I have often felt that the U.S. has been duped into making Muslims the enemy du jour. It’s clear that the business with the Shah of Iran effected a major change in U.S.-Muslim relations. Before that they were our fierce allies; we even gave weapons and training to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Then suddenly we were bitter enemies.
But I have to ask a serious question: All the antiwar advocacy I see seems to be only directed against the current war in Iraq. Why isn’t there advocacy against U.S. war-mongering in its entirety?
Let me be clear. I am not defending Republican war-mongering; I am attacking both Republican and Democratic war-mongering. I do not see any difference between what Bush is doing in Iraq/Afghanistan and what Clinton did in Bosnia/Herzegovina. We still have a military presence in Bosnia/Herzegovina and our presence there has accomplished nothing but the peace of the gun. Or what about Reagan’s efforts in Nicaragua, or Carter’s efforts with the Shah and Iran/Iraq? Or countless others?
Since most of the advocacy seems to originate with one of the parties, it always seems to only address what the opponent party is doing wrong. It never seems to address the root cause – that the U.S. thinks military action is the solution to all the world’s troubles. There’s money in war and we profit mightily from it (or at least some U.S. businesses do). From selling tanks in World War II to being the world’s largest and most stable offshore bank, the U.S. makes big money from military action.
Until the corporations that profit from our wars are called to account for it, it won’t stop. Only the places we invade will change. If the Republicans really hated what Clinton did in Bosnia/Herzegovina, as they loudly proclaimed, why didn’t they pull the troops out of there when Bush came into office? It’s the same reason the Democrats will make hay with the Iraq war, but will never completely remove the U.S. military from Iraq now that we are entrenched there. Do we ever leave any place we get a military foothold?
One of the major reasons I have chosen to work abroad is because I want to be a part of finding peaceful solutions to the problems of poor nations in the hopes that the U.S. won’t someday have to invade them.
Bruce Whitfield is a retired attorney currently living and doing volunteer work in Costa Rica.