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by Eric C. Jacobson, Public Interest Lawyer
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 at 5:46 AM
ECJLA@AOL.COM PO Box 67674
To NOT Have the World "Go Into the Dark" (Per LBJ's Daisy Commercial Warning) the Mainstream Media & Administration Should Discard President Obama's "Look Forward Not Back" Iraq War Policy & Investigate & Report On Its Real Origins, Goals & Relationship to the Present Crisis -- the Solution to Which Is U.S.-Russian Partnership.
In the early hours of Tuesday November 24 (Pacific Standard Time) Turkey shot down a Russian military jet on a mission to degrade the Islamic militants who are fighting the Assad government in Syria. Turkey is a member of NATO. If Russia retaliates and Turkey invokes its NATO membership, we COULD be looking at the start of World War 3. Just like that!
The Atomic Scientists will almost certainly now move the Doomsday Clock (which currently stands at 3 minutes to midnight) at least a minute closer. http://thebulletin.org/clock/2015
Perhaps a basic survival instinct will serve to concentrate the minds of Establishment journalists, broadcast media producers and on-air hosts and cause them to bring a more critical analysis to the conventional wisdom and sleep-walking that dominates mainstream news nowadays.
This latest act of war by Turkey against Russia brings into focus how truly dangerous our country’s choice to enter into “the great game” (as Churchill once called it) in Afghanistan following the Soviet Union’s invasion of that country “back in the day” (1979) has become. Our alliance with Islamic militants in those years has led directly to the current debacle. The Islamic militants (AKA “mujahideen”) Presidents Carter, his national security advisor Zbignew Brezinski and then President Reagan and his team enlisted as our proxies to eject the Russian Communists from Afghanistan were then praised as “freedom fighters”.
Thirty-five years later these same mujahideen types have now morphed into the Islamic State, al qaeda, Boko Haram and their variations marauding around destabilizing regimes and otherwise wreaking havoc inside, at the borders of- and outside the Muslim world (mostly recently the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris).
Although it is difficult in the current shallow cultural environment, now that our lives depend on the present crisis NOT triggering a nuclear war, I presume mainstream news and analysis outlets MAY be capable of thoughtful reflection on how and why the train of events that led us to this perilous moment happened.
Granted it would have been easier for traditional journalistic outlets to take this retrospective look had President Obama not decided at the start of his term to "look forward not back" at the (criminal) Iraq War and all our sins associated therewith.
The president could still appoint a commission akin to Britain's Chilcot Inquiry which in mid-2016 is scheduled to issue a (reportedly) scathing report on the Iraq War conduct of George W. Bush’s lapdog, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his hawkish New Labor government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Inquiry
Were President Obama to form such an Iraq War commission of inquiry he should further encourage its members to follow the direct and circumstantial evidence wherever it leads and to presume the American people CAN "handle the truth" as they have on past historical occasions, such as when the CIA's assassination plots were revealed in the 1970s by a Senate Select Committee led by Idaho Senator Frank Church ("the Church Committee").
Were such an Iraq War Commission to be staffed with honest objective courageous members, I believe it would reveal (among other things) that the present crisis is the direct result of the phenomenon President Eisenhower warned of in his farewell address in 1961, namely "unwarranted influence ... by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist," Eisenhower said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower%27s_farewell_address . And I believe that such an Iraq War Commission would find specifically:
• that arms merchants and related factions in the military-industrial complex (MIC) and pliant pols (in both major parties) who do their bidding undertook a 25 year PLAN to promote and entrench "expansionist" Islamist militancy as the 21st century permanent enemy akin to (long defunct) Soviet Communism in the 20th century.
• And that the justifying motive lay precisely in the enlargements of the defense budgets (and associated private industry profits) that have occurred rather than the defense spending decreases and “peace dividend” that Americans had every right to expect and were entitled-to following the end of the Cold War in 1991.
• And that the invasion of Iraq, which appeared inexplicable from any rational point of view “in real time” (no one of any discernment believed the surface explanations given for that diabolical war) occurred for the purpose of catalyzing into existence a national formation very much like the Islamic State.
• And that all the baleful decisions made during the conduct of the Iraq War were done with that goal in mind. In sum, for America's conservative Establishment elites there was a method to the Iraq War’s madness.
Had such a Commission be formed shortly after President Obama took office and (already) issued such findings, it might have at least saved us from compounding the harm from the Iraq War and thwarted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from becoming what NY Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd called a "mid-wife to chaos" in Libya 2+ years after Obama took office. http://nyti.ms/1LUDxgL .
And we would NEVER have allied with so-called "moderate jihadists" seeking regime change in Syria. Regime change that would dissolve the one military force (the Syrian military) that has fought and died in large numbers to prevent the Islamic State from taking over yet another Arab country and using it as a base from which to export terror, further destabilize the Arab world, and perhaps most heinously, attempt to widen the boundaries of the Muslim world (particularly in Africa) by force of arms. The latter violates the cardinal Islamic precept found in the the Qur'an: "There is no compulsion in religion." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Baqara_256
(Further, as demonstrated by the Islamist militants who savagely executed the Russian pilots in mid-air while they were parachuting to earth after ejecting from their disabled jet fighter -- a barbaric breach of the Geneva Convention -- the term "moderate jihadist" is an oxymoron.)
In sum, our nation's serial destabilization of the Arab state autocracies (Iraq, Libya and Syria) by U.S. military intervention in alliance with local armed insurgents with the predictable consequence of fueling Islamist militancy, was no "mistake" but plainly instrumental to the MIC and exactly what the powers that be (PTB) WANTED to happen.
The "dead giveaway" that this thesis is correct is the amount of mainstream media time now being given to making the Islamic State look "10 feet tall" and like ingenious techie monsters, yadda, yadda. NONE of that coverage would be happening unless the PTB wanted this to be "the new normal" for the rest of the 21st century.
Saying they "don't...want it to be the new normal" as President Obama does, is part of the dodge. Another "dead giveaway" that the PTB are comfortable with what's happening is that neither the president nor other officials display the appropriate affect of either remorse or alarm while discussing the pestilential Islamic State and their sociopathic operatives and horrific crimes. It's all utterly nihilistic and makes it hard to resist the conclusion that a RICO type cabal has somehow infiltrated the American political class and taken over the federal government. (In sum, we seem to be dealing with the phenomenon Eisenhower warned us about but on steroids.)
Politically, Americans are bewildered and sick of it and just want to batten down the hatches in Fortress America. And some of us are "sick at heart" about it. A current or (late entering) new 2016 Democratic presidential candidate – I suggest former Senator turned diplomat (and 1984 runner-up Democratic presidential candidate) Gary Hart – has an opportunity here to become a McGovernesque truth-telling hero. See Hart's call for U.S.-Russian cooperation here: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/russia-and-the-united-states-in-the-21st-century/249831/
Bernie Sanders is “getting warm” with his own call for joint U.S.-Russians operations to eradicate the Islamic State. See http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151120/1030424219.html . But he has not yet shown he has the acumen, conviction and self-confidence to speak truth to the MIC and PTB when it comes to foreign and defense policy. It's incongruous because he shows tremendous spunk in "speaking truth to power" and about the baleful role of our 1% oligarches when it comes to domestic policy. (Although Sanders is NOT talking enough about reversing the 1%'s outsourcing of production to China and India, etc. And "you know who" is: Rhymes with chump.)
Such a current or new candidate ought to articulate an enlightened version of isolationism that fits the public's mood, is airtight on "homeland security" without sacrificing civil liberties and above all: establishes a U.S.-Russian partnership for a better world (including the eradication of Islamist militancy WITH scrupulous respect for the Islamic faith and the rights of the Palestinians) as the hallmark of the 21st century.
As President Johnson said in a voice-over in the famous "Daisy" commercial in 1964, 2 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the U.S. and Russia to the brink of nuclear war: "These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_(advertisement)
Eric C. Jacobson is a public interest lawyer in Los Angeles, California. He experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis at age 8. His late father (in 1962 a 40 year old physician) was candid enough to explain to his son what the the U.S.-Russian confrontation meant and its possible consequence.
(Jacobson recently posted a related op-ed article discussing some of the points made above at greater length, which can be found here: http://la.indymedia.org/news/2015/11/292011.php )
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