Today, war in the U.S. is like no-fault car insurance. Nobody is responsible, but everybody pays. Even a declaration of war as stated in the U.S. Constitution is not needed. This no-fault war policy is bipartisan and includes the endless Global War on Terror at enormous cost. The policy includes a codicil extending to national security failures and malfeasance on September 11, 2001, with assignment of blame diverted by the bipartisan creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the PATRIOT Act.
An unwritten law in the U.S. stipulates that wars must be fully supported by the mainstream media as if the mobilization order included the media. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and drone strikes in foreign countries are fully covered by this no-fault policy clause in news coverage. Meanwhile, elected politicians blithely conduct government business while remaining mute on the lies, mistakes, and corruption of these wars.
Death and destruction in foreign countries is rarely seen on highly profitable U.S. television networks whose existence is permitted in legislation calling for “public” airwaves. Destroyed lives and homes and refugees are missing in U.S. news as if our bombs and bullets have nothing to do with their devastation in far off lands. The horrific effects of war in distant lands are unseen, except for the maimed and dead bodies of Americans returning from these lands.
No bad news about war is very good news for the imperial state and its war profiteers.
How wonderful that the two embedded political parties work to subvert the Constitution and election laws. No real competition in views is allowed, especially about America’s wars, even though a hallmark of authentic capitalism is vigorous competition. How wonderful that elected representatives remain in office for decades without resolving major issues while committing the nation to war after war. How wonderful how they continue to claim without proof that war will make the nation safer. How wonderful for them to have minimal debate on the necessity or wisdom of going to war. How wonderful to have pre-emptive wars without national discussion and debate. How wonderful for them to move through the revolving door from elected official to high-paid lobbyist while still beating the drums of war.
Military interventionism takes the form of financially and militarily propping up foreign puppets for private or political interests masked as national interest. But puppets cannot stand on their own, even with billions in American taxpayer dollars. Consider the news out of Iraq and Afghanistan; despite billions in aid, both American-sponsored governments are nearing collapse, propped up only by U.S. troops and dollars.
Military interventions often backfire such as in 1953 when Iranian president Mohammed Mossadegh’s government nationalized the oil fields, prompting U.S. and British covert operations to overthrow his democratic government and install a dictator friendly to foreign oil companies. U.S. intervention destroyed a democracy, leading 25 years later to the Iranian revolution and the creation of its current government, which now has stringent economic sanctions imposed on it by the U.S. because it may be seeking a nuclear weapon (to deter the next CIA-led intervention, perhaps?).
For hundreds of U.S. embassies and consulates across the globe the art of diplomacy sits idle while the engines of war strike wherever it is deemed necessary. U.S. embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan are fortresses guarded by expensive private mercenaries. Everywhere the U.S. sees existential or strategic threats while opportunities for compromise and harmony are ignored.
How wonderful for U.S. elected representatives to serve for decades while acting as if the American superpower needs no lessons in the limits of power. The mere mention of non-intervention is met with powerful “think tank” rebuttals that isolationism is unacceptable and dangerous.
When did non-interventionism mean isolationism?
How wonderful that the lone superpower and its elected representatives stride the globe bringing freedom and democracy as their own nation becomes ever less free and more militarized. Freedom and democracy are militarized and restricted for the sake of the nation’s security, a formula that’s ever so agreeable to the status quo.
Wrapped in fear, No-Fault War has developed with obedience to the state in all things.
Henry Pelifian has worked in both public and private sectors with years in Thailand, Malaysia and Iran. He served in the U.S. Army in South Vietnam and he is a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. He has written two books and a play, THOREAU.