The anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s and 1970s was arguably the most important movement in the history of the United States, because it had the long term effect of both making the draft politically impossible, and delegitimizing imperialist war to the point where Americans will not accept war if it requires any sacrifices on their own side. Since that time, the state has had to fight wars with professional armies, mercenaries, proxy forces, and technology, even in spite of the fact that the US emerged as the global hegemon at the end of the Cold War. If it were not for the legacy of the anti-Vietnam War movement, the state would still have conscript armies at its disposal, with many millions of Americans being drafted into the state’s imperial legions, and the US would likely have large scale occupation forces in many different locations around the globe, from Southeast Asia to the Middle East to Latin America to Africa, as opposed to the present imperialism of military bases and client states. However, even this post-Vietnam model is gradually declining as the empire continues to lose fourth generation wars, and as the frauds that are cooked up to sell wars of aggression are increasingly exposed. Eventually, the US empire will recede to the point where the USA resembles China, which is a large, powerful nation-state and a major economic player, but which has only one military base outside of its domestic territory.
By Jon Basil Utley
The American Conservative
Official Washington and those associated with it have misrepresented the facts numerous times in the service of military actions that might not otherwise have taken place. In the Middle East, these interventions have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab civilians, brought chaos to Iraq and Libya, and led to the expulsion of a million Christians from communities where they have lived since biblical times.
The most famous of these episodes, of course, was the U.S. government’s assurance to the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which formed the basis for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The government also insisted Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, bolstering the call to war. Of course neither was true.
But even before that there was the first Iraq war in 1991, justified in part by the story of Iraqi soldiers reportedly dumping babies out of incubators to die in a Kuwaiti hospital. The 15-year-old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador cleverly lied to a set-up congressional committee. The Christian Science Monitor detailed this bizarre episode in 2002.
There were also the lies about the Iraqi army being poised to invade Saudi Arabia. That was the ostensible reason for the U.S. sending troops to Kuwait—to defend Saudi Arabia. Writing in the the Los Angeles Times in 2003, Independent Institute fellow Victor Marshall pointed out that neither the CIA nor the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency viewed an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia as probable, and said the administration’s Iraqi troop estimates were “grossly exaggerated.” In fact, the administration’s claim that it had aerial photographs proving its assertions was never verified because, as we later learned, the photos never existed. The Christian Science Monitor also reported on this in 2002 ahead of the second Iraq war.