So, how is that violent liberation working out for ya?
How much did the United States spend trying to topple dictators Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt? Oh, that's right, like Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos, those brutal, corrupt, murdering leaders were essentially installed and supported by the United States. We spent zero helping the nonviolent revolutions in those countries.
Okay, so how about other nonviolent liberations, especially those which overthrew enemies of the United States? Well, we spent almost nothing in those cases.
Twenty-five million dollars to bring down Milosevic in Serbia. Just about nothing on the entire Velvet Revolution, which finally succeeded after the Warsaw Pact and decades and trillions of dollars spent on hyperapocalyptic weaponry all pointed at the Soviet Union. Can we pick out a pattern here?
On the other hand, when we tally up the price tags for Iraq ($1 trillion and counting, as we leave 5,000 highly paid contractors behind), Afghanistan ($500 billion and counting) and, lately, Libya ($1.1 billion just on Department of Defense [DoD] armaments, not counting State Department security expenses or unknown but substantial intelligence operations), we see some barebones beginnings of the explanation for our national financial meltdown.
Remember in the early days of justifying the invasion of Iraq, when we were told again and again that this would eventually cost the taxpayers nothing because the grateful people of Iraq would gladly pay us back with the massive oil revenues that would obviously start flowing their way once liberated? Similarly, I recall Libyan dissidents in the diaspora confidently assure us on National Public Radio interviews that Libyans would obviously repay NATO for all expenses once Qaddafi was removed and Libyans controlled their own oil money.
The lies don't get much more transparent and egregious than these, yet they continue to be told and, apparently, believed. At least it's working out for China. They are snapping up that Iraqi oil. At last, it's being used for a government that really supports human rights …
The facts are that liberation using nonviolence is not only far less bloody, far less expensive and far less destructive to infrastructure and the environment, but also, it has no blowback (well, unless you count the Occupy movement as blowback from the Arab Spring, but the United States didn't fund any part of the Arab Spring, anyhow). The blowback from supporting or launching violent liberation is tremendous, as we saw on September 11, 2001. We will likely see much more, sadly, from all the violence we have since unleashed in Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Six thousand US mortalities and more than $1.5 trillion so far, all to do what nonviolence could have done for a tiny fraction of those human and financial costs. And the costs will go on and on.
Recent news provides just one example. Now, after wasting that $1.1 billion-plus on violently getting rid of Qaddafi, the United States is going to pay untold millions to buy up weapons from the insurgents. You can't make up stuff like this. Cosmic karmic account registers are ringing all over the place. The US piece of the Arab Spring is a costly, bloody, ongoing farce.
We are so radically in need of a rapid evolution in our methods of conflict management. Hello? Earth to Obama! Earth to the military! Come in! Humanity here – can we talk? Nonviolence can do all the good things you say you want done, without any of the bad things that only violence can trigger. Can we make 2012 the Year of the US Nonviolence Conversion? It is overdue.