July 13, 2020

This isn’t wonderland

Anyone who liked Vietnam must love Bush’s foreign policy. The United States is now committed to intervention in four civil wars that have been running for at least a decade: in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Philippines, and now Georgia (the war in Chechnya).

When the United States took over from France in Indochina, after the debacle at Dien Bien Phu, at least we had the full support of France for entering that quagmire. While we have grudging Russian support for the Karzai government in Afghanistan, a government devised by the United States and committed to our oil pipeline there, Russia opposes our meddling in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of has grown beyond his worst fears. Its growth faltered briefly with the end of the Cold War. But the war on drugs soon took the place of our crusade against the Evil Empire and inserted the United States in Colombia’s long-standing conflict. We now have a war on terrorism that apparently legitimizes U.S. intervention anywhere, including outer space.

Who would have imagined when the Berlin Wall fell, that within little more than a decade the United States would cut and raid funds for social programs in order to resume an arms race against an enemy that has no name and carries its weapons around in pants pockets. The succinctness of Bush’s indictment against whole nations with no proof proffered reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s Queen’s peremptory “Off with her head!” Sadly for the world, this isn’t wonderland and real heads are really being severed from real bodies.

Karen Saum


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