Editorial: Posted September 9, 2013
America Has Yet to Learn How to Exit
By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you lead your allies into wars from which you have no exit strategy, they will develop a reluctance to follow.
That reluctance descended into aversion from America’s most faithful ally, Great Britain, when its Parliament gave a resounding “no” to Prime Minister David Cameron.
One has to wonder if both the President and the Prime Minister were operating on all cylinders. Shouldn’t there have been some behind-the-doors canvassing between the U.S. and Great Britain before Cameron made a fool of himself before Parliament and the world, and before the President drew lines in the sand before going to Congress? Haven’t we been down this road before, starting with Vietnam?
In these past few days, the American public has made it clear that it wants no war. But hey! The public be damned. In the end, President Obama will more than likely get what he wants with or without congressional approval, and we will be engaged in yet another reactionary war, and ironically with a man who was born on September 11th and who is a physician, Bashar Assad.
We can hear President Vladimir Putin snickering as he aids and abets Assad behind closed doors.
I have long been an observer of Czar Putin whom I have never trusted because he has flaunted his enormous wealth with the same arrogance as those who believe in Divine Rule.
Though I did not agree on much with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, I did agree with him on Russia and believed as he did that the Cold War is not as warm as we thought. Czar Putin even managed to use the G20 gathering in St. Petersburg as a stage to further mock the United States. This hybrid of a capitalist-communist has already made it his mission to make the Soviet Union Number One by any means necessary. And who knows, instead of Sarah Palin saying that she can see Russia outside her house, she might very well be uttering ‘I can see Russia inside my house’.
As stated earlier, our nation has continued to emerge from conflicts as “loser” or as that proverbial Paper Tiger since Vietnam. Why? Simple. Our foreign policy continues to be defined and implemented on a Euro-Western-colonial-centric model which went by the wayside in the 20th Century, especially in the 1960’s.
During these few days, there has been verbiage about America losing credibility. We continue to lose credibility because we continue to operate on a grossly failed 20th Century foreign policy that does not take into account race, color, religion, and culture
as certified variables in forming a realistic, workable 21st Century foreign policy model. Having an African American president makes nil difference.
Great Britain experienced first-hand the sun setting on its empire when it-- as did France, Spain, and Portugal-- lost colonial reins of its African territories. Great Britain also learned a hard lesson when it lost control of India under Gandhi’s ethnic rebellion.
There is yet another simple reason why the United States of America’s credibility has escalated: America does not know when to leave. I was invited to a White House luncheon in the Roosevelt Room shortly before we were about to embark into what would become known as Desert Storm to free Kuwait. As I sat across the table from President George H. W. Bush, I voiced my opinion that we would in fact be stuck there as we were in Vietnam. The Desert Storm victory was short lived. President George W. Bush’s going into Iraq was in reality a continuation of Desert Storm which became Vietnamesque in that we got bogged down at the cost of thousands of American lives, limbs, and minds. (For the record, I neither define myself as wholly Democrat nor wholly Republican; or, for that matter, as neither holy Democrat nor holy Republican).
I had commented to colleagues and written that when the statue of Saddam Hussein came down, we should have raised our arms and yelled “Victory!” and left officially and helped the U.N. put back Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s infrastructure with the quickness of McDonald’s. This gesture would have had their citizens on our side and developed trust not only with them but with our allies.
To reiterate, in this 13th year of the 21st Century, this nation has firmly established a reputation to go into a war-torn country and stay and stay and stay; and occupy and occupy and occupy. It does NOT know when to leave!
Again, we have not looked like winners since World War II. Furthermore, this nation has welcomed back our soldiers with a kick in the ass and a spit in the face. In this Iraqi and Afghanistan conflict, our soldiers have returned home to nothing but joblessness and disrespect. The enemy has received more accommodations than our soldiers… I don’t want to even get started on how we treat our veterans. Every medieval society knew enough to take care of its warriors.
As we listened to President Obama’s G20 press conference (September 6, 2013), I heard the same dinosaur reasons this country has been plagued with post World War II. What I didn’t hear (not really) is that if Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, what makes us think he won’t use them on Americans? Having said that, America still needs to learn that nations we help will neither bow to us nor tolerate indefinite occupation.
As one can see, no ally is readily following the United States down this path of a Syrian engagement, and it is this reluctance which shows that something has drastically changed between this nation and its allies. Now I am just as patriotic as the next American, but I strongly advocate that no ally should follow the United States down this path to bog its nation, its people, its resources, its spirit into a quagmire of no return. No ally should follow the United States down this path until it changes its foreign policy to reflect a world of diversity and to have, if it decides to go to war, a quick exit strategy.
To tell the truth, we also know that our country’s foreign policy (like those of any other nation) is not absolutely based on good intentions but on oil and other natural resources and can serve as a distraction to take citizens’ minds off domestic crises.
This Syrian crisis is, too, a guise for old rivals, the U.S.A. and Russia, to vie for first place to unbalance the scale. Again, Czar Putin is hee-heeing as he aids and abets Syria to serve as a perfect back upon which Russia can climb to reestablish itself.
We all know that old adage of good intentions paving the road to hell. And you can rest assured that there will be “boots on the ground” walking over more American skeletons on the way to hell.
Yes, there is more than one thing we have to fear other than fear itself and that’s ego.