The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.
Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.
Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq – one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”
The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran – a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq – would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”
On Tuesday, there was a United States House of Representatives floor vote on H.Res 676, a resolution praising recent protests in Iran and condemning the Iran government.
The resolution includes language stating the House “stands with” the protestors who are termed “the people of Iran” suggesting in obvious contradiction to reality that all or most people in the country are taking part in the protests or even just supporting the protests; condemning the Iran government (called a “regime” to make clear it is viewed as illegitimate and worthy of overthrow as were “regimes” in Iraq and Libya) for “serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people, significant corruption, and destabilizing activities abroad;” encouraging the Trump administration to aid Iran government opponents through expediting the licensing of communications technology in Iran; urging the Trump administration to use “targeted sanctions” to counter Iran; and urging the Trump administration to “convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime and establish a mechanism by which the Security Council can monitor such violations.”
Fifty-seven years ago this month President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented this warning in his farewell address: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” That warning has largely fallen on deaf ears.
The United States government has in the decades since been participating, both directly and via third parties, in overt and covert military actions across the world, with very little of the violence even arguably justified as necessary to defend America. Yet, no matter the lack of defensive justification, companies and individuals in the military-industrial complex profit from the high military spending and the destruction wrought abroad.
Soon after word came out Monday that someone had detonated a bomb in a pedestrian tunnel of the New York City subway system, people were saying the alleged bomber should not be afforded respect for his constitutional rights and should be shipped off to the United States military’s Guantanamo prison in Cuba. Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano, however, argues in a new video commentary that it is important that the US government respect alleged bomber Akayed Ullah’s rights guaranteed under the US Constitution – including rights to be represented by a lawyer and to have a jury trial.
“We have hired a government to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution,” says Napolitano. “If it begins cutting corners for people it hates and fears,” he asks, “what will stop it from cutting corners for the rest of us?”
Watch Napolitano’s video commentary here:
Napolitano, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, wrote in more detail about the matter in a Wednesday editorial.
If you heard mention of people being shackled on the deck of a ship out in the ocean for weeks or months exposed to the elements and with only a bucket for a bathroom, you might assume the full story is about the cruel actions of pirates or slave traders from centuries past. However, as reporter Seth Freed Wessler recounts, the United States Coast Guard routinely subjects individuals alleged to be involved in the transport of cocaine between South America and Central America to such conditions.
In a recent interview with host Wilmer Leon at the Inside the Issues show, former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed how what Kucinich terms the “permanent government” has worked to ensure the United States continues pursuing destructive foreign interventions and to keep America “at the precipice of a much wider war” irrespective of who is president.
“There’s an unbroken line going back over the last 30 years where American presidents have continued to proceed with an interventionism that has been counterproductive,” states Kucinich. This “continued commitment to a failed foreign policy of interventionism, of unilateralism, of first strike,” Kucinich continues, “imperils America,” “does not make us safer,” “separates us from the world community,” “has people looking to extract vengeance on Americans,” and “has made the world a more dangerous place.”