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America's Wars: Creating a Historical Legacy of Shame and Dishonor

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codes of conduct by michael payne


Is there no end to these endless, misguided wars that are bringing shame and dishonor upon this nation? How much longer will this nation waste its wealth and resources on the proliferation of unjustifiable wars? The image that America now projects to the world is that of a warring nation, one that settles its differences with other nations, not by diplomacy, but by military force.

Those shameless war profiteers who dominate our nation's capitol are people who have no conscience and have, long ago, lost their moral foundations. Money and power are what drives them and if their sordid agenda results in the needless loss of lives of people in other nations and our troops, it bothers them not in the least. They live in their own world of wealth and privilege, with not the slightest concern for their fellow human beings.

World War II, in which America played the leading role, was essentially a defensive war in that it was initiated as a result of attacks on our European allies and on this nation at Pearl Harbor. Now our wars are no longer based on defensive measures but have been transformed into pre-emptive military actions that were instituted by the Bush/Cheney administration.

That Bush/Cheney tandem created a totally misguided doctrine that called for pre-emptive military attacks on any nation that was suspected of having the slightest intention to harm America in some way; this doctrine made it entirely justifiable to attack any such nation and occupy it. And, of course, in following this doctrine it was also of great benefit if the nation in question happened to be led by some sort of villain or dictator.

In recent times, our military went to war against these countries and the designated villains who led them; Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In years past it was Ho Chi Minh of North Vietnam. Question: which of these countries did, in fact, first launch a military attack on America? Answer: none of them, not one. Right now the villain of choice is Mahmoud Ahmadinejead, the president of Iran. Israel, possessing no concrete evidence that Iran is building a nuclear bomb, is trying hard to convince the U.S. to join it in launching a pre-emptive attack on that nation.

Sure there are enemies in the world that want to harm this nation and its people; there will always be threats of this kind but a nation as powerful as the U.S. can deal with any and all of them if it just uses logic and reason instead of a bull in the China shop mindset. By now the military leadership should have learned that the use of     massive armies to fight insurgents or hidden terrorists doesn't work; but that is still what they do because the profiteers absolutely need them in order to sustain the monumental profits that wars generate.

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The War on Terror has caused a great deal of destruction in two distinctly different ways. On the one hand it has resulted in the deaths of many members of various designated enemies, together with hundreds of innocent civilians, and far too many of our troops. On the other hand it has also resulted in the destruction of many of the freedoms and rights of the American people -- it has spawned the Patriot Act, the recent presidential executive order where, under certain circumstances, an American under suspicion may be treated the same as a terrorist, and the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which, for all practical purposes, circumvents habeas corpus. And there are more restrictions on our civil liberties in the works.

The mainstream news is filled with articles about the U.S. Army sergeant who, allegedly, was responsible for the cruel, inhuman deaths of those 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children. As expected, we are hearing all sorts of possible justifiable excuses for what he is said to have done. This is standard procedure for the Army when an incident like this happens in order to try to minimize the damage to its own reputation. And, as we have seen many times in other cases, the trial or court martial often results in some kind of minimal punishment


What some objective journalists are positing is that he was not alone in killing these innocent people and that up to 10 or 15 other U.S. troops were also involved. We don't know the details yet and this could be a huge cover up because of the fear that if there were actually that many of our troops involved, it could unleash a firestorm of revenge that could make the current highly volatile and unstable conditions in Afghanistan spin completely out of control. When the troop withdrawal from that nation proceeds and more and more of them leave, those troops that remain could be virtual sitting ducks for those who are waiting to exact violent revenge.

One thing is absolutely certain. If America still had a military draft, as it did during the Vietnam War, this war in Afghanistan would have been ended before now. I once had the experience of being drafted into the army but I certainly wouldn't want to see young Americans drafted and sent into needless, unjustifiable wars. My point is, that if a draft was in place today, parents and college students, just as they did in the Vietnam War, would be enraged at what was happening, and would be demanding that this war be ended.

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And speaking of a military draft, in recent times I haven't heard any call for one coming from the government or the military and the reason is pretty clear. They don't need a draft because they have plenty of Americans who can't find any kind of work that pays a decent wage and the unemployed are easy targets for military recruitment. Secondly, the military leaders remember the protests over Vietnam and they have no intention of ever letting the American people rise up in such outrage against war.

Why is it that our government and our military never seem to learn important lessons from the disastrous results of wars and occupations such as Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan? Currently the news if full of reports that Israel is ready to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. President Obama is being pressured and intimidated by the Israeli government, its powerful American lobby, AIPAC, and war hawks in Congress. It is high time that he stands up to all of them and finally does something that has become foreign to this government; he needs to use reason, logic and rationality and immediately begin the process of using negotiations and diplomacy to bring this situation under control. War can no longer be the only answer and the first option.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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War offers no solutions to problems, it only ... by michael payne on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 10:53:16 AM
called leaders do not know healthy shame and digni... by bogi666 on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 12:51:38 PM
If you define dignity as an individual's sense of ... by Judy Palmer on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 7:18:58 PM
subjugated. It's part of a strategy for the purpos... by bogi666 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 6:38:25 AM
Do you think WWI, WWII, the Korean war were necess... by Skeptic1 on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 12:51:26 PM
banksters. This recolonization of the USA was the ... by bogi666 on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 1:05:54 PM
War should be a last resort when all other options... by michael payne on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 6:38:39 PM
your statement"If a nation is attacked without war... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 2:04:39 AM
about two distinctly different things. When I spea... by michael payne on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 11:11:20 AM
 The politicians talk about is the economy, a... by Davey Jones on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 6:05:12 PM
government and businesses have an orchestrated pro... by bogi666 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 6:50:34 AM
As one who was also drafted, I agree strongly with... by Roger on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 9:34:01 AM
  I completely agree with you about WW II, Vi... by David Tolner on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 3:01:12 PM
so called leaders are notoriously lazy. They are a... by bogi666 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 7:02:52 AM
It gives one a different perspective on our milita... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 7:47:35 PM
While Michael Payne ought to be credited for this ... by aberamsay on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 6:46:17 PM
It's amazing who you stand up for.  Hitler, B... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 7:51:27 PM
Skeptic1:Thank you for your very appropriate comme... by michael payne on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 10:27:59 PM
I often wonder where they study history.  Jap... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 1:20:41 AM
Could you perhaps tell us what were the first coun... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 1:29:16 AM
Has the cat got your tongue?... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 3:57:52 PM
Educated Skeptic1....Ok, the first country attacke... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 5:43:09 PM
You might find that Japan was against Germany duri... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:35:48 AM
I just read that 66 countries (by today's map) hav... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 2:17:39 AM
We have to put up with operatives like you.The Ove... by Mike Preston on Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:09:02 PM
strategy for destroying the USA is unparalleled ge... by bogi666 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 7:28:45 AM
In reply to Aberamsay.....I certainly agree that w... by Roger on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:59:40 PM
Roger,Pearl Harbor can be qualified as a 'False Fl... by aberamsay on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 5:53:45 PM
Skeptic el al,As mentionned already elsewhere it i... by aberamsay on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:31:37 AM
Here the reference for Cognitive Infiltration Agen... by aberamsay on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:40:17 AM
Ever since the end of 19th century the US Establis... by aberamsay on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 1:20:03 PM
However, I do recognize EVIL when I see it,  ... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 4:09:29 PM
America, since the end of WWII, has been involved ... by michael payne on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 5:02:17 PM
And thank you Michael Payne for having brought up ... by aberamsay on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 6:29:09 PM
we can  learn from  the others. The ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 7:20:45 PM
But you can think what you wish.  ... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 8:32:46 PM
we threw a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and kill... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 5:49:43 PM
I've often thought that the destruction of those t... by michael payne on Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:44:31 PM
Could you possibly move back to your native countr... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 3:59:29 PM
How about it?... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:02:21 PM
Not much of  an achievement  to be born ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:32:42 PM
then leave.  There is no place for you here a... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:23:22 PM
You don't love  this country- you love only y... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:24:04 AM
Sorry, but there is nothing tough about pointing o... by Skeptic1 on Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 4:29:03 PM
You see, my family have been here from the foundin... by Skeptic1 on Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:45:21 PM
video about Hitler, it's worth your time.http://ww... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:48:12 PM
The Crusades: When Christendom Pushed Back |ail... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 31, 2012 at 4:36:50 AM
But as to a draft, many of those sent are from the... by Samuel Bryan on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 11:52:11 PM