Tag Archives: war

Imitating the Soviets in Afghanistan

10 Aug

Obama’s healthcare plans have been dominating the media for the last month, so it’s no surprise that this little piece of news went nearly unnoticed here in the US. According to the UK Times Online, 45,000 more US Marines will be sent to Afghanistan. Anthony Cordesman, “an influential American academic,” says

The United States should send up to 45,000 extra troops to Afghanistan…

If Mr Cordesman’s recommendation reflects the view of General McChrystal, who recently presented the findings of a 60-day review of Afghanistan strategy to Washington, it would mean sending another nine combat brigades, comprising 45,000 American troops, in addition to the 21,000 already approved by President Obama. This would bring the total American military presence in Afghanistan to about 100,000, considerably closer to the force that was deployed for the counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq.

Not a word in the American press about this possible “surge” in Afghanistan, a war that ia costing the US $200 million every day, destablizing the entire region, strengthening the Taliban, and killing hundreds of civilians a day. Obama may be drawing down troop strength in Iraq, but his offensives in Afghanistan are dangerously counterproductive, creating and an endless list of new enemies with every bomb and drone missile.

100,000 Soviets and thousands of helicopters couldn’t tame the Afghan countryside. Two decades later, the sons of those Afghans who whipped the Soviets have been bleeding the US since since October 2001. What makes these war planners think that they ignore history and keep digging hole after hole in Central Asia?

If Cordesman and McChrystal are going to be giving orders in Afghanistan, then it is very likely that the US won’t be leaving anytime soon. General McChrystal was the top torturer in Iraq before Obama promoted him; Cordesman criticized Bush for not escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan enough and publicly praised Israel’s air and ground bombardment of the Gaza Strip last December.

These are some of the top minds running the US Empire, and they all have Obama’ ear.

There is also another possible war on the horizon as Israeli hawks continue to pressure the US to pre-emptively strike the Iranians. In the midst of a crippling depression, inflation, and debt, how long can the US maintain these desert killing-fields?

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Living under empire

8 Aug

The US Empire doesn’t just police the world anymore. It polices its own citizens as well, and the militarization of the US continues:

Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

Thankfully, and quite surprisingly, Bush refused the proposal, which would have been an unprecedented act of tyranny and abuse of power. One of the revolutionary concepts behind the drafting of the Constitution was the separation of law enforcement from the military. Kings and monarchs of the past often used the military to enforce their restrictive laws and force their subjects to submit to their will.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, one of the few good laws ever passed by Congress, was meant to enforce just this concept. Just the fact that using the military in this fashion was on the minds of some of the top members of the Bush gang is just one more example of their open disregard for the law and the Constitution.

Though Bush did not succumb to this seducing temptation, Americans are already accustomed to armed US Marines at drunk-driver catching “check points,” where we are guilty before proven innocent, and armed guards at US airports, where federal thugs monitor us as their fingers are inches away from their triggers.

And for those think our Great Leader Barackus Obamus would never dream of using the military on the continental US, you might be disappointed. The god-king already has 20,000 American troops ready at his disposal just in case some of us start raising too much of a racket in oppostion to Imperial DC.

All of this, of course, in the name of “national security.”

The militarization of ‘Independence Day’

5 Jul

After a weekend filled with the sound of fireworks that made my neighborhood sound like a small war zone, there was finally some peace and quiet to reflect on what “Independence Day” was originally a celebration of: the American colonists’ secession from the British Empire. Now it has morphed into an ugly and nauseating worship of the American State and its wars; the militarization of the 4th of July.

As Marines dragged 50-100 pound backpacks through the 100-degree Afghanistan sun this Saturday, Americans were constantly showered with slogans, images and celebrations of Presidents who left the Atlantic in ashes, interned 100,000 Japanese-Americans, burned Southern cities to the ground, wiped out Serbs from 20,000 feet, and other lovely things Presidents do “to protect our freedom.” The 4th of July is the U.S. war machine’s favorite holiday since it gets to witness millions of Americans wave government flags, parade down the street, and sing war-worshipping songs in church, for “freedom” of course. If you ask me, no German, Japanese, Vietnamese, Iraqi, Afghan, Panamanian, Libyan, Somalian, Cuban, or Iranian ever took away any of my rights, while the U.S. government continuously strips us of our constitutional liberties every time it threatens or bombs a foreign “enemy.”

Independence Day is now just another holiday for the Pentagram Pentagon to remind Americans of the glories of war, of America’s fights against “tyranny,” “terrorism” or “commies,” and how grateful we should be for it. The 4th of July is the worst of the military-worship holidays, but one can take a look at a calendar and find nearly one holiday a month celebrating the warfare state. Independence Day, Memorial Day in May, Veterans Day in November, Labor Day in September, and Presidents Day in January, where we all hear some one tell us to “remember the soldiers who died so you could be free.” Even Thanksgiving is used to glorify the American Empire, where we again thank the soldiers and put nice little ribbons on the back of our cars.

American soldiers are the casualties of this constant celebration of the death and destruction of war, as they are sent to places halfway across the world and told to wage war on weak, defenseless, and starving countries. The generals get promoted, the defense contractors line their wallets as well as the wallets of too many Congressmen, and the soldiers come home dead, maimed, suicidal and neglected. Then, because of these wars, Presidents say that they can ignore the Constitution and the Bill Rights; “for our freedom” of course.

Independence day has lost nearly all of its original meaning to the corrupting spell of the glorification of the State and its wars of aggression overseas. When I see government flags draping government parking meters on government streets and those annoying “patriotic” stickers, I wonder what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would have done. I think they would’ve gladly put on Redcoats and suppressed the rebellion so that they didn’t have to see an America that shook off the chains of an empire use those same bloody chains on the rest of the globe.

Out of Iraq? Don’t bet on it

5 Jul

June 30th was a day for Iraqis to celebrate, as U.S. troops finally withdrew from their major cities. After more than six years of foreign soldiers kicking in doors, paying off murderers, and soaking villages with white phosphorous, the Iraqis finally gained control of their land (and their problems).

This is part of Obama’s new “grand strategy” to “pull out” from Iraq by December 31, 2011, and until then U.S. forces will remain as night watchmen and have permission to enter cities only when the Iraqi government asks them to. U.S. puppet Prime Minister Malaki is hailing this as a “victory” for the Iraqi people, though there are still going to be 130,000 troops waiting for his call to crush anyone him and his Army can’t handle on their own.

This partial pull-out is nothing more than a metaphorical passing of the emperor-torch to Malaki, who now has the “sole” authority to request American troops. Obama’s new “grand strategy” (the perfect name for a plan coming from the Egomaniac-in-Chief) in Iraq is a way of making it seem like U.S. troops are being taken out of harm’s way so that he can justify keeping them there as long as possible.

The point of the invasion of Iraq was never to declare “victory” and go home. Empires don’t go home, and the U.S. invaded Iraq to continue its expansion of bases and Vatican-size embassies, expand its hegemonic influence in the region, and take out one of Israel’s biggest threats. Sen. George Casey, who used to be in charge of all forces in Iraq, has suggested U.S. forces will have to stay in the region for at least ten years. Well, ten more years isn’t really that long of a time compared to the sixty-four years (and counting) that the U.S. has occupied Germany and South Korea.

Iraq truly is a mess, which is why U.S. troops aren’t going to be knocking on their parents’ or wives’ doors anytime soon. Iraq is an artificial country with at least three different major ethnic tribes competing for power. The only way Iraq can heal these divisions and remain unified is if an ugly civil war occurs, and the winning faction holds the fractured country together by force, i.e. Saddam. Ivan Eland highlights some of the reasons why Iraq is broken beyond repair: a corrupt Parliament, hatred of U.S. forces, poor to no training of the Iraqi Army, factionalism, suicide bomb after suicide bomb, and basic sanitary services are still a rarity.

The U.S. military, overstretched and broke, was given the impossible job of  fixing these problems, some of them centuries old, and now will be waiting to sidelines if (when) they are needed for support. When will the American Empire learn that the world’s problems are too complex and too numerous to be fixed by our “surges” or our massive indiscriminate bombings?

Obama, like any good emperor, is convinced that the mess in the Middle East that he inherited can only be solved by overwhelming and crushing force (on a side note, the Air Force bombed a funeral the other day. We won’t even let them bury their dead before we create new graves to fill). This is why he is also sending thousands of more young Marines to Afghanistan and ordering soulless drones to fire missiles at anything and everything in Pakistan. The option of withdrawing and dealing openly and diplomatically with Iraq and her neighbors never seems to cross the mind of the U.S. war machine and the empty-suited emperors in the White House.

The U.S. is occupying over 120 countries with over 800 bases around the world, and Iraq is just another colony in our empire of bases, and we’re not leaving anytime soon.

Obama’s ‘transparency’ myth

28 Jun

Obama, who promised Americans a more open and “transparent” government than the previous eight years of lawlessness, has continuously proven that he is openly embracing this same corruption. First, it was his “preventive detention” reversal, where he promised to continue Bush’s defacto suspension of habeas corpus. Then it was the suppression of the most recent Abu Ghraib torture photos (which showed U.S. soldiers beating, torturing, and raping Arab captives). According to The Washington Post (thanks to the indispensable Glenn Greenwald), Obama is now planning an executive order that would “reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely,” which could also stall his supposed plans to close the U.S. Gulag at Guantanamo Bay. The article actually favorably quotes two former Bush national security officials who argued the merits of similar proposals when Bush was in office.

The “detainees” that this order would apply to would be subject to an “annual presidential review,” meaning that every year, the Pharaoh alone will decide whether or not the captured prisoners will continue to rot away in government cages without trials for another year.

This is astonishing. Obama would have the power to lock up anyone that he wants at his own discretion, without trial or without any resemblance of constitutional rights, and then throw away the key. This is all being justified by the so-called “war on terror,”  a war that by definition has no end and which the U.S. cannot conceivably win. Well, there are some winners (defense contractors and lobbyists), but the losers, which include our dead and maimed soldiers, our civil liberties, our currency and economy, constitutional government, and hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians, far outnumber them.

The irony of Obama’s election is that previous critics of the Bush Regime have jumped on Obama’s sinking ship of mimicry. There are a few Bush critics who are critical of Obama, like the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, but one can search in vain trying to find the mainstream Left saying a harsh word about the God-King. He’s their guy after all, and criticism is counterproductive to Obama’s efforts to nationalize every industry he can get his filthy hands on and pass the largest tax increase in U.S. history. Who cares about egregious constitutional violations now that Bush is out office?

Obama’s arrogance is worse than the Bush Junta’s, and that’s pretty hard to top. During Obama’s sickeningly ironic speech on civil liberties last month justifying these “preventive detentions,” he received a rounding applause as he stood in front of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives. Never in the short history of this country have corruption, secrecy, and war mongering been so supported, defended, and worshipped by so many. Queen Amidala, who witnessed her republic crumble in front of her very eyes, summed it up best: “…so this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause…”

Bush and Cheney were pretty upfront that they would act however the hell they wanted, Constitution be damned; Bush was “The Decider.” As Digby correctly notes, Obama and his thugs believe they have this same right to shred the Constitution, and the more his faux-charm and faux-eloquence continue to dazzle the embarrassing establishment media, he’ll be able to get away with anything.

American are fooled every four years into thinking that we have a say in the electoral process, but every four (or eight) years we choose a Republican Caesar or a Democrat Caesar, an elected dictator. Monarchs and emperors of the past liked to fashion narcissistic grandiose titles for themselves, and we should start applying this same rule to the current occupier of the Imperial Throne, Barackuss Obamus. Or better yet, Bush II.

*Please visit my Examiner blog and my Sic Semper Tyrannis blog, which I update frequently.

65 years later, remembering D-Day

27 Jun

t has been 65 years since the Allies began the invasion of Europe during WW-2, starting with perhaps the most famous battle in American history, the Battle of Normandy. D-Day. Immortalized by Steven Spielberg in Saving Private Ryan, this invasion opened up a second front against Hitler’s armies and was the beginning of the end of the bloodiest war in history.

There have been a number of stories this weekend about D-Day, and all of them uniformly repeat the same tiring and glorifying catchphrases: the liberation of Europe, defending liberty from dictators, and so on. It’s not that these slogans are wrong, it’s that they are true, but only up to a point, and it’s a tragedy that the press covers war with such a sentimental and almost worshipping voice.

There is another side of D-Day that rarely gets told. First of all, the liberation of Europe from the Nazi butchers, which was for six years waged with severe brutality and horror, was immediately handed over to Joseph Stalin’s butchers. Mass-murderer “Uncle Joe,” as FDR affectionately called him, and his future successors in the Kremlin would rule Eastern Europe with an iron fist. Stalin made Hitler look like a schoolboy, and the Soviets would proceed to starve, purge, tank-ify, ethnically cleanse, and murder 80 million people.

This is not downplaying the evilness of Hitler’s atrocities, just the point that war always has unexpected consequences. In this case, the U.S. and its Allies liberated Europe from a fascist dictator and replaced it with another, who after 40 years of a pointless tug-of-war with the U.S., wisely dismantled their empire (we could learn a lot from the wise Gorbachev and the Soviet situation of the late 1980s: broke, and bogged down in Afghanistan. Sound familiar?). We may have won WW2, but we definitely lost the peace.

Second of all, Normandy civilians also felt war’s unintended consequences. Laurence Vance has a great post about the effect D-Day had on French civilians:

And then there is the effect of the D-Day invasion on civilians. According to an article about Antony Beevor’s new book, D-Day, 20,000 French civilians were killed within three months of the D-Day landing. Some villages in Normandy only recently began having D-Day celebrations. What? How ungrateful these people were for the ‘hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families.’ Or perhaps it was because of the ‘theft and looting of Normandy households and farmsteads by liberating soldiers’ that ‘began on June 6 and never stopped during the entire summer.’ Or perhaps it was the “3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war.

I am not suggesting that the 150,000 U.S., British, and Canadian troops who stormed Normandy, and the 10,000 who didn’t return, did not fight bravely and honorably. They epitomized those words, and there are countless stories that prove it. The point is that this “collateral damage” is rarely mentioned in the WW-2 idolizing press. We hear a little bit about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but stories of civilian deaths are systematically ignored, from the thousands of German and Japanese civilian cities that lay in ashes after Allied planes were done with them to the over 100,000 deaths and 3 million casualties in our trilliion-dollar-desert-killing fields in Iraq.

The horrors of war, and especially modern warfare, were on display on D-Day, and we can only hope that there will never be another one.

Obama’s war on the internet

27 Jun

President Obama is a busy man these days. Barely four months into office, he’s expanded Bush’s war in Afghanistan, opened up a new military front in Western Pakistan, and warns that we might have to stay in Iraq for another ten years. Now he’s looking for another war, this time against the internet.

The other day, Obama warned us against the dangers that a free and unregulated internet poses. Coincidientally, Senate bills No. 773 and 778, or the CyberSecurity Act of 2009, would give him emergency authority to halt web traffic and access private information for “national security reasons” (of course). Just the thought of O-bomber and his thugs Axelrod, Rahmy, and Holder with this kind of power runs chills up my spine. Just look at some of the things they will be allowed to do (thanks to Karl Denninger):

page 40 has some truly frightening implications, among them granting The Department of Commerce plenary authority to invade networks and access the data therein irrespective of Constitutional or legal restrictions against that action.

Finally, there is a provision within this draft allowing The President to order disconnection of any “critically important” infrastructure – but it does not define what that is, once again, granting effective plenary authority to The President to silence communications irrespective of Constitutional protections regarding Free Speech.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of the press…” Sound familiar? That’s the heart of the 1st Amendment being trampled by the “liberal” Obama. Obama is doing well at imitating his idol Abraham Lincoln, who also waged war on the press, speech, and political opponents (our “greatest” President locked up almost 40,000 anti-war journalists without trials, arrested the mayor of Baltimore and had him taken to the Union Army’s Fort McHenry gulag, and threatened to arrest the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court).

Obama has rushed more than half-a-dozen of the most expensive and scariest bills in U.S. history through Congress at lightning speed, and since he’s already controlling GM and policing the world, the logical next step would be keeping a watchful eye on the internet. This reminds of one of the best Thomas Jefferson quotes:

I’d rather live in a country with a free press and no government, than in one with a government but no press.

A free press and no Obama? Sounds like a recurring dream of mine, where it’s 2012 and a liberty-loving doctor dismantles our empire and gives the Constitution a real defribillation.

Naturally, Obama  and Co. see the internet as a threat since the District of Corruption is obviously bankrupt on their own ideas, so they’re going straight to the heart of any opposition, under the guise of “security” (didn’t Bush tell us that our Bill of Rights could be ignored in the name of “security?”). Obama looks like he is taking cues from his awful Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who years ago urged the creation of a “gatekeeper” for the internet.

Where is Obama’s promise to “solve” the abuses our Constitution took under the iron boot of the Bush Administration? The Constitution, the greatest political middle finger to empires, Caesars, and tax collecters ever, continuees to be shredded under a President who embraces all three.

Obama’s wars are mounting up more and more casualties. In the Middle East, they are villages and cities (I’m sorry, “collateral damage”) under pummeling air strikes; in his war on the internet, our precious liberties (at least what’s left of them) are the targets.