More American troops will be sent into the Mideast quagmire. We only discovered that Americans troops had been sent back to Iraq–breaking a 2011 promise by President Barck Obama–after some had been killed.
Apparently the US soldiers had been sent in when Iraqi soldiers had fled their positions. The ISIS mortars had been precisely zereoed in on the camp and our people had been set up. How many more American replacements have to die for the Iraqis who won’t fight?
Iraq’s infirmity has created a vast opportunity for Sunni radicals to surge. The Iraq Army is controlled by Shia, who live to the east of the Sunni or share lands along the Euphrates River valley.
The Shia are culturally and philosohically linked to Iran. The Saudis are Sunni-led and de facto represent the Sunnis in Iraq, who share the radical sect of Wahabi.
The idea that Iraq can persist as an independent nation is a complete fantasy. The U.S. intervention from 2003 to 2011, and 2016-?, began without an understanding of how religion divided the Iraqis. This schism will continue to plague the country.
We brought our own cultural preconceptions to the country when we invaded without clear victory or withdrawal conditions established. This oversight has come back to haunt us. Just like the British in the 1920s, we’re caught up in trying to manage a country that is by virtue of its foreign-drawn borders not a country.
Now there’s no reason that people of different tribes and races can’t come together and manage their country, allowing all people equal rights. But largely the idea that a plural democracy can be established is a Western development.
Yes, as colonies gained independence, many borders were drawn without regard to where indigenous people lived. And places like India and Indonesia contained a vast diverse number of different kinds of people, and languages, and cultures, they have been able to govern themselves (with the Indonesian example less peacefully.)
So indigenous groups don’t have to be cleansed. Those who are different only pose a threat in the imagination of intolerant, who rule through the use of division rather than the rule of law. So overcoming ethnic and racial difference is possible, and indeed a good thing in giving the inhabitants an example of how to get along.
Tolerance isn’t compatible with religious fundamentalism. By virtue of its radical rejection of other religions and viewpoints, intolerance is a defining characteristic of fundamentalism.
Islamic fundamentalism is clearly a reality that dominates political affiliations, borders, and legal and governmental infrastructure. What we haven’t been able to understand is how this element renders any domestic political reform based on Western principles of tolerance and pluralism doomed to fail.
Rather than being being rejected, democracy can become a tool of fundamentalists. Hitler, after all, was democratically elected. The laws he used against Jews and other purged minorities were passed by a legitimately elected and duly empowered German parliament.
Strauss, the father of the neoconservative movement, saw Hitler’s rise and blamed the Western democracies for letting it happen. He believed that the horrors inflicted by the Nazis–not just on others but their own people as well–justified intervention.
Strauss’ students would later rise to occupy positions of considerable authority under the Bush administration. Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, and numerous others became key architects of our policy in the Mideast. They created a policy called Clean Break, where Islamic nations from Syria to Pakistan were targetted for regime change or destabilization.
Looking back now, it’s clear the Clean Break has succeeded in numerous countries–Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. Other targets remain–most notable among them Iran. Iran carries a great deal of significance due to comments last year by the Democratic presumptive nominee. If elected, she will continue to follow the Clean Break goal by invading Iran.
Invading Iran isn’t at all like an Iraq. Iran is a real country. It’s much bigger than Vietnam, and has impenetrable geography and an extensive air defense system, using new Soviet (oops I mean Russian) S-300 surface-to-air missiles.
The S-300 is a problem. A big problem. I don’t know if we’re even aware of how challenging it will be to overcome Iran’s defenses.
Hatred of the infidel runs deep there. The population will never subjugate themselves to rule by infidels, or any puppet colluding with the infidels. Much like Vietnam, the entire country will come together in supporting guerilla warfare as long as any infidels occupy the country.
At some point, following Strauss doctrine to its end becomes an act of treason against the Untied States. If there’s no way that a military intervention can end with a favorable outcome but rather an ignominious withdrawal a la Vietnam–ignorance isn’t a good enough excuse.
Like Iraq, after an extended period we come to realize that an Iranian occupation can’t work–nor can it ever–and that the lives sacrificed will have been in vain. It’s not the purpose of our leaders to allow the loss of so much blood and treasure needlessly, to such an unproductive outcome.
Now in order to see the foolishness and indeed willful ignorance at that, we must be able to see how our policy in Iraq has failed. And to do that, we must peel away the blinders of exceptionalism, emerge from our mistaken belief in our own fallibility, and accept that Clean Break isn’t going to work.
So it’s the process of reason that demonstrates the value of clarity. It’s the brain-dead acceptance of whatever cockamamie scheme comes out of the neocon camp that poses such a threat. It’s not the Iranians. It’s not the Iraqis (at least until after our invasion opened the door for Sunni radicals previously repressed under Saddam.)
The presumptive nominee has said that we lost no one in Libya, despite the Benghazi event which saw four Americans perish under horribly violent circumstances, televised live to the Islamic world.
More than the loss of life (and ending which could have ended so much more honorably in the simple act of a few 500 pounders, homing in on the coverage signal…perhaps) the Libyan fiasco showed how utterly out of touch our leadership is. If they can deny the loss of life in Libya, where else can the consequences of Clean Break be ignored?
The purpose of Clean Break was originally to stop the rise of a Hitler. It’s become instead a dull axe, thumping away at the branches while the root, Thoreau’s root, goes untouched.
Increasingly, Clean Break has become a domestic political goal aiming to placate Jewish and Zionist lobbies. No candidate will rise to the domestic ticket without placating these vested interests. That’s why Donald Trump is so exceptional. He appears on the surface willing to confront the failures of Clean Break and our inability to extricate ourselves from various entanglements.
We’ll see what really happens if Trump reaches the White House, an event I deem highly unlikely. He’s simply pissed off too many people. White America isn’t America any more. Perhaps the Tea Party extremists who will back him do a better job in the role of obstructionist haters than being thrust into the forefront of governance. Look no farther than Kansas and Governor Brownback to see how vital government functions have been curtailed, and public services decimated. If the only alternative to government is no government then I think most people will accept bad government.
Americans shouldn’t have to chose between the lesser or two evils. They deserve real government and a choice at the Presidential level of candidates with solid qualifications, who are capable of leading all Americans, not just those whom they agree or identify with.
This pathetic new direction in American politics encourages the further dumbing down and non-participation in the electoral process, especially among Millenials who are now the largest generation in the U.S..
The levels of political apathy and ignorance among Millenials is astounding. Part of the blame can be put on a deteriorating educational system–the U.S. is far down the list compared to other developed nations, and even some that aren’t so developed. Critical thinking is repressed and bullying is endemic among the young.
Apathy, the belief that political participation will achieve nothing, clearly serve the status quo and Establishment at the expense of the young.
Yes, it’s good for the Establishment to be able to continue ineffective or counterproductive strategies like Clean Break, but only for vested interests and only up to a point. As we’re seeing in Iraq, the longer that a flawed policy is allowed to continue–a reflection of the power of the Zionist lobby and out-of-touchness of our leaders–the more damage to the national interest.
Clearly a lag in facing the consequences of failed policies lets those responsible escape to comfy speaking engagements rather than face the political blowback. Young people, on the other hand, will reap the consequences of our failed policies for generations.
I mean how can anyone sending our soldiers into battle not understanding our enemy? The enemy, partially one of our own creation, through our interventions into Muslim lands, will not relent. Clean Break has seeded future generations of conflict as radical fundamentalists counterattack in wildly unpredictable ways. As easy as it is to order a drone attack, so too will it be a natural matter of course for the relatives of the victims to seek revenge.
The more cynical among us might assume that Iraq and Clean Break were meant to force future generations of Americans to continue a valiant struggle against Islamic people. Periodic strikes against the West will come; likely these will simply strengthen resolve to get them over there before they get us here.
Paranoia isn’t a bad outcome if it forces the U.S. into endless unwinnable wars to benefit Israel and the Military industrial Complex (with an evisceration of liberties and growth of the National Security State as a domestic bonus.)
Without any way out, I think even the Israelis would admit things will get worse. Without a way to turn it off–killing Saddam of Khaddafy didn’t help, if anything they enabled the rise of fundamentalists–the relentless use of hard power will eliminate the possibility of more peaceful results. In the nuclear age, coexistence is a necessity. (We recently learned that the Saudis have nuclear weapons, given to them by the Pakistanis.)
So it’s in the best interests of young Americans and Israelis to seek out alternatives to military intervention. Problem is, we’ve managed to aggravate so many of the Islamists that the chief source of their strength–the reason for their existence and popularity– is opposition to U.S./Israeli hegemony, which manifests itself most obviously in the use of drone strikes and other displays of hard power.
It’s amazing how even the most hardened terrorists seem like avenging angels to the powerless victims of occupation and invasion, those who’ve suffered grievously. Each reprisal will bring further interventions, which is perhaps what Clean Break really seeks to achieve–an open-ended, unwinnable crusade against Israel’s enemies.
Ending the policy will save many future Americans from the reprisals of our Mideast policy, not to mention the vast body count which will come from an Iranian invasion.