Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/27/12

Endless War

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   5 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Sandy Shanks

I read an article the other day written by Anna Mulrine,  Staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor. The title alone sent shivers down my spine.

The article was entitled "Pentagon warns that US faces IED threat at home." I grimaced. I knew immediately where this was going. One reads into that title and one reaches an inescapable conclusion. This means endless war if the Pentagon gets its way.

Let's back up a bit to provide some background to this issue. Terrorists have been around for at least 2,000 years, probably before that. Terrorism is a tactic used by stateless persons with limited resources to attack far superior forces, from the Roman Empire to the British Empire to the Soviet Empire to the American Empire. Notice I mentioned the British Empire. It can easily be argued that many Americans in the Thirteen Colonies fighting for our independence were, in fact, terrorists. With minimal resources against a vast power they did what they could to advance our freedom. Is that any different from Arab nationalists wanting to remove the yoke of Western hegemony over their land? The point being the term, "terrorist," is relative and nebulous. Defining a terrorist depends entirely on which side one is on.

However, no one can argue that terrorists have been with us for a very long time. Unfortunately, the only terrorists that Americans -- and the Pentagon -- are concerned about are Islamic jihadists. Ergo, the only way that the Pentagon can justify its gargantuan budget the U.S. can no longer afford is to declare war on Islamic terrorists and their IED's.

Islamic terrorists will haunt the world until the West withdraws its bases, its navies, its ground troops, and its air power from the Middle East, which the West wishes to dominate. Since that will not happen in the foreseeable future, it follows that in the foreseeable future the Pentagon envisions a fight with the stateless, nebulous criminal class know as the terrorist.

To accomplish the Pentagon goals Mulrine used a common tactic espoused by Pentagon spokesman, Pentagon lobbyists, and powerful neo-conservative officials in Washington, many associated with the Romney campaign. The tactic: Put the fear of God in Americans. It worked before during the Bush administration to strip us of our liberties [please read], and it will work again.

Mulrine boldly opens with this provocative statement, " The roadside bombs (improvised explosive devices) so deadly to US troops in Afghanistan are also being deployed against Americans at home, as the Pentagon adapts wartime strategies to help counter the threat. What is the danger that improvised explosive devices -- the sorts of roadside bombs routinely used in Afghanistan, for example -- could be used on highway overpasses in the United States? "

Fear of God, right, how frightening can you get? Also, notice the use of the IED threat. That was no accident. Mulrine is calculating in her message to readers. Previously, thwarted terrorist attacks in the U.S. were called just that: thwarted terrorist attacks. Although technically correct, now Mulrine is calling them IED attacks to associate them with the war in Afghanistan. In her mind that war is now coming to U.S. soil and the Pentagon needs to protect us in this perpetual war. This, of course, will require a perpetual huge budget.

Mulrine continues to build her case with another frightening prospect for Americans. " And could these IED's be used in combination with a cyber attack -- a terrorist who might use, say, a cyber-trigger to detonate a roadside bomb? "   Omigod! She continues, " As the war in Afghanistan winds down " "

Know what? I am sick and tired of hearing that statement. Theoretically, all NATO combat troops will disappear by the end of 2014. That's 2 - years from now! In actuality the U.S. is not leaving Afghanistan until 2024 due to a recent agreement between the Obama administration and the Karzai government. I don't want hear that tripe anymore. Can we stick with reality?

I will allow Anna to complete her sentence while she beats her war drums for the next millennium. " As the war in Afghanistan winds down, US military officials are wrestling with these questions -- and how to take the lessons they have learned overseas and apply them to defense of the homeland. "

Now, see, there is another thing that sticks in my craw. I cannot tolerate the term, "homeland." It is a foreign term, and, prior to the Bush administration, Americans never used the term. In German, it is called the Heimatland or Vaterland . In Japanese, it is called the Naichi, in Russian, the Rodina. It has been used by dictators in foreign nations in propaganda to their masses to explain their aggressive intentions from the Kaiser to Hitler to Tojo to Stalin to Bush. The term is an anathema to Americans.

Mulrine then decided that her outrageous comments to support the Pentagon's burgeoning budget required some credibility. So whom does she use to restore some sense to her comments? No less than a Lt. General in the Pentagon. Surprise! Specifically, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Pentagon's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization.

She quotes Barbero, " It is clear the IED is the primary weapon of choice for terrorist networks and, as a result, is one of the enduring operational and domestic security challenges for the foreseeable future. " The good general continues to ensure we are frightened to death. " The domestic IED threat from both homegrown extremists and global threat networks is real and presents a significant security challenge for the United States."

Are you sufficiently frightened now? Perhaps you are a bit skeptical, perfectly understandable under the circumstances. This is all a bit hard to believe. Anna, apparently, understands that. So she adds another statement from Barbero that is perfectly outrageous. But keep in mind the intent here on the part of Barbero and the Pentagon spokeswoman. The issue is our national security and the Pentagon says it merely wants to protect us. So, when it comes to the defense budget, there should be no issue. Also, facts and reality are totally irrelevant. Perception, according to our masters, is the only that matters, be it true or not.

The perception the Pentagon and its political lackeys on Capitol Hill want is for Americans to experience paranoia, thus opening our checkbooks to the one government agency that can protect our country (not our "homeland"). So, Pentagon spokesperson, Mulrine, piled it on. "Since 2007, IED incidents outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have increased to more than 500 per month. The United States is among the five countries that have had the greatest number of IED events since January 2011, Barbero told a House Homeland Security subcommittee this month. This includes more than 10,000 attacks in 112 countries -- rounding out the top five are Colombia, Pakistan, India, and Syria -- executed by 40 regional and international terrorist networks."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Sandy Shanks Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am the author of two novels, "The Bode Testament" and "Impeachment." I am also a columnist who keeps a wary eye on other columnists and the failures of the MSM (mainstream media). I was born in Minnesota, and, to this day, I love the Vikings (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Classic military blunders

America Divided

Expanded Presidential "War" Power: a Time-Bomb Threatening Our Democracy

What Exactly Is COIN?

War With Iran Imminent?

The Trilogy of Despair as Bin Laden Dances in His Cave

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend