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No More Wars
by Sudhama Ranganathan
Email: uconnharassment (nospam) gmail.com
31 Mar 2011
On March 17 the United Nations Security Council passed Security Council Resolution 1973 approving a no-fly zone over Libya. This action was taken to do many things in order to intervene on a very limited basis for humanitarian purposes in the Libyan conflict. Among the points of the charter were demands for the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians; it imposes a no-fly zone over Libya; it authorizes all necessary means to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas, except for a "foreign occupation force." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_) The last part is very important, especially regarding an occupying force.
The United States of America is currently very involved in two conflicts right now and we have had troops rotating on a stop-loss policy (backdoor draft) for roughly nine years now many of whom went in during their late teens and have known nothing but killing their entire working careers. We have 700 – 800 bases and military installations worldwide and are paying billions per year to maintain what is an already overstretched military apparatus. We are already at an unsustainable level of military involvement worldwide.
The involvement in Libya as it is for humanitarian purposes is fine. But, we made a huge mistake in Iraq trying to police the area and putting the lives of American soldiers on the line so corporations that pay little to no US taxes, hardly hire any Americans overseas and can afford private security could feel stable doing business in the country and greater region. Weapons of Mass Destruction was a farce as the reasons for going in were based on the shaky say so of a single person that defected from Iraq that, as it turns out, was lying. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/13/60minutes/main20042166.shtml?t;contentBody) Our government chose to ignore mountains of evidence from myriad credible sources telling them otherwise.
We cannot afford another military mistake. Now we hear arming the insurgents is a possibility, but that would also include training them to use the weaponry and most likely we would be sending in private security/ defense contractors to do so. That would be a mistake at this point.
First of all as was pointed out by Emira Woods, of the Institute for Policy Studies last night, we would be sending more arms into an area before we really know the folks we’re giving them to or have really given the chance for the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1973 to have its effect. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/libya2_03-30.html#transc) The resolution was written as is for reasons and we should give that resolution time to work. As she pointed out already there are child soldiers on the rebel side – should we really be funding child soldiers much less have companies like DynCorp training them? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/213720) (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/06/26/bosnia/index.html)
We can bomb the implements of Gadhafi’s war machine that are beating back the resistance. By hitting his planes, tanks and other machinery to ensure the safety of civilians, people seeking democracy have been safer and the rebels have advanced. They were pushed back in the last few hours due to tanks etc. So the resolution is still working, but it will not happen overnight.
The second point is if we begin arming rebels and paying what are some of the worst people, like Blackwater (now Xe) and DynCorp, to go into the region to train rebels we have given our nation an economic stake in going in. That is the first step down the path of making the Libyan conflict a honey pot for our nation and a career for certain more nefarious members of our country. An attempt to help in the quest for democracy would morph into a bloodthirsty business venture dropping AK-47’s into the arms of children. It would become the reason for our being there and would change us from protectors of those seeking freedom to a nation of death dealers. We cannot become that.
According to the Congressional Research Service, “In 2009, the United States led in arms transfer agreements worldwide, making agreements valued at $22.6 billion (39.3% of all such agreements).” (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R41403.pdf) By trying to exploit the conflict for monetary gain we would become the worst of people and there would be nothing hopeful or freedom based about that. That would be disgusting, sleazy and the majority of President Obama’s backers would be then echoing Sarah Palin when she asked, “how’s that hopey changey stuff workin out for ya?” Let’s pray he doesn’t fall for the trap and stays the president and man he currently is.
There is nothing wrong with business domestic or foreign, but for us to go in and try to earn a buck off of the misery of another country, maiming of kids or deaths of those just seeking democracy at a time like this would turn us into a nation of people willing to use any opportunity to grab a shiny nickel in front of the world.
Further it would be stepping beyond the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and it would be becoming embroiled in yet another war. What happens across the Middle East, Africa and North Africa will be hot, contentious and brutal over the foreseeable future. But we can only do so much and in fact should be pulling out troops from Iraq and other places and allow corporations that are in the region and paying no US taxes to hire private security contractors and fend for themselves. It will be a match made in heaven, but a coupling we should have pulled government resources from long ago.
Already certain dark characters from our past have been trying to help spin and sell our long term engagement there. The very man responsible for fomenting widespread Muslim extremism in the area and creating the group that eventually changed its name to Al Qaeda said this, “we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that it is inevitably pointed in a democratic direction, because, typically, the first phase of this political awakening […] tends to be extremist, fervent, euphoric, but potentially very dangerous.” (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/overview_03-21.html)
What he should be saying is that’s what war mongers like himself hope would happen. See he should know regarding extremism in the region. While he points the finger at the possibility of Muslim extremism, radicalism and the trying to make installing more “friendly” dictators (though he did not come right out and say that) sound cool, this is a man that should know about the extremism we are now hearing about as often as McDonald’s commercials.
In an interview a number of years ago he discussed how he earned his PR stripes, “Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
“[Brzezinski]: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
“Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
“B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
“Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
“B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.” (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html) That interview was given in 1998.
This man trying to help pave the way for more of what the democracy fighters are trying to overthrow and what already is being used as an excuse to become more involved in Libya referred to the people that were responsible for 9/11 as just some stirred up Muslims. His Frankenstein and that’s the best he has to offer.
In arming them in order to quickly topple Gadhafi we could be sending ourselves towards more trouble if we are not certain we know the people getting the arms. We don’t want a repeat of Zbigniew “blame it on the Muslims” Brzezinski’s decades of blowback. We don’t want the president of hope and change putting arms in the hands of children.
Right now it is not in our national interest to take the lead on this. Let the UN take the lead. That is the best way to go for now.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
This work is in the public domain