Global War on Terror: How Long, at What Cost?
Is this Global War on Terror going to last forever? Has it already changed our nation from an historically defensive Athens to an offensive Sparta whose military looks everywhere for trouble and finds it? Who is calculating the cost-to-benefit ratio of sending Green Berets and other Special Operations troopers into remote corners of the world to assassinate suspected terrorists? Ever since the Vietnam War, our presidents have ushered members of Congress into the grandstand where they can boo or cheer military decisions but not make them, despite what the Constitution says right there in Article 1, Section 8: "The Congress shall have power to provide for the common defense."
Unlike Congress, William Greider, a brilliant writer and analyst, has looked these and other dangers in the eye and told us what he sees around the corner in his new book, "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country". He dares to write in the book that America has indeed transformed itself from Athens to Sparta to the point that our unchecked militarism endangers us all. What follows is an excerpt from his chapter entitled "The Next War:"
"The U. S. military, despite its massive firepower and technological brilliance, has itself become the gravest threat to our peace and security. Our risks and vulnerabilities around the world are magnified and multiplied because the American military has shifted from providing national defense to taking the offensive worldwide, from being a vigilant defender to being an adventurous aggressor in search of enemies. "The predicament this muscle-bound approach puts our country in is dangerous and new," Greider warns. "Go looking for trouble around the world and you are likely to find it. The next war may be a fight that is provoked not by them but by us. The next war may already have started somewhere in the world, perhaps in a small, obscure country that we've never considered threatening."
I agree with Greider that there is a new attack elephant in the American living room. The old watchdog that would bark if some stranger knocked at the door but only bite if he broke into the house has been retired. Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates seem to have fallen in love with Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Marine special operators who do their deadly work in the shadows.
The mentality is creating More hatreds towards us and any who go along with this mentality that first there's a War on what is and are criminal acts of terror, as we wage the same terror ourselves! Those Hatreds create more 'enemies' towards the policies thus creating the 'Blowback' seeking retaliation for strong arming others to our will and wishes, all I might add for Wealth and Power, Not for any type of 'National Security'. The mentality left from the previous administration not only was dumped into the hands of others, as they walked away fat cats, but has assured a long lasting extreme problem with the growth of the criminal terror groups and hatreds, this will now last for decades. The total opposite of what they did would have not only contained that growth but if we had acted as we say and think we are, towards others, would have rather quickly brought those guilty to justice and dampened any further growth in the retaliation! That total opposite is to have used the total world support we had because of 9/11. Taken that support and working with intelligence agencies and law enforcement tactics, bringing in the military as a partner not a destructive force when needed, would have contained these relatively small groups of criminal terrorist. We went into Afghanistan to take down the leading force harboring those who were guilty of the 9/11 attacks and to find and arrest or kill those guilty parties. Making promises to the Afghans of helping them re-build and restructure after the many years of occupation and war with the soviets and than the taliban regime. We quickly left and focused All of our attention on an innocent country and a once great friend and supporter, who we helped place in the dictatorial rule of his people, in Iraq, leaving minimal military forces in Afghanistan and not bringing in the help we promised, once again, as we did after the Soviet occupation. We're still in Afghanistan, building up military forces, we're still in Iraq, not pulling down our occupation forces, and we're bombing and probably invading across the border into Pakistan. All this is Creating hatreds not Winning Hearts and Minds in the Whole Region. We've killed tens of thousands, we've destroyed two countries as we say we're helping to rebuild, we're now bombing another killing more innocents than insurgents fighters. We're fighting the present inhabitants whose numbers are growing, worldwide, not diminishing, and the children of the region growing up in all of this will be the future Criminal Terrorist seeking the 'Blowback' for the lives we've given them and the deaths and destruction we've caused, the Terror We've Waged on Them!! We are a very arrogant society, led by the extremely arrogant, and as shown in the previous administration and those recent congresses, extremely incompetent. We consider ourselves at the top with any others way below our feet and care nothing about them nor who or what they are even after we invade and occupy them. We make and rewrite histories, not only our own but others, to suit our needs or propaganda of a time, or in rewriting the present we're going to do better then others who've tried before us, the same wants. Brandon Friedman, of VoteVets, has a short post up at VetVoice pointing to the website of historian Steven Pressfield who wrote "Gates of Fire" Brandon starts out his post with this quote by Pressfield:
The defining characteristic of the enemy--then and now--is not Islamo-fascism or Islamic extremism or Jihadism or terrorism. I believe it's tribalism and the tribal mindset that give the enemy his power. --Steven Pressfield
Back in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan this, about the tribalism, was mentioned as well. And it isn't only tribalism that will fuel an insurgency against an occupying military force, but nationalism of the residents occupied and those in the surrounding region of the occupation, it destabilizes the structures set up within each country. Steven Pressfields site is a Video Blog site of five video's on his historical view of that region we are now in long running occupation of, these each last about five minutes. The first, Brandon posts as I will, is called "It's the Tribes, Stupid"