Monday, March 7, 2011


         West Point, America’s War Academy, makes you proud to be an American, yet at the same time it fills you with dread and loathing. The pride comes from Bastogne, the “Battle of the Bulge”, Ivo Jima, Corregidor, Bataan and Valley Forge. The dread comes from the Battle of Gettysburg, the firebombing of Dresden, the blood spilled at Shiloh and some 800,000 American dead in our Civil War. The loathing comes from Viet Nam’s Mai Lai Massacre, Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and the hell hole of Andersonville’s prisoner of war camp.
That stone fortress, with its colorful flags flying high above the Hudson River, was an appropriate venue for Robert Gates, our Secretary of Defense [perhaps we should use the old moniker “Secretary of War”], to make a speech ten days ago bluntly warning:
“In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined’, as General MacArthur so delicately put it.” [emphasis supplied]
          I am a believer in conspiracy theories. Without a shred of evidence, a scintilla of proof, I believe that Gates was throwing the gauntlet, drawing a line in the sand, giving fair warning, cautioning those in power that starting a war with Iran is suicide, hara-kiri. Just don’t go there, or for that matter into any local conflict now inflaming the region.
There are war hawks amongst us, mad dogs [mixed metaphor, I know] hell bent for war at any price, in lives or money. War for them is a way of life, a solution to what ails us, or for that matter the world. They may be part of the Israeli lobby seeking a safe haven for that country. They may well be idealists seeking a perfect world or they may be money hungry opportunists seeking to cash in on war. Or they may be just deluded fools.
Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney are peddling their memoirs and false memories giving us a revisionist history of the debacles that Iraq and Afghanistan have proven to be. They still hew to the long discredited straw man theory of Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, robust nation building and other far fetched fairy tales
Now the hawks are promoting that America’s fighting machine is in place to topple the regime in Iran and embark on another protracted war of futile nation building. The troops, the tanks, the Humvees, the ammunition dumps are there, right in the heart of the Middle East, Iraq, ready to roll across the sand to Teheran, or the shores of Tripoli. After all we have pacified and succeeded in nation building both in Iraq and Afghanistan, right?
President “The Happy Warrior” Bush on May 2, 2003 told us that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”, the war was officially over. This was straight from the horse’s mouth, from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, after old George, all decked out in a World War II bomber jacket, and had flown in on a broomstick of a jet telling us that:
“In this battle we have fought for the cause of liberty and for peace of the world. Our nation and coalition are proud of this accomplishment.”
Remember? And yet some 8 years later we are still there.
While Gates was giving fair warning to a new generation of chicken hawks, North African and Middle Eastern regimes were toppling like proverbial dominoes. Egypt’s “President” Mubarak and Tunisia’s “President” Ben Ali are  gone. Yemen is tottering. Bahrain and perhaps Saudi Arabia are next to. Libya is in the midst of a civil war.
Only a year ago Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was promoting “democracy” and testifying on Capital Hill in support of $2.5 million in aid to Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime. She was proudly photographed with Qaddafi’s son. Now Qaddafi is clinging to his megalomaniac dictatorship by his fingernails and Hillary is telling us that the United States has under “active consideration” the imposition of a no-flight zone over Libya. Has she forgotten that Iraq’s “no-fly” policy [1991-2003] was a failure and ineffective? Gates just testified in Congress
“Let’s just call a spade a spade. A “no-fly” zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses.”
Does she even listen to the Secretary of Defense, the guy who should be in the know? Everyone who is clamoring for war against Iran is now clamoring for us to intervene, for us to embark on more nation/democracy building when we haven’t completely, even remotely, the last two that we have started.
So, who should we have, or should have had, their heads examined: Wolfowits, Cheney, Rumsfeld, President Bush, Tony Blair and now Hillary Clinton?                  
          Having one’s head examined is the first step in treating a mental disorder. The time to treat a mental disorder is before the patient commits grave injury. Those who lead us into this mess are long gone. They have retired. You can’t impeach a politician who is no longer in office. The only recourse now is war crime trials and criminal indictments for malfeasance and misfeasance in office.
          The International Community is clamoring for the ICC, the International Criminal Court [a court that George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Condolleezza Rice, Madeleine “The Price is Right” Albright, Colin Powell and United States all have refused to recognize], to try Qaddafi, Mubarak and others. Perhaps that is an appropriate step for us to take.
          But for those who want more war, whether in Iran, Libya or for that matter anywhere else in the world, we should first have their heads examined.

1 comment:

  1. From: Istvan Wittmann []
    Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:44 PM
    Subject: Re: A Friends Blog Interesting

    Ivo, I wholeheartedly agree with having all those heads examined. There has never been an aggression started by the US that was right, or won. (Exception: T. Roosevelt’s Cuba). After 9-11 we should have gone and get Osama in quiet, and with a well planned attack, like the Israelis in Uganda, not a trillion dollar exercise. And now, they want a no-fly zone. I would be delighted to just supply the rebels with weapons, and stay the hell out of Libya, like the US stayed out of Hungary in 1956.

    Seems, like representative democracy is falling to too much representation. We should have TERM LIMITS!!!