It’s Always the Same War

ColumnNovember 05, 2015

By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

“To understand the nature of the present war — for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war — one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive.”
— “1984,” by George Orwell

Barack Obama originally ran for president as the anti-war candidate. Now, as his second term winds down, the two George W. Bush/Obama wars are winding up, with a third in Syria. U.S. military forces are deployed elsewhere around the globe, as in drone striking in Yemen and Somalia, adding to the global conflagration. The United States is engaged in endless war.

The crisis of war and the millions fleeing these infernos has reached levels unprecedented since World War II, prompting the United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to issue what they called an “unprecedented joint warning” for states to end wars, respect international law and aid the 60 million refugees made homeless from recent conflicts.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The continuing violence is a clear indication that a political solution to the conflict in Syria is desperately needed. The fighting must stop now. There is no military solution to the crisis, not in Syria or anywhere else. From Afghanistan to the Central African Republic, from Ukraine to Yemen, combatants and those who control them are defying humanity’s most basic rules.”

ICRC President Peter Maurer added: “When humanitarian law and principles are disregarded, when humanitarian needs are trumped by political agendas, when access to the wounded and sick is denied, and when security concerns lead to a suspension of operations, people are abandoned, the notion of protection loses its meaning, and humanity is flouted. We ask that states reaffirm our shared humanity by concrete action and uphold their responsibility to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.”

The joint plea of these leaders came shortly after U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter mentioned that the U.S. military would be engaging in “direct action” in Iraq and Syria. White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed in a briefing that troops had been deployed to Syria. He said, “The president did make a decision to intensify that support by offering a small number of U.S. special operations military personnel to offer them some advice and assistance on the ground as they take the fight to ISIL.”

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