Russia's President Vladimir Putin recently quipped that some of America's partners had "mush for brains."
I think he had a good point, and more mush is undoubtedly on the way.
Opinion: More mush for brains in Syria will doom USA to international failure, frustration and ridicule, just as did our invasions and occupations of Iraq and other nations.
Invasions are the business of empire builders: Russia has now eclipsed the United States in striking ISIS targets in Syria, and to some it may seem the-sky-is-falling. To war hawks, of course, with their $ billions in contracts, the answer to every problem is just another war away. To thinking people, however, it must seem painfully obvious what we are doing.
We are embarked on yet another doomed effort of "client building," a term that is sometimes difficult to distinguish from "colonizing."
US foreign policy in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria should be evidence enough that these efforts are bound to attract mush for brains partners, but the partners are not to blame really. They may have been unrealistic, they may have dreamed of impossible things, they may be afflicted with the David complex, a notion that they can kill every Giant in their path with a handful of small stones.
In real life it seldom works that way, so they look (often in vain) for the USA to do the hard work for them. That usually fails too. Our corporations may use them as testing sites for the latest weapons, but the United States will not be there when the going gets tough. Nor should we be.
If you want a revolution, get your ducks in order, plan to do it yourself and if some big country comes along and lends you a little aid, that is frosting on the cake.
Meanwhile, I see only one real reason to stay in Afghanistan, only one reason for our soldiers to be in Iraq or Syria: We should only be there if we are committed to creating client states around the world, and we can only do that burdening our citizens with extreme debt. Every war is likely to cost $-trillions. Like Rome, our nation will collapse if we try to rule the world via client states.
Fixing the blame when things fall apart
President Obama is not fixing things in the Mideast, but wait: Consider the options.
The President had three, maybe four options in how to deal with ISIS: abandonment (of our involvement), colonization, or quagmire. He chose the latter. (There is also a fourth option that you don't even want to think about.)
Some will say the President should have acted earlier on ISIS, but whether or not that it true in hindsight, the President was right all along to attempt to get us out of Iraq (The right wing propaganda notwithstanding)
Bush-style, "Shock and Awe" tactics have neither stunned our intended victims into submission, nor inspired our (mostly imaginary) allies to form Western style, model governments in the Mideast. The invasion of Iraq was just a "mush for brains" idea to begin with, but our client-building policies kept on getting even "mushier."
Option 1: Abandonment
One option we had was to abandon Iraq and Syria entirely, leaving others to fight over the scraps and to slaughter one another in great melees.
History would have recorded the following:
The USA started wars, bombed nations, removed governments and left Iraq and other places in chaos, which opened the door for ISIS and other factions. These factions went on to raid, shoot, bomb, behead and so-on, unchecked.
Well, some of that may have happened but not all. At least not yet. We are checking ISIS and so is Russia.
Abandonment: Neither Democrats nor Republicans liked the thought of the abandonment narrative; nor do I. But we had to do something so we did something that seemed only slightly worse at the time. We gave limited help to those who were supposed to be setting up their own democracies. That, of course, was before Russia's Putin stepped in.
Option 2. Colonization and client states
Another option was colonizing: The very thing that started the American Revolution is the logical next option that was available, especially given our obvious inability inspire or coerce people into forming, and successfully defending, self-supporting democracies. We don't use the words "colony" or "client state" very often. We like to call them "partners" or "allies," but mush is mush, or more to the point, poop is poop.
Colony -- A country or area under the full or partial political control of another country, typically a distant one, and occupied by settlers from that country.
Client state -- A state that is economically, politically, or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state in international affairs. Types of client states include: satellite state, associated state, puppet state, neo-colony, protectorate, vassal state, and tributary state.
In spite of extravagant and costly efforts to do so, we failed to create successful USA-backed puppet regimes almost everywhere we attempted this mush for brains foreign policy: in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now it appears, Syria. Given our track record, if we magically could set up a state government in the Mideast, what type of state could it possibly be? A colony? A client State? An independent nation?
Good luck on that last one, given that we have been continuously at war for most of my life (I am seventy-one). Where is the list of independent nations we have fostered, nations that not require US aid, financial or military aid? There are none that I know of.
Even Israel: Even Israel gets USA welfare checks. Big ones: $3-billion per year, more or less. Israel is still a colony, or at the least a client state, created by Britain and sustained by the USA.
It may be that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to turn the tables now and start dictating foreign policy to the USA, as I alluded to elsewhere in this article. But I digress. Israel is a client state of the USA, so listed for her economic, military, and sometimes foreign policy reliance on the U.S.
Foreign aid: USA is giving to the needy? I think not.
People complaining about US aid to foreigners, seem to think the money goes to feed and clothe the poor (and even so they oppose it). But most of the big US aid moneys go into euphemistically called defense, which really means, fighting wars, often wars of aggression to enlarge the territories of pro-Western powers.
But the biggest piece of the budgetary pies is usually reserved for Israel (although I think Afghanastan may have eclipsed her recently). What we call "foreign aid," does not feed and shelter the impoverished. Instead, it spreads wanton, killing, mayhem, and even murder.
Israel is a case in point: Typically USA sends Israel some $ 3-billion in foreign aid annually, mostly for military assistance. Yet during Israel's 2014 Protective Edge the UN reported least 2,104 Palestinian died, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 women. Some of my friends and even family members have dared to call this "self-defense."
Our "foreign aid," however, is not aid at all: Too often it is blood-money to pay off hired, killer nations or mercenary armies. And then we complain that the victims don't like us. Meanwhile we cannot count on our supposed "friends."
"They dropped their guns and ran!"
This common soldiers lament sounds like a broken record, and we are likely to hear it again any time we attempt to set up and train foreign armies and puppet regimes.
Our well-trained soldiers, on the other hand, often have this attitude: Where there is the sound of guns, that is where I want to be. I want to move in that direction.
Naturally they are amazed when the allies whom they just trained, drop their weapons and run whenever an ISIS unit appears.
"Why they are not loyal?" our soldiers ask. "Why do they just run away from gunfire?"
Liberty or death?
One man's "liberty" is another man's prison:"Give me liberty or give me death" may mean something different to allied forces than to our best-trained soldiers. On the other hand, our "students" may just be trying to survive! Give starving people a uniform, a haircut, a bunk to sleep in and warm food in their bellies three times a day, plus perhaps a small salary? It is good while it lasts. Until someone points a rifle at them. They have been here before. For them, there is no first term, second term third term of military service. They have seen way too much to buy into our jingoistic optimism.
Meanwhile, we go about trying to create client states around the globe. Mush for brains? I think so.
Author's note: Please watch for Part II, coming soon.
Meanwhile, if you liked this article, please "Like," Plus+ and comment. I would love to hear from you.
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