published Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

David Cook: The next war is coming

When is the next war?

Even though today marks 10 years since the United States invaded Iraq, the American military machine moves only forward, ever forward, which means the question of our next war is not a matter of if, but when.

When will our government wage its next war?

Because it's coming. Unless we the people are able to transform ourselves into a citizenry that thinks critically and realizes that patriotism often means resistance, sooner or later, one way or another, we will be at war again.

Why? Because our government chooses to spend more money on its military than every other nation on earth. Combined.

"Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year" writes Jill Lepore with the New Yorker. "More, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis."

This therefore guarantees perpetual warfare, as no nation -- no budget anywhere -- will ignore its largest investment.

Ten years ago, the United States invaded Iraq greased on a plate of deception, lies and propaganda swallowed whole by the American public.

Weapons of mass destruction.

Yellow cake uranium.

Pre-emptive strikes.

Al-Qaida and Iraq and the Axis of Evil.

Torture as legal and ethical.

We ate it whole, and it has cost us: $2 trillion in war costs, according to a Brown University report.

Veterans, shattered, and committing suicide at an estimated rate of 22 per day.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent and dead Iraqi civilians.

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators," then-Vice President Dick Cheney told NBC in 2003.

We've morally bankrupted ourselves, and inflicted amounts of violence so exquisitely large that only heaven itself can comprehend it.

One day, sooner or later, it will unfold again. Because that's what we do in America: We wage war.

War on drugs. Poverty. Crime. Immigration. We suffer from what writer Arundhati Roy calls "psychopathic violence."

"There is a connection," she told Democracy Now! on Monday, "between all these wars and people being thrown out of their homes in this country."

In both, we invest in things that damage instead of things that give life.

War is a distortion of truth, preceded by a distortion of language. Humans created in the image of God become "collateral damage."

"I don't do body counts," then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told CBS News in 2002.

How will we be judged for such recklessness?

In the hot days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush went to Congress and asked for a blank check: the ability to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against any and all groups associated with the Twin Towers attack.

The resolution passed 98-0 in the Senate, and 420-1 in the House of Representatives.

Only one person voted against it.

Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California.

"I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States," she said in her House floor speech.

For her lone vote, Lee received so many death threats that she needed 24-hour-a-day Capitol Police security.

Simply because she dissented. Under such mob-think conditions, war-making becomes easy.

Today, we ought to apologize to the world for such a criminal war. We ought to repent, pledging to invest $2 trillion in programs that provide clean drinking water to the billions without it and end the preventable deaths of the roughly 20,000 global children who die each day -- the daily equivalent of 1,000 Sandy Hook massacres -- from things like malaria, malnutrition, bad water.

Or maybe invest it in all the things we need here, at home.

Of course, that won't happen.

But our next war will.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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nucanuck said...

We have gone from the most admired country in the world to the most dispised in a few short decades. We intervene economically, politically, and sometimes militarily in the affairs of others if we don't like their government or who they elect. By clandestine funding of opposition groups, we create civil unrest that destroys ancient societies because we may want their natural resourses or simply want to weaken their governments.

We have been determined to have a war with Iran since 1979 and we have been demonizing them to create the national hatred necessary to justify war. We have encircled Iran with military bases and tried to ruin Iran's economy, but Iran will not kiss our ring. We have provoked with over-flights and military exercises off their coasts. Two American Admirals retired early after their alleged plot to create a false flag event was exposed by Gwyneth Todd, a brave American whistle-blower. She almost paid with her life.

The American military/security apparatus is out of control and is a greater threat to America than it is a protector. WARS are US and the rest of the world knows it. We are dying of hubris and don't even know it...YET!

March 19, 2013 at 1:12 a.m.
Lr103 said...

I read somewhere recently that it takes approximately 100 years to pay off the debt 1 war creates. Imagine how long it takes to pay off the debt for muliple wars started within a few short years of one another.

March 19, 2013 at 9:12 a.m.
stoneloco said...

I don't always agree with your opinions but you are spot on, on this. Will the American public ever wake up?

March 19, 2013 at 6:52 p.m.
cooljb said...

You forgot to mention the guy running the wars for the past few years and his team. Why did you do that since you are talking about the "the next war"? Don't you agree the people in charge for the past 4 years and the next 4 years need to be mentioned?

March 19, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.
jjmez said...

cooljb, you forgot to mention those wars were already long in progress before that dude came into office 4 years ago. Starting a war is easy. Trying to stop one is near impossible.

Do you really believe all of those powerful businesses who invested heavily in those wars, especting big return, will allow them to end without a big fight? Possibly starting another war? You're very naive.

March 19, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.
MarineVeteran said...

It infuriates me to think that Americans have forgotten how many innocent people have died because of the Evils of this world.

Do you not remember February 1993, the North Trade Center Tower was bombed killing six innocent citizens and injuring countless thousands. In October 2000, USS Cole was attacked; seventeen American Sailors were killed and thirty nine were injured. August 1998; United States embassies in the East African capitols of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, was attacked by truck bombs that killed hundreds of innocent civilians. I can go on and on; but, would that sway the many Americans who have forgotten or cared less since it probably did not effect anyone they knew?

American government did nothing to bring justice nor were any murderers brought to trials. The killings continued to take more innocent lives.

It wasn't till September 11, 2001 when these Evil people hijacked several commercial airlines to target both Trade Center Towers, Pentagon, and who knows where the fourth plane would have targeted if it weren't for the heroic passengers who took charge against their attackers. These Evil doers claim to be Muslims who consider all people infidels. That all infidels must die; but, the irony of all these is that these fanatics wanted everyone to die - including the Muslim believers.

So tell me; what would you and many who disagree with the war do to stop these atrocities?

If it wasn't for President George Bush Jr. to stand up and telling the world that United States will no longer tolerate more deaths; we would still be burying more innocent American Citizens. Yes, thousands of American and Allied soldiers have sacrificed their life for you and me. This is the price for Freedom as we know it.

If we did nothing when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; we would probably be speaking Japanese and German instead of English.

Thank God that we live in Nation where young and old are willing to fight for this Freedom that too many Americans have taken for granted.

So before you and many countless Americans second guess this war; imagine how many more lives would have to be taken before someone have the guts to take charge and defend our Nation.

As for me; I am proud to be an American Veteran of Iraqi War with the US Marine Corps. My fellow Marines and lead Navy Corpman was struck with a road IED; but, God's grace kept us alive. Like many of my fellow soldiers; I have no regrets to fight for freedom. The real heroes are those who died for you and me.

Please, all we ask is don't second guess or protest the war. Look at France and many other countries who refused to fight. They were targeted by the very Evils that caused this war. If anything; protest the Evils - not your fellow Americans and Allies. Technically we did not start the war - the Evil ones did. We just finally caved into the fight and kicked their butts.

March 19, 2013 at 7:57 p.m.
Easy123 said...

MarineVeteran,

"So tell me; what would you and many who disagree with the war do to stop these atrocities?"

I wouldn't start another needless war like Bush did in Iraq.

"If it wasn't for President George Bush Jr. to stand up and telling the world that United States will no longer tolerate more deaths; we would still be burying more innocent American Citizens."

We are still burying American citizens. About 6,500 American soldier died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghani citizens have died as well.

"This is the price for Freedom as we know it."

No, it isn't. That's the price of lies and hubris. The war in Iraq was needless. There were no WMD's.

"If we did nothing when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; we would probably be speaking Japanese and German instead of English."

That is a fallacious argument based on zero facts. The attacks on Pearl Harbor and on 9/11 are entirely different.

"imagine how many more lives would have to be taken before someone have the guts to take charge and defend our Nation."

Probably about the same number. We aren't fighting an army. We are fighting an idea. Terrorism will never be defeated. As long as people hate America, there will be terrorists. And we keep making people hate us even more.

"God's grace kept us alive."

I guess "God" liked you better than the 4,487 other Americans that died in Iraq.

"Please, all we ask is don't second guess or protest the war."

No. I don't want anyone to die in senseless wars. And I know for a fact the war in Iraq was absolutely that: senseless.

"If anything; protest the Evils - not your fellow Americans and Allies."

Everyone protests the evils. No one is protesting against Americans. They are protesting war. They are protesting young people being sent to die for nothing.

"We just finally caved into the fight and kicked their butts."

And thousands died so we could flex our muscles and show how tough we are.

March 19, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
jjmez said...

Marine Vetereran said... So tell me; what would you and many who disagree with the war do to stop these atrocities

For someone calling themselves MarineVeteran you're sorely naive about wars and what actually takes place in the world. Which makes one wonder if you're really a marineveteran?

(1.) Do you really believe some alleged attacker just woke up one day and decided, Hey, y'all! I'm bored. Let's go and attack America? A country thousands of miles away? Across oceans and seas? Did you ever stop to ask yourself: ___(A.) What horrors have been committed in other countries in the name of American and European interest and other allied nations that made others want to travel so far just to blow up an American building or two? If you believe that, then we know why you're referred to as jarheads.

I have several family members and have been personally affected by the conflicts (not yet wars) going on now and several before, some actually declared a war. I have a family member who will be heading to Africa and will be there for the next two or more years. The obvious battles (or wars) we know about, Iraq and Afghanistan. The other battles (wars), like the ones going on in the Horn and other smaller skirmishes, we rarely hear about.

All I can say is, at least my family members serving, have served, aren't blind. They'll serve their country and serve it well, but that doesn't make them blind to the reality.

MarineVeteran said: It wasn't till September 11, 2001 when these Evil people hijacked several commercial airlines to target both Trade Center Towers, Pentagon, and who knows where the fourth plane would have targeted

Did you ever ask yourself then, why did Bush invade Iraq, then Afghanistan when the alleged hijackers came from (A.) Saudi Arabia, (B.)Egypt an (C.) Jordan? America's allied countries?

See: Tomas Young, A Dying Vets Letter To Bush and Cheney.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/19/1195401/-A-Dying-Vet-s-words-to-Bush-and-Cheney

March 19, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.
jjmez said...

Easy123 said... I guess "God" liked you better than the 4,487 other Americans that died in Iraq.

Or the million innocent civilian men, women and children who's lives were lost, permanently injured and forever altered? I read somewhere that over 5,000 Iraqi lives have been lost monthly at the hands of occupying forces. Must be the God of Saul at work here.

March 19, 2013 at 9:58 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Marine Veteran, as part of being a brave patriot you owe it to yourself to read up on American interventionism throughout the world. We weren't always dispised, we earned it by dirty nefarious intervention into countries and cultures. We set up an empire of client states and those who resisted our embrace were brutalized.

We earned the hatred that has bred the terror and now we need to find a way to reverse that. These Middle East wars have not made the US safer or created freedom or protected freedom. They have made us poorer in spirit and in fact. You were used and abused by your country for the benefit of our war industries. Protecting America is a good line and there will be times when we must answer the call...but not many and not often. You were duped and I am sorry about that.

We need a solid defense policy, not a worldwide domination policy and our young people should not be sacrificed for domination and greed.

March 19, 2013 at 11:48 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Marine Veteran, as part of being a brave patriot you owe it to yourself to read up on American interventionism throughout the world. We weren't always dispised, we earned it by dirty nefarious intervention into countries and cultures. We set up an empire of client states and those who resisted our embrace were brutalized.

We earned the hatred that has bred the terror and now we need to find a way to reverse that. These Middle East wars have not made the US safer or created freedom or protected freedom. They have made us poorer in spirit and in fact. You were used and abused by your country for the benefit of our war industries. Protecting America is a good line and there will be times when we must answer the call...but not many and not often. You were duped and I am sorry about that.

We need a solid defense policy, not a worldwide domination policy and our young people should not be sacrificed for domination and greed.

March 19, 2013 at 11:48 p.m.
jjmez said...

Hey! Johnny Boy, it's your right wingNUT ignorance, hate and blood lust that murdering America and Americans.

March 20, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
Easy123 said...

I second what jjmez said.

March 20, 2013 at 11:49 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

MarineVeteran...you, sir, are the type of soldier that I have not one ounce of respect for. You are blind, deaf, and dumb in your patriotism, which isn't really patriotism at all, but mindless obedience to a system that plays you for a fool - and you don't even have the intelligence to see how you've been played. I feel sorry for you but then your arrogance and hubris quickly dispel any pity that I might feel. Read Tomas Young's letter to see what a true patriot is. Patriotism is not just putting on a uniform, blindly following orders, and letting yourself become a killing machine for any war that this imperialistic nation feels like fighting. It's good and noble to want to serve your country but you first need to do a little critical thinking on your own, to see just what it is you are letting yourself be ordered to do. It was pretty obvious to most people of moderate intelligence that the American people had been lied to. If you cannot see that even now, well, you are either really really stupid or you are so blinded by your false sense of patriotism that... well, it all comes back to being stupid.

JR, I too "sit back and watch with amusement" as I read the dim-witted comments of rabid right-wing nut-jobs like you.

March 20, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
Easy123 said...

It would be nice if you actually tried to be analytical for once, JonRoss. Your ignorance and inane ramblings serve to discredit you.

March 20, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.
Leaf said...

I don't blame anyone who serves in the military for wars of aggression. They don't start them. They probably signed up with the idea that they would be defending America. It's old civilians who start those kind of wars, like Cheney, Rumsfeld and their Halliburton buddies.

March 22, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.
anticorp said...

nucanuck, I’m not familiar with the “false flag” incident but I feel a deep simpatico to your post (oh my.. shameful on reading about it). I’m an Obama fan though and felt he was our leader back from the precipice, the Nobel Peace Prize et al. It never occurred to me before reading David’s article and your post that maybe that is one reason for the intense resistance to anything Obama. He is a threat to the American warmongering milieu. You didn’t hear a word of the outpouring of affection for him in Israel. He also was presented with the Medal of Distinction by Shimon Peres. Just before leaving for Jordan he convinced Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey for a 2010 commando raid that killed nine activists on a Turkish vessel in a Gaza-bound flotilla, as well as offer compensation.

I heard Fox radio this morning carping about the expense of his policy travels – no mention of how warmly (repeated standing ovations at speeches) he was received, even from mainstream media.

If Romney had accomplished his coup we’d be on a war footing now with Iran. Maybe the vibes are tense but the Ayatollah blew a kiss to inspections yesterday. Did you hear that on mainstream media? The sanctions are powerful. I’m not delusional. Obama is anything but perfect. The “no daylight” between us and Israel makes me nervous. I don’t back anyone, right or wrong.

I didn’t know there were embers glowing in Chattanooga like David Cook. I’m thinking of moving half back - maybe I have found a home.

I like your city on new home search.

March 22, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Come to Chattanooga, anticorp. We need more intelligent, thoughtful people like yourself in this city.

March 22, 2013 at 6:33 p.m.
anticorp said...

Thank you for that old Tn hospitality that I grew up with, Easy. I loved Chattanooga on my visits there. It has a very people and family friendly amenities.

I was ready to make the move some time back, but the portability of my health care insurance was an issue.

Not anymore...

Your Chattanooga Times Press is a gem to cherished. I hope everyone appreciates it. Too many are trying to add a fee for viewing their advertising (and news/forums). I have seen a couple in Florida dry up in the attempt. They don't realize these community forums are the literary equivalent of an interstate highway exit off ramp for advertising bill boards.

March 22, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Leaf, as long as people think like you do (and unfortunately too many Americans do), with that "hate-the-war-but-support-the-troops" mentality, then nothing will ever change. You are only perpetuating the vicious cycle of aggression and mindless worship and glorification of all things militaristic. Our military is all-volunteer now, which means that people have ample time to think about what they're getting into, but apparently they don't really think at all; rather they are driven more by the sentimental notion that just putting on the uniform is noble and heroic in itself.

As far as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are concerned, there was plenty of evidence early on that we had been lied to but I can understand how soldiers who were already on active duty at the time had no choice in the matter. But even years later, when there was plenty of time for anyone to study the repercussions of our needless involvement in those countries, people have continued to enlist, and it's precisely because most Americans still glorify war. Too many Americans regard soldiers as heroes even when the wars they are fighting are obviously ill conceived and imperialistic in nature and are causing innocent men, women, and children by the tens and hundreds of thousands to be slaughtered and rendered mere "collateral damage." Unless and until we start encouraging more people to say NO to our military-industrial complex and until we stop calling our soldiers heroes who are in fact terrorists in other lands, nothing will ever change. You are only contributing to the never-ending cycle of aggression and imperialism that is at the root of America's collective psyche. Somewhere along the line more people are going to have to say NO, and nobody is going to do that unless we stop praising enlistees for being willing dupes for the MIC.

March 22, 2013 at 7:36 p.m.
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