It’s the time of year when people sing about peace and goodwill. Unfortunately in the United States, too little thought accompanies the nice words. Otherwise Americans would be in the streets demanding that President Obama shut down the war machine. They would also be repudiating every presidential candidate who endorses the fundamentals of America’s criminal foreign policy, and that means every presidential contender in the major parties. Each one of them thinks it’s the U.S. government’s obligation to destroy ISIS (which it helped create), and most of them think – contradictorily – that Americans should overthrow the Syrian government, even though massive noncombatant casualties would result, fanatics would benefit, and neither ISIS nor Bashar al-Assad pose an existential threat to our society.
The ruling elite and its cheerleader squads across the political spectrum tell us endlessly that the United States – by which they mean its central government – has been a force for good in the world. The nation may be exceptional, but, grandiloquent declarations notwithstanding, not in any virtuous sense. For over 200 years it has been a killer and an oppressor on a massive scale; when it has not committed those crimes directly, it has enabled ruthless proxies. America’s victims span the world.
The motives are varied and intertwined: a nationalist, geopolitical, and economic mixture, presented as the call of destiny. America was seen as chosen to change the world, however unwilling the recipients of this gift.
College of William & Mary Professor and Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Lawrence Wilkerson frankly assesses that former United States General and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus’ proposal that the US support al-Qaeda to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) is a “crazy idea” that creates a blowback danger for Americans. Wilkerson declared this assessment in an interview Thursday with RT host Thom Hartman…
We’re with the Iranians because we are both fighting ISIS but we’re against the Iranians because they are on the side of Assad. That is why RPI Chairman Ron Paul described our foreign policy as “schizophrenic” in a Newsmax debate on the Iran deal.
On the Iran talks, Dr. Paul reminded the viewers that Reagan believed it was important to talk to the Soviets, a regime that had killed far more people than has the Iranians, and to look for ways to reduce weapons proliferation. So why not talk to Iran?
Former CIA operative Fred Fleitz, now head of policy at the neoconservative Center for Security Policy, unsurprisingly disagreed, stating that he has no idea what Ron Paul is talking about. The Iran deal is a “catastrophe” that “could lead to a huge regional war in the Middle East.” He’s all for talking to Iran, he claimed, but only to get a good deal.
As American politicians and editorial writers resume their tough talk about sending more U.S. troops into Iraq, they are resurrecting the “successful surge” myth, the claim that President George W. Bush’s dispatch of 30,000 more soldiers in 2007 somehow “won” the war – a storyline that is beloved by the neocons because it somewhat lets them off the hook for starting the disaster in the first place.
But just because Official Washington embraces a narrative doesn’t make it true. Bush’s “surge” was, in reality, a dismal — an unconscionable — failure. It did not achieve its ostensible aim — the rationale Bush eventually decided to give it — namely, to buy time for Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to reconcile.
Rather, it did just the opposite, greatly exacerbating antagonisms between them. That result was clearly predicted before the “surge” by none other than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, top U.S. military leaders, and even the Washington Establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, all of which were pressing for less — not more — military involvement.
In one very important sense, however, the “surge” into Iraq was wildly successful in achieving what was almost certainly its primary aim. It bought President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a “decent interval” so they could leave office without an explicit military defeat sullying their legacy – and for the “acceptable” price of “only” 1,000 more U.S. dead.
Read the rest via Resurgence of the ‘Surge’ Myth by Ray McGovern — Antiwar.com.