Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Un-winnable Wars

Since World War 2, it seems my country is intent on fighting un-winnable wars...and depleting the country's resources while they are at their losing game. Its amazing to me how in less than two generations America has gone from the proud saviors of the world from Imperialist Japan and Nazi mounting its own imperialist campaign on the world. We have taken all our historic productivity, ingenuity, wealth and power...and squandered it along with hordes of American lives on failed "conflicts" (can't officially call them "wars" unless Congress declares it) in Korea, Viet Nam, and now Iraq and Afghanistan. I know, I know...many Americans have drank the "kool-aid" our government serves up about our "winning" in Iraq with the two "Bush" wars this past 18 years. From what I see reported on international news and online about the aftermath and continued fractious bloodshed and bombings there...I don't see how we can call that a "victory". Sure, we dethroned our arch enemy, "Saddam", from his rule over Iraq...but where is the peace, prosperity and capitalism we were supposed to be restoring to those poor Iraqis? Where are all the spoils of war or payment in oil we were supposed to get from them in return? Most American leaders and citizens just want to get OUT of there ASAP...and most don't really give a damn about the cost monetarily or in lives our government has wasted in my opinion.

Now we hear more saber rattling regarding Afghanistan...on both sides of the equation. The American generals there say we need to double our troops and expenditures. The Taliban continues to ebb and flow throughout the whole region, even into Pakistan in the middle of this nearly 9 year "conflict" we have been waging there..."looking for "Bin Laden"". Do we really think we have a chance in hell to overcome Islamic fundamentalism in that land-locked, desolate desert region through armed conflict and confrontation? Have we learned nothing from the demise of the Russians and before that the "British Empire" who never conquered these people? How pathetic in this day of modern technology, night vision, satellite surveillance and big money espionage that in 9 years we have not found that one man in Afghanistan or Pakistan who caused more civilian deaths on 9/11 than Pearl Harbor experienced in 1941 in combined military and civilian casualties.

For all the military power and expenditures America has invested the past 60 years, it sure seems inept to me how we can fight so many losing battles. As a citizen, I want more "results" for our investment. If the government and military were a capitalistic corporation, they would be disgraced and out of business long ago. But no, they are not held to the same levels of accountability by their investors...we the American people. We continue to errantly accept their budgets, their flag-waving, hymn singing platitudes and the ongoing printing of worthless paper to cover our debts that will never be paid in my lifetime to cover their "war games".

On top of all this, we are losing the war on drugs and for the minds of the young world-wide. For all our respectable power, riches and amazing growth of our way of life...we are despised for our arrogant disregard of other country's sovereignties. If other cultures don't accept our western ways including democracy and capitalism...we find a way towards military action and solutions. Nicaragua, Grenada and Panama are just a few examples of extreme involvement and manipulation by our government of other countries just in Latin America alone. Add to that our arming and supporting conflicts in the middle east and Africa...where does it end? What is the end result we are looking for? Is it revenge for 9/11? Is it our demand that other civilizations practice democracy and capitalism with us? Is it the need for the West to win over the East? Is it about Christianity over Islam? Maybe its a little of all those things...

Yes, I have heard the arguments for a long time about how if America is such the "bad guy", why does everyone want to come there and why the overflow of immigration? To that I have to answer with a resounding YES to our American ideals...of democracy and economic freedom. The dream of America is that of a place where anyone no matter what your race, creed or economic level with hard work and ingenuity can reach unlimited levels of success and security. Compared to most of the globe we live on, that is still the ideal and hope any reasonably intelligent human will aspire to. But just like most "dreams", reality can be a startling task master. Our shining beacon of freedom and democracy is crumbling from within based on growing government controls, an expanding "police state", and an unextinguishable thirst by the majority for entitlements that can't be paid for. A large number of both citizens and immigrants are living off a system that is unsustainable. When you add to that the price tag of our decades of fighting losing "conflicts", I see a battered and disillusioned American dream being doused by the combustible combination of debt, anger, hopelessness and despair. To see that in a third world country is not unusual. To see that in my country is inexcusable. To that end I blame our government...and our lazy democracy which seems helpless to contain our appetite for "un-winnable wars".

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