How would four million residents of Louisiana respond to a joint military exercise when European, Russian and Latin American planes and ships with thousands of troops held an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico?
Were B-52 crew members thinking of that scenario as they thundered two bombers in a 20-hour flight from Shreveport’s Barksdale AF base for a joint show of NATO strength near Spain on November 2nd and 3rd? It was the largest NATO show of force in the past twenty years.
Former US State Department servant Chalmers Johnson concludes the US has 6,000 bases in 130 nations. While Mr. Putin and other foreign leaders are being depicted as major threats in global politics, Putin counters by inviting journalists to show a map that reveals which nations have the most military installations around our planet. Foreign leaders do not always warmly receive US military bases and scores of CIA operatives in their sovereign territory.
Iran in 2015 is surrounded by forty US military installations plus the Second US Navy fleet in the Persian Gulf. Realistically, who is the major threat in that region? Citizens of Iran will not forget the CIA overthrew their government in the 1950’s leading to a dictatorial takeover by the shah of Iran. While Israel laments an Iranian nuclear threat, we forget Israeli nuclear technologist Mordechai Vanunu was once imprisoned by their government for revealing Israel is the only nation in the Gulf that already has nuclear weapons. Tel Aviv tries to keep this threat secret. Washington is Israel’s only supporter.
Adam Kotsko, assistant professor of humanities at Shimer College wrote: “For the past 25 years, the pattern has been Republicans invade Iraq while Democrats just bomb it.” Debates in 2015 among 2016 presidential candidates manifest a fierce determination for more conquest and brinkmanship in the volatile Gulf region, indeed, globally. Watch out for the leading Republican contender.
November 11th was a peaceful occasion when guns of WWI fell silent. However, Armistice (Veterans’ Day) has evolved from a moment of tranquility and non-violence into a glorification of military prowess.
Will B-52 pilots reflect during their 20-hour flight upon the fact NATO means “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”? Members of the LA military might be preparing for environmental disasters like Katrina that cripple this impoverished state, not go to bluster and bluff in Europe. As thousands of gallons of jet fuel combine with tanks, ships and trucks to generate tons of carbon dioxide, will the military officers recall a 2004 Pentagon warning “Global Warming Is a Greater Threat than Terrorism”?
A recent Gallup poll in 65 countries revealed the USA is considered the greatest threat to peace. The US was considered a greater threat than Afghanistan, North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan combined. We are spending $2 billion daily on “defense” without seeing ourselves in the global mirror.
Why not keep the B-52’s in Louisiana, a state ranking #50 in the good features, #1 in undesirable qualities?