Whatever you do, don’t mention the war(s)

The lunacy of endless pointless wars that have gotten us nowhere and cost us a packet carefully omitted from political debate

Why does no one mention the war? The most militaristic, belligerent and chauvinist country I know – and also love – is the US. People fly flags from every post and see “bad guys” under every bed. When the president, Donald Trump, vows to leave the Middle East he is condemned as a traitor even by his fans.

The second most belligerent is Britain, albeit less so. With America, it is continuing to fight the so-called “wars of 9/11”, 18 years after they began – battling in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, in Britain’s case covertly. There is not the remotest sign of “victory” in sight. Somehow they are not seen as wars, just the licensed killing of foreigners.

Most conflicts start macho and popular. The three most recent American presidents, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, were all hesitant about military intervention before taking office, and yet supported it in power. But the worm is turning. A recent Pew survey reveals that 62% of Americans feel in retrospect that the Afghan war was “not worth it”, 59% feel the same of Iraq and 58% agree in the case of Syria. This disillusionment is in each case two points even higher among military veterans. Soldiers don’t like wars they can’t win.

The last British survey of such opinion was back in 2015. YouGov revealed that support for Middle East intervention had collapsed from two-thirds to one-third since 2003. A similar fall, from 63% to 38%, was recorded by YouGov America. Yet in Britain’s current election, there is no suggestion from any politician – even Jeremy Corbyn – that British forces be withdrawn. It is as if democracy had grown numb to the costs and consequences of projecting violence overseas.

The US has spent a staggering $6.4tn on almost two decades of interventions, with more than 7,000 military dead. Britain has lost 634. In addition, unknowable thousands of civilians have died, and billions of pounds’ worth of property been destroyed. Christianity has been all but wiped out in the region, and some of the finest cities in the ancient world have been bombed flat. No audit has been made of this. The opportunity cost must be unthinkable. What diseases might have been eradicated, what climate crisis relieved?

British defeats in Basra and Helmand have been brushed under the carpet, as was David Cameron’s fiasco in 2011 in Libya

The wars of 9/11 must rank among the cruellest, most costly and senseless of the post-imperial age. Yet in Britain successive governments have parroted absurdities about “keeping our streets safe from terror”. The opposite is manifestly the case. The threat to London is said to be “substantial” and parts of Westminster look like a pastiche of Guantanamo Bay.

Every maxim about wars being easier to start than end has been vindicated. British defeats in Basra and Helmand have been brushed under the carpet, as was David Cameron’s fiasco in 2011 in Libya. Yet a Commons vote in 2013 against joining the Americans in Syria was disregarded by Downing Street in favour of covert operations. Today British drone killings are continuing across the Middle East. In July there were even reports that Britain was being asked to replace the US forces in Syria withdrawn by Trump.

Precious few soldiers of my acquaintance believe there is any purchase in Britain staying in the Middle East. They just pray for a government with the guts to withdraw. None seems to have such guts. Thick is the glue that keeps western troops on alien soil. Staying is now an exercise in saving face, in not being seen to cut and run. Downing Street wants any chance to play on the global stage, to keep in with America for after Brexit. None of these objectives seems plausible. Nor are they popular. We are stuck with war, and no one can explain why.

….

The above article is from The Guardian. Visit The Guardian for many more excellent articles

….

••••

The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

••••

Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

••••

Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

••••

Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

About Steve Cook 508 Articles
Director, UK Reloaded
Contact: Website

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*