Ten years ago, the American military was ordered to invade and occupy two sovereign nations. In the ensuing decade, our military has destroyed their infrastructure, laid waste their cities and homes and killed many thousands of civilians and noncombatants in the process.
Throughout this decade, very few Americans questioned why we were there, what we were doing, and what our goals were. The majority acted like good Americans, waved the flag, cheered the president and supported the troops, who - we were told - were defending freedom and spreading Democracy.
We - being remote and distant from any of the distress and grief we were causing and are responsible for - went back to our daily lives, shutting out the horrors we were inflicting on the citizens of two foreign nations. A major reason for this is because - unlike in Viet Nam - the media "embedded" itself with the military and were not allowed to send home any photos or stories of the true misery and horror about what was occurring. This was not by accident. The government had learned it's lesson well about Media control when Americans were exposed daily to the slaughter of the Viet Nam war.
According to the man who singlehandedly started these wars, George W. Bush, it was because one of those nations - Iraq - was developing Weapons of Mass Destruction that would most assuredly be used against us, and the other - Afghanistan - for intentionally harboring the man who masterminded the destruction of two buildings in New York and a small portion of the Pentagon, an attack which resulted in the death of around 4,000 Americans.
Ten years later, we all know Iraq had no WMD's and we know that Osama Bin Laden was never found in Afghanistan. We are told he was once there, but no proof has ever been offered.
It was with mixed feelings that I supported our troops being sent into harm's way, sent by a man now shown to have no ethics and no honor, the liar and charlatan George W. Bush. That he - and his entire administration - was lying about all of it a now a proven fact. To this day, none of us know the true reasons behind George W. Bush's mad rush to war with Iraq.
We did send some special forces into Afghanistan to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Ladin, a reasonable response to what our intel was telling us about his whereabouts. But at the same time, Bush sent entire armies into Iraq, a place that had nothing to do with the attack on 911.
Why? No one has answered that question.
Now, ten years later, things are changing. The wars are winding down, the troops are coming home. The present president has pulled us out of Iraq and intends to pull us out of Afghanistan. But our departure will not automatically heal any wounds nor will it dissipate the hatred for us that ten years of indiscriminate slaughter has created. Whether or not we are finished killing Muslims does not matter, they are not finished with us.
Ten years of constant war not only changes conditions, but it changes men.
Now, Lew Rockwell brings up a new problem we are about to discover while discussing supporting the troops:
I’d like to – and would – if “the troops” were actually defending “our freedoms” – rather than stomping the freedoms of people across the globe. Us included, I hasten to add. Because you can’t expect “the troops” who brutalize people abroad to not come home and abuse the people here. The mindset – and the precedents set – cannot be compartmentalized. Brutality – contempt for other human beings – cannot be turned off and on. The transformation of Andy Griffith into Officer 82nd Airborne is no random happenstance.There is more about this at:
It has happened for a reason.
The casual bloodlust of the average American – safely cocooned in front of his TeeVee (probably watching fuuuuuuhhhhttttball) also has consequences. Osama was right. You send troops to other people’s countries, topple their leaders, drop bombs on them from afar. It tends to annoy those people. Some will try to hit back. We call it “terrorism.” Just as the British of King George III’s era called the insurrectionist colonists who dared to fight back “terrorists.” Just as Reinhard Heydrich’s SD thugs called the partisans in the occupied east a few generations later. Just as we – “we” being the comfortable couch potatoes watching “the game” – call anyone who dares object to the American Imperium – and its imperial storm troopers.
We have not yet even started to pay the bill for George W. Bush's insane adventurism. Some of the cosst will be devastating.