Far from idealizing military anywhere, I still insist that Western political and punditry class is utterly incompetent in matters of war, thus making it unqualified for making decisions or promoting aggressive foreign policy. Now American war veterans made their voice heard somewhat.
An important new consensus is forming against America’s endless wars, shaped by an important constituency: the military veterans who have sacrificed so much to fight them. A Pew Research poll of veterans released contained results that contradict the cherished talking points of the bipartisan Washington foreign policy blob that sees “leadership” and “engagement” as being synonymous with bombing and regime change. Sixty-four percent of veterans said the war in Iraq was not worth fighting when the costs to America are weighed against the ostensible benefits to the region and our national security. Just 33 percent concluded that George W. Bush’s Baghdad democracy adventure was worthwhile in retrospect.
There is, of course, much more to it than mere cost/benefits analysis but I will take here whatever I can. I will just remind you, that in the immediate wake of 9/11 tragedy I was FOR military operations in Afghanistan. But most importantly, The American Conservative's staff which wrote this column concludes it with what I write about for years:
The men and women on the frontline have seen the results of these mishaps firsthand. They know how the realities of these wars have differed from the abstract theories of the neoconservatives and liberal hawks, concocted in think tank conference rooms far removed from the real world. It’s time to heed their counsel more and the Beltway “experts’” less.
Yes, about that--the United States completely discredited the principle of civilian control over military precisely for the reason that most militantly ignorant, aggressive, war-mongering elements of US government and media, responsible for millions of deaths, refugees, horrors of displacement, in the end, thousands upon thousands US servicemen who lost their lives, health and mental peace, are civilians whose only understanding of military is limited to Hollywood propaganda and most of who didn't serve a day in uniform, let alone have serious military academic background and operational experience. Good that someone other than me points out this damning fact.