Monday, September 15, 2014

Undeclared Wars & Unending Delusions

Once Upon a Time...  Wars  were  declared by Congress...

The  United States Constitution explains  the powers to declare war this way:

The Congress shall have Power to declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

The United States of America has been at war now for 13 years. It is a very real war, that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. It is in fact, the longest war in American History. It is also a war which has never been declared. It is war that has no "home front". It is war where the human costs have been borne almost exclusively by our Military men and women and their families.

The current threat of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" is a direct result of our failure to adequately plan for, and secure a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The decision to dismantle then disperse the still -fully armed soldiers of the Iraqi Army, was the seed from which grew the rancid weed of Al-Qaeda in Iraq , which has now bloomed into ISIS

It is also most certainly a war if not mostly for, then predominantly about, oil. It is long past time for everybody to be honest. If there was no Oil in middle east we wouldn't care about what went on there. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. It is reason we invaded Iraq in the first place.

But the truth in that admission is bigger than just saying this war is about oil. It is also being willing to admit that in 2014 we live in a completely oil-dependent world. Oil is a much a strategic resource as water and food. So to admit we went to war to secure the free flow of oil to the global market is not necessarily in and of itself all that shocking of thing to admit to.

Unless everyone is willing to give up everything we use Oil for; (Which is pretty much everything in our civilization from transportation,  to  energy and food production.  To   anything and everything made of plastic.) To decry the influence of oil on our strategic and military decisions is to be remarkably naïve.

Donald Rumsfeld Greets Saddam Hussein

So  lets be clear here.   The problem is  our addiction to Oil.   It is the reason behind  the  greatest  foreign policy and military  debacles in American history.  From the decision to invade Iraq, to our historical  long running   support  of ruthless dictators and undemocratic regimes  from the Shah of Iran,  to  Saddam Hussein, to the Saudi Royal Family.   

The day we free ourselves of our current all-encompassing need for Oil, is the day we free ourselves from the single greatest motivation for military entanglements in the Middle East. As long as this toxic black goo, found under the sands of that part of the world, is the most critical strategic and economic resource there is, then the stability there, is an issue that transcends the interests of individual nations, and is in fact a matter of Global security.

But the deep dark truth of the matter is, nobody wants to have THAT conversation. Least of all the Oil industry and those people and organizations both outside of , and within Government who are either personally or institutionally invested in our dependence on oil.

So it begs the question if there is a well armed, well funded military force, which openly declares that one of its chief goals is to harm the United States, and that force is in a position to exert enormous control over the world's most important economic and technological resource, is that not a clear and present danger to national security? The answer is to that question is simple, the implications of that answer, are anything but.

Is the United States at war in the Middle East? You would be hard pressed to find anyone who could with straight face give any answer other than Yes to that question. Yet we are spending so much effort to behave as if we are not. We are fighting a war against radical extremist terror groups and doing it via vague Congressional Resolutions that "authorize the use of force". But never actually honestly say what it is we are doing. We are at war.

There is not shared sacrifice in this conflict. It is the brave Men and Women of our military and their families who have paid that terrible price. We have even cooked the books so the economic costs of this war, running into the Trillions of Dollars have been hidden, put on the National Credit Card because raising taxes to pay for it was politically unpalatable.

Instead this 13 year old war has become the very thing President Eisenhower warned us about. It has become an industry.

It is time for America to be honest.    In recent days we have seen shameless political opportunists in Congress, like Senator Lindsey Graham, running on to Fox News to  decry  a lack of action by the President,  while  at the same time deliberately avoiding their own  constitutional obligations.  
 If we are to continue this open-ended war in the Middle East with  a new front against ISIS, then it is time for Congress to pass a Declaration of War. 

It it is time for the Nation to be truly put on a war footing, It is time that a tax surcharge on corporations and individuals be levied to pay for it. It is it time for the Draft to be re-instated to provide the force to fight it.

And as this war is about oil , it is time for petroleum rationing to be instated,   to force us as a Nation to come to terms with just how dependent on this one resource and its related industries we  truly are.

Anything less is a lie. The most costly and bloody lie in American history.   A lie which both political parties  are guilty of perpetuating,


1 comment:

Kathy Lautz said...

Thou tellest the truth. I've spent much of the spring and summer this year in the US oil producing states, and have become much more aware of how totally dependent on oil we truly are. You call it out very clearly, as usual.