Class Warfare Blog

July 6, 2016

Why Our War on ISIS is Wrong and Stupid

In a column on The Conversation, Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, and author of “Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threats from the Margins” makes a couple of interesting points.

The first is this: “The air war of the last 23 months has been far more intense than reported, with at least 30,000 IS supporters killed so far and inroads being made into the group’s controlled territory, especially in Iraq but also in Libya. But to forecast any kind of victory in the near future is hugely dangerous.”

I find this interesting as when ISIS sprung up, its numbers were put at 10,000, then adjusted to 20,000, but certainly no more than 30,000. So, according to our government, we have killed 30,000 and the war is over, right? No? Why not?

Could it be that our drone happy administration sees someone they think is an ISIS participant, standing amongst 14 or 15 others, launches a missile, and declares 15 ISIS supporters dead? This is the administration, remember, that has kept a designation of any male of military age (14-80?) as being a “combatant.” Surely this is not a stretch.

The U.S. has become enamored of air power and think it can win wars for us. It cannot. It has been proven so on the battlefield. Yes, bombings have an impact, but air power does not win wars. Ask the Soviets, the bombed the shit out of Afghanistan, then fled with their tails between their legs, leaving behind a country in which a small part was still willing to take on the U.S., with no air power at all.

Professor Rogers hits the nail on the head, though, toward the end of his piece with: “Even 15 years after 9/11, Western strategists still fail to see al-Qaeda and IS for what they are: transnational revolutionary movements rooted in an eschatological outlook which sees this earthly life as just one part of the process. At root, IS wants and needs war with the West, and the West is giving it just what it wants. Until that fact is confronted, the war will go on.”

ISIS is not our problem. Sure we contributed to the problem even could be described as having created it, but we are not the solution. We are the problem. The only way out is to have the region take care of its own problems and to stop meddling. Being goaded to “take action” by people who make millions, if not billions, from weapons sales and graft is unbecoming for any government wanting the label of “good.”

December 15, 2011

‘Sup with the G.O.(W.)P. (Grand Old War Party)?

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Lately every Republican of stature and all of the presidential candidates, save Ron Paul, have excoriated President Obama for ending the war in Iraq. In addition, there have been Republican calls to undertake military strikes in Iran, Pakistan, and other places around the world. What is going on?

Ex VP Cheney has suggested that the Obama administration should have launched an attack on Iran to destroy a drone that was lost in their territory. Cheney, of course, was ignoring his own precedent when one of our military planes wandered into Chinese airspace and was brought down. Then, President Bush asked for the men to be returned, which they were at least after President Bush apologized as demanded by the Chinese. (The plane was returned . . . in pieces after having been studied in great detail.) Cheney rattled no sabers then.

Various Republican presidential candidates want to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites to preempt them from developing nuclear weapons. Others want us to “get tough” with Pakistan.

The great puzzler is the vehemence regarding our withdrawal from Iraq. We still have thousands of troops in Germany and Japan from WWII and in Korea from the Korean War, so I guess these folks are arguing that it is traditional to leave troops behind. Mitt Romney wants us to leave ten, twenty, or thirty thousand troops in Iraq. To do what wasn’t specified, except to “protect their fragile democracy.”

What’s puzzling about this, and I am not referring to the bogus reasons for starting the Iraq War in the first place or Bush and Cheney’s plans to expand the Iraq War into Syria and Iran, is that the agreement requiring us to leave Iraq by the end of 2011 was made by George W. Bush the year before he left office. President Obama is just fulfilling former President Bush’s word. And, by the way, Iraq wants us to leave. Think about it, would we want foreign troops (say, Chinese) permanently camping on our own soil? Or would we want them to leave?

Apparently what is fueling this warmongering behavior is hatred of all things that President Obama has committed to, but in so doing Republicans are creating a stark choice for the current election:

If you like the wars we’ve been conducting and want even more of the same, vote Republican.

If you would rather choose our conflicts more judiciously, vote Democratic.

Makes it kind of an easy choice, no?

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