Keep taxpayers’ monies at home
November 3, 2014
OPINION By JIM GRIFFIN
We are constantly told we don’t have enough money as a society to pay for various social programs, fix the roads, fund schools, rebuild infrastructure, etc. And yet when it comes to a new war or military adventure there never seems to be a shortage of funds.
Now we are involved in yet another war. This time the excuse is the murder, the beheadings, of two reporters, one social agency worker and numerous others in the Middle East by members of the Islamic militant group ISIS. Obama and Co. couldn’t put over a war against Syria last year, but now they feel they have the perfect cover.
We are told that the ISIS fanatics are barbarians that threaten civilization itself. They indeed are crazed fundamentalists bent on extreme violence. But what’s new about that kind of thing in that part of the world?
Many of the forces there that are allies of the U.S. sometimes do the same kinds of things. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, beheadings, the cutting off of hands, stoning of women, etc., are commonplace, but we never hear a peep about any of that from the politicians and talking heads on TV.
The point is that there are always some extreme examples or horrible actions that are held out to justify military action and whip up public sentiment. But if we look deeper we can see the hand of U.S. foreign policy at work leading to these new crises. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before the U.S./British invasion of 2003.
There was no ISIS until years of oppressive rule in Iraq that victimized Sunni Muslims. Indeed, there was no ethnic/sectarian conflict at all to speak of in Iraq until, that’s right, the aftermath of the invasion of 2003.
Now we are told we must go to war in Iraq, again, to clean up a mess caused by the disruption and horror caused to begin with by the imperial war moves of the Western powers, a vicious circle of death and maiming which benefits no one. No one, that is, except politicians, military brass careerists, big oil companies, arms manufacturers, various other corporate ghouls, and reactionary proponents of “American exceptionalism.”
Look at the numbers of homeless and mentally ill veterans of these wars, right here in SLO and SLO county. What about the physically damaged vets, their lives decimated? What about the money going to war that could go to cities and states like SLO and California for social and economic needs and debt relief? Did any of the candidates who are running/ran for office locally say anything at all about any of this? No, they didn’t, and they never will.
Don’t go along with the war drive this time. Don’t buy into the propaganda and demagoguery. It has nothing to do with any noble causes or humanitarianism fights against barbarism. It’s the same old drum beat of imperialist geopolitical power plays and the manipulation of your mind and consciousness based on carefully and overly hyped and constantly repeated horror stories aimed at getting your support for another power play in the Middle East.
Don’t drink the poison Kool Aid. It’s not about homeland security or protecting you and your family. Demand there will be no more of these wars and that money for war be used instead here at home for human and social needs and for maintaining our home turf.
Jim Griffin has lived in San Luis Obispo for six years. The son of a career Air Force officer, Jim lived in many varied places growing up. Born in California but moving to Alaska at 2 1/2, back to California, to Illinois, back to Alaska, to Canada, and ending up in the Detroit area, Michigan, when he was twelve.
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