President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end in sight, observes retired Col. Ann Wright.
By Ann Wright
Fourteen years ago on March 19, 2003, I resigned from the U.S. government in opposition to President George W. Bush’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq, an oil-rich Arab/Muslim country that had nothing to do with the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and that the Bush Administration knew did not have weapons of mass destruction.
In my letter of resignation, I wrote of my deep concerns about Bush’s decision to attack Iraq and the predictable large number of civilian casualties from that military attack. But I also detailed my concerns on other issues: the lack of U.S. effort on resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. failure to engage North Korea to curb nuclear and missile development, and the curtailment of civil liberties in the United States through the Patriot Act.
Now, three Presidents into the Iraq War and other unsettled conflicts, the problems that I was concerned about in 2003 are even more dangerous a decade and a half later.
As a U.S. diplomat, I was on the small team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001. Sixteen years later, the U.S. is still battling the Taliban in Afghanistan, as the Taliban takes more and more territory, in America’s longest war, while the graft and corruption within the Afghan government due to the mammoth U.S.-funded contracts for support of the U.S. military machine continues to provide the Taliban with new recruits.
The U.S. is now fighting against ISIS, a brutal group that emerged because of the U.S. war in Iraq, but has spread from Iraq into Syria, as the U.S. policy of regime change has resulted in arming international as well as domestic Syrian groups to fight not only ISIS, but the Syrian government. The deaths of civilians in Iraq and Syria continue to rise with the acknowledgement this week by the U.S. military that it is “likely” that a U.S. bombing mission killed over 200 civilians in one building in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
With U.S. government acquiescence, if not complicity, the Israeli military has attacked Gaza three times in the past eight years. Thousands of Palestinians have been killed, tens of thousands have been wounded and the homes of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been destroyed.
Over 800,000 Israelis now live in illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian lands in the West Bank. Israeli government has built hundreds of miles of separation/apartheid walls on Palestinian land which separate Palestinians from their farms, schools and employment. Brutal, humiliating checkpoints purposely attempt to degrade the spirit of Palestinians. Israeli only highways have been built on Palestinian lands. The theft of Palestinian resources has ignited a worldwide, citizen-led boycott, divestment and sanctions program.
Imprisonment of Palestinian children for throwing rocks at Israeli occupation military forces has reached crisis levels. Evidence of the Israeli government’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians has now been formally called “apartheid” in a United Nations report that resulted in massive Israeli and U.S. pressure on the U.N to withdraw the report and force the Under Secretary of the U.N. who commissioned the report to resign.
The North Korean government continues to call for negotiations with the U.S. and South Korea for a peace treaty to end the Korean War. But the U.S. government has responded with a rejection of any discussions with North Korea until North Korea ends its nuclear program. The U.S. also has increased U.S.-South Korean military drills, the last one named “Decapitation,” moves that have resulted in the North Korean government continuing its nuclear testing and missile projects.
The war on civil liberties of U.S. citizens under the Patriot Act resulted in unprecedented surveillance through cellphones, computers and other electronic devices, massive illegal data collection and indefinite, perpetual storage of private information of not only U.S. citizens, but all inhabitants of this planet.
The Obama war on whistleblowers who have exposed various aspects of the illegal data collection has inflicted severe punishments on people accused of sharing truthful information with the public, including: bankruptcy for National Security Agency official Tom Drake in successfully defending against espionage charges; Pvt. Chelsea Manning’s long prison sentence for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan; forced exile for NSA contractor Edward Snowden for revealing U.S. government lies about the NSA’s bulk collection; Julian Assange’s virtual imprisonment in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy for fear of retaliation against WikiLeaks’ disclosures of U.S. government secrets.
In the latest bizarre twist, President Donald Trump has accused President Barack Obama of “wiretapping” the Trump Tower in New York City during the Presidential campaign but then – amid widespread denials – refused to provide any evidence, although it’s true that virtually all citizens have become targets of electronic surveillance.
The past 14 years have been difficult for the world due to U.S. wars of choice and the growth of the surveillance state. And, the next four years do not appear likely to bring any relief to the citizens of planet earth.
The election of Donald Trump, the first U.S. President who has never served in any level of government nor in the U.S. military, has led to – in a little more than two months – an unprecedented number of domestic and international crises, many self-inflicted:
–The Trump administration has attempted to ban persons from seven mostly Muslim countries (later reduced to six);
–The Trump administration has appointed to Cabinet positions members of the billionaire class from Wall Street and Big Oil, people who have the intention of destroying the agencies they are to lead.
–The Trump administration has proposed a budget that will increase the U.S. military war budget by 10 percent, but slash the budgets of other agencies to render them ineffective.
–The Department of State and International Affairs budget for conflict resolution by words not bullets will be slashed by 37 percent.
–The Trump Administration has appointed a person to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who has declared the worsening climate chaos a hoax.
In retrospect, I am glad I resigned from the U.S. government when I did. My decision to resign has allowed me to speak publicly in the United States and around the world on issues that jeopardize international security from the perspective of a former U.S. government employee with 29 years of experience in the U.S. Army and 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps.
I am glad that I could join the millions of citizens around the world who are challenging their governments when the governments violate legal standards, kill innocent civilians and wreck havoc on the planet.
Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She served as a U.S. diplomat for sixteen years before her resignation in March 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war. She is the co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.
Lady Ann Wright
The American government thinks we respect America because of military power!
Ann Wright prove why we like the North Americans!
THIS entire THING IS EMBARRASSING ,,,,,,,.U KNOW HOW STUPID YOU ARE. THIS HURTS ME. IT IS PAINFULLY wrong.
We had very little choice. Clinton was sure to be a warmonger if she had won.
True peace on Earth will become a reality one day. Certainly people everywhere would wish to experience such an overwhelmingly positive state of world affairs sooner rather than later. Whether humanity manifests peace on Earth in the year 2017, 2067, 2117 or 2417, could the most powerful, influential leaders on the planet at the very least pronounce the word “World” immediately before the word “Peace”? Has it come to the unfortunate point where it has become some sort of unforgivable blasphemy to say “World peace is possible”, or that men and women who dare to suggest a world without war are insane?
Focus thoughts, words and deeds on world peace now – 2017.
Thank you Ann, for your service and your integrity. I can only hope that we can somehow find our way forward. I fear that nothing short of revolution at this point can clean house of the corrupted oligarchs in both parties and the “deep state”. Truth telling on the internet is a good start, but as another commenter said recently, sometimes it feels like we’ve been sequestered into a “sound proof free speech zone.” We need to change the structure of the MSM if we are to have any hope of reaching the sheeple.
I would like to see a New Democratic Party take hold, and follow through by listening to such people as Ann Wright.
Now that we have gotten through the Interim of Hysteria, between elections and ‘ascent’ to office, when every doom-sayer and dog-of-Nostradamus had his and her shots at predicting Trumpocalypse, have survived the Incoming President’s inevitable initial effort to dictate by Executive Decree, and have come out the end of that quadrennial American Political Honeymoon, to where government (in quotes) as usual, or “gridlock-as-usual’, begins to settle in, we are able to see what we have for a new “Great Father In Washington” (we are all of us chiefly just indians today). So what do we have in President Trump, Third United States President in the Twenty-First Century United States?
We have a combination of what went before: We have the two-faced double-back turn around the Obama Administration introduced us to, and we have the Ignoramus-In-Office, a Dummy-In-A-Suit prepped, placed, and pushed to present a sort-of presidential image, while teams of appointees carry forward the ‘Administration’s’ “agenda”, which “agenda” seems to be the same neo-con Israeli-Interest scripted agenda, with Jared Kushner prompting instead of Rham Immanuel, who took over from Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al, of the Bush Era Neo-Con Group.
It is business as usual for the of, by and for the Elite Commercial United States, with the of, by and for the People United States continuing to sit and sink, stagnating in quagmire of stagnation and inflation, pushed ever deeper in by copy-cat corruption and manipulation by descending echelons of greedy racketeers at every level in government from federal to municipal.
We have what I imagine nobody could ever have expected, or anticipated: A President who makes President George W. Bush, not look good, but look at least next up above worst. Mostly because Trump appears to be turning out to be what George W. might have been expected to be if he had been wheelbarrowed into office before he quit drinking. When he was loud and uncouth and saying, for drinking, instead of only for not thinking, the kinds of things Donald Trump says for thinking he’s another Ronald Reagan…
Very right to note the “corruption and manipulation by descending echelons of greedy racketeers at every level in government from federal to municipal.” Gangsterism is the form of government of the US, because the Constitution provided no protection of elections and mass media from economic power. Once just the Repubs organized crime in politics, now the duopoly.
I find few cases in history where extreme corruption in government was overthrown by something vastly better, or cases where a placated serf class rose against oligarchy, until they were in daily extreme deprivation and suffering. So expect a long history of demise with worsening military defeats and depressions, finally giving rise to a second revolution against the rich and their opportunist loyalists. A yet-stronger militant opposition is the only way out, sooner or later. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel when insurgents begin taking out the mass media and staging raids on government offices and gated communities.
Lot of censoring going on here so I will move on
Ann Wright is a true hero. Her truth telling counts for a lot. If enough people wake up to that truth we might get free of the fake culture of lies so many are now living within. Tell your friends. Speak out at every opportunity. Support the spread of truth every way you can. Tell people about this and other truth telling sites.
These are some of our last resources to have a viable world at peace.
Ann, both Trump and Obama campaigned as outsiders who would overturn the lockstep militarism of American foreign policy, end the senseless wars, make peace with the world, stop squandering our money on wars and the MIC, and instead fix our infrastructure, healthcare system, maybe improve education and address other thoroughly ignored internal needs. Then they spend two months in office and become totally unrecognisable, renegging on every sensible promise they ever made. Wasn’t much different for Clinton either in the early going, being constantly assailed by the opposition and the media, esssentially being politically crucified for trying to pass healthcare legislation and passing a much needed tax increase that resulted in Electoral “Shellacking” version 1.0. These “liberals” and “outsiders” are elected because they offer new rhetoric and fresh ideas, but they are quickly chastened by insiders and the media and soon revert to what they lambasted in their campaigns. Clinton became the “triangulator-in-chief” after the Gingrich revolution. Obama became the Manchurian candidate after Electoral Shellacking version 2.0, and Trump has become a pussy cat not the cocky metaphorical “pussy grabber” voters might have wished to see vis-a-vis the Deep State. Why’s that? Something in the White House water taps?
Needle lobotomy with their first govt eye exam. (only half-kidding)
Hat tip to Ann Wright for about the best summary of U.S. post-9/11 ugliness you could find in such concise form. Well done.
Resigning from the U.S. government , while a difficult decision I’m sure , was at least available as a way to protest. Now what ? How do you prevent your tax dollars from continuing to fund this madness ? Thru actions at the ballot box ? Please. I’m serious , what can we do ?
Secession is the best thing I can come up with , and it’s becoming more attractive to me as a way out every day. Hawaii would seem to be the most viable candidate , but I’m not sure they could handle all the people who’d madly rush to de-pledge their allegiance to the U.S.A.
Yes, Ann Wright has my respect for service to the US and to humanity. Her courage in resigning is remarkable, and her article is very well written and appealing.
We are all looking for ways to end the extreme corruption of all branches of the federal government by economic aristocracy, and to revise or replace the Constitution to prevent economic corruption of elections and mass media.
Secession is an idea, but presupposes majorities where mass media are controlled by oligarchy. Try taking down the mass media first, confining the rich to their gated communities in fear for their lives, and infiltrating true patriots into the National Guard and Army to refuse to defend Washington against riots. Only when the rich are in fear will you see any progress at all, and you must not stop there or you will lose again.
It is an absolute joke to think Obama who was a one time Gov. of Chicago had more experience than Billionaire Trump! Do you think we’re idiots!
I think that was 1-time Senator of Illinois.
Obama was a carefully chosen figure who capitalized on the national disgust with the fake Texas Oilman. He had a skin color challenging every voter to prove he/she wasn’t a racist, and he promised heaven and earth with a golden voice.
Considering his background and his slick path to the White House, I’d not be surprised to learn Obama was our second CIA president. Third if you count Reagan-The-Puppet. Fourth if you enumerate that same fake Texas Oilman. Another puppet, and with a driving urge to Out-Do Daddy, but GHWB’s son, so we may never know about that one.
O’s Indonesian stepfather was involved in the USA supported extermination of up to 500,000 mostly ethnic indonesian chinese leftists. His African father met his mother in a Hawaiian cia training school.
There it is; “brain-effed” and groomed from birth. O never had a chance to be normal.
Please provide link(s) to support this very interesting information.
Obama was a one-term Senator from Illinois. A governor is the head of a state, i.e. Illinois. Chicago is a city. Obama was never the governor of the state of Illinois nor the mayor of Chicago.
Yeah, I kind of think you are ! You don’t even appear to be aware that Obama was NEVER the Governor of Chicago. How does having any amount of money equate with experience or aptitude for the job of President? Especially since Trump inherited his money and has had numerous bankruptcies to his credit and very little business success.
Silly old you!
Ann Wright missed a recent one about Israel.
“Pence revives talk of U.S. moving Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem”
This holds Trump’s feet to the fire, and reminds the neocons that he (Pence) is a True Believer in their cause.
The VP bloviates about how sacred “LIFE” is, but that’s only for the “unborn”. After the little bastards take their first breath, they’re on their own. The same principle is true tenfold times over so far as Iranians and Palestinians are concerned. Nothing at all “sacred” about their lives.
No, we’ve got to get those End Times rolling, and shaking the Jerusalem/Embassy bush is not the worst of moves in that regard. When Jesus Comes Mike Pence will be proudly standing there waiting for his recognition at the Medal Ceremony or whatever happens then. Maybe it’ll just be a bigger mansion in Heaven than the ordinary/average Christians get.