by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - September 10, 2007) Was Afghanistan an enemy of the United States? Was Iraq an enemy of the United States? Is Iran an enemy of the United States? Is Syria an enemy of the United States? Are China and/or North Korea enemies of the United States? Are Cuba and/or Venezuela enemies of the United States? The answer to all is a resounding and simple NO. While some may have long lasting disagreements with the policies of the US government, none, absolutely none, has ever been foolish enough to consider unprovoked military aggression against the superpower bully. No leader anywhere in the world with an ounce of gray matter in his noggin would be crazy enough to attack a nuclear power that's quite willing to use its nuclear weapons (remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki?), and have his country blown to smithereens.
Both Afghanistan and Iraq seemed easy picks for the US military. Afghanistan, a poor country to begin with, was devastated after years and years of civil war. Iraq, following the losses in the Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War I, was subjected to onerous sanctions that left the country prostrate. So why did the U.S. claim that those countries were threats? In each instance there were ulterior reasons. False justifications were invoked to con the public into believing war was necessary.
Afghanistan: The excuse for public consumption was that the Taliban was harboring Osama the terrorist. Was it worth all the killings of innocent Afghans and GIs, and the enormous cost?
Iraq: All the claims of "weapons of mass destruction," partnership with bin Laden, complicity in the 9/11 attacks were uttered with the full knowledge that they were lies and fabrications.
What were the real reasons for which the United States launched those wars of choice?
Afghanistan: After the Soviets had been expelled, the U.S. helped the Taliban to take over the country, expecting them to favor American enterprises. But they ungratefully failed to grant an American oil company, Unocal, the rights to build a pipeline across the country. Now, almost six years after they were ousted from power, the Taliban remains a strong opposition force and Osama survives as the leader of al Qaeda.
Iraq: The objective was an Iraqi government that would welcome foreign exploitation of their oil and gas resources. A coup to replace Saddam Hussein was expected within six months of the 1991 Gulf War. It did not occur and almost ten years of sanctions did not do the trick either. A quick pushover war to insert a puppet in control of the vast oil reserves became necessary. Saddam is now gone, a new government is in power, and the situation remains dire, with the initial objective not attained.
Wars are invoked, we are told, to protect our "national interests." What "national interests" were involved in Afghanistan and Iraq? I, a citizen of this country -- the USA -- have no interest that I am aware of in either country. I doubt the overwhelming majority of US citizens have one either. Who then has such interests? The oil companies that intend to construct a pipeline in Afghanistan and to cash in on the oil reserves in Iraq. Yes, the power elite -- the real rulers of the country -- have interests that are to be protected. They, in truth, are the nation! To designate their private special interests as "national interests" is therefore not incorrect. The rest of the citizenry is tantamount to their vassals whose very lives are needlessly sacrificed for those "national interests." Of course, the military-industrial (and congressional) complex, probably the most important element in the elite, favors war -- war and more war. Win, lose, or draw, their profits soar! You and I, and all the other patsies in the country, will pay and pay and pay and pay for it with money, blood, suffering, and lives for lifetimes.
The politicians in office who make and enforce the laws that control the country are supposed to represent the people. Do they? Obviously not! Their political parties are members of the elite and as individuals in office they are the obedient agents or bona fide members of the elite. They dispatched the country's poor children into two unnecessary and amoral wars, and are readying themselves to deploy the military for war number three (Iran). Each one who pressed for war knew, and knows, that massive numbers of both innocent civilians and US troops would, and will, be killed; would, and will, lose body parts; or would, and will, sustain ghastly injuries often causing excruciating pain for a lifetime.
Are your enemies those countries the administration named? Baloney! The poor suffering people in all those countries have no interest in anything other than to survive and live a decent life. Those named enemies have more concern for lowly Americans than the elite who -- even if they can wrest oil from Iraq -- will fleece the public with high gasoline prices. Venezuela's oil company, Citgo, provides discounted fuel to poor people in the U.S. -- something American oil companies have never done. Cuba, another forged "enemy," reacted to the tragedy in New Orleans by generously offering slews of doctors to help alleviate the disastrous lack of assistance to New Orleaners. The Bush administration ignored the offer. Did any major insurance company or HMO volunteer doctors?
I think the real enemies of the citizens of these United States of America are the power elite and their allies -- the military-industrial (and congressional) complex, the oil industry, the medical establishment, the major media, and the Republican and Democratic parties, most especially the politicians on the national level in the executive and legislative branches. They constantly use and abuse the citizens of the country to maximize their profits! What do you think?
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