They say all is fair in love and war, personally I don’t believe that to be the truth in either circumstance, and at least in the way war is conducted I doubt many would.
The slash and burn policy directed at the nations along with Sherman’s campaign in the South to Operation Rolling Thunder and the additional attempt to defoliate Viet Nam using chemical agents like Agent Orange could be referred to as variety of things, but fair doesn’t seem to be one them.
The reality is there isn’t much fair about war whether conducted defensively or offensively – there’s nothing fair about the “acceptable collateral damage” of drone strikes that inevitably is characterized by non combatants – men, women, and children.
“Strategically, it’s more of a mixed bag because it does alienate large numbers of people when there are civilian casualties.”
Alienating a civilian population while describing such as nation building and bringing democracy to a people? A strategy doomed to failure – just as the continued detention of “cleared” detainees at Gitmo, who are basically kept now for fear that their imprisonment has made terrorists of them.
This current administration has assumed the role of a gunslinger, it has ramped up the use of drones to such a degree that the number of strikes under the former administration pales in comparison, miniscule in fact, while much is being made about troop draw downs and exit dates.
There isn’t much left for the U.S. to do but get out of Afghanistan proclaiming mission accomplished much the same as the departure from Viet Nam was labeled and with the same results.
A vacuum will be created, internal conflict will arise, perhaps even civil war, and the Taliban will regain control leaving a single question – what exactly was accomplished?
With the revelations about domestic and foreign spying does the U.S. have allies or partners in crime? Does it even care as long as agendas are facilitated?
And a very real question is what is the agenda in this country when the rights of a civilian population are routinely trampled with this same spying? Are we all viewed as potential enemies of the State?
Strikes me that is about as “fair” as making the whole class stay after school because someone did something wrong.
It’s about as fair in this “war” on terrorism as the government owning eighty to ninety percent of all the land within the boundaries of this country and still not satisfied with that.
As fair as eminent domain laws that push people out of their homes or FISA secret courts and warrant less searches.
Few would argue that it isn’t strategically better to fight an enemy in a location other than your own front yard, fewer still would argue that it isn’t advantageous to make enemies, a reality politicians seem to be unable to grasp or willing to ignore.
Fair isn’t a part of the deal, if it were corporations like Monsanto and Dow would have been reigned in long ago, Wall Street and the banking industry would have been held to account, the vast majority of wealth wouldn’t be in the hands of one percent of the population, the nations would truly be dealt with on a nation to nation basis, and the hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars spent on foreign adventurism would be directed towards infrastructure, job creation, education, healthcare, the environment, and the well being of every inhabitant within the boundaries of this country.
Anything less than that isn’t fair by any interpretation, merely business as usual.
The civilian population in this country hasn’t made enemies, the government has, and once having done so the drumbeat begins to convince people, and seems intent on doing likewise with the citizenry, or least finds alienating them acceptable collateral damage.
South Africa following a long history of aparthied had the wisdom to create a reconciliation council, the intent was to build a nation, to acknowledge past wrongs and hopefully move forward – this country would do well to follow that example in an effort to bind wounds and create a new climate, but then we don’t have a Mandela leading it.
As of about a week ago the current number of drone strikes stood at 378, of that 326 have been authorized by the current administration.
It was “explained” to me by a believer in the change mantra that when Obama received his Nobel it was because of what he “might” do in the future, the “hope” he offered the world-not for anything he had actually done up to that point.
I wasn’t aware that the Nobel awarded anticipatory awards-if so then I imagine myself and everyone else is likewise worthy of one because we might do something also.
I wonder if this is the genesis of a new approach-maybe the Olympic Committee could do likewise? Or how about banks lending everybody money because they “might” purchase a home or start a business?
Maybe when a student enrolls in college they should just go ahead and bestow a diploma on them because they “might” graduate.
The possibilities are endless, and remove the burden of actually earning or accomplishing something.
Would seem the Nobel Committee might be second guessing their decision along about now-that they might question whether this is the road to peace, or whether those eighty odd prisoners in Gitmo who have been cleared and yet to be released have not been molded into future terrorist due to their unlawful detention courtesy of Uncle Sam.
The president says that despite the promises he made, despite stating that Gitmo would be closed if elected, it’s out of his hands, he hasn’t the authority to do so.
Truth of the matter is he could do exactly that by presidential order, a signing statement, or as Commander in Chief of the armed forces since Gitmo is a military prison.
But then it’s politics and politicians isn’t it? With any luck things “might” get better at some point in the future as “hope” reigns eternal.
Bush/Obama…Obama/Bush…increasingly difficult to tell the difference-I’m beginning to believe they were separated at birth.
Malala Yousafzai -what a fine young woman this is-someone who has picked up the banner Gandhi and others have carried.
Education is the key that will open countless doors and must be pursued not only by the nations but all people.
Something my people, the indigenous of this country, this hemisphere, sorely need-unfettered access to education and opportunity.
This is a young woman shot by the Taliban, but the reality is she could have just as easily been a drone strike victim -and that’s something every person of conscience must think about.
Too often adults get caught up in rhetoric, an infatuation with their voice, their opinion, a competition to be heard above the drone of the many seeking to promote themselves-yet here is a sixteen year old girl who says it all in a few short minutes and summons the world to join her in a truly just cause.
” ONE PERSON, ONE TEACHER, ONE BOOK, ONE PEN”
Terrorism by definition and circumstance is subjective-no one can deny 911 or Boston were terrorists acts, but how many consider that a civilian population in Afghanistan can rightfully view the killing of non combatants by drone strikes a terrorist act?
The argument that it is a war against terrorism is to imply that every person is Afghanistan is a terrorist if such things are to be justified.
Attempts to undermine foreign governments, which the U.S has a history of, are also acts of terrorism.
The carpet bombing and attrocities committed in Viet Nam were as well-yet each nation when engaged in such things deny it is so.
I’m sure the British felt the Boston Tea Party was committed by terrorists-that the armed insurrection that led to the formation of the United States was as well.
Nationalism is that spoonful of sugar that morphs a terrorist act into a patriotic one, a blanket woven to cover a multitude of sins, and often enough accompanied by a dash or two of religion.
The God on our side thing, as though combatants on both sides may not be claiming, believing the identical thing-but if so only one can be right.
Then it becomes a matter of whose God is the real God, whose is greater.
Governments declare and go to war dragging their populations along with them-sometimes war may be necessary, but it should always be a last resort, not a commercial enterprise, nor a personal vendetta as Bush’s war in Iraq was.
And it should never be driven by corporate interests, gluttony, or coveting the resources of a country or region.
Politicians, rulers,and leaders don’t fight wars, the sons and daughters of parents do, and they are the ones who bleed, are maimed, and die while the aformentioned wax rhetorical waving the flag secure in the protection their non physical participation affords.
War is hell, and not to be taken lightly, the duty of every parent, every citizen, to see that it isn’t.
It is neither glamourous or romantic, it is in fact the greatest shortcoming of humankind.
As indigenous people the nations have been subjected to terrorist acts during the five plus centuries of occupation-we made every attempt to defend the homeland, and yet history written by the victor made an equal attempt to portray us as terrorists.
The question can only be who were the terrorists and who were the defenders?
Huge divisions have and are being created in this country-if so many of this nations foreign policies are about “nation building” I submit an emphasis should be placed on doing so in this country as well-especially on the rez and inner cities which can truthfully be economically compared to third world countries.
America seems to have an insatiable appetite for enemies-if none exist then they are cultivated.
War is a mantra and affixed almost unilaterally across the board-there are “wars” against drugs, poverty, the lack of education, and of course foreign enemies who don’t ascribe to certain philosophies.
Kind of like Orwell’s future where an enemy is a necessity to rouse public support-an enemy one day, an ally the next.
People become inured, or accepting of “collateral damage”. Drone strikes routinely take out civilian non combatants, among them children, and few stop to think this reality only fuels the problem.
A relevant question is to be asked whether people choose to accept it or not, this so called collateral damage- if being the danger children are exposed to, the trauma, and emotional scars they will carry through to adulthood and undoubtedly inspire the same hatred of the U.S.,create the next generation of “terrorists” is all this really worth it?
Does anyone actually believe this is a good thing, acceptable? Do they believe the children of any nation exposed to such things will regard it as “nation building”, something constructive?
A policy the current president previously railed against and now embraces.
As indigenous people we know what it means to have children indiscriminately murdered, we didn’t like it and shouldn’t like it for the shared misery it is when the same occurs elsewhere.
Nation building-first you destroy a country then attempt to mold it in fashion that pleases you.
Nation building -where we pump billions of dollars into other countries such as Iraq to provide FREE healthcare, free education, employment opportunities, and infrastructure and fail to do likewise here.
To do so here is to be attacked as “socialism”-well, I submit that if providing such things is in fact nation building we need to do a little nation building within the borders of this country.
The Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis pay no income tax to this government-citizens of this country on the other hand do-time for a little value for the tax dollar instead of the usual bs.