July 15, 2016
As the world quivers in fear from yet another terrorist attack, this time in the city of Nice, France after a thirty-one year old Frenchman with Tunisian heritage drove a large truck into a heavily populated street as French revelers were celebrating Bastille Day, war hawks are screaming out that America must declare war on Islamic radicals and bomb the hell out of those nations harboring them.
I am no military strategist, but the problem is; how do you know who the enemy is when they wear no uniform, or are an individual lone wolf? During 2015, America dropped 23,144 bombs on Muslin nations, and the result is we are now more despised and hated than ever. We are currently bombing six countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia & Yemen. It is said that Al Jazeera airs footage of all these bombings every single day in the Arab world, yet in America such footage is rarely, if ever shown. American television very rarely mentions the two wars ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan, the two longest wars in U.S. history. It is as if all these wars do not exist. When President George W. Bush declared war on Iraq, which had nothing to do with the horrific attack of September 11th, he did not ask Americans to sacrifice, he encouraged us to go shopping.
As I am also no counter-terrorism expert, nor historian, however it seems to me that it is our militarist aggression and our imperialistic attitude of doing only what is in the best interest of America, the rest of the world be damned, that is the cause of so much of the terrorism today. The list of U.S. backed dictators, tyrants and despots is a mile long, and the support of such evil men always seems to come back to haunt us. Osama bin Laden stated during a television interview that he attacked America on September 11th because we left our troops in Saudi Arabia, the most holy of land in the Muslim religion after The Gulf War of 1990-91 (i.e., Desert Storm).
Instead of going after the one man responsible for the surprise attack of September 11th, which caught our leaders dumbfounded despite spending billions of dollars on defense and intelligence, with a small group of elite Special Forces, we invaded two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. ISIS, who is responsible for so much of the terrorism throughout the world today, is led by Saddam Hussein’s former army, whom we disbanded during the early days of Shock & Awe. Even more ironically is the fact that much of ISIS’ equipment and munitions comes from stockpiles captured from the U.S. supplied Iraqi military, from our days when America backed Hussein. Lest we forget, America is not only bankrupting ourselves with all our military endeavors, but we are also heavily arming the rest of the world as well, selling nearly twice as many weapons as number two ranked Russia.
In his January 17, 1961 farewell address to the nation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the country to beware of the mighty military-industrial complex. President Eisenhower stated “…we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Coming from a five-star general, many who credit for winning World War II, America should have listened. Instead, during the past two decades America has become the world’s most war-mongering nation.
Lest anyone think my rant un-American, I am not implying that we deserve to be attacked, however America needs to understand that our military endeavors and reckless foreign policy do have serious consequences. As that old saying goes, what goes around comes around.
Steven H. Spring