When It Comes to War We Are United: What Is Wrong with This Union?

When it comes to war, there is no bitter partisanship in the foreign policy establishment

By John Marciano, Talent

Writing in the Nation (March 16), scholar David Bromwich states that whichever party is in power, US foreign policy since 9/11 “has meant a unified government under the masters of war.” Reality, however, is much deeper and entrenched because these masters of war have been killing Native Americans at home and black people abroad since 1789.

There is a divide when it comes domestic policies, with rank and file Democrats holding the line against regressive Republicans so the former can push through needed relief for the tens of millions harmed by COVID-19, and the massive economic crisis and deepening inequality.

No bitter partisanship exists, however, within the Democratic-Republican political establishment on foreign policy.

Bromwich asks where the Democratic establishment and Republican war hawks who gave us Afghanistan and Iraq would be “without an enemy”? These Democrats have already formed open links with Republicans Liz Cheney, Tom Cotton, and Nikki Haley, as well as various media pundit friends of the Iraq War such as Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin.

Except for the Iran nuclear deal and short-lived better relations with Cuba, Bromwich claims that “US foreign policy since 9/11 has meant a unified government under the war party.” Leading Democrats have obediently followed the marching orders from the masters of war. House speaker Adam Schiff voted for the invasion of Iraq; Senator Mark Warner not only voted for the war but also voted against ending it. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “did them one better and followed his vote to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq with a vote against the Iran nuclear deal.” While the Democratic establishment claims to be deeply concerned with racism within our nation, “in the 21st century, our most shocking acts of racism have been committed abroad, in places like Fallujah, Sanaa, and Gaza City,” where US weapons were used to smash and destroy those cities.

Bromwich wonders how “the racially enlightened” (a term I would not use for our corporate media) New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, PBS, and MSNBC can justify their “rigorous reporting on black suffering” within the US alongside their “largely uncritical treatment of US wars of aggression, which since 2001 have killed not thousands but hundreds of thousands” of innocent civilians. Killing so many people of color abroad will be not end just because corporations push diversity to the point where Black people “constitute 13 percent of the corporate boards of DynCorp, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.”

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what is arguably his finest oration. He condemned the American War in Vietnam, stating that his own government “was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world ….” If he were with us today he would to condemn Democratic-Republican unity in perpetuating endless wars against black people in Africa and Asia. But he would also criticize blacks and women here in the US—themselves victimized by the Dem-GOP political establishment—who remain silent when this same establishment wages unconstitutional and illegal wars against their brothers and sisters abroad.

            A final note: On March 18, the Senate unanimously confirmed William Burns as new CIA Director. He supported US wars in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Where is that bitter partisanship we hear so much about?