Age of Occupation

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THE AGE OF OCCUPATION
A CORPSE AWAITING BURIAL
by Jack Random
 
The critical flaw in the neocon philosophy captured by the phrase “We have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” is that foreign occupation is a nineteenth century concept. It died a slow and tortured death in the twentieth century, punctuated by the failed Soviet occupation of beleaguered Afghanistan.
 
Today, the only adherents of occupation as foreign policy are America in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russia in Chechnya and Israel in Palestine. Each will learn in the unfolding of time that occupation is folly, the nation-state version of suicide bombing: To the extent that it destroys a designated enemy, it destroys the aggressor from the inside.

“Is it monstrous to think about how to create the possibility of human relationships based on equality, on social justice, and on solidarity, and relationships from which the use of violence, terrorism and war is excluded by common accord?”

Gino Strada, Green Parrots: A War Surgeon’s Diary (Charta, 2005).
 
THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES: DISSEMINATE FREELY

The age of occupation, like the age of empire, is dead. All that remains is the funeral.

The availability of sophisticated weaponry in mass quantities from multiple channels (official and black market) renders long-term military engagement on foreign soil untenable. The occupier will always confront a native resistance and that resistance will have long roots in land made fertile by the blood of sacrifice.

In the twenty first century, an occupation can never find righteous cause. The flow of information and dissenting views is omnipresent and the myth of virtuous conquest, the wars for liberation and justice, is broken and shattered in the archives of history.

The current situation in Iraq is a compelling case. It is so far beyond redemption and repair that anyone who stands up now to defend the invasion, occupation and decimation of that unfortunate country (condemned not by its weapons or aggressive nature but by the oil beneath its sand) should be tarred, feathered and run out of the political arena on a rail, beginning with John McCain.

As Americans grudgingly accept grim reality in Iraq, we have only begun to confront the grave and deteriorating state of the occupation in Afghanistan. Given the post-911 climate of rage and fear, few questioned and fewer opposed our actions at the time but the succeeding years have revealed a fatal flaw in the war strategy that defined and christened the Bush Doctrine.

What began as a brutal demonstration of America’s awesome destructive power, with profound implications for oil pipelines, strategic deployment and the opium trade, has evolved into a prolonged occupation in which the occupying force is slowly drained of resources until the costs of maintaining the occupation are no longer worth the costs of withdrawal.

The strategic errors of our Afghan policy are numerous:

- Failing to negotiate with the ruling Taliban government (a government which after all inherited Al Qaeda from our manipulations in the Soviet era),

- Failing to focus our attack on those who attacked us on 911,

- Outsourcing fundamental elements of the assault on Al Qaeda to Afghan warlords who had no vested interest in fulfilling their contract with America,

- Setting up a long term occupation rather than getting the job done and getting out,

- Handing the ball to NATO allies who are clearly not prepared to see it through.

The destruction we have wrought is so far reaching and widespread it is impossible to understate it. America’s fall from grace (real or imagined), its loss of credibility and good will, is but one part of the equation. Broken alliances, creeping instability from Palestine and Lebanon to the Persian Gulf and beyond, a new arms race and the ever-increasing probability of nuclear war are clear byproducts of our experiment in aggressive conquest.

Even more critical (if such a designation is even possible) is the wholesale waste of resources essential to confront what should have been and must become the most pressing crisis of our short time on this earth: global climate change and the poisoning of the planet.

The enormity, vastness and depth of destruction we have delivered to the world in the name of freedom, justice and democracy is so great that we cannot hope to undo or repair it in our lives but it is imperative that we begin.

There can be no war in Iran.

There can be no more invasions and occupations anywhere on earth.

The age of occupation must end here and now.

It is time for a universal decree, acknowledging the fundamental truth of the modern age: The scourge of war is no longer a proper instrument of socio-political change – if indeed it ever really was.

Let every nation, culture and society follow its own evolutionary path.

If we are to survive, the twenty first century must become the age of diplomacy and cooperation.

As the wisest man of the elder generation has written in his new book, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress (City Lights, 2007): “The world has been at war, again and again all through the twentieth century, and here it is, a new century, and we still have not done away with the horror of war. For that we should all feel ashamed. But that shame should not immobilize us. It should provoke us to action.”

In less than three weeks, the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War will be marked by massive protests across the nation. Let every man and woman of conscience answer the call.

It is a cause that can wait no longer.

- Jazz
 
 
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE APPEARED ON THE ALBION MONITOR, PEACE-EARTH-JUSTICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS, PACIFIC FREE PRESS, LEFTWARD, DISSIDENT VOICE AND COUNTERPUNCH. SEE RANDOM JACK: WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM

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