FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Deadly Pattern of US Imperialism

by ROBERT FANTINA

While the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issues its pessimistic report on Iraq, and Mr. Bush puts on his smiley face and spins it to his advantage, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens continue to suffer, bleed and die. The war continues.

Mr. Bush has expressed encouragement by the GAO report, which showed three of eighteen benchmarks met. Republican members of Congress who voted against ending the war last spring said that some significant progress must be shown by the September report, or a real ‘new way forward’ (differing from Mr. Bush’s definition) must be implemented. Now, with Mr. Bush spinning the dismal news from the GAO into a very positive view, Pollyanna style, those same Republicans are being far less forceful than they were just a few months ago.

One can expect little action to end U. S. participation in the war before the inauguration of new Congress members and a new president in January of 2009, and would be naïve to expect too much even then. The pattern has been set: one president involves the country in a war on the pretext that it will protect U.S. interests from whatever the current threat is perceived to be. In the 1960s and 1970s it was Communism; today it is terrorism. After a time the futility of U.S. involvement will be evident to everyone, but U.S. leaders will ‘stay the course’ in order to prove America’s ‘commitment to its allies’ and to ‘keep America safe.’ The death toll of Americans will climb steadily, as the death toll of Iraq’s citizens climbs astronomically. The reputation of the U.S. will deteriorate around the world, and the dissatisfaction of U.S. citizens will be manifested ineffectually at the ballot box and in the streets. The economy of the U.S. will be decimated, with its money being spent to achieve nothing. Finally, after a generation of suffering, some president will embrace the inevitable, and will use some incomprehensible logic to say that American goals in Iraq have been met, and will finally withdraw U.S. soldiers. Iraq’s now long-term civil war will explode by catastrophic proportions, until some kind of government, or possibly multiple governments, can be cobbled together.

Back in the U.S., the alcoholism, suicide, crime, homelessness and divorce rates for Iraq War veterans will spiral out of control, while the rest of the country, those whose loved ones did not serve in the war, look the other way. The men and women who Mr. Bush and subsequent presidents sent to Iraq to protect America from a non-existent enemy will suffer for life, being deprived of the opportunities that their non-military peers took for granted. Some of them will, perhaps, be eligible for sub-standard and generally inadequate care at U.S. veterans’ hospitals, but many will simple suffer with their various afflictions, both physical and emotional. And another generation will talk about the lessons learned from the Iraq War, about why those lessons were not learned in Vietnam, and how such a disaster can be prevented from ever happening again.

Then, as memories begin to fade and U.S. veterans of the Iraq War age and die, some other president will decide to flex American muscle with the expendable lives of its young men and women. Perhaps Communism will resurge, or another terrorist attack will be made upon U.S. soil, something that would certainly pale in comparison to what the U.S. is currently doing to Iraq. But various politicians, opportunists to the last, will rise up in righteous anger and proclaim that the cherished American way of life is in jeopardy, and some other nation will be destroyed as the U.S. vents its wrath.

It is a pattern becoming too familiar, and one that never should have begun. Prior to U.S. entrance into World War I, President Woodrow Wilson demanded U.S. involvement in the ‘war to make the world safe for democracy.’ As that war drew to a close, a disillusioned Mr. Wilson said this: “Is there any man, woman or child in America – let me say, is there any child here–who does not know that this was an industrial and commercial war?” The lofty need to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ only camouflaged the real reason for the war.

Little had changed by the last half of the twentieth century. American involvement in Southeast Asia was nothing short of a disaster for the United States, Vietnam and several of its neighboring countries. The Vietnam travesty taught lessons that any casual student of history can clearly see; why they escape U.S. government officials is a puzzling enigma. So many of those officials have proven that they haven’t learned the lessons taught a generation ago. And even those that have learned hide in fear of offending this or that powerful interest group, and mouth worthless words critical of the war and then fund it, thus signing the death warrants for countless American soldiers and Iraqi citizens.

ROBERT FANTINA is author of ‘Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776–2006.

 

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail