the masters of war

Posted: December 2, 2009 by elutherian in Uncategorized

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

– Bob Dylan

Last night, Barack Obama delivered a speech that will define the next four years of his Presidency. In it he laid out his plans concerning the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. In it, he detailed the need to deploy 30,000 more young men and women from their homes to fight in a desert half-way across the globe. He explained his strategy, on how he would bring these same troops home by the time he is up for re-election in three years. He promised the war would come to an end, while at the same time declaring we must send more young Americans to die before that could be accomplished. He attempted the divulge on the original reasons for our intervention, yet he failed to clarify what it is now for which we are fighting. Is it to bring those who attacked us to justice? Is it to defeat the Taliban? For what purpose? The Afghan people do not want us there. If they did, we would not need to send more troops to coerce their compliance. Is it to secure the nation under a central government in Kabul, as has been tried throughout history and continually failed? Is it to support our corrupt puppet-state under Hamid Karzai? A man who, according to the President himself, committed election fraud. Why would we support an establishment of this sort? Only because he, and his government, supports our interests? What sort of example is this giving to the Afghan people? Is it for a proposed Oil/Natural Gas Pipeline that would stretch from the Caspian Sea to India, coming straight through the war-torn Afghan terrain? Is it for strategic positioning against Iran, a nation we have made enemies of for nothing more than oil-interests?

I presume all of the above has some truth to it, perhaps some more than others. But what we have not asked, the question that has remained silent in the mouths of reporters, journalists, and American citizens, is simply: Is it worth it?

Is it worth it? First we must ask what it is exactly that’s at risk. Of course financially we have much to lose, and for some (war-profiteers, oil companies) it would seem there is also much to gain. However, our current economic situation begs for more substantial reasoning behind this excess spending, other than the rationale given by our overlords in Washington. We are on the precipice of complete collapse of our currency, and yet our central bank continues to print without any restraint. Inflation is now an imminent threat to our already weak economic system. The faltering banking institutions are readily bailed out by our Federal Government, all too generous with the taxpayers money. This has not solved the crisis, nor will it do anything more than prolong the agony and increase it’s ultimate and inevitable end. Our increasing debt and spending has led to ever more instability and unemployment. All the while Wall-Street is living large off of our unwilling contributions.

All of this has not phased the President, nor any of those in Congress. It has not halted the Government’s spending, it’s taxation, it’s printing and borrowing, on any level (Federal or State). But rather, as the doctrine of Keynesianism states, they are doing the exact opposite. Obama has proposed new plans on Health Care, the Environment, as well as his foreign interventions, which he has inherited from the previous administration.

Yet, though this is an inheritance, the President has done nothing to alleviate or change what has come before him. Rather, he has only continued, enhance, and added to the problems created by Bush and his ilk. The situation is no different in Afghanistan, where the President has seen fit to send over 2,000 extra troops already. Now he is poised to send another 30,000 to “finish the job”. What is that job exactly? On that detail he is almost as vague as Dubya. The cost of this war will now increase, and it’s effect on our economy will not be helpful.

This, of course, only measures the cost in treasure. But what about the cost in lives? In blood? So far well over 3,000 have died in the Afghan desert, and now more are being sent into the pit of hell itself, for a war that is both unnecessary and illegal. And for what? How many lives is a gas/oil pipeline worth? How many young men and women are the Taliban worth? How many deaths will it take to bring “unity” to Afghanistan? How much blood spilled into the sand will finally bring peace to the region? How many wounded and suffering soldiers will finally make our nation safe?

It is clear that not only can we not financially afford this endeavor, but the cost of American lives is not worth the stated, and unstated, goals (most of which are completely bogus).

The History of Afghanistan and the United States:

The nation of Afghanistan, made up of several tribes, has never been conquered in it’s entire history of existence (Not by Alexander of Macedonia, the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan, The British Empire, or the Soviet Union) and all attempts at creating a central government in Kabul (even by the Taliban) have been continuously failed efforts. The United States has been involved in Afghanistan since 1979, when anti-communist rebels were at war with the Soviet-backed Government. By 1983, the CIA was purchasing assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines, and antiaircraft weapons for the rebels, mainly from China. The Reagan administration had them shipped via Pakistan, a country that at the time was working closely with Washington.

Then, in 1985, Reagan made a secret decision to escalate covert support to the mujahidin. Soon after, the CIA began to supply an extensive array of intelligence, military expertise and advanced weapons to the Muslim rebel forces. By 1987, the CIA was sending a steady supply of 65,000 tons of arms to the mujahidin.

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988. With the Soviets out of the picture, however, the victorious mujahidin focused next on fighting the Afghan “puppet government” now headed by Mohammad Najibullah, who had replaced Karmal in 1986. Najibullah fell from power when the mujahidin finally captured Kabul in the spring of 1992. But the guerrilla factions proved unable to unite, and began another arduous power struggle amongst themselves. Afghanistan thus became a fragmented country of several independent zones, each ruled by different warlords. These political divisions exacerbated the schism already present between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and between the many tribal and ethnic groups that reside in the country.

Then emerged the Taliban. They came together in Pakistan in late 1994 as a militia of Pashtun Islamic fundamentalist students. These students had received training in Pakistan’s religious schools attended by refugee men who had formerly fought as the CIA-backed mujahidin. In fact, Mullah Mohammed Omar (the chief of the Taliban in 2001) was a former fighter under a CIA-trained commander. Garnering power and support during a peak of political fractiousness, the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, declaring themselves the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

They appealed to many Afghans with their promises of peaceful rule. As a result, some of the people trained under CIA command in the 1980s turned into loyal fighters for the Taliban. Armed and inflamed by religious zeal, the Taliban spread throughout Afghanistan declaring to end the civil war, corruption and lawlessness. As they rose in popularity among other Pashtun Afghans, they also intensified in violence that displayed their Islamic extremism.

Training grounds that the CIA maintained and operated during the anti-Soviet war soon became camps for militant terrorists, among whom was Osama bin Laden. These were operated by al-queda.

The perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were made up of Saudi Nationals, Egyptians, Jordanians, and Afghani citizens operating under al-queda orders. The training for the attacks were done in Germany, Spain and Florida. All 19 hijackers came to the United States legally and operated under a pre-planned strategy.

After 9/11 the United States ordered the Taliban government to extradite Bin Laden and the other 200+ al-queda members in Afghanistan. Their refusal led to the un-declared (thus illegal) invasion of Afghanistan, followed by a 7 year occupation and nation building scheme.

The U.S. puppet government, now controlled by Hamid Karzai, does the bidding of our military without any discretion. Tribes, now loosed from dictatorial control of the Taliban (whom they hate), now want our troops to leave. However, we are not working to “liberate” Afghanistan, but rather to impose our own rule over them. The current elections are a sham, which is not surprising considering our own increasingly crooked system.

The members of al-queda are now mostly dead. The current residence of Bin Laden is unknown, and whether he is still alive or not is entirely speculative.

The Solution:

The only way to solve this problem, and to end this war, is to understand the history and socio-political schisms between the various Afghan tribes. All attempts at a central government, the latest in Kabul, have been massive failures. What makes us think our endeavor will produce any different results?

The fact of the matter is that people cannot be forced into unity (unless you believe the Lincolnite concept of “perpetual union”), peace, or freedom. It is entirely up to the Afghan people on what form of government, if any, they will choose. What we have done, by propping up an admittedly corrupt government, is de-legitimize the claim that we are spreading freedom and democracy, and caused more distrust in the Afghani people towards our presence there. No native people want to be occupied by a military that is foreign in culture, language, ethnicity, and religion. It is foolish to think they desire us to stay.

Why is it then, that the President sees fit to risk more money that we do not have, and more American lives, to foot the bill for those who do not want our help?

If Afghanistan chooses to divide, so be it. The fact of the matter is that this is the only path to Peace. The war cannot, and will not, end if we continue the failed policy of centralism in Kabul, especially if it is backed by a foreign aggressor (namely, us). This is a choice for the people of that country to make, not for our military, their commanders, or politicians in Rome on the Potomac.

It is because of this glaring revelation that the President, if he indeed is a friend of peace, as he claimed in his campaign, should immediately, and safely, begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan. We should not linger there any longer, nor allow another death to occur, another family to be devastated by this great evil. Give Afghanistan it’s freedom, let the people follow their own desires, not those of our Empire and it’s hubris.

This is not to say we should not defend ourselves. The over 300 bases we have in 150 nations around the world would be better served in defense of our own country instead of other countries. This is not the responsibility of our military, nor is it within their rights under the Constitution… something I thought President Obama was well educated in.

Our interventions, our police actions, and our nation-building schemes have led to more enemies being created, more extremist views taking hold, and more terrorist plots being formed against us. We cannot occupy and impose our will upon the globe without expecting any response to our own form of terrorism. While none of our actions justify the killing of civilians here, any more than that action has given us the right to kill civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, if we wish to end the problem of Terrorism and end this indefinite war, we must take an entirely new approach to our foreign policy.

If a war is not in direct defense or response to an attack, than it is unjustified.

Our war against the Taliban is as well unjustified, as they have not attacked us. The argument that they were harboring terrorists by refusing to extradite them makes no more sense than Canada invading us for refusing to extradite KKK members if they had bombed a building in Windsor. Thus our very invasion (undeclared and unconstitutional) is also immoral under the concept of a ‘Just War’.

The Federal Congress had within it’s rights to grant letters of marque and reprisal, as the founders had done with the problem of pirates, to bring state-less criminals to justice. This would have allowed us to bring Bin Laden and his al-queda to justice without an invasion, occupation, and nation-building of an entire country (not to mention the mindless invasion and still ongoing occupation of Iraq) leading us to financial and moral bankruptcy, costing the lives of thousands of Americans, as well as Afghans and Pakistanis.

The Evils of War:

It is well understood that war is by and large unwanted by the general populace. Yet it seems over the past century they have been duped by those in power, who benefit most from the waging of war, into supporting some of the most unnecessary interventions and waging of military conflict in the history of humanity. This includes the unjustified intervention into WWI, the horrible and bloody killing-fields of Vietnam, and the latest idiotic war against Iraq.

Why are people so easily fooled into supporting the worst evil ever perpetrated by humans against their brothers: Murder, on a massive scale? The answer is simple: Fear. Our of fear we continue our “War on Terror”, a phony concept if I’ve ever heard one (how can one wage war on a tactic, not to mention a tactic we ourselves use?). It is out of fear that we will be bombed, attacked, killed, maimed, and terrorized by Islamic Extremists that makes us so easily subservient to the State, which promises us protection from these evils, all the while perpetrating those same evils against us. We should be afraid of them, not the hobgoblins they manufacture to scare us into obedience.

And why should we trust them? Why should we trust the State with our safety? Was it not the State which allowed for 9/11 to be carried out?

If it were not for extensive Government regulations against pilots carrying weapons on planes, we would not be discussing this today. If it were not for our beauracratic intelligence agencies dropping the ball on numerous reports, I would not be writing this article. Time and time again the State has proved to be worse at defending us than we are at defending ourselves.

Thus, their real reason for wanting to wage war is made clear: Power. War is the health of the State. It allows for any dissent to be labeled as “unpatriotic”. It makes exonerate the path to taking away more of our liberties and freedoms for the sake of “national security”. At the same time Corporations are benefited through war-profiteering, selling their weapons to the military and making huge sums of money off of the killing thousands of miles away. They sit in their mansions and count their blood-dollars as the death toll climbs, as our young people’s blood is spilled into the dirt. These merchants of death have no conscience beyond their own selfish interests.

The evils of war should be obvious to anyone who pays the least bit of attention to reality, between breaks from “The Biggest Loser” and “CNN”. As we sit warm in our houses, watching TV, surfing the internet, and eating snack-food, people are dying. For no good reason, our men and women, our children, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our relatives and friends, are dying in a desert far away from the comforts of our home-land.

And it is not only the deaths of our own, but the deaths of Afghans and Pakistanis as well that should garner our attention. Our unmanned drones drop bombs on supposed “terrorists” in northern Pakistan, killing several civilians, including women and children. It is naïve to think our numerous bombs dropped indiscriminately on “enemy” cities don’t come attached with civilian casualties and innocent deaths.

War is the creator of poverty, the father of homelessness, the mother of tears, the brother of death. It tears families asunder, causes buildings to crumble, people are blown into smithereens, their lifeless bodies strewn across the ground. We tend to think of war in the sense of a theatre, of bread and circuses. We have seen too many films, played too many video games, read too many books that misconstrue, aggrandize, and glorify the mass murder of our fellow humans.

It’s not only Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in which these crimes are taking place. But also in Iraq, where Obama has failed to keep his promise of withdrawal. Now even Iran has been targeted by the military-industrial complex and our executive as the next target. This oil rich nation has submitted to U.N. inspections, signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and has proven to only be researching peaceful nuclear energy programs (unlike Israel, our ally). Yet we still hound them, threaten their people with more sanctions (which induces poverty and stifles any dissent against the ruling Shahs), and won’t take the option of a nuclear-strike off the table.

How any of this warrants a Nobel Peace Prize I have no clue.

Our military adventurism for the past century has led to more chaos, more conflict, and more terrorism against us. Unless the people of this country wake up an understand that, so that we may change our foreign policy, than we will never be safe. We are continuing our Empire abroad, while policing the world, costing us more money than any Government program domestically. This makes us less secure, more open to attack, and causes more resentment against us and our allies.

None of this can come close to the loss of life and blood at the behest of the Imperial Politicians, who see fit to use soldiers as fodder for their political and economic goals. Our military personnel are but pawns for the State’s wars in the name of “spreading freedom and democracy”, fighting “terrorism”, and securing oil interests. No matter what end is put forward by the elite, this war is most certainly not worth it.

If you wish to remain compliant to the wishes of the Government, to close your eyes and ears to the cries of the thousand wounded and dying in a foreign land (American and Non-American), and to shield your mind from the knowledge and information of this horrible, illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and unwinnable war… then you are doomed to allow history to repeat itself. As Nixon inherited Vietnam, so has Obama inherited Iraq. He has put into motion his path, and it will be in tune with that of “Tricky Dick’s”.

How many more American soldiers will have to die before the people wake up? When will the anti-war left cease to be pacified by their Savior-in-Chief and see him for the war-mongering, lying, corporatist politician he really is? When will we finally demand that the troops be brought home to their families, friends, and communities? I say there is no better time than the present.

Let us say aloud to these merchants of death, let us take a stand against these profiteers of murder, let us make our wishes known to these masters of war, that we will not allow one more person to die for oil, for the State, for military positioning, for Obama’s political purposes. That we will not let our boys and girls be used as leverage in his re-election campaign. That the threat of terrorism is within our grasp to solve, if only we change course. That Afghanistan is free to choose it’s own path, and that we must take our own destiny into account. That the poor and middle/working-class citizen must take precedent in this time of economic recession.

The solution, Mr. President, is not an escalation. The solution is not more war, more troops, more guns, more bombs, or more killing. The solution, put very simply, Mr. President, is that we should just come home.

– Justin T. Buell

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