The mainstream media is now heralding the president for announcing that, finally, the war in Afghanistan is going to come to an end.
On December 31, 2016, the last American troop is scheduled to leave, officially putting a period on the last sentence about the United States’ longest war in the history books. The whole move seems arbitrary at best. What magical thing is going to happen that day — the 5,565th day of that war — that actually changes anything from the day before or the day before that?
What has made it worth the $4 billion a year spent and the thousands of lives lost?
Well, at least Obama gets to go down in history as the president who officially ended both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.
Official announcement or not, there’s really no end in sight for America’s wars. The day after he said that, Obama was giving a speech before graduating West Point cadets which sealed the deal:
The nation, he said, had, in effect, traded Al Qaeda in Afghanistan for a more diffuse threat from extremists in Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Mali, and other countries. (source)
Translation: one war has created an excuse for more future wars.
He calls it “might doing right”. Sounds like another stupid bumper slogan. Cementing the point, Obama went on in the speech to push Congress to form a $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” with a goal of “helping endangered nations deal with their own terrorist groups,” by training fighters specifically in Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey (all neighbors of Syria).
The war on terror, you see, is never meant to end. It was designed that way.
But even before America had such a nebulous new enemy — “terror” — we have long been at some type of conflict or war. I was born in 1980. Scanning the list, I see that in my 34 years, there isn’t a single year I’ve been alive that my country hasn’t been fighting someone, somewhere.
(This is just what’s on record and obviously does not include all the countries where the CIA is covertly involved.)
The year before I was born, the U.S. fought alongside the Mujahideen against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan as part of the Cold War. That did not officially end until 1989.
In the meantime, America fought in the Lebanese Civil War from 1982-1984, a conflict that resulted in 120,000 deaths and a mass exodus from the country of nearly one million people.
The U.S. led the invasion of Grenada in Operation Urgent Fury in 1983.
In 1986, the U.S. bombed Libya in Operation El Dorado Canyon, supposedly in response to the April 1986 bombing of La Belle discothèque in West Berlin. Turns out, however, we had already simulated the attack mission in October the year prior during Operation Ghost Rider.
1987 began a series of missions America ran as part of the Iran-Iraq war.
The United States invaded Panama in 1989.
The Persian Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Storm, began in 1990. Even though it ended in 1991, we instituted two no-fly zones at the end of that war which were still in place by the time of the United States-led coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The U.S. officially became involved in the Somali Civil War in Operation Restore Hope, 1992-1994. The U.S. participated in the Somali Civil War again from 2006 to 2009 as well.
The U.S. also fought in the Bosnian War, 1993-1995.
Operation Uphold Democracy saw the U.S. intervene in Haiti in 1994.
In 1998′s Operation Infinite Reach, America bombed terrorist bases in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, which the history books say was in retaliation for bombings on American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
The U.S. took part in the Kosovo War in 1998 as well.
America fought the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 (a war that then-President George W. Bush and his administration only had to lie about 935 times following 9/11 to finally get us involved in). America also participated in the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
We intervened in Libya in 2011 to help overthrow the Gaddafi government, a move which ended in him being lynched in the street.
The Afghanistan War, officially part of the “War on Terror” which began in 2001 following 9/11, is ongoing.
We’re also currently drone bombing Pakistan, where we’ve been at war against terror since 2004. The same with Yemen since 2010. Reports show that, at least in Pakistan where Obama has authorized some 200 drone strikes, most of them are carried out on houses, and many innocent civilians have been killed. A list of children killed in these countries by American drones can be found here.
Also ongoing is Operation Enduring Freedom in which the U.S. is reportedly targeting Communist insurgents in the Philippines and militant Islamism and piracy in Africa.
In addition, remember that whole Kony 2012 propaganda campaign regarding missing small time Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony of the LRA who was supposedly responsible for 30,000 missing children in Uganda (though that was later debunked)? The U.S. has predictably used that as a pretext to invade Africa as well, where we’ve been involved in ever since.
In fact, the only break in war or conflict in recent years that America has seen on record was between 1975 after the Cambodian Civil War ended and 1979 when the Soviet war in Afghanistan began.
Some of the many conflicts listed here I already knew about, obviously, but others I only (sadly) just learned of. And I didn’t even list everything.
Under the guise of the War on Terror, we’re in so many places right now and have been for so long, it’s hard to keep it all straight. Many people have forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
The United States operates and/or controls at least 700 bases and military installations worldwide in 63 countries on top of the 6,000 military bases and warehouses located within the U.S. alone. We have more than a quarter of a million military personnel deployed across the globe in more than 150 countries.
We are at permanent war. It seems there is no end to American participation in conflict on the global stage in sight.
And for the same reason that stocks in defense contractors like Raytheon and others hit record highs in the days after the possibility of war with Syria hit the media last year, there won’t be.
It’s a well-known fact that World War II confirmed the ways which war can be used to control economies — not just that of America, but of the world.
According to “Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars,” economies obey the same laws as electricity. Human lives continue to be measured in dollars by the Powers that Shouldn’t Be. “The electric spark generated when opening a switch connected to an active inductor is mathematically analogous to the initiation of a war,” it reads. “The economy has been transformed into a guided missile on target.”
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