Weiler: Sorting out what kind of war we are fighting in the Middle East


I thought that I would finish my Collegian writing with my thoughts on our congressional leadership as a whole, as it pertains to the current Global War on Terror. One of our guard units is deploying soon and this is something that really does affect all of us, not just the soldiers preparing to leave.

Right now, we are still fighting a Global War on Terror against an enemy that is undefined after 10 years of continuous war. We identify Al Qaeda and the Taliban as the enemy in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq (which are mainly people fighting against U.S. occupation). The Taliban and “insurgents” are not terrorist organizations. It seems that Al Qaeda, who fights for a holy purpose, has become the number one target for much of our fighting rhetoric. But they fight for religious reasons. Does that make the Global War on Terror a religious war? We say no, but the enemy says yes. So what kind of war are we fighting?

We have spent the last 120 years influencing nations and toppling regimes for one reason or another, mostly economic, and we study these things in various classes year after year at SDSU. We talk about how terrible we have acted toward these nations and we are appalled as to how the U.S. could behave that way, when all we have to do now is turn on the TV set and watch it happen in real time. We are not helping the Libyan people by bombing them and we are not furthering democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan — although the media would have us believe this and they are very convincing.

I would propose one question toward this point: how critical are you of the things you see and hear? There are many avenues that the media assists the government’s (and corporations’) agendas because they benefit from this chaos of regime change. In order to get the people on board, they use the same tactics of patriotism and democracy against the “tyrants” that harbor “terrorists.” You could easily replace the term “terrorist” with “communist” from the Cold War era. But because this tactic has been played out a couple of generations now, some American people easily read between the lines.

So what we see now in our congressional arena is a distracting tactic causing division between the “left” and the “right.” Democrats versus. Republicans. This means that those who are staunch supports of either party will venomously fight against the other and this pits citizen against citizen and creates division among the American society.

Congress is like a WWF wrestling match, telling the American public that they are going to work hard to defeat the other’s plans and agenda’s, when their agendas are the same – the core agendas, anyway. Did we end the Global War on Terror – a war started by Republican Bush, with Democratic President Obama? No. There was another surge in Afghanistan and troops still continue to occupy Iraq. Now there is talk that our soldiers will stay there much longer than the projected withdrawal date of 2012. Did we close Guantanamo Bay where we torture and detain people indefinitely without officially charging them with anything? No. Closing Guantanamo Bay was one of the main things that Obama campaigned for, and he recently signed to keep it open, citing that it was not his fault and that too many in Congress were against him. That may be, but he is still the president of the United States of America with the support of the people behind him on that issue. Anything can be done with that combination. Did Obama repeal the USA PATRIOT Act? No. Obama just extended the funding for this a few weeks ago. And so on, and so on, and so on.

I am not a supporter of either party, and am critical of all leadership that puts the well-being of individuals within corporations ahead of the American public. There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes down to the important issues that affect not only the U.S., but the entire globe. Do you think the Middle East would be happy if Obama did the things he promised when he was campaigning? How about Europe and Asia? I know U.S. citizens would be.

And there are those that say that fighting there keeps terrorists away from here. I disagree. There is no nation in the world today that is 100 percent safe from extreme individuals who choose to utilize violence to further their means. Not one in the world. Fighting a war on the other side of the world that costs the nation greatly both financially and with the blood of our sons and daughters does not leave us more secure at home. In fact, it makes us less. We are strung out too thin with our physical presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now we are using more resources to bomb Gaddafi’s men in Libya (even though we seem to bomb the rebels more). It just does not make sense.

These wars have nothing to do with keeping the U.S., and the world, safer and “terrorism” is just another boogieman to fight since the Cold War is over. Terrorism gives the U.S. an excuse to spend more money on military research and development and employ methods that ultimately take the power away from the people and gives it to our increasingly oppressive government.

Terrorism also provides the U.S. the lateral movement into any nation that we deem to harbor and assist terrorists. We can invade whoever we want with this mindset, and this means no end to the Global War on Terror unless congress changes.

Congress has the power to stop everything bad that is happening, but unfortunately, they are also the cause of everything bad that is happening.

Jon is a non-traditional student majoring in English. Reach him [email protected]