Posted by: bubblzey on Feb 08, 2010
Call me cynical, but does it seem like whenever an issue arrises in a presidency, the republicans start suggesting war. Sarah Palin (yes, my all-time favourite person in the world</sarcasm>) has suggested that Obama will not be re-elected if he doesn't go to war with Iran. She uses phrases like 'play the war card' (and I consider playing the race card offensive. Honestly, how can she be so very cavalier about who her country invades?). This past vac, I spent ages watching war documentaries on the History Channel (in my defense, I was in Zimbabwe, and the internet didn't work. Still, History Channel rocks my socks), and noticed how very many wars America had been involved in, and how very badly they behaved. I remember weeping like a baby when I saw an interview with a Japanese woman who was telling the story of how she lost her son in Hiroshima (and had to identify his remains). Here is an interesting link detailing every international American military incident.
Let's just review how well the war option works for America. I'm counting only official conflicts, not the wars that have been fought by US-trained and US-funded troops in their own countries. Still, we march onwards:
WW2: Not such a disaster, probably because everyone was fighting, and the Americans spent most of their time being shielded by British troops. If we include Japan in the mix, it was a catastrophic failure that has left many Japanese people with a bad taste in their mouth (okay, that's probably understating the anti-American sentiment after a pair of nuclear weapons were detonated in civillian areas, but I understating is the only way I can go with that one, short of pulling out all the profanity I know). Initiating President's political persuasion: Democrat
Korea: Hmm...now here's a tricky one. South Korea's economy has benefitted from a free market system; the GDP of North Korea is 3% of South Korea's, according to the CIA World Factbook. The United States still went in with an agenda (an anti-communist one, shock horror) that ultimately benefitted South Korea. However, thousands of people, Chinese, Korean and American (among others), died, and enormous sums of money were spent on a war that was, effectively pointless. Initiating President's political persuasion: Democrat
Vietnam: Yet another war about communism. A vastly destructive war, fought guerilla-style in the jungle. In order to clear the forests, they sprayed vast amounts of defoliants (aka Agent Orange) over the plants. This caused acute disease, death, and congenital disorders/disabilities) in the inhabitants of the forests that were sprayed. Go Team America! </sarcasm> 10% of Vietnamese were casualties of war, either killed or injured, and the country became communist (despite America's best efforts to the contrary). Initiating President's political persuasion: Republican
First Gulf War: Intervening after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, America got their first taste of invading Iraq. This was the first of the oil wars, teaching George Bush Jr. and important lesson: if your economy is flagging and your oil supplies are running low, invade Iraq. It was a lesson he obviously took to heart. The exact number of casualties is uncertain, with each participating government having altered the figures to suit their agenda, but stands between 10,000 and 35,000 Iraqis. A relatively small figure, but, considering that Americans bombed cultural targets (among them, the ancient city of Babylon), I still find the war offensive.
Second Gulf War: The Second War for Oil. Supposedly, this was the culmination of decades of slapping Hussein over the wrist. It turns out, after all, it was simply about securing oil reserves for America, pepping up the US economy (wars are good for economies, according to my economist father), and topping up The Bush Family Oil Profits Fund. Casualties: thousands and counting. injured, and the country became communist (despite America's best efforts to the contrary). Initiating President's political persuasion: Republican
So, Ms Palin, why the rush to go into war? Sure, Iran are being badly behaved about nuclear weapons at the moment (or are they? Surely a country has the right to arm itself? Fair enough, I don't think nuclear weapons are a good idea, but if I was facing America, I would probably also stock up. They do, after all, have a habit of dropping nuclear bombs on cities; we must remember this), but are we really going to use "They have WMDs" as an excuse for (yet) another war that's really about oil reserves? For the record, I side with Obama on this. He may not be doing the most fantastic job on the American economy (he's a liberal, the economy always takes a hit when liberals are in power, as well as when morons like George W are at the helm), but he's trying to reduce America's reputation as the most hated nation on earth.