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Fri

15

Dec

2006

It’s Not Just Bush: We’re Accountable Too
Friday, 15 December 2006 13:07
by Heather Wokusch
Click on arrow to listen to Heather's Podcast here: {mmp3ex}www.heatherwokusch.com/podcasts/We_Are_Accountable_Too_48KBs.mp3{/mmp3ex}

Blaming everything on a handful of people at the top, no matter how destructive and abusive they’ve been, misses a critical point. Systems tend to self-perpetuate. Remove one player and the next comes in to ensure business as usual.

Remove Rumsfeld, a man who helped prop up Hussein in the 80’s and skewed intelligence towards war, and who do you get? Robert Gates, a man who helped prop up Hussein in the 80’s and skewed intelligence towards war.

Replacing those in power won’t help if the power structure itself doesn’t change. And that means addressing how our own actions maintain this dysfunctional system.

Decades ago, Rumsfeld and Cheney hoodwinked the American people with fearmongering lies about Soviet military capability, setting the country on a path of paranoia and weapons build-up. 911 let them pull the exact same trick again, with a public more focused on macho vigilantism than on facts and diplomacy.

But the dirty little secret remains: a combative foreign policy requires perpetual conflict. After all, tough-talking cowboys and weapons manufacturers have little value in times of peace, so it’s in their interest to foment never-ending strife. Maybe that’s why top Pentagon strategist Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark O. Schissler recently warned Americans to prepare for a 50-100 year “generational war.” “generational war.” 



The Democrats also seem to be hunkering down for a long-term battle against evildoers; their “Six for ’06” goals call for doubling the size of “Special Forces to destroy Osama bin Laden and terrorist networks like al Qaeda.” An October 2006 report from the Democratic Leadership Council’s Progressive Policy Institute additionally noted: "America needs a bigger and better military ... Democrats should step forward with a plan to repair the damage, by adding more troops, replenishing depleted stocks of equipment, and reorganizing the force around the new missions of unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, and civil reconstruction." America needs a bigger and better military

The wild card in this march towards military domination remains Iran. Bush has already promised Israel protection if it bombs Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities, and just this week, Congress voted to double the US stockpiles of military equipment in Israel (turns out that Israel had used much of the US equipment during its war with Lebanon this summer). double the US stockpiles of military equipment in Israel Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s recent admission that Israel possesses nuclear weapons is not expected to impact the billions in aid the country receives each year either, even though the US officially bans funding to those producing weapons of mass destruction.

While US involvement in an attack on Iran would invite Armageddon, Bush is backed into a corner domestically and may feel he doesn't have a whole lot to lose. Leading Democrats (including Clinton and Obama) have also called for the “military option” to be available for Iran, and would most likely push for troops/weapons to protect Israel from retaliation.

Some consider war with Iran as inevitable, but it isn’t. The results would be catastrophic and the diplomatic options have not been adequately explored. More to the point, we must consider how the very legitimizing of perpetual conflict is devastating our national security. The Pentagon’s budget currently runs over $430 billion per year, not including the roughly $140 billion spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Democrats are expected to increase the military budget next year. Meanwhile, domestic social programs are being slashed to compensate for war spending and our military has become severely weakened. $430 billion per year

The upshot? We the people need to retire tough-talking cowboys in both political parties and dump the idea that perpetual conflict is a given. We have to hound members of the 110th Congress to pursue every possible option for peace in the Middle East and we must confront the fear of faceless enemies, which legitimizes rollbacks in our own civil liberties. Above all, we must hold ourselves accountable not to be fooled into war again.

Action Ideas:

1. To learn more about the lies leading to the 2003 invasion of Iraq: - Iraq on the Record (http://democrats.reform.house.gov/IraqOnTheRecord/) - DowningStreetMemo.com (www.downingstreetmemo.com) - AfterDowningStreet.org (www.afterdowningstreet.org)


2. To explore peaceful approaches to foreign policy: - Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org) - Global Issues (www.globalissues.org) - One World (www.oneworld.net) - Just Foreign Policy (www.justforeignpolicy.org)


3. To identify the cost of the Iraq War to U.S. taxpayers: - Cost of War (www.costofwar.com)


Heather Wokusch is the author of The Progressives’ Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now (Volumes 1 & 2), and can be reached via her site: www.heatherwokusch.com

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Winter Patriot said:

Winter Patriot
More Action Ideas
In my view, we must move beyond the transparently false rhetoric which is foisted on us by politicians of both parties and all our major media. In particular, I believe, we must:

-- Recognize that Osama bin Laden is dead and resolve to challenge anyone who says we should devote any efforts or resources to finding or destroying him.

-- Understand that al-Q'aeda is an instrument of western intelligence agencies, which is used for covert operations.

-- Realize that our electoral system is broken -- and that therefore politicians of both parties have been severed from the usual mode of accountability.

-- Come to terms with the fact that the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjustified wars our country has been waging against Afghanistan and Iraq were not "mistakes", but premeditated acts of betrayal -- and demand that all who brought us these tragedies be not only impeached but hanged for treason.

-- Share these little bits of hidden information with your friends and your family and your neighbors and your co-workers. Our society cannot begin to function properly if all the important knowledge is in the hands of a relatively few people.

That's for starters.
 
December 15, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Jimmy Montague said:

0
You're both right.
The original post is excellent. Winter Patriot adds that we must "Come to terms with the fact that the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjustified wars our country has been waging against Afghanistan and Iraq were not "mistakes", but premeditated acts of betrayal -- and demand that all who brought us these tragedies be not only impeached but hanged for treason."

The key word there, Mr. Patriot, is "demand". That's what I do. I demand that people who pretend to address the problem "come to terms with the fact" that what our sold-out media calles "mistakes" are in fact "premeditated acts of betrayal." I demand that the criminals be prosecuted, which led me to cross words with Mr. Schmookler. Apologists are a major part of the problem, and NO PART of any good solution.
 
December 18, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

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