Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kneejerk War Is Weakness, Not Strength

First Published in DelawareLiberal on 6/19/2014 by ProgressivePopulist

The drumbeat for a renewed Iraq intervention from the neo-cons and neo-liberals within and outside the administration is pissing me off.  The media learned nothing from Vietnam, Iraq II and Afghanistan; they are fielding all the totally discredited talking heads to tell us President Obama needs to show strength.

Those cretins and debunked experts are back in full force and the David Gregory types in the lamestream media are back with a vengeance spewing their nonsense.  This includes retired military who fucked up Iraq before and in behalf of their defense industry sponsors, want us to do this again.

What we're hearing is kick their ass, send in the bombs, show passion for killing as an instrument of foreign policy.  Act mad.  Lash out aggressively.  We are hearing that our President is weak because he is too passive in this situation, too inclined to avoid pulling out the hammer and pounding the militants.  Too detached.  In other words, not exhibiting testosterone laden aggressive rhetoric and action.

We'll, I'm here to tell them they are full of shit.  Showing restraint, thoughtful analysis and pushing our worst aggressive instincts back takes amazing strength and discipline.  This is exactly what our strong President is doing as we speak.  Even in the face of very aggressive advocacy for ass kicking from within his administration and among so called political bedfellows.  Shut the fuck up.  Engage your brains and join this faint chorus praising our President for amazing strength.

I'm no pacifist, I'm sad to admit, but I was reminded this week of the strength shown by, for example, the Freedom Riders  who rode into the face of hate, threats and outright brutality for our cause of justice.  Or the non-violent revolutionaries in South Africa who faced terrible hatred.

Yes, in my view, their are times military force is needed to protect our people.   This is not one of those times.  Yes, we need to be vigilant and safeguard against these crazies in the middle east who indeed may have designs on punishing Americans for our perceived misdeeds in their region.

Good intelligence, counterintelligence and homeland security measures and some diplomacy with this crowd seems to be working post 9-11.  Preemptive slaughter of those with animosity about us and our allies goes nowhere but fueling the raging fire.  The fire needs dousing with strategic vision and creative relationship building, not hormonal infused counter rage.
And the recognition that there are some problems we just can't fix, at least not now.  Like our own revolution, theirs needs to play out to the extent that we can down the road recognize its shape and form before we can deal with it.

On a practical level, on the battlefield, how in the hell are we going to target jihadists, baathists, foreign intruders, al qaeda and Sunni-revolutionaries from one another to hit the right targets ? The wrong targets will inflame the region even more.  The answer is, we can't.  We do need to protect our people there and get them out if such protection looks inadequate.

But, Mr. President, you are exhibiting strength, resolve and thoughtful problem solving, where solutions exist.  Don't listen to the prevaricators, bullies and ragers.  Some of them would just as soon see you damage U.S. interests so they can accuse you of failure.  They own their own failure with Iraq but are too weak to admit it.  Be strong.  We have your back.