Glenn Greenwald published an outstanding rebuke of our apparent policy of endless war Nov 23rd in Salon. I think that a certain Nobel Peace Prize winner would benefit from reading more Greenwald:
Anonymous U.S. officials this morning are announcing in The Washington Post that they have effectively defeated what they call “the organization that brought us 9/11″ — Al Qaeda — by rendering it “operationally ineffective”.
… You might think this means that the vastly expanded National Security and Surveillance States justified in the name of 9/11, as well as the slew of wars and other aggressive deployments which it spawned, can now be reversed and wound down. After all, the stated purpose of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) which provided legal cover to all of this was expressed in the very first line: “To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.” The purpose of this authorized force was equally clear and limited: “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons [the President] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”
yet the administration and Congress seem to have little stomach for returning to a peacetime footing with their mentality of Endless War:
Enemies are never defeated; even when they are “operationally ineffective,” they “will remain a major security threat for years.” If their capacity to frighten fades, they just get seamlessly replaced by new Villains (“U.S. counterterrorism officials now assess al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen as a significantly greater threat”). When that doesn’t work, you just manufacture the Terrorists yourself: by converting, directing and funding them and/or doing exactly that which you know will ensure they continue to emerge. And when all else fails, you just find a brand new war that ensures the process repeats itself in an endless loop: the establishment bellwether Washington Post today expressly demanded “regime change” in Iran (“by now it should be obvious that only regime change will stop the Iranian nuclear program”).
This misguided mentality reminds me less of statesmanship and more of children in front of their Wii endlessly restarting yet another mindnumbingly senseless war game.
- Iron Filing