October 2, 2015
This is not about Bernie Sanders, other than pointing out that he is one candidate consistently positioning himself above the Pop Presidential Campaign being conducted among the politicians, Republican or Democrat – all those frenetically scrunched up together, media-street-fighting for their party’s nomination.
Most candidates are so busy pot shooting one another they have little time or energy to discuss the issue of our fighting a high tech war against various essentially guerilla campaigns by Isis and its kin. Mainstream broadcast and print media do not closely cover what Sanders is saying, and his message is essentially hidden, except for the thousands who attend his presentations and watch the Internet videos produced by various news agencies.
No one thinks we can simply talk our way out of Mid Eastern war; no one insinuates Isis can be simply talked out of its specific war. Sanders, at least, proposes that had we not invaded Iraq and created the environment for the present Middle East conflict, we would not be facing the chaos that now predominates. Not a solution, but an honest appraisal.
The Syrian conflict, particularly, is well on its way to becoming a proxy war between Russia and the U.S. Again, as in Vietnam, we take on a major antagonist, this time with high tech weapons of its own, played out on someone else’s territory. It is not precisely the same situation, but it is certainly close enough for us to consider in Syria much of what we learned in Vietnam.
Russia has already in its first air strikes killed Syrian civilians. We know our efforts do the same. This Syrian conflict is a quagmire of the utmost complexity. If we are going to fight in it, we must recognize that this is substantially a war of boots on the ground and international street-fighting brainwork. Tactically, It requires largely a well-armed counter guerilla effort, not just an expensive high tech solution. Strategically, it requires attending to the root human economic and religion-based causes of the conflict.
The U.S. is addicted to high tech tactics, such as drones and air strikes, by a massively profitable defense-based economy. From bottom to top our economy engages almost everyone in the U.S. in the support of this absurd reality. Every bullet, bomb, and rocket fired in current wars is making too many people too much money to permit a halt in tactics to occur. Our pursuit of luxury exceeds our will to craft a solution to the persistent wars.
America’s most hawkish candidates are calling for an increase in a defense budget already larger than that of the next ten nations of the world. One has called, for instance, for a larger U.S. Navy. The navy, receiving only one portion of our immense defense budget, eats billions of our tax dollars, and has practically no real enemy to engage – other than our still tenuous economy. A still larger U.S. Navy will not resolve a land-based Isis war in the Mid East.
The Mid East wars have created a nearly incomprehensible humanitarian crisis. The U.S., with its decades-long distribution of weaponry worldwide, is as much the cause of it as anyone. Most candidates do not even acknowledge the issue, let alone speak to it, as they busy themselves either with the task of dreaming up media-magnetic names to call one another, or brandishing their swords. Few care to offer serious assistance to refugees that number hundreds of thousands.
This U.S. presidential candidacy race is the prime example of how tawdry our American politics have become. Personal political infighting is certainly not going to solve the U.S.’s or the world’s problems. Statesmanship, common sense, and actively engaged brains are needed – and are, it seems, embarrassingly in short supply. One half the country appears fervently engaged in our cheaply fought Presidential campaign. The other half – who knows for sure?
One hopes their silences and occasional mixed messages may eventually produce some rational thinking as the race drags on through its self-imposed muck. In the meantime, you might want to go to the trouble of googling Bernie Sanders’s videos on the Internet to view and hear one man at least attempting to get under the surface of the political mud being slung with such infantile vitriolic passion.