War is the Health of the State, and the Death of Liberty

The United States is the world’s most militarized and belligerent nation. Stating this reality shocks and outrages Washington policymakers. Yet the facts are incontestable, like the sun’s rise.

Last week the Biden administration ordered airstrikes in Syria against Iranian-backed forces. The attack was retaliation for a rocket assault on a U.S. base in Iraq. That event responded to previous US attacks in Iraq, including one which killed several local officials, along with Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani. Alas, the latest bombing won’t stop threats against Americans but will further entangle Washington in Mideast conflict.

The US military should not be engaged in combat involving any of these nations. Yet last week’s action was not unique. A new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute found that between 2018 and 2020 the US backed surrogate forces in combat in four countries, unleashed air and/or drone strikes in seven, engaged in combat operations in eight, undertook military exercises in 41, and participated in military training in 79. All of these were labeled “counter-terrorism” operations.

Washington’s endless “global war on terrorism” has been a notable failure, with ever-increasing terrorist threats attracting ever-expanding military action. US officials obviously have been much better at creating than eradicating terrorism. Which should surprise no one: al-Qaeda arose in response to Washington’s aggressive, militaristic policies, including America’s support for oppressive Arab regimes and Israel’s occupation over millions of Palestinians, military presence in Saudi Arabia, and attacks on Muslim-majority states. Although Americans typically view themselves as innocent Vestal Virgins circling the globe seeking to uplift the world, those suffering under US bombs often violently disagree.

Some anti-terrorism campaigns have morphed into greater conflicts and failures. Candidate Joe Biden joined his predecessor in criticizing these “endless wars,” but appears to be doubling down on America’s role as globocop. Eighteen years after joining his Senate colleagues in voting to back George W. Bush’s misbegotten invasion of Iraq, Biden is strengthening a long-term presence there amid warring Shia and Sunni political factions, Iranian-backed militias, autonomous Kurdish forces, and continuing domestic instability.

Of course, ISIS remains a concern, but it would not exist but for the US invasion, which unleashed sectarian war and spawned al-Qaeda in Iraq, which mutated into the Islamic State. Having helped reverse – ironically, in conjunction with the same irregular forces now blamed for attacking US personnel – the 2014 ISIS conquest of much of the country, Washington should return defense responsibilities to Baghdad. The Islamist group’s ideology and disparate clutches of fighters will remain a problem for several Middle Eastern states, but one that the threatened governments and other regional powers can contain.

In truth, America’s Iraq presence was mostly directed against Iran as part of the Trump administration’s misbegotten “maximum pressure” campaign. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s embarrassing “swagger” could not hide the disastrous impact of Washington’s attempt to force Tehran to abandon its independent foreign policy by starving the Iranian people. Iran’s predictable retaliation further destabilized the Middle East, interrupting Gulf oil traffic, wrecking Saudi oil facilities, spurring Iranian nuclear development, and putting US personnel at risk. Quite an achievement for the Trump administration! Now the Biden administration has expanded unnecessary American military operations to Syria to preserve the unnecessary presence in Iraq.

Worse, Biden appears ready to abandon his predecessor’s agreement with the Taliban providing for an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1. It took US forces just weeks to oust the Taliban and wreck al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, Washington spent the next two decades in a forlorn effort to create a friendly, stable, centralized, democratic, and effective government where one never previously existed. It was a foolish effort, impossible to achieve, at least at reasonable cost and in reasonable time.

American officials perhaps could be excused for trying a bit of social engineering in a traditional society long ruled at the village and valley level. However, they cannot be forgiven for squandering lives and money year after year in pursuit of the same fantasy. And for attempting to disguise their manifold failures with propaganda and lies, an effort which continues today.

In fall 2019 the Washington Post published a devastating expose of US policy. Explained Craig Whitlock: “A confidential trove of government documents obtained by the Washington Post reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” It appears that the Biden administration will be the fourth administration to follow this path, rather than fulfill its moral obligation to bring home American forces.

Even more substantial and dangerous are multiple alliances protecting virtually every prosperous, populous industrialized state from every threat, known and unknown: NATO, South Korea, and Japan, most importantly, along with the far less advanced Philippines. Then there are seemingly endless informal guarantees and ambiguous commitments – to Arab and Gulf states, Israel, Taiwan, Australia, Ukraine, Georgia, and perhaps others.

These far-ranging ties bring the US up against nuclear-armed powers, most notably China and Russia, which believe that they have substantial, even vital, security interests at stake throughout the same regions. Moreover, it is America’s globe-spanning presence, as well as willingness to bomb, invade, and occupy most any nation at any time for any reason, which encouraged North Korea to develop and both Iran and Iraq to previously pursue nuclear weapons. If Pyongyang ever uses nukes against America, it will be in response to US actions or threats against the North.

America’s global military presence befits praetorian guardians of an empire, not armed forces of a republic. Conducted in the name of defense, most of these activities have little to do with protecting America – population, territory, liberties, or prosperity. Instead, this massive military presence is designed to promote US military hegemony and economic and political influence. Washington hopes to keep potential competitors weak and even friends mostly helpless and forever dependent on America. The US also expects to engage in social engineering anywhere and everywhere on earth.

This activist foreign policy also constantly spurs expansion of the military-industrial complex. Even today’s fractured and selfish Congress could not easily mulct taxpayers for the benefit of such interests without a security pretext. Patrolling the globe and asserting “vital” interests where none exist, such as last week in Iran, Iraq, and Syria, provide convenient excuses. America’s perpetual warfare state also gives members of the infamous Blob – the complex gaggle dominated by factotums, hangers-on, hacks, sycophants, and other policy parasites – power, purpose, position, prosperity, and prestige. Indeed, it is war, and all that results from conflict, that most gives Blobsters their raison d’etre.

In 2016 Donald Trump’s tirades against endless wars led some Americans to hope that he would break with the bipartisan pro-war consensus. Alas, whatever his personal predilections, he surrounded himself with war hawks who preserved, and sometimes expanded, existing military commitments. His reckless “fire and fury” threats against North Korea and disastrous “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran risked triggering major regional conflicts. And his election-minded truculence toward China increased chances of conflict with that nuclear power.

Barely a month after taking the oath of office, Biden has demonstrated that he, too, remains a captive of the nation’s militaristic status quo. After two decades of mostly unnecessary and stupid wars, Americans deserve to live in peace. Unfortunately, they will have to again wait for a candidate to put their interests before that of Washington’s bipartisan War Party.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

WHAT WOULD CHINA HAVE TO DO BEFORE WE REALIZE WE ARE UNDER ATTACK?

Will it another Pearl Harbor to make us understand we are at war with China ?

I wasn’t around on December 7, 1941. I’m not quite that old. But I live in Hawaii and I have paid respects at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor many times. President Trump and First Lady Melania have also done so. I often see Pearl Harbor as I drive on the H-1 freeway from West O`ahu toward downtown Honolulu. I have watched the old black-and-white newsreels of the attacks by the Japanese zeros on that Date That Will Live in Infamy. Today Japan is no longer our enemy in the current era. But, the Chinese Communist Party is our enemy today. Note that I did not say that nearly 4.5 billion Chinese in China and many more around the world are our enemies because they absolutely are not. My dear wife from the Philippines has some Chinese ancestry. So do many of our closest friends. But the blood-thirsty and power-hungry regime of Xi Jinping is the most deadly foe which the United States of America has faced since the Revolutionary War.

In this ersatz age of technology and self-indulgence, most of my fellow countrymen have a very short attention span. They are also guilty as charged of being very provincial and geographically illiterate. As one who loves maps, I can guarantee you that most of them couldn’t even point to Hawaii on a world globe. That would include quite a number inside the DC Beltway! While it is 6,921 miles from Beijing to Washington, DC via the Pacific route, the Chinese Communist Party is already here permeating our entire American homeland. They are in our educational institutions. They are most definitely the controlling factor behind our mainstream media. They have subordinated our economy. If you want to buy a baseball cap with the name of your hometown on it, the chances are overwhelming that it was made in China.

But the most insidious penetration of America by the CCP is within our entire federal as well as state/local political infrastructure. Not everybody is as foolish and as brazen as Congressman Eric Swalwell whose zipper was more active than his brain. But the pandas’ claws sink deep into the flesh of not only U.S. Representatives, U.S. Senators, members of the Administration and possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court, they also control governors, state legislators, mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs and other local officials. Much of the technology that we use even within our government and law enforcement systems was, you guessed it, made in China. Made in China doesn’t just mean manufactured in China. It also means maintained by China and monitored by China. That’s why I refuse to even do Zoom calls. Xi Jinping is welcome and invited to read this article if he’s so inclined, but I really don’t want his regime listening in whenever the local GOP or other organization is discussing what they think are just internal matters.

That’s just a suggestive rather than exhaustive look at what China is doing in America today. But my question is what would they have to do to get your attention that they are attacking us on every front possible? Hopefully not bomb Pearl Harbor. Hopefully not launch a nuke at Washington, DC or New York City. That would be just a wee bit too late for us to respond effectively. So what is the threshold to be considered an Act of War with an appropriate response?

We have had naīve diplomats for as long as I can remember which would definitely include Henry Kissinger & Zbigniew Brzezinski [“Polish-American diplomat and political scientist who served as a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966 to 1968 and was President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981”]. Yes, I am old enough to remember those two feckless Democrat Administrations along with those of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So, you can add Madeleine Albright as well as Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to that list of useful idiots who subjugate American interests to those of our avowed enemies abroad. I can guarantee you that Mike Pompeo does not fall into that category!

Secretaries of State are both a source and a reflection of the understanding [or lack thereof] of the President and Commander-in-Chief whom they serve. Here late in the first term of President Donald Trump, our current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien do all understand the threat. But, do you? Joe Biden and Kamala Harris don’t! Their political appointees, some of whom they have prematurely named, would be a recipe for disaster.

So, since we’re not waiting for Pearl Harbor 2020, what exactly are we waiting for?

DNI INTEL REPORT ON FOREIGN INTRUSION INTO OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has inexplicably delayed this report required by President Trump’s executive order issued two years ago which was due yesterday, December 18th. Last I heard, he says sometime in January. Is he thinking perhaps of January 21st so he can hand it to “President” Joe Biden who will have fraudulently taken the oath of office the day before? If so, Mr. Ratcliffe is in the wrong job. If not, what the heck does he think he’s doing by not submitting this crucial report on time? Sometimes, I think these people’s brains just don’t work right. Either that or their hearts are just in the wrong place. More likely it’s a combination of both factors.

Either way it’s time for Donald Trump to clean house. Attorney General William Barr is already leaving. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was replaced in a timely manner by Christopher Miller. But, why is Gina Haspel still at CIA? Why is John Ratcliffe being allowed to delay a report which is needed right now, not just next month?

We can all hope that President Trump has a plan of action that just isn’t ready to be revealed. I’m not old enough to remember FDR’s Fireside Chats during World War II. Candidly, I’ve never even heard an audio recording or read a transcript of one of them, if such exist. But as a precocious child born during the baby boomer era, I was very alert and very inquisitive of my parents’ generation about what they had gone through. That was an age in which there was just the ubiquitous living room radio, but no television and no inkling there would ever be such a thing as the internet or social media. But President Franklin Delano Roosevelt kept the American public informed during very dark days. We know now that there is such a thing as VE day and VJ Day. But there was a time in the early 1940’s, when there wasn’t such an assurance. So, here we are in 2020 with no assurance that our constitutional republic will survive into the next Presidential Administration. That’s why we need to hear from President Trump on a regular basis, without revealing sensitive information to the enemy, assuring us that there is a plan, even if he cannot specifically outline the details of that plan.

That erroneous headline that blared “Dewey Defeats Truman” was superseded by the inauguration of President Harry Truman for a full term of his own. That’s where we are today, folks! The media and the world want us to believe that Joe Biden is President-Elect. With U.S Supreme Court cases still pending and the U.S. Congress yet to count votes and verify the winner of this election, we are not ready for 20/20 hindsight.

THE CCP MUST BE STOPPED IN ITS TRACKS NOW

I didn’t even mention earlier how China is conducting cyber warfare against many of our governmental and military agencies. This is nothing less than part of an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of the United States and install a subservient puppet regime with Joe Biden or Kamala Harris as its titular head. So I challenge you, in all due respect, to tell me if that is not an Act of War, what is the threshold as you define it? While I haven’t watched his Fireside Chats, I have seen the old black-and-white video of FDR standing before Congress asking for a Declaration of War. That was just over 79 years ago. Since then we have fought wars which we did not carry through to a conclusion such as Vietnam, in which many young Americans of my generation gave their all and perished to do their duty because our leaders did not have the guts, the gumption or the decency to finish what they started. Yes, it’s obvious now that the Domino Theory didn’t hold up and that we did not have a true national interest. But we needlessly sacrificed American patriots for no reason at all. When an actual attack on our homeland occurred on 9/11/2001, George W. Bush probably would have wanted to declare war, but there was no nation state that he was able to identify responsible for the act.

So, now today we have a hostile Act of War by a nation state, the People’s Republic of China [a misnomer if there ever was one] which is controlled by and under the bloody thumb of the Chinese Communist Party. As I previously stated, the vast majority of the Chinese people are not our enemy, but they are being persecuted by their own evil regime in Beijing. So, what are we going to do about it?

MY PREVIOUS ARTICLES

I have authored 149 previous articles for NOQ Report since February of 2019. As a veteran and retired federal officer, most of them understandably have to do with national security and foreign policy. Those written before early January of 2020 were hit by a cyber attack from the Middle East shortly after NOQ Report provided timely coverage of the assassination of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani. Some have been reformatted with graphics restored, but many others have not yet been. If there is a particular article you’re interested in, it can be reformatted upon request. If you seek, for instance, those relating to China, here is the link.

INFORMATION AND ACTION

First, I call upon President Trump to inform the American public, not only the probably 80 million of us who voted for him, but perhaps more importantly the few who actually voted for Joe Biden, as to what we are dealing with. Forget about Hunter Biden’s laptop or the scandal in Ukraine for the moment. Just focus on the fact that China used covert means to change votes away from Trump toward Biden in this election. Cases filed by Sidney Powell in Georgia and Michigan are docketed for the Supreme Court, but they are being slow-walked to the point of not being able to either prevent the stealing of this election in a timely manner or to defend us from further acts of aggression by the CCP. President Trump needs to clearly outline in no uncertain terms what the CCP has done, is doing and still intends to do. He doesn’t have to signal what he is going to do to retaliate at this point.

Second, or actually simultaneously, President Trump needs to demand that DNI John Ratcliffe submit that required report by next Monday, December 21st. Give the President what he has and then augment and supplement it to the degree necessary as a follow-up. It is inexcusable, repeat inexcusable, as well as indefensible of the DNI to try to put this off until some unspecified date in January. If Ratcliffe can’t or won’t do the job, fire him and get his Deputy or the most qualified person to finalize that report this weekend.

Then, with that documentation in hand, Donald Trump as President and Commander-in-Chief will be able to fully justify to Congress and to the American public, even if not to the demented mainstream media or to equally demented Joe Biden, what he is ordering to be done to counteract China immediately. President Trump knows whom he can trust and whom he cannot. That small cadre has undoubtedly already been apprised and the gears of retaliation already set in motion. Those who need to be ready are ready for action. XI Jinping and the CCP must be the last to know!

WAR IS ALWAYS A LAST RESORT

The attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor could not be ignored! Neither can the very deliberate kinetic attempt of the Chinese Communist Party to overthrow the legitimate government of the United States of America! We won that war and our national survival depends upon winning this one, too!

David Ware, NOQ Report