Jesse Ventura on War & Peace
Former Independent MN Governor
It's just appalling to know that we have this capability to use as we so desire. It is truly survive-at-any-cost, where we have no moral high ground on anything? That seems to be the mind-set here: we have every weapon imaginary at our disposal but nobody else is allowed to be that way. I find it kind of ironic that the very thing we attacked Saddam Hussein over, we'd maintained in our arsenal for many years! The hypocrisy would be laughable if this weren't such a serious matter.
Abstract of the Rand report: How do terrorist groups end? The evidence since 1968 indicates that terrorist groups rarely cease to exist as a result of winning or losing a military campaign. Rather, most groups end because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they join the political process. This suggests that the United States should pursue a counterterrorism strategy against al Qa'ida that emphasizes policing and intelligence gathering rather than a "war on terrorism" approach that relies heavily on military force.
"In defiance of Congress, and against the will of the American people," Ventura said, "President Bush has continued to wage an illegal war in Iraq--a war launched under false pretenses that has now resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 American troops and more than one million Iraqi civilians."
There are historical precedents for this occurring. Some evidence exists that FDR and Churchill were privy to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but needed a catalyst to bring America into WWII.
I was a few months out of office when the invasion of Iraq took place in March 2003. Had I still been governor, I might have been the only one who opposed it. It had to do with the fact that we were lining up our military against that country as an aggressor and an occupier.
But, thinking back to the months prior to the Iraq War, nobody in the national news media was questioning the policy.
Iraq is the most privatized war in American history. There are as many as 200,000 private contractors over there--a number greater than our 160,000 military troops! You might call it "rent-an-Army." Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old company, was ready to roll when the war began. They've since been found to have wasted millions of our dollars in overbilling and shoddy services. It's amazing, but these companies have zero accountability. Only ONE of those 100,000 contractors has been accused of any violations, or been indicted for any crimes.
The fact is, this war is not only draining America's resources, it's likely to eventually bankrupt us. And who is paying the biggest price? When you realize that the new Bush budget also cuts $66 billion out of Medicare payments to the elderly over the next 5 years, and another $12 billion out of Medicaid for the poor, it's kind of a no-brainer. The NY Times recently noted that, for what the war is costing, we could've instituted universal health care, provided nursery school education for every 3- and 4-year-old, and immunized kids around the world against numerous diseases--and still had half the money left over.
At the same time, shortly before we turned over supposed control to the Iraqis, the US Federal Reserve sent over, on military aircraft, the biggest cash shipment it's ever made--more than $4 billion, amounting to 363 tons of dollars on these huge pallets.
Revisionist history troubles me deeply. I fear textbooks being written with a "government seal of approval." Nothing appears to daunt these people. Why are we building permanent bases in Iraq? Remember when we heard there was no pull-out strategy? That's when the light went on for me--what if there never WAS one? Why have an exit strategy if you're not planning on leaving? I believe that's part of the scam. Bush simply says we've got to "stay the course."
By the time he leaves office, Bush will have spent more than a trillion dollars on his military adventures. While more than 20 retired American generals have come out strongly opposed to what we're doing in Iraq, our veterans are receiving shameful treatment. In the course of this war, more than 20,000 soldiers have been discharged with so-called "personality disorder," meaning that they're often being denied disability and medical benefits.
Now, I ask you: Who are the real dysfunctional personalities here? Maybe a president who thinks he's getting messages straight from God? Or a vice president so delusional he believes we can "bunker-bust" Iran's supposed nuclear sites without opening up a whole new front in this madness?
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)