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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/18/11

Robert Gates Was Correct: They Should Have Their Heads Examined for Starting Another War

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Message Sam Hamod

Just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "persuaded" President Obama to go to war in Libya, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, "Anyone who thinks we should get involved in another war should have their head examined." Gates was right, but he should have used the plural, not the singular, as it's now Hillary and Obama's war. It's destroying the morale of our nation since so many are against this war; it's destroying our economy because it's costing at least a billion dollars per week, and we are supporting rebels who have connections to Al Qaeda and the dangerously militant Salafis.

Ironically, we are destroying America and its moral fiber while we continue to devastate Iraq, Afghanistan -- and now Libya and Pakistan. During all this, the Republicans and Obama are agreeing to cut social services for the needy and the seniors in America, those who built the country; those who are in need, while increasing our spending for needless foreign wars that are expanding rather than contracting. I say "expanding" because although we may pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we are keeping permanent bases there, and hiring more and more mercenaries from firms such as Xe (formerly Blackwater) and others, all of whom receive very high salaries. There appears to be no end in sight for our desire to occupy these countries as we set about destroying their governments and infrastructures.  

We are now attempting to do the same in Libya. However, it is clear the Libyan people are supporting Muammar Qaddafi and not the rebels. The only support the alleged "rebels" have are NATO air and missile attacks; the people have not rallied to their side, but to Qaddafi's side. As Patrick Martin writes today in the World Socialist Web Site...

"There is absolutely no reason to take sides with the 'rebels' against the Gaddafi dictatorship. They represent not a genuine revolt from below, but the subversion of such a revolt by a collection of CIA agents, former Al Qaeda militants, and ex-officials of the Gaddafi regime -- some of whom were singing the praises of Gaddafi as the 'Brother Leader' only days before they enlisted in the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council."

With this being the case, then why is America persisting in this illegal war? I call this illegal, for according to the US Constitution, before going to war a president must consult with Congress and get a vote -- neither of which Obama did.   Also, it is in violation of the avowed intent of the UN Resolution that called only for a "no fly zone," not a regime change.

All this time, the homeless, the jobless and even what is left of the middle class in America is being ignored -- in favor of unpopular wars, where most of our money is going -- 73% of our budget!

It is impossible to have three known wars, along with the new warlike behavior of AFRICOM, and an unofficially declared war on Pakistan, and still save our American people and our economy. This is pure madness. Our leaders say we want peace, but a wise man once said, "You can't make peace by war." Unfortunately, America, Britain and France have not learned that lesson. Sadly, all of us as citizens will pay the price for this evil and this ignorance.

Perhaps Gates should have said, "Anyone who thinks we should get into another war should have her head examined." It is common knowledge that Hillary Clinton has long been a war hawk, and Obama has said more than once that he is not. So it appears, at least in terms of war, she is running the government at times more than he is. Unfortunately, it seems he is following the "Clinton" plans, not the "Obama" plans he laid out when running for president.

The Middle East is clearly a mess because of our foreign policy -- a policy that is doing us no good, but is helping Israel to get rid of any threats in the Middle East. Then, just today, the Washington Post reported that the US CIA has been funding the "rebels" in Syria to overthrow Basher Al Assad. Once again, we can see Israel's fingerprints on this, but it not going to be good for America if the Al Qaeda and Salafis take over Syria, which is what would happen if Basher is overthrown. They are organized and brutal enough to take over, because, as in Libya and Egypt, no other groups are as organized.

We must also understand that China has been making inroads in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami. We were, and still are, slow to respond, but China was not. Hillary and Obama were more interested in attacking Libya than in helping Japan, and remember the Japanese disaster happened before we attacked Libya. Thus, the Japanese and others are aware that our "humanitarian" interests are more tied to oil than to real and honest humanitarian concerns. Japan, like other traditional societies, has a long memory. They had enough bad memory from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, now they will remember we preferred going to war rather than helping Japan at a time of its largest national disaster in history -- a disaster that is still ongoing. Think about it -- it took America almost a month before any major leader in our government went to Japan to help them or to sustain our "friendship."

Finally, Obama must understand that if he allows the Republicans to cut Medicare or change it into a form where we must buy from insurance companies, and to cut Medicaid for the poor, he will be helping America into a real and probably bloody revolution of the sort that President Thomas Jefferson called for if the government ever was for itself or anything other than THE PEOPLE.

Obama has a choice, either get out of these wars that Hillary, the corporations and the CIA want, and save America, or he can stay in the wars and let the country and its people be destroyed. Not only will the economy go into the pit, but also our safety because the people from around the world that we have maimed and whose countries we have destroyed, will find a way to come here, and no amount of TSA or FBI or CIA nonsense will be able to save us from their anger.

If I were Gates, I would resign and make clear that neither Obama nor Hillary know what they're doing; that neither knows a thing about real warfare and its costs in human and financial terms in both short- and long-term, and that it would be better to save America than try to destroy other countries, especially since we will never succeed in conquering or controlling them anyway.

Let us do what we can to wake up Obama and his "team" before it's too late. However, I'd say it's only a few minutes before midnight at this point.

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Sam Hamod, Ph.D. is a graduate professor; he has taught courses in creative writing, politics, religion, mass media and intercultural relations. He has one of the very few PhDs awarded by The Writers Workshop of The Univ. of Iowa, has published 12 (more...)
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