OBAMA'S IMPERIALIST FOREIGN WARS
HURTING AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS
By Sherwood Ross
By starting needless wars of aggression, as in Libya, President Obama is showing his indifference to the plight of hard-pressed Americans at home, an article in the liberal magazine "The Nation" contends.
"If Obama is serious about rebuilding the American middle class, he needs a foreign policy that gives priority to addressing the worrying economic conditions that continue to threaten the breakdown of economic growth and political stability in much of the world," writes Scherle Schwenninger in the June 22/29 issue.
Schwenninger, the director of the Economic Growth Program at New America Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank, writes, "More specifically, this would mean curtailing military commitments that are not essential to our national security or maintaining international peace, while promoting programs to expand investment and jobs in strategically important regions."
Calling for America to "be working with our international counterparts to strengthen the world economy," Schwenninger asserts that, instead, President Obama "has failed to protect America's most important national interests" due to his needless interventions.
Schwenninger ticks off a list of Mr. Obama's aggressive conduct that includes:
* "Overseeing a new Cold War with Russia and pivoting toward what could become one with China in East Asia." ("Starting," rather than "overseeing," might have been a better choice of words here.)
* Sending military advisers to Ukraine and positioning U.S. military power closer to Russia by deploying American forces in Poland and the Baltic states. "It is reasonable to argue we could have avoided much of the Ukrainian crisis had key figures in the Obama administration not actively conspired to bring down the Yanukovych government, and especially if the administration had not, in effect, supported the illegal February 22 street coup in Kiev."
* Greatly "increased the geographic scope of the 'war on terror' to include Yemen, Syria, and large parts of Northern and Easter Africa."
* Actively supported the campaign of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to bring down the Syrian government.
* Obama has gone so far "as to openly back Riyadh's grotesque bombing campaign in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians and strengthened Al Qaeda in Yemen."
* Engineering a "dramatic escalation of drone strikes leveled against Al Qaeda and Taliban targets".
* Taking economic warfare "to new heights" against Russia and Iran "and beyond what would be in this country's long-term interests, if the goal were to preserve America's global economic leadership and the dollar's position as the world's principal reserve currency."
* "Similarly," he continued, "it is likely that there would have been no Benghazi, no civil war among competing Islamic militias, no spread of weapons or chaos in Libya, if Washington had refrained from militarily intervening against Qaddafi."
Yes, the world---and this includes the American middle class and poor---would be better off today without Mr. Obama's imperialist foreign policy.
What if, instead of spending trillions for waging aggressive war, Mr. Obama had devoted those funds to rebuilding America and the world?
As Activist David Swanson, of Charlottesville, Va., points out in his "War No More" book, the U.S. alone "could enact a global Marshall Plan, or--better--a global rescue plan."
"It would cost $11 billion per year to provide the world with clean water," Swanson writes. "We're spending $20 billion per year on just one of the we'll-known useless weapons systems that the military doesn't really want but which serves to make someone rich who controls Congress…"
Again, Swanson points out it would cost Americans $30 billion a year to end hunger around the world, noting in one recent year the U.S. spent nearly $90 billion "winding down" the war in Afghanistan.
The sad truth is that the gang who run America today want war, not peace, and endless war at that; war to maximize profits for one segment of the economy, the Military-Industrial Complex, war that requires a steady stream of enemies, war that is forever "winding down."
This criminal scheme (and war IS a crime) is being advanced even though the overwhelming majority of Americans want "peace and prosperity," the platform on which General Eisenhower ran for the White House. Like primitive South American civilizations that practiced human sacrifice and threw youths off the pyramids each Spring, our gangsters are sacrificing our youth in battle to reap a good harvest for themselves on the field of Mars. It is equally primitive, barbaric, and medieval.
(Sherwood Ross is an award-winning reporter and award-winning poet who resides in Miami, Florida. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org)