Point of View Columns

War without End – Amen

As the horror and misery of the attacks in Paris settle into the collective consciousness, certain realities have become clear. First, there is no place on this planet where safety can be assured. Second, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are new epicenters of terror and global violence; although we forget at our own peril the cauldrons of mayhem in Nigeria, Mexico and the Congo. Third, the destabilization of the planet on which we live is clearly the work of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice-Wolfowitz cabal.

Revisionist history is both deceptive and revealing of the motives of the deceivers. The neocon retrospective on the first decade of this century would tell us that after the 9/11 Al Qaeda terror attack the United States had no choice but to invade and occupy Afghanistan, albeit without an exit strategy, and even though Afghanistan has righteously earned its name as “The Graveyard of Empires”.

This revisionist narrative goes on to proclaim the lie that the invasion of Iraq was justified by  “weapons of mass destruction” that were known to be non-existent. Again, we were witness to an invasion reminiscent of Afghanistan, lacking the essential structure of an exit strategy. Only this time, the invasion of Iraq combined with the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the ongoing American-induced chaos in Afghanistan resulted in the destabilization of an entire region – from Western Asia to the Middle East.

Americans are historically used to meddling and interfering and intervening in the affairs of other countries without consequence. Indeed, America’s European cousins established the model for meddling, interfering and intervening during the five hundred year colonial era, dating from the 1500’s into this century. But now, in this era of globalization, there is a difference.

The big difference, the game changer, if you will, is that now the subjects and victims of meddling, interfering and intervening can indeed create consequences for the American and European fortresses that are no longer fortresses. We live in a globalized and interconnected world where the consequence in one part of the world becomes a part of our lives in the instant of a key stroke or a car bomb.

But it is important to view history through the lens of truth and accuracy so that it is understood that the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Wolfowitz cabal perpetrated a neocon strategy that obliterated the flimsy stabilizers in the Middle East and Western Asia. They seem to have seriously believed that somehow the invasion and toppling of regimes in that part of the world would open the door for the apostles of western democracy and the predatory avatars of One World capitalism. And somehow this epiphany would come to pass under the barrel of a gun accompanied by a rainstorm of barrel bombs and Tomahawk missiles.

The sad, lost souls rising from the rubble of 9/11 and Paris and London and Madrid and Mumbai and Tripoli and Syria are the real consequence of the failed neocon vision of a New World Order. To be clear, without the mindless invasion of Afghanistan and the dark fantasy of the Iraq invasion, we do not have a destabilized Middle East and Western Europe. ISIS would not be lurking around every corner and it is likely that the victims in Paris and London and Madrid and Mumbai and Tripoli and Syria would not be victims at all.

And now, while George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz live in luxurious comfort, the world that they have destabilized careens down a path shrouded in a war without end. There is no consequence for them in this life, but there is a real consequence for the rest of us who live on this planet.

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Point of View Columns

The Last Person to Talk

The mission of the Teapublicans has been to diminish the Obama presidency and to dismantle each and every aspect of his legacy. One aspect of his legacy has been his steady extraction of this country from the bloody muck and mire of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One war (Afghanistan) was conducted without an exit strategy. The other (Iraq) was a war based on lies and a mindless neocon strategy that was doomed at birth. Everyone associated with the origin and implementation of these mindless atrocities owes it to America the planet to just be quiet and wallow in their shame in an undisclosed location.

Now it appears that the damage done to America and the planet is not enough for some miscreants disguised as pundits, experts and know it alls. Instead we are forced to witness Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Judith Miller and other authors of the twenty-first century American nightmare weigh in on yet another unfolding tragedy in Iraq. Incredibly, they have the nerve and temerity to shamelessly criticize President Obama because the broken egg called Iraq can never be put together again.

Remember that we are talking about Dick Cheney, who absolutely engineered the lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This would be the same Dick Cheney who was a world class draft dodger in his youth, claiming that there were other ways in which he could better serve his country – although to this day no one knows what that service might have been. This is the same Dick Cheney who claimed that American troops would be welcomed as liberators in Iraq – before over 4000 of them were killed and tens of thousands were maimed and damaged for life.

Somehow this Dick Cheney is actually given the platform of the Wall Street Journal to spew more lies in defense of the damnable policy and legacy of death, destruction and defeat for which he is primarily and personally responsible. There is simply nothing of value, substance or merit that arose from the American invasion of Iraq. By destabilizing a fragile sector of the planet, the Bush-Cheney Gang has given a foothold for unimaginable sectarian violence that threatens to spill over to every corner of Earth.

President Obama has pursued a prudent, reasonable and intelligent policy in getting American troops out of Iraq. That this policy has been imperfect should come as no surprise given the botched butchering of any semblance of order by Dick Cheney, playing Geppetto to George Bush’s Pinocchio.

What is insulting, grotesque and shameless is that the high profile spear carrier chicken hawks have the audacity to suggest that there is some kind of military action that President Obama should pursue, or should have pursued, that would have kept Sunnis and Shiites from continuing their blood feud which goes back……….centuries. What is insulting, grotesque and shameless is that these Teapublican chicken hawks would infer, suggest or hint at another round of military intervention in Iraq.

What is even worse is that virtually none of these Teapublican chicken hawk impostors, (starting with Dick Cheney) have ever served a moment in military combat. Yet they cannot wait to send another American son or daughter to certain death or damage for a cause that defies logic, explanation or justification.

The pillorying and bullying of President Obama will continue until January 2017 – and probably beyond. Part of this goes with the territory of him being President of the United States. Part of this probably goes with the territory of him being the first black President of the United States.

But it is beyond ragged white lines of political warfare to send more American men and women into the bloody maw of combat in Iraq to prove an uprovable point – that somehow and some way George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were right.

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