Book Review: “America’s War for the Greater Middle East.”

By Jon Kauffman

“In a speech delivered by President Bush at the U.S. Military Academy on June 1, 2002, Bush made the case for preventive war. Back in 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal had categorically condemned preventive war. ‘To initiate a war of aggression,’ it declared, ‘ is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,’ No presidential administration since that time had dared to question this dictum. The Bush administration was now seeking to carve out exceptions that would be exclusive to the United States.”Page 244, America’s War for the Greater Middle East, by Retired Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich.

“America’s War” is a masterful telling of the war in the Middle East which has lasted almost unnoticed by American’s for nearly 40 years. Bacevich provides a myriad of details about the operations, policies and motivations for the long, expensive war which is creating enemies and failing to achieve objectives. He exposes reasons for failure and asks when it will end.

A few of the many campaigns and operations since 1980 include Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Desert Strike, Northern Watch, Desert Fox, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, Restore Hope, Gothic Serpent, Desert Shield, Determined Force, Provide Comfort, Joint Endeavor and a multitude of other operations. Nice sounding names, but many were aggressive wars to line the pockets of military contractors at the expense of the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East.

Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barak Obama all took part. Bombing, ground troops, propaganda, mis-information and “blatant scare mongering,” arming rebels who became terrorists, drone warfare, creating enemies…tens of thousands of innocent men women and children have died, millions became refugees, homeless and hungry.

Clinton fought in Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia.  The Movie “Black Hawk Down”, tells part of that story.

During the George W. Bush administration, General Wesley Clark claims the plan was to take out 7 countries in 5 years.

Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but he was able to keep the different Islamic factions in line and hold a semblance of peace. In 2003 after George W. Bush took out Saddam Hussein, no one was able to contain the Islamic Extremists. Christians in Iraq suffered greatly. ISIS was born.

George W. Bush authorized the first drone attack in 2004. Obama greatly increased the attacks. By 2015 over 4,000 people were killed most of them innocent by-standers, including many children. Many of these drone attacks were in the country of our ally, Pakistan.

George W. Bush concentrated most of his war-making in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama closed down the Iraq war but expanded the fighting in Afghanistan and began spreading the carnage to such places as Libya, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Sudan, and Somalia, and then returning to Iraq to fight ISIS.

And what happened to terrorism during this time. As Bacevich says, “Here was a disease deemed acutely lethal. Yet the treatment administered by the United States to reduce the presence of the disease in certain organs had accelerated it’s spread to others. In Africa, the infection appeared rampant.” In Africa the enemy included, “Ansar Dine, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,….all were offspring of the original Al Qaeda.” Page 337.

The War for the Greater Middle East began in earnest to protect United States oil interests. In 1948, the United States with 6 1/2% of the population controlled 50% of the world’s wealth. Today, the United States has 5% of the population and controls 25% of the world’s wealth. American’s have been ready, willing and able to use their military to protect their wealth, power and way of life. Today The Middle East War is a quagmire, without purpose, from which we cannot extricate ourselves. Today our oil interests lie closer to home, North Dakota, Canada and Latin America.

Bacevich closes by saying, “Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything it is having the opposite effect. One day the American people may awaken to this reality. Then and only then will the war end. When this awakening will occur is impossible to say. For no, sadly, Americans remain in deep slumber.” Page 370.

Can a Christian in good conscience fight for a military who upholds such an unjust foreign policy? Can a Christian in good conscience fight for a military lead by men such as Bush and Obama who would be considered guilty of war crimes if judged by the Nuremberg Tribunal?  

Please read, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East, A Military History,” by Andrew J. Bacevich, Random House, April 5, 2016. It is possible that you will not be glad you did. Can America really be that evil?

Copyright © 2017 by Jon Kauffman Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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