Pre-Emptive Wars & Their Consequences

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.”
–Douglas MacArthur

War is a horrible thing. Sometimes it is necessary. Many times it can be avoided. Those who have been at war know it best and they do not relish the thought of it. In fact, on many occasions I’ve had to sit and listen to Vietnam veterans, a Laotian veteran of the Korean War, and veterans from World War and in most cases they are reluctant to speak about what they witnessed and were involved in. It tears at their soul.

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Recently Ron Paul came under attack for a tweet he made following the death of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle:

He later tweeted:

Paul is one that understands not only what our Founders believed, but even what great military leaders of our past believed and that is that “War is Hell.” It is not something that is to be desired.

In his latest Texas Straight Talk, Paul warns of the consequences of pre-emptive wars and demonstrates who the true casualties of these are.

“Last year more US troops died by suicide than died in combat in Afghanistan,” Paul writes. “More than 20 percent of military personnel deployed to combat will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some 32 percent of US soldiers reported depression after deployments. More than 20 percent of active-duty military are on potentially dangerous psychotropic drugs; many are on multiple types. Violent crime among active duty military members increased 31 percent between 2006-2011.”

He points out that the statistics compiled by the military last year are both telling and disturbing. While Paul points out that the Defense Department is all about pushing new counseling for substance abuse and psychological problems while continuing to prescribe more dangerous psychotropic drugs, they ignore the real causes of associated with the statistics.

“The sharp rise in military suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic and other violence, is the unintended consequence of a violent foreign policy — of an endless and indefinable “global war on terrorism.”

Paul recounts our recent past writing, “Particularly in the past decade or so, we have lived in a society increasingly marked by belief in the use of force as a first and only option. We have seen wars of preemption and aggression, everywhere from Iraq to Pakistan to Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. We have seen an unprecedented increase in the use of drones to kill overseas, often resulting in civilian deaths, which we call “collateral damage.” We have seen torture and assassination (even of American citizens) become official US policy. When asked by Senator Ron Wyden last week if the president has the right to assassinate American citizens on US soil, President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, could not even give a straight answer.

He then describes what he means when he cites the words of Jesus from the Bible found in Matthew 26. “The warning that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”‘ goes not only for individuals but for entire societies,” Paul writes. “It is a warning to all of us. A country or a society that lives with the violence of pre-emptive war in fact self-destructs.”

Paul then puts his finger on what brings this about in our society. “Let us not forget that this endless war is brought to us primarily by the neo-conservatives who dominate foreign policy in both political parties and who never cease agitating for US military deployments overseas,” he writes. “Of course with very few exceptions they have declined to serve in the military themselves. These endless wars would not be possible, we should also remember, without the Federal Reserve printing the money out of thin air to finance our overseas empire. We are speeding toward national bankruptcy while at the same time turning the rest of the world against us with our aggressive foreign policy.”

The question is, will this actually make us more safe or secure?

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are reminded of those who have come back from war who have been broken in mind and body after serving for years in deployment. Dr. Paul served five years in the US military as a doctor during the 1960s.

“The truth is,” Paul continues, “killing strangers in unconstitutional and senseless wars causes guilt to the participant no matter what kind of military indoctrination is attempted. Those afflicted may attempt to bury the pain in alcohol or drugs or other destructive behaviors, but we see that only leads to more problems. It may not be popular to point this out, but it goes against human nature to kill a fellow human being for retaliating against those who initiate a war of aggression on their soil.”

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Who cares most for those in military service, those who agitate for more of what is destroying their lives and weakening our national defense, or the many of us who are urging a foreign policy of non-intervention and peace?” Paul asks.

So what is the conclusion of all of this? We must beware of both the seen and unseen consequences of pre-emptive war and soldiers are not the only casualties. Again, our 34th President warned, “The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.” Sadly we have gone way past defense and have begun pre-emptive attacks.

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