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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/24/09

America Prepares for Its Next War

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Message dick overfield

Ever wonder why we Americans keep fighting all these wars & losing them, Reagan's triumph over Granada notwithstanding? Why does it seem irrelevant whether we win or lose? Might the answer be that war profiteers haul away train loads of cash correlated to body count regardless of the outcome of the war? Might it be that a sizable sector of our economy is completely dependent on waging off shore wars?

Central & South America are in the crosshairs of the Pentagon & America's war industry. With the economy on its knees & the Iraq war a settled loss & winding down, with Afghanistan stumbling from mess to disaster to mess, the sense that Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, GE, et. al., are drooling down the necks of war planners at the Pentagon for another war is palpable.

With the surprise announcement on July 15, by right wing President Álvaro Uribe Ve'lez that the U.S. Government would station American military personnel & equipment in seven Colombian bases, the response was predictable & dark. Openly moving American troops to bases the U.S. military calls Forward Operating Locations (FOLs)*, in Colombia is pure belligerence & a provocation for war & everyone but the main stream American media seems to know it. That Colombia is a corrupted narco-state & the region's most repressive death squad democracy changes nothing whatsoever.

In any case, the agreement raises some grisly questions about immunity which is another way of saying US soldiers, pilots and sailors cannot be prosecuted in Colombian &/or presumably international courts for war crimes. Sound familiar? It is the over riding reason the U.S. refuses to sign on to the legal agreements of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Imagine what would happen if a similar agreement was established for installing Mexican military personnel in Texas.

The former head of Colombia's constitutional court, Jose Gregorio Hernandez, told AFP, "Immunity for United States soldiers is not in any way justified. It violates the principle of equality vis-à-vis our own soldiers. This immunity could become impunity because... a slow and likely unsuccessful diplomatic process would be required (before justice could be applied)."

Yang Qingchuan, in an article for Global Research, writes, "After the U.S. military withdrawal from Panama in 1999, the Pentagon has been expanding the 'cooperative security locations' in the region. The U.S. Southern Command also operates some 17 radar sites, mostly in Peru and Colombia. All of the above is in addition to existing U.S. bases in Latin America, including a missile tracking station on Ascension Island in the Caribbean, and Soto Cano in Palmerola, Honduras. Furthermore, the United States has small military presences and property in Antigua, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and on Andros Island in the Bahamas."

Don't make the mistake of forgetting that these numbers are totally unreliable. With somewhere around 45% of defense budget numbers black & virtually 100% of CIA & NSA funds black, there is no chance of getting an accurate picture of what the U.S. Government is up to around the world with all these military facilities & assorted bases & "cooperative security locations." (See the asterisk note below.)

President of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Cha'vez Frías, warned that all these bases pose a threat to the region. "I'm fulfilling my moral obligation to warn you that the winds of war are beginning to blow," concluding that the situation could end tragically. At the Quito summit of the Union of South American Nations, President Chavez, with the strong support of Ecuador & Bolivia, warned that Colombian soldiers had been placed under the command of U.S military forces. Under laws mandated by the Organization of American States (OAS), the world's oldest regional organization, that decision should be understood as aggression & clearly illegal. It should be noted that prior to being elected in 1998, Hugo Chavez attempted his own coup d'e'tat. He knows what he's talking about.

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Richard W. Overfield is an artist/writer currently based in New Mexico after living in Vancouver, Canada for 20 years.His paintings are represented in over 300 public & private collections in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, France, England, Japan & (more...)
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