I am on a peace arts trip to Vietnam in the first days of the new decade 2020 and the Trump administration has just assassinated Iranian General Soleimani. Whether the General was evil or a patriot is irrelevant, it was an act of war by the USA.  In visiting the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City it’s clear that the USA the most technologically advanced country could not defeat a guerilla army of Vietnamese nationalists. The USA can win the war with Iran, but like in Afghanistan and elsewhere it will not win the peace.  Now, the USA at the behest of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Military Industrial Mafia Inc. led by an ignorant, lying, and morally corrupt President is prepared to throw more gasoline on the conflagration with Iran. Why squander trillion of dollars for another war? Are Congress, Senate and the American people willing to be lead to war with Iran?  It is FUBAR deluxe, finagled up beyond All Rationality.  It is a labyrinth of lies and the axiom for all war – money.

All the bombs and the most sophisticated weaponry could not defeat the Vietnamese’s desire for independence from France and the USA. The Vietnamese nationalists under Ho Chi Minh had fought against the Japanese and helped the British and American war effort. In turn, the Vietnamese were promised independence from the 100-year colonial occupation of France.  Sadly, when Ho Chi Minh presented the Vietnamese constitution, based on the US constitution, to US Secretary of State Dulles it was rejected. The French army that had been destroyed in WWII was rearmed by the Americans. The French were soundly defeated by the Vietnamese nationalists in 1954. The Americans created a puppet government in South Vietnam that lead to the disaster we know as the Vietnam War.

The USA’s war with Iran began in the wake of WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in collusion with Britain it sought to control the oil and wealth of Persia/ Iran. Stretching back further is the ideological war between Shiite versus Sunni Islam. The USA has a predisposition to getting into conflicts it doesn’t understand. The clueless irrationality of US foreign policy in the Middle East is a mystery that even the wisest sage cannot fathom. For example, we give Israel $3.5 billion dollars every year that supports the destruction of the Palestinian people and further fuels fundamentalist ideology across the Islamic world. The USA had overthrown the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 and then supported the tyrannical rule of the Shah.  The result of the Gulf Wars was the disaster of ISIS and the implosion of Syria. It is difficult to pick out which idiocy of foreign policy was and is most pernicious; however, the current war-mongering with Iran ranks at the top. The USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and all the dogs of war with competing and similar interests are trying to overthrow the government of Iran again.

The tails that wags the rabid dog of war are many. Netanyahu’s impending corruption trial and Israel’s desire for complete hegemony in the Middle East and the desire to eradicate the Palestinian people are one wagging tail. Another one is Saudi Arabia’s thugocracy of pampered faux royalty and their murder of Khashoggi, their genocide of the Yemen people and their horrendous human rights record are reasons to wag a tale of distraction. Or, perhaps at the core is the 1,300-year religious feud between Sunni (Saudi Arabia and allies) and Shiite (Iran, Iraq, Mutawila (Lebanese), Yemeni (Houthi)) that is also fueling the fires. The impeachment trial of the mentally ill and ignorant President, and the vulture corporations the Military Industrial Mafia Inc. who are salivating at the prospect of war and profits are all reasons for the dog to wag furiously. Which tail is wagging the war dog? Which tale will we believe? In a world of madness which is the most rabid dog?

The hoi polloi ditto-heads are enthralled by the whiplash irrationality and ignorance of a President unfit for office. As I walk through the War Remnants Museum in Vietnam today it is clear that real diplomacy and engaging in dialogue is a lot cheaper than war. The steps the Obama administration took to engage Iran were vital first steps, but the USA failed to capitalize on this and extend the dialogue. Then without any rationality, the Trump administration reneged on the nuclear arms treaty with Iran. It is ironic that Iran has been transparent about their nuclear abilities, but Israel one of the world’s largest nuclear powers has denied having nuclear weapons. Israel has been goading the USA to attack Iran for years.

Imagine the trillions of dollars and the millions of lives that could have been spared if the USA had fulfilled its support for Vietnamese liberation in the 1940’s? Imagine, instead of the bombs and Agent Orange, the USA instead gave support for creating a robust society with schools and hospitals?  The lesson from Vietnam is clear, diplomacy is far cheaper than war. As Major General S. Butler (USMC) reminded us, “The only purpose of war is to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer.”

Cry havoc, for the dogs of war are wagging their tails and have slipped their leash.