Posts tagged war

‘I Didn’t Join to Be Sacrificed’: U.S. Troops Fed Up with Risky Afghanistan Strategy

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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‘I Didn’t Join to Be Sacrificed’: U.S. Troops Fed Up with Risky Afghanistan Strategy

 

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Afghanistan stinks. The death, despair, cronyism, corruption, the companies licking their chops over lithium and rare earths deposits, the endless funds which are printed here and flow through Kabul to God only knows where, the “heroin bomb” dropped on American cities. The country may look like heaven in places, but for America it has been hell.

It should be noted that the Macedonians, the British, and the Russians, all found themselves bogged down in the Hindu Kush and expended treasure and blood with nothing to show for the effort. Afghanistan killed the Soviets as a superpower.

But we didn’t heed the lessons of history. We found ourselves at the heart of Asia, a strategically vital place and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave it. It’s smack dab between China, India, the Middle East, and Russia. Afghanistan is at the crossroads to the Old World. It is a prize, but the cost is dear, terribly dear.

(From Breitbart.com)
 
A Navy SEAL who left his job only a few years shy of full retirement said the following: “I got out because I couldn’t take it anymore. We tried to explain how much reckless danger we were being exposed to and they told us we were being illogical.”
 
This type of response has created a growing crisis of confidence between our warfighters and senior military leadership. His argument wasn’t illogical at all.
 
A gut-wrenching pattern began forming in early 2009, a pattern completely ignored by Congress, the White House, and apparently the DoD.
 
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan (October 2001 – December 2008) we lost 630 U.S. soldiers. In early 2009, this administration authorized the implementation of the COIN strategy. Over the next five years, the U.S. death toll skyrocket to 2,292.
 
Seventy-three percent of all U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have taken place since 2009.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

 

Gerald Celente – Societies Decay – Save Long Island Forum

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Gerald Celente – Societies Decay – Save Long Island Forum

 

2-13-2014 6-09-32 PM

 

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Published by wearechangect

Founder of The Trends Research Institute, Gerald Celente, graced those in attendance at the Save Long island Forum with his witty and charismatic personality speaking about the steady decline of America’s moral values.

Read Gerald Celente’s blog here: http://www.geraldcelente.com/
Also be sure to see his youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/gcelente

Learn more about Save Long Island: http://savelongisland.org/
Check out the Save Long Island Forum website to see a list of all the speakers: http://savelongislandforum.com/

 

Rep. Walter Jones: More Spending on Afghanistan is ‘Insanity’

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Source: http://ronpaulinstitute.org

By RPI Staff

Rep. Walter Jones: More Spending on Afghanistan is ‘Insanity’

 

Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board Member, delivers hard-hitting questions and comments during a House Armed Services hearing this week on the “State of Al Qaeda, its Affiliates, and Associated Groups: View From Outside Experts.” On the continuing controversy over the US/Afghanistan status of forces treaty and the prospect of ten more years of spending money in Afghanistan, Rep. Jones  has this to say:

The people in my district, the third district of North Carolina, the home of Camp LeJeune Marine Base, 60,000 retired military, do not understand the stupidity of this policy in Afghanistan. On the 30th of January, in the Washington Post, and I’m sure you probably read it, after billions in U.S. investment, Afghanistan’s roads are falling apart.

Watch the short video segment of Rep. Jones’ excellent comments here:

 

2-5-2014 6-53-36 PM

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Is Washington Hostile to Citizen Input?

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Is Washington Hostile to Citizen Input?

 

2-4-2014 7-06-21 PM

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Published by NextNewsNetwork

WASHINGTON DC | Today’s DC Report is an exclusive about several activists appearing in federal court rooms this week for protesting the drone policies of the United States.

Four of those activists were sentenced in Sacramento, Calif. yesterday. On Friday, five more anti-drone activists will appear in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.

But this story carries an important twist: These activists have been going to Congress for years to try and get elected officials to consider stopping the targeted killings carried out by U.S. Predator and Reaper drones. But their concerns have fallen on deaf ears in Washington.

These activists maintain that the drone hits are war crimes in violation of international law. They stress that scores of innocent men, women and children are being systematically killed on a virtually daily basis.

They add that the drone hits are taking place in nations with which the U.S. is not even at war. The impacted nations include: Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. The activists point out that Congress never officially declared war on Afghanistan and Iraq as the Constitution requires.

Activist Toby Blome’ (Blo-May) is one of the four activists sentenced with community service and probation yesterday in Sacramento. The activists were arrested for blocking the entry road into nearby Beale Air Force Base for over an hour on April 30, 2013. However, Blome said that staging protests is not necessarily the favored tactic.

Instead, the protests are actually a last-ditch effort to be heard. As Blome told WHDT: “We were resolved to blocking that road that morning [because] our elected officials just won’t listen.”

While blocking the road, the activists tried to get a letter delivered to the Beale air-base commander to protest U.S. drone policies. Beale is a key base from which Global Hawk surveillance drones are remotely controlled. These distant drones pinpoint foreign targets that armed Predator and Reaper drones use to kill suspected terrorists. But scores of noncombatants are killed in the process.

The Beale base commander shot a letter back to the four Sacramento activists, saying that if they carry out the same activities again, the consequences will be more severe than community service and probation. But these and other activists are determined to carry on. They want the general public to know which domestic Air Force bases remotely control drone missions on the other side of the globe.

The underlying theme is that in the modern-day United States, it’s becoming nearly impossible for concerned citizens to be heard by the federal government.

When asked about visiting the offices of members of Congress, Sacramento activist Martha Hubert replied that Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her staff act like the activists don’t exist.

Hubert said: “We try to talk to her in Washington and in California. Her staff says they’ll give her the message but they never did. No meetings with her have ever been arranged.”

Hubert’s fellow activist Robin Ryan added: “We, the defendants, were denied a trial by jury. Had that not been denied, we would have been able to shed more light on the reasons behind this [protest]. We were able to speak only after we had been found guilty.”

On Friday in Virginia, additional protestors are appealing their trespass conviction at the Central Intelligence Agency in June, 2013. They attempted to seek a meeting with CIA Director John Brennan concerning CIA drone hits that allegedly violate international law. The activists carried with them a letter related to what they call “illegal targeted drone killings.”

At this juncture, this issue raises troubling questions about whether our government in Washington is really our government at all. If this is what it takes to try and be heard, then the freedom that the military thinks it’s defending may be clinically dead.

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We Win the NY Times Prize

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Source: https://mises.org

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We Win the NY Times Prize

 

6648The New York Times, whistling past the financial graveyard, paused over the weekend to smear the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, our other scholars, hardcore libertarianism, and me. Why? Because our ideas and our youth movement are gaining real traction. It is in effect a compliment. They have never faced opposition like ours before, and Ron Paul’s tremendous resonance with young people has only made things worse from the Times’s point of view.

The Times wants opponents who play the game, who accept the presuppositions of the regime, and who are willing to confine themselves to the narrow range of debate to which the Times would prefer to confine the American people.

The purpose of articles like the one over the weekend, it should be unnecessary to point out, is not to shed light. It is to demonize and destroy a school of thought that the regime considers threatening.

The article, for instance, notes that Ron spoke on the topic “Do We Live in a Police State?” earlier this month at a Mises Institute event, and that another speaker (me) spoke on “American Fascism.” The lecture titles are evidently supposed to be self-refuting, although you can listen to Ron’s remarks and read mine and decide for yourself. It’s little wonder that the Times would want to ridicule the idea that American society could resemble a police state, given that paper’s cover-ups of the regime’s surveillance of American citizens.

The rest of the article is an attempt to distort the philosophy of libertarianism and to demonize Ron and other prominent exponents of that philosophy.

The whole exercise reminds me of the time, not long ago, in which a state-endorsed hate group took a swipe at Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), known in his day as Mr. Libertarian. The writer summarized Murray’s career in a single sentence about — of all things — lesbians during the Progressive Era.

Now consider: Rothbard’s 1,000-page treatise Man, Economy, and State was an extraordinary contribution to the field of economics; his two-volume history of economic thought has been praised by scholars across the board; his study of the Panic of 1819, published by Columbia University Press, received rave reviews in the scholarly journals and is still considered definitive; his Ethics of Liberty is a philosophical defense of self-ownership and the nonaggression principle, and so on.

“And so on” hardly does Rothbard justice: we haven’t mentioned his textbook on money and banking, his classic What Has Government Done to Our Money?, his four-volume history of colonial America, the scholarly journals he edited, the voluminous correspondence he kept up with the major thinkers of his day, and — well, and so on.

And a critic tried to reduce this man — this man! — to one unfavorable sentence.

It used to be easy to do this: how, apart from driving to the library, was someone to discover Rothbard for himself? But today, discovering Rothbard is just a click away. And once you discover him — his scholarship, his knowledge, the encouragement he gave to students, and his refusal to compromise his principles even when doing so would have meant career advancement — you understand why the state wants to minimize or demonize him. No wonder the most popular piece of libertarian apparel is our Rothbard “Enemy of the State” T-shirt.

Economics professors have even been known to urge their students not to read Rothbard. But what do you think the brighter students do when they’re told not to read someone? And once you read Rothbard, you never look at the world the same way again.

The Times article, which continues in the tradition of portraying Murray preposterously, tries the same tactic with libertarian historian Tom Woods. According to the Times, Tom’s book Who Killed the Constitution?, co-authored with Kevin Gutzman, “denounced the Supreme Court decision desegregating schools, Brown v. Board of Education, as ‘a dizzying display of judicial imperialism.’”

With even Publishers Weekly endorsing Who Killed the Constitution, there’s obviously something fishy here — would the staid and scrupulously establishment PW endorse a segregationist book?

In fact, Woods and Gutzman argue that the same result could have been achieved with the enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment — and that that is precisely how, in practice, the schools wound up being desegregated anyway. As historian Michael Klarman shows in his book From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, the Court may have uttered a lot of pretty words, but desegregation occurred only after the Fifteenth Amendment was enforced. And had this constitutional approach been followed in the first place, the authors contend, American society would have been spared the precedent established in Brown whereby the justices decide on their preferred outcome in advance, and then tendentiously search for legal justifications for that outcome, no matter how implausible.

A handful of libertarians whose views are more congenial to the Times take opportunities like these to wag their fingers at the Mises Institute. Why, if we’d only play nice, and scrupulously observe every PC platitude as they do, reasonable people like The New York Times reporters would leave us alone. We just need to show The New York Times that a libertarian approach will do a better job of reaching our shared goals, etc.

Anyone deluded enough to believe such a thing understands nothing about the nature of the state and its media apologists.

Whose interests do you suppose the Times is more dedicated to advancing: those of the libertarian movement, or those of the state? The question answers itself. And so we might turn the accusation around: if you’re such a threat to the state, why does its media ignore or actually flatter you, perhaps even holding you up as a model for other libertarians to live by? If the Times wants you to represent the libertarian movement, do you think this is because it suddenly has the interests of libertarianism at heart?

Behind the state media’s attacks are always the issues of war and peace. Conservatives have deluded themselves into thinking that the so-called “liberal media” opposes the regime’s wars and wants to “abandon our troops.” To the contrary, you won’t find bigger and more consistent cheerleaders for the US government’s aggression than the official media. When they encounter a root-and-branch opponent of the warfare state, whether it’s Ron Paul or the Mises Institute, they pounce.

And when we oppose war, we don’t oppose it on the grounds that a particular conflict isn’t in “America’s interests.” That is regimespeak. We oppose the wars because they are based on lies, morally outrageous, and carried out through expropriation of the American public. You think the Times might not want a message like that gaining resonance?

The Mises Institute, moreover, does not issue policy reports to persuade the state that its interests will be more effectively met through libertarian solutions. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been flushed down the toilet in this way, and if you want to know how much it’s accomplished, take a look around you.

The Mises Institute’s scholarship, on the other hand, is aimed at understanding and overthrowing the entire paradigm of domination and exploitation that the state represents. No, we don’t play nice. We tell the unvarnished truth. It is this, and not anything else, that explains why the state’s media considers us an implacable foe.

Anyone is free to examine what we do: our annual scholarly conference, our student and topical conferences, the free books we’ve made available to the world, the vast library of audio and video files on both technical economics and popular topics, our Dailies, our regular Mises View commentary, and much more.

If you’re looking for efficiency experts for the state, who seek to devise better and more effective ways for state goals to be accomplished and the people to be expropriated, the Mises Institute will disappoint. If it’s “tax reform” you’re interested in — which is always a shell game in which the outward form of taxation may change a bit, but the amount of taxes collected stays the same or even rises – we’re not your cup of tea.

On the other hand, we have much to recommend us. We don’t back down and apologize when we’re smeared by the state’s media. We relish it as an indication that we’re doing our job. We tell the truth about the state: its wars, its expropriations, its militarized police, its propaganda. We don’t peddle the elementary-school propaganda that the state is a public-service institution seeking the public good. We believe that the great products of civilization — indeed civilization itself — are the result of spontaneous human cooperation. The parasitic class that holds the levers of power in the state apparatus may try to condition the public to believe that central planning and threats of violence — the hallmarks of the state — deserve credit for human progress, but our scholarship proves the opposite.

Ron Paul has been our Distinguished Counselor since we opened our doors in 1982, and he recently joined our board. The Times and the state hate us for the same reasons they hate Ron: we’re truth-tellers, we oppose Keynesianism and the Federal Reserve lock, stock, and barrel; and we support the cause of peace against the state’s wars. This is all too much for the state’s house organ, which has rarely heard war propaganda too preposterous to print, or a Keynesian apologetic too much of a stretch to repeat.

We are attacked because we are doing our job. The Times’s smear is a medal on our chest.

 


About the Author

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

LewRockwell

 

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. is chairman and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author of Fascism versus Capitalism. Send him mail. See Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.’s article archives.

 

Image credit: https://mises.org

 

Will U.S. Ever Leave Afghanistan?

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Will U.S. Ever Leave Afghanistan?

 

1-23-2014 8-16-23 PM

 

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Published by NextNewsNetwork

Gerald Celente: 2014 Global Collapse and the Next War

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Gerald Celente: 2014 Global Collapse and the Next War

 

1-21-2014 7-37-51 PM

 

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Published by NextNewsNetwork

With the coming of the new year, everyone wants to know what 2014 will hold for themselves and the world.

Futurists do their best to predict what events will come about over the next 12 months, as well as how current trends will affect, and be affected by, what happens around the world. Some of the predictions announced by forecasters turn out exactly as they predict. Others land far from the mark. Still, a few forecasters have been around for years, due to the accuracy of their predictions.

One of the best-known futurists in the country is Gerald Celente. He is the founder of the Trends Research Institute. He is also the best-selling author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking. He has appeared on several of the largest media outlets in the world, offering his predictions for the future. His forecasts have often proved to be highly accurate.

Gerald Celente is our guest on the show today.

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Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman — How Congress Spends Your Money

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Source: http://the-free-foundation.org

By Ron Paul

ronpaul-tst

Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman — How Congress Spends Your Money

 

Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the comic book heroine.

That is just one of the many outrageous projects buried in this 1,582 page bill. The legislation gives the Department of Education more money to continue nationalizing education via “common core.” Also, despite new evidence of Obamacare’s failure emerging on an almost daily basis, the Omnibus bill does nothing to roll back this disastrous law.

Even though the Omnibus bill dramatically increases government spending, it passed with the support of many self-described “fiscal conservatives.” Those wondering why anyone who opposes increasing spending on programs like common core and Obamacare would vote for the bill, may find an answer in the fact that the legislation increases funding for the “Overseas Continuing Operations” — which is the official name for the war budget — for the first time since 2010. This $85 billion war budget contains $6 billion earmarked for projects benefiting Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and other big defense contractors.

Ever since “sequestration” went into effect at the beginning of last year, the military-industrial complex’s congressional cheering session has complained that sequestration imposed “draconian cuts” on the Pentagon that will “decimate” our military — even though most of the “cuts” were actually reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” In fact, under sequestration, defense spending was to increase by 18 percent over ten years, as opposed to growing by 20 percent without sequestration.

Many of the defenders of increased war spending are opponents of welfare, but they are willing to set aside their opposition to increased welfare spending in order to increase warfare spending. They are supported in this position by the lobbyists for the military-industrial complex and the neoconservatives, whose continued influence on foreign policy is mystifying. After all, the neocons were the major promoters of the disastrous military intervention in Iraq.

While many neocons give lip service to limiting domestic spending, their main priority remains protecting high levels of military spending to maintain an interventionist foreign policy. The influence of the neocons provides intellectual justification for politicians to vote for ever-larger military budgets — and break the campaign promises to vote against increases in spending and debt.

Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have recognized that a constant defense of liberty requires opposing both war and welfare. Many of these Americans, especially the younger ones, have joined the intellectual and political movement in favor of limiting government in all areas. This movement presents the most serious challenge the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus has faced in generations. Hopefully, the influence of this movement will lead to bipartisan deals cutting both welfare and warfare spending.

The question facing Americans is not whether Congress will ever cut spending. The question is will the spending be reduced in an orderly manner that avoids inflecting massive harm on those depending on government programs, or will spending be slashed in response to an economic crisis caused by ever-increasing levels of deficit spending. Because politicians are followers rather than leaders, it is ultimately up to the people what course we will take. This is why it is vital that those of us who understand the dangerous path we are currently on do all we can to expand the movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity.

Is the War on Terror a Lost Cause?

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Is the War on Terror a Lost Cause?

 

1-7-2014 9-46-15 PM

 

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Published by NextNewsNetwork

Published on Jan 7, 2014

WASHINGTON—As the second session of the 113th Congress began at noon Jan. 6, Rep. Howard McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), released a news bulletin bemoaning the loss of the city of Fallujah to al-Qaeda forces in Iraq.

In his press release, McKeon limited criticism about what critics call the Fallujah folly to Secretary of State John Kerry, the former Massachusetts senator. Kerry is saying Iraq’s own government now has the responsibility to pick up the pieces on Fallujah.

McKeon noted, “I am dismayed by Secretary Kerry’s dismissal of the threat from al-Qaeda as ‘Iraq’s battle to fight.’ It took two bloody battles to liberate Fallujah. Many U.S., British, and Iraqi forces—Sunni and Shia—lost their lives to secure that city.”

But was Fallujah, a strategic city west of Baghdad, really “liberated” by U.S. Marines in 2004? Critics say the U.S. liberation amounted to a brutal assault, which included the use of white phosphorus weapons on scores of civilians who were among the claimed enemy “insurgents.” Yet all of that fighting appears to have been futile.

Al-Qaeda, once “masterminded” by notorious 9-11 arch-villain Osama bin Laden, is, of course, the enemy organization blamed for the 9-11 attacks. And those attacks were used to justify an Iraq war that just passed the 10-year mark, and an Afghanistan quagmire that is America’s longest-ever war.

McKeon also cited Iran when he added: “When our allies fight al-Qaeda for us, and the United States sits on the sidelines, not only do our allies notice, but so do our adversaries. I note that Iran has already jumped in with offers of assistance. When terrorism is allowed to flourish abroad, when the specter of insurgency haunts democratic nations, our own security suffers.”

McKeon added that Sec. Kerry and the Obama Administration should realize that in spite of their desire to wish the threat away, al-Qaeda has evolved and remains “a shared threat.” And citing a rationale for more U.S. military involvement, McKeon stated: “I urge the Administration to demonstrate a full commitment in support of an ally fighting a common enemy.”

Is this the same old song from legislators obsessed with the idea that the U.S. must be both an empire and an umpire and continually police the world? Will the current war on terror ever end, given breaking news that more and more U.S. weapons shipments are bound for Iraq?

Of course, real terrorists do exist, especially closer to home. Missing among members of perhaps the most unpopular Congress in U.S. history are sustained, constructive concerns about loose immigration laws that help enable Mexican drug cartels to set up networks in various U.S. cities, both in border towns and in inland towns.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses are saying that even Iraq’s government itself has lost control of Fallujah. Al-Qaeda-linked militants now are said to control southern Fallujah, while tribesmen allied with al-Qaeda hold the rest of it. Therefore, the purpose of the U.S. sack of Fallujah—indeed the purpose of the overall war on terror—is getting increasingly harder to understand.

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Iraq: The ‘Liberation’ Neocons Would Rather Forget

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Source: http://ronpaulinstitute.org

By Ron Paul

 

Iraq: The ‘Liberation’ Neocons Would Rather Forget

 

Remember Fallujah? Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US military fired on unarmed protestors, killing as many as 20 and wounding dozens. In retaliation, local Iraqis attacked a convoy of US military contractors, killing four. The US then launched a full attack on Fallujah to regain control, which left perhaps 700 Iraqis dead and the city virtually destroyed.

According to press reports last weekend, Fallujah is now under the control of al-Qaeda affiliates. The Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, is under siege by al-Qaeda. During the 2007 “surge,” more than 1,000 US troops were killed “pacifying” the Anbar province.  Although al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the US invasion, it is now conducting its own surge in Anbar.

For Iraq, the US “liberation” is proving far worse than the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, and it keeps getting worse. Last year was Iraq’s deadliest in five years. In 2013, fighting and bomb blasts claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces. In December alone nearly a thousand people were killed.

I remember sitting through many hearings in the House International Relations Committee praising the “surge,” which we were told secured a US victory in Iraq. They also praised the so-called “Awakening,” which was really an agreement by insurgents to stop fighting in exchange for US dollars. I always wondered what would happen when those dollars stopped coming.

Where are the surge and awakening cheerleaders now?

One of them, Richard Perle, was interviewed last year on NPR and asked whether the Iraq invasion that he pushed was worth it. He replied:

I’ve got to say I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t a decade later go back and say, well, we shouldn’t have done that.

Many of us were saying all along that we shouldn’t have done that – before we did it. Unfortunately the Bush Administration took the advice of the neocons pushing for war and promising it would be a “cakewalk.” We continue to see the results of that terrible mistake, and it is only getting worse.

Last month the US shipped nearly a hundred air-to-ground missiles to the Iraqi air force to help combat the surging al-Qaeda. Ironically, the same al-Qaeda groups the US is helping the Iraqis combat are benefiting from the US covert and overt war to overthrow Assad next door in Syria. Why can’t the US government learn from its mistakes?

The neocons may be on the run from their earlier positions on Iraq, but that does not mean they have given up. They were the ones pushing for an attack on Syria this summer. Thankfully they were not successful. They are now making every effort to derail President Obama’s efforts to negotiate with the Iranians. Just last week William Kristol urged Israel to attack Iran with the hope we would then get involved. Neoconservative Senators from both parties recently introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would also bring us back on war-footing with Iran.

Next time the neocons tell us we must attack, just think “Iraq.”

 

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