Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Obama's wars

This new year of 2013 takes us well into the 21st century. To many people, the turn of the century was not the 31st of December, 1999, we all expecting some disaster from the “2KY” effect that never happened. Nor the following year 31st of December, 2000 which mathematically puts an end to the 20th century. Most would date the 9/11 tragedy as the opening event of the new century. For many intends and purposes, there is a “before” and “after” 9/11, 2001.

However, many events during the first decade of the century have been considered belonging to the previous one. Notably so, the long lasting armed conflicts around the world, including even the Second Iraq war of infamous memory. And that, as the said reason for the invasion of Iraq was the search of unexisting “weapons of mass destruction” hoarded by Sadam Hussein after the first invasion of Iraq in the nineties.

Out of Barak H. Obama second inauguration speech, open to many comments and considerations, comes just a brief sentence “…A decade of war is now ending…”
What’s ending? Just the decade?, the war? The last decade of war, wars, warmongering?

BHO is holder of the 2009 Nobel Peace Price for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”, as the nomination says. Good enough.

It is not to criticize the politician, the president. But considering presidencies as just periods of time in the evolving of history, whatever decade we may consider, just the period of time between 2002 and 2012 encompassing the WH Bush second term and BHO first with wars galore, I just can’t see an “ending” in sight in the incoming future.

The list of active armed conflicts is staggering. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_military_conflicts) lists at least ten conflicts causing more than 1000 deaths per year, and some 40 others less deadly. Many are just forgotten as they hardly ever reach the frontlines in international media. And some others are just not recognized as actual wars, with identifiable armies and military operations; just violence and killing of people.

Some have ended having reached a peace treaty like the Moro war in the Philippines, and others are just in some sort of standoff-lack-of-activity like the Moroccan-Western Sahara conflict. But many others are wildly raging away with their sequences of loss of life, misery, destruction of property and disaster.

To put an end to all that will prove to be too big of a task for even a powerful country like the US or the even more powerful coalition of countries like NATO or whatever could enlist the UN to impose peace on a given conflict.

But make no mistakes. BHO is not a weak or peaceful type of guy, ready to withdraw or shun off from wars. In his record is the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the ongoing drone attacks in North Western Pakistan, not bad for military action on a supposedly allied country’s territory. And the drone attacks may well expand to other geogaphical areas.

BHO has nominated John Brennan the new director of the CIA, pending of confirmation by the Senate and after the Petraeus affair, previously Director of the national Counterterrorism Center and not particularly a "dove".

Violence not necessarily considered “war” is usually attributed to terrorist groups of which the CIA lists more than one hundred and forty. So whatever “War on terrorism” means it could include all of them, and is likely get a push by the new CIA director.

The US Defense spending will continue to rise despite the tremendous weight it carried on the already monstrous US deficit of several trillion dollars.

All that said, the armed conflict that calls more my attention and for various reasons, is the Mexican Drug War. Just at the US doorstep, mounting over 60.000 deaths and fought mostly with US provided--legally for the Mexican government or illegal for everybody else--weapons.

I would be interesting to see what the US and its Defense community thinks and does of such a murderous situation in the coming months.

X. Allué