Monday, September 21, 2009

What it's Not

Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go again or as Ronnie Reagan used to say “Now there you go again.” All of a sudden General McChrystal is the new “steady hand behind the wheel” just like Colin “I Cannot Tell a Lie” Powell was supposed to be. I mean what is it that people keep looking for someone to save them? Why don’t we save ourselves instead? Personally I don’t feel like I need saving but whatever.

Simon Tisdall is polishing the good General up by presenting him as a “speaking truth to power” kind of guy. Oh spare me please. How I despise that phrase “speaking truth to power” because it’s as if you speak the truth to powerful people something good will come of it. No it won’t. The truth isn’t important, in fact it’s a commodity to be bought and sold on our brave new global market. The news media knows all about it, they’re experts on it. Let me put it this way, the powerful don’t care if you tell them the truth or not. I can’t think of a more monumental waste of time than speaking truth to power. General McChrystal is asking for more troops to be thrown into the gaping maw of the Afghan meat grinder so he can accomplish something that cannot be accomplished, ever. I fail to see how this makes McChrystal our savior.

However Tisdall makes some astute observations such as Obama has egg all over his face regarding Afghanistan. I can recall this election that took place once upon a time but not too long ago where the Democrats were so sure that they and they alone could achieve what W. Bush could not. The Democrats would take hold the reins of war and behold! All would be swell or so the theory went. The Democrats were to run a smarter war. Iraq was the wrong war it was boldly declared and turning to Afghanistan the new administration were immediately if not sooner completely over their heads in something that was beyond their comprehension. Note the look of shock on their faces after the Taliban showed that they could fight the mighty U.S. military and beat them at their own game. 15 to 20,000 Afghan fighters have made the U.S. military yell uncle and some estimate Afghanistan couldn’t be controlled if there were 300,000 U.S. troops stationed there.

However that may be it remains that none of the above is important in the least. What is important is that our occupation of Afghanistan is profoundly and morally wrong. According to Tisdall and people like him this is all about Obama and his presidency, it’s about tactics and how to win, it’s about speaking truth to power which is all a lot of nonsense. What do I care if Obama goes down in history as the second coming of Christ or as a two-bit cheesy used-car salesmen? What do all the victims of U.S. state terror care if Obama is elegant while Bush was coarse? Aren’t they just as dead whether the bullet was elegantly ordered or coarsely? This isn’t about Obama, it isn’t about strategy (as if they had one), there is nothing to win, no goal to shoot for, no strategy that will work except for one. Get the hell out of there now.


At September 22, 2009 3:37 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

If I'm tired of the Afghan conflict, I can only imagine how the Afghans themselves feel, especially since a substantial number of them in the provinces may know somebody who's lost somebody to an errant airstrike.

Polling Report dot com has a link to a summary of some US polls on the Afghan conflict, here. Many of them are old, but the most recent one, from Fox News is from this month.

I notice that according to the Fox poll Republicans approve/disapprove of sending more troops to Afghanistan, 58/31 percent, while they disapprove of Obama's performance with respect to the Afghan conflict, 37% approving and 47% disapproving. I have to wonder how many of them realize he's a relative hardliner here, or would even agree with that assessment-- not that the Democrats who approve of Obama and disapprove of the war are any better.

All the same, if you look at the polls as a whole, it definitely looks like support for the US presence in Afghanistan has slipped pretty substantially.

At September 22, 2009 7:02 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Yes, support has slipped for the Afghan War. But that doesn’t stop a decider, never has. From what I have been reading the U.S. troops in Afghanistan aren’t very popular generally speaking. And for the reason you pointed it’s not hard to understand.
I have to agree about the hard liner Obama. Definitely the right wing whackos believe Obama is a socialist demon sent to Earth by the Devil to destroy America. And a lot of liberals still think Obama is just kidding and he is really a liberal underneath it all. So much for political discourse in this great nation.

At September 22, 2009 7:21 PM, Anonymous grimmy said...

Obama is a commie who wants us to have gay sex with socialists who abort their babies by drinking too much green tea. no one disputes this except psychotic lesbians who listen to NPR.

At September 23, 2009 3:45 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

"However that may be it remains that none of the above is important in the least. What is important is that our occupation of Afghanistan is profoundly and morally wrong."
I think this is one of your best, Rob, in a long line of great entries. The only thing that matters is to cut the crap and quit the killing.
May it happen in my lifetime, but I'm not optimistic about that.

At September 23, 2009 7:44 AM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

The other day I wrote here:

about Afghanistan. I realize Rob needed to plant another dig at Obama here, but it's clear that this war is part of a geopolitical strategy that goes back to the Clinton Administration. Actually, you can see the aid provided to the rebels during the Carter regime as part of the same strategy. And if you are ready to see some rationality in the objectives of the rollback strategy of the Cold War, regaining control of the Central Asian oilfields has been part of the policy of Western capital since the end of WWI.

In the 30s General Petain called Nazi Germany Europes "Cordon Sanitaire" protecting them from communism. Hell, you can see Hitler's invasion of the USSR as the West's attempt to regain control of those natural resources.

At September 23, 2009 7:55 AM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

And a lot of liberals still think Obama is just kidding and he is really a liberal underneath it all. So much for political discourse in this great nation.

Very true. However... slowly, but surely, I am seeing some of the Faithful throwing their Book of Obamormon in the fire, and vowing to leave the Democratic Party for a third way party.

This can be nothing but good. NOTHING but good. Wisdom is encroaching, skepticism is returning. Fast enough? Not fast enough for me, but surely it's a good sign.

Unification of the disaffected is what we need. That means people need to see that both parties are vehicles for consumer enslavement and corporate profiteering.

The message must be drummed home: Obama/Biden is Bush/Cheney's Third Term, and that fact reveals the truth about any pretense of division between Dems and Repubs.

At September 23, 2009 4:38 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


Thanks Mimi, you are way too nice. But that is exactly right, cut the crap and stop the killing. Progressives should have that stamped on their foreheads so they don’t forget.


I’m impressed with your knowledge of history you obviously have done a lot of reading. And true Afghanistan is part of a larger geopolitical plan which I believe I pointed out in a recent post. However that doesn’t let Obama off the hook for his escalation of the Afghan War. Obama spoke about it during his campaign and he made it the centerpiece of his foreign policy which I suspect he might now regret. Actually I would say it goes further back than Clinton, it actually goes back to the fall of the old Soviet Union during Ronnie Reagan’s regime.


I agree with everything you say here. It would be good if people became more aware of the Dem/Republican fiasco for what it is. Neither Party is worth a damn at this point and I keep wondering at what point people will really get up in arms over this. It’s long overdue, so long overdue that with every passing day the thieving becomes more blatant that its almost comedy.


That’s about the way it is, it’s like a total fantasy world.


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