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Letter to the Editor: Creating a global army

By JAMES FRANKLIN RINEHART
Price

Editor:

The Iraq War has taken a huge bite out of our military budget and eaten up a considerable share of our military assets and resources, leaving us ill-prepared to handle other threats in an increasingly hostile world.

The administration has used the so-called war on terrorism (of which the Iraq War is the centerpiece) as an excuse to pump billions of dollars and already strained military resources into the former Soviet states of Central Asia: Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan-all still-closed regimes run by "former" Communists. We have established bases in these countries and have been training their military even though these regimes have terrible human rights records and are likely to use our largesse against us as well as their own people as did Saddam Hussein, who was the beneficiary of similar U.S. aid programs in the 1980s.

In addition to those countries mentioned above, new U.S. bases have been established in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. Other U.S. bases throughout the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Asia and the Mediterranean have been expanded.

Following the 9-11 attacks on America, we had the sympathy of much of the world on our side. We were the aggrieved victims and could count on global moral support for an appropriate retaliatory attack on our part against those responsible for these heinous acts. However, the calculated exploitation of 9-11 to attack Iraq, and the naked exposure of the administration's deception concerning claims of Iraq's supposed arsenal of WMDs, have devastated U.S. credibility worldwide. Few will trust any information or danger warnings issued by our government in the future.

The facts on the ground (the expansion of U.S. military bases and deployment of U.S. military forces in the Arab-Muslim world), coupled with the imperialistic rhetoric of the U.S. foreign policy elite, have caused many people in the oil-producing world to believe that the U.S. war on Iraq is more about taking over Middle Eastern oil than fighting terrorism. The shocking revelations concerning the gross abuses by U.S. personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison have fanned the flames on an already raging fire.





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