We have a polished turd

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Feb 282011
 
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We, as a nation, have a responsibility to remove the shine from our history. Sunday, the last U.S. veteran of World War I passed away. Had U.S. foreign policy been less misguided, he may have been the last U.S. veteran of any war.
He wasn’t.

Franklin D. Roosevelt sits today atop the throne of modern politicians and specifically Democrats. They look to his domestic agenda, his ruthless threats to the Supreme Court –– pass my legislation or the Senate and I will start adding justices until I have the ratio I want –– and his highly successful manipulations to ensure re-election as aspirational achievements.

There’s a problem. Democrats today paint themselves as the party of peace. This is disingenuous at best, but in truth, it is an outright lie.

FDR was the last president to sign a war declaration, meaning we have not been in a formally declared war for 70 years. Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq; in every circumstance, Congress abdicated their responsibility to put a check on the Oval Office, and in most cases, they enabled the president to entrench the country in drawn-out occupations.

Far be it from me to criticize the elite of the citizenry, I mean, what right do I have to question the oligarchy’s track record of a galactic level of failure and stupidity?

As for the subject of Democrats and their newly found platform of peace, take a quick jaunt through the history books to discover their abysmal record.

World War I? Wilson. World War II? Roosevelt. Korea? Truman. Vietnam? Kennedy. Cold War? Truman again. Desert Storm? Bush. Afghanistan? W. Iraq? W. Over the course of the 20th century and into the first five years of the 21st, war-mongering Republican presidents accounted for three of eight major “conflicts.”
What these snapshots do not reveal is why these conflicts came about. Most of the secondary conflicts taking place as a part of the Cold War led to a series of critical unintended consequences, specifically in the Middle East. To be fair to those on the left who feel I am unfairly criticizing their demi-god FDR and the rest of his minions, those on the right have a highly distorted view of “the Gipper” Ronald Reagan.

Under his watch and command, the U.S. covertly supported two countries in conflict with either Soviet allies or the Soviets.

In December 1979, Soviet forces overthrew Afghanistan’s government and began an occupation that ultimately terminated when, with covert support from our very own CIA, the Mujahideen finally drove the Russkies insane and the Soviets left.
The problems started when U.S. support departed along with them, leaving a vacuum at the top the Taliban readily filled. We know how a great deal of that story played out, but we still do not know the end.

Not 12 months later, a war between Soviet-supported Iran and U.S.-backed Iraq kicked off, not ending for almost a decade.

Any questions as to how that story went? Here’s the unnerving part: The attacks of 9/11 can be tied to Iraq, but not for the reasons claimed by the Bush administration.

Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990; the Saudi Royal family rightfully believed Saudi Arabia was next so Osama Bin Laden offered to bring his Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to defend the Kingdom. The Saudis declined; they received a better offer, which left him angered.

U.S. forces remained surrounding Iraq up to, including and now after 9/11. Turkey, Kuwait, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Egypt all hosted U.S. forces. Yet, students last week called for the president to intervene in Libya.

Folks, you really do not want that. Sometimes things just have to happen in ugly ways; it’s better that they work themselves out than have a heavy-handed moron get involved.

Who in D.C. understands this?

Seth J. Stern is a senior journalism and sociology major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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