Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kerry! We Just Say No!

We now see John Kerry peddling the old brand, War-Lovers Kool-Aid, in his pronouncements that he is going to provide the violent insurgents in Syria with body armor, armored vehicles, military training and other aid. This is how the US operates against the interests of the US voters, citizens, and taxpayers while operating in the interests of the Pentagon private contractors, also known as war profiteers.

This aid will be paid for by the US taxpayers. This aid will come despite bellows from the violent rebels that they are being harmed by a USA which will not give them air support and heavy weapons--guaranteeing that US aid will be scorned and nobody in Syria will be grateful to the US. The body armor may well be worn by insurgents who attack Americans in the future and the armored vehicles may well be driven by those attackers. John Kerry is arranging for the next chapter in Blowback, Chalmer Johnson's exegesis of our tendency to give the guns to those who point them at us later.

Research in my field of Peace and Conflict Studies features some of the complex examinations of the regional conflict formations (RCF) that connect politics, military, religion, economics, and other facets of regional groupings of nations that are often even more connected than, for example, the nations of North America (Leenders, 2007). Do we actually think that military vehicles given to "moderate" violent insurgents in Syria will be received by Arabs unaffected by the hatred we've engendered in Iraq, in Palestine, in the Arab street across the entire region? Are we that naive? Seriously?
Is this actually the time to tell starving children of the world that we are going to spend our money to distribute military goods, not food? If we really fed children and stopped military aid, would we have more friends and fewer terrorists?

Most of all, the idea that democracy comes at the barrel of a gun is outdated and proven ineffective, if not simply diametrically opposed to real outcomes measured and analyzed over time. This is shown, known and promptly ignored by those far more protective of contractor profits than they are of democracy. We gave support to our favorite violent actors in Libya and we earned the murder of our ambassador as blowback. How long will US citizens, voters and taxpayers go along with this? Perhaps it's time for peace people to join in temporary coalition with the Tea Party who oppose foreign military bases and aid. We can always go back later to insulting each other, but it seems that we have some overlapping goals that could form a basis for success.

Please tell John Kerry and our elected officials that war profiteering is unpatriotic.


Gearan, Anne (27 Feb 2013). Kerry: U.S. must help counter aid to Syria opposition from extremists. Washington Post
Leenders, R. (2007). 'Regional conflict formations': Is the Middle East next?. Third World Quarterly, 28(5), 959-982. doi:10.1080/01436590701371660

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