Obsolete, Triumphalist Militarism Is Destroying America
Really good piece:
Americans call this irregular warfare “terrorism” and see themselves as innocent victims of incomprehensible, mindless violence. But this is what our enemies know: The United States trashed the international rules of war a long while back with its own irregular terrorism, which includes the Army’s Special Forces and the CIA’s secret armies, the sponsored overthrow of selected governments we don’t like, and the assassinations of unfriendly leaders through drone strikes and by other means. When American bombs kill defenseless villagers, we write it off as “collateral damage.”
The United States cannot win these conflicts, yet it cannot easily get out of them, either. Why not? Because America’s governing elites have declared us the “indispensable nation,” an exceptional status not mentioned in the Geneva Conventions. President Obama has tried to back away from our aggressive posture, promoting diplomacy over armed conflict and making important progress in some areas. But he’s also tried to have it both ways. One day he talks softly, the next day he’s swinging the big stick, personally supervising individual assassination by drone—arguably a crime when soldiers do it. Right-wing warriors ridicule the president’s limp leadership, but what will they say when one day a foreign power decides to murder an American leader?
The point is, American culture and politics are drenched in warrior celebration. Faith in military might is deeply grounded in the national psyche. After the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we began to see patriotic rituals staged at baseball games and other public events to thank the returning veterans and their families, including the dead and wounded. But thank them for what? For their service and sacrifice, of course. It would have been offensive—unpatriotic—at those commemorations if anyone had talked about the utter failure of these costly wars. Yet even in defeat, the authorities stick to cloying triumphalism and tell stories of American goodness that people long to hear.
The national dilemma boils down to this: We cannot tell ourselves the truth about who we are and what we have become. In the history of nations, that failure has often led to tragedy.
This dangerous delusion goes and fucking on....
WASHINGTON — President Obama is being pressed by some of his top national security aides to approve the use of American military power in Libya to open up another front against the Islamic State.
But Mr. Obama, wary of embarking on an intervention in another strife-torn country, has told his aides to redouble their efforts to help form a unity government in Libya at the same time the Pentagon refines its options, which include airstrikes, commando raids or advising vetted Libyan militias on the ground, as Special Operations forces are doing now in eastern Syria. The use of large numbers of American ground troops is not being considered.
And the madness continues...
Top U.S. military commanders, who only a few months ago were planning to pull the last American troops out of Afghanistan by year’s end, are now quietly talking about an American commitment that could keep thousands of troops in the country for decades.
The shift in mind-set, made possible by President Obama’s decision last fall to cancel withdrawal plans, reflects the Afghan government’s vulnerability to continued militant assault and concern that terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda continue to build training camps whose effect could be felt far beyond the region, said senior military officials.
The people of American need to rise up and demand an end to this costly, sick, deluded, EVIL militarism-- so much of it that was started by the sick and evil scam of 9/11.