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Green Arrow
09-22-2013, 04:01 AM
"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, Nazi founder of the Gestapo and leader of the Luftwaffe 1893-1946




It's rather telling when our government and its supporters use tactics popularized by such villains in history as the Nazis to get support. I remember, up until President Obama took office in 2009, any opposition to the Iraq War and Afghan War was met with cries of "anti-America!" To this day, it's considered unpatriotic and earns you the designation "Blame America First" to dare to question our government's military juntas throughout our history.


Is it really un-American to recognize when our government is making America look bad and hurting her, and trying to get them to stop? I don't think so. I think it's very pro-America. Of course, now that war in Syria may be a thing, the sides have reversed. Those who called you unpatriotic for opposing Iraq and Afghanistan now call you patriotic for opposing Syria, and many of those who opposed Iraq and Afghanistan as evil now call you unpatriotic for opposing Syria. It's the topsy-turvy world of American partisanship. Support our partisan side, you're a patriot. Support theirs, you're a "domestic enemy" that hates America. Nevermind that our partisan sides are doing the exact same things. Don't think about it too much, just drink the Kool-Aid.


My question is rather simple: is war really something to be partisan about, or is it something we should oppose always, no matter if it's our guy or their guy doing it? I think it's something that should always be opposed. War kills more innocent people than it does the "bad guys." People talk about going to war with Syria to stop Assad from using chemical weapons on his own people, but seem to forget that if you go to war with Syria, you're going to kill even more of Assad's own people than Assad did, just to take down one guy. Somehow, this makes us more "moral" than Assad, because, hey, at least we didn't use chemical weapons on them.


"I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones."
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister, civil rights activist, 1929-1968




The year was 1951. Iran was controlled by a Shah, or king, who gave himself near-autonomous rule in the Iranian Constitution of 1906. Enter Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically-elected Prime Minister. Mosaddegh used his time in office to do two major things: 1) restrain the Shah's almost unlimited power and transform the country into a true democracy, and 2) nationalize the nation's oil reserves, cutting off access to the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, or AIOC.


Naturally, this angered the British, since before that the AIOC controlled the entirety of Iran's oil industry. First, Prime Minister Clement Attlee and President Harry Truman placed worldwide embargoes on Iranian oil. When both Attlee and Truman were replaced by Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower, the two leaders decided on a different strategy. Together, the American CIA and British MI6 worked covertly to undermine Mosaddegh, culminating in a CIA-led coup that overthrew the Prime Minister and established General Fazlollah Zahedi as the new leader of the Iranian government. Zahedi allowed the Shah to regain his status as an absolute monarch, where, with help from our own nation, he engaged in some of the most brutal acts of a dictator in that time. Unfortunately for the Shah, even our help wasn't enough to keep him in power when the Islamic Revolution of 1979 won their civil war and overthrew him. The Islamic Revolution, started as a direct response to the Shah's dictatorial regime, was led by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who established the very same government now run by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, previously, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President.


Interestingly enough, the AIOC flourished after receiving their access to Iranian oil once again. They became what is now the fifth largest energy company and the sixth largest oil/gas company in the world, British Petroleum, or BP. Funny how that works out. It would seem that in spite of a temporary victory, our violence in Iran merely created new and more complicated problems.


"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
- John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the U.S., 1917-1963




Today, it is no longer a choice between violence and non-violence, wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a choice between non-violence and non-existence. In the Christian Scriptures, Jesus said that he who lives by the sword will die by it. This path we are on, this pursuit of constant war, is unsustainable. We will run out of money. We will run out of weapons. We will run out of citizens willing to join the military so many others won't have to. The government will institute a draft, but we'll run out of drafted men and women, too. Our strength will wane, and we will be nothing.


Is that really what we want? Is war worth it? Is meddling in the affairs of other countries worth the collapse of our own? Why are the lives of our brave men and women nothing to so many Americans, tools to be used and then thrown away?


No more. If America is to survive, if she is to be strong, we must beat our swords into plowshares, convert our nuclear capabilities to make energy, not weapons, and take our place as the world's mightiest peacemaker, not the world's mightiest warrior. Peace, not war, is what will preserve our nation and our world.


"I regard myself as a soldier, though a soldier of peace."
- Mahatma Gandhi, non-violent activist, 1869-1948

KC
09-22-2013, 05:17 AM
Is it really un-American to recognize when our government is making America look bad and hurting her, and trying to get them to stop? I don't think so. I think it's very pro-America. Of course, now that war in Syria may be a thing, the sides have reversed. Those who called you unpatriotic for opposing Iraq and Afghanistan now call you patriotic for opposing Syria, and many of those who opposed Iraq and Afghanistan as evil now call you unpatriotic for opposing Syria. It's the topsy-turvy world of American partisanship. Support our partisan side, you're a patriot. Support theirs, you're a "domestic enemy" that hates America. Nevermind that our partisan sides are doing the exact same things. Don't think about it too much, just drink the Kool-Aid.

Quoted for truth.

bladimz
09-22-2013, 07:02 AM
The government's justification for war, any war, is that "it's in our national interests." It's very rare that we're ever told exactly what those interests are. While most people are for some reason, willing to accept that, others want to know more; that those interests are suspect.

If it's in our "interests" to take what others have, because we, or should i say the Big Boys, might benefit from it, most times, the "haves" aren't interested in giving in, so... it's time for war. Like the OP said, it's so damn easy to get the populace in line with a little BS. Next thing you know, every mother's kid is ready to sign up. To do their patriotic duty. Like VietNam... just for one. A lot of American blood spilled just to serve monied entities.

Ransom
09-22-2013, 07:04 AM
Written by those who sleep soundly in their beds at night?

bladimz
09-22-2013, 07:20 AM
Are you suggesting that protesters don't suffer the effects of war, even if it's the death of a father, a mother, brother(s), sister(s), etc.

A one-sentence response to the compelling case against selling a war and the people who create and control it isn't much of a rebuttal.

Mainecoons
09-22-2013, 07:37 AM
Ransom, now honestly, can you look at a SINGLE conflict the U.S. has been involved in since WWII and justify all those deaths and costs? What the hell did we get out of Korea and Vietnam? Making the world safe for Hyundais?

Best thing that ever happened for the Vietnamese is that we lost there. The country was nothing but a feudal state. When reunified, the south tempered the north and today the country is in far better shape than the one we "won" Korea. What did we do there besides entrench a rogue state?

Not a damn thing.

Mainecoons
09-22-2013, 07:49 AM
Let me add that I understand the world view that led the U.S. to get involved in these places. The leaders at that time really thought that communism was going to take over the world if we didn't fight it where ever it cropped up. Now we know that these conquest states never last because the resistance from within grows so great that eventually they topple.

My gripe is that the militaristic neo-cons show no more capacity to learn from our mistakes than the liberals and all their failed social schemes. We just keep making the same mistake of being world policeman over and over while the economy hollows out and the country bankrupts itself.

What we need to do is to cut both the liberals' government, all those social programs, and the neo-cons' government, the bloated U.S. military, in half and return the money and power to the private sector. The rest will take care of itself.

bladimz
09-22-2013, 08:27 AM
What we need to do is to cut both the liberals' government, all those social programs, and the neo-cons' government, the bloated U.S. military, in half and return the money and power to the private sector. The rest will take care of itself.Most of your post makes sense to me. The only thing that i must say here is that the private sector already owns most if not all of the government. Asking or expecting that particular piece of the private sector to give money back to "Main Street" is a pipe dream.

BB-35
09-22-2013, 08:30 AM
Problem these days that beating ones swords into plowshares usually means plowing for those who didn't...

bladimz
09-22-2013, 09:11 AM
Problem these days that beating ones swords into plowshares usually means plowing for those who didn't...Using the sword usually means that you are using it for the benefit of those who don't or can't use one. That's nothing new...

Common
09-22-2013, 09:32 AM
Quoted from Green Arrow

My question is rather simple: is war really something to be partisan about, or is it something we should oppose always, no matter if it's our guy or their guy doing it? I think it's something that should always be opposed. War kills more innocent people than it does the "bad guys." People talk about going to war with Syria to stop Assad from using chemical weapons on his own people, but seem to forget that if you go to war with Syria, you're going to kill even more of Assad's own people than Assad did, just to take down one guy. Somehow, this makes us more "moral" than Assad, because, hey, at least we didn't use chemical weapons on them.

I absolutely agree war should not be a partisan issue, but I disagree that we should "ALWAYS" oppose it. We certainly should be vigilant and decisive when we believe military actions is wrong or fruitless, but there are always the time that it may be prudent and necessary for the US to get involved. I would not say never.

Common
09-22-2013, 09:34 AM
Using the sword usually means that you are using it for the benefit of those who don't or can't use one. That's nothing new...

But its time for others to step up, im sick and tired of it being always the USs treasure and blood. There are other countries quite capable of getting involved. If the industrialized and militarized world doesnt want to spend their money or put their troops at risk, we should not either. Its time America took a back seat approach and let another lead the way, then "WE" can decide whether to follow them or not.

snali
09-22-2013, 09:49 AM
I agree that american foreign policy is too militaristic, and more focused on middle east rather then other regions like asia-paific and latin america, America should try to utilize it economic and financial power to manage it international relations

The Xl
09-22-2013, 12:24 PM
Written by those who sleep soundly in their beds at night?

We didn't start the fire in the first place, that would be our leaders and their insane foreign policy, not to mention, their enablers....

But yeah. We have no reason to engage in any of these wars.

jillian
09-22-2013, 12:30 PM
The government's justification for war, any war, is that "it's in our national interests." It's very rare that we're ever told exactly what those interests are. While most people are for some reason, willing to accept that, others want to know more; that those interests are suspect.

If it's in our "interests" to take what others have, because we, or should i say the Big Boys, might benefit from it, most times, the "haves" aren't interested in giving in, so... it's time for war. Like the OP said, it's so damn easy to get the populace in line with a little BS. Next thing you know, every mother's kid is ready to sign up. To do their patriotic duty. Like VietNam... just for one. A lot of American blood spilled just to serve monied entities.

all true. i laugh at the people who say we've gone to war for israel. we never have. not once. we have gone for oil interests, though.

eisenhower said beware of the military industrial complex. he was right.

there are good reasons for going to war but we don't always go to war for good reasons.

Green Arrow
09-22-2013, 01:25 PM
Written by those who sleep soundly in their beds at night?

I do not sleep soundly at night, not any more. I haven't for more than eight years, not since my mentor died of a heart attack at 27. Definitely not since my cousin was killed in Iraq. Not since I graduated high school and most of my friends joined the military, some of whom are deployed.

I may not be marching through some Middle Eastern desert with a gun strapped to my back, but those of us at home suffer from war too.

Green Arrow
09-22-2013, 01:27 PM
We didn't start the fire in the first place, that would be our leaders and their insane foreign policy, not to mention, their enablers....

But yeah. We have no reason to engage in any of these wars.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g

KC
09-22-2013, 01:29 PM
Most of your post makes sense to me. The only thing that i must say here is that the private sector already owns most if not all of the government. Asking or expecting that particular piece of the private sector to give money back to "Main Street" is a pipe dream.

Yes, private interests have bought and paid for our government via our broken political system. There's no reason to trust either.

Mainecoons
09-22-2013, 05:15 PM
Most of your post makes sense to me. The only thing that i must say here is that the private sector already owns most if not all of the government. Asking or expecting that particular piece of the private sector to give money back to "Main Street" is a pipe dream.

They only own it because there's a clear advantage in doing so. A much smaller and more restricted government would not offer so many advantages to the corporatists.

And don't make the mistake of characterizing the private sector as made up of those corporate cronies. It is not.

Ransom
09-22-2013, 07:20 PM
We didn't start the fire in the first place, that would be our leaders and their insane foreign policy, not to mention, their enablers....

But yeah. We have no reason to engage in any of these wars.

Their enablers and facilitators are We the People.

Ransom
09-22-2013, 07:32 PM
I do not sleep soundly at night, not any more. I haven't for more than eight years, not since my mentor died of a heart attack at 27. Definitely not since my cousin was killed in Iraq. Not since I graduated high school and most of my friends joined the military, some of whom are deployed.

'Those deployed' and your cousin's sacrifice are those who would visit violence on those that would do us harm so that we may sleep soundly in our beds at night, this isn't true?


I may not be marching through some Middle Eastern desert with a gun strapped to my back, but those of us at home suffer from war too.

None of us are. We can still show a united front

Dr. Who
09-22-2013, 07:44 PM
Their enablers and facilitators are We the People.

The real problem is that those who might help the country cannot get support because they aren't bent enough to get the political donations to run a campaign and even if they could get grassroots support and donations, once in office, I believe that they would be told in no uncertain terms what they may or may not do. Even if that were not true, since the majority of elected representatives are bought and paid for, no political policy coming from the oval office that doesn't generally benefit the lobbyists will be passed by either the Dems or the Cons. So at the end of the day, government is an elaborate charade, and your vote counts for no more than it does in a puppet dictatorship. It just has better optics.

Green Arrow
09-22-2013, 07:50 PM
'Those deployed' and your cousin's sacrifice are those who would visit violence on those that would do us harm so that we may sleep soundly in our beds at night, this isn't true?

It is, to an extent.


None of us are. We can still show a united front

...against war, and the slaughter of our friends and family in wars they have no business being forced to fight.