RANGER AGAINST WAR: Conventional Wisdom <

Friday, March 10, 2006

Conventional Wisdom

We hold these truths to be self-evident. I can't remember where I read this, but it's stuck in my memory bank. Truth and self-evident, what a wonderful combination. The truth that I'm discussing is actually a collection of assumptions cannibalized from conventional wisdom and knee-jerk feedback evident amongst today's political pundits. The upshot of it all is, truth is no longer self-evident, nor need it even be true. Well, as Bette Davis said, buckle up...

The first truth which we accept is that George W. Bush is a wartime President. This is not a truth, but rather, a construction based on a simple-minded slogan aimed at the masses. Where is the war? War is a state of belligerancy between nation states. Are U.S. forces actually at war with insurgents?

I don't believe this is true. More truthfully, U.S. forces are engaged in combat operations that obviously benefit the Shiite majority, to the detriment of the Sunni population. The Sunnis are not a threat to the national security of the U.S., nor are they likely to export terrorism to the U.S., so why are we complicit in their suppression?

We should let the country balkanize and take its natural course. U.S. policy should encourage the division of the country into separate entities and then do what we do best--pull out and sell arms to everyone!

"Over There, Over There..."
GWB constantly hammers, if we don't fight them there (whoever them is) we'll have to fight them here. Unless, that is, they are busy killing each other over there. Let them turn their anger, aggression and hostility inward, thereby allowing the U.S. military to do what it does best, which is to defend U.S. national strategic interests.

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
The next self-evident truth which is patently accepted by Americans is that terrorism is a major threat to the security and national existence of the United States. HOGWASH! Terrorism is a minor irritant, and will never endanger the U.S. national existence.

Shades of Dr. Strangelove...
Doesn't anybody other than me remember when the U.S. military faced the awesome armed might of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact troops? Soviet forces in Central Europe possessed nuclear weapons readied for tactical deployment, and had an overall nuclear arsenal that was capable of lighting up the entire continent. Now that's a threat! Apparently, our national leaders are oblivious to this because they never wore combat boots or carried a rifle.

Mad, Mad world...
Our entire national policy was based upon MAD--Mutually Assured Destruction. What a concept, and I served in that MAD military that was willing to destroy the entire world to save democracy and defeat communism.

At this point one must ask: Is Al Quaeda willing to destroy the world to defeat the U.S.? I don't believe so; therefore, I suggest that maybe they aren't as maniacal as we once were.

Didn't the U.S. once drop megaton weapons on Japan, and also introduce the concept of "teror bombing" into the world military lexicon? The real threat resides in nation-state violence which our Western society has grown to accept.

The average U.S. citizen is o.k. with the U.S. military killing thousands of innocent civilians as collateral damage, but they cannot brook the 2,500 civilian casualties on 9-11. What's the difference? In our national egoism, we have mutated Iraqi's into terrorists-cum-monsters. We are cultural alchemists, turning at will an entire nation into terrorist adversaries. All we have to do is add lead to the mixture to create the transmogrification. Once we add the lead from our M-16's--viola--they become terrorists.

The next untruth is that a democratic Iraq is beneficial to the national interests of the U.S.

Nobody can explain how or why this is true, other than accepting that it is because GWB declares it to be so. The entire Middle East has been and will continue to be a Gordian knot well after the entire neocon leadership is dead and gone. And I will openly be the first to say: I don't care one rat's ass about Iraq!

Even if U.S. policies are wildly successful and Iraq becomes totally democratic, so what? This does not benefit America one iota, and to imagine so is chimerical.

If Woodrow Wilson could not make the world safe for democracy, then how can GWB?

The U.S. fought WWI ostensibly to make the world safe for democracy, yet the outcome was the arbitrary split-up of the Middle East into French and British spheres, and the unintended consequence that Russia became a Soviet state and a greater threat to democracy than Imperial Germany had been.

The only concern of the U.S. President should be the survival of democracy in the U.S. If Social security is in danger and if we are required to cut $59 billion from social programs in the current budget, then possibly our priorities should be realigned. As Pogo said, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

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