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Four More Wars
by Sudhama Ranganathan Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM (email address validated)

For all the rhetoric spoken with passion from behind podiums and into microphones. For all the promises made vowed to be kept. For all that has been pointed out about the party that left our nation saddled with two wars and a bad economy. For all the furor made over the expansion of government intrusions into people's everyday lives. For all the deriding of abuses of executive office powers. For all the proclamations of new days and more understanding of American suffering and people's pain. For all that was said about how it was going to be so different about the current administration than the previous administration, there really have been a surprising amount of similarities.</

Four More Wars...
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In 2008 when most of the country voted to elected President Barack Obama it was thought we would have someone so different, such an example of the concept of worlds apart, so ready to stand up for the ordinary American and be more than talk. We wanted it, we needed it we, called out for it, and as if in answer to our prayers there he was saying all the right things. We were ready to put our faith in someone and he filled that role of someone that was ready to fight for the little guy. After all, he had a short time as a politician, but was also a community organizer, a professor and a family man.

But, we have seen little changed for the better since he was elected. Much of that was due to the almost visceral reaction from the other side no doubt. There was this unfathomable reaction from the other side that, as an independent, is still a little hard to swallow. So many prominent people from the right proclaimed they wanted to see him fail before he had done a thing. They started doing all they could to shoot down his ideas and like bloodthirsty savages threw every crudely formed spear, dagger and otherwise scarcely honed object at him they could lay their hands on. That just never changed and it was one of the saddest things to see. But most folks knew there would be some reaction to the first black president – but like chemotherapy knowing about the side effects isn't the same as the reality. It was and still is ugly.

But then there was another kind of reaction that began to grow. It was one that people tried and tried to restrain, hold back and deny. It was one that came from his supporters. It was the one that came from those that would have gladly jumped in front of a bullet for the president and still would. It came from the people that believed that, though he could not fulfill all or even most of his promises, like most presidents, that he would at least work on the ones at the top of the list. The ones we bought into when we elected him.

One of those was a promise to not be like the previous administration with regards to the waging of wars of opportunity. He specifically told us that, unlike the Bush administration, he would not wage wars or get involved in conflicts we could not afford unless there was a good reason. He said he would follow the timetable ascribed by the Bush administration regarding Iraq and said he would “finish the job” in Afghanistan by finding Bin Laden and bringing him to justice. Outside of that unless it was humanitarian, and clearly so without an oil slick of a doubt, we expected a president focused on peace, and on paying attention to the health of the home front.

Things don't always work out the way one hopes. Instead we found a man that was showed a proclivity to wars of convenience, plunder and opportunity just like his cousin the former vice president (apparently some things run in the family). He talked great and when on the road knew just what to say. Boy he was an even better talker than Bill Clinton and was almost if not just as affable and personable as George W. Bush. People were both inspired by and comforted by his personage.

So when he told us he would not be a president of war we believed him. Upon getting into office he vacillated, and began pronouncing he wasn't sure about Iraq for example. He started saying he was considering possibly leaving some troops behind in Iraq and continuing training of Iraqi troops and police etc. Of course this was part of a stated effort to “stabilize” the country.

But, we weren't supposed to be there in the first place, and we could have left long ago. We did all we could and were going broke. He knew this and announced as much while running for the top slot in 2008. With the pressure from the left and OWS he decided against keeping US troops, but will be sending billions to train police still. Of course they have to be trained by someone right? And when not actual US military it's US military contractors (most often subsidiaries of large defense corporations) which are staffed by retired US military working under US government contracts to do the same thing. Those billions could be spent here of course training young Americans to compete in the future. Instead we have billions in cutbacks back home. But school children don't contribute huge amounts to political campaigns. Corporations that are involved in oil drilling and defense contracting, however do.

In Afghanistan he said he would find Bin Laden then leave. Yet, despite the fact we found Bin Laden and numerous other Al Qaeda top brass, he has proposed to stay there until 2013 and beyond. This he says is to “stabilize” that nation. But all the experts say it would take decades to truly stabilize and history shown it hasn't been stable in decades and even longer depending on your definition of the word. So while we are cutting billions if not trillions from programs like Social Security and Medicare back home we are spending billions to help Afghanistan after all the billions we already spent there. We do know there have been vast amounts of lithium deposits located that an internal Pentagon memo described as the “Saudi Arabia of Lithium.”

Elderly retirees are losing out on that money and their retirements are now thrown into confusion and doubt. They do not have huge amounts of money to donate to campaign coffers. Large mining corporations and corporations that rely on lithium to turn a profit, however do.

When Libyan citizens crying out for democracy asked for help after their peaceful protests were met with violence; the UN responded positively and said they would help rebels with air support. The president said he would commit a limited amount of US aid and that it would be limited in terms of duration. He promised just enough to help them get their democracy.

But then we started hearing they are going to send in ground forces to train and equip the rebels. After that they were going to stay there longer and even after Gaddafi had been toppled. He has been effectively toppled, yet we are still there. We are spending billions now there while the middle class and poor are losing homes, jobs and more. We know there will be no houses, jobs and more found for America's middle class and poor in Libya. But there is oil. Individual American citizens cannot donate huge vast amounts to campaigns, but individual oil companies can.

Just this past week the president sent in American troops to yet another front, a fourth front. He decided to help out in Uganda where there is a group of ruthless insurgents committing atrocities. Instead of first pulling out of Afghanistan and Libya and plugging the money to Iraq he commits more troops and money to another nation. We’ve seen more bloodshed, more innocents getting shot and bombed, more families blown apart, and why? So, in addition to the vast sums being dumped into Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, on the day we dedicated a memorial to one of the greatest leaders of nonviolent resistance for social change the world has ever known, we began dumping money afresh into yet another conflict. We don't have the money and have populations here that need help finding jobs. The mostly impoverished African American community back home has an unemployment rate above 15% and yet we are spending money to kill people in Uganda.

Why there of the many similar nations with similar problems? They don't have jobs to help bring down the African American unemployment rate or the unemployment rates of any other groups here in America. Oh, but they do have large untapped oil and natural gas reserves. ( Individual African Americans affected by the huge unemployment rate don't have the money to contribute vast sums to individual campaign coffers. Oil companies do.

The president of hope and change that derided president George W. Bush for sending troops to two war fronts has not only extended funds and forces on those same two fronts he has actually added two more. Instead of bringing a better brighter future and reality the president that received a nobel peace award lived up to that prize by furthering the spread of American troop involvement in conflicts, around the world. Then again, it isn't his fault they gave it to him.

Corporations that mine and drill for oil in those foreign countries don't hire Americans. They get the cheapest labor they can find. They are incorporated overseas so technically aren't even American companies. They have been notorious for receiving American government subsidies while paying no taxes and even receiving million dollar rebates. Yet poor and middle class Americans are paying to ”stabilize” countries for the enrichment of large corporations. That obviously does not benefit the majority of us, as we have been getting poorer and poorer.

At this point, we have been let down by a great talker promising good and delivering bad. Since we elected him, we spend more overseas while spending less here at a time we need money here most. Large corporations benefiting from overseas wars do not give us money or contribute to our way of life more. They are business people, not patriotic people. In fact they contribute less and less. The only place they contribute vast sums is to campaign coffers. Instead of less money from taxpayers wasted overseas since 2001 we have seen more. Instead of a change from the previous administration we merely have a continuation. Four more wars. Four more foreign nations American tax money is being wasted in than before. Four more years of spending on overseas wars. What will he do next? Break those promises and sell out the 99% or do right and keep them?

To read about my inspiration for this article go to

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