Irony

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angel...

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angell on exhibit to the public at the Imperial War Museum, London, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can’t you see
The irony?
Three men of peace:
Opposed the Iraq war
Nobel Peace Prize winner-Obama
Three Purple Hearts in Vietnam-Kerry
Secretary of Defense-Hagel
Now support war in Syria.
Best defense is
A good offense.
Syria is not a game.
Lives are at stake.
Cheney‘s 1% doctrine,
Bad then, worse now,
No longer applicable.
We cannot decide Syria’s fate.
France tried and failed.
Only Syrians can rule Syria.

$2 trillion

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Huss...

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, makes a point during his initial interview by a special tribunal, where he is informed of his alleged crimes and his legal rights. Deutsch: der ehemalige Präsident des Irak, Saddam Hussein, bei seiner Stellungnahme während seiner ersten Hörung vor dem Sondertribunal, bei der er über die Anklagepunkte und seine Rechte informiert wurde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Was it worth US$2 trillion to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein and his two sons? No, I don’t think so. It would have been far cheaper to pay them a ransom of $5-$10 billion each to vacate Iraq with their lives than to spend so much US treasure, kill 200,000, injure countless more Americans and Iraqis, and wreck Iraq just to replace a Sunni regime with a Shiite one aligned with Iran. How stupid can the American government be? Pretty darned stupid if it’s GW Bush listening to his Neocon advisers, and backed by a spineless media.

Syria

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Huss...

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, makes a point during his initial interview by a special tribunal, where he is informed of his alleged crimes and his legal rights. Deutsch: der ehemalige Präsident des Irak, Saddam Hussein, bei seiner Stellungnahme während seiner ersten Hörung vor dem Sondertribunal, bei der er über die Anklagepunkte und seine Rechte informiert wurde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Not necessarily true, but often used to justify US foreign policy. Before and after WW2, Stalin’s Soviet Union was our enemy, but during the war we were allies against Hitler‘s Germany.When Iran and Iraq were at war, we were friends and suppliers to Saddam Hussein‘s Iraq. After that war concluded, we became Saddam’s enemy and then found it necessary to invade the country in 2003.By doing that, we nearly touched off a civil war in Iraq and it still may happen. We learned in Vietnam to stay out of civil wars, and now some in the US are advocating that we become involved in the Syrian civil war. BAD IDEA. We should let the Syrians sort it out. Just because some are opposed to Assad does not mean we should align ourselves with some or any of his opponents.

Worst VP

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My nominee for worst US VP ever is Dick Cheney,  and he has very little competition. That is largely because until recently, vice-presidents did very little. If you go back to Jefferson’s first vice-president, you can say that Aaron Burr was a bad man, killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel and plotting to establish a separate country in the western territories. But he didn’t do that while he was vice-president. Spiro Agnew was forced to resign for his actions as Governor of Maryland before he became vice-president under Nixon. So Cheney has very few competitors.

Cheney selected himself as George W. Bush’s running mate, and he arranged for Bush to be surrounded by other Neocons like himself, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz, who advocated attacking Iraq. We don’t know if Bush decided himself to invade Iraq or whether he was persuaded by Cheney and others. Perhaps we will never know. We do know that Bush was a better governor than he was president, and that Bush was one of the worst presidents ever. I rank him number one. Cheney taught Bush how to be president, and the US paid a very high price for those teachings. That is why I rate Dick Cheney as the worst VP in US history.

What if?

, U.S. Senator from Nebraska.

, U.S. Senator from Nebraska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Chuck Hagel, “The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not resonated with this generation the way previous wars did with other generations–largely because most Americans are disconnected from the burden and sacrifices of these wars. Less than 1 percent of our population is carrying all the burden, making all the sacrifices, and doing all the fighting and dying in these wars. There is no draft–no direct link to these wars for the other 99 percent of our population.”

The 1% fighting our wars is not the same 1% as the top 1% of income earners in our economy. What if it were the same 1%? The most fortunate among us would be compelled by custom and law to be the 1% fighting our wars. I believe it would be a much more peaceful world. When Rome was in its twilight years as an empire, some of the sons of Rome’s most privileged citizens had the thumb on their sword hand amputated so that they could not wield a sword and fight for their country. Are we the majority of Americans still willing to shoulder our responsibility to defend the nation?