Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Folly recycled; to what purpose?


So it's begun, the "hot" phase of the United States' Mid-East War 3.0 -- or whatever you want to call our bombing of targets in Syria.

Neither we (the people) nor our leaders can know what this adventure will mean or where the conflict will end.

No war in history has been won by air power. Since what we have is air power, it is hard to believe that. But since Guernica and Dresden, despite "Shock and Awe" in Baghdad and apartment towers imploded in Gaza, bombing campaigns have failed to conquer determined resistance. They can maim, kill and destroy the remnants of civilization, but they do not conquer.

For years now, the U.S. peace movement, such as there is one, has asked the Obama administration, what is the continuing purpose of the endless war in Afghanistan? What is the excuse for killing one more Afghan, one more U.S. soldier? At length, the majority of the people in this country came to ask the same thing.

We ask now, what is the point of fiercely bombing barely understood, shape-shifting, forces in several distant countries? Oh, the chicken hawks and the addled junkies of empire are howling for more blood. But "to what purpose?" is still the right question.

As costs in lives, in treasure, in domestic decay, and in international hatred rise, we can expect the U.S. populace to begin to ask the same question. We are not as stupid all the time as our leaders take us to be.

A statement of the obvious from CREDOaction:

...the United States cannot lead any intervention without making a terrible situation even worse ...

It's probably worth clicking the link to sign their petition, if only to receive more practical alerts as many forces strive to build a domestic political opposition to the latest folly.

War has particular dangers for Democrats. Simply by being out of office in the mid '00s, Democrats became the defacto antiwar party. A generation-worth of the sharpest, most engaged young people were attracted to it as the vehicle for their revulsion at the war. If both parties fully endorse a permanent futile war, expect alienation from the political process to increase. This has happened before -- we got Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Wall Street ascendant, and social collapse out of mass alienation. We've got less margin for error these days.

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