Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Time to Rethink Middle East Wars

What are we doing in Syria and why? And why are we still chained to a discredited foreign policy concocted by Dick Cheney and his armchair warriors before George W. Bush took office almost two decades ago?

After 9/11/01 their fringe call in 1997 for a new century of “American global leadership” with “military strength and moral clarity” drove US foreign policy into, among other misadventures, an Iraq war that cost the nation more than 4000 lives and $3 trillion dollars.

While Congress bickers over responsibility for deaths in Benghazi, the same old voices drive the nation toward intervention into the kind of morass in Syria that led to quagmires in Libya, Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

When and where have we found moral clarity through military strength anywhere? Isn’t it past time for new voices and new ideas about what the hell we are doing in that region of the world?

While white-haired Bill Clinton says the President risks looking like a “fool” and a “total wuss” if he doesn’t move into Syria, he is joined by Cheney, McCain and all the ancient GOP war lovers cheerleading for another bloody enterprise.

Unheard in the din are young senators like Connecticut’s Chris Murphy and New Mexico’s Tom Udall who went to Syria and came back deeply skeptical about what we can do there. Their face time on cable news is minimal.

Unheard too are the American people who have long been showing signs of Middle East fatigue but voting on the basis of Tea Party bombast about the economy rather than foreign policy.

Isn’t it long past time that figures more rational than Rand Paul start campaigning on the issue of why we keep spilling blood and money in endless Arab sands?

Isn’t it past time for the generations who have to fight old men’s wars to have their say?  

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