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There are at least three major institutions on earth that have outlived their usefulness and become baldly destructive and should be done away with: corporations, armies and religions. “Armies” will unnerve some, but think of it, without corporations and religions most of the causes of war will evaporate. Plus, wholesale murder is no longer profitable (if it ever was, beyond the obscene success of a very few greedy people) and generally accomplishes nothing (e.g. 50 years after the Korean War the peninsula is still militarized, divided and unstable). The emerging moral is that we should grow up, stop fighting like schoolyard bullies over whose dog is prettiest and who gets all the marbles, and begin to cooperate with one another for the purpose of sharing this shrinking world and its dwindling resources without turning into maddened overcrowded cannibalistic rats in a global-sized cage.
I am a veteran and senior citizen.
The war in Iraq was a personal project for George W. Bush, using American lives and treasure. He effectively ruined the world’s finest military. He fought like the boneheaded novice that he is, and like British General Kitchener at Gallipoli, observing allied troops running uphill against heavy Turkish guns at his order, said, “Stout fellows, they always run for the thickest part of the fence.”
Added to which, Bush’s expensive technological war toys often did not work. They were only designed to fill the pockets of his war-profiteering cronies; that’s what they were meant to accomplish.
Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.
As a Vietnam veteran, I know Johnson‘s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted). He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare. The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:
“In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional. Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege. Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public. At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, to put it bluntly, stupidity.”
America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch. This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact. But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San. We stood nearly twenty years (dating from Eisenhower putting the first American boots on the ground in the Fifties when the French got tossed out) while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam. Our prolonged stay, and Nixon’s side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush leadership miasma; and our present dilemma under Obama.
We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic. Look at how the radical right Republicans and Tea Party and War Democrats have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor! The self-destructive insanity of the radical right way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.
These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit. Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it. End our wars now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys. It is time to grow up. No more useless bloodshed!
We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!