchestrated. Sen. John McCain — who apparently never met a war he didn’t like — is leading the charge in the Congress, doing as he did in the run up to Libya, posing for photo ops with the Freedom Loving “rebels,” who included at least one known Al-Qaeda operative.
McCain’s valor and patriotism are beyond question. His judgment is not. You remember Al-Qaeda? Terrorists. The enemy.
But apparently not when they are on our side for the moment, as they were when the U.S. wanted to push the Soviets out of Afghanistan and we armed and trained them.
The politics of never ending war makes strange bedfellows.
The president seemed to be resisting the war drums. But this is the Obama hallmark, seeming to be doing one thing while actually doing another.
It is known American forces are on the ground in Syria: CIA and Special Forces. But in the recent White House announcement that the U.S. will be sending “direct military aid” to the Freedom Loving Syrians, the wording does not mention “troops.”
In fact, the statement offered almost no description of or limit to what that aid might be. There is suspicion that the White House is waiting for the right pretext to send in the troops; like maybe the day after our formerly evil but now allies in Syria tell us about some terrible things the Syrian “regime” is doing to innocent civilians.
We are told the Syrian government used a chemical weapon, and crossed a “red line.” Maybe they did. I have no idea anymore what information from our government can be trusted.
But other nations also have red lines. After the U.S. announcement, Iran announced it was sending 4,000 troops to support the Syrian government. Great.
War is a tough business. Supplying and financing war, on the other hand, is a great business and there is an army of patriotic lobbyists ready to man the barricades in Congress against the ruthless advocates of peace.
Let the bullets fly!
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Primary E-mail: email@example.com