There is another drumbeat growing for the United States to go to war. The media is walking in lockstep with bi-partisans in Washington, DC and with the war profiteers to this end. The likely next president, Hillary Clinton, is calling for escalation in Syria with a no fly zone that risks conflict with Russia, a nation she has been demonizing.
How often has the United States been misled into war? How often have the people of the United States been lied to about the need for war, e.g. using a “humanitarian crisis” to justify mass slaughter and the creation of a failed state as in Libya; Weapons of Mass Destruction that did not exist in Iraq leading to a war that created much of the chaos that exists in the region today; and the 9/11 attack that has led to the longest war in US history when it should have led to the arrest of the prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, and his trial in the Hague.
The beginning of US Empire, after the US took control of the continent with wars for Manifest Destiny, was the Spanish-American war, which was triggered by the explosion of munitions on board the USS Maine. The event was originally blamed on a mine in the harbor, but now is understood as more likely from internal combustion from the coal-based fuel. The US entry into World War I was caused by the sinking of the Lusitania by Germany, which at the time seemed like only a passenger ship but in later investigations found to be carrying weapons for the war against Germany. US entry into World War II came after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but rarely mentioned in the account was that Japan was reacting to an act of war by the United States, the blockading of Japan. The blockade was one of eight actions recommended and implemented by FDR from the McCollum Memo, others included putting US Naval bases as well as sending divisions of ships and submarines to the Asia Pacific, as well as aiding Chiang-Kai-Shek of China, all done to push Japan into taking an overt act of war. The memo remained classified until 1994.
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have cost the United States $5 trillion at a time of urgent needs, e.g. growing poverty, increased bankruptcy and death due to lack of healthcare, global economic collapse and massive student debt and when there is an urgent need to remake the economy to a clean, sustainable energy economy in light of climate change. The Pentagon spent hundreds of millions to support the Iraq War, indeed it paid one PR firm a half a billion to create propaganda to support the war.
The Escalating War in Syria and with ISIS
The war in Iraq has led to a cycle of war and chaos in the region including the creation of ISIS. The military has admitted that the ISIS leader was held in Abu Gharib prison where there was widespread torture, US allies are funding and arming ISIS with US weapons and Wikileaks show Hillary Clinton understanding that US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supporting ISIS. The war on ISIS has also merged into the war in Syria.
The US is now being propagandized for war with Syria while the mass media does not report critical facts about Syria that would demonstrate why the US should not be going to war. The war propaganda campaign is leading to a dangerous groupthink in Washington, DC, which is leading to escalation of the war in Syria and greater conflict with Russia. The war in Iraq has led to a cycle of war and chaos in the region.
Syria has become a proxy war between the US and Russia; as well as between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Popular Resistances opposes all the combatants using Syria as a battleground for regional and global interests and wants the US, Russia and their allies out.
This week a campaign was announced, the US Hands-Off Syria Campaign. We have signed onto the campaign and urge you to do so. It calls for an end to foreign intervention in Syria and the beginning of “serious efforts toward a political resolution to the war.” It calls on the United States to end its regime change efforts in Syria as “Only the people of Syria have the inalienable right to choose their leaders and determine the character of their government, free from foreign intervention.”
Escalating Conflict with Russia
The war in Syria is one battleground with Russia. People are warning that conflict with Russia could escalate to a new world war. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the US-Russia relationship has left the world on a “dangerous threshold” that includes the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. German foreign minister Frank-Walker Steinmeir described the situation as “more dangerous” than the Cold War. Earlier this year, General Sir Richard Shirreff, who served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe between 2011 and 2014, warned the alliance risked nuclear war with Russia “within a year.”
NATO has moved troops, military bases and weapons to the European-Russia border. Russia has responded by moving troops and weapons to the border as well. US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter delivered a speech to “missileers” at the Air Force Global Strike Command base in Minot, North Dakota where he defended the trillion dollar upgrade of US nuclear weapons as well as preparations for nuclear war with Russia. As part of that preparation the Air Force dropped two 700 pound faux nuclear bombs over Nevada this month.
In response, 40 million Russian citizens along with thousands of civil defense forces conducted a drill for World War III. Russia also temporarily suspended nuclear agreements with the US.
Carl Gershman, the head of the National Endowment for Democracy, a key agency of the US government that has been central to regime change operations, is calling for the United States to oust President Putin.
The alleged hack of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign is blamed on Putin and described as an attempt to influence the US election. Russia denies any hack or interest in influencing the US election. The evidence presented by Homeland Security and the National Director of Intelligence is thin, claiming in a joint memo it is “consistent with the methods and motivations” of Russia. And, in the second paragraph writing “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”
This fact and evidence-free memo has been used to escalate attacks on Putin and Russia. In response, the United States is threatening a cyber-attack on Russia. Vice President Joe Biden, sounding like a mafia don, said “We have the capacity to do it. It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”
The risks of war with Russia and of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia are growing. It has almost become a joke, whenever anything goes wrong – blame Russia. Whenever Russia acts in a defensive way against US and our allies’ aggression, whether it is Georgia, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine or Syria, it is falsely accused of aggression. These are dangerous times and now the commander-in-chief of the United States will be Hillary Clinton who has a history of supporting regime change, war and militarism.
Those Who Oppose War Must Organize and Mobilize
It is time for the peace movement to re-organize, grow and mobilize. Hillary Clinton has a consistent record of supporting war and we should begin to organize to stop escalation with Syria, Ukraine and Russia. We have written about the need for #NoHoneymoon for Hillary protests. These should begin as soon as possible and continue through her inauguration. To stop her worst instincts of Wall Street and war policies her presidency must be engulfed in protest so these unpopular policies can be prevented.
Weapons makers are investing in the new “cold” war with Russia and are telling their investors that the threat of war with Russia is great for business. These weapons profiteers need to be exposed and protested as well. The peace movement should be demanding that the US stops selling weapons to the Saudis, who are supplying ISIS as well as to other countries, like Israel, who are using them to kill civilians.
Anyone who is paying the slightest attention should be under no illusions that Hillary Clinton will oppose war and militarism. Unlike President Obama she will not receive a Nobel Peace Prize – people know who she is and what she has stood for. As Andrew Levin writes “a vote for Clinton really is a vote for war — for intensifying the wars Obama inherited or initiated, for starting others, and for provoking Russia, and its vilified leader enough to advance the Doomsday Clock by a significant amount.”
The peace movement must grow large enough and militant enough so that Hillary Clinton and the neocons, humanitarian warriors and other war hawks she has surrounded herself with cannot ignore the movement. She and the Democrats must see very quickly that supporting more militarism will cost them the mid-term elections and the next presidency. Her donors must be made to realize that a nuclear war with Russia is not something they will survive. The public is exhausted from 15 years of war under the banner of the Global War on Terrorism. People know that there is less stability in the world and less security at home because of the ongoing wars. The public is with us.
Trump is finished. He cannot win the presidency and is bringing down Republicans with him. Now it is time to stop the next war before it starts. It is time to say #NoHoneymoon for Hillary. The country must show it is ready to oppose the next war and the Armageddon that it threatens.