Friday, March 05, 2010

Can-do-ism and the Afghan War

Part of the national narrative fantasy is that WWII was the Good War where the U.S. saved the world from fascism (only to embrace it in the present) never mentioning the part played by Russia of course. Out of this false perception that WWII was good grew the idea that American industry and know-how could solve any problem and that everything always turns out for the best in the end. It’s a nice little fairy tale but has little to do with reality.

General Petraeus adds to the fantasy by telling us that the nine year old war in Afghanistan will have a positive outcome, after much violence naturally. This, despite the fact that after nine years the Taliban still controls most of Afghanistan and If Iraq is any example of how things turn out okay in the end we should view Petraeus’s reassurances with much skepticism.

Even the lies of the elite are lies because there is no victory not even under its myriad forms which vary with the weather. One day it’s to defeat al Qaida who left a long time ago, or it’s to bring democracy to the Afghans, or it’s to defeat the Taliban who aren’t al Qaida and other such nonsense. Through much of the W. Bush years “victory” in Iraq was always just around the corner which continues today in Afghanistan with Petraeus whispering sweet nothings in our ear speaking of good things to come. The only thing coming down the road is more war which is just fine with Petraeus because the whole idea is to keep the wars going and at all costs.

Petraeus tells us the Afghan War is important because the 9/11 attacks originated there, a return from spreading democracy to “getting” al Qaida, who are somewhere else. Al Qaida doesn’t belong to a particular nation and since the plans for 9/11 were drawn up in Germany, not Afghanistan, by Petraeus’s own logic we should have invaded Germany. That way Petraeus could have told us that not only did the Nazis save Hitler’s brain but transplanted it into the body of bin Laden as well. A miracle of modern medicine! It would be no more ridiculous than what we are being told by our leaders today.

Not everything can be fixed and unjustified optimism isn’t non-cynical it’s just plain stupid. No amount of American know-how is going to make good things come out of these wars whatever Petraeus may tell us.

None of this addresses the morality for these wars where entire nations are brought to a ruinous end with infrastructures destroyed, millions of people driven from their homes and their way of life destroyed perhaps forever, the dead and the dying, the mutilated and the insane, all victims of the toothy parasite known as General Petraeus and the rest of our national leaders, parasites all. How else do describe something that attaches itself to your body politic and sucks the life blood from your nation?

But not to worry, everything is going to be just fine, everything turns out well in the end, god looks after every sparrow in the forest and I would be happy to sell you a bridge or some land in Florida.


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