This is the third of a four-part essay series hosted here on the YAL blog which will address the alliances between the US government and sponsors of international terrorism. Read Part 2 here, and stay tuned for the next two parts, which will publish daily this week.
Foreign policy accountability?
At every turn, American foreign policy has provoked, emboldened, and given aid and comfort to organizations linked to (if not identical with) the very terrorists we’re ostensibly fighting. My knee-jerk reaction to this travesty is to seek justice and accountability for the war crimes committed against the general population of all the various and sundry Middle Eastern Nations and seek some sort of domestic justice for the volunteer American military forces who have been exploited under false pretenses.
Court martial proceedings for military leadership who carried out such orders under false pretense should be sought. Leadership from the Bush and Obama Administrations should be indicted. If the testimony of politicians and military men like General Wesley Clarke, who has stated that this destabilization policy was indeed an intentional policy, make certain that these are not only war crimes, but high crimes and misdemeanors against the American republic.
Yet, this is an uncommon view. For any of this to come to fruition, the cause of justice must reach a critical mass of support. Perhaps a simpler approach would be to pressure candidates for office and relevant government agencies to pledge to reform the war making authority.
There’s a widely-watched video in which then-Congressman Ron Paul questioned former Secretary of State James Baker on this type of reform:
Paul’s questions—and Baker’s answers—leave little room for doubt that the executive branch’s power to make war is in practice near-absolute. Of course, as the Obama Administration’s Syrian “red line” indicated, even the all-powerful executive cannot withstand serious public opposition. Only a frank national discussion about executive power can produce the reform we need.
In the near term, policy-wise, my take is this: I predict that in time Syria’s Assad, Iraq’s Maliki, Iran, and Lebanese Hezbollah will unite to fight against Saudi Arabia, the other Gulf States, and their terrorist proxies. Even now there are reports that Assad’s forces are conducting bombing raids on ISIL targets within Iraq. I could even conceive that General Sisi in Egypt and renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar (if he can stay alive) would make natural allies with Assad, Maliki, and the others.
For what it’s worth, I would caution any use of force in Iraq or the Levant and instead open trade with all sides, end sanctions against legitimate states, and have targeted sanctions on lethal aid against states which support terror. Let the people who live in Iraq and the Levant determine the outcome. If they must have war, the United States does no justice by getting in the way. Eventually, a peace must be brokered. For there to be peace, the United States’ hands must be clean.
Part 4 of this series will be published tomorrow.
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