Thursday, March 18, 2010


The very latest news from General McChrystal is that we have thousands of troops in Afghanistan to get, now hold on, to get bin Laden! Since McChrystal is a General he wouldn’t be lying to us because everyone knows Generals are made from sterling silver.


The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that it remains the goal of U.S. troops to capture Osama bin Laden alive and "bring him to justice."

A different McChrystal said we are in Afghanistan to fight insurgents.


“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible,” General McChrystal writes.

A copy of the assessment, with some operational details removed at the Pentagon’s request to avoid compromising future operations, was posted on The Post’s Web site.

In his five-page commander’s summary, General McChrystal ends on a cautiously optimistic note: “While the situation is serious, success is still achievable.”

But throughout the document, General McChrystal warns that unless he is provided more forces and a robust counterinsurgency strategy, the war in Afghanistan is most likely lost.

Here we have yet another McChrystal talking to someone named Frank and this McChrystal says we’re in Afghanistan to protect the Afghans.


Flying over terrain that has defeated invaders from the British to the Soviets, McChrystal knows he has to do more than just fine tune a strategy that after eight years of war appears on the brink of failure.

So he has issued a new directive on counterinsurgency operations, telling his troops in writing: "We must change the way we think, act and operate."

Protecting the Afghan people - many of them living in impoverished villages - is now more important than killing the enemy, even if that means taking more risks.

So we are in Afghanistan to capture bin Laden who likely left years ago and to protect Afghans by killing the Taliban who are…Afghans. I guess we’re all supposed to be stupid or something. Gosh, I just can’t figger this out. It’s just so complicated I wish I was a General too so I could be as smart as McChrystal.


At March 19, 2010 8:25 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, see

these 2 recent xymphora posts,
"Preparing for a post-Israeli warworld"

and "America first, Jews last"

I recommend them not for the overheated and occasionally ugly words he uses to discuss Israelis, but because I think his premises that

1)the Pentagon recognizes that US support for Israel endangers Americans abroad, and

2)that Petraus has political ambitions

are both correct.

(Of course as far as (1) goes, it would be nice if they would take the next step and recognize that our wars themselves also endanger Americans, both those fighting them and everybody else...)

At March 20, 2010 9:44 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

True yet again I would point out that Petraeus (Greek for Petrol?)isn’t concerned about the Palestinians rather he is concerned about keeping American imperialism on track. And I think your last point about the wars themselves is more to the point than Israel. I mean looking at the damage the U.S. has done in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and elsewhere we cannot blame Israel for all the hate directed our way though certainly some of it is due to our support of Israel. Also I cannot agree that we are fighting these wars for Israel and I think it’s misleading to blame Israel’s actions as resulting from their Jewishness rather it’s because they are white Europeans stealing land from brown people, something we are intimately familiar with since America was created by doing the same thing albeit on a larger scale.

At March 21, 2010 9:30 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, I don't think Petraus cares about the Palestinians so much as the idea that we shouldn't stick our necks out for Israel. I want to plead that I made my meaning unclear, but I think when I wrote,

"1)the Pentagon recognizes that US support for Israel endangers Americans abroad..."

that's not exactly correct. It's more correct to say that the 9-11 hijackers were motivated by their anger at both Israeli and US imperialism, as well as US support for Israel.

But yes, the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan(and Pakistan, Somalia...) have taken on a life of their own and much resentment of the US today is more because of those aggressions than support for Israel. However I do think that the periodic threats towards Iran are substantially influenced by US politicians wanting to get in good with AIPAC and Israel.

Moreover, I'm inclined to believe that many of the PNAC-associated architects of the Iraq war like Paul Wolfwowitz and Douglas Feith were motivated in selling the Iraq war because they felt the weakened state that would result would help strengthen Israel's security in the region.

As far as the behavior of the Israeli government goes, yes, I think they are essentially the last 19th century European colonial outpost. Although I note the world was safer when 19th century governments didn't have nukes.

But people and governments do what they can get away with, and of course Israel's government has a powerful protector who allows them to behave as badly as they do. When was the last time the US didn't veto even the mildest rebuke of Israel in the security council?

Maybe, per Jonathan Schwarz's description of US politics being a struggle between the sane but evil and the insane but evil factions of the overclass, Petraus represents the sane(well, saner) faction that recognizes that the day will come when our massive debts and declining influence will mean we'll have to cut Israel loose. Then we'll offer only "moral" support, but no more foreign aid and no more blocked votes in the UN.

At March 21, 2010 1:43 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Here’s my view on Israel. Israel isn’t really very important to the U.S. They aren’t even our main ally in that area. Our main ally is Saudi Arabia. While our politicians do bow and scrape before the Israel lobby they do it for the campaign money.

On threatening Iran I think that we are building up to war and certainly not on Israel’s behalf. Like I said in my last post Iran has been the target all along with the Afghan and Iraq wars being more about positioning our military for the coming assault on Iran. The only reason Iran is the main target is because of its proximity to the Caspian Sea where the oil is. Certainly Israel will be more than happy to see us invade Iran but that is really quite beside the point.

If you consider how our government is willing to commit atrocity after atrocity, who is willing to engineer the demise of our economy, to steal our money, deprive us of health care, and all the rest, that this same government gives a darn about Israel other than it has a certain minor convenience for our aims in the Middle East then I think it follows that our government would cut Israel loose in a nano second if they thought that our support for Israel was a real threat to their plans in the Caspian Basin.

I find the idea that Israel is calling the shots to be absurd. Israel is a puny little nothing who only exists because we send them money; if it weren’t for that their whole state would collapse. They are in fact parasites much as the people in our own government are. On neocons I don’t find them of particular importance either. The Iraq War is part of a larger strategy as I have already mentioned and the neocons were helpful mouthpieces to advance the wars but nothing more.

As for Petraeus being sane I have grave doubts. I think it’s perhaps a sign of the times that when any national leader says something even remotely logical everyone pees in their pants. Need I point out that just out of sheer odds even a moron can say something logical? But that is how far the bar has been lowered and a drowning person will grasp at a straw. So when someone tries to tell me that Petraeus is sane despite the fact that Petraeus is in charge of the entire Middle East wars against Muslims where millions of people have been murdered and is now using that position and those deaths as a step ladder to the presidency I really will not be able to agree.

At March 22, 2010 12:05 PM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

I think "petraeus" means "stone-like" or "animated rock."

I think a more understandable meaning is in the similar pronunciation when compared to

betray us


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