Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Drums of War Beat Again

I will be brief.

America has been embroiled in war in Afghanistan since 2001, and just recently ended its fighting in Iraq after a seven year occupation.  Despite the human cost and lack of substantial success in these conflicts, the usual suspects are beating the drums of war with Iran.  Let's be clear: I have nothing but contempt for the brutal, theocratic Iranian state.  However, my stomach turns when I hear sanctimonious voices declare the potential nuclear arms race in the Middle East that may erupt if Iran develops an atomic weapon, as if there already isn't a country in the Middle East (Israel) with a large stockpile of nukes.  That the United States and international community have failed to get Israel to come clean on this issue represents a massive failure and the worst manner of hypocrisy.  I get further sickened when Bibi Netanyahu is allowed to pass himself off as a democratic leader in a sea of Arab autocracies.  His governing coalition is full of religious and nationalist zealots of the most intolerant and extreme types, and his government is committed to denying the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people.  And yet America's politicians fall over backwards to praise this man and support his country's dangerous foreign policy, to the great detriment of the interests of the United States.

Ordering men and women to kill and die in foreign lands is a heady undertaking, but some politicians seem willing to sacrifice young lives to advance their political ambitions.  One of our major political parties is run by people who would send their own youth to die to support a regime in thrall to religious and nationalist extremists, and most of the public seems not to know or care about it.  The dead from Iraq are still fresh in the ground, but we seem poised to engage on another bloody, misbegotten adventure.  Karl Marx was right all along; history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

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