A day after President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Bill Moyers sits down with award-winning investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill to examine what are the facts on the ground and how the situation is actually developing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Make no mistake. We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.
Jeremy Scahill: “If the United States, as President Obama says, doesn’t want a permanent presence in Afghanistan, why allocate a billion dollars to build this fortress like embassy, similar to the one in Baghdad, in Islamabad, Pakistan? Another one in Peshawar. Having an increase in mercenary forces. Expanding the US military presence there.
[…] President Obama making it a point, regularly, to say, “We’re going to have Guantánamo closed by early next year.” The fact is that, at Bagram, we see an expansion. They’re spending $60 million to expand that prison. You have hundreds of people held without charges.
[…] Not to mention these regular attacks that we’re seeing inside of Pakistan that have killed upwards of 700 civilians using these robotic drones since 2006. Including 100 since Obama took power.
[…] If this was about fighting terrorism, it would be viewed as a law enforcement operation where you are going to hunt down criminals responsible for these actions and bring them in front of a court of law. This is turning into a war of occupation.
[…] We live in amidst the most radical privatization agenda in the history of our country.
[…] They said that the Taliban are using civilians as human shields. And that’s why so many civilians have been killed. Their source for that was an Air Force intelligence officer who was allowed to speak on as though it was a Pentagon press release. I think that this is sick. Where you turn war, essentially, into a videogame that can be waged by people half a world away. What this does, these drones, is they it sanitizes war. It means that we increase the number of people that don’t have to see that war is hell on the ground. And it means that wars are going to be easier in the future because it’s not as tough of a sell.
[…] Well, I think that what we have seen happen, as a result of this incredible reliance on private military contractors, is that the United States has created a new system for waging war. Where you no longer have to depend exclusively on your own citizens to sign up for the military and say, “I believe in this war, so I’m willing to sign up and risk my life for it.” You turn the entire world into your recruiting ground. You intricately link corporate profits to an escalation of warfare and make it profitable for companies to participate in your wars. In the process of doing that you undermine U.S. democratic processes. And you also violate the sovereignty of other nations, ’cause you’re making their citizens in combatants in a war to which their country is not a party. I feel that the end game of all of this could well be the disintegration of the nation state apparatus in the world. And it could be replaced by a scenario where you have corporations with their own private armies. To me, that would be a devastating development. But it’s on. It’s happening on a micro level. And I fear it will start to happen on a much bigger scale. […]” Link to the video and transcript
… or on the nature of the military-petroleum complex.
I had to share the American author and professor Chalmers Johnson’s lecture. Instead of the usual “cut and paste” from P U L S E , I decided to figure out how to add an Rss feed. With a little help from a distant guardian angel it worked! Now the visitors of this blog can always have an eye on all the informative material gathered by the wonderful P U L S E – people:)
WWI was described as the war to end all wars: “a reaction to the horrors of the conflict with many believing that with the full cost of modern war so evident no nation would fight one again.”
WWII, at least in Europe, would in some ways be “the war to end all wars” … and its horrors made the idea of a “World War III” something to be avoided at all costs …
“… a last sarcastic idea is that a nuclear war would be the real “war to end all wars”, because it could destroy mankind such that no more wars will be possible.”
More than 150 wars have been fought since the end of the “war to end all wars”! wiki
Obviously, all the great leaders and outstanding thinkers who sold these ideas got it wrong. Do you have knowledge of any high level politician who even tries to present anything else? Despite all the amazing inventions of the century, all our human resources, imagination and technology; the only thing the humanity came up with, was creating new names: “Cold War”,” War on Terror”, War on this or War of that, and avoid looking deep enough into the real issues, or even simply be honest about it.
Peace is peoples’ preference, war happens against all the common folk wisdom. It is a decision often by a small number of elites, for them; and for profit. The average person will still buy the idea, enlist and be hopeful that this is the one which “ends all wars”.
Some of the strongest antiwar literature comes from the military itself, such as Major General Smedley D. Butler.
I came across the VoteVets.org, founded by a group of Iraq War veterans. Whoever likes reading, there is plenty of interesting material in their website’s Newsroom. They seem to raise questions about principles for a change: War is not the Answer.