President Obama: Just say no.

We’ve heard it all before: how the U.S. must “lead” rather than follow; how ISIS poses an existential threat to Iraqi stability and a potential threat to the “homeland”; and how these people are exceptional monsters, worse than any before.

This time, a thinking man is at the helm, and Obama resists the siren song a little longer than his predecessor.  Already his presidency has become far more invested in warfare than he ever imagined as a mere senator.

He knows it will not end well, but he is just a figurehead in the vast corporate political machine that drives public policy; and the Middle East is critical to the interests of that machine.

There are evil men exploiting populations all over the world, but only in the Middle East does our national outrage repeatedly draw us into war.

John McCain sees red, Joe Biden goes all bellicose, and Wolf Blitzer licks his chops.  It’s all so familiar by now.  

The American public is war weary and skeptical this time, but the Pentagon and its suppliers need a raison d’etre.  A complicated international chain of corporate and political interests move the U.S. irresistibly forward into war and there is nothing we the people can do to stop it.

This is the very fuel that fires extremism.  Al Qaeda was supposed to be the devil incarnate; but now that distinction may be claimed by ISIS and Al Quaida is apparently nothing more than a toothless old bear. Squash ISIS and a new iteration will erupt, angrier and more dangerous than the last.

Was anybody really listening when, a few weeks ago, ISIS issued a statement that they want the U.S. to engage in war with them?  To strengthen their appeal and bring up their membership, nothing could be better for business!

I listened to CNN this morning, and a guy from the Brookings Institute was going on about how Obama has to stop stalling and iterate a “plan” now.

Then I turned to the New York Times and there was an article about how supposedly neutral Washington think tanks, including the Brookings Institute, are in the pockets of foreign donors, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.  Think tanks don’t have to reveal their funding streams and go about their business of influencing policy without being identified as lobbyists.

This is what is driving the march to war.

Oil states just love it when the U.S. does their dirty work for them!

And what is the inevitable outcome for the poor oppressed populations who are used to engage U. S. voters in support of these military adventures?

Look at Afghanistan and Iraq.  Not only have those populations been cruelly decimated as collateral casualties of war, but tribalism and oppression arise once again almost immediately after the dust clears; and all we’ve gained is a new generation of recruits for the latest jihadist movement.  They have also gained an arsenal of modern weaponry, thanks to the excesses of the Pentagon.  

If we stayed in those countries, wrangling jihadis, supplying weapons and propping-up acceptable governments, for another one-hundred years we wouldn’t improve the situation.  We’d only deepen the resistance and raise the death toll; because we are occupiers from distant foreign shores.  

As much as some of them may hate the others, they will hate us even more.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

4 thoughts on “President Obama: Just say no.

  1. How about this: A crash program to reduce our oil consumption by 25%. We’d still be more oil intensive per capita and dollar of GDP than the Europeans. If we matched the Europeans in efficiency we could actually stop importing oil.

    We use about 25% of the world’s oil, so this would be a little over 6% of world consumption/production. That moderate oversupply would have a staggering effect on oil prices. A study a few years ago about a possible 4% oil shortage estimated that oil prices would shoot over $150. We could easily see oil prices drop back to $75.

    All the OPEC nations, including the ones slipping cash to ISIS, would see a major dent in their incomes. Russia would be too busy trying to prop up its crashing economy to cause much trouble abroad.

    As a side benefit, our trade deficit would drop dramatically and the drag of oil prices on our economy would be reduced.

    Think of a situation where oil was in oversupply, even temporarily. Our motivation to go protect our vital interests overseas would diminish with the importance of those interests.

    Doubling our passenger car fleet mileage from 21 to 42 mpg would almost do this by itself.

    But this is crazy talk.  

  2. Same old.  If ISIS is, as has been reported, taking over the Iraq oil fields, well…maybe we’ll decide that we should be friends.  Maybe Obama’s waiting for the word from the Corporate Reich Boardroom on which way to jump.  War in the Middle East has always been good for business, and the oil resources there…well, we don’t really care about people–it’s about OIL.  We have supported Nazis in the past.  Saddam was our ally against Iran.  Remember that war?  I think Obama, Kerry, and The Board are sort of flummoxed now over the situations we have created in the Middle East.  This includes Israel/Hamas.  Now we’re in the position of, whatever way we jump, we’re going to get bit in the ass.  I predict something truly vile, either by them or by us, before the 2016 elections.  And then there’s Putin, who’s waiting to exploit the Middle East situation also.  Maybe Russia will jump.

  3. and Obama will be another failed war president.

    Even if we do manage to wipe out ISIS, so long as we are invested in the region, another group of even nastier folks will be waiting in the wings to fill the void.

    This will not end well.

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