Friday, July 25, 2008

End the War on Terror now!

Barack Obama appears poised to pass up a golden opportunity, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a whole new thinking about what the Bush administration and the Neo-conservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby call the "War on Terror." This is not a war in any traditional sense. Sure, we have invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, but not in the traditional sense of vanquishing the opposition and starting fresh. Barack chides McCain for his open-ended commitment to Iraq, but yesterday Barack himself made a virtually open-ended commitment to getting deeper into Afghanistan with no sense of a timeline for getting out:

This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

Why get deeper into Afghanistan? Simple: The so-called Pro-Israel Lobby is most worried about Iran, so having a significant U.S. military presence right next door to Iran is exactly what they want. U.S. troops are never going to completely irradicate the Taliban or anti-U.S. sentiment in the region, but Barack is absurdly making precisely such a military commitment.

The U.S. needs to simply quietly drop the wartime footing of the so-called "War on Terror" and the "Global War on Terror" and the "War of Terrorism with a Global Reach", et al, and re-focus on dealing with terrorism threats on a case by case basis.

Sure, occasionally military force may be needed for limited operations where a threat is clearly identified, but the Barack Obama who talks so strongly about the the need to struggle against "walls to divide us from one another" should not be pushing to build even bigger walls by asserting that "extremism" is an ememy that can be "routed" using military force:

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it.

Nowhere in his speech in Berlin did he mention dismantling the whole military basis of the "War on Terror." That is unfortunate. I am sure that the Neo-conservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby were quite pleased that their student has reaffirmed the depth of his commitment to treating terrorism as an enemy susceptible to large-scale military operations in places such as Afghanistan. Maybe they would prefer that U.S. forces stay in Iraq, but Afghanistan is an excellent second choice for stationing U.S. forces to "counter" the "ambitions" of Iran.

I really am wondering whether The Progressives have a clue what they are helping to bring about.

I would have thought that The Progressives would have preferred a more nuanced approach to seeking out the root causes of terrorism and would have understood that more U.S. troops in Afghanistan could not possibly be the answer.

The primary "tools" that Barack should be seeking to exploit to "fight" terrorism are:

  • Seeking greater cross-cultural understanding
  • Deeper cultural exchanges
  • Separating U.S. policy from the policy extremism of Israel
  • Opening regional talks to seek to finally settle the unsettled disputes from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
  • Quiet diplomacy and confidence-building with our so-called "enemies"
  • Less public support or tolerance for the intolerant governments in the region that the terrorists despise as much as many Americans do
  • More careful attention to intelligence gathering and anslysis so that we really do know what is going on
  • Free and open relations with all governments to assure a free flow of the kind of information and ideas that are poisonous to extremists of all flavors
  • Lots of public "shuttle diplomacy" as soon as quiet diplomacy has had enough time to put down roots and enable public diplomacy
  • Stay away from setting artificial goals and preconditions and "preparations" for negotiations
  • Seek to recast most negotiations as informal talks to reflect that even if leaders know what they need to do, they may have domestic political interests to cope with
  • Focus on encouraging bilateral talks at all levels and between all parties that could blend into multi-lateral talks, but do not excessively over-burden even critical situations with the overbearing pressue of multi-lateral "assaults on sovereignty" (such as the U.S. and Europeans are doing rigt now with Iran.) When too many parties are at the table, there is sure to be a truly massive diffusion of responsibility that means nobody will be providing leadership towards a solution.

In short, end the "War on Terror" now!

Let all people everywhere get back to a peacetime footing and just say no to the Pro-Israel Lobby's constant lobbying for a constant state of fear and war. Israel's "security concerns" can be dealt with in other ways than a massive and misguided "War on Terror."

Barack: You should know better! Why did you sell out? Shame on you!

-- Jack Krupansky


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