Obama's New Wars
Rev. Richard Skaff
It is essential to know history in order to understand the present. Nevertheless, knowing history has never precluded man from repeating it.
Historically, Every American president had his war. However, in the 60’s a change of policy or doctrine occurred during the Kennedy administration. The change was geared toward the deterrence of wars of national liberations, which in turn led to the McNamara revolution and to the creation of new mobile forces that will stealthily move smoothly and swiftly across the planet in the next 50 years establishing an invisible empire.
The following excerpts will clarify some of this history and will edify the reasons behind the conflicts we embarked on in the last 50 years.
Throughout the cold war era, American defense analysts believed implicitly in the proposition that military superiority was defined in terms of firepower, mobility, and other technological factors. Military doctrine is not formulated on the basis of abstract principles or unchanging laws. The armed forces of a nation are nothing more nor less than an instrument of national policy-an instrument that is, of those with the power to make that policy. In the United States , the making of foreign policy has been, for all practical purposes, the exclusive prerogative of the business elite that has dominated the Executive departments since the late nineteenth century. .
Of course, one cannot say that this elite constitutes a monolithic bloc with a unified policy orientation. Differences of outlook, competing short-and long-term interests, and conflicting power foci have always existed. But in the most general sense, the business community dominates the American foreign policy apparatus has shared a common interest in the continued growth of capitalism, the Open Door in world trade, and the expansion of our “invisible empire.” .
For over a century, the employment of U.S. forces abroad has been governed by the principle of business expansionism; again and again. American troops have been sent to the Third World to guarantee our access to key markets and sources of raw materials, and to protect American properties from expropriation.
This pattern of military intervention is graphically documented in a chronology of the “instances of use of U.S. Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945,” prepared at the request of the late Senator Everett Dirksen and published in the Congressional record. Of the nearly 160 occasions on which American forces were employed abroad between 1798-1945, an overwhelming majority involved occupation of a Third World country.
Between 1900 and 1925, for instance, U.S. troops were dispatched overseas “to protect American interests” or “ to restore order” during “periods of revolutionary activities” in China (seven times), Colombia (three times), Cuba (Three times), The Dominican Republic (four times), Guatemala (twice), Haiti (twice), Honduras (seven times), Korea (twice), Mexico (three times), Morocco, Nicaragua (twice), Panama (six times), the Philippines, Syria and Turkey (twice). Of the longer interventions, American soldiers occupied Haiti from 1925 to 1934 “to maintain order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection,” and Cuba from 1917 to 1933 “to protect American interests during an insurrection and subsequent unsettled conditions.” .
Following World War II, American military strategy was reshaped by the nation’s cold war leadership to accord the principal foreign policy goals of the era: The stabilization of Western European capitalism and the prevention of further Soviet advances in Europe and Asia .
The officers who assumed leadership of the military apparatus at this time had all risen to prominence during World War, and they naturally turned to their wartime experience for guidance in the formulation of combat doctrine. The strategies they adopted and the weapons they acquired were appropriate to what they perceived as the greatest threat to American national interests-a Third World War in Europe precipitated by an invasion by the Soviet Red Army.
By the late 1950’s, it had become apparent to some American strategists that the maintenance of nuclear supremacy secured at the expense of other military programs-had left us vulnerable to attacks by armed revolutionaries. The stability of our invisible empire in the Third World was shaken by the unexpected rebel successes at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, in Cuba in 1959, and in Algeria in 1962. These events, coming at a time when trade and investment in the Third World were becoming increasingly critical to metropolitan economy, forced a complete reevaluation of American military strategy.
If our invisible empire were to be preserved and American expansion in the Third World facilitated, it would be necessary to develop new strategies and techniques for defeat of guerilla armies in underdeveloped areas. U.S. troops would once again be sent abroad to “protect American interests” and to “restore order” during periods of chronic and threatened insurrection. Therefore, the American business elite will have us fight so persistently to suppress revolutions because they view this struggle as the only way to maintain their power and privilege. The rewards at stake are far too great. Only through revolution can the people of the Third World begin the process of development and acquire some measure of self-dignity; only through counterrevolution can the American business elite preserve its wealth and power. For the United States , the only possible outcome of this global conflict is participation in a long series of “limited” conflicts, police actions, and “stability operation”-the war without end.
US interest in limited war strategy first emerged in response to the Korean War which was largely fought with World War II weapons despite an overwhelming American superiority in nuclear armaments. The opponents of the Massive retaliation called the “strategic revisionist” who rejected the Eisenhower-Dulles thesis felt that the U.S. would spend itself into bankruptcy if it prepared to fight local aggression locally at places and with weapons of the enemy’s choosing. General Maxwell D. Taylor a former army chief of staff was one of these revisionists who proposed the strategy of “flexible response” capability that would enable the U.S. to respond to each crisis with precisely the degree of force required to assure success.
Taylor had the backing of academic strategist associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, Center for International Affairs of Harvard University, and the Center for international studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These views were given further elaboration in the following year when panel II of the special studies Project of the Rockefeller brothers fund delivered its report on “international security: the “Military Aspect.” Prepared under the direction of Henry A. Kissinger (ten years before he was to become President’s Nixon key foreign-policy adviser).
President Kennedy, on the other hand was deeply impressed by these arguments, and in 1961 the advocates of Flexible Response were invited to participate in the new administration. Thus, under Kennedy the policy of Flexible Response became established Pentagon doctrine. Sharing the president’s concern with the threat of revolutionary warfare was the new secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, who later on implements the doctrine and reorganizes the pentagon (described as the McNamara revolution) and endowed himself with the same of kind of management aids that were available to him as president of Ford. Shortly, after, the blueprint for counterrevolution was created. The blueprint entailed the ability to rapid military deployment, the electronic battlefield, the Mercenary apparatus (developing secret local armies/mercenaries by the CIA), and social systems engineering (project Camelot) designed to determine the feasibility of developing a general social systems model which would make it possible to predict and influence politically significant aspects of social change in the developing nations of the world. .
As we see the 60’s have set the stage for the future wars or otherwise called low intensity conflicts, or counterrevolution interventions.
- This strategy works very well militarily and politically. Presidents began to wage low intensity wars that they can easily win in order to increase their popularity, rally the public behind them, generate jobs in the Military Industrial Complex, and create a frenzy of flag wavers. People love to win wars and to wave flags; besides, the military helps the populace act out vicariously their rage and their anger toward a common enemy instead of focusing on their own empty lives, ineptness, and alienation, and give them instead a pseudo-sense of mightiness and godliness when their military win a conflict regardless how insignificant the opposition might be (i.e. Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, etc…).
As a result, we maintain the illusion of a healthy economy that is based on debt, we deify war and warriors, foster vengeance, and create public fervor and zest for power and domination.
Here we are again today, another administration, rhetoric and newspeak and a prospective new war. However, the same money masters who groomed, recruited, and put Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. in office also put Obama in this same office to do their bidding.
Interestingly, Mr. Obama has endorsed the Patriot Act, the spying on Americans, the terrorist watch list, and the expansion of big brother into new heights. He has also continued the bail outs and rescue of the corrupt and insolvent fractional reserve banking system, since many of these super banks have contributed to his campaign generous amounts of money that went unnoticed by the corrupt global medial outlets. The Obama campaign received by August 2008 huge sums of money, per example, JP Morgan Chase contributed to Obama’s campaign $398,021, Citibank $393,899, UBS Swiss bank, $378,400, Goldman Sachs $627,730, , and the corporate list that Obama vowed not to take money from goes on and on.
Meanwhile, Obama predictably reneged on the rest of his campaign promises. Iraq became the forgotten war, or the new conflict due to the new escalation by alleged insurgents. Obama has kept the troops in Iraq and plans to shuffle and shuttle some of them to Afghanistan in order to start his new central Asian war. At the same time, the blood shed continues in Babylon (in April 2009, 18 American soldiers died) and the dismantling of every aspect of this country persists.
However, economically speaking, Iraq was part of our economic and Wall Street Ponzi scheme. It was a blessing in disguise for the Bush administration, because it kept the economy tagging along and the unemployment levels under control due to the high contracting and government jobs that were engendered by the Iraq war, while over a million Iraqis have died. “War makes money.”
On April 9, 2009 Reuters reported that President Barack Obama asked the U.S. Congress for an additional $83.4 billion to fund the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan saying the security situation along the Afghan-Pakistan frontier was urgent. .
Ironically, the New York Times reported on May 1, 2009 that administration officials have stated that the American confidence in the Pakistani government has waned, and the Obama administration is reaching out more directly than before to Nawaz Sharif, the chief rival of Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president. What is more odious is that American officials have long held Mr. Sharif at arm’s length because of his close ties to Islamists in Pakistan, but some Obama administration officials now say those ties could be useful in helping Mr. Zardari’s government to confront the stiffening challenge by Taliban insurgents. . In other words, the Obama administration is flirting with the Islamists in Pakistan to support the current president, whom they will eventually assassinate in order to take over the throne of corruption. As a result, the U.S. will have created once again a new monster to slay, an ogre with nuclear weapons in which they have provided and supported with billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.
Subsequently, Obama will also continue his predecessor’s policies in the region, and in Afghanistan, to protect the oil pipelines, and to resume the encircling of Russia and China under the guise of wanting to destroy the mythical Al Qaeda and its leader the late OBL (who was declared dead by Benazir Bhutto on her interview with David Frost before she was assassinated).
On the local front Obama will be battling the new swine flu, which combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before. However, the medical establishment apparently has already in place a pre-existing blood test that could detect this new and unusual stain of hybrid flu.
Fear must continue to be drummed up into the public’s psyche intermittently to maintain its effectiveness, either with created ogres that are lurking among us, or by a disease that threatens our existence and render us into primitive automatons seeking shelter and gratification in the arms of a father figure embodied in a corrupt elitist government.
What is it going to take for Mexicans to privatize their oil? A new plague?
The remaining question is whether Mr. Obama can remain popular throughout his term without engaging the military in a low intensity conflict?
Unfortunately, in his perch on the morning of 03-27-09 he elucidated his policy against the mythical and contrived war on terror, therefore, continuing the policy of the previous administration and of the money masters. Obama like every other president, chose expediency over truth and justice. He is after all another front man, namely a politician.
1. M. T. Klare, (1972). War without end. American planning for the next Vietnam . Random House Inc. New York .
- 2. Michael C. Conley, “The Military Value of Social Sciences in an Insurgent Environment,” Army Research and Development Newsmagazine (November 1996). P. 22.
3. Prolific magazine. August 8, 2008. Meet Obama’s Corporate Backers
4. See Kolko, The roots of American Foreign Policy, Chapter 2, pp.27-47
5. Magdoff, The age of Imperialism. pp. 20-1
6. New York Times (May 1, 2009). In Pakistan , U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition.
7. Reuters (April 9, 2009). Obama asks Congress for extra $83.4 bln for military