Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'll try harder from now on

Or if they had considered the American intervention in Lebanon, they would easily have found the following evaluation by their own military of a situation much like that of Iraq. Of the involvement in Lebanon in 1982–1983, Lieutenant Commander Westra states:

"American policy was formulated without adequate consideration of the complexity of the Lebanese conflict or its political and religious antecedents. Additionally, our policy was pursued from a purely American perspective without consideration of the goals and motivations of numerous factions involved in the fighting. As a consequence of these policy shortcomings, American military forces were mistakenly committed as a first resort before all diplomatic and other means had been exhausted."

"The key problem of our involvement in Lebanon was that American military forces were mistakenly committed in order to solve a complex set of political problems that had no military solution. By submitting future regional conflicts to a "Lebanon Test," policymakers will have an in-depth model delineating the multitude of considerations and pitfalls affecting policy formulation and the use of military force to secure the objectives of policy in regional conflicts."

If many in the military knew better, wouldn’t this information reach the President? Mightn’t it even seep out to the bloodthirsty editorial writers and thence to the gung-ho public? [ Bush’s Folly - Michael S. Rozeff]

How much more of this imperial folly from the US and British governments are we going to stand for? I think it's a shame more people in the UK didn't reflect on what Blair (and to be fair a raft of previous UK governments) have done and choose to vote against extending his time in office.

I think we needed a breather and an opportunity to reflect upon what kind of country we want to be and where our interests lie. I don't believe they lie in interfering with Middle Eastern politics, propping up the Saudi regime, etc...

It may be that ceasing to intervene in this area is going to cause us economic turbulence but I think that's inevitable anyway with the policy we are persuing. I also think that all the money being funnelled into Iraq and the War on Terror could be better used.

I've heard what I think is a lot of nonsense about why the London bombings occurred. Especially people talking about why they aren't related to the war on Iraq. The usual claim being that 9/11 happened before the war on Iraq so it can't be related. I find it hard to believe that even the people peddling this nonsense really believe it.

Question: Why didn’t the terrorists strike Switzerland instead of England? After all, the two countries share the same “freedom and values,” don’t they?

Answer: The Swiss government didn’t attack Iraq. It doesn’t meddle in the Middle East. It didn’t participate in the brutal sanctions against the Iraqi people. It doesn’t maintain an empire of overseas bases. It doesn’t go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. The Swiss government minds its own business.

That’s why the terrorists did not strike Switzerland.

Of course, the same cannot be said of England, whose foreign policy in the Middle East can be summed up as follows: Whatever the U.S. government does, the British government supports and joins. Thus, the British government participated in President Bush’s recent war on Iraq – a war against a sovereign and independent country that never attacked the United States or England or even threatened to do so. It is a war that has produced the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people – not just American and British soldiers, but also Iraqi soldiers and civilians – none of whom had anything to do with the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the United States.

That’s why the terrorists struck in London instead of Bern.

That’s also why the terrorists struck in New York, both in 1993 and 2001, and at the Pentagon.

The terrorist retaliations are rooted in anger and hatred not for American and English “freedom and values,” as President Bush and Prime Minister Blair maintain, but instead in anger and hatred for U.S. and British foreign policy.

Why would it be otherwise? Why should foreigners – especially radical, violent ones – react any differently to the killings and maiming of their family, friends, and countrymen than Westerners do when their family, friends, and countrymen are killed or maimed by foreigners?

Consider the torture, rape, sex abuse, and murder scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Why wouldn’t Middle Easterners react in much the same way that Americans would react if American men were treated in a similar manner in some foreign prison?

What will be the response of government officials to the terrorist strikes in London? You guessed it: more severe government crackdowns on civil liberties to protect us from the terrorists, which not surprisingly was the same position that they were taking before the terrorist strikes in London. [Terrorism Comes With Empire - Jacob G. Hornberger]

As citizens I think we fail to be interested in what our government really does and the effects it has. The world is so interconnected, how can be believe that invading other countries and killing their people, however justified we feel, will not provoke reactions from them and those that empathise with them?

On the day of the London attacks I couldn't escape the feeling that if I lived in Iraq I'd probably be so numbed to the concept of bombs going off and people being killed that, unless it was one of my own dead or missing, that I'd shrug and, maybe, hope for a quieter tomorrow. We think we are safe here, so it's obviously shocking to be targeted for an attack.

People being killed is terrible but let's seek perspective. Our military, on the orders of our elected government, have been killing people en masse for some time now and, despite the rhetoric about minimizing civillian casualties, there are a lot of dead men, women, and children who didn't sign up for a war in their homeland.

I am sorry to the people who have died, here and abroad, that I haven't done more to bring my government to account for it's actions. All I can do is try harder from now on.

13/07/2005 13:14 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments: