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Afghanistan and Iraq: Lessons for the Imperial


#1

Afghanistan and Iraq: Lessons for the Imperial

Ralph Nader

The photographs in the New York Times told contrasting stories last week. One showed two Taliban soldiers in civilian clothes and sandals, with their rifles, standing in front of a captured U.N. vehicle. The Taliban forces had taken the northern provincial capital of Kunduz. The other photograph showed Afghan army soldiers fully equipped with modern gear, weapons, and vehicles.


#2

"Not repeatedly doing what has failed is the first step toward correction. How much better and cheaper it would be if years ago we became a humanitarian power – well received by the deprived billions in these anguished lands."

Indeed, Mr. Nader. Perhaps you could organize a small research group capable of handing the Pentagon a position paper that articulated where all the $ currently hemorrhaged on making wars and a constant supply of new enemies could instead be used to rebuild this nation's infrastructure. And all those war profiteers who make a killing on increasingly more efficient ways to kill thousands might instead lead the way in developing non-fossil fuel based technologies. If it's about profits, then celebrate the profits that would come from doing the right thing... rather than turning the planet into one unending bloodbath with poisons leeching into every possible ecosystem: the karmic blowback of toxic weaponry.


#3

I love you Ralph, but the "wonton destruction" I believe occurred in the last Chinese earthquake.


#4

Government is broken and obsolete. It is an expensive clunker that can't be fixed and belongs in the scrapyard. The people need to take over and govern ourselves directly, electronically, with encrypted voting and without politicians.


#5

I've been thinking that an article published in a couple of the major newspapers in the U.S. and the E.U. (the main players of Imperialism via the MIC) that included the following information in a simple three-column table might shake a few out of their apathetic state:

Column #1: Company Name
Column #2: Company's profiteering activity
Column #3: Company's profit from that activity

Unfortunately, all the MSM channels are owned by the ruling oligarchy who would never publish such an article as it might lead to "discovery and enlightenment" of the subject (worker) class.


#6

All Empires fail and eventually devour themselves.

I cant wait for the sea change, but how long will it take? Decades? Centuries? Also, there has never been an empire that controlled the entire globe in the way the US empire has now. Further, this may well be the last or final empire before the collapse of civilisation.


#7

"Guess who is winning? An estimated thirty-thousand Taliban soldiers with no air force, navy, or heavy weapons have been holding down ten times more Afghan army and police and over 100,000 U.S. soldiers with the world’s most modern weaponry – for eight years."

Taliban and Afghan army play fight while the US provides them with modern weaponry and cash courtesy of the M/I/I Complex and its investors that are bilking billions from US taxpayers. The Mullahs don't want that war to end any more than the US arms industry, Wall Street and the banks that finance wars do.


#9

Encryption sounds like a good idea.
We've had another good idea around for quite a while now. I refer to IRV (Instant Runoff Voting). This is a way to end the regressive grip of the "2 party" system.


#11

You think the US controls the entire globe? My, the American exceptionalist progaganda media bubble must be really strong over there, with very, very thick walls.


#12

"..... when the invaders come from western countries that for over a century have been known for attacking, carving up boundaries for artificial states, intervening, overthrowing, propping up domestic dictators, and generally siding with oligarchic or colonizing interests that brutalize the mass of the people."

What a sad and sorry resume. And, I'm afraid, as close to truth as it gets on this planet currently.


#13

No kidding SR, "celebrate the profits from doing the right thing." Wow, what a different world this could be.


#14

Let's get the hell out before we get a serious ass whoopin!The neocons & armchair warriors don't have the stomach for the fight.
We were lied to & railroaded into these wars -----The fruit born from 2 stolen presidential elections & a press that continues to lie to us!


#15

I've said this many times before; we are teaching the world that the money we spend on the MIC and the Dark State is just to enhance the fortunes of the 1%. We are teaching the world that we cannot win a war in a country with no formal military. It will not be long until the world kicks our butts. Our propagandized population will be just as surprised as the German population was in WWII.


#16

Yes and the repository of information, the internet, will fall just like the ancient repository of information, the Library of Alexandria Egypt and a large percentage of our accumulated knowledge will be lost just like in ancient times.


#17

It cost us one $ million per soldier per year to stay in the Middle East according to Obama. More for contractors, probably.


#18

PNAC: "Full spectrum dominance"

In England and and Australia, what we have is Washington puppets governments.

  • All of the newspapers easily available to me are owned in the USA. Yes, "the American exceptionalist progaganda media bubble" is indeed "really strong over" here. There is absolutely no getting away from it, and that is probably the underlying reason that Washington is so powerful over here, although for those determined to listen to something else other than USA propaganda, there is the internet, now and there was short wave radio before that.
  • All of the government departments have been pushed into adopting Microsoft, and the entire country pays the Microsoft tax. This is not by accident. In England the pressure to do so was obvious. In Australia it was more subtle, but the result was the same.
  • The governments dance to every war based on lies dreamed up by Washington. (Which is all of them).

The USA garrisons the world with approximately 1000 military bases scattered throughout 200 countries. Russia, the next one up has just two foreign bases. Most of these countries dance to Washington's tune for just about everything.

The USA invents lies and commits false flag attacks to justify training of terrorists, and often enough the invasion of any country that does not do Washington's bidding.

The USA spends just under half the worlds military spending (or just over half if you count all the appropriations). Next up is China with just 1/20 th of the military spending.

Europe goes along with Washington's war plans and sanctions etc. Most of Europe dances to Washington’s tune.

That leaves the non-aligned states, i.e. the BRICs, ... oh, and Mongolia.


#19

I think you have some inverted, self-critical version of American exceptionalism which, though it's critical, is essentially the same brainwashed delusion as those who spout how the USA is 'number one' at everything. Really, if you control the rest of the globe you should let us folks who live in the rest of the globe know about it, because most of us seem not to have cottoned on yet and tend to just ignore you and do what WE want. A case in point, fresh off the press, that I just watched a news report on only half an hour ago, is that you should particularly inform Putin who is now bombing US backed groups in Syria against US wishes, (could you maybe 'control him' into stopping doing that as people are dying?) In fact, just staying with him alone, didn't he also infiltrate, virtually invade, Ukraine against US wishes? Annex Crimea against US wishes etc etc? Didn't the EU then sideline (IE tell to kindly go away) the US in negotiations with Putin about Ukraine? Ditto for most other places on the globe from tiny Equador who are sheltering Assange against US wishes, to enormous China who is rapidly becoming the most dominant economy in the world against US wishes, ignores just about everything America feebly trys to pressure it to do, and increasingly owns the US through loan transfers and stock aquisition. In fact, I can't think fo a single place that is aquiesecently complaint with the wishes of the US despite its vast weaponry and bribes. Even tiny tribal groups in Aghanistan surrounded by goats and cow dung, give it the finger after 15 years of being up against its over-bloated military might. PNAC is one big failure. Evil, yes, but still pretty incompetent. Also, the arrogance of telling people who live in other countries that their governments are nothing but 'puppets' dancing to the tune of the US is both staggering and insultive to those places who may have democratic systems evolved through many years of historical struggle often centuries before the US even existed. Not everyone in the world is as politically dumb and unsophisticated as the yanks. As the people who actually live in those countries would tell you, most governments are generally far more worried about their own public's opinion and how it will effect their chances of re-election than what the US wants, hence many US wishes are often challenged or ignored. When they're not it's usually because the relevant government thinks the same way not because of some imagined 'instruction.' from a secret bunker under Washington. I'm suspecting you maybe need to get out there and travel this globe you imagine you control more, and then you will discover the possibly painful truth that the US is just not as important as you like to think it is and does not control every single fart that happens anywhere on it.


#20

The Media is Mightier Than War ©

We The People must form dynamic strategic alliances, creating trustworthy information channels that broadcast knowledge and intelligence from organized communities and open sources communicating awareness, purpose, principals and values, thus stimulating citizens’ imagination, recognizing their Constitutional obligations and achievements within and among our communities, and our active participation in defining our Nation’s role in world affairs.

Thus, We must connect U.S. Folly Policy, especially vast expenditures for preventive wars of choice to our devastated economy from Vietnam to the present! This point of concurrence will enlighten Americans, as independent thinkers so that they can eliminate the propensity to wage WAR by delusional and pernicious minions of the Complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.

U.S. Marine Corps, Major General Smedley D. Butler's strategic intelligence documented ~ “War Is a Racket...It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

Pope Francis calls the Complex ~ Industries of Death!

During His visit to the 9/11 Memorial He notes, “I feel many different emotions standing here at ground zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction...Here grief is palpable." His visit culminated in the multi-religious ceremony ~ a Call For Peace!

Thus, communities must strategically organize nation-wide and participate fully and equally in the foreign policy debates creating modesty, realism, transparency and accountability, keeping in mind that WAR PROFITEERING is the existential threat to our humanity!

Ordinary Americans must decide who sacrifices, suffers, and pays! These decisions must be stripped from the handful of minions. When it comes to protecting our nation and supporting our troops, veterans and their families, herein lies the moral essence of U.S. citizen obligation.

We must deeply understand the very complex nature of genuine fears, threats, and the concomitant measured responses, which will eliminate the obsolete components, assumptions and foundations of post-World War II U.S. Foreign Policy and the concomitant devastating slaughter and sufferings and economic and environmental impacts on communities here and abroad. This task will take incredible MORAL COURAGE as intense and sustained as our Warriors serving in harms’ way purportedly protecting our Nation and way of life.

We must, repeat, must demand and integrate the facts (genuine intelligence and public knowledge) to fully comprehend the enormous challenges before us. We must rethink our political and diplomatic relations, passionately reflecting on and changing our values and allegiances that has had and continues to have brutal effects on our fellow humans. We must stalwartly influence our foreign policy debates and policy making that has profound impacts on hundreds of millions of men, women, and children. Our justice system must hold elected and/or appointed decision-makers and officials accountable with severe sanctions when they break international and US laws ~ crimes against humanity and peace...etc.

Ordinary Americans are the Best and Brightest and ultimately responsible for foreign policy decisions. We must instruct our government employees about the great truths for solving our most dangerous problems. This dynamic struggle is about our core values, beliefs and ideas of our diminished democracy, its vision and the underlying democratic principles and values inherent in our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and most international treaties that inspire us to take preemptive actions to protect our world...when we choose.

We must choose to be a progressive world leader, with our military being recast into its essentially supporting defensive role as a complement and backup for the other vital components of our national security strategies and public diplomacy. We must authenticate clear and present dangers, international perceptions, ground truths and trustworthy intelligence, and the political and economic assumptions of proposed policies and actions; and implement threat reduction using all of these components, as necessary.

Our choice to redress the grievances of previous and current devastating folly policies (Vietnam War, support for Saddam Hussein and dozens of other repressive regimes, the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan...etc.), and to reestablish our prestige and exert legitimate power insuring progress toward greater international stability, understanding, tolerance, prosperity and abundance will be the dynamic organizing principles to develop, fund and enhance systems, measures, programs and institutions that will prevent economic crisis and WAR.

Legitimacy of moral life depends on the willingness of men and women to struggle with such questions before they decide what to do. Karl Jaspers, a Jewish-tainted German WW II philosopher notes, “all men, like all nations, are tested twice in the moral realm ~ first by what they do, then by what they make of what they do. A condition of responsibility denotes a kind of second chance: men are, as if by a kind of grace, given a chance to repay to the living what it is they find themselves owing the dead.”

Arthur Engendorf, a fellow Vietnam Veteran author notes, “healing is the way we restore ourselves...with a little help from our friends, we can heal ourselves, even from war...healing culminates in a renewed vision of what is possible for us and our world. In light of this vision, our individual healing shifts from being the center of attention to an instance of much more encompassing possibility ~ healing for all humanity.”

Wage Peace...Treasure Life.

Semper Fidelis,

David DeChant
Jarhead Clan, Vietnam
Combat Intelligence NCO
Assigned to Scouts

Veteran For Peace


#21

Who made the typo, actually? Wanton negligence?


#22

Just as in the USA, you may elect your politicians, only to have them ignore you when crunch comes to crunch in favour of their real masters. They are bought by the big money, and they must also dance to the tune of the media, which in the USA is owned by just a handful of corporations, and in the remainder of the west, largely foreign owned.

In Australia this is particularly obvious. Australians dream the life of the drover while being USA'n in every other respect. A browse through the glossy magazines or a visit to McDonalds will confirm this. In England the media constantly excuses its grovelling by referring to "our special relationship".

In both countries, 90% of them have facebook apps installed into their smartphones, which, when they are not being used, listen to the microphone and use speech recognition, and send listened words back to the master nation.