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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘endless war’

The Trump Administration Kills Coldly in Yemen, Putting Jobs Before Lives – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2020

It soon became evident that the Saudi military is a vanity force, largely for show. Even with abundant American assistance, providing planes and munitions, training personnel, refueling planes, and giving intelligence to assist in targeting, Riyadh found itself stuck in what became an endless war, a quagmire that revealed the Saudi royals to be incompetent, unimaginative fools.

However, they proved to be efficient killers – of civilians.

Weapons supplied by American companies, approved by American officials, allowed Saudi Arabia to pursue the reckless campaign.”

https://original.antiwar.com/doug-bandow/2020/05/17/the-trump-administration-kills-coldly-in-yemen-putting-jobs-before-lives/

Many observers have been mystified by the Saudi regime’s hold over President Donald Trump. For years he had criticized the gaggle of corrupt, dissolute royals. He also asked why Americans were paying to defend the wealthy, licentious al-Saud family, as it practiced totalitarianism at home and promoted Islamic fundamentalism abroad, including in America.

Yet Trump made his first trip as president to Saudi Arabia. Some observers wondered if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had salvaged his infamous orb from Mordor’s collapse eons ago and used it to take control of the president’s mind. No other explanation made sense.

Now the New York Times reports that the fault lies with Peter Navarro, the protectionist aide who spends much of his time urging economic and real war with China. He apparently was instrumental in convincing the president to put the profits of munition makers before the lives of Yemenis.

Consider the tragedy that had befallen Yemen, a deeply divided and tragically impoverished nation. During the Arab Spring the Yemeni people ousted the longtime president, leaving a weak and unpopular successor. The former chief executive joined a longtime rebel movement to overthrow the government. All par for the course in a divided land that has never known peace or stability.

But MbS, as the reckless, impulsive, dictatorial crown prince is known, wanted a toady in power next door. He also desired to demonstrate that he was the Big Man in the Middle East. So he and his counterpart in the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, created a faux coalition filled with the bought and conscripted and invaded Yemen. The conquest was supposed to be completed in a few weeks.

It soon became evident that the Saudi military is a vanity force, largely for show. Even with abundant American assistance, providing planes and munitions, training personnel, refueling planes, and giving intelligence to assist in targeting, Riyadh found itself stuck in what became an endless war, a quagmire that revealed the Saudi royals to be incompetent, unimaginative fools.

However, they proved to be efficient killers – of civilians. Reported the Times: “Year after year, the bombs fell – on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats and a school bus, killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Weapons supplied by American companies, approved by American officials, allowed Saudi Arabia to pursue the reckless campaign.”

Notably, President Barack Obama and the supposedly liberal interventionists who surrounded him, who insisted that something must be done to stop the killing in Syria, didn’t care and didn’t act. Nothing changed with President Trump; if anything, he seemed bewitched when he returned from his May 2017 trip. The slaughter continued. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Switch: ‘Liberal’ Thought Police and Endless War – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2019

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/11/05/the-switch-liberal-thought-police-and-endless-war/

“People can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders…All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
~
Hermann Goering, Nazi Field Marshal and Hitler henchman

Somehow I’m always a “traitor.” At least according to my critics. It’s a rather odd thing, however. See, I’ve been penning antiwar screeds for over five years, much of it done whilst still on active duty. During just under three of those years Obama was president. Back then, when I criticized Bush’s old wars and Obama’s new ones, my ubiquitous hate mail – “love it or leave it,” “you’re a communist,” “you’re a disgrace to the uniform” – came from the hawkish right. That much I expected.

Then my universe inverted. The moment Trump was elected, if ever I dared cheer his anti-interventionist rhetoric (though rarely his deeds), my “friends” on left attacked me with even more intensity than the neocons. But the language was mostly the same. I was still a “traitor,” still “anti-American,” only now I was also a “Trump-apologist,” even a “Putin-puppet.” Once purportedly antiwar liberals were horrified that I hoped, and sought to encourage, that Trump might end even a couple of the hopeless American conflicts. Born again hawks, these folks now rose like a mythical Phoenix to support the wars Trump theoretically opposed. As a tiny band played “The World Turned Upside Down” on repeat in my head, it occurred to me that this turn of events represented something profound: liberal thought policing, consensus disciplining, and the limits of Democrats’ antiwar activism.

Look, I’m a lefty, for the most part. My academic specialty is in African-American civil rights history. Eugene Debs is one of my heroes. The morning after the 2016 election I said unspeakable, hateful things – the sort you can’t really take back – to my Trump-voting father. In my last year in the army, I was even under a serious, pension-threatening, investigation according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ,” for the crime of publishing language “contemptuous” of President Trump.

The editors here at Antiwar.com accept my “progressive” sins because we’re in the end-the-endless-war trenches together. But of course, my libertarian friends enjoy treating me to a good ribbing. So you can understand why it seems so odd, so preposterous, this recent spate of attacks leveled against me as a “Trump apologist,” even a “Trump supporter.” I mean I’m not. Still, the fact that my ostensible compatriots – at least the mainstream liberals – are the ones directing these attacks is instructive. Their hysterical critiques define these alarmist times. Consider it Red Scare 2.0: Russia Strikes Back.

On some level, this is nothing new…

Large majorities of all Americans, but especially Democrats, seem eminently persuadable to support a new war, this time with Iran. Just as 42 percent of the public believed – even after the invasion of Iraq – that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and 55 percent thought he directly supported Al Qaeda (neither was even remotely true), so too are the citizens of today misinformed about Iran. In a poll conducted late last month, 84 percent of Americans said they were concerned that Iran was developing nuclear weapons (it is not), including 89 percent of Democrats. Say what?

Lastly, there’s the, perhaps even more dangerous, liberal establishment’s policing of foreign policy thought, which narrows the range of “acceptable” discourse, and threatens (small d) democracy. That’s where the attacks on my writing, my character, and my “Americanism,” come in. But it isn’t just me. Hillary Clinton, the New York Times, and the CNN-MSNBC duo’s absurd slander that Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard – an antiwar long shot presidential contender and serving major in the US Army – is a “Russian asset,” being “groomed,” perhaps by the Republicans, for a third-party run, personifies the current fit of national delirium. Tulsi’s combat tours (what branch did Hillary or Rachel serve in?) couldn’t save her from accusations of treason – a crime punishable by death for a serving soldier – and my 18 odd years in uniform won’t protect me from the new breed of Democratic neo-McCarthyism.

Mind you, the establishment liberal thought police have not, and will not, provide a shred of evidence that I, Tulsi, and our like-minded brothers and sisters are “un-American” “traitors.” They don’t have to. Even muted praise for Trump’s few sensible pronouncements, or the use “Putin talking points” like ending regime change wars, is today a sin punishable by libel, by professional and intellectual exile. Proof, evidence, truth – these concepts no longer matter. As a Bush official pronounced back in the Iraq War days, “We’re an empire now.” And as the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy so presciently wrote, “When it comes to Empire, facts don’t matter…”

Be seeing you

Bernie Blasts Hillary's "Outrageous" Gabbard "Russian ...

 

 

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What a Nobel Peace Prize, the Federal Reserve, and endless war have in common | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2019

War funding is the main reason the government needs this hidden tax power.

With the help of the Federal Reserve, about $8 trillion of the $22 trillion national debt was spent on the wars in the middle east since 2001.

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/what-a-nobel-peace-prize-the-federal-reserve-and-endless-war-have-in-common/

By Joe Jarvis

It was ten years ago that Congressman Ron Paul released his book, End the Fed.

It immediately shot to number six on the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Paul’s message was that the Federal Reserve was created to bail out banks. It privatized profits for them and socialized losses for the rest of us.

He said the system works against us by killing competition among banks and hiding taxes through inflation.

He’s right. The Federal Reserve can create money out of thin air, and lend it to the government to spend. But increasing the supply of money– when it’s not backed by anything– leads to inflation.

That’s because there are more dollars chasing the same amount of goods in the economy. So every dollar is worth less.

But the government benefits from the value stolen from each existing dollar… because it makes each dollar of government debt worth less in the future. Therefore inflation is just a hidden tax.

War funding is the main reason the government needs this hidden tax power.

In 2009, nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize closed just 11 days after President Obama took office.

Later that year, The Nobel Committee selected Obama to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Somehow, they knew that Obama– the new Commander-in-Chief of a nation embroiled in two wars– was truly a peaceful man.

At the same time, the Federal Reserve went to work on “quantitative easing”– a.k.a printing money. Ostensibly to save the country from a recession, the Fed conjured up trillions of new dollars.

But as you know, the wars continued…then they expanded.

The US gave air support to Libyan rebels in 2011, ousting Ghadaffi. Ghadaffi was no angel, but at least the country was stable under his regime. Today Libya is lawless and serves as a breeding ground for terrorism. Open public slave-markets have returned to Libya after being virtually non-existent during Ghadaffi’s four-decade rule.

The same year, America’s Nobel-peace-prize-winning President escalated drone bombings in Yemen which continue to this day, causing countless civilian casualties.

And then the US started bombing Syria, siding with rebels in the fight against Bashir al-Assad. Again, not a great guy. Yet the opposition forces, which the US funneled weapons to, included ISIS…

By 2015, Obama had sent in US ground forces to stop ISIS from gaining a foothold in the country which the US destabilized.

With the help of the Federal Reserve, about $8 trillion of the $22 trillion national debt was spent on the wars in the middle east since 2001.

But it hasn’t helped.

Today, the US is still bombing Yemen, is still at war with Afghanistan, still has troops in Iraq and in Syria, where the civil war continues.

And now you can hear the war drums beating once again, this time for Iran.

The wars have not ended, and neither has the Fed.

Today, the same banks that got us into the 2008-2009 recession exist, because the Federal Reserve helped bail them out.

They engage in the same behavior that got us into the last recession– essentially betting customers’ deposits on toxic investments, without enough reserves to back even a fraction of the potential catastrophic losses.

The US isn’t going to voluntarily end the Fed any more than it will pull out of all its wars and overseas interventions.

But the inflation needed for the war (and created by the Fed) threatens both the perpetual warfare system and the Federal Reserve…

Be seeing you

Commodity Money | Pronk Palisades

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Years and $8 Billion Later, US-built Afghan Air Force Still Struggling – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2019

Endless War, Endless US tax dollars

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/01/10/11-years-and-8-billion-later-us-built-afghan-air-force-still-struggling/

Jason Ditz

…Officials say that 11 years after the US started this process, and about $8 billion of US funding in, the Afghan Air Force is still struggling. Only about one in five airstrikes in Afghanistan involves an Afghan plane, and officials say that civilian casualties in Afghan strikes are even worse than the shoddy track record of the US planes.

The plans are to continue growing the air force, but US officials concede there is no timetable that’s going to get them to the point where the Afghans can control the skies of their country by themselves, with the expectation of them relying heavily on US air support for years, perhaps decades to come.

And relying on American money, of course…

graveyard

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Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2019

It took only 30 years for Arkin to figure out he was working for a lie factory.

Better late than never…I guess.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

A journalist with NBC has resigned from the network with a statement which highlights the immense resistance that ostensibly liberal mass media outlets have to antiwar narratives, skepticism of US military agendas, and any movement in the opposite direction of endless military expansionism.

January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good,” begins an email titled ‘My goodbye letter to NBC’ sent to various contacts by William M Arkin, an award-winning journalist who has been associated with the network for 30 years.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve left NBC, but this time the parting is more bittersweet, the world and the state of journalism in tandem crisis,” the email continues. “My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Endless War Has Been Normalized And Everyone Is Crazy – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2018

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/12/22/endless-war-has-been-normalized-and-everyone-is-crazy/

Since I last wrote about the bipartisan shrieking, hysterical reaction to Trump’s planned military withdrawal from Syria the other day, it hasn’t gotten better, it’s gotten worse. I’m having a hard time even picking out individual bits of the collective freakout from the political/media class to point at, because doing so would diminish the frenetic white noise of the paranoid, conspiratorial, fearmongering establishment reaction to the possibility of a few thousands troops being pulled back from a territory they were illegally occupying.

Endless war and military expansionism has become so normalized in establishment thought that even a slight scale-down is treated as something abnormal and shocking. The talking heads of the corporate state media had been almost entirely ignoring the buildup of US troops in Syria and the operations they’ve been carrying out there, but as soon as the possibility of those troops leaving emerged, all the alarm bells started ringing. Endless war was considered so normal that nobody ever talked about it, then Trump tweeted he’s bringing the troops home, and now every armchair liberal in America who had no idea what a Kurd was until five minutes ago is suddenly an expert on Erdoğan and the YPG. Lindsey Graham, who has never met an unaccountable US military occupation he didn’t like, is now suddenly cheerleading for congressional oversight: not for sending troops into wars, but for pulling them out.

“I would urge my colleagues in the Senate and the House, call people from the administration and explain this policy,” Graham recently told reporters on Capitol Hill. “This is the role of the Congress, to make administrations explain their policy, not in a tweet, but before Congress answering questions.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Endless War and the Lack of a Progressive Critique of the Pentagon – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2018

So, while it’s true that the military establishment failed to win those “hearts and minds” in Vietnam or more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, they sure as hell didn’t fail to win them here. In Homeland, U.S.A., in fact, victory has been achieved and, judging by the latest Pentagon budgets, it couldn’t be more overwhelming.

https://original.antiwar.com/william_astore/2018/10/30/endless-war-and-the-lack-of-a-progressive-critique-of-the-pentagon/

by 

A few months back, I wrote a note to one of my senators to complain about America’s endless wars and received a signed reply via email. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it was a canned response, but no less telling for that. My senator began by praising American troops as “tough, smart, and courageous, and they make huge sacrifices to keep our families safe. We owe them all a true debt of gratitude for their service.” OK, I got an instant warm and fuzzy feeling, but seeking applause wasn’t exactly the purpose of my note.

My senator then expressed support for counterterror operations, for, that is, “conducting limited, targeted operations designed to deter violent extremists that pose a credible threat to America’s national security, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), localized extremist groups, and homegrown terrorists.” My senator then added a caveat, suggesting that the military should obey “the law of armed conflict” and that the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that Congress hastily approved in the aftermath of 9/11 should not be interpreted as an “open-ended mandate” for perpetual war.

Finally, my senator voiced support for diplomacy as well as military action, writing, “I believe that our foreign policy should be smart, tough, and pragmatic, using every tool in the toolbox – including defense, diplomacy, and development – to advance U.S. security and economic interests around the world.” The conclusion: “robust” diplomacy must be combined with a “strong” military.

Now, can you guess the name and party affiliation of that senator? Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama’s Legacy: War Without End | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 17, 2017

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/obamas-legacy-war-without-end/

Gene Healy comments on the dreary foreign policy legacy Obama leaves behind:

In a speech to US troops last month, he denounced the “false promise” that “we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs,” and piously proclaimed that “democracies should not operate in a state of permanently authorized war.”

An audacious statement—given that it is Obama himself who’s made perpetual warfare the new normal, and the president the ultimate “decider” in matters of war and peace. Where George W. Bush secured congressional authorization for the two major wars he fought, Obama has launched two undeclared wars (in Libya and against ISIS), ordered 10 times as many drone strikes as his predecessor, and this summer bombed six different countries just over Labor Day weekend. And it is Obama who is largely responsible for warping the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force—passed three days after 9/11 to target Al Qaeda and the Taliban—into an enabling act for endless war, anywhere in the world.

This is the Nobel Peace Prize guy, right?

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