One of the concepts that emerged from the Vietnam War was that of destroying a village to save it.
The idea was that by leveling a place where people once lived, the area would be denied to the Viet Cong. The people? Well, they’d just have to find somewhere else. And you’re welcome, for your freedom!
The same cynical policy seems very much underway now in Iraq, in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State.
The New York Times recently reported that the Senate has voted to require women to register for the draft, with few Senators in opposition. This bill comes as no surprise given the military has been increasingly opening its doors to women.
This culminated in last December when “…Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said in December that the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women…” which helped military officials advise Congress to make the draft apply for both women and men.
Despite over 400,000 dead and ongoing ground and air campaigns inside the country by the U.S., Russia and several others, 51 US diplomats are publicly demanding the Obama administration launch strikes directly against Bashir Assad in Syria.
The Assad family has ruled Syria since the 1960s with an iron hand, employing secret police and other standard dictator tricks to suppress dissent. Things got so cozy between Syria and the US that in the early days of the war on terror the CIA was sending “suspects” to Syria for some outsourced torture, as nobody can run a secret prison better than Arabs.
Now this is one way to stop terrorism, particularly the funding of ISIS. Did the United States clamp down on Saudi Arabia funneling millions to ISIS and other Sunni terror groups? Use American military power to stop the illegal weapons trade to ISIS? Bomb the hell out of the oil wells and transit systems ISIS uses to raise hard currency?
Hell no. The government of the United States used its full resources to steal $42 from some drunk dude who wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in the memo field on Venmo when he tried to pay back his buddy for a night out.
In a move that the New York Times reports is nearly unprecedented, some 51 mid-level State Department employees have signed a letter calling for the Obama Administration to begin bombing the Assad government in Syria immediately.
Demonstrating the reality that the "soft power" of diplomacy is in fact just a front for the "hard power" of bombs, these "diplomats" demanded the administration immediately initiate:
[A] judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed US-led diplomatic process.
Yes, to these supposed trained "diplomats," the "diplomatic process" consists of making final demands after the military has bombed your opponent to hell.
Since 1983, Sharon Tennison has worked to develop ordinary citizens’ capacities to avert international crises, focusing on relations between the U.S. and Russia. Now, amid a rising crisis in relations between the US and Russia, she has organized a delegation which assembled in Moscow yesterday for a two week visit. I joined the group yesterday, and happened to finish reading Sharon Tennison’s book, The Power of Impossible Ideas, when I landed in Moscow.
An entry in her book, dated November 9, 1989, describes the excitement over the Berlin Wall coming down and notes that “Prior to the Wall’s removal, President George H.W. Bush assured Secretary General Gorbachev that if he would support bringing down the Wall separating East and West Berlin, NATO would not move ‘a finger’s width’ closer to Russia than East Germany’s border. With this assurance Gorbachev gladly signed on.