WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 10-8-14 Year 14 of Dangerous War on the World
10-8-14 Year 14 of Dangerous War on the World PDF Print E-mail

by Debra Sweet

October 2001: the U.S. swept into Afghanistan. October 2014: years after the U.S. promised to leave, the new U.S. – approved Ashraf Ghani government of Afghanistan (which many report has influence as far as the outskirts of Kabul) announced a new agreement to let 10,000 U.S. troops stay in the country for “training and advising,” until at least 2024.

This means that the U.S. War on Afghanistan is about as over as its war on Iraq (now expanded into Syria). It does not mean either relief and safety for the people, or success in the U.S. effort to defeat the Taliban. 

Case in point: In 2013, Rolling Stone released a video showing Afghan forces that the U.S. relies upon for counter-terrorism torturing a detainee, while “U.S. Special Forces stand idly by.”

OUT of Iraq and Syria!

Why should one expect anything different in Iraq and Syria where U.S. “advisers” are “training?” It would be hard to know what, exactly is happening, because U.S. media is relying almost exclusively on press releases from CENTCOM (Central Command). NBC reported Sunday that two “strikes in Syria destroyed an ISIS bulldozer, two ISIS tanks, another ISIS vehicle and six ISIS attack positions, CENTCOM said in a release.” In addition to accepting whatever the Pentagon reports, major media in the U.S. is cheerleading for war and intervention.

Larry Everest, pointed out this week that when the Khorasan Group was shown to be fiction from the Obama administration, major media did not object to having been lied to. He asked, “What does this show?”

“1. The U.S. rulers routinely and repeatedly lie about their objectives. George W. Bush and his team lied about Saddam Hussein of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Now Obama and his team are lying about Khorasan and an ‘immediate threat’ to the U.S. to justify expanding its war and bombing Syria.

“2. They lie because their interests and objectives are not the interests and objectives of the vast majority of humanity – they are the interests of the U.S. ruling class.

“3. The U.S. media is not ‘objective,’ and it’s not an independent ‘check’ on the system. It’s a key cog in the ruling structure of the capitalist-imperialist system.  One of its functions is creating public support for the system’s crimes, including by propagating bald-faced lies.  (It was recently revealed that some reporters at the L.A. Times had been checking their stories with the CIA before publishing them!)”

When World Can't Wait was outside Northwestern University, as Obama spoke last week, they found it unusual — near the city of Chicago — that no one argued with them in defense of Obama.  Many, including students, gave thumbs up or thanked them for protesting. All of which is good, but not enough.

Chicago protest

From the Chicago Chapter:

“Last Thursday, Oct. 2, President Obama came to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to speak to the Kellogg MBA graduate students about the economy.  Not to miss this opportunity, at least 100 people with various issues gathered to “greet" him.  Unlike many venues when the president speaks, we were all able to assemble without being hassled across the street from the venue. World Can’t Wait focused on the renewed bombing of Iraq and expansion of the war OF terror into Syria, with our banner calling out Obama & Bush as war criminals who must be prosecuted and our new signs protesting the bombing of Iraq and Syria. There were others protesting his deportations of immigrants and individuals with their own handmade protest signs.

Although we were sure the President didn’t see us, we were actually more focused on getting our message across the the students. Hundreds if not thousands saw our protest and stopped to talk, take pictures, and took our palm cards. One recurrent question was whether we could really call Obama a war criminal — yes! The school newspaper had reporters and photographers there as well as bloggers and other independent journalists.

Daily Northwestern coverage (including video) of the protests here and here.

We are finding, not surprisingly, that most people under 25 think the U.S. “war on terror” is a permanent state of existence. Lots of older people, including those against the wars, don't remember much about what the U.S. did in Afghanistan or Iraq, and most cannot say what the cost (morally, physically, and even financially) is.

Dennis Loo writes For Those Who Think These Airstrikes Are “Surgical”:

“Two key elements in the current popularity in the US of Obama's ‘relentless’ airstrikes upon Syrians and Iraqis is that they are not jeopardizing American lives - since it's only Syrians and Iraqis who are being killed - and that these "relentless" airstrikes are allegedly ‘surgical.’

“These attacks are not surgical. They are even more indiscriminate than drone attacks. And drone attacks, as a
2012 authoritative study by Stanford and New York Universities concluded, are exceptionally indiscriminate.

“For every one militant killed, forty-nine innocents are killed.
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