WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE WON A WAR?
By: Justin Raimondo
While no one was looking, the US lost the war in Afghanistan. The
announcement that joint operations involving US/NATO forces and Afghan military and police
personnel will cease temporarily went down with a whimper, not a
bang. Since the whole purpose of our continued presence in that country is supposedly to
train the forces of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the entire rationale for
the war just fell apart, and isnt it funny as in funny-weird, rather than
funny-ha-ha that nobody noticed?
Well, not really: were in campaign mode, and neither major party
presidential candidate is much interested in the subject of a war weve been fighting
for over a decade, at a cost measured in the trillions (aside from the incalculable human
misery). Mitt Romney is mum, and the President has more
important matters to consider. Since Romneys foreign policy team favors a
policy rejected by the overwhelming majority of the American people, its no wonder
their candidate has little to say about it. As for Obama: remember when he and his platoon
of national security Democrats were telling us Afghanistan was the good
war? Now that its goodness seems to have dissipated with voters, the administration
would rather not remind Americans how much Obama deepened that particular quagmire.
As for the voters themselves: the same people who told pollsters in they
supported the war in the earlier part of the decade are now telling the same pollsters
they want out. The American attention span has been getting shorter over the past decade,
and if only we can get them to the point of being bored with the next war before it
begins, well be literally ahead of the game.
Speaking of losing while no one was looking: whatever happened to Iraq? Oh
yes, now I remember: it became a satellite of Iran just after the US presence was
officially albeit not actually ended. In a country where nearly 5,000
American soldiers died in a war to export democracy, the elected vice
president is on the lam and death squads roam the streets no, not our death squads
This is yet another disaster not to be noticed or even mentioned by our
political class including not only the politicians but also the news media and the
commentariat that make careers out of covering up for and sucking up to Official
Washington. The policy wonks, the Approved Pundits, the publicists and professional
agitators of the left and the right when will we hear a peep out of any them about
these dismal and costly failures? After the election? My guess: never.
And thats just how the War Party likes it. They dont want anyone
asking uncomfortable questions about future wars, especially the looming conflict just
around the next corner. (Turn right at Election Day, and head straight to Tehran.) But my
question is broader, and its this: when was the last time the US actually won a war?
No, no, I dont mean Grenada, fer chrissake: I mean a real
honest-to-goodness all-out bang em up war, with an opponent who had at least a
fighting chance. Before the recent spate of attempted conquests, there was Vietnam
a flat out defeat: and Korea a draw. On a smaller scale, none of the
anti-communist insurgencies we sponsored in the 1980s in Nicaragua and El
Salvador succeeded in producing anything but trouble for us and untold misery for the
inhabitants of those unfortunate countries all in all, our efforts in Central and
South America during the cold war era amounted to the Bay of Pigs writ large.
In order to tout a war that can be counted as an unambiguous American victory
we have to go all the way back to World War II. However, even this undoubted military
triumph had its Pyrrhic aspect. Since it launched us on an interventionist course that
landed us where we are today teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and hated around
the world the original Good War was, arguably, the great-grandaddy of all the
defeats to come.
Conservatives credit Ronald Reagan and Star Wars for supposedly
winning the cold war, but we didnt win a single battle in that
fifty-year global conflict. In reality, the Soviets defeated themselves in the
economic realm, where their centrally-planned economy proved inadequate to the task of
providing basic necessities, and on the battlefield in Afghanistan, where they were beaten
by the same forces that threw out the British and have finally defeated us.
If the US is an empire, as anti-interventionists (and the more honest
interventionists) describe it, then it is a hollow one. Our much-vaunted military might is
a myth. We havent won a war in over sixty years: what is supposedly the mightiest
war-making machine on earth has been out-fought and out-maneuvered by a rag-tag bunch of
Taliban bandits and two-bit local warlords. They call us the hyperpower
a role which seems to mean were at the constant beck and call of our allies, all of
them employing very active Washington lobbyists. Bedeviled by our friends, reviled by our
enemies, and envied (and resented) by all, America has no friends in the world only
clients, dependents, and targets.
To top it off, were out of money and the US economy, the engine
and motive power of the Last Superpowers alleged invincibility, is showing signs of
structural instability. If the whole edifice collapses tomorrow, who will be surprised?
As Washingtons lords and ladies bask in the unreal glory of
Americas imperial delusion, and look forward to yet another exciting coronation
ceremony this winter, the peasants with pitchforks are gathering in the shadow of the
castle, their voices rising above the ordinary din generated by our chattering classes.
The American people are waking up to the reality, even if our elites are not, and it is a
rude awakening indeed. Fired, foreclosed, and fed up, they have had it up to here with the
pretensions of our would be Napoleons and world policeman in both parties. They dont
understand why were shipping billions billions! of our tax dollars
overseas, to Libya, where theyre killing our diplomats, to Egypt, where theyre
trying to burn down our embassy, and to Israel, where theyre trying to blackmail us
into fighting yet another war on their behalf.
When will it end? Its a race between the growing anger out in the
hinterlands and the growing debt that is destroying our economy. As to which will reach
the boiling point first heck, Im not Nostradamus, just a humble internet
Justin Raimondo is Editorial
Director of AntiWar.Com.
He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Justin Raimondo may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
25, 2012 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2012 Ether Zone.
invite your comments on this article in our forum!