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Coveting War: Amongst the Deferred and Inexperienced - By: Bruce G. Richardson
Tuesday, 12.04.2012, 10:48pm (GMT+1)

Recent interviews with presidential hopefuls reveal profound, pathological inexperience and deferment privileges bestowed upon aspiring political candidates and their family members in a time of war. Candidate Mitt Romney, for example, received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon ‘minister of religion’ for the duration of his missionary work in France which lasted 2/1/2 years. At that time, there was an unspoken agreement of sorts between the church and the Selective Service Administration allowing exemptions and deferments to draft requirements by missionaries. Before and after his missionary deferment, Romney also received nearly an additional 3 years of deferments for his academic studies. A woman at an ‘ask, Mitt anything’ forum in Iowa raised the question again, asking whether any of Mr. Romney’s 5 sons are serving in the U.S. military, adding pointedly, “If none of them are, how do they purport to support the war on terrorism by avoiding enlistment in the military?” Mr. Romney’s response: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for the nation is helping to get me elected.”

Mitt Romney is not unique. Any number of politicians have resisted military service for themselves and or their immediate family members while advocating war or American military intervention in a number of countries, which begs the question, if they themselves seek deferments from the ills and risk of war, how is it they willingly and unhesitatingly send other’s sons and daughters in harm’s way? Or how can they possibly understand the horror and terror suffered by any number of citizens who reside in countries on America’s hit list?

Many of the Republican presidential hopefuls have not experienced war, yet to the candidate, they are quick to send American troops into theatres of war which could have been averted through negotiation. And they are quick to act in contravention of international law with such deferments or political expedient diversions or tactics as refusing to ratify the International Criminal Court (ICC) and through refusing to recognize and or desist from violations of national sovereignty with their drone war.

It is now common knowledge and accepted that neither Afghanistan nor any Afghan national played a role in 9/11. It is also widely accepted that the amorphous entity known as al-Qaeda is virtually non-existent in Afghanistan, yet the Obama Administration continues to characterize Afghanistan as the “hub of terrorism,” and as playing a role in the implementation of 9/11, thereby demanding that the Taliban denounce al-Qaeda and terrorism when, with the possible exception of fabricated pronouncements from the hard-core American bully, they are known to have played no role whatsoever in international terrorism nor supported even rhetorically the concept of international terrorism.

Another explanation for America’s ‘just-cause’ aggression (jus ad bellum) or military-doctrine therefore is required. To many, America’s imperialistic comportment is wedded to resource exploitation, energy (oil and gas) and rare minerals such as lithium. Behaving as a nineteenth century colonial power, America launched a war against Afghanistan as negotiations for a proposed energy pipeline faltered, with Afghanistan’s Taliban favoring a non-American entity, Bridas of Argentina for the project. America’s immediate response was to threaten Taliban with carpet bombing if they did not select UNOCAL, the American concern for the project.

American politicians from George W. Bush, who’s military acumen was a hitch in the Texas National Guard, a tactic to avoid combat or military service in areas under conflict, and to Barack Obama who has no military service whatsoever, have no idea what a carpet bombed village or a home violated and terrorized in a nighttime raid by foreign troops speaking an unintelligible language, festooned with weapons, communications equipment, black uniforms, blinding tactical lighting, rangefinders, helmets and dark glasses all of which have the appearance of soldiers from another planet or outer-space, looks or feels like. Those who resist are coined “terrorists.” Yet during another era, the United States characterized those who resisted as “Freedom Fighters.” The hypocrisy is mind numbing.

Since America invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001, thousands of villages in Afghanistan have been razed and or destroyed. No protection, recognition and or concern that in each village there are scores of women and children who fall victim to indiscriminate air and artillery bombardment, unmanned drones, weapons of mass destruction, or assault by special-forces who force entry into private homes in the nighttime, often resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians. This is the real terror, the reality of war that many American politicians with their political connections and array of deferments for themselves and their immediate families have not ever experienced yet are quick to endorse.

The Republican aspirants appear to be courting the fringe element in the U.S. Courting through propaganda, innuendo, disinformation and outright lies in order to solicit votes from a minority of Americans who with a Texas Ranger mentality see America’s role in the world as a positive force for eliminating terrorism.

The ease with which many Republican candidates advocate war as the solution to intercourse with other nations of the world is troubling. Where in the United States Congress or anywhere on the political spectrum are the jurists, intellectuals, academicians, the advocates and voices for peace, the historians, military historians and combat veterans who have experienced and thereby know the horror of war?

With the exception of Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who said “they do not hate us for who we are but for what we do.” The entire American electorate and current U.S. Congress to include President Barack Obama seem bent on war as the solution to all who oppose us or our predilection towards war. A number of Members have no direct combat experience or occupation by a foreign power and thereby cannot fully understand the gravity of unleashing America’s terrible military machine against tiny, poorer and weaker countries**

There exists no situation in life as terrifying as war, the losses, economic and familial dislocation are beyond indescribable. For the aggressors, for each and every innocent they kill in the name of some idyllic embrace or ideology, ten fighters will arise to confront them.

The American Government must come to the realization that a cynical world does not accept this so-called “war on terrorism.” The Islamic World understands this travesty as a Crusade, a war against Islam by a dominant Christian power aided and abetted by their Christian acolytes from Europe who harbor a dark history of colonialism and the shedding of blood during their conquests.

War is today, as in years before, profitable for many. But for the masses who must suffer invasion and resultant habitat-destruction, occupation, familial dislocation, and personal and economic loss based on some inexperienced or politically expedient notion of how the world should comport itself, it remains the ultimate offense, terror and outrage.

Bruce G. Richardson


Notes: **The author served as a volunteer enlistee in the US Marine Corps as a 155/mm artilleryman during the (1951-1954) Korean War, and later (1986) as a volunteer instructor for the US Information Agency (USIA/USIS) engaged in conducting photographic workshops for the journalists and staff fielded by the various Afghan News Bureaus based in Peshawar during the Soviet/Afghan War. Thereafter, the author traveled to Afghanistan on (5) occasions as a free-lance or independent journalist to cover the brutal Soviet invasion and occupation, conduct research, and report on the later (civil/Communist conflict) and subsequently, the emergence of the Taliban government: (1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, and 1997)






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