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Endless War: Hurrah, Wii Won! Let’s Keep Fighting!

Glenn Greenwald published an outstanding rebuke of our apparent policy of endless war Nov 23rd in Salon. I think that a certain Nobel Peace Prize winner would benefit from reading more Greenwald:

Anonymous U.S. officials this morning are announcing in The Washington Post that they have effectively defeated what they call “the organization that brought us 9/11″ — Al Qaeda — by rendering it “operationally ineffective”.
… You might think this means that the vastly expanded National Security and Surveillance States justified in the name of 9/11, as well as the slew of wars and other aggressive deployments which it spawned, can now be reversed and wound down. After all, the stated purpose of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) which provided legal cover to all of this was expressed in the very first line: “To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.” The purpose of this authorized force was equally clear and limited: “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons [the President] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”

yet the administration and Congress seem to have little stomach for returning to a peacetime footing with their mentality of Endless War:

Enemies are never defeated; even when they are “operationally ineffective,” they “will remain a major security threat for years.” If their capacity to frighten fades, they just get seamlessly replaced by new Villains (“U.S. counterterrorism officials now assess al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen as a significantly greater threat”). When that doesn’t work, you just manufacture the Terrorists yourself: by converting, directing and funding them and/or doing exactly that which you know will ensure they continue to emerge. And when all else fails, you just find a brand new war that ensures the process repeats itself in an endless loop: the establishment bellwether Washington Post today expressly demanded “regime change” in Iran (“by now it should be obvious that only regime change will stop the Iranian nuclear program”).

This misguided mentality reminds me less of statesmanship and more of children in front of their Wii endlessly restarting yet another mindnumbingly senseless war game.
– Iron Filing



  1. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Good post Iron Filing. Personally, I have no problem fighting a war that needs to be fought. Swimming against the liberal mainstream, I think Iraq was a good war and Afghanistan as well. I even agree with the Presidents handling of Libya. My opinion begins to diverge there however in that In the beginning they were both necessary, but not for 10 years. As soon as Iraq was stabilized around 2009-10 we should have begun pulling out. As soon as Bin Laden was killed we should have begun draw-down. Our military has the ability to reach out and touch any place on earth in a relatively short time, we don’t need “boots on the ground” like times past. While were at it lets bring them home from Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo and Egypt. Why is the President pursuing an agreement to establish a base in Australia. I suppose to warn China, but why. They’ll just beat us into economic submission, they don’t need to fire a single shot. Smart leaders those Chinese.
    Our troops did their job, met the objectives and shed their blood. Now this group of warrior-want-to-be politicians wants new wars for their glory and to look tough for elections. I’d suggest they lace up some boots, grab a rifle and stand a watch in a foreign land before they ask someone else to do the same. I say bring um home, all of them. Until there is a real reason to send them back out.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Filing wrote:

    I agree PSgt (except for Iraq War being justified).

    Our state of Endless War is largely a result of the politicization of civilian oversight and leadership of the military. Civilian authority is fundamental and it is fine and good for politicians to disagree on issues of war and peace but the posturing of chicken hawks distorts our military mission. Likewise Democrats fear of being labeled soft on defense and/or terrorism enables Endless War as well.

    I’d like to see some leadership from both parties in setting goals for ending this concept of constant crisis. I believe we were in much greater danger during the Cold War than now, yet we civilians considered ourselves generally at peace. Now, war is our normal state. A secure peace doesn’t even seem to be a goal.

    As to “good post”, Iron Knee tipped me off to the Greenwald column. Thanks IK.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

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  1. Endless war in which we are the enemy « David's Slingshot on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 2:14 am

    […] to Political Irony for the link to Greenwald’s article and to my friend Krysta for the link to Samurai Knitter. […]