Archive for September 16th, 2014

by lizard

In yesterdays post about progressive Democrats supporting Obama’s dangerously incoherent foreign policy, one comment stood out, and it wasn’t the bullshit inquiry about what I would do if I was president for a week—it was this comment from feralcatoffreedom:

This is all terribly sad. On “Moon of Alabama” somebody quoted Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi writer. I had the privilege of interviewing him once. Before we invaded that country it had the highest # of PHds per capita. 40% of marriages were mixed ones between Sunni and Shia. There was no big divide. Same for Yugoslavia.

Sarajevo was a wonderful cosmopolitan city where different religions and ethnic people got along just fine.
Everywhere we go, we purposely cause chaos and destruction in order for the war profiteers to line their pockets. On Sundays we dressed in painted faces and pretend to be “Vikings” and watch as soldiers parachute into gladiator arenas. We drink beer and have a good time.

Well everybody else in the world, at least the 99%, also want to have fun on Sundays with their families and watch a little sports or fish or make love. BUT NOOOOO! We make sure that they are all running for cover from bombs and drones or starving or in richer countries are worried about their jobs.

It is too sad for me to really put into words.

I concur, especially the sentiment that everywhere “we” go, we purposely cause chaos and destruction.

Montana Public Radio gave candidates Curtis, Lewis, Daines and Zinke a chance to weigh in on the military strikes that have already started falling on the new terrorist product line, ISIS. Here is Curtis showing what kind of worthless Senator she would be when it comes to the congressional role of authorizing the president to go to war:

Curtis says she doesn’t think Obama needs congressional authorization to implement his plan. Some critics wonder why the President is planning military strikes when ISIS hasn’t directly attacked the United States. Curtis says Senator John Walsh – a veteran who led over 700 troops in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 – has convinced her that these radicals present a clear threat:

“…and that some of the folks who are working with ISIS have the ability to enter into the United States and have made repeated threats that they will continue to kill Americans. I really trust Senator Walsh’s judgment on this and I think he knows what he’s talking about.”

This is such bullshit I don’t even know where to start. Deferring Congressional oversight to the executive is the first mistake. Trusting the judgement of John Walsh is the second mistake. Allowing oneself to become a vehicle for propaganda dissemination regarding the alleged ISIS threat to the homeland is the third mistake.

Since Curtis is a teacher, maybe she would be receptive to a little history lesson. There is a country in the Middle East that funds extremists. The majority of the alleged hijackers on 9/11 came from this country. Oh, and even though they behead their own citizens from time to time (or stone them to death with rocks) they have a cozy relationship with America. Because oil.

And yet, for some odd reason, after the terrorist attack on 9/11, foreign nationals from this lovely country America is allied with were allowed to flee. Patrick Cockburn has a great article at Counterpunch everyone should read, titled Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the Rise of ISIS. Here’s an excerpt:

The most striking example of Washington’s willingness to protect the Kingdom over complicity in 9/11 is the 28 pages of the official inquiry that were censored and have yet to be published. Senator Graham is not allowed to reveal what is in the chapter that was redacted, but other sources say that they are about connections between Saudi government officials and the 9/11 attacks. Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, in their book The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11, quote a senior American official, who saw the 28 pages before they were excised, apparently on the initiative of President Bush, as saying: “If the 28 pages were to be made public, I have no question that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight.”

Senator Graham has long campaigned to have the 28 pages of the 9/11 inquiry and other documents released. He says, knowing their content, that there is no national security justification for keeping them a secret 13 years after 9/11. He says that some government agencies, notably the FBI, have a motive in keeping information from the public about “their actions and their competence at the time of 9/11”. In Sarasota, Florida, the FBI initially denied having any documents relating to hijackers who were based there but has now handed over 80,000 pages that might be relevant under the Freedom of Information Act, according to Tom Julin, the Miami-based attorney handling the FoI application.

Asked why the US government has been so eager since 2001 to cover up for the Saudis, Senator Graham says that one explanation is the long-term US strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia, going back to the Second World War. There is also the close personal relationship between the Bush family and the Kingdom. But what he finds more difficult to explain is why the “policy of covering up Saudi involvement [in 9/11] persisted under the Obama administration”. Though Mr Obama had pledged to the families of the 9/11 victims during the 2008 presidential election campaign to release the 28 censored pages, it has failed to do so six years later.

From the perspective of the bipartisan perpetual war camp, suppressing the role of an “ally” like Saudi Arabia is not a failure, but a success. Amanda Curtis’ apparent naiveté regarding the US role in enabling the rise of ISIS is another success.

For everyone else trying to eek out a living in our increasingly hostile world, US foreign policy is an absolute fucking disaster.

Some younger people know this, and have articulated their perspective with a manifesto, titled There Is No Future In War. It’s lengthy, so I’ll conclude this post with a shorter selection:

Our true foes–– those endlessly gunning for war–– have been waging an economic war against us. Our foes are the ones who say we must increase Pentagon spending while we cut food stamps, unemployment assistance, public transportation, and low-income housing. They are the ones who want to destroy the social safety net that past generations have worked so hard to build. They are the ones who underfund our public schools – which are more segregated today than they were under Jim Crow – and then privatize them. They are the ones who throw hundreds of thousands of young people in prison, thanks to the racist and classist war on drugs, and then privatize the prisons to exploit and profit off of incarcerated citizens who make close-to-zero wages.

Throwing money at war does nothing to address the real issues we face. We, the youth of our country, are the ones who will feel this pain. The cost of war is sucking us dry; it is burdening us with debts we will never be able to pay back.

Pay attention, Amanda Curtis. These youth are trying to teach you something.

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