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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Iraq Withdrawal: The Right Thing for the Wrong Reason

Just short of nine years, our involvement in Iraq this time, lasted longer than WWII, The Civil War and our American Revolution. Billions of dollars were spent, thousands of US lives were lost and the goals of the conflict and it’s eventual outcome remain unclear. So it has been announced that the US is leaving Iraq.

And the American War Machine is Pissed!

With the loss of Iraq, there is less justification for new armaments and facilities, less catered War Rooms, less opportunity for advancement and less travel. No more junkets paid for by Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed. The budget is sure to get cut. We'll lose all the chics who dig a man in uniform! What’s a war monger to do?

War has always been a growth industry in America. Since before I was born, we went from Korea to the Vietnam “Conflict” (to 1975), supporting the Contras in Nicaragua from 1977 to 1984, Invasions of Grenada (1983) Panama (1989) the first Persian Gulf War (1990-91), Haiti (1994-95) Kosovo (1999), etc. And through most of this the Cold War was running until 1991 and now with the War on Terror (2001-?) which involves our even longer stay in Afghanistan. Then there is our incredibly wasteful War on Drugs (1984 to Infinity). I know I'm leaving things out but I've only allowed myself one paragraph for war chronicles so to just paraphrase:

Guns, guns, guns!

But now, for the first time in a long time, one of our true growth industries has to cut back. Oh, the Sean Hannity of it!

And it wasn’t even because we really wanted to. No, no, this was not our government's first choice.

President Obama, for all his initial inexperience in “foreign relations” has really embraced his roll as Commander in Chief. So much so he has totally set aside his avowed campaign pledge of bringing our men and women home after he was elected and in fact started a few more fights for good measure. But the president was unable to secure a guarantee from the Iraqi Parliament that our troops would continue to be protected from prosecution for war crimes in the international courts. This and only this has served as the impetus for the United States to finally withdraw our troops from the country. Can you believe it? 

As a Libertarian, I have always been disappointed that so called Conservatives have a propensity to back military initiatives and odd constitutional amendments like the silly “Anti-flag Burning Amendment” but it’s the Progressives in government that really tend to expand on that mentality with a sort of “ I didn’t start it but I’ll finish it” military fervor. For me, it just reinforces my belief that Republicans and Democrats are just part of the same government syndicate. I haven’t seen much difference between that war monger, free spender GW Bush and that war monger, free spender Barack Obama other than one ran a baseball team for awhile and the other has never held a real job.

The remarkable thing is that none of this almost constant warfare has served to make this nation a safer place to live. Our “foreign entanglements” have put us more and more in harm’s way and have not only drained our resources but has fostered animosity to the point that our malls, city centers and schools have become the soft targets of a growing discontent with our ever expanding interventions. One can blame Hollywood for it’s exportation of cinematic depravity but having Syrian troops shoot cans of CS gas with the “Made in Jamestown, PA USA” label on them into houses with women and children living there sends a different message. It says “We sold the people who want to kill you this poison.” Enough said.

So at any rate, we can cheer that our troops are coming home or rather we can rejoice because we get to see them again before they are reassigned to some other altercation we’re cooking up.

I here Uganda is the next “Boom Town”.

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