Thursday, August 19, 2010

US draws down last of combat troops.

It all started with a lie from GWB and Tony Blair -- about so-called weapons of mass destruction, that were never in Iraq.   It was always about ensuring permanent American and European access to Middle East oil.   Early this morning, the last American combat brigade left Iraq.    There are still about 50,000 troops left ostensibly to "retrain" Iraqi troops to fight against paramilitaries and terrorists but at least this is one election promise Obama managed to keep -- sort of.

The US dramatically increased its forces in Vietnam after the faked Gulf of Tonkin incident.   Remember in school when they talked about the so-called "Domino theory" that pervaded Western policy right up to the 1980s?  The claim that if one country went Communist, others would fall unless we contained it?    Hmm ...  Vietnam is still communist.   So is Laos.   Cambodia, while its constitutional monarchy has been restored, is still heavily influenced by the successors to the genocidal Khmer Rouge.   And there is virtually no hope for Burma ... led by a kleptocratic military junta funded by Mainland China.   The only bright spot in the region, other than Japan, is India -- and even there the Communists (some Marxist, others Maoist) hold power in several states.

Make no mistake ... twenty, thirty years down the road another American President, be he or she Democrat or Republican, will come up with another lie to get Americans into a war that is unnecessary and costly and creates another enemy that lasts for decades.   Don't forget in the early part of the last century, the US forced the so-called "Platt Amendment" on Cuba.   While FDR largely repealed it in the 1930s as part of the so-called "Good Neighbor" policy, latent resentment against what was left of the prior policy (especially over Gitmo) led to the rise of Fidel Castro in the 1950s.

We Canadians value America as an ally, and I hope we remain friendly with them until the end of time.    But the Pentagon -- and the civilians who boss them around -- just seem to have a propensity of constantly shooting itself in the foot.   So today's news of withdrawal is not a time to celebrate, but to pause.   4415 KIA.   31,905 WIA.   655k + civilians killed.    All over a lie.

Speaking of which, the annual memorial ceremony re the Dieppe Raid in 1942 is being held in Hamilton today, about an hour from when I write this.   That too, was based on a lie -- that taking over that beachhead would be a piece of cake.    The Nazis were ready, killing 913 Canadians, 275 Brits and 3 Americans.   True, the lessons we learned set the stage for D-Day, but the fact is the fiasco should never have happened in the first place.

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