When Are 5,000 Soldiers Not Ground Forces?

Curt Wechsler | September 29, 2016

IMG 3059-thumb-300x337-2729
When the President says so. Deployment of 600 more troops to Iraq is "consistent with Mr. Obama's policy not to commit American ground forces again in Iraq," says the White House.

Really? Seven years after "ending" the war, with over one million Iraqi deaths attributed to the conflict, characterization of U.S. intervention in Iraq as humanitarian aid begs belief.

As does the double-speak of "just law" the President uses to rationalize crimes against humanity. But "whatever the reasons for going to war, or continuing to conduct that war, they do not necessarily justify drone strikes, extraordinary renditions, or any other method of warfare," wrote Joe Boyle at BBC News.

Obama admitted as much: "Perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this [Nobel 'War Is Peace'] prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two [now 7]wars," said Obama, accepting his medal. But don't expect a change of heart. The President "doesn't look back" on the crimes of his government.

The man who rode into office on anti-Iraq war sentiment "is now forced to act in the only way he and the Empire he presides over know how," wrote Dennis Loo, member of the Steering Committee of World Can't Wait. "Killing and more killing. Lying and more lying. Destroying and more destroying. Fear mongering and more fear mongering."

We can expect more of the same from today's aspirants to leadership of the U.S. warfare state. Donald Trump pledges to deploy up to 30,000 American troops to the Middle East. Hillary Clinton never met a war she didn't want. Bernie Sanders would redistribute the spoils of capitalist plunder. Gary Johnson isn't sure where Aleppo is. Jill Stein thinks war costs too much, in dollars and lives. She calls for a foreign policy that "goes back to the drawing board."

But the change we need is not on the ballot. It is on those of us who care about people, the future of humanity and the planet, to act together to stop endless wars for empire.