Covert: And collateral damage

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 34

soldier-1682561_1280We are living in a period of contradiction and hypocrisy. There is hardly a subject anyone can point to and say; this is the country I was brought up to believe in, respect, and trust. If not caused by our leadership, this confusion is at least enhanced by our leadership’s refusal to face subjects head-on, honestly, and discuss them openly.

For instance, you cannot listen to the witnesses brought before the committee to study 9/11or their interrogators without realizing that “covert” operations to assassinate people perceived as threats is a preemptive policy that’s been around for a long time.

The committee doesn’t seem concerned with anything we might have done to make people hate us. Instead, the committee seems obsessed with the question of why we didn’t eliminate “UBL” (they call him Usama bin Laden) as far back as the eighties. And the answer always seems to be that we couldn’t be certain we had him in our sights or that there was usually the chance of too much collateral damage. How much collateral damage is too much collateral damage?

Wasn’t “collateral damage” the subject Timothy McVeigh invoked when accused of killing children in the Oklahoma City Murrah Building’s day care center and didn’t we despise him for that response? And doesn’t this all fly in the face of the “Don’t Tread on Me” defensive position most Americans have always taken as the stance of a nation that would never attack first, a nation that would never be the aggressor or the bad guy? Aren’t we the good guys in white hats that would only go to war as a last necessary result?

If our government can even entertain the idea of collateral damage, doesn’t it also imply that perhaps events like Pearl Harbor and “Remember the Maine” might possibly have been deliberately or “covertly” staged with unfortunate collateral damage?

Since the time of Christ the fisherman or Moses in the bulrushes of the Nile we’ve known that you should never put all of your eggs in one basket. In naval strategy, you should never put an entire fleet in one harbor. Was Admiral Nimitz the dumbest naval strategist to ever exist by sending the entire 7th Fleet to Pearl Harbor? Would your government order such a heinous sacrifice in order to get reluctant Americans involved in a war?

These are the questions of conspiracy theorists or the philosophical questions of a class in Ethics 101. The latter typically poses something along the following storyline. You are driving a bus full of school children on a narrow cliff-side road when Albert Einstein wanders in front of your bus. You have only two choices and you know the full results of either. If you swerve to avoid Einstein, everyone on the bus will die except you. If you run over Einstein, no one but you will ever know what he might have contributed to the world and the children, lovable as they are, would not add anything to society or what we call progress. It’s up to you. Your choice.

There are worthy arguments on both sides. Does it really matter whether there are only three or as many as three thousand children on the bus?

Of course, in real life there are all sorts of shades of grey and most of us hope we will never be forced to make such a choice. Unfortunately, too many of us rely on our elected leaders to make these tough decisions—and therein may lay the real problem.

George W. Bush doesn’t make any bones about which choice he would make. Anyone who doesn’t believe he would kill the children hasn’t been listening to what he says or the actions he takes. From making jokes about how he lied us into an illegal invasion to dropping the ball on “no child left behind” or the education of our children, George W. Bush is nothing if not consistent to his policy since 9/11.

And if you want to throw him into a tizzy, ask our President how he feels about the continuing war in Ireland, which side he would support, and why he hasn’t done anything about it. Then ask yourself which side he would choose if one were Islamic or a major player in OPEC.

There is much more at stake here than simple empire building and maintenance, selectively policing the world of our “national interests,” following Israel’s lead in making every citizen over eighteen a soldier (see: HR-163) or denigrating anyone who objects. It’s even greater than our concept of “freedom to” compete as opposed to “freedom from” starvation and poverty, the old point-of-view of a free world versus communist ideologies.

Today, we are dealing with raw power at its finest. Power vested in vast stockpiles of military weapons of mass destruction, the costly development and proliferation of even more of these murderous weapons, and a leadership willing to use them not in defense but in preemptive actions both overt and covert. Power that is making the United States of America terrorists to the rest of the world.

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, claims the right and responsibility to attack any terrorist or terrorist group anywhere unless they cross our borders and infiltrate our nation, much like our own “Special Forces” might do anywhere. In that case, it’s a local police problem.

Or maybe you weren’t listening when the committee investigating 9/11 and the witnesses complained about unmanned seek-and-destroy weapons such as “The Predator” not being readily available when UBL was thought to be here or there years ago.

Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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