"Various estimates put the cost of the Vietnam War at $500 + billion. Incidental costs included agent orange-defoliated Vietnam, with millions of dead Vietnamese and agent-orange-exposed American soldiers returning to live their lives on crutches and wheelchairs, something many limb-lost Vietnamese could not afford.
"In the 1990s and 2000s, the military-industrial estate and increasingly concentrated media pushed Americans to believe that we had to stay involved in the world via armadas, tanks, and planes inflicting blood, pain, and gore. That kind of involvement required even more petrol. Therefore, we shuffled the card deck of dictators who controlled the oil and/or the pipelines over which it flowed to keep 19th- and 20th-century warfare as the world's biggest show.
"We used diplomatic jargon to dupe Saddam Hussein into believing we would not mind if he invaded Kuwait. Then we assembled a tremendous international army to kick him out and most of the cost seemed to be covered by the likes of oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia. Most Americans thought it was a pretty awesome and cost-effective "Shock and Awe' show.
"But even amidst the long dawning of the Age of Aquarius, a self-proclaimed 'humble' administration came to power in today's Roman Empire proclaiming they cared nothing about "nation building,' obviously knew little about the metaphysics of spirituality, but was certain it knew exactly where the WMDs were and how the physics of bombing would harmlessly expose them. To official reports from UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter that no WMDs existed, the Bush II administration said, 'Aww, we know better.'
"So, alas, today the world's worn down and overwrought #1 military power has been dealt another stacked deck containing one of its many once-supported and now-opposed Jokers named Bashar Assad. We almost responded as we have been lobbied to do--by sending more taxpayer dollars to our war-making industries and packaging our mostly low and striving for the middle-class youngsters into Star Wars uniforms for another debilitating war.
"So far, our President has deftly avoided contributing ours to their bloody civil war, and has pulled hard-pumped Putin into the chess game at which Obama seems to have some dexterity. But the war-making industry, Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and its team of Wolfowitz, Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld, Bolton, etc., along with the tag team of repetitive Sunday talk-showers Graham and McCain, will still strive to juice up Americans to the heroic benefits of what they seem to believe is only a "game' called war.
"Now that the President has the UN, PNAC, Tea Partiers, voters, Putin, and moms involved in his chess game, is there another card he can throw from this once stacked-against-him deck that can change this grey-hairing game of conflict, hatred, and violence? Is there a way Obama can play his hand so that it does the opposite of spewing bloodshed, spreading refugee camps, and increasing poverty, especially when Oxfam tells us that more than 250 million a year are personally affected by disasters?
"If President Kennedy had lived and his ideas grown over two terms, long before now we would've had 1 million strong Peace Corps Army from which he could have implemented his strategic desire to 'Send the Peace Corps rather than the Marine Corps.' We could have witnessed decades of tens of thousands of Americans annually building understanding, hope, and positive change. Instead, we see how meager our peaceful-service influence has been in the Middle East."
PCVsServingTroubledSpots by Self PLEF
"If since 1961, when Kennedy birthed the Peace Corps, we had sent 5200 Peace Corps volunteers to some of the trouble spots listed above; do you think we would have spent $5+ trillion dollars on Bush II's trumped-up Iraq war?"
IfHadSentPCVs by Self PLEF
"Waging peace is a much better strategy for avoiding the costs of maiming wars and winning economic battles. If only our leaders had been wise enough to understand just three rules of the Chinese warrior Sun Tzu:
1. All war is based on deception.
2. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemy without fighting a battle.
3. He wins who knows when to fight and when not to fight.