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war

During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons. Jacob George

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Limited war is “rarely successful” when the desired outcome is the total defeat of an enemy, but that should make us question why our government insists on making total victory the only acceptable definition of success. That is all the more important when the wars in question are wars that the U.S. doesn’t have to fight, but opts to wage for various reasons that normally have little or no connection to U.S. security. Fighting wars with insufficient means is a tacit admission that almost no one–not even the administration waging the war–genuinely believes that these wars are necessary for U.S. security, and that is why there is so little support for making the much larger and costlier commitment that is usually required. Why “Limited” Wars Fail

The West is going to exhaust itself in its fight against Islamic terrorism, which Western arrogance has undeniably kindled. Rene Girard

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Obama’s bet — the same bet made by each of his predecessors, going back to Carter — is that the skillful application of U.S. military might can somehow provide a way out of this dilemma. They were wrong, and so is he. We may be grateful that Obama has learned from his predecessor that invading and occupying countries in this region of the world just doesn’t work. The lesson he will bequeath to his successor is that drone strikes and commando raids don’t solve the problem, either. Even if we defeat the Islamic State, we’ll still lose the bigger war

This war is a mistake for the U.S. first and foremost because the U.S. was not directly threatened by ISIS, and it seems very unlikely that another U.S.-led war in the region will eliminate more threats than it creates. Therefore the U.S. is not making itself more secure by striking at the group. On the contrary, the U.S. has almost certainly become somewhat less secure because of the intervention, and it is likely to become more so the longer that it continues. Bacevich on the War Against ISIS

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With our 14th front barely opened, the Pentagon foresees a campaign likely to last for years. Yet even at this early date, this much already seems clear: Even if we win, we lose. Defeating the Islamic State would only commit the United States more deeply to a decades-old enterprise that has proved costly and counterproductive. Even if we defeat the Islamic State, we’ll still lose the bigger war

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In endless war it does not matter whom we fight. Endless war is not about winning battles or promoting a cause. It is an end in itself. In George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” Oceania is at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia. The alliance then suddenly is reversed. Eurasia becomes an ally of Oceania and Eastasia is the enemy. The point is not who is being fought. The point is maintaining a state of fear and the mass mobilization of the public. War and national security are used to justify the surrender of citizenship, the crushing of dissent and expanding the powers of the state. The point is war itself. And if the American state, once a sworn enemy of Hezbollah, gives air cover to Hezbollah fighters in Syria, the goals of endless war remain gloriously untouched. But endless war is not sustainable. States that wage endless war inevitably collapse. They drain their treasuries, are hated by the wretched of the earth, and militarize and strangle their political, social and cultural life while impoverishing and repressing their populations. Chris Hedges: Becoming Hezbollah’s Air Force

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Who knows how many Muslim countries the United States has bombed or executed military action in, over the last 10 years? Carl Medearis

Violence as a primary form of communication has become normalized. It is not politics by other means. It is politics. Democrats are as infected as Republicans. The war machine is impervious to election cycles. It bombs, kills, maims, tortures, terrorizes and destroys as if on autopilot. It dispenses with humans around the globe as if they were noisome insects. No one dares lift his or her voice to protest against a war policy that is visibly bankrupting the United States, has no hope of success and is going to end with new terrorist attacks on American soil. We have surrendered our political agency and our role as citizens to the masters of war. Chris Hedges

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