Jun 202014
 

Prior to the U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, longtime supporters of The Future of Freedom Foundation will recall that we stood squarely against the operation.

We emphasized that the excuse given for the operation — that Saddam Hussein was supposedly about to unleash nuclear weapons and other WMDs against the United States — was entirely bogus and was simply a clever device to garner support from the American people.

We pointed out that the U.S. government had no constitutional authority to invade Iraq because there was no congressional declaration of war, as the Constitution requires. If President Bush had tried to secure a congressional declaration of war, the likelihood is that some members of Congress would have exposed the WMD scare as bogus.

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Jun 162014
 

Way back in the summer of 2009, when the US withdrawal from Iraq was being touted as yet another great triumph by the Obama administration, we wrote in this space:

“Was withdrawal from Iraq just another campaign promise, made to be broken – like Obama’s pledges on government secrecy and other civil liberties issues? The president’s record, so far, does not bode well for an answer in the negative.

“This administration of self-proclaimed ‘pragmatists’ has no problem dispensing with principles and promises when it’s convenient. And it is decidedly inconvenient to be getting out of Iraq at the very moment we are ratcheting up pressure on our new adversary in the region: Iran.”

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Oct 092013
 


“The wicked flee where none gives pursuit,” the Book of Proverbs instructs us. In similar fashion, an imperial elite that cultivates hostility on a global scale lives under the perpetual and well-deserved expectation of retaliation – which is why it perceives everybody as a potential threat. This is why a confused young mother who makes a traffic error in Washington, D.C. faces summary execution – and the killers will be lauded for their supposed “heroism.”

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Oct 022013
 

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House and subsequent speech at the UN General Assembly, it once again appears appropriate to recall the great geopolitical wisdom he displayed almost exactly 11 years ago when he appeared before Congress to bang the drums of war against Iraq with a confidence fully equal to that of the neoconservatives whose arguments he echoed (and may have helped shape). He subsequently drew heavily on his testimony in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal’s neocon editorial page (September 20, 2002) and in an interview with the Washington Times a month later (October 23).

Of course, he is now coming to our shores under very different circumstances. His use of the phrase “hinge of history” in his testimony below sounds particularly ironic in the sudden sprouting of hope for détente, if not rapprochement, between Iran and the U.S. following this week’s visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a visit that probably dashed Netanyahu’s hopes of banging those drums on this occasion, as opposed to injecting scepticism about the likelihood of reaching a verifiable nuclear accord with Iran and raising as many other issues regarding Iranian skullduggery in Syria, Lebanon, etc. and why it can never be trusted as he can.

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May 222013
 

A policy has to be judged by its results, and by that standard interventionism is a complete and total failure, as a look at the day’s headlines reveals.

We’ve heard several public officials say Al Qaeda has been effectively dismantled, with its top leadership – including Osama bin Laden – out of commission. But that doesn’t mean our open-ended “war on terrorism” is anywhere near its end – far from it. Wired reports that the Pentagon’s special ops chief, Michael Sheehan, when asked at a congressional hearing how much longer the war will last, answered “ten to twenty years.”

The mightiest army ever assembled on earth went to war with a ragtag bunch of Islamist nutjobs living in a cave somewhere – and it took them 30-plus years, trillions of dollars, and tens of thousands of casualties to defeat them? Is this what historians will write of our Thirty Years War on Terror?

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Apr 292013
 

“I don’t want to just end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place,” Barack Obama said referring to Iraq while campaigning in January 2008.

On January 22, 2009, two days after taking office, Obama appeared to be making good on that aspiration as he signed an executive order which said: “The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”

At the time, his decision was hailed by commentators as a sign of presidential boldness, yet four years later it’s clear to most observers that whatever Obama’s virtues might be, they don’t seem to include courage.

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Apr 242013
 

The United States government has been at war for eleven years. The US military destroyed Iraq, leaving the country and millions of lives in ruins and releasing sectarian blood-letting that had been kept in check by the secular Saddam Hussein government. On any given day in “liberated” Iraq, the death toll is as high as during the height of the US attempted occupation.

In Afghanistan eleven years of US attempted occupation has had no more success than a decade of Soviet occupation. The Afghans are still not worn down despite more than two decades of war with the two superpowers. Like the Soviets, the Americans have managed to kill many women, children, and village elders, but precious few warriors. In place of the Soviet puppet government there is Washington’s puppet government. That is the only change, and Washington’s puppet is no more secure than the Soviet one was.

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Mar 252013
 

Several commentators have been observing the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, but really the U.S. government’s war on Iraq began over 22 years ago.

In January 1991, then-President George H.W. Bush started the war on Iraq, and imposed sanctions and no-fly zones, which were continued by President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s. By 2001, hundreds of thousands of civilian Iraqi deaths were wrought by the U.S. government and the UN, and there was widespread anti-American anger felt by many in the Middle East.

Here is a brief review of what led up to the elder President Bush’s 1991 war on Iraq:

In 1990, Iraq and its leader, Saddam Hussein, were engaged in disputes with Kuwait. Iraq believed that Kuwait was siphoning Iraq’s oil via horizontal drilling, and Iraq also believed that Kuwait’s own oil production was above OPEC quotas which allegedly effected in lower oil profits for Iraq.

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Oct 102012
 

Mitt Romney’s speech at VMI on foreign policy has been widely condemned as vague and lacking in substance, sort of like the man who gave it. But the speech is also full of suggestions and criticisms of the Obama administration that are simply not realistic. The speech is Romney’s “Mission Impossible,” only without the cool theme music and also without a prayer of being actually achievable short of launching a series of 5 wars. I’ve decided that my initial assumption that a businessman of Romney’s experience must know something about the world was dead wrong. Apparently it is possible to sit in cushy big offices in companies like Bain, and to remain completely ignorant of foreign affairs. Romney’s speeches are all just a replaying for us of the prejudices of CEOs when they play golf together and complain vaguely about the Chinese, Russians, Arabs, and so forth. Or, maybe Romney has gotten so many campaign contributions from arms manufacturers that he can’t help see foreign affairs through the lens of new wars he wants to fight.

1. The First War: Return to Iraq

Romney wants to send US troops back into Iraq and complained again about Obama’s “abrupt” withdrawal from that country. I don’t know how many ways there are of saying this, but it was from the beginning absolutely impossible for US troops to remain in Iraq legally. Romney apparently let Dan Senor, Bremer’s Neocon spokesman who came out to lie to us every day in Baghdad, write the following paragraph:

: “In Iraq, the costly gains made by our troops are being eroded by rising violence, a resurgent Al-Qaeda, the weakening of democracy in Baghdad, and the rising influence of Iran. And yet, America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. The President tried—and failed—to secure a responsible and gradual drawdown that would have better secured our gains.”

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Sep 262012
 

Twenty years ago, as I was completing my freshman year in college, I was a full-blown neoconservative. Except I didn’t know it. Having concluded that I was not a leftist, I simply decided by process of elimination that I must be a Rush Limbaughian.

Like most people, I was unaware that any alternative to those two choices existed, or that in some ways they were two sides of a common statist coin. In particular, I embraced a neoconservative foreign policy with gusto. The way to show you weren’t a commie was by supporting the U.S. military as it doled out summary justice to bad guys all over the world. And frankly, it was exciting to watch it all unfold on TV.

I never gave the human cost of war a second thought and became impatient with anyone who did. War was like a video game I could enjoy from the comfort of my home. Devastation and human suffering were quite beside the point: the righteous U.S. government was dispensing justice to the wicked, and that was that. What are you, a liberal?

The Persian Gulf War of 1991 was the first U.S. conflict of my college career. During the months-long U.S. military buildup in the Gulf known as Operation Desert Shield I eagerly promoted the mission to anyone foolish enough to listen.

When war came, it was swift and decisive. Very few American casualties were suffered, while the Iraqi forces were destroyed. Some 100,000 were burned alive by a chemical agent or buried alive in the desert while making a retreat.

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