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U.S. Endless Wars of Destruction

12/07 23:30 - U.S. Endless Wars of Destruction
July 12, 2020 Tomgram: Nan Levinson, The Vet Conundrum and America's WarsHere’s one thing you can say about America’s “war on terror,” which has morphed into a set of forever wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa: those conflicts falter, they flop, they fade (only to resurge), but they never truly seem to end. In the case of the Afghan War, for instance, the Bush administration invaded that country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to “liberate” it from the Taliban. This October, that conflict will be 19 years old and, despite massive “surges” and endless corners “turned,” the Taliban remains, if not victorious, then increasingly successful. Yet, with a president in the White House who has long claimed he planned to end America's role there, possibly before the November election, think again. The latest news: a tentative White House/Pentagon agreement to leave at least 4,000 U.S. troops (and god knows how many private contractors) in that country indefinitely. Otherwise, of course, Donald Trump might go down as the man who “lost” Afghanistan and anyone who knows American history can’t doubt that being the prexy who “lost” an American war has always been considered political poison. Oh, and lest you have any hopes that Congress might intervene (as it's once again trying to do when it comes to American support for the Saudi war in Yemen, despite a successful presidential veto of its last attempt), think again. As Glenn Greenwald reported recently, in the House of Representatives, Colorado Democrat (and Iraq War veteran) Jason Crow and Wyoming Republican (and daughter of the vice president who helped oversee the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq) Liz Cheney are co-sponsoring an amendment to the upcoming “defense” bill ($740 billion to the Pentagon!) to prohibit “the expenditure of monies to reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan below 8,000 without a series of conditions first being met” -- and the conditions are not modest. So it goes almost two decades later. As TomDispatch regular Nan Levinson, author of War Is Not a Game: The New Antiwar Soldiers and the Movement They Built, reports today, despite the way American veterans have generally turned against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Congress hasn’t, nor essentially have the veterans in that Congress, which, when you think about it, couldn’t be stranger. TomVeterans Go to Washington So What? By Nan LevinsonIf you still follow the mainstream media, you're probably part of the 38% of registered voters who knew something about the op-ed Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) published in the New York Times early in June, exhorting the president to use the Insurrection Act to "restore order to our streets." This was in response to what he called "anarchy" but others saw as peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. And yet that op-ed was actually less incendiary than an earlier tweet of Cotton’s demanding "no quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters" or his Fox News call to send the 101st Airborne onto the streets of America.Well!Anger at the decision to run that op-ed exploded at the Times. While there are certainly grounds for umbrage over giving Cotton's screed such blue-chip journalistic real estate, the take-away for me was that a senator and military veteran who had sworn to uphold the Constitution in both capacities was demanding that soldiers patrol American streets in that protest moment. I shouldn't have been surprised, I suppose. Cotton doesn't seem to have met a fight he doesn't relish. Still, it got me thinking about what difference, if any, veterans make in Congress when it comes to whether (and how) the U.S. military is sent into battle.Click here to read more of this dispatch. ...


 
 

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