Fluoride Information

Fluoride is a poison. Fluoride was poison yesterday. Fluoride is poison today. Fluoride will be poison tomorrow. When in doubt, get it out.


AnAmerAffidavit

Monday, April 17, 2017

America Must Start Looking How to End All the Wars It Has Started by Patrick Cockburn from CounterPunch


America Must Start Looking How to End All the Wars It Has Started

Photo by DVIDSHUB | CC BY 2.0
Photo by DVIDSHUB | CC BY 2.0
War-whoops and loud applause from foreign policy establishments and their media supporters have greeted President Trump’s missile strike in Syria, the dropping of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and the dispatch of a naval task force in the direction of North Korea.
This spurt in belligerence over the last week has as much to do with domestic American politics as any fundamental new development in the rest of the world. Trump needed to defuse the accusation that he was too close to President Putin and too tolerant of a Russian ally like Bashar al-Assad. The resort to military action was largely in keeping with the old Pentagon saying that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge”, meaning that it is politics inside, not outside the US, which is the real decision-maker.

Whatever Trump’s precise motives, his sudden fondness for the use of armed force shows that what President Obama criticised as “the Washington playbook” is back in business as the guide for conduct of American foreign policy. “It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment,” said Obama in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly last year. “And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarised responses.”
The poison gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed 87 people and the retaliatory firing by the US of 59 missiles at a Syrian airbase was the occasion, but not the cause, of the volte face in Trump’s foreign policy. Previously, he had defied the conventional wisdom of the powers that be in the US and in Britain and France on a host of issues, such as relations with Russia, Syria, China, Nato and the EU.
There was something comical about the outrage expressed by self-declared experts at Trump’s new departures. Anti-Trump forces interpreted any contact, however fleeting, between any Russian and any member of the Trump team, past and present, as a sign of possible treachery in a way that would have made Senator McCarthy sigh with envy.
Simple-minded though some of Trump’s declarations might appear, others were more realistic than anything said by Hillary Clinton or Senator John McCain.
In Syria, for instance, the main problem for the US and its allies is and has long been that, though they would very much like to get rid of Assad, the only alternative appears to be anarchy or the empowerment of Isis and al-Qaeda clones. Clinton’s policy, insofar as she had one, was to pretend that there already existed, or could be created, a “third force” in Syria that would fight and ultimately replace both Isis and Assad. This is the sort of fantasy that is frequently common currency among think tanks and dedicated experts, often retired generals or diplomats working as TV commentators.
Trump’s summary of what was happening in Syria expressed during the presidential campaign was far more realistic. He said that his attitude was that “you are fighting Syria, Syria is fighting Isis, and you have to get rid of Isis. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful because of us, aligned with Syria… Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.”
There is nothing quite so frightened or ferocious in the world as an established order that is subjected to criticism questioning its core beliefs. Hence the embarrassing relief shown by so many world leaders, academic specialists and media commentators at the news that the direction and management of US foreign policy is returning to its old norms. Their optimism may be premature but they would clearly welcome a Trump administration neutered of any radical intentions.
Ignored in this is the fact that the militarised options favoured by “the Washington playbook” that Obama came to so despise have produced little but disaster in the post-9/11 era and are likely to do so again. Almost everything advocated by the Washington foreign policy establishment since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, Libya and Syria in 2011 and Yemen in 2015 has created or exacerbated the conflicts. Note that none of these wars have ended or show much sign of doing so.
Obama could see what was going wrong, though he generally responded with stoic resignation rather than attempting to change the course of events. But his analysis of the weaknesses of the US foreign policy establishment and its policies is full of fascinating insights relevant to the more conventional policy on which Donald Trump is now apparently embarking. Goldberg says that Obama “questioned, often harshly, the role that America’s Sunni Arab allies play in fomenting anti-American terrorism. He is clearly irritated that foreign policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally.” He had similar misgivings about US links to Pakistan.
TV channels and op-ed writers who treat the expertise of Washington think tanks with such fawning reverence should reflect on the Obama White House’s view of these institutions. Goldberg, who spoke to Obama and his staff over a long period, reports: “A widely held sentiment inside the White House is that many of the most prominent foreign policy think tanks in Washington are doing the bidding of their Arab and pro-Israel funders. I’ve heard one administration official refer to Massachusetts Avenue, the home of many of these think tanks, as ‘Arab-occupied territory’.”
Remarkably, none of the foreign policy establishments feel that they have done anything very wrong in the Middle East since 9/11. If the governments they advise or belong to really wanted to bring to an end to the eight or more wars being waged in the great swathe of territory between Pakistan and Nigeria, they would have made more effort to do so.
The Trump foreign policy has always been a contradictory mixture of chauvinism and isolationism, of making America great again and keeping out of other people’s wars. But the isolationist element in this appears to be waning, as illustrated by the US actions in Syria, Afghanistan and towards North Korea over the past week along with the more confrontational attitude towards Russia.
This is in keeping with prescriptions of “the playbook”, but is more dangerous than before because of the Trump administration’s tendency to shoot from the hip, particularly in the direction of Iran. Relief in foreign capitals that much authority is in the hands of experienced generals may be displaced. None of these soldiers were quite as successful or farsighted in Iraq and Afghanistan as their admirers now proclaim and they have a natural tendency towards resolving problems by force.
The only real way to prevent another mass killing, such as that of the 87 people killed by chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April or the 278 killed by bombs in Mosul on 17 March, is to bring these wars to an end. Measures that do not do so, but purport to deter the perpetrators or limit the suffering, are pure hypocrisy.
Patrick Cockburn is the author of  The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.
More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
zen economics
April 17, 2017
Henry Giroux
Toward a Politics of Ungovernability: Shutting Down American-Style Authoritarianism
Mike Whitney
The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea
Sam Husseini
How Trump and Obama are Exactly Alike
Patrick Cockburn
America Must Start Looking How to End All the Wars It Has Started
Norman Pollack
The Nazification of Sexuality: Confessions of a Bigot
John Grant
President MOABA (Mother of All Bullshit Artists)
Binoy Kampmark
Pompeo, Power and Wikileaks
Shamus Cooke
Will the “Alt-Right” Hijack the Antiwar Movement?
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong: No More Mr. Nice Guy?
Abubakar N. Kasim
The Trouble With Overbooking: a Ticketing Agent’s Perspective
Dave Elliott
The False Promise of Nuclear Power
Robert Dodge
Tax Day – the Nuclear Option
Nyla Ali Khan
Restoring Human Dignity and Peace in Kashmir is a Necessity, Not a Luxury
Weekend Edition
April 14, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Australia Beckons a War With China
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders, the Company Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Love at First Strike
Joshua Frank
Snipers and Infiltrators at Standing Rock: Quashing Protests at Taxpayer Expense
Andrew Levine
No More Silver Lining: Trump Turns Clintonian
Vincent Emanuele
Chocolate Cake, the MOAB and Hexavalent Chromium: Let the Good Times Roll!
Theodore A. Postol
An Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria
Uri Avnery
Syria: Cui Bono?
Jason Hirthler
Opportunity Strikes: Becoming a War President May Yet Salvage Trump’s Presidency
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Bums, Bailouts and Bankruptcy
Pete Dolack
Austerity Never Ends: Economists Say Wages Are Too High
John Wight
Hubris and Dysfunction in Trumpland
Dave Lindorff
Whackos in Washington: the Risky Game of Regime Decapitation
Laura Carlsen
Fighting Fear, Hundreds Join Border Caravan for Migrant Rights
Charles Pierson
The WTO Just Wants a Little Appreciation, Dammit
Ted Rall
Time for a Real Passenger Bill of Rights
Brian Cloughley
Western Hypocrisy About Airstrike Killings
Missy Comley Beattie
F the USA
Murray Dobbin
When Nazi Ghosts Come Back to Life
Oscar Zambrano
Monetary Barbarism at United Airlines
Atef Said
From Tahrir to You: Claiming Democracy Beyond Trump
Rev. William Alberts
Easter is About Empathy, Not an Empty Tomb
Stephen Cooper
Ghoulishness Envelops Arkansas’ Mass Execution Schedule
Christopher Brauchli
The Bright Side of Deportation: Private Prison Stocks are Soaring!
Sarah Anderson
You Pay Your Fair Share, Shouldn’t Wall Street?
Jesselyn Radack
What Have We Done? Executive Power, Drones, and Trump
Andre Vltchek
Only Rational Thinking Will Save the World
Franklin Lamb
Lebanon’s Outlawing of Palestinian Civil Rights
Stansfield Smith
Ecuador’s  Accomplishments Under the 10 Years of  Rafael Correa’s Citizen’s Revolution
Kay Sather
Do Not Add Water: the Politics of the Toilet
David Rosen
Are Sex Toys the Next Battleground in the Culture Wars?
Richard Klin
This is What You Get

No comments:

Post a Comment