Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our peace President is looking a lot like a war President

Glenn Greenwald summarizes our current active wars and quasi-wars as follows in Cause and effect in the "Terror War" Salon 12/28/09:

Actually, if you count our occupation of Iraq, our twice-escalated war in Afghanistan, our rapidly escalating bombing campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, and various forms of covert war involvement in Somalia, one could reasonably say that we're fighting five different wars in Muslim countries -- or, to use the NYT's jargon, "five fronts" in the "Terror War" (Obama yesterday specifically mentioned Somalia and Yemen as places where, euphemistically, "we will continue to use every element of our national power"). Add to those five fronts the "crippling" sanctions on Iran many Democratic Party luminaries are now advocating, combined with the chest-besting threats from our Middle East client state that the next wars they fight against Muslims will be even "harsher" than the prior ones, and it's almost easier to count the Muslim countries we're not attacking or threatening than to count the ones we are. Yet this still isn't enough for America's right-wing super-warriors, who accuse the five-front-war-President of "an allergy to the concept of war."
It's a fact of our foreign policy, which if anything is now becoming more pronounced under Obama, that, as Glennzila puts it, "Whether justified or not, we are constantly delivering death to the Muslim world."

And he broaches the subject that should be obvious but is still largely taboo for our Pod Pundits:

Just look at the bloodthirsty sentiments unleashed among Americans even from a failed Terrorist attempt. What sentiments do we think we're unleashing from a decade-long (and continuing and increasing) multi-front "war" in the Muslim war? ... Ultimately, we should ask ourselves: if we drop more bombs on more Muslim countries, will there be fewer or more Muslims who want to blow up our airplanes and are willing to end their lives to do so? That question really answers itself.
Juan Cole gives some more specific background on the conflict in Yemen in which the US is intervening in an increasingly active way (Top Ten Middle East Crises, 2009 Informed Comment 12/29/09):

Yemen fell apart, facing a Shiite Huthi rebellion in Saada, in which Saudi Arabia is now intervening, as well as tribal/ fundamentalist opposition and the reemergence of a vital al-Qaeda movement in Maarib. Conflict over water and other rural resources drives this descent into a failed state. This one spilled over on Detroit when al-Qaeda in Yemen responded to US and Yemeni army attacks on Maarib by targeting a Northwest Airliner on Christmas day.
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