Is Peace In America's Future?

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PeaceSign-RWB.jpgIs America in a position to enter a period of military peace? With the announcement last week of complete withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, a winding down of the War in Afghanistan, an end to America's multilateral participation against Qadaffi in Libya, and nearly complete disruption of the al-Queda organization that attacked us on 9/11, it would appear America is headed for a period of relative peace in the world. With such appearances, however, those dependent upon military activism for financial, political, and other gains, have to begin to oppose peace. We are hearing such voices rise up, already.

What if there was a military super-power in the world, that was constrained by law, and the primary objective of defending itself, and world peace. Would such a super-power be welcomed amongst the world's people or, at least, by the people living under that super-power? Reason would seem to indicate so.

However, there is the inescapable reality that comes along with becoming a military super-power that tends to undermine any such hopes for Peaceful objectives. That reality is the powerful people who became rich, and or, powerful beyond most person's dreams, in building up such a military and providing for the the wars that justified that military growth. Those same persons are not about to stand idly by during a period of Peace and diminishing financial rewards that will attend a military redesigned and focused on Peace as its objective.The powerful vested monied interests will defend their power that rests on the war machine.

As The Hill reports:
As you know, the complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq is likely to be viewed as a strategic victory by our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime," the letter, signed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and David Vitter (R-La.) reads.

"While we share the desire for all of our troops to come home as quickly as possible, every senior military commander we have heard from on repeated visits to Iraq has stated that U.S. national security interests and the enduring needs of Iraq's military require a continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2011 to safeguard the gains that we and our Iraqi partners have made," the letter continues.

Their entire argument rests on these men's prediction of what our enemy's <b>perception</b> of the withdrawal will be. Is that sufficient justification for occupation of a foreign nation against the will of that nation's government? Iraq has demanded the withdrawal of American forces. WWII and the Cold War are long over, and the circumstances that warranted maintaining massive military presence in countries like Japan and Germany no longer exist. This is one of the problems with incumbency in political office - failure to acknowledge that world has changed, and new opportunities require new strategies and tactics.

Back to the point, however, is that these politicians depend heavily for reelection on political contributions from those private interests that profit from war and an enormous military industrial complex. While the Wars in Iraq in Afghanistan were enormously profitable for corporate interests like Haliburton, General Dynamics, and many others, these wars were enormously costly for the American people, to include thousands of military families.

The Iraq War has cost $800 Billion dollars, to date. None of the justifications for that war, save corporate profits, have proved to be valid. There was no al-Queda in Iraq prior to the invasion, there were no weapons of mass destruction, and Iraq posed no threat, nuclear or otherwise, to the United States homeland. The Iraqi people are free to govern themselves in the manner they choose. The military job there is done. There are no rational reasons for America to promote imperialist occupation of Iraq against the will of the Iraqi government.

Afghanistan has cost Americans more than $468 Billion dollars. While Afghanistan continues to be an unstable country, in which, hostile factions against the America remain, there arguably exists nothing to be gained by continued military occupation of Afghanistan for Americans. Nothing, that is, except for the profits of war for those private sector corporations dedicated to war. There is nothing homogenous about the Afghan people, as was the case with Japan and Germany. There isn't even a centralized government in control of the regions and peoples of Afghanistan.

America has passed the point of diminishing returns in Afghanistan. Every dollar and American soldier's wounding or death spent in Afghanistan, going forward, brings progressively less return on the impossible objective of achieving a stable and peaceful democracy there with warm regards for America and the Western nations. Our objective in invading Afghanistan has been achieved. Al-Queda has been torn apart, and those responsible for the 9/11 attacks have been taken out. The are only two consequences to result from a continued occupation and war in Afghanistan and they are profits for America's war based corporations and stock holders, and growing resentment against America for perpetual occupation of that country.

Which brings us back to the question: Is Peace in America's future? If the answer is left to those who profit from the war machine, the answer will be an emphatic, NO! If the answer is left to the majority of peace-loving Americans, the answer is clearly Yes, as evidenced by PollingReport's data. This would appear to be a classic case which the Occupy Wall Street movement is railing against. The 1% who are profiting from these wars would continue them. The majority of the rest would not. And the war continues.

A sign of the times appeared in the news this last week as the story broke that the last of the Cold War Bunker Busting Nuclear Weapons of the 1960's was dismantled. While it is true, those bombs, the most powerful nuclear weapons ever created, have been replaced with more surgical and less collaterally destructive nuclear bombs, the evidence is clear that the world of the Cold War of Russia and the U.S. bent on mutual self-destruction, no longer exists. As our times and circumstances change, our policies and objectives must also change. Failure to adapt to changing times has brought down the greatest civilizations in history. America must not be allowed to follow that history.

America has an unprecedented opportunity at this time to truly become the world's Peacekeeper, using its economic and diplomatic power to negotiate resolution of conflict hotspots, while holding in reserve, the world's most powerful military under civilian rule, to be used only in direct defense of the integrity of the United States homeland and territories, economic trading partners, and allies. This is an opportunity for America to enter a time of relative peace, and use that opportunity to restore its spent resources, economic balance, and stature in the eyes of the world's people and nations. This is an opportunity the American people and military, cannot allow its leaders to squander.

The objective of war, is to restore the Peace. The profiteers of war reject that argument and objective. It is time for the American people to secure that objective for themselves, and our future. 

(This article was previously published at DiscussAmerica.org).

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 27, 2011 11:37 AM.

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