Ron Unz on Iraq War Disaster

In 2002, President George W Bush used the Republican Party to push America into a pre-emptive war on Iraq, with claims that Saddam Hussein’s government was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, and an implied claim that the Hussein regime had aided the 9/11 hijackers. Both claims have been proved false, but the war left America with trillions of dollars in debt, thousands of dead soldiers, tens of thousands of wounded, and moral responsibility for the deaths of many Iraqis and the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure.

Americans repudiated the Republican Party in the 2006 elections for Congress and the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Few Republicans have learned the lesson, and many Republicans continue to defend the policies of George W Bush. Ron Unz is a maverick Republican running for U.S. Senate in California’s open primary in June. Ron Unz has joined with Ron Paul in denouncing the Iraq War, and on his campaign site gives his view of the Iraq war disaster:

Despite being total failures, the same people responsible for the Iraq War still dominate the foreign policy of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. As a Republican U.S. Senator I would work to remove them from all national influence.

A decade ago my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who ran the National Security Agency for Ronald Reagan, publicly declared that the Iraq War was the “greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history”.

He was exactly correct then, and his judgment seems even more prescient today, as the rise of the Islamic State and other powerful extremist groups has led to an endless cycle of war and terrorism in the Middle East, now directly threatening European and American cities. Furthermore, prominent economists have estimated that the long-term cost of the war to our country may run as high as five trillion dollars.

Most of our recent foreign wars in the Middle East area, under both the Bush and the Obama Administrations, have been expensive and immoral foreign policy disasters. Republicans Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan were right about these issues, as were all the other experts, both liberal and conservative, who have been saying the same thing.

I don’t necessarily claim to have the solutions to the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, but nothing useful can be accomplished until we admit that the Iraq War was a total disaster and absolutely not in our national interest. Today, the exact same individuals who promoted the war still absolutely dominate the foreign policy of the Republican Party and are also very influential within the Democratic Party. Until we completely repudiate them and their dreadful mistakes, we will not be able to move forward.
Source:http://www.unz2016.org/unz-on-the-issues/#admitting-the-iraq-war-disaster

Hitler Stalin Pact signed 75 years ago today

Late at night on August 23, 1939, the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union and the German Reich signed a “non-aggression treaty” that has come to be known as the Hitler Stalin Pact. The pact committed the two nations to a policy of friendship and mutual aid, provided for increased trade, and included secret protocols which laid the groundwork for the Second World War.

In 1989 the Swiss anarchist magazine, Banal, published the secret protocals in German. The addendum to the agreement provided for the division of Poland after the two countries would invade it from opposite directions. The invasion of Poland led to the war, as Britain and France, allied with Poland, declared war on Germany.

As a result of the German/Russian agreement, Communist Parties throughout the world defended Germany’s aggressive moves against France and Britain; the Comintern became an accessory to the Anti-Komintern alliance of Germany & Italy.

Critics of international Communism at the time recorded a song about the new party line: (h/t to Jack Ross for posting this on youtube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl1r7E3e-ks

Under the terms of the pact, the Soviet Union acted to annex Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. At the end of the war, Germany and Japan, as belligerents, were forced to give up territory, including some land that each country held even before the start of the war. But the USSR continued to control Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania until 1991.

Russia no longer is under control of the Communist Party, but Russian libertarians now point to the Putin regime as holding the characteristics of a fascist state: http://libertarian-party.ru/blog/an-appeal-to-western-libertarians-about-the-war-in-Ukraine

It is sad to see how much the legacy of authoritarianism and imperialism continues to dominate the Russian body politic.