American Hyperbole and Her Enemies

A lot has been made at Miscellany101 of the lies that were advanced by American government to justify occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.  It turns out this was not a problem unique to the Bush administration, but rather is a problem of government and especially government that relies on an industrial military complex to sustain itself.  In order to continue to receive money necessary to feed this monstrosity lies are dished out to politicians and the general public alike which exaggerate the prowess of perceived enemies and the necessity of America to fight in lands far away in order to avoid fighting on the shores of America.

The methods employed have been at times very simple and transparent, at times shrouded in enough mystery to cause doubt and at other times  sophisticated enough to convince even the most die hard skeptic of the necessity of government intervention and a military response to a perceived threat to America’s national security.  At different times in recent American history different political groups have hijacked this penchant to latch onto the military desire for supremacy at the expense of the Nation’s soul.  The desire to topple Cuba’s Fidel Castro with the exaggerated threat of his tiny island country to the United States was seized upon by expatriates of that country to settle their scores with the petulant, nascent communist ruler and ruined an American presidency.  In the process it spurred Operations Northwood which called for the US government to engage in acts of terrorism in order to justify an invasion of Cuba.  Sound familiar?

The Vietnam war, a war that wasted the lives of over 58,000 Americans and countless others as well as the “Cold War” was worked over by groups that touted the fear of communism and the need to fight everywhere to stop its spread.  Getting the government to go along with a lie in order to promote one of the largest military buildups in recent history to fight an agrarian based society we had originally promised to support, the proponents of military occupation were able to get America to offer up the lives of her sons and daughters for a war that was based on a lie that was revealed only recently.

With regards to the Soviet Union and the  threat it posed, it now turns out the hype was all a lie, and the latest document released  underscores that point. In it the hypothesis is America and especially the Reagan administration did everything it could to play down Soviet Russia’s attempt at rapprochement instead inflating the Soviet threat and increasing the chances of war with a non-existent threat and a potential non-existent enemy.  At a time when Russians wanted peace and did everything in their power to prove that by inviting scientists and non governmental officials to come and inspect Soviet facilities,  the Reagan American administration was continuing the drum beats for war and rattling the sabers in an attempt to increase American military coffers  as well as possibly  goad the Soviets into war when fighting was the last thing the Russians wanted to do.

It shouldn’t take another 20-30 years for us to see the same methods were used to get America to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or any other Middle Eastern country, that of deception and intimidation, but unfortunately we’re already seeing the roots of it with regards to Iran, who since 2003 has sent overtures of peace and wanting to work with an American administration to solve diplomatic impasse only to have such efforts rebuffed by ‘the powers that be’.  This has become a common theme between America and her enemies, that whenever they have attempted to or sent signals of peace to an American administration that claims it wants peace, such overtures  are rejectedand or ignored and belligerence, war and destruction become the order of the day between the two sides.   At some point the American public has got to demand more and better from its representatives and stop offering up human sacrifices to a philosophy that promotes death and denigrates peace.

The Joke called Somali pirates

It simply doesn’t exist,but because it stirs up images of a recent past, the US conflict in Somali in the ’90s and an even more distant past America is bound to get involved in east Africa again.  It doesn’t matter that only one percent of shipping through the Gulf of Aden is affected, and I’d venture to say with a few well armed and trained Blackwater mercs on board the numbers would be even fewer, or that despite the media characterization these “pirates” are manning wooden motorboats and carrying small arms,  the US and some within government are determined to re-invade Somalia because the problem of pirates must be addressed on shore….there is a “shore dimension” a nicely worded way of saying American forces must be on the ground in Somalia.  I don’t understand this fascination America has with Somalia.  We encouraged Ethiopia to go to war and invade Somalia and are threatening to do the same ourselves because of motorboats and two to three dozen hard core jihadists who have arrived in  Somalia from the mountains of Pakistan/Afghanistan.  (have they really?) Add to that the Hezbollah forces Israel  “says” are in east Africa and you have the potential for east Africa becoming the most dangerous region in the world, certainly worthy of more American blood and largesse, a la Iraq, and the mother of all misdirection plays.   Remember how we were fighting them there in Iraq so we wouldn’t have to fight them here in America?  That same kind of simplistic language was used to fuel anti-communist hysteria in the ’50s and ’60s.   Some of the greatest fraud known to man was taking place from the coffers of the once rich and powerful America, during the Iraq debacle, reducing the US to a debtor country teetering on the brink of financial ruin.  This kind of rhetoric of Somali pirates who need to be dealt with by American forces,  should no longer find an audience in America but it still does and we are the worse for it. It’s somewhat ironic the same images are plaguing a Democratic president, Obama,  who has been compared to another Democratic president, Kenneday,  who gave in to the impulses for war in a foreign land, Vietnam, that was no threat to American intersts where a large number of Americans died.  My solution to Somali pirates is the same as it would be for any thug on the street.  Let those who ply their trade on the water arm themselves and be prepared to defend their cargo. If its worth profitting from its worth defending, absent the US Navy.  Blackwater could use a contract or two.

Venezuela and moral authority

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at Lenin’s Tomb about whether Israel is a nation in decline.  I think the tense is wrong on the supposition for I think Israel’s descent into the abyss occurred  during the 1967 war, a war which even some of Israel’s staunchest supporters back then said was not one necessary to have fought. In other words Israel is a declined nation.

Yediot Aharonot of April 27 has published an 1976 interview with Moshe Dayan (which was not previously published). Dayan, who was the defense minister in 1967, explains there what led, then, to the decision to attack Syria. In the collective consciousness of the period, Syria was conceived as a serious threat to the security of Israel, and a constant initiator of aggression towards the residents of northern Israel. But according to Dayan, this is ‘bull-shit’ – Syria was not a threat to Israel before 67. Just drop it – he says as an answer to a question about the northern residences – I know how at least 80% of all the incidents with Syria started. We were sending a tractor to the demilitarized zone and we knew that the Syrians will shoot. If they did not shoot, we would instruct the tractor to go deeper, till the Syrians finally got upset and start shooting. Then we employed artillery, and later also the air-force… I did that… and Itzhak Rabin did that, when he was there (as commander of the Northern front, in the early sixties).

And what has led Israel to provoke Syria? According to Dayan, this was the greediness for the land – the idea that it is possible to grab a piece of land and keep it, until the enemy will get tired and give it to us. The Syrian land was, as he says, particularly tempting, since, unlike Gaza and the West bank it was not heavily populated.

From then on Israel’s war were fought because of greed, not for the security of its citizens but rather to take from its neighbors land and resources that they, the Israelis, coveted; Israel is too arrogant to negotiate with its neighbors whom it feels are inferior to them.  However taking a page from Lenin’s book, I would like to tie the decline of the American empire to that of the Israeli one.  For at the same time that Israel was attacking its neighbors and even its allies, a la the USS Liberty, the United States was fighting a war of aggression in a faraway land for reasons that had nothing at all to do with its security, and that war too was fought on the basis of deceit.

Over the years the US-Israeli alliance seemed to take divergent paths, even though there were very strong relations between the two countries, but the 90’s and the rise of neoconservative thought seemed to return the two countries to a common theme; they could fight whoever they wanted under whatever guise they wanted and expect there would be no consequences for their aggression.  That convergence to me is the beginning of the end for America, which was a light among nations and a moral leader as we began to  abandon our  racist ideology of Jim Crowism.

With the rise of the neoconservative school of thought, threats were inflated in importance and our country became a victim in the face of these threats, many if not most of them imagined.  There was an evil Soviet empire that at every turn meant to do us harm and there was the fifth element among us who worked for that evil empire that we had to expunge from our society.

This evolution in American politics mirrors what the Israelis have done to their own citizens and to their neighbors.  The only difference between us is the close proximity of Israel’s threats compared to ours; Israel’s enemies were its immediate neighbors, whereas our enemies were oceans removed from our borders.  Slowly however our enemies’ borders began to shift, move and became the very same enemies as Israel’s and that’s when our demise was sealed, because we accepted the Israeli rules of deception, we drank the kool-aide of lies and false flags in order to justify aggression, and threw away the notion of our national self interest and tied it with Israel’s interests.  In effect we became the tail that Israel wagged.

Gaza is proof of that, and the brazen statements of Ehud Olmert, that we were shamed into accepting the Israeli position, as if  theirs  was the only position we could reasonably take is one of the nails in our coffin.  The other nail is the response of other world countries to the Gaza atrocities; those other countries like Venezeula and Boliva, places we once called banana republics have assumed a moral stance that the slaughter of civilians won’t be tolerated, a position America can no longer take because of it’s skewed view of what’s in its interests.  Bolivia went so far as to saythe country’s authorities are to bring a formal complaint against the Israeli state to the International Criminal Court regarding the attacks on the Gaza Strip..’  By breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel, the very least a country can do in the face of this onslaught against international law by the Israelis, Bolivia, Venezeula, Qatar and Mauritania, two new players to object formally to Israel’s genocide, have taken a high road abandoned by the US after its moral decline.

The question for me now becomes can we recover, be resuscitated to where we once were?  As long as we rubber stamp Israel’s selection of leaders who are 20 times more homicidal than Ahmadadijad could ever hope to be, I don’t think we can restore the luster. When we can no longer muster the moral courage to support UN resolutions that we helped write because of our convoluted interests with Israel we are hopeless.  It’s a path we went down of our own volition; what’s troublesome is our “ally” watched us, encouraged us to take it, knowing where it would lead us.  That “ally” has had far more experience in human history with the deceit and betrayal of confidences than the young republic of America.  Perhaps the old saying ‘misery loves company’ is indeed true.  Speaking of Iran, I chuckled when I read the headline, ‘US condemns stoning executions’, and asked myself ‘on whose authority?’

The wars on drugs and terror converge

In an earlier post I mused,

I wonder whether Ecstasy is included in the “Western” drugs given to Afghans and whether trade between such traditional drugs from the west are bartered for the cash crop of Afghanistan, opium?

The more Americans go to Afghanistan to fight, the more we back on the “homeland” will have to deal with a drug problem both with those soldiers who are users as well as those who are dealers.  Perhaps the US government will attempt to profit from the Afghan misadventure and try to recoup some of the money lost on this losing effort by institutionalizing the harvesting, transporting and dispensing of drugs on the “homeland”.  Our neighbors to the north, Canada, already has to face an increasing “problem” with their forces and Afghan drugs.

There’s a “high probability” some Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan – one of the world’s biggest sources of illegal drugs – will get involved in the drug trade, a military police report warns.

“Access to illicit drugs in Afghanistan is routine,” reads the report obtained by the Star.

The present generation of America’s leaders are Vietnam era aged politicians and soldiers who should be able to remember the problems US forces had with drug use and trafficking during that war. As that war progressed and soldiers on the ground began to see and sense its futility, drugs were a means of escape as well as profit for some who served in the military.  In many ways, this war offers the same parallels.  An elusive enemy, mission creep, the inability of the government to define what is winning and when military personnel can return stateside, an even more hostile environment and forgetfulness by a nation tired of remote wars and the accompanying diminishing of enthusiasm for this latest one.  Unfortunately, Obama perhaps too young to remember these problems tends to be headed in the direction of catastrophe with his pronouncement that he will have a surge of US forces in Afghanistan.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.