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War, What Is It Good For?

The Geopolitics of Syria Turning into a Low Level World War III


(Clinton, KY. October 9, 2014) "War, What Is It Good For?" is a song title from the forgotten wars of the 1960s. The Vietnam War brought into adulthood a generation of young men and women, that society called the Baby Boomers.

This was an age when the youth questioned and doubted American foreign policy of invading a distant nation. In time, the war proved a failure for the military, for the government, and for the cost in lost time and lives building America for a 20th Century domestic agenda.

War, what is it good for?

Now in the autumn of 2014, war once again is good business. As if by plan, after America spent some 13 years and over a trillion dollars fighting bad guys in the Middle East, we now are brought back into a new arena of conflict, which we created on the way out of the last war.

As we left Iraq, its army folded like a cheap tent. Left to their own command structure, which cost us billions in weapons and training, at first fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), they dropped their guns and ran. So much for having spent the better part of a decade, teaching them our nation state values of democracy.

Two years after the Muslin Spring, when hope rose for individual rights and democracies coming to power in the Middle East, the sordid specter of ancient history has reached out from the grave of empires, to strangle the goodness out of the region.

What is now left is a world class mess. The wealth of the Middle East has taken refuge in the shadows and fog of our past wars with the tribes of the region. Speculation by many is that their money has found its way to ISIS as a bet upon yet another regional powerful tribe to fight the holy wars.

However, ISIS is proving to be a throw back to the acts of 14th century barbarians. As part of a strategic plan, ISIS instituted a military campaign of terror and fear as its reason for being. Beheadings, tribal massacres and genocide, looting on a nation state basis, pushing aside the power structure of Syria, Iraq, and now, reaching toward Turkey.

This is where America has now reentered the geopolitics of tribal warfare. It is as if we, as a nation and military, have learned nothing over the past decade. It was insanity to attack the Middle East in the first place. Now, we are poised to become mired in a new military nation front of armed conflict.

At what cost per day, per hour, per military mission will this rush to save Syria from itself, push America more into the rut of forever war footing? Have we, the American Empire, lost any chance for a "peace dividend" from the last decade of war?

Will a failed Congress lose touch again with the American people over any sane debate of again going to war? With a President who is looking more like the last days of Woodrow Wilson, can the Washington bureaucracy handle war and demands of peace at the same time?

Ever since the 1980s, warnings about dangers of railroads failings, bridges collapsing, water and sewer systems failing, have the national parties ignored America's domestic agendas.

Is it too late for our national salvation to be the "good guy" in world peace? Maybe so. Even as this article is being written reports are coming in of ISIS troops shooting down attack helicopters. We are quickly reaching toward embracing, with both hands and our feet, the tar baby of another war in the sands of the Middle East.

The geopolitical realties of going to war in Syria are that this will spell over into Turkey, who will invoke their NATO treaty membership for help. This will bring to war, the entirely of Europe. Before long, some 40 plus nations may be fighting a new kind of global war.

If we do not think this through and not just react to the siren call of war, we will relive the tragedies of what happened in August of 1914, when another time saw fit to go to war across the globe.
After a decade of world war being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, we now see the results of ignoring the poorest of nations in Africa and across the planet. The twin sisters of war, poverty, and disease have now come into world class threats.

Mankind cannot repeat the mistakes of the 20th Century in regard to waging wars over empires in the sand. To do so will encase humanity in a low level World War III as what passes for normal existence for the next thirty years.

War, what is it good for? The answer is making bullets and fighting in far off places. From 1960's to 2014, nothing much has changed.

God help us.

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