The maintenance of superpower prestige above all obligates the Obama Administration to launch a full scale air war against the against the well organized, well supplied and so far victorious barbaric Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria (formerly ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria).
After 13 years of stalemated wars against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Washington is in no position to ignore the much more powerful IS that now controls a third of the territory in two countries – larger than Great Britain and inhabited by 6 million people. This most powerful jihadist organization is the unanticipated byproduct of America’s ill-conceived imperial misadventures in the Islamic world.
Step by Step since IS’s startling early June takeover of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, President Obama has been incrementally increasing US involvement while awaiting sufficient political backing at home and broad international support to launch a war on the IS.
Just weeks ago President Obama requested an extra $500 million dollars for Syrian rebels. Now with the ISIS rebels having spread across northern Iraq, European sources tell us that the U.S. is passing intelligence on to the Syrian army to target rebels in Syria.
The elective Bush war in Iraq for WMDs that never were is a good case history in the folly of U.S. interventionism. But the rise of ISIS is an even more compact representation of interventionism’s contradictions and failures.
This week Dr. Paul and Charles Goyette talk about ISIS, Syria, and U.S. foreign policy follies.
Charles Goyette is New York Times Bestselling Author of The Dollar Meltdown and Red and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America’s Free Economy. Check out Goyette and Paul’s national radio commentary: Ron Paul’s America and the Ron Paul and Charles Goyette Weekly Podcast. Goyette also edits The Freedom and Prosperity Letter.
As the world marks the centennial of World War I, the guns of August are again being oiled by comfortable politicians and the fawning corporate media, both bereft of any sense of history. And that includes much more recent history, namely the deceitful campaign that ended up bringing destruction to Iraq and widened conflict throughout the Middle East. That campaign went into high gear 12 years ago today.
On August 26, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney – who remains something of a folk hero on Fox News – formally launched the lies leading to the U.S.-UK attack on Iraq seven months later. And on August 30, 2013, Syria was 20 hours away from a similar fate after Secretary of State John Kerry claimed falsely – no fewer than 35 times – to "know" that the government of Syria was responsible for using sarin nerve gas in an attack outside Damascus on August 21, 2013.
Unlike twelve years ago, when the Pentagon was run by Field Marshal Donald Rumsfeld and the military martinets who called themselves generals but danced to his tune, war with Syria was averted last year when Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey talked sense into a young President who was on the verge of making a terrible mistake by bending to the Cheneyesque hawks now perched atop the State Department.
The Obama Admniistration has for months been railing against Russian “interference” because the Russian Federation has been advocating a federal system in Ukraine as a way of increasing regional autonomy in the face of secessionist rebellions.
Never let it be said they won’t be openly hypocritical.
Vice President Joe Biden penned an entire op-ed today in which he pushed for a federal system to be declared in Iraq, and that the US would “help” Iraq in implementing it.
The US efforts is the mirror of the Russian effort, trying to satisfy its allied factions in the nation while tamping down a civil war that those factions are likely to lose.
Before dawn broke in Washington on Saturday, “Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists” – more accurately described as federalists of southeast Ukraine who oppose last February’s coup in Kiev – unloaded desperately needed provisions from some 280 Russian trucks in Luhansk, Ukraine. The West accused those trucks of “invading” Ukraine on Friday, but it was a record short invasion; after delivering their loads of humanitarian supplies, many of the trucks promptly returned to Russia.
I happen to know what a Russian invasion looks like, and this isn’t it. Forty-six years ago, I was ten miles from the border of Czechoslovakia when Russian tanks stormed in to crush the “Prague Spring” experiment in democracy. The attack was brutal.
Once back in Munich, West Germany, where my duties included substantive liaison with Radio Free Europe, I experienced some of the saddest moments of my life listening to radio station after radio station on the Czech side of the border playing Smetana’s patriotic “Ma vlast” (My Homeland) before going silent for more than two decades.
I was not near the frontier between Russia and southeastern Ukraine on Friday as the convoy of some 280 Russian supply trucks started rolling across the border heading toward the federalist-held city of Luhansk, but that “invasion” struck me as more like an attempt to break a siege, a brutal method of warfare that indiscriminately targets all, including civilians, violating the principle of noncombatant immunity.
In a brilliant August 17 segment of Last Week Tonight, HBO host John Oliver ripped into small towns that have equipped their police with warlike military equipment. One town was Keene, New Hampshire, where their military-grade armored personnel truck was acquired to protect critical targets – like the annual Pumpkin Festival. Another was Doraville, Georgia. Oliver showed a wild video clip from the Doraville Police Department’s website, with a Ninja-dressed SWAT team going for a joyride in a souped-up armored personnel carrier, all set to a heavy metal song called "Die MotherF***er Die."
In a visit to Doraville last week, I asked Officer Gene Callaway why his sleepy town of 8,000, which hasn’t had a murder since 2009, needed an armored personnel carrier (APC). "The vehicle provides Doraville with a scalable response and ensures the safety of police officers," he answered. Scalable response? Safety of police officers? Doraville has never been a crime-ridden town. "We at Doraville are proud to be ranked 39th in safest cities in Georgia," Callaway himself bragged. It seems the most useful task the APC performed was pulling 18-wheelers back onto the salted lanes of Route 285 during snowstorms. Oh, and let’s not forget that "the kids love playing on it" when it rolls up to the county fair, Callaway told me.
Doraville’s armored vehicle is a gift from Uncle Sam, as part of the billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment now flowing from the federal government to state and local police departments. Not only is it an incredible waste of taxpayer money, but it gets people – including children – accustomed to seeing military vehicles on their streets. Worst of all, it is causing police to act like soldiers, especially since one of the stipulations of getting this equipment is that it must be used within one year of receipt.