by Waseem Shehzad (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 6, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1442)
With the death of a leading neo-con and war criminal Donald Rumsfeld on June 30, and the US’ humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, some people may be tempted to believe that America’s warlords have been sufficiently chastened to abandon their evil ways. Perish the thought. Once a war criminal, always a war criminal. Wars are addictive, especially for Americans. Killing other people in distant lands is relatively cost-free for the neo-cons. It is not their sons and daughters that have to fight and die. Besides, wars are a racket, waged for profits.
Two wars in particular have forced the neo-cons to rethink strategy. In Afghanistan and Iraq, tens of thousands of ground forces were deployed with the intention to transform these countries into America’s image and to plunder their resources. After 20 years of war, the Taliban have given Uncle Sam such a beating that US troops fled Bagram air base under the cover of darkness without even notifying the Afghan commander who was to take over. They only called the Afghans once American troops were safely lodged inside Kabul airport.
In Iraq, too, the Americans have not got their way although resistance to occupation was not as severe as in Afghanistan. There are still some residual US troops in Iraq and enough American-sponsored politicians and tribal leaders but the tide is turning against the occupiers. Afghanistan and Iraq have thus led to the warmongers using local proxies to do their dirty work. Both Syria and Yemen offer ready examples.
Hundreds of thousands of mercenaries were sent to Syria to overthrow the government. Ten years of blood-letting has destroyed the country but the government remains in power, thanks to the help of such allies as Hizbullah, Islamic Iran and Russia. The US has deployed its own troops in strategic areas for two reasons: to steal Syria’s oil and to protect its ISIS terrorist mercenaries, especially in Idlib province.
What emerges from the foregoing analysis is that henceforth the US will not deploy its own troops unless there are very compelling reasons. Instead, it will rely on local proxies while attempting to destabilize a target country to bring about regime change. Even this looks increasingly difficult in view of its experience in Syria and Yemen.
The US has pivoted to Asia-Pacific to confront China but it is highly unlikely that it will enter into a shooting war. Despite its enormous destructive capacity, the US military is simply not capable of winning wars. So, the question that must be asked is, why does the US engage in wars?
The countries it has attacked since 911 have not posed any threat to the US. Washington has had to manufacture excuses to attack other, weaker opponents. The reasons for wars can be found in the financial interests of oligarchs that control America. Many of them are weapons manufacturers. They must use and tests these weapons to be able to manufacture new ones. The neo-cons serve on the boards of these weapons manufacturers and rake in tens of millions of dollars in commissions.
It is interesting to note how retired generals are presented on television as analysts without disclosing that they are on the payroll of weapons manufacturers. They appear as “experts” talking somberly with their square jaws conjuring up threats of non-existent enemies. Threat to American interests is the most common bogey trotted out. They can get away with such nonsense because the overwhelming majority of Americans are absolute morons while the TV talking heads, whether CNN, Fox News or other outlets receive billions in advertising revenues by pushing for wars.
Other countries’ resources are also a reason for wars. “They have our oil under their soil,” was how the warmonger Dick Cheney put it before launching the war against Iraq in January 2003. The other pretext was Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. None existed; it was a total lie but this is how America’s neo-cons operate. They are compulsive liars and feel no compunction killing millions of innocent people for a fistful of dollars.
With their defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq, where will they strike next? Unless the US is driven out of the Middle East completely, there is little likelihood of peace breaking out in that tortuous region any time soon. Its illegitimate ward, the Zionist state of Israel, must likewise be defeated for there to be a remote chance of peace in the holy land.