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Who will the US bomb after 2016?

I forget where I read it, maybe in History Lessons, but someone made the point that from a foreign perspective, the US almost always bombs or invades someone, no matter who the President it. Democratic or Republican, bombs will fall, missiles will fly, boots may go on the ground. The smart money is not "will the US attack" but "when and who?" Sure, from the American POV we've got reasons or excuses for each one, or at least the ones we agree with, but from outside? Dogs have to bark, cows have to moo, and the USA has to attack someone. I think peace activists challenged the world to imagine a world without war; a simpler challenge might be to imagine that the USA could go 8 years without attacking anyone.

What if we'd gone back to isolationism after WWII? No wait, that's a false premise, the US was never isolationist. The public might have been isolationist relative to Europe, but we were occupying the Philippines and still bullying Latin America. But what if we had been fairly isolationist? Say, not moving troops outside our own borders or those of genuinely democratic allies?

No Korean War, which would suck for South Korea. No Vietnam War, which would be a pure win for the people of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia -- possibly no Khmer Rouge, as US bombing destabilized Cambodia in the first place. No Marines to get killed in Beirut. No invasion of Grenada. No Gulf War, which would suck for Kuwait. No NATO intervention in Bosnia/Kosovo. No long slog in Afghanistan, no attack on Iraq and Libya. If we extend this to not meddling, possibly no overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran (and support for the Shah, and Iran hating us now), no overthrow of Allende in Chile, no support for the Contra terrorists against the Sandanistas. Also no spanking of the UK-France-Israel alliance over the Suez Canal. No Cuban Missile Crisis. No Bay of Pigs. No invasion of Panama to 'arrest' their head of state. No ongoing drone strikes in Yemen. No destruction of a pharmaceutical factory in Somalia.

If we allow for UN Security Council-approved actions, that ushers in the Korean War, Gulf War, and Bosnian War (but not the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia), arguably the best of the set... also those Marines in Beirut, and the Libya strikes, though it's said we went beyond the UN mandate (from protecting the rebels to acting as their air force.) List of UNSC actions.

List of post-1945 actions.

1947 - Greece. U.S. Marines land in Athens and assist in the re-establishment of monarchy and the arrest of Greek Communists.
1965 – Invasion of Dominican Republic. Operation Power Pack. The United States intervened to protect lives and property during a Dominican revolt and sent 20,000 U.S. troops as fears grew that the revolutionary forces were coming increasingly under Communist control.[RL30172] A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country's elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
1983 – Grenada. Operation Urgent Fury. Citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a coup d'état and alignment with the Soviets and Cuba, the U.S. invades the island nation of Grenada.[RL30172]

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
... the international airport in Grenada was designed, funded, and partially built by Canada and the UK, as a development project to expand the tourism industry.
Sep. 26th, 2013 12:54 am (UTC)
Yes, well, a farcical invasion from a farcical president.


'A congressional study group concluded that the invasion had been justified, as most members felt that U.S. students at the university near a contested runway could have been taken hostage as U.S. diplomats in Iran had been four years previously.' Yes that totally justifies invasion.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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