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Good Morning, Iraq!: When Will We Ever Learn?

The Los Angeles Times reported June 9 that President Obama is preparing to increase U.S. military troops in the Iraq conflict to a total of 3,600. He’s also looking at building a new military training base there. Does that remind you of Vietnam? Afghanistan? Oh, yes, and our earlier eight-year build-up and draw down in Iraq?

The LA Times article states:

President Obama is considering a Pentagon plan to establish a new training base and send about 500 additional U.S. troops to advise Iraqi security forces in the battle against Islamic State militants, according to U.S. officials…

…The total U.S. force in Iraq is now about 3,100 troops, who are advising, training and providing base security.

We’ve been writing consistently since 2010 about Washington’s voracious appetite for endless war. In 2010, writing for The Clyde Fitch Report, we noted how America’s militaristic reflex for Persian Gulf rule even led Robert Bryce, the author of the American Conservative Magazine cover story “Oil for War”, to criticize the U.S.’s trying to control world markets militarily rather than letting the free markets work.


Our constant brave.

“Since World War II, America has held fast to the idea that controlling the oil flow out of the Persian Gulf must be assured at the point of a M-16 rifle,” said Bryce, who was managing editor of Energy Tribune magazine. “…it’s obvious that the U.S. needs to rethink the assumption that secure energy sources depend on militarism. The emerging theme of the 21st-century energy business is the increasing power of markets. The U.S. can either adapt or continue hurtling down the road to bankruptcy.”

In 2011, we wrote of Obama’s aerial invasion of Libya, and how Congress DOES NOT have the Constitutional right to pass on to the president its power to declare and wage war.

In 2012, we reminded readers of war hero and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s grave warning of the growth of the Military-Industrial Complex and the danger of it taking over Washington policies. Which it has.

In 2013, we questioned whether the West African country Mali might become our next Viet-ghanistan.

Also in 2013, we analyzed how Obama’s longing to attack Syria is a symbol of Washington’s endless-war addiction.

In 2014, we wrote how America encourages war to increase its international weapons sales. We wrote about opposition to the CIA’s use of killer drones involved in slaying innocent civilians.

And in 2014 we wrote about a highly decorated Marine general who shouted how “War is a Racket” to make money for a few while many are killed, maimed and left homeless with countries’ economies in shambles.

Most recently, we’ve written about George Washington’s and Dwight Eisenhower’s views of foreign relations compared to the current neocons in Washington, and of what looks to be a looming war with China.


750,000 suffer from TBI, PTSD.

Which brings us up to today, June 10, four days after the anniversary of D-Day, the turning point of our last legally declared war. And the president performing the slow crawl of increasing military troops in Iraq, just like in earlier undeclared wars.

Let’s also remind you we have hundreds of American soldiers in Ukraine training government forces. Meanwhile, today’s lead story in Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military’s independent news source, is headlined “Poll: Willingness to Defend Allies from Attack Low in Some NATO States”. And another headline in the military publication: “War drawing down, but still deadly as civilians deploy to Afghanistan.”

And we’ll close by reminding you of the medical report of 750,000 American active and veteran military suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

And quoting from Pete Seeger’s song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”, and then a final question:

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

The final question: When will WE ever learn?

Roger Armbrust

Roger Armbrust's articles and columns have covered labor and management, Congressional legislation, and federal court cases, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as national news editor of Back Stage in New York City, where he also taught a professional writing course at New York University. His recent book of sonnets -- oh, touch me there: Love Sonnets -- is available from Amazon and other book sites. He is an associate curator of The Clyde Fitch Report. He is also co-founder and co-curator of reality: a world of views.

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