The War On Terror Has Simply Generated More Terror

From the excellent TomDispatch, this analysis of the so-called “War on Terror” in the Middle East by the United States and its erstwhile allies (from Blairite Britain to head-chopping Saudi Arabia) is well worth a read:

The United States has already lost — its war for the Middle East, that is. Having taken my own crack at combat soldiering in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that couldn’t be clearer to me. Unfortunately, it’s evidently still not clear in Washington. Bush’s neo-imperial triumphalism failed. Obama’s quiet shift to drones, Special Forces, and clandestine executive actions didn’t turn the tide either. For all President Trump’s bluster, boasting, and threats, rest assured that, at best, he’ll barely move the needle and, at worst… but why even go there?

At this point, it’s at least reasonable to look back and ask yet again: Why the failure? Explanations abound, of course. Perhaps Americans were simply never tough enough and still need to take off the kid gloves. Maybe there just weren’t ever enough troops. (Bring back the draft!) Maybe all those hundreds of thousands of bombs and missiles just came up short. (So how about lots more of them, maybe even a nuke?)

Lead from the front. Lead from behind. Surge yet again… The list goes on — and on and on.

And by now all of it, including Donald Trump’s recent tough talk, represents such a familiar set of tunes. But what if the problem is far deeper and more fundamental than any of that?

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2 comments

  1. That answer is simple: They “lose” their wars because a.) they engage in them without any knowledge of history, the people they are dealing with, the connections of the conflict to the rest of the world (or reality, e.g. weapons of mass destruction), and don’t really consider any of the consequences; b.) they have a great military plan, but no political plan (they often miss the point that a war is the last resort to accomplish a political goal (or survival), and that perhaps you should have a goal before you try to achieve one); c.) they tend to quickly forget they are fighting a war, which, surprise, involves killing other people and often innocent civilians, no matter how “clean” you try to make it (which is why it should generally be avoided, not readily engaged in), and which means the folks you bomb and subjugate, rarely, even if you pay them lots of money and treat them like your friends, actually become your friends – it’s not an ally-gathering tool, in other words; d.) they never really finish them, because they never fully commit (last time they did that was WWII); lastly e.) their incredible corruption puts the profit of a few over the lives of the many and has no care for winning anything but money (that’s why costly quagmires have been so popular – never ending stream of revenue). This goes for about every “war” they start, be it militarily or otherwise. I put lose in quotes, because they never really lost any war. They have never been invaded, occupied, and oppressed as the result of failing in one of their engagements. I think that is why it so easy for them to stir up trouble and then just leave. We lost against the brits and suffered 800+ years for it, that tends to make one a little more cautious.

    1. Yes, all very plausible but let’s not forget the huge return for investors in the Military, Industrial, Political Complex, gorging at the taxpayers’ funded trough.

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