Tuesday, October 24, 2006


HOWARD ZINN, ALTERNET - There is something important to be learned from
the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle
East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not
only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of
those who carry them out.

The United States, in three years of war, which began with shock-and-awe
bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, has been an
utter failure in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and
stability to Iraq. The Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon has not
brought security to Israel; indeed it has increased the number of its
enemies, whether in Hezbollah or Hamas or among Arabs who belong to
neither of those groups.

I remember John Hersey's novel, "The War Lover," in which a macho
American pilot, who loves to drop bombs on people and also to boast
about his sexual conquests, turns out to be impotent. President Bush,
strutting in his flight jacket on an aircraft carrier and announcing
victory in Iraq, has turned out to be much like the Hersey character,
his words equally boastful, his military machine impotent.

The history of wars fought since the end of World War II reveals the
futility of large-scale violence. The United States and the Soviet
Union, despite their enormous firepower, were unable to defeat
resistance movements in small, weak nations -- the United States in
Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan -- and were forced to withdraw.
. .

The two most powerful nations after World War II, the United States and
the Soviet Union, with all their military might, have not been able to
control events in countries that they considered to be in their sphere
of influence -- the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and the United States
in Latin America. . .


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