The Pro’s and Cons of Continuing America’s
So-Called “War on Terror” in the Middle East
Dear DI and B.E.A. staff, and friends,
In this open letter, I’m sending you the face of the “beast”. The beast with the #666 on its head. The featured essay (neo-con side) is the most persuasive argument in favor of our pursuing—and “winning”—Bush’s preemptive war on terrorism I have ever read. It is so frighteningly seductive in its references to the origins and seeming inevitabilities of wars in general, citing the causes and “solutions” to WWI and WWII that I classify it as among the finest pieces of (low-brow) neo-con-artistry (propaganda) written since 9/11/01. It’s “low-brow” propaganda that always decides wars and presidential elections, so don’t discount this forwarded sermon on the basis of its puerile intellectual prowess.
I addressed this letter to DI’s in-house historian and philosopher, Dr. Leonard Carrier, and transmitted it to the DI and B.E.A. Staff, contributors and friends for the purpose of provoking dialogue and soliciting comments in return. I will, by way of preview of Len Carrier’s essay on the war in Iraq and Iran share with you only this: (What I wrote to him after he responded with the wonderful essay that trails the initial (neocon) piece by Kraft:
Dear Len: This is—without doubt—the most beautifully concise—and comprehensively accurate–statement concerning the neo-cons’ war in the Middle East I have read to date. You should write more when you’re “ticked off”, my learned friend.
Bravo and kudos! Dusty
Back to you DI and B.E.A. readers and friends: I invite you (again) to reply to me at my e-mail address ([email protected]). I will collect and collate your replies and publish them all—without censorship– on the DI website in the order received, so that they will be added to the article here posted. Please don’t hesitate to reply just because you don’t consider yourself a history or foreign policy expert. All our opinions matter. In fact, our opinions (as Americans) are the only thing that really matter because war in the Middle East will continue…even to the end game of Armageddon unless we the people somehow develop, communicate and execute a consensus of opinion propounding peace.
The beast in this scenario has an appealing face. The writer–Raymond S. Kraft–is a neoconservative lawyer living in northern California who is one of the “30-percenters” who still believe that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are correct in pursuing their wars in the Middle East. His pro-war sermon is seductive because he makes the notion of escalating the war in the Middle East seem attractive in comparison with the “history of our future” which he projects as forthcoming if we don’t heed his warning and his rallying call to …WAR!
If any of you want first to read my own account of how we got INTO this on-going war in the Middle East in order to read this call for its escalation in the context of its origins, please click on and review the “Free Book” on this site by clicking here.
If you’ll scan the cable TV programs now, and your own newspapers, you will find—everywhere—references to the call for escalating war from the ubiquitous pulpits of fundamentalist Christian evangelicals across our dumbed-down, neo-con-propaganda-brain-washed nation, making Bush’s “surge” in Iraq and his saber rattling towards Iran appear to be nothing short of GOD’S WILL. The American public (red state portion) is being herded , sheep-like to the brink of losing all resistance to the call for war in the Middle East, because the war against “jihad Islam” is being painted as the “End-Times War of Armageddon” as forecast in the New Testament. And the scary thing is that both Democrats and Republicans are so afraid of losing the votes of these Christian Fundies that none of them will dare take a stand and say that their call for Rapture through a call for escalated war is as Anti-Christian as any proposal since the snake’s beckonings in Eden.
Combining the Old Testament mythology about God’s promising Jews all the land between the Nile and Euphrates with the Jews’ (the theological basis for the 1948 Declaration of Statehood for Israel in the heart of Islamic darkness) and Gentiles’ John (of Patmos Isle fame) forecast of an end-time war of Satan and God, and New Testament promise of Jesus’ Rapturous return thereafter (along with infidels being “left behind”) you have a formula for disaster. International disaster because, in truth, just as Raymond Craft warns us, end-time nuclear war machines are in fact at large…and are now capable of fulfilling Biblical prophesy—quite literally.
But that possibility—I insist—and beg you to believe along with me—is not God’s plan…and it has certainly never been the plan of Jesus Christ who professed until his earthly departure that He came to save us…from each other and ourselves.
The trouble is, that most of these doomsday weapons (nukes) are in American hands, and it’s Americans who are gearing up to use them…preemptively…(e.g. limited-yield bunker nukes) in order that the same nuclear power will not be used in the hands of Satan (which would be the Wahhabee-Jihad Islamics…those alleged Satanic bugaboos of the Christian Fundamentalists’ call to preemptive war. )
Now, Len (I’m directing the following questions to Dr. Leonard Carrier, professor of History and Philosophy, of Asheville, NC), I’d like you (and the rest who receive this communication) to respond, in what ever order you choose, to both Kraft’s piece and what I will hereafter write as further predicate thereto.
Kraft contends that the only way to prevent this alleged Islamic Fascist force (albeit a tactic as opposed to either a nation state or either visible or corporeal organization) from conquering and/or simply destroying the world (I suppose with suitcase nukes well placed) is to continue to escalate and “win” the war on terror which Bush began in the Middle East. This guy is literally—and skillfully–advising us to resolve to consummate the restructuring of the Middle East by conquests of Iraq, Iran, Syria etc…just as called for in the widely-unknown Jewish Mein Kampf treatise I argued constitutes the blueprint and animus of Bush’s preemptive invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which would be the paper entitled “A Clean Break” penned by A.E.I. and PNAC members David and Mayrev Wurmser (and other Jews) which is described again in my little free book mentioned (and linked) above.
Len, what I’d like to hear from you, in addition to your response to Kraft’s proposal, is in essence this:
In fact has there been in the past century more than one war? Aren’t the martial monikers “WWI”, “WWII” , “Korean Conflict”, “Viet Nam War” , “Bay of Pigs” , “Desert Storm”, “War in Afghanistan”, “War in Iraq”, “War on Terror”….all synonyms or sub-chapter titles for the same, perennial and on-going conflict, with only a few changes of guards and rallying cries? Aren’t all these “events” simply karmic dominoes in the same stupid quest for power and dominance in a world turned from agrarian tribes to industrially-globalized and greedy conglomerates?
Isn’t there a strong historic case to be built for the argument that there has, in industrial times, been only one war…and the wager (the pre-emptive instigator) has been only nominally a leader or a leading nation, and in fact has been the group who have risen to power in order to defend themselves against the ones who had more power before them and abused them with it? Isn’t it simply a matter of the victims becoming oppressors once they have achieved the power to counter the oppression of their own predecessor bullies? Isn’t it the same circular karma that led the perpetrators of early genocide (Old Testament Jews traversing Arab territories in pursuit of god-promised real estate and en route killing “every man, woman, child, 4-legged animal and chicken” standing in the way…to wind up themselves victims of genocide in Europe—and now the Middle East–4000 years later?).
Haven’t the “victims” of WWI and WWII (the English with their American, Russian and French allies) become oppressors of the Middle Eastern (and all weaker) states…simply as a natural result of first acquiring the power to defeat the power of their “fascist” oppressors only to fall victim to the absolute power that corrupts absolutely, and becoming fascist in the process? Don’t’ forget- Russia invaded the Middle East first (their failed invasion of Afghanistan).
At the close of WWII, Americans were victims (yes, we remember Pearl Harbor) first, strengthened victors second, and finally industrial and nuclear powerhouse of the universe. Only Russia’s nuclear arsenal can (and) did subdue and temper America’s use and abuse of its nuclear power, making the recent (and still—no matter what they say– simmering “cold war”) the least destructive episode in the century of war…given the potential for destruction and international mayhem.
Len, has there been more than one war this Century? Hasn’t war been the rule and peace the periodic illusion?
Weren’t the Depression years in U.S. history simply a cease fire? Aren’t Afghanistan and Iraq simply an historically amorphous new chapter in the same old war? And isn’t the only solution to the present war the same solution that always was the only solution to the game of war…where ( in the Hollywood movie “War Games”) that wonderful computer finally instructed us with poetic profundity that …”In a game of trans-global thermo-nuclear war, the only way to win is …not to play.”
Len, is there any way to head these crazy Judeo-Christian crazies away from their belief that nuclear holocaust is inevitable because it’s God’s will? Any way to convince them that “getting the other side first before they get us” is the axiom for the institution of hell on earth? Any way to convince Christians …in fact and in deed to become “Christ Like” and do the only thing an Islamic enemy can neither anticipate nor successfully combat—that being to love him in spite of the fact he may never either accept or love us in return?
Any way to convince us all of the absolute fact that war is our only enemy, and that the power to win a war is never an excuse to begin one…because the war which has begun, according our most recent century’s history, will never end…until for the first time in history , a people with absolute power, resist the temptation, impulse and opportunity to become absolutely corrupt?
Awaiting with anticipation your (all of your) thoughtful and creative responses, and wishing you the
11 17 07
PS – I thank our DI correspondent, Bob Sheets, Naval Air Corps, Retired, Sembach, Germany, for the article herewith forwarded.
NOW, SCROLL DOWN FOR THE “LESSON IN HISTORY”…
Lesson in History: By Raymond Kraft
SOME OF YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT NEARLY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA WAS GROSSLY AFFECTED BY WW II MOST OF YOU DON’T REMEMBER THE RATIONING OF MEAT, SHOES, GASOLINE, AND SUGAR. NO TIRES FOR OUR AUTOMOBILES, AND A SPEED LIMIT OF 35 MILES AN HOUR ON THE ROAD, NOT TO MENTION, NO NEW AUTOMOBILES. READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE WOULD REACT TO BEING TAKEN OVER BY FOREIGNERS IN 2007.
This is an EXCELLENT essay– Well thought out and presented. Historical Significance
Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials.
At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war.
Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 , and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan , and the following day on Germany , who had not yet attacked us It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.
France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe . Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia .
Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico , as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe .
America ‘s only allies then were England , Ireland , Scotland , Canada , Australia , and Russia That was about it All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel.
The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn’t have guns, and cars with “tank” painted on the doors because they didn’t have real tanks A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium ) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact).
Actually, Belgium surrendered on one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could.
Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later. Hitler, first turned his attention to Russia , in the late summer of 1940 at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.
Ironically, Russia saved America ‘s butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany .
Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone . . . 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers
Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war.
All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.
There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants, and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world.
The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs — they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel , and purge the world of Jews. This is their mantra . (goal)
There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East — for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win — the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.
If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US , European, and Asian economies.
The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC — not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.
If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.
We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i. e. the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can’t do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing . . . . . . . in Iraq Not in New York , not in London , or Paris or Berlin , but in Iraq , where we are doing two important things.
(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades Saddam is a terrorist! Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than a 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians.
(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq . We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there we won’t have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq , which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.
WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a “whimper” in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor . It began with the Japanese invasion of China . It was a war for fourteen years before the US joined it. It officially ended in 1945 — a 17 year war — and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again . . . a 27 year war.
WW II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year’s GDP — adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WW II cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.
The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost about 3,000 American lives, which is roughly equivalent to lives that the Jihad killed (within the United States ) in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The cost of not fighting and winning WW II would have been unimaginably greater — a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism.
This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay. The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be.
The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it.
If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq , then we have an ally, like England , in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East . The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world.
The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless somebody prevents them from getting them.
We have four options:
1 . We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2 . We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran ‘s progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3 . We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now; in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America .
4 . We can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe . It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.
If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.
Remember, perspective is every thing, and America ‘s schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.
The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989; forty-two years!
Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany !
World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.
The US has taken more than 3,000 killed in action in Iraq . The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944 , the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism.
In WW II the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week — for four years. Most of the individual battles of WW II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.
The stakes are at least as high . . A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law) .
It’s difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.
“Peace Activists” always seem to demonstrate here in America , where it’s safe.
Why don’t we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran , Syria , Iraq , Sudan , North Korea , in the places that really need peace activism the most? I’ll tell you why! They would be killed!
The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc.
Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!
Raymond S. Kraft is a writer living in Northern California that has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.
Esther for ESTHER’S NEWSMEMO
LEN CARRIER’S RESPONSE
Raymond S. Kraft is a neoconservative lawyer living in northern California who is one of the “30-percenters” who still believe that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are correct in pursuing their wars in the Middle East. I say “wars” because they don’t want to stop with Iraq and Afghanistan. They want to take the attacks into Iran and Syria. According to Kraft, this is a good idea, because we are battling the forces of “Islamofascism,” a cumbersome term that was coined by warmongers who were ignorant of its meaning. Someone who believes in Islam believes in a religion. Someone who believes in fascism believes that big business and the government should, in concert, run the country. So fascism has nothing to do with religion, even though fascists employ religion to get the people in line, as Mussolini did in Italy in the 1920s..
Kraft and his idolater, Marvin Parchman, think that they can conjure up images of World War II to make it seem as if that conflict
could make our brutal invasion and occupation of Iraq seem honorable. Any rational person can see that it is not the same thing. Hitler invaded Poland and then the U.S.S.R. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. We fought back. Fast forward to 2003. In response to a criminal attack on the World Trade Center, mainly by Saudis and Egyptians, we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq — countries that had nothing to do with the hijacking of airplanes and flying them into our buildings. More than 200 Yemenis died in that attack on us, as well as hundreds of others who were not Americans. So the Bush/Cheney response to that attack was not only ill-conceived, it was ill-concealed. That means that the Bush Administration was intent on attacking Iraq, and the attack of disaffected Muslims on our territory was the perfect excuse to grab for Iraqi oil. We all now know that this was the intent. The nonsense about “weapons of mass destruction” was a lie fed to the Congress and the American public so that the Bush and his corporate cronies could gain control of the oil in the Middle East.
This is also why these same corporate warmongers want to find an excuse to attack Iran. It’s all about the oil. People like Kraft, Parchman, and Norman Podhoretz, try to make it sound as if we are in some gigantic ”clash of civilizations,” and that if we don’t fight the radical Muslims, we will be submerged. This is blatant propaganda. Radical Muslims form a minute part of Islam, although our invasion of Iraq has gained many more fighters to their cause. The reason is simple. If you demonize a religion, then there will be plenty of those pushing back against the demonization. There is also another, even more sinister reason, for people like Kraft and Podhoretz to try to convince the American public that we are in a “war on terror.” This is because they support the imperialistic policies of Israel, and its attempts, not only to be the only nuclear bully in the Middle East, but to occupy all of the West Bank and to dispossess the Palestinians of land that is rightfully theirs. To further these efforts, the effective Israeli lobbying machine, AIPAC, has cowed our Congress so much that they acquiesce to every demand made on behalf of Israel, despite the fact that Israel refuses to make peace with the Arabs, and lies about it by saying that Arab initiatives are never enough. It is curious that certain Christian fundamentalists are allied with Israel in their imperialistic ventures — not because they want the Jews to control all of Palestine, but because they think that this will lead to Armageddon and rapture. This is again, blatant nonsense, and people who fall for it are hopefully few, because if very many people were to fall prey to such a con job, there would really be no future for the human race.
No, despite all the religious mumbo-jumbo, and all the scare tactics employed by people such as Kraft, Parchman, and Podhoretz (as well as the Kagans, the Libbys, the Boltons, and all the other neoconservative vermin), the simple fact is that this smokescreen about a “clash of civilizations” is simply meant to cover up an imperialist grab for the resources of other countries. The American people need to wake up to this fact, to rip away the prattle that the lackeys of war and profit use to seduce the citizenry, and to tell these greedy, corporate drones that we can see through their deceptions. It’s time to take back our country, to stress cooperation rather than conflict, and to dismiss the purveyors of greed and war back into the shadows where they belong.
IS THIS WORLD WAR IV OR…STILL WW I?
As for Dusty’s question about war in general, and specifically whether I see the war in the Middle East from the historical standpoint as merely the current chapter in the same war story begun at the turn of the 20th Century, I’ll do my best to respond in a manageable number of words.
With so many examples to the contrary, it’s probably naïve to say that humans are rational animals. Another account seems more plausible, which is to say that humans are classifying animals. Aristotle led the way in this endeavor. We like to sort things out into neat pigeonholes, so as to try to understand them better. We do the same with wars.
Since just before the turn of the century, classifiers have sorted out wars with names like the Spanish-American war, World War I, World War II, the Korean War (which the Chinese call the Sino-American War), the Vietnam War, the Cold War, Gulf War I, the Afghan War, the Iraq War (the last two conveniently described as mere battles in the ongoing War on Terror)—and these are only the wars that the United States has fought in. There have been others, such as the 1905 war between Russia and Japan, the several wars fought between Israel and the Arab States starting in 1948, and the numerous wars fought in Africa among rival tribes.
Aside from the fact that in all these wars people killed and were killed, is there any common thread that ties all these wars together? Simply put, I think that in each case there has been an aggressor and one who has been the recipient of aggression. The reasons vary, whether it was our ridding the Caribbean of Spanish influence in 1898, Serbian unrest during the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the brutal demand for lebensraum by Hitler in the 1930s, or the lust for Iraqi oil that led to our invasion of Iraq in 2003. In each case, some countries wanted what others had, and were willing to fight and die to get it. So, if we like, we can say that from 1898 to the present time, there has been but one war with pauses between its episodes.
Norman Podhoretz has made it even simpler by classifying our World Wars for us in the pages of Commentary magazine. World Wars I and II we’ve already classified. World War III is the Cold War. World War IV, according to Podhoretz is our present “War on Terror,” which is also described as a clash of civilizations between the West and the radical followers of Islam. According to Podhoretz, this last war is one that promises to continue for a long time, and it is one that the West cannot afford to lose.
Andrew Bacevich uses Podhoretz’s classificatory scheme, but has a more realistic interpretation. According to Bacevich (“The Real World War IV,” The Wilson Quarterly,Winter 2005), Jimmy Carter started World War IV in 1980, when he declared the Middle East to be a region of our national interest. This was after the oil shortages of the late 70s, and in contrast to Carter’s earlier statements that we needed to conserve energy and live within our means. In other words, according to Bacevich, World War IV is a war for oil. The Kuwait War was a battle in that war, and so was our invasion of Iraq. What has helped to fuel this war has been an increasingly militaristic attitude adopted by our leadership, starting with Ronald Reagan. We have used more and more of our tax dollars to increase our military budget; and, what’s worse, we have borrowed funds from China and Japan to finance our war, leading to a precipitous drop in the value of our dollar. In fact, the dollar has dropped so much that OPEC countries are now thinking of pegging oil to the euro. If that happens our dollar will no longer be the world’s reserve currency. If the Chinese and Japanese decide to dump our bonds on the market, it will lead to hyperinflation, and subsequently to an economic depression.
The best way to end World War IV would be to hearken back to Jimmy Carter’s advice before he decided to initiate a war for oil. Get over our addiction to oil. Develop alternative energy sources. Cut back on military spending. Institute, as Dennis Kucinich has urged, a Department of Peace that uses diplomacy to resolve international conflicts. Above all, do not act as if the rest of the world exists only to enhance our creature comforts. In any case World War IV will not be resolved on the field of battle. To think that it will, as Podhoretz seems to think, is to be subject to delusion. To insist that military force will prevail, and to keep borrowing and spending for weapons of war, will bring World War IV to another sort of close, one in which our nation is impoverished and diminished in strength and stature.
– Len Carrier
11 17 07
Patrick Morton comments:
(Patrick is DI’s Science Contributer)_
11 18 07
As though by Biblical prophesy, once in every generation the beast is loosed in the streets of Bethlehem. Put another way by a one-liner reply in Red Dawn about the reason behind yet another world war, “I guess somebody just forgot what it was like.”
Not only do acts of war seem an integral part of the human genome, but as time spirals outward from its own history so apparently do the better parts of humanity seem to be deselected from human kind’s genetic expression.
Oh, sure, some of us tend to evolve and aspire towards a more conscientious and sentient being, but by and large we (as a race) are de-evolving into apathetic creatures more suited for waging war than waging peace upon each other, our neighbors, our kind.
It is alarming that the state of being at war no longer polarizes our nation, but rather puts us at odds with one another. But this is no more frightening than the fact that we placed, or tolerated, an ignorant cracker from Texas, a college wash-out, to attain the highest office of our once unanimously beloved nation; it persists as an error gone unchecked for nearly two terms. E.g. HR333.
No, I’m not a historian by any means, but I stand in great appreciation of what the past attempts to instill within us. It seems that both world wars erupted in the back drop of global disputes and along the lines of civil unrest about Europe and Eurasia, give or take a few hundred kilometers. What begins as a seemingly benign contest of urinating for distance, goes through the gamut of penis envy, then the really big guns come out.
Am I wrong, or is this pretty much the gist of modern, global warfare?
My take, as a scientist:
As long as mankind allows its smaller head to perform its thinking we are all in trouble.
I am a Star Trek fan, not for the weird clothes and space battles, but for the science and the fascination over what we could become.
However, until we completely STOP haggling over our differences we will be no better than the apes from which humanoids may have descended. (Actually, chimpanzees hunt and kill other monkeys with a little tree-leaf salad on the side, so the notion that primates are docile is bunk!) My pet theory is that evolution and creation are events that have co-existed since the days of Adam and Eve AND there is plenty of evidence to support this claim…. add to the plethora of ancient human archeological evidence the introduction of Cain’s wife into Judeo-Christian lore, if you please.
Pointedly, we’ve been wallowing around in the mire of human existence for thousands of years still striving to “get it right”, some more diligently than others. Although exemplified by some successful societies (successful until they were slaughtered by genocidal maniacs, like the American Indians), we still refuse to make our important decisions with the future generations in mind.
Did you know there is a vortex of pure garbage twice the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific ocean, grinding up mostly plastic from every Pacific Rim country and washing up in Hawaii as entire beaches of plastic pebbles? If we cannot work together and solve really important issues, together, as one race, then God help us!!!
This is not a plug for ecology, although a vital issue. It’s not the matter of whether the earth will survive what we, as humans are doing to it.
The matter at hand is whether we will survive our own evolution!.
Charlie Chimes In…
(Charles Crotts: Thomasville, NC Resident
Artist, Printer and Viet Nam Veteran)
11 19 07
I remember a few years back Iraq had a nuclear reactor. Now they don’t. Good old Israel blew the s— out of it. They didn’t talk about blowing up the reactor they just did it. Israel didn’t then and doesn’t now give a dead rat’s ass if anyone liked what they did. They just DID IT. There were those who wanted the UN to take sanctions against Israel. The UN did not take any. Now, why is that? Everyone was glad to see the reactor gone. Even France who behind closed doors said so. They also were the ones who built the reactor. Fortunately they were already handsomely paid.