More of same

Even when I don’t fundamentally disagree with him, the President’s insistence on trying to appear “measured” and “careful” still manages to piss me off these days (possibly because he keeps fucking me and everyone who supported him with his outrageous stances on civil liberties and of course GTMO, et al.)… thus the big “Afghanistan speech” whereby he will up the ante by 30,000 more troops.
I am consistently appalled by Democratic Congress members polluting my in-box seeking my money, who have thought nothing of fucking me themselves on virtually every issue I hold important but who then still have the temerity to ask for money… even as they seem to live for money from their corporate contributors rather than me (at least with Republicans, we expect this…Democrats… it’s just appalling.) I’m referring specifically to an unnamed upstate New York Congressman, a former Naval officer, btw, who keeps insisting we have to end the war… the Afghan war.
Wrong. We have to end the Iraq war. Today. Only issue is how fast we can bug out. Any long term adverse consequences of pulling out will be outweighed by the fact that we will stop killing people (including our own people). Period.
Not so Afghanistan. Lest those of you who do not work a block from the World Trade Center quibble on this point, the United States was absolutely right to engage in a military action against the Taliban, who harbored (and largely facilitated) the criminal group who had the audacity to launch attacks at New York City and Washington, D.C. For good measure, the Taliban are brutal monsters in their own right and insanely unpopular, but they have gained traction simply because the alternatives to them are so insanely corrupt and disorderly (not to mention violent). But unlike Iraq– which just needs to be ended– Afghanistan must be ended on our terms, and that means with Messrs. bin Laden and al-Zawahiri and Mullah Omar dead, in custody, or at a minimum, on the opposite side of the surrender table, having formally renounced jihad and any territorial claim to any part of Afghanistan or Pockeestonn. (Yes, I know Afghanistan has been a graveyard of empires; but prior to 9-11, it had never actually harbored anyone who attacked either London or Moscow iin the earlier imperial engagements there; our empire’s vulnerabilities arise from the eventual collapse of “cheap oil” and from its very wide-spreadness.)
That said– the Taliban simply have to be defeated. Unlike Iraq, which Republicans have no problem saying “we might be there for 50 years”… because it has oil (which, btw, will be long gone well before the 50 years… and hence, so will we…)… as long as Afghanistan has either the Taliban or A.Q., we have no choice but to be there, possibly for all eternity. I know that’s troubling, particularly coming from me, someone who is generally a pacifiist, and is himself an undraftable 47, and who doesn’t have sons … Anyway… that’s reality. Afghanistan is “the good war”… we were attacked, and if we let up there, we will be attacked again. Period. We can’t say this about Iraq. And it cannot be solved by some worldwide nebulous “war on terror.” No. The Taliban and A.Q. must be defeated. Period.
I’m not convinced that 30,000…or 40,000… or 400,000 more troops is going to “turn the tide” or “change the course” or whatever the metaphor of the day is… and it troubles me that the man who spent months making the political calculus did not get as good grades as I did in political science back when we were both undergrads at the same institution… but I tend to agree that there is simply little choice on this one– we have to play out Afghanistan, until we win. Winning can be defined not in nebulous “war on terror” terms, but in plain old traditional war terms: when the other side surrenders, lays down its arms, and gives up its toxic ideology… or simply lies dead, having refused to do so.
If the President has at least recognized this, finally, once and for all, then I applaud him, and respect his decision. Alas… I’m not convinced he has.
If, as is much more likely (and, btw, I believe this to a moral certainty… the West Point backdrop only confirms my view on this) that this is just another crass political decision to try to appear to be a “tough Democrat” who nonetheless is “independent” of General Stanley McChrystal (who, btw, should have been fired for overstepping the bounds of civilian command in publicly advocating his own military policy and then prosecuted for his war crimes in Iraq), but the President still nonetheless seeks the political cover of providing “only” 30,000 more troops rather than the 40,000 troops asked for, then I am appalled at “the triangulation.”
Which one? Don’t know. Either way– it’s going to be more of same. The war(s) will go on; the pointless killing will go on; Mullah Omar and OBL and al-Zawahiri will continue thumbing their noses at us while still serving as useful bogeymen for the military industrial complex as it seeks to suck out whatever money is available in our economy that isn’t being sucked out by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and investment banks.
In short… this has been… and is going to be… more of same.