Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All our 'leaders,' supposedly intelligent, skilled military planners running the Pentagon still just don't get it…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:14 AM Permalink

…when it comes to Afghanistan. It is amazing, and would be funny if the results weren't so disastrous and leading to so many unneeded, and therefor abhorrent, unnecessary deaths.

See this NYT article titled: From McChrystal’s Mouth to Obama’s Ear

When President Obama looks at the screen in the Situation Room on Wednesday, he will find a face he has not seen lately except in newspapers. There, via secure video from Kabul, will be Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, his commander in Afghanistan, explaining directly to the president for the first time why more troops are needed.

General McChrystal has not spoken with Mr. Obama since submitting his grim assessment of the war a month ago and has spoken with him only once in the 100 days since he took command of all American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The lack of direct communication has generated criticism and fueled suspicions of strains between the White House and Kabul.[…]

General McChrystal has denied any rift with the White House, though his request for up to 40,000 more troops has created a political problem for a president whose liberal base is increasingly speaking out against the war. In an interview last week, General McChrystal emphasized that he had been given complete freedom to conduct his strategic review and troop request.[…]

Questions about Mr. Obama’s relationship with General McChrystal have percolated for weeks, following reports that the administration delayed his troop request and kept him from testifying before Congress. “Someone has to explain what the strategy is,” said Frederick W. Kagan, a military expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “I think it’s important for the American people to hear from the commander.”

Administration officials said they wanted to rethink the Afghanistan strategy before addressing troop levels and maintained it would be premature for the general to testify. Nonetheless, Mr. Gates, worried about the criticism, told General McChrystal last week to send him the troop request to take the heat off the commander.
First, as to the AEI, here's Bill Kristol, necon at AEI:
William Kristol (whose magazine is housed in the AEI offices) has it. I’m curious to see how this line plays in the hall: "I am certain that no one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do…"
which immediately identifies him and that for which he stands. As one of the founders of the neocon movement kristol is all for the use of the American military to forward their objectives of American hegemony, control of world resources through military means, and using the military against anyone who would seek to end such injustices, peacefully or otherwise. I think this adequately shows where the AEI stands: shoulder-to-shoulder with w and his known torturer, the big dick.

Second: We are engaged in a war in some of the most desolate and harsh environments on earth, almost equally difficult to operate in as Antarctica, fighting against people forever engaged in warfare that have built tunnels, rat-holes, rabbit-runs or whatever you may wish to call them, and who live by a 'code of honor' that calls for an entire clan or village to fight to the death in protecting a guest. No one knows the terrain better than they, where ambushes can be set up, the routes to flee, the rabbit holes down which to disappear while American field commanders stand around, dumbfounded, wondering where did they go, while the trillions of dollars America has spent for satellites are useless at locating entire clans underground.

And those guests, in many, many, cases are some of the richest men in the world, controlling 90% or more of the world's heroin and thus provide the means for Afghani farmers to support and feed their families while selling their opium crops to honored guests whom they will defend to the death. There is no such thing a a deficit of funds for these warlords, dealers, and buyers of crops. America cannot possibly match these people when it comes to money!

Simultaneously, we chase our tails, expending billions more that we add to our deficit instead of caring for Americans, and no one stops to think that the warlords and opium dealers whom have billions and billions and billions of dollars in surpluses, are the first ones on the scene every time America bombs an opium field and falsely claims that, once again, we have taken out the number two man of al-Qaede. While we falsely brag representatives of the warlords are out there taking care of their farmers, reimbursing them for lost crops and, most importantly, mourning with them the loss of sons, daughters, wives, husbands and fathers, paying funeral expenses during bad times, and paying for extravagant weddings when times are good.

Isn't it more than a bit ironic, and shameful for America, that our supposed 'enemies,' the vast majority of Afghanis who had nothing to do with the Taliban, al-Qeada or the attack against America that republicans, led by a republican president, allegedly the defenders of the universe to hear them talk, allowed by plain old inactivity, malfeasance, and failure to heed all the warnings and obvious signs, ALLOWED the worst terrorist attack in our nations history to occur on THEIR WATCH, and then relentlessly pursued people who had done nothing whatever in the way of hostilities towards America? The Afghanis are not our enemy, so why do we have them embroiled in a war not of their choosing, based upon an attacked caused by what, 19 or so Saudi Arabians?

I see another Vietnam on the horizon American, driven out in shame once again, and all our supporters being left behind to be shot, or tortured, or forced to watch as their children are killed, butchered, and dismembered before their very eyes.

As I look at this situation with the jaundiced eye of personal experience it occurs to me that it is no wonder that I suffer flashbacks, see the faces, hear the screams. The only real surprise is that I can sometimes sublimate them at all and not see them or hear the screams of the dying all the time.

And I'm one of the lucky ones. Yeah, right. Really, I am.

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