Monday, June 23, 2014
Week of 06/23/2014
Chickenhawks And Their Hypocritical Entitlement Foreign Policy
When it comes to recent events in Iraq, I have a few quick thoughts. Namely…
“What the hell, Iraq?”
“Here we go again…” (With the rolling of the eyes optional.)
Seriously, guys, what the hell?
Americans get conned into going there, we actually go through with getting Saddam Hussein out of power, we oversee the creation of a new government and free elections, and then we begin the long process to get ourselves out of there, and it all goes to hell again!
So now the Sunnis, normally considered the “saner” of the two dominant Islamic factions, are going jihadist over there. Of course these were the same guys that backed Saddam way back when and reaped the benefits of his reign, so we should not be surprised to find they’ve been getting the short end of the reconstruction stick.
But now, thanks to them, we’re back to haggling over the idea that we would have to go back over there and waste still more taxpayer money and still more American lives to straighten out a problem that the Iraqis themselves refuse to deal with on their own. Now we have all of those so-called “experts” that sold us on their lies about how “easy” it would be to go in there and how quick we’d be able to get out, now telling us that they were “right” about what would happen once we did start to leave and that we “need” to be back in there as an occupying force. You know, to “keep the peace” and “keep gas prices down” and “stop the jihadists”. And if it also helps out any of our contractors over there (i.e. Halliburton), that’s just a “coincidence”, right?
I guess the really frustrating parts are the accounts of Iraqi soldiers refusing to actually do their jobs when facing the Sunni extremists. Of soldiers, supposedly trained by us, simply abandoning their uniforms and running away. Granted, they can claim that they feared for their lives, since the ones that stayed were getting slaughtered, but when you’re on the side with the numbers and the majority simply run away like that… the phrase “cowardice under fire” is an understatement.
And for a while I wrestled with trying to understand how a whole group of soldiers could simply give up and abandon their posts like that. I mean, this wasn’t just one or two soldiers who chickened out. These were soldiers doing it en masse, just like Saddam’s so-called “Revolutionary Guard” did when we closed in on Baghdad over a decade ago.
But unlike those soldiers, there’s no hint that our so-called “Iraqi friends” are doing it so they can lead some sort of guerrilla resistance like Saddam’s forces did. They just seem to cut-and-run out of self-preservation. That’s not something soldiers are taught to do… unless they’re from France… or unless they’re in a Monty Python skit.
And then it came to me. There’s one possible reason why they would do that. They know something that we, the vast majority of the American people, don’t.
I suspect that they cut-and-ran because they know that if they did that, that we would have to go back there.
I suspect, and this is just my idle speculation here, that they were told that if they did a super-crappy job defending their own country, that the United States would feel obligated to send troops back there.
And if you think about it, there’s plenty of support to back that speculation up.
Look at all of the conservatives and neo-conservatives in Washington screaming for action. Look at all of the Iraq War veterans getting in front of cameras, screaming for action. Look at all of the chickenhawks in the media that are screaming that we “do something”. Look at all of those Fox News people that are saying “See? See? We told you! This is what happens when you pull our troops out! Now we have to go back there and fix things again, because we just wasted all of those lives for nothing!”
This has been their continual mantra as to why we needed to continually spend billions and billions of taxpayer dollars on troops in other countries. This is why we supposedly still need to have troops in Germany, even after the Berlin Wall went down a quarter-century earlier. This is why we supposedly still need to have troops in the former Slavic areas. This is why we supposedly still need to have troops in Japan. This is why we supposedly still need troops between North and South Korea. This is why we supposedly still need to have troops in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Iraq. Because these places just can’t “defend themselves” properly without us.
This is also one of the key tenants of fascism, the idea that we have to be perpetually in war, perpetually in conflict with someone somewhere in the world. Italian thug Benito Mussolini believed that this is how nations define themselves, by the continual battles they wage. Legendary writer George Orwell continually brought up the idea of his “Nineteen-Eighty-Four” nation of Oceana perpetually at war either with Eastasia or Eurasia, depending on the political temperament.
Again, listen to the rhetoric from the cons and neo-cons. Listen to the rhetoric from the Fox News and so-called “Tea Party” crowds. We’re supposedly there because we are supposedly in this “eternal conflict” that can never end, and that any kind of pull-back from these places is nothing short of surrender. We’re always in a “war”, whether it is against Islam or China or Russia or North Korea or the drug lords or Mexico or Cuba.
And what happens when we dare to suggest that these other nations should stand up for themselves? That they should take charge of their own countries and defend themselves so we wouldn’t have to. What are the rest of us told by the cons and neo-cons when we dare raise that up? “Oh, we can’t do that! We just can’t leave them to fend for themselves. They don’t know how! If we leave now, then we’re just giving in to the enemy!”
Which is funny, because they have the exactly opposite stance when it comes to domestic issues!
They demand and expect a blank check for war and for “stability” in other countries, but what about stability in our own country?
What do they say when they are asked to increase spending for social programs? Food stamps? Welfare? Medicaid? Unemployment?
“Oh no, we can’t just give these deadbeats money! They’ll never learn how to fend for themselves if we do that! They need to be cut off so they can pick themselves up by their bootstraps!”
Damnably hypocritical since they seem to have no qualms whatsoever calling for a blank check to put boots on the ground in other countries instead of telling them to “fend for themselves”. Where’s the tough talk towards Iraq, telling them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps to deal with their own fundy flakes? Why aren’t we helping South Korea build up their forces to counter North Korea’s so we wouldn’t have to be there continually? Or, for that matter, Japan? Why are we still in Europe without a Communist Bloc to worry about? Saddam’s gone, so why are we still in the countries neighboring Iraq?
Why are they still getting our boots and we’re just told to make do with our bootstraps?
I realize that our foreign policy actions are a little more complicated than the way I’ve laid them out to be, but let’s get brutally honest here… we make hypocrites of ourselves if we are not honest about why we are in these countries and why we cannot practice what we preach when it comes to our own people.
We have not been spreading freedom or democracy to these other countries when we send soldiers to places like Iraq. We have, instead, been making the world “safe” for an outdated and finite fuel system, and for the big corporations that make big profits by keeping us hooked on it like heroin addicts.
And we certainly don’t give places like Iraq good examples of how to govern when you have cons and neo-cons playing out their political fantasies through their so-called “Tea Party” movements. Have you been seeing their rhetoric these past few years? Talk about “revivals” and “overthrows” and “revolutions”, throwing ideas about like having certain states like Texas break away from the rest of the country, or kicking out states like California and Massachusetts because they supposedly don’t conform to the neo-con standards.
Gee, I wonder where the Sunnis got the idea that an overly militant minority can somehow take over a whole nation through fear and intimidation. (By the way, that’s called sarcasm.) Oh, wait, somehow they forgot the part about all of that talk of “revolution” being “rhetorical” and limited to just the ballot box.
Oh well, I guess we’d have to teach them that while we’re there, won’t we?
Or maybe not, because as long as they can’t seem to get their act together, America will just have to continue to waste money and soldiers in the name of the great status quo and political hypocrisy. We just can’t expect them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps like we are expected to here… because then how would those cons and neo-cons fulfill their little imperialist and dominionist fantasies?