The True Flag, by Stephen Kinzer. America is an Imperialist, Warrior Nation

 

By Dom Nozzi

April 18, 2017

The True Flag, by Stephen Kinzer, focuses on the lynchpin years of America’s fateful (and in my opinion, ruinous) decision to transition into an imperalist, interventionist, alleged “world policeman” nation starting about 1898 in the battles between the anti-imperialists (led by Mark Twain) and the imperialists (led by Teddy Roosevelt). Ever since then, those opposed to imperialistic intervention (the anti-imperialists) have been pejoratively labeled as naive, timid, weak isolationists.

I am quite proud to consider myself to be a non-interventionist. I believe it is criminal, inhumane, unrealistic, and unsustainable for the US to be a global policeman.

Most of the world now rightly looks upon the US as a Black Hat Bully. As Chomsky says, the US is, by far, the leading terrorist nation on earth. As such, the US is the leading20137256237522734_20 creator of terrorist actions by others throughout the world.

As Derber so importantly points out in The Morality Wars, nearly all infamous Empires in world history (Rome, Nazi Germany, the Soviets, etc.) firmly believed and proclaimed that their violent military interventionism was to promote freedom, democracy, security, justice, morality, and civilization. In almost all cases, this was simply a cover for grabbing natural resources, obtaining cheap labor, or opening up markets for corporations. This method of using morality as a cover for conquest has been a US tactic in nearly all US wars in history up to the present day.

By the way, the US has been at peace for only 21 of our 241 years as a nation.

The following are excerpts from the last chapter of Kinzer’s book.

“For generations, makers of American foreign policy have made decisions based on three assumptions: the United States is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best demonstrated by the threat and use of force. A host of subsidiary assumptions undergirds this catechism: the United States is inherently virtuous; its influence on the world is always benign; it must often intervene overseas because the risks of inaction are too high; its ideals are universal and can be exported; it welcomes support from other states but may act unilaterally when it chooses. Rather than see in the world a wide spectrum of forces, beliefs, cultures, and interests, Americans often see only good and evil. We rush to take the side of good. This usually brings trouble…

…we intervene because we see bad situations, not because we have a clear plan to improve them. At moments of crisis or decision, emotion overcomes sober reasoning – and emotion is always the enemy of wise statesmanship…

…History’s great counsel to the United States is that it should more carefully weigh the long-term effects of its foreign interventions…

…The United States has not discovered the magic formula that can produce happiness and prosperity everywhere…[Interventions]…are not soberly conceived, with realistic goals and clear exit strategies. Many ultimately harm the target country while weakening the security of the United States.

Violent intervention always leaves a trail of ‘collateral damage’ in the form of families killed, towns destroyed, and lives ruined. Usually these consequences are called mistaken or unavoidable. That does nothing to reduce the damage – or the anger that survivors pass down through generations.

The argument that the United States intervenes to defend freedom rarely matches the facts on the ground. Many interventions have been designed to prop up predatory regimes. Their goal is to increase American power – often economic power – rather than to liberate the suffering…

…Interventions multiply our enemies. They lead people who once bore no ill will toward the United States to begin cursing its name…Americans are shocked and incensed when that passion leads to violent counterattacks. They should not be. The instinct to protect one’s own and to strike back against the attackers is older than humanity itself.

American intervention overseas is hugely expensive. The United States spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined, including trillions of dollars to fight foreign wars. Meanwhile, American communities decay, infrastructure ages and withers, schoolchildren fall behind their counterparts in other countries, and millions go without housing, jobs, or health care. Even worse, at least symbolically, are the lifelong plagues that haunt many combat veterans. War brings ‘collateral damage’ to Americans as well as foreigners…

…The United States was once admired for its refusal to fight imperial wars or impose its will on distant nations. Today, many people around the world see it as a bully, recklessly invading foreign lands, blowing up entire societies, and leaving trails of destruction and conflict. They associate the name ‘United States’ with bombing, invasion, occupation, night raids, convert action, torture, kidnapping, and secret prisons…

…countries [battered] by foreign intervention find ways to take revenge. It comes in the forms from mass migration to terror attacks. These are bad results of assaults that we believed would have no bad results. We were foolish to presume that no matter how awful American or European interventions were, their effects would not reach the United States or Europe. The developed world – the invading world – is not an island or an impregnable fortress. Intervention takes a toll at home as well as abroad.”

“Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death.” — Bismark

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

The US Wars of Aggression

By Dom Nozzi

April 8, 2017

There is a political consensus in the US that military aggression is desirable.

This is inexcusable.

The US has become a militarized nation that has normalized war crimes. In the name of “democracy” and “humanitarianism.”

Republicans and Democrats have both been cheerleading for more militarism for decades, which, in combination with the US being the only superpower that remains at the time of this writing, has made the US the leading terrorist nation in world history.

It is unsustainable, counterproductive, and criminal for the US to play the role of global policeman. Every war fought by every nation in world history (including Ancient Rome, Nazi Germany, North Vietnam, Iraq, North Korea, the Soviet Union, etc.) has been justified by the government claiming to bring the invaded nation more security, protection, humanitarianism, justice, freedom, civilization, democracy, and/or salvation from tyranny.

These justifications are a ruse used by the aggressor nation to convince the populace of the aggressor nation that the attack is just. The US is supremely guilty of this ploy (and the number one purveyor of this ploy in world history) ever since at least Korea and probably back further than that in many cases. For more understanding about this, read “Morality Wars: How Empires, the Born Again and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the Name of Good.” Also read “The New American Militarism,” which describes the US political consensus that wars of aggression are good (as well as the bi-partisan support for the crazy high military expenditures the US now makes annually).

Since at least the Vietnam War, the US has utterly failed to learn the lesson that even overwhelming military force can NEVER defeat a guerrilla force assembled by the nation being attacked by the US, and tends to lead to endless, counterproductive wars. The only beneficiaries of endless wars are the military contractors and elected officials leveraging the military jobs for votes.

Read “War of the Flea” for an explanation of that reality.

To his eternal credit, near the end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee refused to accept a recommendation from his generals of the Confederate Army that the South engage in guerrilla war. He knew that if that was done, the Civil War would have lasted for several decades and destroyed the nation.

The US should have NEVER invaded (or bombed) Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and other suffering nations in the Middle East. Because of our inhumane, unjust 20137256237522734_20invasion and bombing of those nations, none of us alive today will be able to escape the fact that we will need to fear the “blowback” retaliatory attacks against US domestic targets for the remainder of our lives. In other words, terrorism in the US and the rest of the world will be more severe than in the past for the next several decades — if not centuries. For the remainder of the lives of those Americans alive today, we will also have to contend with on-going violent actions in America by psychologically damaged veterans of these endless wars, and the high levels of medical expenses and homelessness that veterans bring home with them.

All of these terrible legacies are thanks to the counterproductive US Wars of Aggression (which the George W. Bush administration chose to call the “War on Terror”).

For the record, a nation cannot conduct a war against an ideology or religion or a military tactic (which the US Wars of Aggression seek to do).

I have long given up on voting for a Democrat (or Republican) for president due to the bi-partisan support for US military aggression.

Our future in America is grim, in part because we have no viable political party to vote for which will work to end the endless, senseless, obscene Wars of Aggression.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Endless Wars

 

By Dom Nozzi

March 23, 2017

I remember when people in the US used to be outraged by things like the Mai Lai massacre. We don’t even blink an eye now, which, I suppose, is part of being a Warrior Nation. Murdering civilians has become so everyday boring. Not even worthy of reaching the newspaper.

Wantonly killing huge numbers of civilians is inevitable when a military powerhouse opts to go to war against a guerrilla force. As we saw when the Soviets were trapped in a guerrilla war in Afghanistan and the US got into the Vietnam guerrilla war quagmire, Vietnam Napalm 1972even overwhelming military force cannot — repeat, CANNOT — defeat the guerrilla force. Warring against guerrillas becomes endless, and inevitably causes the superior military force to criminally kill a huge number of innocent civilians.

To his immense credit, General Robert E. Lee refused recommendations from his Confederate generals to engage in guerrilla war and instead opted to surrender. He knew a guerrilla war would extend the Civil War for decades and destroy the US.

In contemporary times, our “commanders in chief” do not have that wisdom. They have not learned the glaring lessons of history, and have not read such classics as War of the Flea.

Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 220 out of her 241 calendar years of existence. Warrior Nation indeed.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Democrats are now Republicans

 

By Dom Nozzi

March 3, 2017

Now that both the Republicans AND Democrats have been corrupted by big money lobbyists, it should come as no surprise that the Democrats are now sounding like Republicans during the Donald Trump era.donkey-elephantcelebratingtogether

For example…

It was just a short while ago that Dems hammered Repubs on warmongering and hating/fearing the Russians. It is now the Dems that lead the effort to beat the war drums and engage in McCarthyism. For instance, more than any other presidential candidate in 2016, Dem Hillary Clinton forcefully assured us that she was going to ramp up warfighting in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. It was Dem Obama who increased the number of wars the US was fighting in the Middle East from two to seven or eight.

In the past, Dems accurately criticized Repubs for taking enormous amounts of lobbyist (donor) money from major corporations. It is now the Dems who lead in taking money from Big Pharma, military contractors, and Wall Street. Indeed, Obama accepted more contributions from Wall Street than any Repub challenger when Obama ran for president.

Previously, Dems rightly attacked Repubs for ignoring the working class. Now it is the Repubs who at least pay lip service to the needs of the working class. During the campaign, Trump promised he would bring jobs back home from overseas, attacked NAFTA, called for the deportation of illegal immigrants (who could be seen as taking US jobs), and punish foreign corporations which had taken US jobs and are now exporting to the US. Soon after being elected, Trump ended US involvement in the TPP. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Dems did not even pay lip service to the working class needs. Obama and other Dems openly supported NAFTA and TPP.

In past decades, it was the Repubs that were most eager and successful in spending money on the Pentagon. But during his two terms of office, Dem Obama set all-time records for the amount of money allocated to the Pentagon.

When Obama was president, nearly all Dems BLASTED Repubs for ridiculing Obama, accusing him of being a liar, laughing at him, obstructing EVERYTHING he proposed, opposing ALL of his appointments, joking that he should be assassinated, never giving him credit for ANYTHING, and stating that “Obama is not my president.” Today, a day does not go by where Dems are now joking about Trump’s appearance, calling for his assassination, calling him names, blaming Trump for everything imaginable, and lampooning him in cartoons.

In the past, Republicans were infamous for calling Dems traitors for what Repubs considered excessive friendliness toward “enemies” of the US. Today, Dems regularly engage in calling Trump a traitor for wanting to work with the Russian government.

In the past, Dems lead the fight for freedom of speech and attacking Repub efforts to engage in censorship. It is now Dems who are mostly leading the fight to censor public speakers or silencing speech that they consider “hateful” or “racist” or “sexist.”

In previous decades, it was the Repubs who were the loudest advocates of being “tough on crime.” Under Dem Bill Clinton in the 90s, Dems showed they could build more prisons than Repubs, have more crimes be eligible for the death penalty (from 3 to 60), fund 100,000 more cops, and create a huge increase in the number of mandatory minimum crimes. Dem Bill Clinton also significantly increased the penalty for crack cocaine vs powdered cocaine (100-to-1). Bill Clinton escalated the drug war far more than the Repubs could ever imagine, leading to the largest increase in prisoners ever.

Repubs used to be the most regressive when it came to taxation. But then Dem Bill Clinton successfully passed a capital gains tax cut that was one of the most regressive tax cuts in history.

Repubs were formerly the party most responsible for eliminating regulations that protected us from socially undesirable actions by the powerful. But then Dem Bill Clinton’s deregulation of the investment banking industry played an enormous role in creating the crash of 2008. He repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which had separated commercial from investment banking since 1933, and directly led to the 2008 crash and the need to bail out the too-big-to-fail banks.

Repubs have long attacked Dems for supporting the public nature of Social Security. They proposed such things as investing social security dollars in the stock market. But then Dem Bill Clinton, while in office, nearly succeeded in privatizing social security (another Repub dream) had the Lewisky scandal not led to his impeachment.

I remember when it was Repubs who far outspent Dems in presidential races. In the 2016 election, Dem Hillary Clinton outspent Repub Donald Trump two to one.

Repubs have long lead the charge to engage in invasive surveillance of US citizens. But it was Dem Obama who established, by far, the most extreme and comprehensive surveillance of US citizens in history through the NSA and other agencies.

For a long time, it was the Repubs who were vocal opponents of what they called “The Welfare State.” But it was Dem Bill Clinton’s gutting of welfare that led to a huge increase in poverty. Some have called Clinton’s action “one of the most regressive social programs promulgated in the 20th Century.”

Only a Dem (Clinton) could have rammed a right-wing program such as NAFTA through Congress. No Repub president could have ever hoped to adopt such an anti-worker program.

The Repubs have always been considered the party most hostile to the environment. But in 2016, the Democratic National Committee came out against the carbon tax and against a fracking ban.

Repubs have a long, disgraceful history of calling people un-American! Or treasonous traitors! Over and over, Repubs were seen attempting to prevent people from protesting (often by claiming that the protest would “incite violence”), attempting to censor comments they do not like, and associating the actions of a lone protester with the behavior or beliefs of an entire protest movement. But in response to the violence at the Univ of Virginia protest in August 2017, a great many Dems are screaming to prevent future protests by extreme right wing groups (and wanting to prevent people from boycotting Israel), calling right wing protesters un-American. Or treasonous traitors. Such Dems are demanding censorship of right wing speakers at universities, stopping speeches because they will “incite violence,” and linking a lone protester (who drove his car into a group of counterprotesters) with the agenda of the right wing protesters. In American history, progressives have rightly objected when protests have been prohibited due to fear of “inciting violence.” Feminists, gays, blacks, and atheists have been stopped from protesting discrimination in the past for this reason. Labor rights activists have been stopped because their protests against unfair labor practices would “incite violence.” Peace demonstrators protesting a war have been told they are not allowed to protest because it would “incite violence.” Even Jane Jacobs, the great American urbanist, was charged with “inciting a riot” when she protested the Lower Manhattan Expressway that Robert Moses tried to ram through New York City in the 1960s. Since when is it acceptable to be able to pick and choose which protests or speeches are okay and which should be prohibited? To be able to engage in such a double standard? Does not true support for free speech demand that we tolerate speech that we hate, and not just speech that we agree with? “If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate.”  — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. “There’s no fine line between ‘free speech’ and ‘hate speech’: Free speech is hate speech; it’s for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. If you don’t have free speech, then you can’t have an honest discussion.”  — Mark Steyn. “Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it’s time to make a run for the fence.” ― Daniel M. Gilbert. “[First Amendment protection] must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.” – Justice Hugo Black. “One way that speech restrictions often grow is through what I call ‘censorship envy.’ Say one group wins a ban on speech that it finds offensive. It’s human nature for other groups to then ask: What about speech that offends us — harsh criticism of Israel, or of certain religious belief systems, or of abortion, or of America?… Oddly, many of these [speech] restrictions come from political groups that see themselves as outsiders fighting the powerful. If that’s really so, how can they give the government extra censorship powers that can so easily be used against future ‘progressives’ like them?” — Eugene Volokh.

Journalist Amy Goodman, in February 2017, noted that Dem Elizabeth Warren has said she’s not so clear she’s going to be working with Donald Trump. “I mean, very interesting, [said Amy], when Dem Barack Obama came in, Repub Mitch McConnell made it very clear they won’t work with Obama at all.”

I am not a partisan extremist (everything the other party does is WRONG, says the partisan extremist). But apparently in America today, nearly everyone else IS an extreme partisan.

Extreme partisanship (and the extreme double standards that both the corrupt Democratic Party and the corrupt Republican Party) is toxic to democracy. And guarantees that nothing will be accomplished by our elected officials.

Is it any wonder that our Founding Fathers opposed the creation of political parties?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Boondoggle or Quagmire?

By Dom Nozzi

February 16, 2017

Not only are our road “improvements” counterproductive (our road system is more dangerous and congested now than it has ever been — after a century of “improvements”), but our 15-plus years of fighting against terrorism has created way more terrorists today than existed when the fighting started in 2001.

Our nation (and Europe) is more in danger of terrorism now than it has ever been. This would all be comical were it not so tragic. Let’s see…how many trillions of dollars have we spent on road “improvements” and the “war” on terror?headlineImage.adapt.1460.high.US_war_on_terror_a.1428940320745

Isn’t this similar to how the Roman Empire fell? Or the Soviet Union?

This is the very definition of a boondoggle. Or is it a quagmire?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Should the US Ban Muslim Immigrants?

By Dom Nozzi

January 31, 2017

In January of 2017, Donald Trump was blasted for proposing a ban on Muslim immigration into the US.

I believe I am about the only person on the political left who is not attacking Trump for his Muslim ban.

I’m sorry, but the ban (or some form of aggressive vetting at points of entry) seems reasonable to me.

The US has been bombing Syria back to the stone age for several years, and as a consequence has 05996fc52c8bc14d89e2f515678638f1killed many thousands of innocent people.

Is it not reasonable to conclude that there are a LOT of Syrians who have now dedicated their lives to exact violent retribution against the US. That many of those understandably enraged people are now motivated to travel to the US and kill as many Americans as possible?

I for one would be FURIOUS if my family had been killed by a bombing raid. I can easily see myself wanting to travel to the nation responsible for the bombing to kill people in that nation.

Where has the outrage been with regard to the US bombing of places such as Syria (and many other nations in the Middle East)? THAT is where the protests should have been directed.

The US has murdered so many hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East (and elsewhere) over the past 40-50 years that we will have to be afraid of attacks on us by Middle Easterners for the rest of our lives.

The US needs to immediately get the hell out of the Middle East.

Why are we attacking a proposed immigration ban when we should be loudly protesting against our government (both Trump now and Obama over the past eight years) for our many wars of aggression? Aggression which continues, to this day, to kill so many innocent people in seven Middle Eastern nations?

Yes, prohibiting immigration based on country of origin is, in normal times, inexcusable. But the US has blood on its hands for our bombing outrages, and immigration bans (or aggressive vetting at points of entry) are a terrible price we – as a Warrior Nation — may have to pay for the remainder of our lives.

So much for our admirable reputation of being a melting pot…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My Thoughts on the Milo Yiannopoulos Speech at the University of Colorado at Boulder

 

By Dom Nozzi

January 26, 2017

I watched the livestream of the Milo Yiannopoulos speech on my laptop. I didn’t have a problem with much of what he said, despite my leftist political leanings and his reputation for being a racist, sexist, fascist.

He said a number of things I liked (attacking the Politically Correct police, for example). I thought he was a subpar speaker (nervous laughing was common, reading too much from downloadwritten notes, and an over-the-top ego, for example). I enjoyed his disdain for the many (not all) fun-hating, man-hating, sex-negative, attractivenss-shaming feminists.

I wish I could have chatted with him to ask about what seemed like enormous inconsistencies: has it not been the case that his conservative brethren almost single-mindedly attack sex-for-fun (sex only good for making babies), contraception, sex in the media, and gay rights? He attacked the Boulder sugar tax, despite his love for capitalism (taxes use capitalist price signals, in contrast to socialist command economy prohibitions). He repeatedly called for evidence-based argumentation, and frequently pointed out his dislike of obesity, yet did not acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that sugar taxes effectively reduce obesity. Despite the protests, I did not find his remarks to be in any way sexist or racist. He did not strike me as being particularly intellectual. I was thankful that he was allowed to speak at CU. And wish he spoke at Mackey Auditorium, where a larger audience could have attended.

I loved his putting down Boulder as a pathetic excuse for a real city (I’m sure he was at least partly referring to the sterile suburban character here).

Overall, I am enraged that the supposedly freedom- and speech-loving and diversity-loving political left in Boulder felt it necessary to engage in an effort to use fascist censorship to stop what they considered to be undesirable speech.

Is that not what the left has always (and rightfully) attacked the right for doing?

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics