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Admit the truth about America’s wars

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The world needs the U.S., but not as its policeman. If we clean up our act and go back to being a beacon of liberty, the world needs that example.

The rest of the world doesn’t trust us after what we did to ourselves and to Iraq. We became the only remaining superpower when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. Since then we’ve had four wars in the Arab world — Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. We’re threatening to go to war again in Iran and Syria and are already doing drone warfare — killing people from the sky — in Yemen and Somalia. We lost over 200 Marines in Lebanon 30 years ago and had to retreat from Somalia, when our humanitarian mission turned to battle.

Sept. 11 was horrible terrorist revenge for some of the earlier U.S. invasions in Muslim territory. It made sense to go to Afghanistan after that, but no sense to go to Iraq. George Bush would be arrested for war crimes, if he travelled outside the U.S. Starting the Iraq war, which was based on lies his administration told, was the stupidest move since Hitler invaded Russia. Iraq is a violent mess since we left, but it would be if we had stayed a hundred years.

A British woman named Gertrude Bell invented Iraq, writing its constitution, drawing up its borders and picking its first ruler. Only a monster like Saddam Hussein could keep it together. Fighting two wars at the same time (Iraq and Afghanistan) with an all-volunteer armed forces guaranteed that we’d win neither war. We’ll leave Afghanistan a violent mess in 19 months. There are no “wins” for us in either Syria or Iran. This isn’t politics, it’s history and military reality. But we’d rather break the finest military on earth through endless war (and continue our no-win “wartime” economy) before we admit the truth to ourselves.

Pontius Pilate asked Christ, “What is truth?” Jesus knew the Romans couldn’t handle the truth, so he didn’t answer, and we’ll become extinct like the Roman Empire, if we don’t learn now.

Roland Van Deusen

Clayton

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