Or: perpetual warfare is the new black
By: Mark Linnhoefer
These past weeks have been pretty hard on my heart, to be honest. It seems every time I decide to sit down and read some news, I come across some statement so incredibly, dangerously stupid that it makes me cringe.
Well . . . The first such statement I heard today was uttered by an association called the “American Center for Law and Justice” (ACLJ), which is officially doing business as “Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc.” — a tax-exempt, non-for-profit, religious organization urging Congress to repeal Obama’s request for an “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF) to combat ISIS. That alone does not sound all too alarming, now does it?
But when we dig just a tiny bit deeper we quickly realize that the reasoning behind their rejection of the President’s proposal is that of a war-mongering, bigoted psychopath: they’re pissed because it would limit the use of ground troops for the next president also, and they believe that soldiers on the field are needed to fight the threat to America that they believe ISIS to be. The thing that bugs me most about this is that the ACLJ only started speaking up when Egyptian Christians were abducted by the Islamist terrorists. All of a sudden, it’s not just some people far away being killed, no, now they’re CHRISTIAN AND NEED TO BE SAVED! Fucking hell, this hypocrisy stinks all the way up to the pearly gates. These people are silent when it’s about some Middle Eastern villagers being shot down, but God forbid those filthy terrorists dare lay their damned paws on decent Christian folk. Then drones and bombs are insufficient, apparently. It’s full-on war from then on.
Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t particularly endorse Obama’s AUMF either because it is formulated too broadly and would allow the US to bomb a few more Middle Eastern countries as they see fit and because the sole reason for its existence is that the President has patted his own back far too often for “ending the Iraq war” for him to still feel comfortable relying on the AUMF from the early 2000s that George Bush used to invade Iraq. Obama publicly said that this Authorization is no longer actively used by the US government, but it is actually the only even remotely constitutional backing he has for his bombings and drone attacks in Iraq and Syria. This is once again one of those disgusting displays of hypocrisy that seems inherent to the position of the President of the United States: waging war with the only legal justification being an AUMF that has publicly been denounced as no longer active and then trying to push through a new Authorization that would repeal the old one but essentially have the same effect, all for PR reasons. ISIS is no direct threat to America, at least not as far as I know. They don’t have any missiles or bombs that could actually reach United States soil, and even if they did, the US defense shield is powerful enough to prevent any actual damage. Now, of course, steps need to be taken to address this inhumane group, but is reviving the Iraq war that has (officially that is) been over for a couple of years really the right way to go? Do we really want to see a proposal that would keep new American troops out of the Middle East repealed because some ass-wipes feel that Christians need protection? On the other hand, do we want to see ANY US involvement in a region that has been sandbagged into extreme poverty by — and has become a hotbed for extremist ideologies because of — illicit American invasions for almost two decades? I certainly do not. We don’t need a world police, we need actual, viable approaches to foreign policy, and neither the AUMF nor its repeal will provide anything close to that.
But of course it does not stop there: Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, has officially announced that he distrusts the Ukrainian separatists and believes that they will attack Mariupol in spring because “[Putin] wants a whole entity composed of the two oblasts [regions] in eastern Ukraine which would include a land bridge to Crimea and perhaps a port in specifically Mariupol.”
According to Mr. Clapper, America is already at war with Russia and therefore needs to provide lethal weaponry to the Ukrainian armed forces as soon as possible. He is further stating, with no reservations whatsoever, that the Russian president is supporting and even controlling the Eastern Ukrainian rebel forces, which is really fucked up diplomatically speaking. It is also the Director of National Intelligence who does not label the Ukrainian debacle as a failure of US foreign policy, which is in itself a pretty pathetic joke if you ask me. The US-backed regime in Kiev is openly affiliated with European Nazis, US foreign policy has driven Europe to the brink of war, and US propaganda — such as Mr. Clapper’s bold statement about Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian civil war — is stirring an already out of control fire.
But, oh no, that’s no failure in James’ eyes, probably because a new, remote war is just the kind of boost that the US economy and the government’s domestic reputation crave. It is sad to see, really, that my predictions are slowly manifesting themselves in reality. The aggression is getting worse, the propaganda is getting more elaborate, and all signs are pointing to war coming sometime soon. Judging from statements made by high-ranking government officials, America is already in a state of war with Russia, and the Ukrainian conflict is slowly but surely being turned into a proxy war reminiscent of Korea and Vietnam, and we all know how those ended: desolated, devastated, and utterly destroyed countries, thousands of casualties, and no actual solutions. The Korean War has spawned one of the most restrictive and inhumane governments of the 21st century, and the Vietnam War drove a whole generation of Americans bat-shit crazy, and crippled many future Vietnamese generations. Instead of learning from these failures, US politicians are trying to repeat those very same mistakes in the Ukraine and are too stubborn to realize that they’re not the solution but the problem.
Connecting all the dots, a picture of greed slowly shines through. Material and influential greed. Iraq has the oil, Iran has the nukes and terrorists, and yet the invasion of Iraq was backed by an AUMF in 2001, which is still used to wage war against the Middle East today, and for what? Is it to stop ISIS, which is an American invention gone rogue and wouldn’t exist if the US had kept its nose out of other countries’ business in the first place? Or is it to strengthen US influence? I’m guessing it’s the latter . . .
And the Ukrainian situation boils down to the same greed, but on another level. Washington apparently still perceives Russia as a huge threat to its definition of world-wide democracy and is therefore keen on expanding NATO towards the East to secure an advantageous position against the Russian threat. It’s really too fucked up for words, the degree to which the world’s most powerful men are still stuck in this Cold War era thinking of Us versus Them, capitalism versus communism, West versus East. That kind of bigoted black-and-white mindset is eventually going to lead the entire fucking planet to all-out, possibly nuclear war, and that is what’s really messed up about statements such as those of the ACLJ and Mr. Clapper. They don’t seem to realize — or perhaps they do not care or are being disingenuous — that saying something like that in their position is bound to stir up hatred and polarize the voting population to a point where they’ll actually be asking for violent “solutions” to the problems of this world. Then again, that would fit nicely into the US war schemes, so it’s not that unlikely to think that these people know exactly what they’re saying and what effect it will have on those they reach.
I really hope that the citizens are not so gullible as to believe everything they hear on TV just because it was said by someone official, seeing as they are the very people that should not be trusted. At all. And if we connect the dots, we can all see that quite clearly. Selah.