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America’s Reckless War Against Evil

America’s Reckless War Against Evil

Ira Chernus

Oh, no! Not another American war against evil!

This time, it’s the Islamic State (IS). After the attacks in Paris, Barack Obama, spokesman-in-chief for the United States of America, called that crew “the face of evil.” Shades of George W. Bush. The “evildoers” are back. And from every mountaintop, it seems, America now rings with calls to ramp up its war machine.


Top notch. Excellent analysis.

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The facts are: Isis is a creation of the CIA. and the U.S. is responsible for 20 - 30 million deaths directly or indirectly since WW2. So who is the evil? Or how about the latest evil. The U.S. and Nato trying
to provoke a Nuclear war with Russia in Syria. “Have the totally evil, dumbshit neocon warmongers who control the US government taught Putin that war is inevitable?”




Thank you for this article!

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By omission or commission, IC does not note the fact that after each war by US/Nato or that of the fiftyONEstate the two top classes [in the fiftyONEstate, aka US] gained much more control of the lower classes.
And isn’t Nato just another gang whose only or main purpose is to do gangsterism just like that of a street, bank, mafia, bike gang…???

Ok, we could say that also iran, lebanon, syria, and russia have formed gang of nations; however, that gang is not de jure such and Nato is de jure a gang.
In addition, the latter is much stronger and meaner at this time an econo-military gang than the former.


Preaching to the choir here, Dr. Chernus. If only your words were heard (and most of all–understood) by the average American…40% of whom are functionally illiterate and live in a dismal world populated by myths and superstitions. Most don’t and won’t “get it.”


Two broad points, not so much to Chernus but to the commenting community here:

One: Just because they do it on purpose, does not mean it’s not a mistake. Even as the deep state played a key role in the gestation and developments of “militant Islam” such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that does not mean their support for these developments are not strategic mistakes, even with regard to the self-identified “self interests” of the components of the deep state.

Two: Just because the deep state played a key role in the gestation and developments of “militant Islam” such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, does not mean they are somehow unreal, or that they are simply bound to act at the behest of the deep state. The citations of interviews with participants help serve to clarify that these are real people and real movements, acting in what they believe to be their own self-identified interests.

None of which is to deny the roles of “our” deep state in these developments and these movements. But sometimes the references here to such deep state involvement are painted with such broad and reductionist stroke, as to entirely dismiss the reality or perceived self-interest of those parties.


The following observations are notable for the way that they take surface appearances for what IS.

"Still, it drives me crazy to watch policymakers and experts making the same dumb mistakes time after time, several mistakes, actually, which synergistically add up to one self-defeating blunder after another.

“What’s worse, the dominant trend in public opinion is so often on the side of just those mistakes. You’d think someone would learn something. And in that someone I include “we, the people,” the nation as a whole.”

No mention is made of the incessant propagandizing machine that has nearly totally fused Hollywood (and what passes for News Media) with the Pentagon and its covert (via NSA & CIA) ongoing operations.

No mention is made that significant portions of the so-called “Faith” community push an anti-Muslim–perfect for drumming up another Crusades/Holy War–sentiments along with an entirely twisted ideology.

No mention is made of how thoroughly the MIC’s weapons-producing industries have wedded themselves to states and argue that any stoppage in funding will lead to greater joblessness.

No mention made that for so many inner city youth, the ONLY economic option outside of the black market economy is to join the military.

People do not JUST come by a pro-war sentiment.

It’s been known for some time and quite useful to those who make WAR their BUSINESS to use false flags and other traumatic events in order to induce enough fear to blind people. When people feel terrified, they tend to gravitate towards those who pretend to protect them.

These are uber-authoritarian times and the more disasters the elites make, the more that SOME people embrace an all-powerful state that could arguably act as savior and protector. THOSE memes are pushed 24/7… by the same people who are DOING the harm and setting the triggers for expanding war.


I think a greater understanding comes when the P.R. line of “American Exceptionalism” is understood as a rationale for after-the-fact tactics.

As Eisenhower understood, the military-industrial complex had the “DNA” to take on a life of its own. And once secret agencies were given the power to undermine other governments, assassinate their leaders, plant disinformation campaigns inside their existing media, a lot of dominoes began to come down.

Each domino–or conflict–would natural beget others. Then, for those who would profit from war and/or the sale of all sorts of horrific weaponry, further conflicts were virtually assured.

To leave out the omnipresent character of the MIC and how influential it’s become, or not discuss the Deep State and its role in catalyzing wars and spreading conflicts and instead posit a narrative about this nation’s past… I find to be diversionary and/or disingenuous.

These narratives have some truth in them, but they mostly work to divert attention from the real metrics and mechanisms that drive both power and policy today.

And of course, the entire article is written in a uniform WE context.

I was very glad to see Indigenous Women protest that same WE narrative during an interview with Amy Goodman at the COP event in Paris.

Noting that 95% of leaders called to the decision-making tables there were males… they asked when it would be their turn, as women, to expand upon this idea of WE that typically insists on an all male perspective, and consequent perception of issues, consequences, possibilities, and policies.

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As always, great work, I’m astounded by the level of your input and that of others. I’m so glad I found Common Dreams and you folks. I truly applaud!

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“America’s Reckless War Against Evil”

And money is the root of all evil.

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Let us cut to the quick.
The people who call themselves ‘American’ made and sustain ISIS.
Only fools or people of supreme greed, i.e, of a retarded mentality, pretend otherwise.
This conceit named ‘America’ is the creation of a retarded mentality. It is mad, as in retarded by choice; as in for fun or for profit or in greed. It is the choice to love self over other; the choice to promote self as God; the choice of adults who cannot advance beyond childhood. This the ‘American’ holds out as the admirable quality of individualism, making it clear that USA means Us State of America.
Given its reach and size, the USA is the problem that has to be eradicated.
It is clear that ‘American’ is a shameful identity for the very same reasons that Nazi is.

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I respect Ira Chernus but I quit reading this one soon when it became apparent that he views US military aggression of the last decade a “mistake.”

No point reading the rest when he proceeds from such a faulty assumption. It is a scam, it is not a mistake, and every circumstance that now prevails where the US is involved in the ME is about as planned.

I posted some months ago that one way to view the US post-9/11 campaign of military aggression there as “a consolidation of the spoils to the victor of the cold war.” Look to the PNAC foundational document and realize when it was conceived and understand that “we” are now in the implementation phase. The militarists crave the consolidation aspect, but behind those semi-intelligent ghouls are the real power - those that grow fabulously rich through conflict, war, death, and destruction.

Professor Chernus it is a scam. Misunderstanding it as a mistake only shields the perpetrators from scrutiny.

I think Edmund O. Wilson has it right when he compares the human species to the ants. Cooperation and labor works out for all until the group looks around and sees another ant hill. The only response genetically is all out war.

" US military aggression of the last decade a “mistake”.

Yeah, that is as far as I read too. Professor Ira Chernus is either an educated idiot at worst or sophomoric at best. Mr. Chernus: True it is and has been a mistake from your perspective, but your perspective is not the perspective of the economic elite and the MILITARY, INDUSTRIAL, CONGRESSIONAL, COMPLEX! These wars are the modus operandi of the Amerikan Empire. And have nothing to do with being " reckless ". The raison d’ etre for the Amerikan world wide military dictatorship is this: to protect the vested and the potential vested interests of the Empire. Why else would the US have some 800 or more bases in almost every country around the world, if not to protect the Amerikan Empire?

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Siuoxrose – good points, especially re the “we the Nation” matter…
Briefly I’d like to add this point:that in any war, there are 2 issues to look at: one is what the powers-that-be tell us and would have us believe that this all about - that it’s a war to defend democracy, protect our way of life, a war against fascism or evil etc. Politicians can always come up with appropriate rhetoric to justify their wars, just as parsons in their pulpits will spout forth oh-so eloquently on the subject of a ‘just war’.
And then there are the REAL issues at stake - control of the oil fields of the Middle East, control of key trade routes - e.g. Suez in the 1950s, or Russia’s gas pipelines to Europe, the South China seas etc.
The one thing we the 99%, should always bear in mind is this: capitalism’s wars are never fought in OUR interests.You don’t have to take my word on this - just consider the huge costs of wars and preparing for war. Wars are NOT fought to protect our mortgaged homes and secondhand cars.
And if wars are not fought in workers’ interests, I suggest we leave fighting wars to those whose interests are at stake - i.e. the 1%, those who will end up profiting from those Middle East oil fields.
We should always look on wars with suspicion. Why should workers from one ‘nation’ set out to murder other workers, to kill or be killed?. Let the bosses do their own fighting, let them get themselves killed or maimed.
Maybe then they might find .other ways of sorting out their trade disputes, e.g. via the UN and “jaw-jaw, not war-war”.