Monday, January 24, 2005

Blowback and U.S. policies

Blowback... a term invented by the CIA for its own internal use, defined as the unintended consequences of American policies, has become a very grim reality as U.S. forces continue its efforts to reconstruct and stabalize Iraq as that country handles its soon-to-be newly elected government.

A historical perspective must be made here. During the Golf War years, 1991-1998, our U.S. government raised a blockade against Hussein in Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of approximately 500,000 Iraqi civilians due to disease, malnutrition, and inadequate medical care. By 1999, the policy move still had not brought down Hussein's regime of terror, but perhaps ensured that surviving Iraqis were likely to hold a grudge against the U.S. government and its citizens.

Even during this time, teams of weapons inspectors were given the responsibility of uncovering Hussein's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. Nothing significant which would garner domestic and international media attention was discovered.

The intimate details of foreign policy is not usually followed by an American public, this fact which supports the belief that mis-directed misunderstandings regarding U.S. policy is greatly misconstrued, hence the division within its citizenry. For example, as a part of history's timeline, it is a fact that at one time, the U.S. was the top salesman of military weapons to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and China and Taiwan, selling arms to these nation states in ongoing conflict, one of its biggest customers, Hussein, with almost a limitless line of credit because of his country's oil reserves.

Putting historical references in proper perspective assists one in understanding the mindset of a nation of people who strongly believe in a cause that they would fight for, given the circumstances that surround them. By my own admission, this is a rather simple discipline of thought and certainly does not challenge or explain more complicated affairs that would refute this writing. However, a different perspective is welcome from time to time, given the highly volatile and emotional nature of the American people.

With a second term and a new Cabinet, will President Bush invoke a new international diplomatic policy in war-torn Iraq, or is it too late for Iraq and its people? And what of our troops? Shall they remain in a country that has for years shown nothing but resentment and hatred for the U.S. and its citizens?

"Blowback- The Costs and Consequences of American Empire" by Chalmers Johnson, clears away the cobwebs from the reader's mind about U.S. global policies and its historic disasterous effect on those abroad and its lasting consequences at home.




5 Comments:

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