Friday, September 09, 2011

Three years in, where is the change?

The US is still in Afghanistan and in Iraq, like it was under George Bush. As a matter of fact, American diplomats are presently putting the screws on the Iraqi government to extend the agreement to keep their troops in Iraq after the end of this year. And of course, under the current administration, America opened yet another war of aggression against a country which posed no danger to it (Libya).

And to think that Barack Obama was ostensibly elected on an anti-war sentiment. Regarding those who yelled out against Bush's wars, supported Mr. Obama, and are silent now, there is only one explanation: they were disingenuous in their opposition to war.

As I have quibbled before, a dangerous moment for democracy is when there is no disagreement, and consequently no debate, about a major policy decision. When it comes to American militarism today, Republicans have no inclination to oppose it because war-mongering is their adopted gene characteristic and Democrats have abandoned their briefly+conveniently adopted anti-war position. If America's finances were not so messed up, this would be a golden time for the military industry.

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A friend of mine has always argued that the bell curve of American political positions is tightly clustered around the average position, and that average position is too much to the right for his comfort. An example of this: a number of people I know who call themselves liberals think that while the Iraq war was a bad idea, American should intervene militarily in humanitarian situations (e.g., genocide). That means, of course, that America should keep a standing army at all times, capable of striking anywhere in the world where humanitarian duty beckons.

It is up to anybody's imagination if a powerful standing army like this is open or not to abuse. I find this mindset analogical to that of those who who keep pitbulls "with good intentions"...

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