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.