User:Sgl/Are four wars enough?

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War Drug

In the beginning war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics, on the road to self-destruction. It does not affirm but places upon us greater and greater demands. It destroys the outside world until it is hard to live outside war's grip. It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill. Finally, one ingests war only to remain numb.

-From "War is a force that gives us meaning" by Chris Hedges, pg. 162

Status of Current Wars

Had enough of war? U.S. government is trying to manage four wars simultaneously. Let us briefly look at the Iraqi War, Afghani War, Iranian Cold War and the Global War on Terror.

The Hot Wars of Iraq and Afghanistan are well known. The attempted occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan relies on conventional military forces as well as military contractors and covert operations to prop up U.S. friendly regimes. Iraq is a failed state in the sense that it is unable to provide safety or services to its citizens. (See The Failed States Index 2007)

The invasion of Afghanistan has only temporarily reduced the power of al-Qaeda. The conflict in Afghanistan has little or nothing to do with international terrorism and a great deal to do with the conditions in Afghanistan. Afghanistan may be already a narco-state as well as facing a civil war. (See Afghanistan: Drug Industry and Counter-Narcotics Policy, Defeating Afghanistan's drug fix By Nick Grono and Joanna Nathan, Afghan Civil War).

The Cold War between U.S. and Iran threatens to become a Hot War. The Cold War with Iran is more a traditional national rivalry than anything related to terrorism. Iran is both a regional power and influential but Washington, D.C. desires to have both that power and influence. The conflict between Iran and U.S. has for the most part been expressed with words and preparation for war. (See U.S. vs. Iran: Cold War, Too, Chomsky: There Will Be a Cold War Between Iran and the U.S.)

The last and the most complex of the four wars is the shadowy war of the Global War on Terror. The Global War on Terror is a collection of covert operations in countries that officially have friendly relations with the U.S. and in U.S. itself. A view of this war is like viewing an iceberg. The public can only see the tip of the Global War on Terror and guess at the size of the hidden part. The visible parts are the victims of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, torture and extraordinary rendition.

Hidden from view are the victims of illegal detention and warrantless wiretapping of US citizens. We can see hints of a gulag of secret prisons and secret actions in countries with a significant number of Muslims. If these actions were committed by individuals they would be considered illegal, immoral and War crimes.

Locations of these actions include but are not limited to these 50 countries; Afghanistan, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Chad, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gaza Strip/West Bank, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guantanamo Bay(U.S.), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Republic of Macedonia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Spain, Syria, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, U.S., Uzbekistan, Yemen (See Wikipedia: Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans Sahara, War on Terrorism, List of United States military history events, Extraordinary rendition, Black site)

Finding a Conclusion

Has a new Cold War begin between the U.S. and Russia? I don't believe so but it certainly seems possible in the next few years. Of course there are those who would like us to believe that the U.S. is facing only one war against terrorist with many fronts. You may wish to lump all these wars into the Global War on Terror and then justify it with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks but these wars have different opponents and goals. If the U.S. is to conclude any of these wars, it will have to resolve them one-by-one.

These four wars have been waged from four to six years. Since these wars have persisted longer than Civil War, World War I, and the Korean War, an evaluation of this huge Federal Government project should be made. Have any of these wars been successful in achieving their objectives? If you read Why We're Losing the War on Terror by DAVID COLE & JULES LOBEL in The Nation, September 24, 2007, you would might doubt the success of these adventures. Or if you could read Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat? by Patrick J. Buchanan, you might have some doubts. Despite a massive effort over six years by the most powerful military force ever, al-Qaeda remains operational.

The nationalist myth often implodes with a startling ferocity. It does so after the lies and absurdities that surround it become too hard to sustain. They collapse under their own weight. The contradictions and torturous refusal to acknowledge the obvious becomes more than a society is able to bear. The collapse is usually followed by a blanket refusal, caused by shame and discomfort, to examine or acknowledge the crimes carried out in the name of nationalist cause.

-From "War is a force that gives us meaning", pg. 58 & 59

As a realist, I hope that U.S. citizens take a realistic view of the current wars and foreign policies. Look at what we wish to achieve and how that might be done and then realistically view the likely outcomes of our efforts. These wars have failed to make U.S. or the world safer. I fear that the U.S. will have a difficult time facing the failures of these wars.

Once we sign on for war's crusade, once we see ourselves on the side of angels, once we embrace a theological or ideological belief system that defines itself as the embodiment of goodness and light, it is only a matter of how will carry out murder... It is especially important that we, who, wield such massive force across the globe, see within ourselves the seeds of our own obliteration. We must guard against the myth of war and the drug of war that can, together, render us as blind and callous as some of those we battle....The only antidote to ward off self-destruction and the indiscriminate use of force is humility and, ultimately compassion.

-From "War is a force that gives us meaning", pg. 9, 17