AMERICA’S THE MONROE DOCTRINE IS SOAKED IN BLOOD

American Students Are Rarely Taught How Much American Imperialism To The South Through The 1860s Was About Expanding Slavery, Or How Much It Was Impeded By Racism.

The Monroe Doctrine was first discussed under that name as justification for the United States war on Mexico that moved its western border south, swallowing up the present-day states of California, Nevada, and Utah, most of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. By no means was that as far south as some would have liked to move the border.

The catastrophic war on the Philippines also grew out of a Monroe-Doctrine-justified war against Spain (and Cuba and Puerto Rico) in the Caribbean. And global imperialism was a smooth expansion of the Monroe Doctrine.

But it is in reference to Latin America that the Monroe Doctrine is usually cited today, and the Monroe Doctrine has been central to a United States assault on its southern neighbors for 200 years. During these centuries, groups and individuals, including Latin American intellectuals, have both opposed the Monroe Doctrine’s justification of imperialism and sought to argue that the Monroe Doctrine should be interpreted as promoting isolationism and multilateralism. Both approaches have had limited success. United States interventions have ebbed and flowed but never halted.

The popularity of the Monroe Doctrine as a reference point in United States discourse, which rose to amazing heights during the 19th century, practically achieving the status of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution, may in part be thanks to its lack of clarity and to its avoidance of committing the government to anything in particular, while sounding quite macho. As various United States eras added their “corollaries” and interpretations, commentators could defend their preferred version against others. But the dominant theme, both before and even more so after Theodore Roosevelt, has always been exceptionalist imperialism.

Many a filibustering fiasco in Cuba long preceded the Bay of Pigs SNAFU. But when it comes to the escapades of arrogant gringos, no sampling of tales would be complete without the somewhat unique but revealing story of William Walker, a filibusterer who made himself president of Nicaragua, carrying south the expansion that predecessors like Daniel Boone had carried west. Walker is not secret CIA history. The CIA had yet to exist. During the 1850s Walker may have received more attention in American newspapers than any president. On four different days, the New York Times devoted its entire front page to his antics. That most people in Central America know his name and virtually nobody in the United States does is a choice made by the respective educational systems.

Nobody in the United States having any idea who William Walker was is not the equivalent of nobody in the United States knowing there was a coup in Ukraine in 2014. Nor is it like 20 years from now everybody having failed to learn that Russiagate was a scam. We would equate it more closely to 20 years from now nobody knowing that there was a 2003 war on Iraq that George W. Bush told any lies about. Walker was big news subsequently erased.

Walker got himself the command of a North American force supposedly aiding one of two warring parties in Nicaragua, but actually doing what Walker chose, which included capturing the city of Granada, effectively taking charge of the country, and eventually holding a phony election of himself. Walker got to work transferring land ownership to gringos, instituting slavery, and making English an official language. Newspapers in the southern United States wrote about Nicaragua as a future American state. But Walker managed to make an enemy of Vanderbilt, and to unite Central America as never before, across political divisions and national borders, against him. Only the American government professed “neutrality.” Defeated, Walker was welcomed back to the United States as a conquering hero. He tried again in Honduras in 1860 and ended up captured by the British, turned over to Honduras, and shot by a firing squad. His soldiers were sent back to the United States where they mostly joined the Confederate Army.

Walker had preached the gospel of war. “They are but drivellers,” he said, “who speak of establishing fixed relations between the pure white American race, as it exists in the United States, and the mixed, Hispano-Indian race, as it exists in Mexico and Central America, without the employment of force.” Walker’s vision was adored and celebrated by American media, not to mention a Broadway show.

American students are rarely taught how much American imperialism to the South up through the 1860s was about expanding slavery, or how much it was impeded by the racism that did not want non-“white,” non-English-speaking people joining the United States.

José Martí wrote in a Buenos Aires newspaper denouncing the Monroe Doctrine as hypocrisy and accusing the United States of invoking “freedom . . . for purposes of depriving other nations of it.”

While it’s important not to believe that American imperialism began in 1898, how people in the United States thought of imperialism did change in 1898 and the years following. There were now greater bodies of water between the mainland and its colonies and possessions. There were greater numbers of people not deemed “white” living below American flags. And there was apparently no longer a need to respect the rest of the hemisphere by understanding the name “America” to apply to more than one nation. Up until this time, the United States of America was usually referred to as the United States or the Union. Now it became America. So, if you thought your little country was in America, you’d better watch out!

UKRAINE AND THE LOST LESSONS OF VIETNAM

The Caution Which, Albeit All-Too-Temporarily, Stemmed From The ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ Is Today Utterly Absent From The Corridors Of Power In Joe Biden’s Washington.

Last week marked 50 years since the signing of the Paris Peace Accords which effectively ended American participation in the Vietnam war. One of the consequences, according to Georgetown University international affairs scholar Charles Kupchan, was that an “isolationist impulse” made a “significant comeback in response to the Vietnam War, which severely strained the liberal internationalist consensus.”

As the Cold War historian John Lamberton Harper points out, President Jimmy Carter’s hawkish Polish-born national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, scorned his intra-administration rival, the cautious, gentlemanly secretary of state Cyrus Vance as “a nice man but burned by Vietnam.” Indeed, Vance and a number of his generation carried with them a profound disillusionment in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. And for a short time, the ‘Vietnam Syndrome,’ (shorthand for a wariness and suspicion of unnecessary and unsupportable foreign interventions) occasionally informed American policy at the highest levels and manifested itself in the promulgations of the Wienberger and Powell Doctrines which, in theory anyway, represented a kind of resistance on the part of the Pentagon to unnecessary military adventures.

But such resistance didn’t last long. Only hours after the successful conclusion of the First Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush declared, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.” And kick it Bush did: In the decades following his 1991 pronouncement, the United States has been at war in one form or another (either as a belligerent or unofficial co-belligerent – as is the case with our involvement in Saudi Arabia’s grotesque war on Yemen) for all but 2 of the 32 years that have followed.

Yet the atmosphere that now prevails in Washington makes it exceedingly difficult to believe such a thing as a ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ ever existed. Indeed, President Joe Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine has been met with rapturous approval from the Washington establishment, winning plaudits from all the usual suspects.

But can the Biden policy truly be credited as a success when the entire ordeal might have been avoided by judicious diplomatic engagement? Are we really to believe that the war which so far has resulted in 8 million refugees and roughly 200,000 battlefield deaths has been worth a promise of NATO membership for Ukraine?

While the war has seemingly ground to a stalemate, the legacy media and various and sundry think-tank-talking-heads have been busy issuing regular assurances of regime change in Moscow and steady progress in the field with victory soon to come:

  • Writing in the Journal of Democracy this past September, political scientist and author of the End of History and The Last Man Francis Fukuyama exulted: “Ukraine will win. Slava Ukraini!”

  • Washington Post reporter Liz Sly told readers in early January that “If 2023 continues as it began, there is a good chance Ukraine will be able to fulfill President Volodymyr Zelensky’s New Year’s pledge to retake all of Ukraine by the end of the year — or at least enough territory to definitively end Russia’s threat, Western officials and analysts say”

  • Also in early January, the former head of the US Army in Europe, Lt. General Ben Hodges told the Euromaidan Press that, “The decisive phase of the campaign…will be the liberation of Crimea. Ukrainian forces are going to spend a lot of time knocking out or disrupting the logistical networks that are important for Crimea…That is going to be a critical part that leads or sets the conditions for the liberation of Crimea, which I expect will be finished by the end of August.”

  • Newsweek, reporting in October 2022, informed readers by way of activist Ilya Ponomarev, a former member of the Russian parliament, that “Russia is not yet on the brink of revolution…but is not far off.”

  • Rutgers University professor Alexander J. Motyl agrees. In a January 2023 article for Foreign Policy magazine titled ‘It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse’ Motyl decried as “stunning” what he believes is a “near-total absence of any discussion among politicians, policymakers, analysts, and journalists of the consequences of defeat for Russia. … considering the potential for Russia’s collapse and disintegration.”

  • And this week comes word, courtesy of Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the once realist National Interest magazine, that “The German decision to send tanks to Ukraine is a turning point. It is now clear that Vladimir Putin signed the death warrant of his regime in invading Ukraine.”

  • As Gore Vidal once quipped: “There is little respite for a people so routinely – so fiercely – disinformed.”

Conspicuous by its absence in what passes for foreign policy discourse in the American capital is the question of American interests: How does the allocation of vast sums to a wondrously corrupt regime in Kiev in any way materially benefit everyday Americans? Does the imposition of a narrow, sectarian Galician nationalism over the whole of Ukraine truly constitute a core American interest? Does the prolongation of a proxy war between NATO and Russia further European and American security interests? If so, how?

In truth, the lessons of Vietnam were forgotten long ago. The generation that now populates the ranks of the Washington media and political establishment came of age when Vietnam was already in the rearview mirror. The unabashed liberal interventionists who staff the Biden administration cut their teeth in the 1990s when it was commonly believed that America didn’t act often enough, notably in Bosnia and in Rwanda. As such, and almost without exception, the current crop of foreign policy hands now in power have supported every American mis-adventure abroad since 9/11.

The caution which, albeit all-too-temporarily, stemmed from the ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ is today utterly absent from the corridors of power in Joe Biden’s Washington.

The Vietnam Syndrome is indeed kicked: Dead and buried.

But we all may soon come to regret its passing when we all do.

THE AMERICAN WAR HAWKS POLICY HELPED START THIS WAR IN UKRAINE

America’s Previous Plans And Policies: Broken Promises, Broken Treaties, Sanctions, And Coups Have Caused The Harmful Consequences We See Today.

On December 21, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke to Congress in an effort to get more financial and military support from the American government. Zelenskyy spoke of peace, freedom, and interconnection as the main goals of the Ukrainian fight but that Ukraine needed American resolve. Zelenskyy stated:

From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America and from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected and interdependent to allow someone to stay aside and at the same time to feel safe when such a battle continues. Our two nations are allies in this battle, and next year will be a turning point . . . when Ukrainian courage and American resolve must guarantee the future of our common freedom.”

After his speech, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion spending plan with $45 billion going to Ukraine. This money is supposed to be used for the Ukrainian war effort, but President Biden insists that he has no intention of sending American combat troops to Ukraine; he was not the first leader to make such a promise.

PARALLELS IN HISTORY

Just as in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam, it is never just military support. President Wilson, President Roosevelt, and President Johnson all promised that they would not send Americans into a war. President Wilson created a campaign slogan of “he kept us out of war.” FDR created the lend-lease program to arm the British and later the Soviets, all the while keeping “neutrality.” Presidents Kennedy and Johnson sent military aid and advisors to support the South Vietnamese government until the United States sent combat troops after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Despite the promises of these politicians, war was the result.

Although we don’t know the plans of Western government officials, we can analyze their previous plans and policies: broken promises, broken treaties, sanctions, and coups that built up the mistrust between East and West and caused the harmful consequences we see today.

WESTERN EXPANSION IN THE EAST

On February 24, 2022, just hours after the initial invasion, President Putin went on TV and gave his reasons for the invasion, stating:

I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border. It is a fact that over the past thirty years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries . . . In response . . . we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail.”

NATO expansion has always been a concern for the Russian Federation since its start in 1991, when American, British, French, and German diplomats promised not to expand NATO. But this was a broken promise, as Alan Sabrosky, former head of strategic studies for the American Army War College, put it:

Well, it was the sort of thing where we could do it. There was a drunken lout named Yeltsin as president of Russia, and there was very little we couldn’t do. We plundered Russia economically and plundered it politically. Yeltsin was completely incapable of responding in an effective way to any expansion of NATO beyond its borders. We could do it, and so we did.”

Bill Clinton would bring countries such as Poland and Hungary into NATO, breaking earlier promises, but would deny a Russian request for NATO membership in 2000. President George W. Bush extended membership to the Baltic countries and Slovakia in 2004, and he worked toward adding Georgia and Ukraine into the fold in 2008. But this was not the start of the war in Ukraine; that war would begin in 2014 with the NATO-backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

Known as the Maidan Revolution, this NATO-backed coup overthrew the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. We know this was backed by NATO because of a recorded phone call from the Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet to the EU head of foreign policy, Catherine Ashton. In the call, Minister Paet talks of suspicious members of the new government coalition ordering the sniper murders in Independence Square that killed protesters and police alike. In fact, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that during the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. After this coup, Russia annexed Crimea, and secessionist rebels seized Donbass from Ukraine, which sparked a civil war that rages on to this day.

These suspicious members were from neo-Nazi parties like Azov and Svoboda, the same groups that led violent clashes with the police. In a phone call whose transcript was leaked in 2014, assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and American ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discussed whom they favored in the new opposition government and agreed that Vice President Biden should give them an “atta-boy.” The transcript states:

Pyatt: So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep . . . we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we will probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

Nuland: So, on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president’s national security adviser Jake] Sullivan’s come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US vice president Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So, Biden’s willing.”

In the call, Nuland and Pyatt also talked about working with Oleh Tyahnybok and his neo-Nazi Svoboda party; members of this party as well as members of the Azov Battalion once again spearheaded the attacks on police. In the call, Nuland said that Tyahnybok would “be a problem” but that members of the Svoboda party like Oleksandr Sych would get positions in the new government’s cabinet.

CONCLUSION

One of the best analogies that came out of this war was from Scott Horton from antiwar.com: if the Russian government overthrew the Canadian government and the now anti-American government threatened to kick American naval bases out of Alaska and started a war with secessionists in Vancouver, British Columbia, we would be plotting regime change within hours.

This war is a direct result of war hawk American policy, which installed an anti-Russian government in Ukraine; expanded a military alliance on Russia’s doorstep; gave billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to fight Russian-backed secessionists in Donbass, ending missile treaties and installing silos in Poland and Romania; and waged an economic war on the Russian population through sanctions. We now see the consequences of the American government’s actions.

DO YOU REMEMBER AMERICA’S UNPROVOKED AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ?

It Is An Undisputed Fact That Iraq Never Attacked The United States. The United States Was The Aggressor In That Conflict From The Very Start.

Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an editorial in Saturday’s Washington Post exclaims that Ukraine’s “struggle is also a crucible for Europe and an assault against the most basic precept on which the Western system rests: the impermissibility of unprovoked wars of aggression.”

In a follow-up editorial today, the Post calls for an international tribunal to try Vladimir Putin and his “henchmen” for waging a “war of aggression” against Ukraine. The Post quotes the Nuremberg tribunal: “To initiate a war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

What befuddles many, however, is why the Post doesn’t also condemn President George W. Bush and his “henchmen” for their unprovoked invasion of Iraq and, further, why the Post doesn’t call for a Nuremberg-type tribunal for Bush and his “henchman.” After all, there is no statute of limitations on war crimes of this nature. Is it only Russia, Germany, and other nations that are to be condemned and put on trial for unprovoked wars of aggression? Why should American officials be exempt from the Nuremberg principle?

It is an undisputed fact that Iraq never attacked the United States. The United States was the aggressor in this conflict from the start. Bush and his henchmen were upset that his father, President George H.W. Bush, had not ousted Saddam Hussein from power in the Persian Gulf War. They were intent on correcting what they considered was a grave mistake on the part of the elder Bush.

To justify their unprovoked invasion of Iraq, Bush and his henchman made up a lie about Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. After all, when their lie was made manifest by the non-discovery of those WMDs, it is undisputed that Bush did not apologize for his “mistake” and immediately order a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Instead, Bush ordered his army to remain in Iraq and to kill whomever objected to the new regime that he and his henchmen had installed into power.

But even if Bush’s WMD claim had not been a lie, the fact that a nation-state has weapons of mass destruction does not legally or morally justify a war of aggression against that nation-state. Moreover, only the United Nations, not the American government, has the authority to enforce its own WMD resolutions, and it is undisputed that the UN chose not to authorize an invasion and war of aggression against Iraq.

It’s not just Bush the son who was upset over the failure of Bush the father to effect regime change in the Persian Gulf War. Throughout his term in office during the 1990s, President Bill Clinton waged war against the Iraqi people by enforcing one of the most brutal systems of sanctions in history, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children.

Indeed, in 1996 Clinton’s ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it.” By “it” she was referring to regime change, by which Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, would be ousted from power and replaced by another American-approved dictator.

The idea was that the deaths of all those Iraqi children would cause Saddam to have a crisis of conscience that would cause him to relinquish power. The deadly scheme didn’t work. Saddam remained in power and the deadly sanctions continued killing innocent Iraqi children for another five years, including after Bush the son was elected.

Why shouldn’t Clinton, George W. Bush, and their henchmen be brought up on criminal charges for contributing to the unprovoked murder of all those Iraqi children? Why should a “war of aggression” apply only to bombs, bullets, missiles, soldiers, tanks, drones, and planes and not economic sanctions that knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately kill innocent people?

One irony in all this is that Saddam Hussein, who American officials were calling the “new Hitler,” had been a partner and ally of American officials in the 1980s, when he was waging an unprovoked war of aggression against Iran. American officials were supporting Saddam in his war of aggression because they loved the fact that his army was killing Iranians. The reason they loved those killings was that they had still not forgiven the Iranian people for ousting the brutal dictator who the CIA had installed into power (the Shah of Iran) in CIA’s 1953 regime-change operation against Iran.

Today, at least Russia can point to the American threat to use NATO to place military bases, tanks, soldiers, and missiles in Ukraine as the reason for its “unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine. All that the United States can point to to justify its unprovoked invasion of Iraq is its own lie about non-existent WMDs.

In conclusion, let us repeat a critically important point: Iraq never attacked the United States. It was the United States that attacked Iraq. Throughout the conflict, the United States was the aggressor and Iraq was the defender.

Why doesn’t the Washington Post recognize and acknowledge this fundamentally important point? Why does it apply the Nuremberg principle to Russia and not the United States?

The answer is quite simple. They are a simply a member of the American propaganda ministry and you can never believe a word any member of that organization says.

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

Today, We Are At A Moment When Peace Movements Of Any Sort (Including In Relation To The War In Ukraine) Get Little Or No Attention At All.

Consider just one long-gone date in the world of give-peace-(not-war)-a-chance: January 27, 1973. On that day, the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese rebel forces signed an agreement initiating a cease-fire during which America would withdraw its troops and dismantle all its bases in the South. On that very same day in this country, the draft was ended, launching what would become America’s all-volunteer military. Richard Nixon was still president then. He had long been convinced, as Andrew Glass wrote, that “ending the draft could be an effective political weapon against the burgeoning antiwar movement. He believed middle-class youths would lose interest in protesting the war once it became clear that they would not have to fight, and possibly die, in Vietnam.”

Though it was already too late for Nixon to test out that thesis in terms of America’s disastrous war in Vietnam, almost half a century later, it seems as if he was onto something. In that “burgeoning antiwar movement” of the late 1960s and early 1970s; turning in a draft card in protest; was often accompanied by protesters in the streets demonstrating against the war; while both rebellious students and antiwar soldiers demonstrated repeatedly, often in significant numbers, against a first-class horror thousands of miles away.

In this century, we haven’t exactly lacked Vietnam equivalents. After all, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the administration of President George W. Bush launched its Global War on Terror and, with it, two fiercely destructive distant conflicts that could have been considered Vietnam-competitive. Including, of course, of the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. The devastating war in Iraq following that invasion continued for years, while the one in Afghanistan only ended (disastrously) in August 2021. And yet here was the odd thing: though there were large antiwar protests in February 2003 against the coming invasion of Iraq and more followed after that war began, unlike in the Vietnam era, they died out all too soon, while this country’s conflicts went grimly on (and on and on).

We began more than two decades ago as a protest against this country’s disastrous war on terror and never ceased to focus on the conflicts it launched, even when they largely stopped being issues in the public eye. However, some active-duty military personnel and veterans did continue to protest them. However, most Americans seemed to forget about the wars being fought in their name by that all-volunteer military in distant lands. In so many of those years, polls indicated that remarkably few of us even considered war a problem, so perhaps, once upon a time, Richard Nixon did have his finger on the pulse of this nation.

FROM VIETNAM TO UKRAINE

In Vietnam, America Prevented The Implementation Of The Geneva Accord Which Would Have Allowed Ho Chi Minh To Unite The Divided Country.

In April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered an eloquent and stirring denunciation of the Vietnam war and American militarism. The speech titled “Beyond Vietnam” is relevant to today’s war in Ukraine.

In the speech at Riverside Church, King talked about how America had supported France in trying to re-colonize Vietnam. He noted, “Before the end of the war we were meeting 80% of the French war costs.”

When France began to despair in the war, “We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war.”

King went on to recall that after the French finally left Vietnam, the United States prevented the implementation of the Geneva Accord which would have allowed Ho Chi Minh to unite the divided country. Instead, America supported its preferred South Vietnamese dictator.

America has played a similar role in blocking compromise solutions and international agreements to the Ukraine conflict.

Following Ukraine protests in February 2014, the European Union negotiated an agreement between President Yanukovich and the opposition to have early new elections. The attitude of the lead American official Victoria Nuland was crystallized in her secretly recorded comment, “F*** the EU!” Despite the agreement, a violent bloody coup led by ultra-nationalist Ukrainians was “midwifed”.

The ultra-nationalist coup government immediately started implementing policies hostile to the Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine. The coup and the new policies provoked the conflicts and resistance which have led to the situation today. The coup and policies were abhorred by a majority of Ukrainians, especially in eastern Ukraine. The Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and re-unify with Russia.

The Minsk Accords of 2014 and 2015 were intended to resolve the conflict by granting some autonomy to the the Russian speaking sections in the eastern Donbass but keeping them within Ukraine. Thanks to the admissions of two prominent former European leaders, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, we know that the West and their Ukrainian government puppet never intended to implement the Minsk Agreement.

Like the 1954 Geneva Accords regarding Vietnam, the 2014 and 2015 Minsk Agreements on Ukraine were never implemented because Washington did not want a compromise.

When Ukraine President Zelensky had negotiations with Russians in Turkey at the end of March 2022, UK PM Boris Johnson hurried to Kyiv to dissuade Zelensky from continuing serious negotiations to end the war.

Similarly, America is providing the big majority of weapons, military supplies and financial aid to Ukraine just as they did to France and then the puppet government of South Vietnam. And similarly America and its allies do not want a resolution to the conflict which might in any way be seen as win for Russia.

RATIONALIZATION VS REALITY OF WARS IN VIETNAM AND UKRAINE

In April 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) explained why he was escalating American involvement in Vietnam. With an Orwellian touch, he titled the speech “Peace without Conquest” as he announced the beginning of American air attacks on Vietnam. He explained that:

We must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny and only in such a world will our own freedom be secure… we have made a national pledge to help South Vietnam defend its independence and I intend to keep that promise. To dishonor that pledge, to abandon the small and brave nation to its enemies and the terror must follow would be an unforgivable wrong…We are also there to strengthen world order… To leave Vietnam to its fate would shake the confidence of all these people in the value of an American commitment and in the value of America’s words.”

President Biden and administration leaders sound similar to LBJ in the early stage of the Vietnam War. In his remarks to Congress asking for additional funding for Ukraine, Biden said,

We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom…. The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen…Investing in Ukraine’s freedom and security is a small price to pay to punish Russian aggression, to lessen the risk of future conflicts.”

Both Russia and America now acknowledge that the conflict in Ukraine is between Russia and NATO (led by America). Ukraine is a proxy for America which promoted the 2014 coup and has been pumping weapons into Ukraine ever since. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been explicit: “We want to see Russia weakened.” The Ukrainian Defense Chief says they are fighting “to fulfill NATO’s mission.”

THESE WARS WERE UNNECESSARY

Just as America could have lived with Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh leadership without the war, America could live with Ukraine being a neutral country and bridge between east and west, Russia and western Europe.

However, as ML King observed 54 years ago, that was not (and still is not) American policy.

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit.” He went on to name many other countries which are victims of American intervention and aggression. He said, “And if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves … marching …and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. Such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam…”

INCREMENTALLY INCREASING CONFLICT TOWARD TOTAL WAR

In 1965, when President Johnson announced the beginning of American air attacks on Vietnam, the war that had been going on for many years. America kept incrementally increasing its commitment – from political support to advisors and trainers and special operations. In spring 1965 “only” about 400 American soldiers had died in the conflict. The war was not yet widely unpopular. Americans who protested against the Vietnam War were a small minority.

We may be at a similar or earlier point in the conflict with Russia via Ukraine. While many tens of BILLIONS of dollars has been committed to Ukraine, plus advisors, trainers and other support, the American military has not yet been openly and actively deployed.

The incremental buildup in Vietnam ultimately led to over 58,000 Americans and three million Vietnamese civilians and soldiers being killed. American prestige and influence was severely damaged.

Martin Luther King Jr said in his 1967 speech:

We have no honorable intentions in Vietnam …. The world demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people.”

If the incremental buildup toward war with Russia is not stopped, it will be immeasurably worse than Vietnam. Already we are seeing tremendous destruction with Ukrainians and Russians dying by the thousands. As with Vietnam in 1965, this could be just the beginning.

THE COSTS OF WAR AND MILITARISM

Dr. King described the negative impact of the Vietnam war at home. He said:

A few years ago there was a shining moment …. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the Poverty Program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the build-up in Vietnam and I watched this program broken and eviscerated … I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”

Today, with nearly 60% of the federal discretionary budget going to the military, so called intelligence and nuclear weapon modernization, the situation is even more stark. While American infrastructure corrodes, homelessness, personal debt, suicides and addictions increase. Instead of spending resources improving the lives of ordinary people, the government is pouring borrowed billions into another unnecessary war.

WESTERN MEDIA DISTORTIONS

Western media portrayed America and South Vietnam winning the war in South East Asia until the 1968 Tet offensive exposed the lies and reality. Similarly, western media portrays Ukrainians winning the war midst overwhelming Ukrainian public support. In reality, Russia and the secessionist areas control large areas and will advance in the near future. Ukrainian losses are already huge.

The idea that all Ukrainians love the West and hate Russia is false. As an indication of the mixed sentiments, the country having received the MOST emigrants from Ukraine is Russia. While a small number continue from Russia to west European countries, the big majority stay in Russia with many awaiting the end of warfare.

Just as South Vietnamese puppet leaders were built up by America for political reasons, so is Ukrainian President Zelensky. His speeches are written by Washington insiders. Largely censored from the media, Zelensky has overseen the imprisonment, torture and killing of opponents. The largest opposition party has been banned. Many Ukrainians oppose his policy and continuation of the war.

Ukrainians have become cannon fodder for America’s geopolitical goals, just as the South Vietnamese were.

Will America and allies continue to escalate the conflict in Ukraine, to “double down” on an intervention half way around the world with the goal of hurting Russia? Have we learned nothing from Vietnam and subsequent American foreign policy disasters of the past 40 years?

M.L. KING’S HOPES AND DEATH

In his profound speech, Dr King said:

We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…When machines and computer, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered… A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death …..The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just… Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out in a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism.”

Exactly one year after delivering the speech at Riverside Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

The Vietnam war continued for another seven years until the Vietnamese finally defeated and expelled the American military and their puppets. The disaster of the Vietnam War will be small compared to the disaster which may befall us all if American policy of attacking Russia through Ukraine is not stopped.

BIDEN HAS BEEN URGED TO SHUT INFAMOUS GUANTANAMO PRISON BY NEARLY 160 ORGANIZATIONS

The Detention Facility In Cuba, Which Was Created By America Shortly After The 9/11 Attacks Shortly Thereafter Became The Site Of “Unrelenting Human Rights Violations”.

More than 150 organisations have sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to “prioritise closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

The letter was signed by 159 organisations from America and other countries who called themselves a “diverse group of non-governmental organizations” working on issues including international human rights, immigrants’ rights, racial justice and combating anti-Muslim discrimination.

It is long past time for both a sea change in the United States’ approach to national and human security, and a meaningful reckoning with the full scope of damage that the post-9/11 approach has caused,” they wrote in the letter on Wednesday.

Closing the Guantanamo detention facility, ending indefinite military detention of those held there, and never again using the military base for unlawful mass detention of any group of people are necessary steps towards those ends.”

We urge you to act without delay, and in a just manner that considers the harm done to the men who have been detained indefinitely without charge or fair trials for two decades,” they added.

Often referred to as Gitmo, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was created after September 11, 2001 attacks to hold suspects captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

It became the focus of worldwide controversy over alleged violations of the legal rights of detainees and accusations of torture or abusive treatment of prisoners by American authorities.

Experts appointed by the UN have called Guantanamo Bay “a site of unparalleled notoriety, defined by the systematic use of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against hundreds of men brought to the site and deprived of their most fundamental rights.”

IT DESTROYED MANY MUSLIM LIVES’

Meanwhile, a virtual rally was held on Wednesday to mark 21 years since the opening of the American military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The virtual event was attended by many people from different locations, including activists, lawyers and human rights advocates, who demanded the closure of the notorious prison that America leased from Cuba in 1903 as a coaling station and naval base.

Among the speakers were Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA’s Director of Security with Human Rights, Aliya Hana Hussain, Advocacy Program Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Andy Worthington of the Close Guantanamo campaign as well as other advocates, with Lu Aya, co-founder of The Peace Poets, the moderator.

The participants called on the government to close Guantanamo prison while talking about the stories of injustice.

Besides calling for justice, the participants marked the 21st anniversary of Guantanamo by reading poems and singing tribute songs.

Like other speakers, Maha Hilal, an author and the co-director of Justice for Muslims Collective, called for the closure of Guantanamo because “it has destroyed the lives of so many Muslim men and boys.”

As we call for the closure of Guantanamo, we call for the abolition of Guantanamo, and an end to Islamophobia,” she said.

The detention camp has held roughly 780 detainees since it was opened, most of them without charge or trial, with many said to have gone through unspeakable horrors.

Currently, 35 detainees remain and 20 of them are eligible for transfer.

AMERICA HAS BEEN WORKING ON DESTABILIZING CHINA FOR 70 YEARS

An Example Includes The American Sponsored Uyghur Insurgency In Xinjiang.

In September 1948, the far-sighted American diplomat George Kennan noted that “there are considerable limitations on what we can do to affect the course of events in China”. Over the elapsing seven decades since, the scale of American influence in China’s domestic affairs has been restricted at best, but continues apace nonetheless. Washington has implemented a range of policies in the hope of destabilising and splintering China.

The Pentagon’s strategies towards China have somewhat mirrored those they directed against the USSR: Utilisation of proxy groups, extremists and ethnic minorities, along with client states.

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIC), a terrorist organisation, was founded by Uyghur jihadists in 1988, just as separatist uprisings were breaking out in Xinjiang province, north-western China. The Turkistan Islamic Party, previously known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, received CIA sponsorship from its early existence.

In contradictory fashion, the Turkistan Islamic Party, which is based largely in north-western Pakistan, is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, along with other major countries like Russia, and of course China and its neighbour Pakistan.

By 2001, militant Uyghurs were preparing for guerrilla warfare in the same camps situated in Afghanistan where the CIA and ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, had once provided training to Mujahideen extremists – in order to hamper Soviet troops embedded in Afghanistan 40 years ago. Between 1990 and 2001, the Turkistan Islamic Party perpetrated over 200 terrorist acts, including blowing up vehicles, market places and assassinating Chinese government officials.

Following the September 11th attacks on America, Uyghur extremists were seen fighting against American soldiers during Washington’s “war on terror” in Afghanistan. Almost two dozen Uyghurs were sent to the notorious American Guantanamo detention camp in south-eastern Cuba, with some Uyghurs held there for as long as 12 years.

High profile Uyghur separatists, like the Xinjiang-born Anwar Yusuf Turani, founder of the East Turkestan Government in exile, is himself living in the state of Virginia, on America’s east coast. Turani has been a willing tool in Washington’s power game with China; in June 1999, he met with president Bill Clinton and asked him to back political movements seeking independence for Xinjiang; and Turani later enjoyed dialogue with Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, who promised to support the “fundamental human rights” of “Uyghurs and others living in China”.

Further prominent Uyghur exiles living in America have called for Xinjiang’s independence from China, such as Rebiya Kadeer, a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, born in Xinjiang, and who also resides in the state of Virginia.

For 11 years until November 2017, she was the leader of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), headquartered in Munich, and which is partly funded by the National Endowment For Democracy (NED). The NED, partially subsidised by the United States Congress, has a long history of “soft power” interference in sovereign states around the world: China, Nicaragua, the Ukraine, and so on.

The World Uyghur Congress was established in April 2004 by Erkin Alptekin, a former adviser to the CIA.

Kadeer’s husband has previously worked as a commentator for the America government-run broadcaster, Radio Free Asia. Like Turani, Kadeer is something of a pawn for Washington in the growing America-China geopolitical rivalry. In the past, she accepted invitations to meet president George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, so as to seek backing for Uyghur independence from China. During a June 2019 visit to American ally Japan, she called on Tokyo to provide more political support for Xinjiang.

One of the central reasons for Beijing’s strong focus on Xinjiang, is because this region is rich in both oil (21 billion tonnes) and coal deposits (40% of China’s entire reserves). Some Uyghur natives have complained that Beijing simply dispatches the raw materials from Xinjiang directly towards the Chinese capital, and to other relatively affluent cities like Shanghai, without providing adequate compensation in response. Even a small surtax could be enough to significantly improve the living conditions of Uyghurs.

The experienced Brazilian historian, Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, wrote that Beijing’s vested concerns in Xinjiang are also partly due to its position as a pipeline hub; a territory through which natural resources pour into China from Central Asia, and which Bandeira states “was one of the factors behind the ethnic tensions that erupted over the course of the 1990s, and the beginning of the 21st century, with China investing $15 billion in the region’s infrastructure and development until 2001, including petrochemical plants and gas transports to Shanghai”.

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a state-owned company based in Beijing, “sought to transform Xinjiang into the country’s largest oil and gas production base until 2020”. Unsurprisingly, Beijing’s exploitation of Xinjiang’s resources has been increasing, while the province is a focal point too for China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) industrial project.

Furthermore, Xi Jinping’s government retains strong ambitions in linking Xinjiang to Gwadar, a strategic port situated in southern Pakistan and which rests on the Arabian Sea. For a number of years, Beijing have been investing heavily in Pakistan, also reaching south to Gwadar, which could provide China’s administration with a field of scope into some of the planet’s most vital oil shipping lanes; with the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf waters positioned tantalisingly close to Gwadar.

China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, and Beijing views its neighbour as an important ally, borne out by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – an infrastructural program between these two nations valued at tens of billions of dollars.

Focusing on the Pentagon’s efforts again to destabilise China, we turn our attention to Tibet: A glorious region in south-western China whose landscapes are dominated by towering, snow-filled Himalayan mountain tops, vast uninhabited plains, while in size Tibet is almost twice as large as France.

Following China’s 1949 revolution, the American Congress deemed that Tibet had a right to “self-determination”; and Washington gave full support to the Tibetan Government in exile, which was established in 1960 by the current Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso). The Dalai Lama – who has links to the CIA dating to the 1950s – fled to India from Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, following the failed and bloody 1959 Washington-backed Tibetan uprising against Chinese control.

This revolt was partially instigated within the United States itself, under the auspices of CIA officer Bruce Walker at Camp Hale, the American army training facility in Colorado. At Camp Hale from the years 1956 to 1957, the CIA extensively trained 250 to 300 “Tibetan freedom fighters”, all of which was kept secret from the public. The CIA’s training of Tibetans continued at Camp Hale until it was closed in 1964.

Another covert base for American operations against China was established in the Colorado ski resort town of Aspen, where Tibet’s proxy forces were flown over by American aircraft before being dropped by parachutes.

Other CIA training camps were established in separate locations in the south Asian country of Nepal, which borders Tibet to the north. Between 1949 and 1951, the number of CIA operatives engaged in covert actions increased ten times over. The CIA’s budget, for encouraging revolts and social unrest in China, reached 20 times the sum of money allocated for the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. The CIA received assistance in targeting China from the special services of Nepal and India.

The Dalai Lama’s older brother, Gyalo Thondup, was involved in various CIA-sponsored operations against China, which were eventually crushed by Beijing, resulting in many thousands of deaths. Often playing the role of the Dalai Lama’s “unofficial envoy”, Thondup, living in India today and aged in his early 90s, first travelled to America in 1951. He provided ample information to the American Department of State on all issues concerning Tibet.

A CIA-funded and armed Tibetan army, the Dokham Chushi Gangdruk, continued a guerrilla warfare campaign for years within the frontiers of China. By the mid-1960s, there were almost 2,000 American-supported combatants of Tibetan ethnicity in operation. The Dalai Lama benefited from generous quantities of CIA funds, and in 1964 alone he was subsidised with $180,000.

Until 1975, the Dalai Lama obscured the CIA’s role in the 1959 Tibetan revolt and other activities, at a time when he was in contact with American agents in Tibet. The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, was furnished with an allowance from the CIA dating to the early 1950s, but perhaps even preceding that.

During an interview with the New York Times in mid-September 1993, the Dalai Lama said, “today, the help and support we receive from the United States is truly out of sympathy and human compassion”. Well into the 21st century, American governments have continued chanelling funds to Tibetan independent causes, through Department of State branches like the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

Elsewhere in China, and in more recent times, Washington has been limited to utilising its “soft power” organisations like the Reagan-era founded NED, which is financially supporting the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong. Since 2014, the NED has provided about $30 million to Hong Kong’s pro-Western or independence marchers. The demonstrations have enjoyed large-scale coverage and sympathy from the mainstream press.

It may be apt to highlight the phrase used by the American scholars, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, in their book Manufacturing Consent – regarding the case of “Worthy and Unworthy victims”.

In liberal media analysis, there are quite often examples on display of our world’s recognised and unrecognised victims. The typical mass media narrative applies the principles of: Rohingya Muslims, “Worthy victims”. Palestinians, “Unworthy victims”. Hong Kong protesters, “Worthy victims”, Yellow Vest protesters, “Unworthy victims”, etc.

WHY THERE IS STILL NO PEACE ON EARTH AFTER 77-YEARS OF WAR

Upwards Of 8% Of The Human Race Was Wiped Out During That Span And The American Regime Keeps The Casualties Mounting.

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later as Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the Red Army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an abrupt end.

The world had descended into a “77-Years War.” It had incepted with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations that germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into World War II and the Cold War that followed inexorably thereupon.

Upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and the follies of Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

At the end of the Cold War, therefore, the last embers of the fiery madness that had incepted with the guns of August 1914 had finally burned out. Peace was at hand. Yet 31 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

The proof is plain as day. The unnecessary invasions and occupations of Iraq, the Washington-instigated shambles of Syria, the wanton destruction of Yemen, the regime change-cum barbarism that NATO inflicted upon Libya, the brutal sanctions and covert military war on Iran, the current unspeakable catastrophe financed by Washington’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, and countless more lessor depredations, tell you all you need to know.

All of these misadventures bespeak the fact that the War Party is entrenched in the nation’s capital, where it is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war. These forces ensure endless waste on armaments; they cause the inestimable death and human suffering that stems from 21st-century high-tech warfare; and they inherently generate terrorist blow-back from those upon whom the War Party inflicts its violent hegemony.

Worse still, Washington’s great war machine and teeming national security industry is its own agent of self-perpetuation. When it is not invading, occupying and regime changing, its vast apparatus of internal policy bureaus and outside contractors, lobbies, think tanks and NGOs is busy generating reasons for new imperial ventures.

So there was a virulent threat to peace still lurking on the Potomac after the 77-Years War ended. The great general and President, Dwight Eisenhower, had called it the “military-industrial-congressional complex” in the draft of his farewell address. But that memorable phrase had been abbreviated by his speech writers, who deleted the word “congressional” in a gesture of comity to the legislative branch.

So restore Ike’s deleted reference to the pork barrels and Sunday-afternoon warriors of Capitol Hill and toss in the legions of Beltway busybodies who constituted the civilian branches of the Cold War armada (CIA, State, AID, NED, and the rest) and the circle would have been complete. It constituted the most awesome machine of warfare and imperial hegemony since the Roman legions bestrode most of the civilized world.

In a word, the real threat to peace circa 1991 was that the American Imperium would not go away quietly into the good night.

In fact, during the past 31 years Imperial Washington has lost all memory that peace was ever possible at the end of the Cold War. Today it is as feckless, misguided and bloodthirsty as were Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg, Vienna and London in August 1914.

A few months after that horrendous slaughter had been unleashed 108 years ago, however, soldiers along the western front broke into spontaneous truces of Christmas celebration, song and even exchange of gifts. For a brief moment they wondered why they were juxtaposed in lethal combat along the jaws of hell.

As Will Grigg once described it:

A sudden cold snap had left the battlefield frozen, which was actually a relief for troops wallowing in sodden mire. Along the Front, troops extracted themselves from their trenches and dugouts, approaching each other warily, and then eagerly, across No Man’s Land. Greetings and handshakes were exchanged, as were gifts scavenged from care packages sent from home. German souvenirs that ordinarily would have been obtained only through bloodshed – such as spiked pickelhaube helmets, or Gott mit un s belt buckles – were bartered for similar British trinkets. Carols were sung in German, English, and French. A few photographs were taken of British and German officers standing alongside each other, unarmed, in No Man’s Land.”

The truth is, there was no good reason for the Great War. The world had stumbled into war based on false narratives and the institutional imperatives of military mobilization plans, alliances and treaties arrayed into a doomsday machine and petty short-term diplomatic maneuvers and political calculus. Yet it took more than three-quarters of a century for all the consequential impacts and evils to be purged from the life of the planet.

The peace that was lost last time has not been regained this time, however. And for the same reasons.

Historians can readily name the culprits from 108 years ago.

These include the German general staff’s plan for a lightning mobilization and strike on the western front called the Schlieffen Plan; the incompetence and intrigue in the court at St. Petersburg; the lifelong obsession of Austrian chief of staff Conrad with the conquest of Serbia; French President Poincare’s anti-German irredentism owing to the 1871 loss of his home province, Alsace-Lorraine; and the bloodthirsty cabal around Winston Churchill, who forced England into an unnecessary war, among countless others.

Since these casus belli of 1914 were criminally trivial in light of all that metastasized thereafter, it might do well to name the institutions and false narratives that block the return of peace today. The fact is, these impediments are even more contemptible than the forces that crushed the Christmas truces one century ago.

IMPERIAL WASHINGTON – THE NEW GLOBAL MENACE

There is no peace on earth today for reasons mainly rooted in Imperial Washington – not Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Damascus, Mosul or the rubble of what remains of Raqqa. Imperial Washington has become a global menace owing to what didn’t happen in 1991.

At that crucial inflection point, Bush the Elder should have declared “mission accomplished” and parachuted into the great Ramstein air base in Germany to begin the demobilization of the America’s war machine.

So doing, he could have slashed the Pentagon budget from $600 billion to $250 billion; demobilized the military-industrial complex by putting a moratorium on all new weapons development, procurement and export sales; dissolved NATO and dismantled the far-flung network of American military bases; reduced the United States’ standing armed forces from 1.5 million to a few hundred thousand; and organized and led a world-disarmament and peace campaign, as did his Republican predecessors during the 1920s.

Unfortunately, George H. W. Bush was not a man of peace, vision or even middling intelligence.

He was the malleable tool of the War Party, and it was he who single-handedly blew the peace when, in the very year the 77-Years War ended with the demise of the Soviet Union, he plunged America into a petty argument between the impetuous dictator of Iraq and the gluttonous emir of Kuwait. But that argument was none of George Bush’s or America’s business.

By contrast, even though liberal historians have reviled Warren G. Harding as some kind of dummkopf politician, he well understood that the Great War had been for naught, and that to ensure it never happened again the nations of the world needed to rid themselves of their huge navies and standing armies.

To that end, he achieved the largest global-disarmament agreement ever during the Washington Naval Conference of 1921, which halted the construction of new battleships for more than a decade. And even then, the moratorium ended only because the vengeful victors at Versailles never ceased exacting their revenge on Germany.

And while he was at it, President Harding also pardoned Eugene Debs. In so doing, he gave witness to the truth that the intrepid socialist candidate for president and vehement antiwar protester, who Woodrow Wilson had thrown in prison for exercising his First Amendment right to speak against American entry into a pointless European war, had been right all along.

In short, Warren G. Harding knew the war was over and the folly of Wilson’s 1917 plunge into Europe’s bloodbath should not be repeated, at all hazards.

But not George H. W. Bush. The man should never be forgiven for enabling the likes of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Gates and their neocon pack of jackals to come to power – even if he eventually denounced them in his doddering old age.

Alas, upon his death, Bush the Elder was deified, not vilified, by the mainstream press and the bipartisan duopoly. And that tells you all you need to know about why Washington is ensnared in its Forever Wars and is the very reason why there is still no peace on earth.

Even more to the point, by opting not for peace but for war and oil in the Persian Gulf in 1991 Washington opened the gates to an unnecessary confrontation with Islam and nurtured the rise of jihadist terrorism that would not haunt the world today save for forces unleashed by George H. W. Bush’s petulant quarrel with Saddam Hussein.

We will momentarily get to the 52-year-old error that holds the Persian Gulf is an American lake and that the answer to high oil prices and energy security is the Fifth Fleet.

Suffice it to say here that the answer to high oil prices everywhere and always is high oil prices – a truth driven home in spades by the oil busts of 2009, 2015 and 2020, and the fact the real price of oil today is no higher than it was in the mid-1970s.

But first it is well to remember that in 1991 there was no plausible threat anywhere on the planet to the safety and security of the citizens of Springfield, MA, Lincoln, NE or Spokane, WA when the Cold War ended.

The Warsaw Pact had dissolved into more than a dozen woebegone sovereign statelets; the Soviet Union was now unscrambled into 15 independent and far-flung republics from Belarus to Tajikistan; and the Russian motherland would soon plunge into an economic depression that would leave it with a GDP about the size of the Philadelphia SMSA.

Likewise, China’s GDP was even smaller and more primitive than Russia’s. Even as Mr. Deng was discovering the People’s Bank of China’s printing press, which would enable it to become a great mercantilist exporter, an incipient Chinese threat to national security was never in the cards.

After all, it was the 4,000 Walmarts in America upon which the prosperity of the new Red Capitalism inextricably depended and upon which the rule of the Communist oligarchs in Beijing was ultimately anchored. Even the hardliners among them could see that in swapping militarism for mercantilism and after invading America with tennis shoes, neckties, home textiles and electronics – that the door had been closed to any other kind of invasion thereafter.

NO ISLAMIC TERRORISTS OR JIHADI THREAT CIRCA 1991

Likewise, in 1991 there was no global Islamic threat or jihadi terrorist menace at all. What existed under those headings were sundry fragments and deposits of Middle Eastern religious, ethnic and tribal histories that were of moment in their immediate region, but no threat to America’s homeland security whatsoever.

The Shiite/Sunni divide had coexisted since A.D. 671, but its episodic eruptions into battles and wars over the centuries had rarely extended beyond the region, and certainly had no reason to fester into open conflict in 1991.

Inside the artificial state of Iraq, which had been drawn on a map by historically ignorant European diplomats in 1916, for instance, the Shiite and Sunni got along tolerably. That’s because the nation was ruled by Saddam Hussein’s Baathist brand of secular Arab nationalism, flavored by a muscular propensity for violent repression of internal dissent.

Hussein championed law and order, state-driven economic development and politically apportioned distributions from the spoils of the extensive government-controlled oil sector. To be sure, Baathist socialism didn’t bring much prosperity to the well-endowed lands of Mesopotamia, but Hussein did have a Christian foreign minister and no sympathy for religious extremism or violent pursuit of sectarian causes.

As it happened, the bloody Shiite/Sunni strife that plagues Iraq, Syria and the greater middle east today and which functioned as a hatchery for angry young jihadi terrorists in their thousands was initially unleashed only after Hussein had been driven from Kuwait in 1991 and the CIA had instigated an armed uprising in the Shiite heartland around Basra..

That revolt was brutally suppressed by Hussein’s republican guards, but it left an undertow of resentment and revenge boiling below the surface. That was one of many of George H. W. Bush’s fetid legacies in the region.

Needless to say, when it came their turn, Bush the Younger and his cabal of neocon warmongers could not leave well enough alone.

When they foolishly destroyed Saddam Hussein and his entire regime in the pursuit of nonexistent WMDs and alleged ties with al-Qaeda, they literally opened the gates of hell, leaving Iraq as a lawless failed state where both recent and ancient religious and tribal animosities were given unlimited violent vent.

AMERICA TRIES TO DOMINATE EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

America’s Department Of Defense? That Is Nonsense. It’s All About Offense.

Terminology is so important. There was a time when America spoke honestly of a Department of War. But not everyone is keen on war, even Americans, so in 1947 the national (in)security state slyly changed its name to the Department of Defense (DoD). And who can be against “defense”?

The problem is that America’s fundamental vision is offensive. It speaks openly of global reach, global power, global vigilance. It never speaks of regional or hemispheric defense. Regional power? Forget about it! Everything has to be “global.” Indeed, not just global but soaring above it into space. And not just outer space but virtual space and inner space, into one’s mind, so-called information dominance. For that’s what “full-spectrum” dominance is all about. To be safe, to “defend” us, the DOD must dominate everywhere, so we’re told.

This vision serves to generate yearly budgets that consume more than half of federal discretionary spending. It’s used to justify 750 military bases around the world. It’s consistent with dividing the globe into commands headed by four-star generals and admirals, e.g. AFRICOM, CENTCOM, NORTHCOM, and the like. It generates American involvement in wars that few Americans know anything about, e.g. Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It’s a vision consistent with a state of permanent warfare driven by imperial ambitions.

There’s ever been a military more ambitious and vainglorious than the American military and its various straphangers (industry, congress, intelligence agencies, the media, academe, think tanks, hence the term MICIMATT).* No wonder its “thought” leaders keep demanding and getting more and more money: at least $858 billion for FY2023 alone. The DOD is supposed to be a means to an end. Clearly, it’s become an end in and of itself; it may yet lead to the end of everything.

He who has the gold makes the rules – and no government agency gets more gold to dominate rule-making than the DOD/Pentagon. It’s a golden fleecing of America, as the Pentagon after five attempts has yet to pass an audit. The war on terror, including failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost America as much as $8 trillion, yet those failures have already been largely forgotten, with no senior officials called to account.

Our future is being stolen from us by wanton military spending. At the same time, our past is being rewritten. Lincoln’s ideal that “right makes might” and Washington’s ideal of the citizen-soldier have been replaced by might makes right enforced by warriors. Orwell rules the moment as war is sold as peace, surveillance as privacy, and censorship as free speech.

Once, the military oath of office meant to support and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We still believe in defending the Constitution. We just don’t see that we’re doing it when we spend $858 billion (and more) on a global quest to dominate everyone everywhere all at once.

Defense? Nonsense. It’s all offense.

* MICIMATT: military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think-tank complex. Awkward acronym that has the virtue of capturing the size and scope of Ike’s old military-industrial complex.