Diane Gee: Disillusioned Past – Reilluminating Futures

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By Diane GeeMon Sep 19, 2011
I WENT TO BED thinking of a comment I made on Mishima’s video below. I was born in 1963, which made me 6 the summer of love, 9 – 11 during Watergate. I was 12 when Vietnam ended. We (and most families around us) didn’t get cable until I was 14. I was 19 the first time I saw an MTV broadcast. All of my formative years were Cold War years.I often like to say I grew up jaded. Memories are often contextual, and I have said this mostly in response to born prior to 1955, those who grew up with a view of an Americana Dream, those who found themselves bewildered and their illusions of reality totally shattered by the assassination of JFK; by the horrors of Vietnam and the betrayal of Watergate (a minor sin by today’s standards). I never had the luxury of feeling like my Government would never do ill. I grew up knowing they did, could and will.

Upon seeing the Al Jazeera video about a tortured boy, I thought about the boys we tortured similarly at Gitmo and realized I did in fact have hope and it was crushed by disillusionment. It just wasn’t in the Government. My hope was in us.

What happened to us?

 

6 year old me: “Why is Communism bad?”

Nun: “Its Godless.”

10 year old me: Why is Communism so bad?”

Nun: “It rewards laziness, and provides no incentive to work hard and better yourself.”

It never, ever made sense to me. Yet I lacked the vocabulary, if not the bravery to make the argument to them.

48 yr old me: “As opposed to rewarding greed and providing incentive to hurt others to better yourself?”

I am fairly positive if the Jesus of their Bible came back today and preached what their Scriptures said now, he would be branded a terrorist and be Gitmo’d. And maybe that man’s followers would wear little hoods with electrode wires around their necks instead of crosses.

Everything my 12 years of Catholic Indoctrination taught me was usurped by the Americana Narrative. The men and women who made their vows to preach charity, love, the message of peace and brotherhood of all by their Savior could not even see the hypocrisy of the two narratives they taught. Exceptionalism and capitalism and the wars to defend it ran parallel never into intersects with the man who asked us to give away all our possessions and be our brothers’ keeper. I suppose they were children once, and the brainwashing was complete before they could even decide to follow a religious course.

So my faith was never really in the Religious anyway. The one time I did have the nerve and the words to make the argument I was in 3rd grade and told the Priest that any good God wouldn’t condemn little children halfway across the globe, who never heard of Jesus for not being Catholic.

What I did believe in was the science, was the leaps of understanding we were making, and most of all, the miracle of the technology that would allow us all to get to know one another and no longer be disconnected strangers.

It wasn’t just the hippies either. I knew more of them were there for the party as much as social change, although the ones really committed to it made a huge difference in our reality. Wars ended, racial discrimination diminished to an unheard of degree. Imperfect, but moving toward better. Women gained strides in equality. Native Americans began to be heard. And for once, capitalism itself was being challenged.

The realization that the environment was in trouble and the absolute thrill that we could join together to prevent this, heal it, moved me. DDT was banned. Eagles were coming back. We had finally figured out the implications of radioactive waste, chemical toxicity, rationing water. [The EPA was created under Nixon!] It was being taught in schools. Surely, I thought this awakening of responsibility would create a generation in which the environment, at the very least, would be one thing I would never have to worry about as an adult. We recycled. We had standards, air testing, scrubbers and all wanted to work towards renewable energy. Surely, with the leaps in science we could accomplish all these things.

We cared. We were enlightened. We now could test and see what we were doing harmful and prevent it. We could save the world.

There was no mighty crash that ended that, it is still taught in schools and yet we have done little with all the information and technology available to counter or change anything. Our global problems of pollution and global warming are worse than ever. The greedy have just moved to countries so poor as to not enforce any environmental regulation just for the benefits of a few jobs. The greedy pollute here, too, because the paltry fines—if any— are cheaper than doing it the right way. And the whole apparatus of ecological protection is actively under assault, not only by the notorious Kochs and their ilk, plus their paid prostitutes and shills in Congress—the James Inhofes, the Joe Bartons— all shouting for a complete dismantlement of regulation in the name of sacrosanct “jobs”, but via the treacherous, feeble, and sometimes downright criminally negligent “defense” of our Earth mounted by the Democratic party leadership. Just think for a moment about the BP spill in the Gulf, a disaster that has yet to effect a real change in policy. A second calamity like that could happen anytime. An a third. Until ALL the oceans are dead. 

What happened to us? We KNOW better now, and still do nothing about the fact we know we are poisoning ourselves and the Earth.

There are now ten thousand channels and nothing is on. When cable came out, I had thought it was going to be this world-changing technology that would educate us, would shrink the world and expand the universe. We could learn languages, biology, astronomy, philosophy, learn the cultures of other nations. I thought it would be the National Geographic of my childhood writ large. We had been to the moon for heaven’s sakes. There could be music, arts, and so, so much science. Certainly a connected world could cure cancer. I thought for certain that investigative journalism would expose wrong-doings and bring to justice those who tried to perpetrate it.

I fully understand that the Media itself became such a profitable industry that profit itself became the point. I understand fully that after a hard day’s work, that a little entertainment is a wonderful thing. What I do not understand is how we ourselves chose to view the drivel thrown our way, thus encouraging the sponsors to create more drivel to sell their drivelous commercial crap. Television is now [more than ever] a vehicle to carry commercials to sell us anti-depressants and Viagra, and carried by the flimsiest possible vehicles they can produce. Jacques Cousteau or reality tv? Jesus, people, what did we do with this opportunity? If we didn’t watch it, they would not be able to air it.

Anyone my age or older knows damn well what War is like too. Long before the banning of reporting on war, the taboo on showing the coffins of the dead, nor images from those embedded in the field were confiscated, we saw. We saw Vietnam. Just as I imagine there is no one with Internet who has not seen what they now like to brand “War Porn.” We cannot blame this on 9/11. There were wars and conflicts we have been ass deep in after Vietnam.

Forgive the long quote below from Wiki. I REALLY want to make my point, and anything less diminishes it.

1975 – Cambodia. Mayagüez Incident. On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported he had ordered military forces to retake the SS Mayagüez, a merchant vessel which was seized from Cambodian naval patrol boats in international waters and forced to proceed to a nearby island.[RL30172]

1976 – Lebanon. On July 22 and 23, 1976, helicopters from five US naval vessels evacuated approximately 250 Americans and Europeans from Lebanon during fighting between Lebanese factions after an overland convoy evacuation had been blocked by hostilities.[RL30172]

1976 – Korea. Additional forces were sent to Korea after two American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea while cutting down a tree.[RL30172]

1978 – Zaire (Congo). From May 19 through June 1978, the United States utilized military transport aircraft to provide logistical support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaire.[RL30172]

1979 – Nicaragua – Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. The Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.
[edit] 1980-1989

1980 – Iran. Operation Eagle Claw. On April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of six U.S. transport planes and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.

1980 – El Salvador – The Archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Romero, pleads with President Carter “Christian to Christian” to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. Death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.

1981 – El Salvador. After a guerrilla offensive against the government of El Salvador, additional US military advisers were sent to El Salvador, bringing the total to approximately 55, to assist in training government forces in counterinsurgency.[RL30172]

1981 – Libya. First Gulf of Sidra Incident On August 19, 1981, US planes based on the carrier USS Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered international waters by the United States.[RL30172]

1982 – Sinai. On March 19, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of military personnel and equipment to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. Participation had been authorized by the Multinational Force and Observers Resolution, Public Law 97-132.[RL30172]

1982 – Lebanon. Multinational Force in Lebanon. On August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch of 800 Marines to serve in the multinational force to assist in the withdrawal of members of the Palestine Liberation force from Beirut. The Marines left September 20, 1982.[RL30172]

1982-83 – Lebanon. On September 29, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of 1200 marines to serve in a temporary multinational force to facilitate the restoration of Lebanese government sovereignty. On September 29, 1983, Congress passed the Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution (P.L. 98-119) authorizing the continued participation for eighteen months.[RL30172]

1983 – Egypt. After a Libyan plane bombed a city in Sudan on March 18, 1983, and Sudan and Egypt appealed for assistance, the United States dispatched an AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.[RL30172]

1983 – Grenada. Operation Urgent Fury. Citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a bloodless Grenada coup d’état and alignment with the Soviets and Cuba, the U.S. invades the island nation of Grenada.[RL30172]

1983-89 – Honduras. In July 1983 the United States undertook a series of exercises in Honduras that some believed might lead to conflict with Nicaragua. On March 25, 1986, unarmed US military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.[RL30172]

1983 – Chad. On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment of two AWACS electronic surveillance planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and ground logistical support forces to assist Chad against Libyan and rebel forces.[RL30172]

1984 – Persian Gulf. On June 5, 1984, Saudi Arabian jet fighter planes, aided by intelligence from a US AWACS electronic surveillance aircraft and fueled by a U.S. KC-10 tanker, shot down two Iranian fighter planes over an area of the Persian Gulf proclaimed as a protected zone for shipping.[RL30172]

1985 – Italy. On October 10, 1985, US Navy pilots intercepted an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Sicily. The airliner was carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro who had killed an American citizen during the hijacking.[RL30172]

1986 – Libya. Action in the Gulf of Sidra (1986) On March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported on March 24 and 25, US forces, while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.[RL30172]

1986 – Libya. Operation El Dorado Canyon. On April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, claiming that Libyan leader Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S. soldiers.[RL30172]

1986 – Haiti – Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that “Baby Doc” Duvalier will remain “President for Life” only if he has a short one. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.

1986 – Bolivia. U.S. Army personnel and aircraft assisted Bolivia in anti-drug operations.[RL30172]

1987 – Persian Gulf. USS Stark was struck on May 17 by two Exocet antiship missiles fired from an Iraqi F-1 Mirage during the Iran-Iraq War killing 37 US Navy sailors.

1987 – Persian Gulf. Operation Nimble Archer. Attacks on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf by United States Navy forces on October 19. The attack was a response to Iran’s October 16, 1987 attack on the MV Sea Isle City, a reflagged Kuwaiti oil tanker at anchor off Kuwait, with a Silkworm missile.

1987-88 – Persian Gulf. Operation Earnest Will – After the Iran-Iraq War (the Tanker War phase) resulted in several military incidents in the Persian Gulf, the United States increased US joint military forces operations in the Persian Gulf and adopted a policy of reflagging and escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf to protect them from Iraqi and Iranian attacks. President Reagan reported that US ships had been fired upon or struck mines or taken other military action on September 21 (Iran Ajr), October 8, and October 19, 1987 and April 18 (Operation Praying Mantis), July 3, and July 14, 1988. The United States gradually reduced its forces after a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq on August 20, 1988.[RL30172] It was the largest naval convoy operation since World War II.[5]

1987-88 – Persian Gulf. Operation Prime Chance was a United States Special Operations Command operation intended to protect U.S. flagged oil tankers from Iranian attack during the IranIraq War. The operation took place roughly at the same time as Operation Earnest Will.

1988 – Persian Gulf. Operation Praying Mantis was the April 18, 1988 action waged by U.S. naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf and the subsequent damage to an American warship.

1988 – Honduras. Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of the (then socialist) Nicaraguans.

1988 – USS Vincennes shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655

1988 – Panama. In mid-March and April 1988, during a period of instability in Panama and as the United States increased pressure on Panamanian head of state General Manuel Noriega to resign, the United States sent 1,000 troops to Panama, to “further safeguard the canal, US lives, property and interests in the area.” The forces supplemented 10,000 US military personnel already in the Panama Canal Zone.[RL30172]

1989 – Libya. Second Gulf of Sidra Incident On January 4, 1989, two US Navy F-14 aircraft based on the USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The US pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.[RL30172]

1989 – Panama. On May 11, 1989, in response to General Noriega’s disregard of the results of the Panamanian election, President Bush ordered a brigade-sized force of approximately 1,900 troops to augment the estimated 1,000 U.S. forces already in the area.[RL30172]The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972.

1989 – Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. Andean Initiative in War on Drugs. On September 15, 1989, President Bush announced that military and law enforcement assistance would be sent to help the Andean nations of Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru combat illicit drug producers and traffickers. By mid-September there were 50-100 US military advisers in Colombia in connection with transport and training in the use of military equipment, plus seven Special Forces teams of 2-12 persons to train troops in the three countries.[RL30172]

1989 – Philippines. Operation Classic Resolve. On December 2, 1989, President Bush reported that on December 1, Air Force fighters from Clark Air Base in Luzon had assisted the Aquino government to repel a coup attempt. In addition, 100 marines were sent from U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay to protect the United States Embassy in Manila.[RL30172]

1989-90 – Panama. Operation Just Cause. On December 21, 1989, President Bush reported that he had ordered US military forces to Panama to protect the lives of American citizens and bring General Noriega to justice. By February 13, 1990, all the invasion forces had been withdrawn.[RL30172] Around 200 Panamanian civilians were reported killed. The Panamanian head of state, General Manuel Noriega, was captured and brought to the U.S.
[edit] 1990-1999

1990 – Liberia. On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide additional security to the US Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens from Liberia.[RL30172]

1990 – Saudi Arabia. On August 9, 1990, President Bush reported that he had ordered the forward deployment of substantial elements of the US armed forces into the Persian Gulf region to help defend Saudi Arabia after the August 2 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. On November 16, 1990, he reported the continued buildup of the forces to ensure an adequate offensive military option.[RL30172] American hostages being held in Iran.[RL30172]

1991 – Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. On January 16, 1991, U.S. forces attacked Iraqi forces and military targets in Iraq and Kuwait in conjunction with a coalition of allies and under United Nations Security Council resolutions. Combat operations ended on February 28, 1991.[RL30172]

1991 – Iraq. On May 17, 1991, President Bush stated that the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people had necessitated a limited introduction of U.S. forces into northern Iraq for emergency relief purposes.[RL30172]

1991 – Zaire. On September 25-27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, Air Force C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. American planes also carried 300 French troops into the Central African Republic and hauled evacuated American citizens.[RL30172]

1991-96 – Iraq. Operation Provide Comfort. Delivery of humanitarian relief and military protection for Kurds fleeing their homes in northern Iraq, by a small Allied ground force based in Turkey.

1992 – Sierra Leone. Operation Silver Anvil. Following the April 29 coup that overthrew President Joseph Saidu Momoh, a United States European Command (USEUCOM) Joint Special Operations Task Force evacuated 438 people (including 42 third-country nationals) on May 3 .Two Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-141s flew 136 people from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany and nine C-130 sorties carried another 302 people to Dakar, Senegal.[RL30172]

1992-96 – Bosnia and Herzegovina. Operation Provide Promise was a humanitarian relief operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, from July 2, 1992, to January 9, 1996, which made it the longest running humanitarian airlift in history.[6]

1992 – Kuwait. On August 3, 1992, the United States began a series of military exercises in Kuwait, following Iraqi refusal to recognize a new border drawn up by the United Nations and refusal to cooperate with UN inspection teams.[RL30172]

1992-2003 – Iraq. Iraqi No-Fly Zones The U.S. together with the United Kingdom declares and enforces “no fly zones” over the majority of sovereign Iraqi airspace, prohibiting Iraqi flights in zones in southern Iraq and northern Iraq, and conducting aerial reconnaissance and bombings. (See also Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch) [RL30172]

1992-95 – Somalia. Operation Restore Hope. Somali Civil War On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed US armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a UN Security Council Resolution. The operation came to an end on May 4, 1993. US forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II). (See also Battle of Mogadishu)[RL30172]

1993 – Macedonia. On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 US soldiers to the Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.[RL30172]

1994-95 – Haiti. Operation Uphold Democracy. U.S. ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 US military troops were later deployed to Haiti.[RL30172]

1994 – Macedonia. On April 19, 1994, President Clinton reported that the US contingent in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had been increased by a reinforced company of 200 personnel.[RL30172]

1995 – Bosnia. Operation Deliberate Force. NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs.[RL30172]

1996 – Liberia. Operation Assured Response. On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported that on April 9, 1996 due to the “deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens” in Liberia he had ordered U.S. military forces to evacuate from that country “private U.S. citizens and certain third-country nationals who had taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound….”[RL30172]

1996 – Central African Republic. Operation Quick Response. On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported the deployment of US military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of “private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. government employees”, and to provide “enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui.”[RL30172] United States Marine Corps elements of Joint Task Force Assured Response, responding in nearby Liberia, provided security to the embassy and evacuated 448 people, including between 190 and 208 Americans. The last Marines left Bangui on June 22.

1997 – Albania. Operation Silver Wake. On March 13, 1997, U.S. military forces were used to evacuate certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens from Tirana, Albania.[RL30172]

1997 – Congo and Gabon. On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.[RL30172]

1997 – Sierra Leone. On May 29 and May 30, 1997, U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.[RL30172]

1997 – Cambodia. On July 11, 1997, In an effort to ensure the security of American citizens in Cambodia during a period of domestic conflict there, a Task Force of about 550 U.S. military personnel were deployed at Utapao Air Base in Thailand for possible evacuations. [RL30172]

1998 – Iraq. Operation Desert Fox. U.S. and British forces conduct a major four-day bombing campaign from December 16-19, 1998 on Iraqi targets.[RL30172]

1998 – Guinea-Bissau. Operation Shepherd Venture. On June 10, 1998, in response to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the US Embassy, President Clinton deployed a standby evacuation force of US military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to evacuate from the city of Bissau.[RL30172]

1998-99 – Kenya and Tanzania. US military personnel were deployed to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. [RL30172]

1998 – Afghanistan and Sudan. Operation Infinite Reach. On August 20, air strikes were used against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.[RL30172]

1998 – Liberia. On September 27, 1998 America deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 US military personnel to increase the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. [1] [RL30172]

1999-2001 – East Timor. Limited number of U.S. military forces deployed with the United Nations-mandated International Force for East Timor restore peace to East Timor.[RL30172]

1999 – Serbia. Operation Allied Force. NATO’s bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo Conflict.[RL30172]
[edit] 2000-2009

   2000 – Sierra Leone. On May 12, 2000 a US Navy patrol craft deployed to Sierra Leone to support evacuation operations from that country if needed.[RL30172]

   2000 – Yemen. On October 12, 2000, after the USS Cole attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, military personnel were deployed to Aden.[RL30172]

   2000 – East Timor. On February 25, 2000, a small number of U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). [RL30172]

   2001 – On April 1, 2001, a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals surveillance aircraft and a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor fighter jet resulted in an international dispute between the United States and the People’s Republic of China called the Hainan Island incident.

   2001 – War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, US Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.”[RL30172]

   2002 – Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.[RL30172]

   2002 – Philippines. OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”[RL30172]

   2002 – Côte d’Ivoire. On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire, US military personnel went into Côte d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouake.[7]

[RL30172]

   2003-2010 – War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq with the stated goal being “to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States.”[RL30172]

   2003 – Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 US Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the US Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.[RL30172]

   2003 – Georgia and Djibouti. “US combat equipped and support forces” had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”[8]

   2004 – Haiti. 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs. The US sent first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the US Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH.[RL30172]

   2004 – War on Terrorism: US anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.[9]

   2004-present: Drone attacks in Pakistan

   2005-06 – Pakistan. President Bush deploys troops from US Army Air Cav Brigades to provide Humanitarian relief to far remote villages in the Kashmir mountain ranges of Pakistan stricken by a massive earthquake.

   2006 – Lebanon. US Marine Detachment, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit[citation needed], begins evacuation of US citizens willing to leave the country in the face of a likely ground invasion by Israel and continued fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.[10][11]

   2007 – Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni. On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected Al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.[citation needed]

   2008 – South Ossetia, Georgia. Helped Georgia humanitarian aid,[12] helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.

[edit] 2010-Present

   2010 – War in Iraq. Operation New Dawn. On February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of September 1, 2010, the name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” would be replaced by “Operation New Dawn”. This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
   2011 – Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn. Coalition forces enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with bombings of Libyan forces.
   2011 – War on Terrorism. Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan (No real evidences).
   2011 – Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants begin in Somalia.[13] This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. 

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

How many of these are we even aware of? How many are in NO WAY justifiable? What happened to our awareness? What happened to us keeping an eye on what our Government is up to in our names? What happened to the “No More War” idealism we once pushed kicking and screaming into the narrative, a thought process that even affected those on the Right who started to question 300 dollar wrenches and million dollar toilets.

We are in permawar now and suddenly allowing ourselves being whipped up into supporting it.

Where did our rationality go? Where did our moral code go? Where did the gut level knowledge that war kills innocents and creates more enemies rather than allies go?  Not to mention Truth, as they say, the first casualty.

I fully understand why the Kleptocracy, the American ruling class, sells wars, but I thought we were long over being the buyers.

Cartoon on the May 22, 1902 cover of Life magazine depicting American application of the "water cure" to a Filipino insurgent while European colonialists watch. The caption reads: "Chorus in background: 'Those pious Yankees can't throw stones at us anymore.'"

And now? We have become torturers. Torturers. (Actually, we were torturers already, for example in the total amnesia time of the so-called fully “innocent” America 100 years ago when we set out to conquer Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the latter the site of the first great anti-American insurgency and genocidal counter-insurgency war, with waterboarding and all*). And we have people, popular people, as candidates who wish they had “someone like Cheney” the defender of all American torture programs, if not the actual author of the program, as their running mate.

We had so much potential. We were children awakened. Our intellect and morals were catching up with our technology. We had the capacity to become so much more and we, WE, we ourselves wasted it. We cannot just point upward anymore.

We now have one last tool, that has not been co-opted in its entirety. It is the medium upon which you read these very words.

We have to finish what our little corner of society embarked on those many years ago in my naive childhood.

We have to connect directly to the people of the world, without prejudice or preconceived notions and listen to one another.

We have to strive once again for the things we expected of ourselves in our idealistic younger years. To use science as a tool to improve the world. To use the media as a tool to educate the world. To become stewards of our Earth not its own cancer. To use our intelligence to create renewable energy that can be available to all for what amounts to free. We can cure disease. And we certainly can stop killing our brothers and sisters in the name of the profits of the few. Only we can do it.

I have some real doubts if the people can awaken in time.

All I know is that I had a dream, a dream I saw crushed. All I know is that I had faith, and that faith has been betrayed. All I know is that people have to be the answer and remember our common dream. There can be enough for everyone. There can be lasting peace. There can be an end to poverty and disease. We must again dream what we know to be true into being.

And, I have studied enough comparative religions to know one thing. If any of us ever listened to the ideas in them, we would all be better off. We can no longer let men use and corrupt the messages as vehicles of power over others, or excuses to preach capitalism which goes against every religion.

We have gone back to sleep after awakening and the cold splash of water on our face now must jar us to the reality that we will all fail but the select few if we don’t unite in implementing our former plan.

Communism is the only way. Socialism is the only way. Uniting globally is the only way.

It is end game time. We either wake together or die as prisoners alone.

Being One is the Only Way. We are all connected, including the multifarious creatures whose fate hangs on our whim. The choice is clear: We must look after one another. 

DIANE GEE is a Senior Contributing Editor with The Greanville Post. She maintains a personal blog at The Wild Wild Left , where this piece also ran. Her page on Facebook, The Wildly Left, is a lively and thought-provoking forum for people resisting and fighting the status quo, but a robust iconoclastic personality is required to fully enjoy the repartee. 

* Re the ancient “water cure” see:

Water cure (torture)  —> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cure_(torture)

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