By Robert Owens:
Despite what the Neo-con punditry that perpetually crowd the stage on Fox tell us over and over a war with Iran will not be the walk in the park they promised the second act of our war on Iraq would be. And neither will a third act against ISIS. Unfortunately these Neo-con talking heads are either a reflection or a cheer leading squad for the Neo-con politicians who make up nine out of ten of the current Republicans who have thrown or are about to throw their hats into the ring.
The reintroduction of American fighting forces into the Iraq Theater, which is already going on, is not going to be pretty. The Shia and the Sunni brand of Islam have hated each other for centuries. The various dictators and kings, who held the area in their iron grip since they broke free from the Turks and the colonizers, held the two parties apart for the sake of their own corrupt regimes. Now many of those rulers are gone and the two sides are rushing like a rushing like a runaway train towards a Mideast version of the 30 Years War.
One of the bits of wisdom earned by experience and a misspent youth is, when two seasoned bar fighters start stacking furniture and squaring off the worst mistake you can make is to step in the middle. More often than not you will end on your own fighting both sides at once. Maybe it’s too bad our Ivy League political class didn’t spend a little time in the same world the rest of us occupy where they might have gained some common sense.
These perpetual beaters of the war drums are unabashedly declaring that what we need is another war. When ‘Fox & Friends‘ co-host Steve Doocy told Senator Lindsey Graham that “a lot of people are just worn out by war,” the senator fired back “Then don’t vote for me.” Others among those auditioning for Commander-in-Chief are more circumspect though none-the-less dedicated to maintaining the current imperial overreach at its present unsustainable levels.
Not one word about closing any of the many bases that we maintain around the world. How many bases are there? Where are our troops on guard? Where are the borders of the empire? This is not so easy to determine. An informed estimate leads to the following:
According to official information provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe. Over 28,000 US troops are present in 85 bases in South Korea, and have been since 1957.
Based on information contained in the DoD’s latest Base Structure Report (BSR), the US has bases in at least 74 countries and troops practically all over the world, ranging from thousands to just one in some countries (it could be a military attaché, for instance). By comparison, France has bases in 10 countries, and the UK has bases in seven.
According to the most recent publicized count, the U.S. military currently still occupies 686 “base sites” outside the fifty states and Washington, DC. While 686 base sites is quite a figure in its own right, that tally strangely excludes many well-known U.S. bases, like those in Kosovo, Kuwait, and Qatar. Less surprisingly, the Pentagon’s count also excludes secret (or secretive) American bases, like those reported in Israel and Saudi Arabia.
These candidates are also committed to a man (+one woman) to confronting ISIS, turning Iran into a target for bunker buster, and of course forcing China off those home-made islands in the South China Sea.
Then there’s Hillary. She is perpetually pointing backwards to her first two terms as co-president when her administration bombed Iraq, Sudan, and Serbia. They also gave us Blackhawk down and a never-ending occupation of Kosovo and other garden spots in that old powder-keg, the Balkans as well as voting for our second act in the Gulf War.
Hillary who led from behind in Libya then spent the years since hiding from Benghazi. Hillary, whose foundation slush fund is taking advance payments from who knows who for who knows what? How long would it be before Bill’s first bimbo eruption after he becomes the first man needs to be covered up? Remember the wag-the-dog serial bombing missions that always seemed to coincide with new charges, indictments or a blue dress. How long would it be until Americans are in harm’s way under a Clinton restoration? Not long.
There is one choice among all the candidates that could possibly lead us to something besides the good old boys (or girls), Rand Paul. I honestly believe that Rand Paul would try to jettison the empire to save the republic. I also believe he would be hampered, blocked and sabotaged at every turn. However, does anyone who has watched the Republican circular firing squad nominated Bob Dole-like establishment clones since 1988. Does anyone really think Rand has a chance?
Add to this that both the heads of the government party bird of prey are dedicated to free trade, social engineering and the importation of undocumented voters. What chance does anyone think we have of changing course?
America should only go to war to protect our vital interests. Which set of thugs rules which sand dune does not seem to qualify.
If we would take the shackles off our oil industry we could not only supply ourselves but give the despots in Saudi Arabia a run for our money. If we would once again protect our industry and demand that anyone who wants to sell in our market manufacture in our market (as many other countries including China do as a matter of course we could rapidly rebuild our industrial sector so that we could once again stand independent of the world, the great colossus, fortress America safe behind our ocean walls. If we want or need to project force we have our aircraft carrier battle groups and our B-2 bombers.
President Obama has ended a preemptive war that never should have been started however, he did it precipitously. He left a vacuum that has been filled by the vilest of bad actors. This festered with the Arab Spring becoming the winter of our discontent setting the stage for the next progressive president, no matter who he or she may be to fearlessly march us into the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
© Copyright by Robert Owens, 2015. All rights reserved.