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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Neo-Cons And McCain Continue To Give Us Their Bad Advice

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 06/14/14 20:55

by Dave Mindeman

I love how the Iraq War instigators keep doubling down on their actions. They have the audacity to criticize what is happening in Iraq - even though they, themselves, set it all up to happen exactly this way.

They busted up Iraq under false pretenses. A country that has had factional wars and mistrust for centuries. They opened that Pandora's box because they wanted Bush to have his revenge on Saddam and to keep the free flow of oil for their corporate benefactors.

And then they propped up a government which was the opposite extreme of the one they just deposed. A Shiite dominated government and a Baathist party that was declared illegal. The Sunnis were never allowed representation in this "democratic" puppet government - and we wonder why they now feel that there is only a military answer.

We have funneled billions of taxpayer dollars into Iraq. With no accountability and no actual return on the investment. Iraq is a shambles and the country that had no Al-Qaeda prior to the war, now is the new safe haven for that faction.

It is stunning to watch John McCain and the former Bush administration people have the audacity to explain the "realities" to us - as if they have never been wrong in the past. Maybe a better phrase is "have they EVER been right in the past". But they expect to be treated as Iraq foreign policy experts on the situation now.

It is almost inevitable that Iraq will be going back to a dictatorship and that Afghanistan will be back in Taliban control. The US has artificially propped up governments that simply do not work in a world dominated by theocratic inclinations.

And still, the Neo-cons and the John McCains of this country want us to continue to spend our treasure and risk our people on a cause that has no solution. We are foreign usurpers and that means we should just stay out of it.

There are people in our government who still believe that these countries are willing to listen to the "voice of reason". Well, they are wrong. These countries into which we are so quick to intervene, do not act like us - they do not think like us - they do not like us. So why in the world do we think we can make them follow a path that we lay out? Has that ever worked - anywhere? NO!

Let's end this assumption that the people who led us into the mistakes of the past have any credibility to advise us about the present.

They were wrong then - and they are wrong now.
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One More Reflection on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 09/10/11 15:37

by Dave Mindeman

It was a beautiful day in Minnesota. I had the day off and was looking forward to just relaxing...doing nothing. I remember walking into the bedroom from the kitchen and seeing the TV with a picture of smoke pouring out of a skyscraper. I stared at the screen trying to get some context. The announcers were talking about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. A plane? Even at that first moment my mind didn't trust this to be an accident.

I went to the living room and turned on the main TV and started channel flipping the news channels. Indeed, it was on every one. The various reporter commentaries were trying to make sense of how this could happen. I remember watching the financial channel (CNBC) and the picture of Mark Haines staring at his monitor and using words of disbelief. He was showing more than just a reporter's tone -- he was emotional.

Then the second plane hit the other tower. Things became a blur, and over the years, I have lost track of some of the sequence of events. The Pentagon gets hit. A plane is missing over Pennsylvania. Fighter jets are scrambled. President Bush is in the Midwest. Dick Cheney is in an undisclosed location. The towers fall one at a time. And the dust....the dust that blankets the scene.

I listened as the reports came in about how the passengers on those planes were held hostage as the planes flew into the buildings. I have this coping mechanism that my mind does when I hear such things....I imagine myself in that situation. I remember visualizing being on the plane....knowing that death is the probable outcome of the situation. Would I simply wait quietly for the end?....or would I make some desperate attempt to fight back knowing I'd probably die anyway? The whole exercise is a feeble attempt to try and understand what is happening. And the ultimate difference is that it is all in my imagination. Those people had to deal with if for real.

Although I was still bitter about the election loss of 2000, I knew that we had to stand behind the decisions of the current administration. This was a call to arms. A legitimate use of military retaliation...but, as it turned out, the legitimacy was extended much too far.

That Tuesday, 10 years ago, changed things. Changed everything. But it was also a moment...a brief moment...when the country was acting as one. We supported one another. We set the politics and the divisions aside, ever so briefly. And even in our vulnerability of the moment, the power and resilience of this country was immediately evident as well. People performed selfless acts. People didn't have to be asked to help each other. Although fear seeped into our psyche, it did not paralyze us. We acted when we had to. And we found the strength when we needed it.

In the 10 years that have followed, the power of that moment was abused, leading us to deeper divisions both politically and socially. Yet, 9/11 still showed us what we are capable of. That inner strength that is more powerful than any enemy or crisis we can face. We are still the greatest nation on earth. We still meet any challenge and vanquish any foe. We are still, deep down, the UNITED States of America. And even in times of deepest controversy and division, we know that our capabilities are infinite.
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The Silence

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 08/27/11 02:40, Edited: 08/27/11 02:45

by Dave Mindeman

Inter arma enim silent leges.

We will soon be marking the 10th anniversary of a day that changed our country, in ways far beyond our comprehension. Those insidious assassins took the lives of too many innocent people and too much of what this country has stood for. The assassins began this decade of fear, but we, as a people, have perpetuated the ugliness with our uncertain expectations from those who governed us.

Inter arma enim silent leges

From the suspension of habaeus corpus to the foul Patriot Act, this country stood by and watched as our own rights and liberties were threatened by our own fear and hatred. The beloved Constitution that today has become a battle cry for the wrong cause....was never invoked when its wisdom..its strength...its fairness, was needed most.

Inter arma enim silent leges

In the name of all of us, our leaders lied us into a war. A war based on lies and perpetuated with lies. We sent too many of our sons and daughters to their deaths because of misguided patriotic zeal. That war was a cancer, a boil, a sickness that cast a shroud over our ability to reason. We destroyed one country and let our enemy escape in another.

Inter arma enim silent leges

Fear became a political tool. Fear became a slogan, a campaign. We let our government listen in on our intimate conversations. We let our government dictate our travel. And, most hideous of all, we let our government and military debase themselves by covering the Geneva Conventions in a shroud of darkness, while we let our leaders order the most contemptible of military acts - torture.

Inter arma enim silent leges

And, unfortunately, the legacy of this decade continues. None of the conspirators paid any price. None of the decision makers that have nearly ruined this country economically and in moral standing have been disgraced. This will be our lost decade. This will be our decade of fear. And the rule of law means less now than it did before.

When we examine the events of the past 10 years, I hope we examine carefully the totality of what was lost. Those innocents of 9/11 deserved better than this....most assuredly.

Inter arma enim silent leges

In times of war, the law falls silent.
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