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March, 2003

Defending Freedom With Weapons of Mass Distraction
By Stephen Simac

"Your chances of freedom are enhanced by having a strong military in a democracy, Éit's proved itself to be true over and over." -General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

It's a popular view that America's bloated military is the only thing that stands between our constitutional rights and total slavery. An unexamined belief about history is that only superior military force or it's threat has helped humans achieve liberty, civil rights, freedom, peace, democracy, justice, less crime, better morals and most good things.

It's undeniable that a tribe or nation unable to defend itself is at risk of invasion and worse. However defenders of home territories have logistical advantages that can allow them to repel invaders with equal or even inferior forces. Our two wars against Britain proved that.

After the first one, the Revolutionary War, our constitutional creators wanted to limit standing armies. They knew they were a danger to democracy based on the few historical examples at that time.

Athen's limited democracy fell from within to military dictators invoking emergency powers and civil war. Rome's legions loyal to victorious generals helped topple their republic. Rome's "rule of law" included feeding Christians to the Lions as a spectator sport.

Americans' Bill of Rights were added to the constitution because citizens peacefully refused to allow the strengthening of the federal government without a balance of individual and states rights.

There hadn't been many democracies when the untied states agreed to form a democratic republic, and no successful ones. They took a historical gamble against all odds. So far it's held together.

Since their experiment blazed around the world like a beacon on a hill, many more democracies have sprung up like spring flowers of Liberty, Justice and Freedom for All. Some sprouted peacefully, some "fed on the blood of martyrs." Some fell apart on their own, some were seized by military coups. The glue that holds the successful ones together is prosperity and meeting the needs of their citizens.

To ensure domestic tranquillity the Founding Fathers held that the common defense must not endanger the general welfare or even the pursuit of happiness, unless fending off actual invasion. They favored a tiny army and navy. Loosely trained militias were called up to defend our shores from foreign navies and frontier homesteads from the "savages".

Deputized posses and vigilante lynch mobs were popular on the domestic front to supplement limited law enforcement budgets. Though their rough justice was selectively applied and didn't owe much to the "rule of law", this was cheaper and prevented the possibility of military or law enforcement coups.

Operation Enduring Freedom

As far back as General Benedict Arnold our military and security forces have been plagued with treasonous plotters. The first commanding general after George Washington, General "Money Bags" Gage was also "Agent 13," a traitor selling secrets to Spain. After Eisenhower warned "Beware the Military Industrial Complex" in his farewell speech, we haven't "beworn."

We've more or less welcomed them begin.-at least since their assassination of Kennedy went unrevealed and unprotested, their interests have dominated the direction of our "democracy".

Many people in the military or intelligence agencies and those who support its enormous budgets and endless preparation for war believe that US soldiers and their generals are defending our freedoms by invading Iraq. This is based on fears of a future attack by Saddam with Weapons of Mass Destruction, which will destroy our American Way of Life. Or that he might supply Terrorists with Weapons of Mass Distraction.

They say he's another Hitler and Containment is only Appeasement. No argument can persuade them that this War is more likely to create a Horrific Future than prevent it. They believe it's necessary to "git Saddam now" or we'll have to "git him later."

It's an empty debate about possibilities, because the probability is that this war is more likely to cause a horrific future than prevent it. The theme of a preemptive strike based on fears of attack will spread like wildfire. There's not a nation on the planet that doesn't feel threatened by its neighbors. Often with better reasons than for destroying Iraq.

These arguments are a red herring because removing Saddam and his WMDs is not what this war is about. That's a reason people can get behind, but if so, why Iraq? He's hardly the biggest threat to world peace or even his own people.

There is control of Iraq's oil of course, and protecting Israel but achieving these goals with this war is a crap shoot at best. One underreported reason for the Bush administration's war is as attempt to stave off the collapse of the dollar and the pound. Trillions of dollars are at stake because Iraq recently switched to trading oil for Euros instead of dollars. If other oil producers made the switch to the Euro the dollar would flatten out like a pancaking world trade tower. Oil producing countries are being shown the errors of Saddam's ways.

Reportedly the pound is on the brink of collapse because the British treasury speculated in currency and gold. Blair is simultaneously being bribed and blackmailed to go along with Bush according to Sherman Skolnick on his web site and public tv show in Chicago.

A more documented scheme was published by Bush advisors calling for A New American Century. The voices in Bush's head are crying out for an American empire based on endless conquests, beginning with Iraq. Syria, Iran and N. Korea are in their sights. Some religious zealots believe they are starting Armageddon, and hastening the return of the Messiah.

A Bright And Shining Lie

People who join the military to defend our constitution are to be warily admired for their idealistic resolve. For most of them their economic choices are so limited they are grabbing for the only bright ring. It's been carefully polished with their ideals, pounded and forged from endless propaganda about American history. Our American Creed, the Declaration of Independence have beautiful ideals worthy of defense. That's not they're serving, now.

Their own awakening from the "false message" may come from the vast differences between democratic, constitutional ideals and military realities. The experience of being used and discarded by the military once their health or usefulness is shot has been shared by the veterans of every American war. It may show them their value to the military does not extend beyond their usefulness as fodder for War.

Operation Shock and Awe, the planned invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, promises to provide plenty of opportunities for them to awaken. Operation Desert Storm was a crushing victory over Iraq, 40 days and 40 nights of bombing and strafing, then ticker tape parades. Ten years later 40% of US Gulf War vets are disabled or dead.

America's official reason for sending our soldiers into foreign lands since Wilson sent our doughboys "over there" in WW1 has been to "save the world for democracy." Yet the last time America's military actually protected our nation from sustained attack was the War of 1812. (Some southerners would claim it was the War of Secession in 1860).

We fought WW2 for a just and noble cause and saved the world for democracy again, but it wasn't because the Axis of Evil wanted to invade America. We rescued and protected the world's democratic freedoms and other interests through two world wars and a fifty year long Cold War, when it suited our purposes. Isn't it about time we saved our own country for democracy?

Our Mutual Threat with the Soviets was Extermination not Invasion. Mutually Assured Destruction worked with an "Evil Empire." The Soviet Union was far more threatening than Iraq or even the entire Muslim "clashing civilization." Those commies fell through peaceful civil demonstrations from within. Russia is now a tenuous democracy that sends us its excess taxi drivers and gangsters.

Why have we now abandoned the principles of international law and deterrence? Saddam's a juicy target, sure. Our CIA helped him come to power and the Bush/Reagan regime helped him keep it throughout his war on Iran.

Our country has been geographically isolated enough to avoid most of the horrors of war in the homeland. Even Pearl Harbor or 9/11, horrendous as they were, do not compare to what Europeans, middle Easterners and the Asians have been through. Trillions for "Defense" did not protect our shores on 9/11. The failure to protect the airspace of Washington for those critical hours was either a dereliction of duty or treason. If Common Defense is our military's main purpose then a bigger overhaul than Rumsfeld can provide is needed.

 

 

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