Imagine there is a country out there thinking of war. They examine the U.S. They see the many problems the U.S. has. They count the number of prisoners we have, and conclude, that since we have the most of any other nation, we must be the most oppressive country in the world. Incidentally, they claim that they have the most freedom of any nation in the world, and they hope to bring their freedom over here. They invade the U.S., and they occupy our country indefinitely. Oh, and by the way, they've killed a million of our civilians, making 9/11 seem irrelevant in comparison.
What would we say in this scenario? Would we simply say, "thank you for bring us freedom?" Or would we say "get out now!" Would we be justified in fighting back? Or would our soldiers be "terrorists" for fighting against those who "bring freedom?" Would we believe that they are in fact bringing us freedom? Or that they have some other motive? Would we say "clean up the mess and then leave?"
Of course, the reverse of this scenario is exactly what the U.S. is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. And yet few people have truly been antiwar regarding both since Obama has taken office.
Iraq, of course, is supposed to be "Bush's war." At this point, most Americans are against it. Nevertheless, Obama has quietly continued the occupation of Iraq (since occupying a foreign nation is not news, even when U.S. troops die). Newsflash, we aren't getting out anytime soon, at least we aren't if there continues to be no antiwar movement.
Afghanistan is the one that Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have consistently failed to oppose. Sure, more and more Americans want the U.S. to withdraw because it is a "quagmire" that we can't "win." This position did not constitute an antiwar position during the Vietnam war, and it does not now. Rather, this position is essentially, "we've lost, lets cut our losses." If you are rooting for the U.S. to "win," that means that you think that there is something to win, and furthermore, that that could have been won through war. By definition, you are pro-war.
The truth is, the invasion of Afghanistan was just as unjust as the invasion of Iraq. Yes, terrorists that had bases in Afghanistan attacked the U.S. However, let's reverse the scenario again. Some Americans, with support from the U.S. government, attack Cuba. Cuba now has the right to take over our country, kill civilians, and occupy it indefinitely, while deciding our politics. Right? I don't think so.
That neither Iraq or Afghanistan has been brought democracy at the barrel of a gun and that just about everyone in both countries is suffering, and may even be worse off than they were before, just adds to the absurdity. But simply condemning the wars by describing all of the sordid details or even saying that these are occupations and not wars is wrong. Both of these positions imply that these wars could be just.
They cannot. War is wrong, period. Far from being a crazy position, this argument is simple. If all people are created equal, we cannot declare otherwise. If it is wrong for someone to kill U.S. civilians, and it clearly is, than it is equally wrong for the U.S. to kill foreign civilians. If it is wrong for someone to occupy our country in the name of freedom, than it is wrong for the U.S. to occupy a country.
And, groups like Codepink, who support an "exit strategy," are pro-war and pro-occupation. To argue that the U.S. should get out after "fixing the mess," cannot possibly be an antiwar position. Obama has the same position, Bush had the same position. It is still the same position even if their timetables for withdrawal are quite different.
The only position that is antiwar and anti-occupation is "Get Out Now!" That includes everywhere, not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but a large number of other countries, ie. South Korea.
About my Blog
I am writing this blog from a radical political point of view. To be a political radical is to examine everything critically. It is about taking today's news, today's unmentioned news, history, or even just the way we think about ideas, and adding a totally new perspective to them. If you are a radical, and a socialist, like me, you will agree with a lot of what I have to say. If not, I hope I at least make you think about things that you previously took for granted. Most of all, I hope everyone enjoys this blog.
I have just graduated from college, where I wrote opinion pieces for my school newspaper. Though I started out a liberal, I have moved far to the left since then. Despite my politics being different from most people, many people found a lot of what I had to say interesting and insightful. I hope to continue challenging people to think here on my blog.