Over the course of the past 48 hours or so, there’s been two quotes that have been ringing in my ears. The first is by a man well acquainted with the velocity and power of the spoken word.
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” – Winston Churchill
The other is spoken by a man who happened to attain the rank of Five Star General in the Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during WWII…Oh, he was also the 34th President of the United States.
“In the councils of government, we must 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.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
For the sake of brevity, I’ll keep this short and ineloquent. When I was 12 years old my Father was deployed to Afghanistan. Now, I’m coming up on my 30th birthday with 8 years of active duty service and multiple deployments to the Middle East behind me. I also have a son now. As a father, there’s really little more that I want for my son than to be happy, healthy and have a good life. I really couldn’t care if he’s a doctor, or a plumber, or a male stripper. There’s really nothing that I wouldn’t support him in as long as he’s a good man living a good life. The only notion, or possibility (that I didn’t even really consider to be a possibility until earlier this week) that just doesn’t sit right with me is the idea that he could be the third generation from my family to fight in the same, ceasingly endless parade of wars and conflicts in the middle east. Three sons, that were born and raised to fight the wars the men of his father’s time failed to end.
There’s two more quotes that have been ringing in my ears. These quotes however, are from the same man.
“Once the Iraqi people see that Saddam and those around him will be removed from power, they’ll welcome freedom, they’ll be a liberated people.” – Ari Fleischer, former Press Secretary for George W. Bush
“I think it is entirely possible that this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani.” – Ari Fleischer, American Media Consultant and Political Aide
With regards to the first quote, anyone nowadays capable of any semblance of critical thought realizes the truth that the American people were misled and lied to before the invasion and occupation of Iraq. An overview of the examination of the statements leading up to the Iraq War, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism shows that,
“The Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”
The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda. Light estimates report the Iraqi Civilian death toll of that war around 200,000, as well as roughly 4,500 U.S. Soldiers killed.
It’s clear from the second quote that Ari Fleischer (among many other chickenhawks), having a full plate of untouched crow from his ravenous cheerleading for the first bunk war, thinks it might be a good idea to order a second helping.
The assassination of Maj. Gen. Soleimani, and subsequent ramping up and mobilization for a war with Iran, ironically enough, comes just a few short weeks after “The Afghanistan Papers” were released. For those that are unaware, the Afghanistan Papers was an exhaustive effort in investigative journalism illuminating the fact that the American people were once again lied to and misled at pretty much every turn throughout the Afghanistan War. The Afghanistan Papers are entirely too comprehensive to discuss here. But the Washington Times sums up pretty succinctly the meat and potatoes of its essence.
“After 18 years, 2,400 U.S. military KIA, more than 100,000 Afghan deaths and more than a trillion dollars spent, the Taliban now controls more territory and has more political clout than at any time since they were driven from power late in 2001.”
It’s past time that we as Americans start asking questions. Questions like “Who actually stands to gain anything from another war in the Middle East?” It’s surely not anyone living in the Middle East given our track record. It’s surely not the mothers and fathers of the American sons and daughters that are now reduced to folded flags sat solemnly on a mantle in the living room. I’ll let each individual who reads this connect the dots and trace the clues back to their own conclusion to the question.
I have my own personal conviction and belief that I know EXACTLY who reaps the benefits of a nation perpetually embroiled in war, and I’ll end by saying that my family has already volunteered 2 generations of men to fight these forever wars. I think the third son just might come down with a bad case of bone spurs this time around.
Contributor: Seth Adams