Meanwhile in Afghanistan…

I ran a weekly column here for several years called Meanwhile In Iraq… and now it appears we’re having deja vu as the same conditions in Iraq are permeating Afghanistan.  The argument being put forward for endless war is the same:  the Afghans aren’t ready to secure their own country.  This is almost nine years after the onset of this conflict.  How much time will they need?  Forever because Afghanistan has never, in its long history, secured itself under a national government.  This is a splintered nation controlled by regional warlords.  Why we think we’ll change that is anyone’s guess.  I have a few:  profits for the American military-industrial complex, the opportunity to wipe out an entire generation of lower class people, the chance to control vast mineral wealth, the illusion that we can defeat The Taliban.

Liberals I know are upset with Barack Obama on Afghanistan.  They hoped he would change the policies there instead of standing by his campaign promise to escalate.  These well meaning folks hoped he was pandering to voters about the war there, instead he was pandering to the liberals about his progressive credentials.  Barack Obama is no liberal, never has been.  He is controlled by the same corporate elitists who run this country.  No candidate can rise to serious presidential stature without their blessing.  Too many profits are being made on the backs of our young soldiers, airmen and sailors to end this war.  Since most of them are coming from lower socio-economic classes stressed by the Bush Recession this also presents an opportunity to erase much of that social strata.  This is a win win for the elites which control and run America.  With a majority of the Supreme Court now doing its bidding these rich and powerful people are in total control.  The Tea Party is their reminder to us of what revolution could come if we don’t behave.  Intimidation and fear are their weapons to keep us humbled and passive against their policy of endless war.  

The place to slash government spending is the Department of Defense.  Until we stop spending a trillion dollars a year on The Pentagon there will be no real freedom or liberty.  Until we reign in the terror at home created by a massive military industrial complex will we find true liberty.  Meanwhile the working class continues to sit on its arse and take this lying down.  Democracy is a wonderful thing, you deserve what you get and you get what you deserve.  Stay home and don’t vote and you get what you deserve.

Revisiting the Afghan Strategy

Last December 1st President Obama laid out his plans for the War in Afghanistan.  He finally delineated a clear mission, something which had yet to be done following eight years of war and determined the road forward.  I was on a blogger conference call after that speech with senior White House officials in the area of national security and asked them if the President thought his mission was realistic, that is, achievable.  They responded only that Bush had so screwed things up in this war that there were no good options left available and the President selected the least worst.

I believe the least worse would have been to simply withdraw.  The 30,000 troops publicly insisted upon by Gen. McChrystal haven’t showed any substantial gains.  He didn’t get that winning a counterinsurgency operation by sending drones to kill civilians is counterproductive.  The war is a stalemate and now we’re funding the Taliban by paying them protection money to move our convoys.  This is beyond ridiculous.  It is time to revisit our strategy in Afghanistan.  With the General fired and hearings next week for Gen. David Petraeus Congress should ask the hard question:  is the mission realistic?  Is it achievable?  If not why are there?