Well here we are again, another anniversary of the co-called War of Terror's start on September 11th. Also known as Bush's Crusade, The Long War and the Endless War. I had calculated that the War of Terror - just the Iraq bit - had cost the South West £1.2 billion. Yes folks - £1.2 billion. Add Afghanistan and all the other war related costs (such as the hike in the oil price) and it must be up to £2 billion. Yes folks, the War of Terror has cost us in the South West around £2 billion. We keep getting told about great victories in Afghanistan - important strategic victories that have broken the resistance, the killing of hundreds of militants, capture of key towns - and yet victory itself is elusive and always just around the corner. How many more wedding parties will we need to bomb before we have won?
So on another anniversary of September 11th here is a few suggested bits of reading and stuff;
Ending Occupations to End War
While counter-terrorism activities can be usefully pursued in these three areas, it is clear that the local perception of foreign occupation is part of the problem, and a long-term occupation is likely to exacerbate the violence rather than reduce it.
Afghanistan: The Value of None
We have no idea just how many civilians have been blown away by the U.S. military (and allies) in these years, only that the "collateral damage" has been widespread and far more central to the President's War on Terror than anyone here generally cares to acknowledge. Collateral damage has come in myriad ways -- from artillery fire in the initial invasion of Iraq; from repeated shootings of civilians in vehicles at checkpoints, and from troops (or even private mercenaries) blasting away from convoys; during raids on private homes; in village operations; and, significantly, from the air.
The Failure of the Iraq War
A few weeks [after Bush got into power in 2000, his] speechwriter David Frum offered an even more exuberant version of the same vision to the New York Times Magazine: "An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and the replacement of the radical Baathist dictatorship with a new government more closely aligned with the United States, would put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe even the Romans."....[Yet - here we are in 2008] The respected Iraqi newspaper Azzaman pointed to one of these forces in a recent editorial: "Iran has emerged as the country's top trading partner. Its firms are present in the Kurdish north and southern Iraq carrying out projects worth billions of dollars. Iranian goods are the most conspicuous merchandise in Iraqi shops. Iraq, though occupied and administered by America, has grown to be so dependent on Iran that some analysts see it as a satellite state of Tehran."
And a couple of vids;
McCain the Warmonger - http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/warmonger_mccain.php
Resisting the Republicans - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwYHupGVj9o