by Waseem Shehzad (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 7, Muharram, 1441)
Last April, former US President Jimmy Carter made a profound and damning statement: the United States is the “most warlike nation in the history of the world.” Carter is no starry-eyed revolutionary. He provided evidence from US history stating that in its 242-year existence, the US has been at war for all but 17 years. This is a pretty damning indictment of a country’s record.
This of course runs contrary to the self-crafted image of the US as a force for good and a “shining light on the hill.” While this is the official narrative, the American people cannot escape blame for their country’s war addiction and must accept responsibility for not doing more to confront the warmongers — after all, the US is the original contemporary democracy in which the people are one with their decision makers and thus ultimately accountable for their actions. The warmongers comprise a tiny minority that former President Dwight Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” and warned against their excessive influence in US decision-making. Today, they have expanded to include bankers as well as Zionists — of all faiths: Jewish and Christian. This cabal is now commonly referred to as the neocons.
Looking at the pattern of US behavior, it becomes clear that Washington warlords are constantly stoking fears and instigating wars. One does not have to go too far back into history to find the evidence. There has not been a single day since 9/11 that the US has not been at war, often in multiple theatres.
Let us list some of the countries where the US is at war or has helped warlords wage war on its behalf. Dirt-poor Afghanistan was the first country that the US invaded in October 2001. Ruled by the Taliban who were demonized as “primitive” and “savages,” the Americans bombed the country beyond the Stone Age. Reason? The US accused the Taliban of harboring Osama bin Laden who was in turn accused of being the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, a charge he vehemently denied even though he praised the act. Even the FBI did not charge Osama with the 9/11 attacks.
That “honor” fell to Khalid Shaykh Muhammad who has been endlessly tortured, including water boarding, in several dark sites around the world. Now held in the Guantanamo Bay hellhole, the ignominiously disgraceful Americans have not been able to convict him so far even by the military tribunal universally denounced as a kangaroo court.
To complete the Afghan story, after using every weapon against the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly 19 years, the Americans are now begging them for peace and a safe exit out of the country. So much for the sole superpower and its “beautiful wea-pons” that failed to subdue the Taliban because the latter were motivated by faith, a factor unknown to American warmongers. In any case, oppressors have little motivation; if they can kill the largest number of people and get the hell out quickly, fine, otherwise they develop feet of clay.
While the Americans were still involved in Afghanistan together with tens of allies — the so-called coalition of the willing — they invaded Iraq. Again, Americans had initial successes but soon got bogged down in the Iraqi desert and faced a determined resistance forcing them to leave the country. They are back in Iraq, this time under the pretext of training Iraqi troops. Americans have been doing the same in Afghanistan but with little success. How is it that American training is unable to create a credible Afghan army while the Taliban without any formal military training are able to give a bloody nose to the heavily-armed arrogant Americans?
The other theatre where the Americans have been heavily involved is Syria. Again, despite eight years of bloodletting, the regime change project has failed miserably. This was not for lack of trying. The Syrian regime project had been in the works since 2005. Syrian opposition groups were groomed and financed all these years and then unleashed in Syria with mercenaries flooding in from all over the world but thanks to the help and support of Hizbullah and Iran, and much later of Russia (September 2015), the conspiracy was thwarted.
The Syrian destabilization and regime change campaign was part of a broader plan to undermine Islamic Iran. This has been the US agenda ever since its favorite puppet, the Shah, was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Defeat of the conspiracy in Syria not only prevented the government from being overthrown but it also exposed the other conspirators: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Turkey, Britain, France, Qatar, Jordan and a host of others. Syrian government forces are on the verge of liberating the last stronghold of the takfiri terrorists holed up in Idlib.
True, the conspirators had much greater success in Libya where Muammar al-Qadhdhafi was overthrown and then publicly lynched by mobs backed and financed by the US and its allies. Libya, however, has been left in shambles with lawlessness gripping the entire country.
One other arena in the Muslim East where the US and its Arabian puppets have faced humiliation is Yemen. It is interesting to note that the announcement to attack Yemen in March 2015 was made not in Riyadh but from the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC. Yemen was supposed to fall in two weeks, if not sooner. This was supposed to be Saudi defence minister Muhammad bin Salman’s crowning military achievement. Despite more than four years of heavy bombardment of the poorest country in the Muslim East, the Ansarallah fighters have not given up. Instead, they have started to inflict painful punishment on the Saudi invaders, targeting their airfields, destroying drones, and other ordnance as well as killing many Saudi soldiers. The Saudis are clearly looking for a way out of the quagmire they are stuck in.
The story is equally grim for the Americans in Venezuela and North Korea. It is becoming increasingly clear that imperialism’s regime change agenda is no longer working.
Despite repeated failures in multiple theatres, the mainstream media have reacted to Trump’s war plans with disappointment. They accuse him of not being presidential enough because he has failed to embark on other military adventures. One of the principal cheerleaders for war is the New York Times. In a May 11 article, the Times wrote, “Trump Said He Would Tame Rogue Nations. Now They Are Challenging Him.” This, according to the Times, is unacceptable. Others must bow to the US.
It was also the Times that in August 2002 had carried a series of articles by Judith Miller about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. That false information was fed to Miller by the office of then US Vice President Dick Cheney. Miller knew the information was false but she lapped it up and the New York Times gave it front-page space leading to the disastrous war on Iraq in March 2003.
America’s aggressive conduct is not lost on citizens of the world. How could it when they are subjected to US cruise missiles and other exotic weaponry blowing their families and children to pieces? In two global polls, they ranked the US as the greatest threat to world peace.
Two leading American economists — Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and Linda Bilmass — have tabulated the US costs of wars at $5 trillion since 2001. Of this, $1 trillion have been spent in Afghanistan from where the Americans are desperately trying to extricate themselves now.
American war veterans have been left to fend for themselves. On average, ten of them commit suicide daily. This annual attrition rate is higher than the total US casualties in Afghanistan in 18 years.
The other casualty of America’s endless wars is the collapsing infrastructure. At least 1,000 bridges on highways are in need of repairs, as are most highways. Parts of America’s inner cities resemble war zones with dilapidated buildings, broken glass, and piled-up old automobiles.
America may have the highest GDP in the world but that has failed to lift 40 million people out of poverty. At least 44 million children are without medical coverage. America is not one country; it is multiple worlds: first world, second world, and third world.
So the question that must be asked is: why is America so addicted to war when it could use the trillions of dollars on lifting its own people out of poverty? The fact is, America’s ruling elite do not care for the well-being of the people. Their only obsession is to make profit. And war is extremely profitable business: for every dollar invested in the weapons industry, there is a return of $3. Nowhere else can such high returns be realized, barring of course the casino economy of derivatives. But that is a risky undertaking. Just as billions or trillions can be made, they can just as easily be lost as happened in 2008. There is no such risk in making, using, and selling weapons, hence the constant need for more wars, even if the US cannot win them!
To return to Carter’s comments, he contrasted the US with China, saying that China is building high-speed trains for its people while America is putting all of its resources into mass destruction. Not surprisingly, there are no high-speed trains in the United States. There is no money to build them.