The U. S. has not been a particularly peaceful country. Aside from a devastating Civil War, it has been caught up In a number of others that almost always ended in victories with mission accomplished: freedom from British rule, westward and then overseas expansion at the expense of Mexico and Spain, overcoming German militarism in the First World War and Nazism in the Second, containing Stalinist Russian aggression in the Cold War leading to the regime’s ultimate collapse with only the Vietnam War a serious loss. It was always clear why we were fighting and what constituted victory.
Not so since 9/11. The U.S has been involved in one war after another, more than any other nation during this period with unclear goals and dismal outcomes. Some 900,000 people have been killed with immense damage to the Middle East and North Africa and 38 million refugees clamoring for admission to a weakened Europe. With the current prolonged war in Ukraine there’s no end in sight. It’s time for an overdue review of these conflicts.
Every country – monarchist, autocratic, totalitarian, democratic – relies on a chosen few, a clique – to guide it through a crisis, e.g., war. That’s the way the world works at least since the Roman Republic tried two-man rule. The leader of the group in charge may be good – Augustus, Charlemagne, Bismarck, Lincoln – or not so good, even terrible – Nero, Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin. In that case it’s up to the aggrieved country to remove him, which is not always easily done. There was no attempt to remove Stalin since he had killed almost everybody around him.
On a less draconian level, the so-called neoconservatives have dominated U.S foreign policy since 9/11. Capable, well organized with an instinct for the jugular, they have a special aim in view – the pre-eminence, not to say supremacy of the U.S. in world affairs. That requires a lot of military activity. Hence, the series of wars. But is that really in the U.S interest? The U.S. was once considered a republic that would be true unto itself whatever the rest of the world may be doing – attentive to world affairs but not always militarily involved in them.
The post- 9/11 wars got off to a bad start with the 2003 invasion of Iraq based completely on fabrications. Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein was said to have weapons of mass destruction and a role in the 9/ll attack neither of which was true. But in the resulting debacle no one was called to account. In fact, the neocons went on to promote and extend other wars – Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia – backed by kindred spirits in the media. Because of close ties to Israel, neocons are accused of wanting to destroy its enemies. But how does Israel or anybody benefit from a region in chaos?
It’s time for a replacement. There are competent strategists throughout the U.S. with no ax to grind who are currently walled out of influence by ideology. Let’s break down the barrier and let them in.