Military Review

America caught on to the war ("TomDispatch", USA)

America caught on to the war ("TomDispatch", USA)

Poverty, drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, terror - or how to arrange a "war against everything in the world"

The war on drugs. War on poverty. The war in Afghanistan. The war in Iraq. The biggest mistake of American politics, foreign and domestic, is that they [the Americans] regard everything as a war. When it covers the military mood, it chooses for you weapon and tactics. It limits the debate on how you start it. It answers questions before they are asked.

When you define something with the word “war,” it dictates the use of troops (or militarized police forces, prisons, and other forms of coercion) as the main policy tools. Violence becomes a solution, and the goal is complete victory. Anyone who suggests otherwise is labeled a dreamer, a peacemaker, or even a traitor.

War, in short, is a great simplifier, and can even work when you are fighting a military threat to existence (as in World War II). But it does not work when you define each problem as threatening to existence, and then you fight with a complex of problems of society (crime, poverty, drugs) or ideas and religious beliefs (radical Islam).

Omnipresent american military spirit

Consider the Afghan war - the wrong 1980 war, when Washington poured finance and arming the fundamentalist Mujahideen in order to drag the Soviet Union into something like the Vietnamese swamp, but a closer in time phase, after 9 / 11. Remember that these were 19 hijacking attacks (15 of them were Saudi) representing a modern type of organization with no slightest resemblance to a nation, state, or government. Of course, it was the fundamentalist Taliban, which then controlled most of Afghanistan. It originated on the remains of a previous war and provided support and shelter, although reluctant, to Osama bin Laden.

Seeing the collapsing towers in New York in the American collective consciousness, the very idea that the United States could respond with international “police” actions aimed at removing criminals from world streets was simply driven out of discussion. What instead has arisen in the minds of senior officials in the Bush administration is revenge through a full-scale, global, and generational “war on terror”. This thoroughly militarized goal is not just to end al-Qaeda, but all the terrorist groups on Earth, while the United States has been engaged in a full-scale experiment in the forcible construction of a state in Afghanistan. More than 13 dark years have passed, and the Afghan war-experiment continues with terrible costs and the most disappointing results.

As soon as the mindset type of global war gained support, the Bush administration launched an invasion of Iraq. The most technologically advanced troops on Earth, which the president called "the greatest liberation forces of mankind who ever knew the world," were to bring "democracy" and PaxAmericana to the Middle East. Of course, Washington had a conflict with Iraq since Operation Storm in the Wilderness in 1990-1991, but what began as an analogue of the military coup (aka operation "decapitation") by an external force, an attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein and destroy his armed forces and the party soon turned into a long occupation and another political and social experiment of forcibly building the state. As in the case of Afghanistan, the Iraq experiment with the war still continues with horrendous costs and even more disastrous results.

Radical Islam in these wars led by America gained momentum. Yes, radical Islamists cite the intrusive and virtually constant presence of American troops and bases in the Middle East and Central Asia to justify their belief that the American troops are leading a crusade against them - and, therefore, are leading it against Islam itself. (Yes, even President Bush made a disclaimer when he called this war a "crusade"). In such terms, such a war is by definition ineffective, since every “success” only strengthens the plot of the enemies of Washington. There is no way to win such a war, except for one thing - to stop it. But such a course of events was never considered as options, from which, according to Washington officials, the choice of strategy is made. To do this, in the context of military thinking, would mean admitting defeat (although true defeat, which has become the most pressing problem, was first defined as war).

Our leaders insist on such a cruel thoughtlessness, at least in part, because they are most of all afraid to admit defeat. In the end, nothing can be more humiliating in American politics or culture than the label of a loser in the war, the label of "running away".

In 1960, despite his own serious concerns in the ongoing Vietnam conflict, President Lyndon B. Johnson set the gold standard in determining that he would not be the first American president to be defeated in a war, especially in such a “damn little worthless country” like Vietnam. He insisted on it - and the conflict still turned him into a loser and brought down his presidency.

Even when he led the war, as historian George Herring noted, the LBD did not want to be remembered as the "president of the war." After two generations, another Texan, George Bush, with genuine enthusiasm, picked up the nickname "President of the war." He also vowed to win his war when things got worse. Since the rise of the insurgency in Iraq in the summer of 2003, Bush has not been shy. “Beat them,” he said, suggesting at the moment that he looks like Clint Eastwood as Harry Dirty. Now Washington is sending troops to Iraq for the third time to deal with even more recalcitrant rebels, the "Islamic State" - a radical version of Islam, a movement that was originally nourished and grown in Camp Bucca, an American military prison in Iraq.

And to bring clarity, we note that President Obama also took the superiority of wars in American politics in his speech to Oslo’s 2009 year in Oslo when he received the Nobel Prize. Then he proposed an active defensive role of America and called it "the only military superpower in the world."
“Whatever mistakes we make, the fact remains: the United States helped to ensure global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the power of our weapons. The service and the self-sacrifice of men and women in the form of maintaining peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea made it possible to establish democracy in places such as the Balkans. We do not bear this burden because we are looking for opportunities to impose our will. We do this because of enlightened egoism - because we crave a better future for our children and grandchildren, and because we believe that their lives will be better if the children and grandchildren of other nations can live in freedom and prosperity. ”

That moment defined the Obama presidency as being highly relevant to the already omnipresent American military spirit. It was the very denial of "hopes" and "changes" and the beginning of Obama's evolution through the CIA unmanned assassination program to the role of the main killer.

Jihad is our everything

Recent American leaders have something in common with Islamic extremists: they all define everything in a row, implying or openly, jihad, a crusade, holy war. But the brutal methods used in the pursuit of various types of jihad, Islamic or secular, serve only to continue - and often gain - the struggle.

Think of the countless American so-called "wars" and think about whether there was at least some measurable progress. Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in 1964. After 51, the year remains a staggering number of desperately poor people, and this century the gap between the poorest and richest widened to a deep abyss. (Since the days of President Reagan, in fact, we can already speak of a war with the poor, and not with poverty). Drugs? Forty-four years after President Nixon declared the war on drugs, millions of people were sent to prison, billions of dollars were spent, and drugs were abundant on the streets of American cities. Terror? Thirteen years, and the count continues, after the start of this “war”, terrorist groups, small in size and influence in 2001, have grown everywhere and now there is something like a “caliphate” - like Osama bin Laden dreamed - in the Middle East: ISIS seized power on parts of Iraq and Syria, raises the head of al-Qaeda in Yemen, Libya is destabilized and plunges even more into extremism, innocent people continue to die from the attacks of American drones. Afghanistan? The opium trade has considerably revived and its volumes are increasing, the Taliban has revived, and the region is destabilized. Iraq? Ethnic and religious rivalry and hatred are in full swing, more and more American weapons are fueling the killings, the country is no longer functioning. The only thing that can be said for certain about most of these American “wars” is about their cruel continuation, even when only shreds remained from the initial missions.

The very methods that the US uses and the mentality of the leaders approve of ensuring their perpetuation. Why? Because drug addiction and abuse cannot be defeated by waging war. Similarly with poverty. And with terror. And radical Islam cannot be defeated by the armed construction of the state. Yes, radical Islam thrives in the very conditions of war that Washington helped to create. By fighting in the now well-known manner, you simply kindle the flame and guarantee its spread.

Thinking is what matters. In Iraq and Afghanistan, which for most Americans exist only inside the matrix of "war", the United States invades or attacks, gets stuck, pours in resources indefinitely and "creates a desert and calls it" the world "(if you remember the Roman historian Tacitus). After that, our leaders are surprised to hell when the problem only grows.

Sadly, everything in America continues with the same monotony: more wars, the situation worsens because of an impatient wait for results, which is repeated in each new round of elections. This is the formula by which a country is doomed to lose forever.

Two curious features of the new American wars

Historically, when a state declares war, it does so in order to mobilize the national will, as the US clearly did in World War II. However, our wars of recent decades have been accompanied by a desire not to mobilize people, but to demobilize - even though “experts” are authorized to fight, and taxpayers' finances flow into the state of national security and the military-industrial complex for the sake of continuing conflicts.

The recent wars, even with drugs, even in the Greater Middle East, have never been presented as a challenge to which we, the people, can address and resolve by joint efforts, but as something only for those who allegedly have the competence and mandate — as well as weapons. - and can figure it out or fight. George Bush summed up this thinking in the classic style after 9 / 11, when he advised Americans to go shopping and visit Disneyland, and leave the battle to the professionals. If you have a weapon and some kind of symbol of power, you can speak from a position of strength, and you will be listened to, otherwise you do not have the right to vote.

In addition, what makes new American wars unique at the moment is that they never have a clear end point. What is the "victory" over drugs or terror? Once started, these wars are by definition difficult to stop.

Cynics can claim that there is nothing new here. Didn't America always fight? Have we always been cruel? There is some truth in this. But at least the Americans of the generation of my grandfather and great-grandfather did not commit themselves to war.

What America needs now is an 12-speed program designed to stop striving to further fuel our national commitment to war. The starting point for Washington - and Americans in general - would be a clear need to recognize this as a first step and admit that we have a problem that we ourselves cannot solve.

“Hi, I'm Uncle Sam, and I’m addicted to wars. Yes, I tend to wage war. I know that it is destructive for myself and those around me. But I can't stop - I need help. ”

True change often begins with recognition. With humility. With the recognition that not everything is under our control, no matter how violently someone is frantic; in fact, such mad rage only intensifies the problem. America needs to make such a confession. Only then can we begin to pull ourselves out of the wars.

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  1. Metallurgist
    Metallurgist 21 July 2015 14: 25
    Something smacks of how the Germans were forced to recognize the Holocaust ...
    America's universal repentance ...
    In fact, this should not be planted, but come from above, then repentance will be sincere.
    America is not capable of this.
    To plant it on repentance is a time bomb. Anglo-Saxons are not able to repent, in principle, as Catholics and Protestants are not able to repent. Alas, the golden calf rules the ball there, and wherever they say money, conscience does not give a word.
    The article is interesting, no doubt, but the conclusions are not clear for me.
    I can’t measure America with the arshin that measures the Russian soul. Therefore, I do not believe in her repentance.
    I sincerely believe in the sincere repentance of its individual citizens, not politicians, but citizens. In repentance, the Anglo-Saxon nation and, in particular, the inhabitants of America - no.
    PS By "America" ​​I mean the USA,
    1. Boatsman_Palych
      Boatsman_Palych 21 July 2015 16: 27
      This is an intelligent person who wrote, with a broad outlook and a good education - this is an exception for the Indians.
      You are right - NOW their repentance is unrealistic, the Germans also repented only when they were crushed by tanks and we stuck our banner in the Reichstag
      1. SHILO
        SHILO 21 July 2015 17: 08
        Quote: Boatswain_Palych
        This smart man wrote ...

        Something from his mind was tired a little ... I propose a break.
        [media = http: //]
        1. crazyrom
          crazyrom 22 July 2015 01: 36
          There is a typo. Where it says "The Omnipresent American War Spirit," read "EverywhereMOPthe best American military spirit "
  2. blizart
    blizart 21 July 2015 14: 27
    ... Let the Giraffe was wrong,
    but not the Giraffe is guilty
    and the one who shouted from the branches:
    "The giraffe is big, he knows better!"
    The whole world (and even we at some period), like that parrot, shouted about American exceptionalism. Is it any wonder that they suffered.
    1. sap
      sap 21 July 2015 21: 13
      Quote: blizart
      Is it any wonder that they suffered.

      How is Ostap? laughing
  3. Volzhanin
    Volzhanin 21 July 2015 14: 30
    Ameripedia - a teenage nation - there is power, no mind needed.
    The Yankees will end tragically - do not go to a fortuneteller! This is clear without Wang.
    1. NordUral
      NordUral 21 July 2015 14: 37
      As if this did not happen to the whole world, and especially to us. Let them fall apart quietly when time ripens.
  4. 205577
    205577 21 July 2015 14: 31
    Yeah, now we will once again consider them as isolated people, isolated by the ocean, do I understand correctly?
    It can help these war-dependent people with money or resources - but after all, we give everything to them for their candy wrappers.
    They found the problem, it turns out that the United States is "sick" with the war, ay-ay-ay, poor things, it would be necessary to take an appointment with a psychoanalyst, heal, sympathize with the whole world, help ...
    And after all, what is interesting is how Russia wants to live in the WORLD, so we are an aggressor, and as the United States has been poisoning the whole World for more than a century, it’s so dependent, a great approach.
    They are fascists, ordinary fascists, more than once demonstrating, by action and deeds, their readiness to crush anyone who falls within their area of ​​interest.
    They do not need to be treated, for this they themselves had an unlimited amount of time, this is incurable.
    They must be at least isolated as an infection from everything and everything.
  5. zzz
    zzz 21 July 2015 14: 32
    In addition, what makes new American wars unique at the moment is that they never have a clear end point. What is the "victory" over drugs or terror? Once started, these wars are by definition difficult to stop.

    They have an end point - to subjugate the whole world to themselves so that it would never occur to anyone to rock the boat. The whole world in their pocket is the key to their economy. You don’t even have to work for anyone in the country, only keep police structures, then all over the planet you have to collect and protect slaves. The author, it seems, is not quite in the subject.
  6. prabiz
    prabiz 21 July 2015 14: 34
    They will defeat themselves!
  7. Oznob
    Oznob 21 July 2015 14: 42
    The army is strong, not take away. But there is one point. America does not know how to end wars. This is a consequence of the lack of a diplomatic school as such. Any war has the goal of some kind of final political result. Well, for example, peace enforcement, territorial disputes, a change in the political system. And the USA after a military operation does not agree on peace with anyone. They do not even understand that this must be done in order to end the war. So we get it, it bakes everywhere, but how to finish, God knows it.
    1. family tree
      family tree 21 July 2015 16: 26
      Quote: Oznob
      America does not know how to end wars.

      They don’t need it. It’s just that any war requires money for weapons and very large ones, and they produce it. Therefore, they will constantly arrange warfare, not on their continent, of course, nafig them coals in the bosom. But they will load their production facilities and provide hard workers for bread and butter, not to mention themselves. While the circuit works, they will not refuse it what . Ukraine, for the same. Even it seems to me, it’s time to pull out ours from Donbass, I’m talking about idealists and, well, I understand ...
  8. Asadullah
    Asadullah 21 July 2015 14: 52
    True change often begins with recognition. With humility. With the recognition that not everything is under our control

    I doubt it. Any process consists of initiation, development, coordinates of the greatest efficiency, decline, degradation and self-destruction. US foreign policy is a process in decline. You cannot change from one car to another on the go without risking losing limbs, especially if these cars are moving in the opposite direction. So is the policy of the United States, for change must die. And it is up to the Americans themselves to revive from the dust of the old.
  9. sapporo1959
    sapporo1959 21 July 2015 15: 49
    But it’s interesting what the Americans will do in the taiga, catching the remaining drunken Russian ensigns. After all, there is no toilet paper there, it flies, and there are no roads. This is a movie about Rambo, everything is so dashing! And here Russia.
  10. Yak-3P
    Yak-3P 21 July 2015 16: 23
    darling .. amuses ... something I heard somewhere out of my ear .. that a bunch of Mexicans and others like them are fighting for us citizenship ... what the fuck is their army there .. just to survive .. yes without wounds .. a gunshot ..after the first attack .. and at 1 we don’t have to be afraid of anything .. I judge by myself
  11. Dimy4
    Dimy4 21 July 2015 16: 39
    Poverty, drugs, terror. Don't you have this? Then we go to you.
  12. SHILO
    SHILO 21 July 2015 16: 41
    Just kill! It's hard for me to read imported authors. And their judgments are either completely childish, or they are so wise. They are wise ...
  13. Tor5
    Tor5 21 July 2015 16: 50
    They repent only if it’s great to step on their tail and pinch something in the door.
  14. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 21 July 2015 17: 12
    Isolationism until the 1st World War was very popular in America.
    "Do not interfere in European affairs - only for
    the American continent to retain influence. "
    But at the end of the 1st World War-worn French and British
    they prayed: "come, help."
    In the 20-30s, the idea also dominated: "Enough to fight, sort it out without us."
    As a result, the 2nd World USA came almost without ground forces -
    without tanks and artillery. Only the fleet was up to standard.
    But suddenly I had to urgently help first England, then the USSR.
    Where is the Second Front? - everyone was rightly indignant. "America MUST send
    troops to Europe ".

    Now, if America intervenes, it is blamed. If NOT intervening - blame
    if it’s not interfering enough, they blame again, if it’s too much, oh, how they blame feel .

    What to do poor Uncle Sam? belay
    1. not Russian
      not Russian 21 July 2015 17: 35
      It would be interesting to know who received the most benefits after their help. And Uncle Sam needs to leave the globe alone, preferably forever
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Vlad5307
      Vlad5307 21 July 2015 19: 52
      they were not called, they themselves agreed to fight against fascism (in words). in reality, they simply earned loot in this war, and even dividing the Euro-woman into spheres of influence is generally such money that there is no way to keep it. Well, everything else is a verbal curtain - democracy, justice, etc. etc.! laughing
    4. deduly1957
      deduly1957 21 July 2015 22: 22
      hide in the toilet and wait for the Russian bear to come and lower the skin from it.
    5. Volzhanin
      Volzhanin 22 July 2015 07: 28
      No need to go where they do not ask!
      And that's it!
      So hard to figure out?
  15. Homeland_SSSR
    Homeland_SSSR 21 July 2015 17: 42
    It is a pity that the official Western authorities do not hear them. So a typical western dissident. Although the article is nice to read.
  16. Yugra
    Yugra 21 July 2015 17: 44
    Well, let them try the taste of our children from the DShB and the Airborne Forces. They will run without looking back, and this is a fact ...
  17. poketuk
    poketuk 21 July 2015 19: 45
    Most of all the photo hooked me. Very suitable for US actions around the world.
  18. morozik
    morozik 21 July 2015 20: 00
    Partisans of New Russia:
    “A man wrote to me, he works in Ukraine with a client whose husband is a regular US military serviceman, serves at one of the bases in Germany. In a private conversation, the client said that the bases where her husband is serving (including last week ) a large number of US military personnel were transferred to Lviv, Ivano-Frankivk, etc. The transfer is carried out under the guise of tourists, in civilian clothing, without weapons, but with the requirement to
    arrival in clearly defined areas. The transfer takes place from bases located in Germany and Poland. According to her, the number of regular soldiers and officers being transferred is very large, and she also knows for sure that there are many sappers. "
  19. RussKamikadZE
    RussKamikadZE 21 July 2015 20: 55
    Hurray patriots did not notice that in the photo the British, not the Americans. The main thing is to pour out bile to exercise. Just like on the Censor ..
  20. Andrey Draganov
    Andrey Draganov 21 July 2015 21: 22
    A rotten country with rotten inhabitants!
  21. Termit1309
    Termit1309 21 July 2015 22: 11
    Quote: voyaka uh
    But suddenly I had to urgently help first England, then the USSR.
    Where is the Second Front? - everyone was rightly indignant. "America MUST send
    troops to Europe ".

    Yes they asked. That's just the second front, America and England opened when it was not really needed. So to speak, they technically jumped into the departing train winked
  22. Izotovp
    Izotovp 22 July 2015 00: 26
    What are you under ground units? Infantry? So they especially never needed them. Who should they fight with the infantry? With Mexico or Canada? But the marines they always had and solved their tasks in the Pacific Ocean.
  23. Zlovred
    Zlovred 22 July 2015 00: 43
    What to do - this is the cowboy genes playing, in the sense of killing the weaklings of the natives with modern weapons (preferably silent, long-range and so that in the back on the sly) before this, having separated them among themselves and then taking away all possible material values ​​while not forgetting to mock the corpse - this is a true cowboy -Roman-Anglo-Saxon benefactor ... It is only in the genes of "uncivilized" Russians to help friends disinterestedly and defend the Motherland to the last drop of blood from invaders hi