You Say ISIL, I Say ISIS, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

John McCain frequently justifies his most war whacky ideas with, “I’d rather fight them over there than fight them here.” As if those are the two choices. As if presenting a non sequitur null set false dichotomy is a response would ever work.

Right, well, the joke is on us. It works all the time—not to actually fix the problem, but rather to extend it for the benefit of those who profit from it. It is a horrific piece of false logic that has many nodding their heads and ceding authority and dominant opinion to an elite group who profit in money or power or status when they lead us into more bloody hell. After Obama gives in, they all pile on and screech “Too little! Too late!” Obama is not barreling quite fast enough in the wrong direction for them.

And McCain is simply typical, not a bit out of lockstep with this woefully incomplete consideration of options.

There are excellent reasons that most Iraqis believe that the US government provides support for ISIS. The evidence may be circumstantial but the old adage, There is no such thing as a coincidence, is one that militates toward generation of such conspiratorial notions.

Based on lies, we invade a relatively stable country—Iraq—driving it into receivership. We fire their military from their jobs with nothing to which they can transition—of course they are going to self-organize and seek financial and trade backing to set up shop as a violent insurgency. We ludicrously claim to be productively training in the Iraqi police and soldiers, none of which takes. Indeed, they present a tempting target for anyone with an idea of political power.

Who benefits? Who loses?

US elites benefit. Owners of military contractors benefit the most ($711,000,000 the last day of 2015 alone, nearly $40 million per hour around the clock), and they share their largesse with those who serve them best—friendly bellicose politicians, persuasive media, high-level military officers.

Iraqis, now Syrians, and by extension even the Europeans who are now awash in refugees from the wars we help foment, and the US taxpayer, and, documented by a Brown University study, the US job seeker—these are the losers. Every $billion spent on the military is a significant job loss, since taxpayer money spent on education, health care, clean energy development, or infrastructure upkeep creates many more well paying jobs for Americans.

May 2016 be the year we turn this around.

More articles by:

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography