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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/16/11

Perpetual War

By Jim Winkler  Posted by John Basel (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
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Monday, I met with members of the White House staff to urge the administration to exert more leadership in the struggle to reduce gun violence in the United States. Monday night, President Obama spoke to the nation about the need to undertake war in Libya. Tuesday morning, I participated in a press conference where we lifted up the terrible problem of rape in U.S. prisons.

Violence surrounds us. It is ingrained into and embraced by U.S. society.

Violence surrounds us. It is ingrained into and embraced by U.S. society.

More than 60 years ago, George Orwell wrote of "perpetual war," a situation in which war operates as a means of controlling the population by constantly rallying them against a common enemy.

More than 50 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the growth of the military-industrial complex. He cautioned us about the need to guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, "whether sought or unsought," by the military industrial complex. "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist," he said.

The United States is at war again: this time with Libya. It matters not whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the White House; wars go on and on and on, perpetually it seems.

Middle East in turmoil.

Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, is the longest-serving ruler in Africa, having taken power in 1969. He is a strange character, noted for many eccentricities. For example, he is known to sleep in a Bedouin tent guarded by female bodyguards when abroad. He also has supported horrible terrorist incidents over the decades.

The United States isn't really sure who to side with against Gaddafi.

As the winds of change blow across the Middle East, many in Libya have seized the moment to revolt. At first, it appeared the momentum of their rebellion would carry the day. Sadly, Gaddafi has unleashed his military forces against the rebels.

It's difficult to determine who the Libyan actors are. News reports indicate the United States isn't really sure who to side with against Gaddafi.

Libya is a complicated stew. I wonder how many political and military decision makers in the United States and NATO know much of the allegiance or grievance or influence of the Warfalla, the Bani Walid, the Megarha, the Awlad Busayf, the Al-Rijban, the Al-Haraba, the Bani Salim, the Drasa, or the Farjan. These are just a few of the many desert tribes in Libya.

Tyrannical acts.

Obama administration officials say the United States has decided to wage war on Libya because of the threat the horrible Gaddafi is to his own people. Why not attack Bahrain or Yemen? Tyrants in those countries are committing similarly repugnant acts against their citizens.

I am excited that ordinary people are rising up across the Middle East to cast off autocrats, tyrants, kings and dictators, not to mention the secret police who harass the citizenry daily. People want peace and justice, not war and violence.

In the United States, many leaders and members of The United Methodist Church constantly, loudly lament its shortage of money. They fail to realize that vast sums of the incomes of our members are being drained off for war, death and destruction.

Given the near silence of our pulpits in the face of the violence and war that surrounds us, the exertions of our theologians in justifying war, the devotion of our denomination's members to the myth of redemptive violence, it is certain that future historians will view the church as a slave to the vast war machine that engulfs us.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prophesied, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough (more...)

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