jueves, 29 de junio de 2017

Trump’s chaos is covering for stealth escalation overseas - The Washington Post

Trump’s chaos is covering for stealth escalation overseas - The Washington Post


the Washington Post, the Nation's Katrina van den Heuvel has a superb
op-ed on the stealth wars of the Trump era, rolling out in distant lands
while we're barely looking. (Below are
the first paragraphs and the last one.) And she brings up a name I
haven't heard in quite a while: Senator J. William Fulbright, who
actually took on a Democratic president in major hearings over the
Vietnam War and wrote a book whose very title says it all (a book no one
in Washington could write today): "The Arrogance of Power." When it
comes to our wars, there's not a Fulbright in sight in Washington
anymore... Tom

Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and
Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our
military involvement across the Middle East. As Naomi Klein warns,
Trump’s “rolling shock of the chaos and spectacle” distracts from
radical actions both at home and abroad. Across the Middle East, the
administration drives the United States ever further into wars without
end, increasing the dangers of direct military confrontation with Russia
and Iran, with little awareness and no mandate from the American
people. This is a recipe for calamity.

"The deepening military
involvement has accelerated in recent weeks. The administration will
dispatch 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, plus 400 to Syria. The
president fired 23 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation
for alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons against civilians. In recent
weeks, U.S. forces have bombed Iranian-supported militia forces moving
forward in southern Syria and shot down a Syrian jet flying over Syrian
airspace. Russia has cut off coordination designed to avoid air
collisions and announced that U.S. planes flying west of the Euphrates
would be targeted. As the battle against the Islamic State reaches its
final stage, the Pentagon seems intent on sustaining a presence in
Syria, aimed at preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from
regaining control of the country.

"In Yemen, the United States is
escalating its direct and indirect support for the Saudi air assault
that is leveling that impoverished country. As fighting intensifies,
civilian casualties and refugees are rising, more and more are driven
from their homes, and hunger and deadly diseases such as cholera are
spreading as health systems break under the strain. Seventeen million
Yemenis suffer from lack of food, while a cholera epidemic infects
another child every 35 seconds.

"The escalation directly
contradicts Trump’s stances during the election campaign. Back then, he
indicated his skepticism of regime change, claiming — falsely — that he
had opposed the Iraq invasion and denouncing the intervention in Libya.
He indicated that he saw no reason to take sides in the Syrian civil
war, suggesting that perhaps the United States could join with Syria and
its ally Russia to take out the Islamic State. He promised he would
“bomb the s--- out of ISIS” but would not get bogged down in the Middle
East. This stance appealed strongly to voters weary of war and looking
for a leader who would focus on our challenges here at home. That
promise has now clearly been trashed....

"But the reality is that
we are headed into more war without public support, without a sensible
strategy or a clear purpose. Americans are tired of wars without end.
The response is to fight wars on the quiet: substituting technology for
troops to lower our casualties. What is needed now is not a blank check
but public hearings that will expose the increasingly dangerous reality
to the American people. We don’t need a rubber-stamp Congress. We need
someone with a backbone to stand up as Sen. J. William Fulbright
(D-Ark.) did in 1966, convening hearings that exposed the folly in
Vietnam and explored ways to bring the conflict to an end. Where is the
Republican Fulbright of today who will question our current course
before it is too late?" 

U.S. forces and Afghan security police in Asad Khil, Afghanistan, on April 17. (Rahmat Gul/Associated Press)