Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obama Misses Afghan Exit Ramp

By Ray McGovern
June 24, 2010

Is President Barack Obama so dense that he could not see why Gen. Stanley McChrystal might actually have wanted to be fired — and rescued from the current March of Folly in Afghanistan, a mess much of his own making?

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Ray: This is so right. In 1982, I wrote an Anthropology thesis on the insurgency-counterinsurgency programs in Vietnam (where I fought in 1971) under the French and us. What is happening now is just a repeat--with the same results. Just to name one, the arming of villagers was a disaster then and is one now, as Eikenberry well knew. If you just read the description on Amazon of "Tribal Soldiers of Vietnam" you get the whole picture. As one other slam, the Human Terrain Teams don't even understand "parallel hierarchies," which the term "shadow government." The French understood PH since that is how they fought the Germans with the Maquis.

M Henri Day said...

And so yet another imperial war continues, killing Afghanis by the hundreds and thousands, and US and satellite soldiers (and so-called «contractors», whose numbers exceed those of the official troops and whose losses are almost never counted) by the dozens and hundreds, while leaders, civilian and military, manoeuvre for access to the levers of power in Washington and profits roll into the coffers of the armament manufacturers and security corporations who bankroll the lobbyists who bankroll the political campaigns. Is this really the best that H sapiens sapiens can do ?...


Dean Taylor said...

winning the "war," NOT winning the "war," blah, blah, blah...

Right! We went there to avenge those "3000 Americans." Then, after we destroyed a myriad of wedding parties, we were there to bring the reprobate Taliban to heel "for the good of the people of Afghanistan." And finally, we are there for laptop batteries, i.e., Aghanistan is NOT a scratch of dirt and scrub brush located in a godless mountainous terrain: they are now what Wall Street terms "viable," i.e., the $1 trillion in mineral deposits.

Once again (with feeling, this time): as Chomsky reminds us--quoting educator John Dewey--the State is the shadow cast by the corporate sector, i.e., Wall Street, the banking cartel, the military-industrial complex--conjoined to the venal, corrupt DC legislators on the take (BOTH GOP and Dems). Those Masters of the Universe do not care about ideologies, religious intolerance, anyone's "politics," etc. What they DO care about is the bottom line for the investor class, i.e., maintaining the 233-year-old pyramid scheme of the monied class--themselves and their cronies at the country club--and their slaves--everyone else (recently identified as "the lesser peoples").

Whether that property/finance focused (parthologically obsessed?) status quo entails losing a few thousand lives this year, or tens (or even hundreds of thousands) of lives this year--theirs, ours, or both--is of small consequence WHEN COMPARED TO keeping this whole disgusting money scheme from coming a cropper. The youth being dispatched are the offspring of the working-class slobs anyway--the lesser peoples. Who cares if they return sans limbs, their minds shot to shit, etc. They are merely the fungible element of society--i.e., they are not "players." If they are crippled a bit, why, then, there is less chance of that disaffected portion of society from "acting out" against the base fraud that is America.

The notion of a "successful" military campaign is a CORPORATE MEDIA CONSTRUCT, NOT A POLICY GOAL CONCERN.

That is, the investor clique is interested in maintaining our presence there--i.e., keeping the investment dollars flowing--for as long as they possibly can, simultaneous to keeping the rank and file in abeyance. They want to keep the Left from upsetting their investment scheme, hence the manufacturing of consent--i.e., the show of consternation, the earnest displays of distress at press corps dances, the summoning of anxiety about "meeting our goals," etc. All orchestrated tapdance. All bullshit. Or as Ray might have it--all blarney.

Further: these are "values" (scare quotes) which--as Chomsky has argued--have been internalized. That is, everyone at the current inner circle --i.e., the ones who've not awakened to the fact that they've sold their souls down the line (or have realized and managed to block it from view) for all-important careers and a piece of the financial action for being "loyal"--knows what is expected of him/her, so that there is NO NEED WHATSOEVER for "conspiracy," hugger mugger, midnight envoys, etc.

Dean Taylor said...


it's NOT about "winning" wars, but about PROLONGING wars

A recent quote from W. made to Kirchner of Argentina:

"President George W. Bush argued in 2004 that the best way to grow the U.S. economy was by waging war, according to former Argentine Prime Minister NĂ©stor Kirchner.

"Kirchner, in a meeting with Bush, suggested that the United States replicate the successful nation-building strategy it implemented at the end of World War II.

"'And he stood up from his chair and got angry. He told me, "A Marshall plan! No! That's a crazy idea from the Democrats. What needs to be done here, and the best way to revitalize the economy is--the United States has grown based on wars," he told me. That's what he told me,' Kirchner recounted.

"Bush added, said Kirchner, that 'all the economic growth that the U.S. had had, had been based on the different wars it had waged.'"

NOT winning wars, that is, but WAGING wars! If the war is "won," the investment money flow tends to subside. PROLONGING wars (absolutely ANYWHERE--but since we're already there...) is the preferable scenario.

Anonymous said...

June 25. McGovern's piece is great. Many thanks. Ed and Carole Jones

jmaria said...

I pretty agree with some of the hypotheticals you mention. But I think Mr. Obama is aware of his political situation here at home and of the dangers the war in Afghanistan poses to his entire presidency and to a possible reelection to a second term.With the dismissal of McChrystal and the appointment of Petraeus Mr. Obama is signaling a change of direction. One focused on gaining some momentum in the battlefield and then with the help of Pakistan lure the Taliban toward a negotiated agreement to end the war. This way Mr. Obama could disentangle himself from the mess in Afghanistan and concentrate all his efforts in his domestic agenda.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dean for you thoughtful comments. Even for a person with scant knowledge(like me) about the complexities of war, is obvious the existence of, an underlying- economic- motive in it. How then we explain the scandalous amounts of money being expended in Irak, Afghanistan, Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative in Mexico? There has to be a way to recoup that money, plus the profits it generates. And maybe that's one of the reasons why those who advocate the existence of war call it OF NECESSITY.

Anonymous said...

This article backs up my theory that P.Obama has continually gone the way of the republicans in their policies and in other decisions. This Afganistan war is one of those, where I believe he did not want to go to war there after-all but felt he had to do as the republicans wanted, as he has done in his other decisions of policies. The end result has been bad for P.Obama, teaching him that all along he should have followed his gut instincts on many decisions instead of letting himself be compromised by so many republicans!!