October 18, 2011
While listening to a discussion about Barack Obama’s newest idiotic military aggressions, this time in Uganda, I heard a couple talk show hosts and/or callers refer to the beginning of America’s involvement in Vietnam and the Vietnam War as starting during the Kennedy Administration. But this is incorrect.
First, according to the Department of Defense (sic), the official start of the Vietnam War, at least the start of American involvement with the U.S. government’s sending in “advisors,” was November 1, 1955. However, there was already U.S. involvement in Vietnam by the end of World War II in 1945. According to this BBC page (emphasis mine),
During World War II, the United States was allied with the Viet Minh, a communist-influenced Vietnamese independence movement led by Ho Chi Minh, against the French Vichy administration in Vietnam. The Vichy administration was cooperating with occupying Japanese forces. The United States provided some arms to the Viet Minh guerrilla forces, commanded by Vo Nguyen Giap. American officials and officers expressed support and admiration for Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh issued the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence in September 1945. That document began with a long quotation from the United States Declaration of Independence. Regional leaders of the OSS (which evolved into the CIA) and US military leaders in Vietnam celebrated. General Philip Gallagher, chief of the US Military Advisory and Assistance Group, sang the Viet Minh’s national Anthem on Hanoi radio…
Within two months, at least eight US troopships were diverted from their mission of bringing American troops home from World War II. These ships were used to transport French troops and Foreign Legionnaires from France into Vietnam, to begin a recolonization process. These troops and Legionnaires had been armed, at least partly, by the United States. America’s first casualty in Vietnam was killed in 1945. On 26 September, 1945, Lt Col A Peter Dewey, head of American OSS mission, was killed by Viet Minh troops while driving a jeep to the airport, from which he was going to leave the country…
The entire crews of four of these ships, all members of the US Merchant Marine, prepared a resolution condemning the US government for its use of US ships to transport troops ‘to subjugate the native population’ of Vietnam…
Now, there have been two main reasons why the U.S. warmongers have been committing their aggressions overseas, some of which began with the U.S. government sending over “advisors” (mostly giving bad “advice,” of course), for the past century, in my opinion.
One, because of the need that seems to be inherent in government officials and bureaucrats to expand their powers and governmental reach over other territories, territories that are not their jurisdictions. This expansion and aggressiveness is inherent in those who are drawn to the political class, drawn to coercive, compulsory monopolistic powers that only the State is allowed to have. Already these bureaucrats’ unaccountability is protected by the monopolies they have as government officials, and their actions and decisions do not have to face the scrutiny of competitive market forces.
And two, to seize the natural resources of other territories. The main natural resources desired by these U.S. warmongers of the past century, of course, has been oil. Duh. What do you think the Libya warmongering was all about? And now Uganda? There’s oil to seize control over, and Uganda is rich with minerals. Pepe Escobar writes,
Any student of realpolitik knows the US doesn’t do “humanitarian” interventions per se. Africom’s surge parallels the real name of the game; precious minerals – and mining. Uganda – and nearby eastern Congo – happens to hold fabulous quantities of, among others, diamonds, gold, platinum, copper, cobalt, tin, phosphates, tantalite, magnetite, uranium, iron ore, gypsum, beryllium, bismuth, chromium, lead, lithium, niobium and nickel. Many among these are ultra-precious rare earth – of which China exercises a virtual monopoly.
The mineral rush in Africa is already one of the great resource wars of the 21st century. China is ahead, followed by companies from India, Australia, South Africa and Russia (which, for instance, has set up a fresh gold refinery in Kampala). The West is lagging behind. The name of the game for the US and the Europeans is to pull no punches to undermine China’s myriad commercial deals all across Africa.
Then there’s the inescapable Pipelineistan angle. Uganda may hold “several billion barrels of oil”, according to Heritage Oil’s Paul Atherton, part of a recent, largest-ever on-shore oil discovery in sub-Saharan Africa. That implies the construction of a $1.5 billion, 1,200 kilometer long pipeline to Kampala and the coast of Kenya. Then there’s another pipeline from “liberated” South Sudan. Washington wants to make sure that all this oil will be exclusively available for the US and Europe.
Decades ago, in the early 1950s, the British regime didn’t like Iran’s nationalizing of Iran’s own oil that the British had been expropriating from Iran, so they got in cahoots with U.S. President Eisenhower to get the CIA to take down Iran’s democratically-elected leader and replace him with the pro-U.S. Shah. It wasn’t just to steal back Iran’s oil, but to support the Shah’s dictatorship, which led to massive anti-American sentiment throughout Iran from the 1950s up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. (See here and here.)
The reason that the crazy Iranians took the Americans hostage there in 1979, and for 444 days up to the Reagan 1981 inauguration, was in response to the U.S. government’s support of the dictator Shah. The U.S. government’s actions of the 1950s created new monsters to destroy, “monsters” that have continued to develop in Iran since then, and now the U.S. warmongers may finally get their wish (to “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” as John McCain would say).
But, as I mentioned, it’s not all about stealing the natural resources from other peoples in other parts of the world. I think it’s mainly about power grabs, and causing conflicts as a means of justifying the always-growing, overly-bloated U.S. government huge budget and debts. Using the military wing of the U.S. government has primarily been the politicians and bureaucrats’ method of choice to expand. It’s never enough.
Here is another example, that I have referred to many times now. During the early 1990s, when the Cold War was ending, the U.S. government — then being run (into the ground) by President George H.W. Bush — needed to go overseas “in search of monsters to (create) destroy,” so Bush started his war of aggression against Iraq. As I’ve mentioned several times here, the U.S. military’s bombing and destruction of Iraqi civilian electrical, water and sewage treatment centers was intentional, according to Air Force Col. John Warden, as reported by James Bovard,
The U.S. military understood the havoc the 1991 bombing unleashed. A 1995 article entitled “The Enemy as a System” by John Warden, published in the Air Force’s Airpower Journal, discussed the benefits of bombing “dual-use targets” and noted,
“A key example of such dual-use targeting was the destruction of Iraqi electrical power facilities in Desert Storm…. [Destruction] of these facilities shut down water purification and sewage treatment plants. As a result, epidemics of gastroenteritis, cholera, and typhoid broke out, leading to perhaps as many as 100,000 civilian deaths and a doubling of the infant mortality rate.”
The article concluded that the U.S. Air Force has a “vested interest in attacking dual-use targets” that undermine “civilian morale.”
These aggressive actions by the U.S. military and the subsequent U.S.-led UN sanctions throughout the 1990s — preventing the civilian Iraqis from rebuilding water and sewage treatment centers and thus causing skyrocketing disease including cholera, cancer and high infant mortality rates — were the provocations the U.S. government found necessary to create their monsters to then go and destroy. And they did especially with the younger President Bush’s 2003 Iraq War to further destroy Iraq and murder hundreds of thousands more innocent civilians and 4-5,000
sacrificial animals for Bush’s political career and reelection U.S. troops.
So those aggressions by the U.S. government started by the Bushes in 1990 coincided with the fall of the Soviet Union, and that meant that the commies were no longer that much of a threat, and needed to be replaced with new bogeymen. In 1945, when World War II, the War that President Woodrow Wilson’s imbecilic warmongering actions led to, ended, the U.S. government began its quest for new monsters to replace Herr Hitler, so they saw opportunities in Vietnam.
Do you think that maybe –just maybe — more people ought to start listening to Ron Paul?