Obama Signals Era of Permanent War
President Obama’s recent speech was supposed to be about winding down the Afghan war. But actually it was a signal that permanent war is now our status quo. Every other branch of government — including the ruling corporate branch – was full-tilt ready to keep the wars going. Now Obama has signaled that conflict will not end on his watch.
Sounds good, huh? Makes sense. But think about it. In this simple statement, Obama endorsed the faulty assumption that got us here in the first place. He signaled his support for George Bush’s “Doctrine of Preemption.” We will attack you if we believe you might attack us. It’s no longer necessary to do bad things, or to plan an attack on us. There are people in every country in the world that fit Obama’s description, including this one. It’s a strategy of limited success and fiscal bankruptcy.
The entire rest of the world deals with this conundrum by targeting actual perpetrators. Call it the Doctrine of Actual Offense – they punish people and nations for what they do (or try to do,) not what they’d “aim” to do. There is an argument against this idea, but on the plus side it has worked since the beginning of civilization.
Maybe that’s not what he meant, you hope. Unfortunately, it seems otherwise. In a speech last March, Obama made another Bush-league mistake, conflating the Taliban with Al Qaida. Then he said, “…if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban or allows Al Qaida to go unchallenged.” Al Qaida is the enemy. In Afghanistan, that foe is obliterated. In 2001, the Taliban were simply the obstacle to bringing Bin Laden to justice. We attacked them for not cooperating, not for being a threat. The Taliban has never had any international aspirations. In fact, they are assiduously isolationist. When they were in charge, they didn’t even allow tourists.Continued on the next page