Monday, August 31, 2009

Is Afghanistan War Worth Fighting?

So asks the headline of this piece from the Washington Post. A short blurb by five "experts" comprise the piece. Guess how they break out? Three to two for the war. Does this surprise you? (Not in the Post should it surprise you.) Not me. Nor do the arguments for continuing the terrible thing: US vital national security interests there, necessity to stabalize nuclear Pakistan, fight Al-Qaeda, preventing regional meltdown, prevent country from being sanctuary for terrorists again. Blah, blah. Change "Pakistan" to some other country; change Al-Qaeda to US enemy de jour, and you have the rationale for any war anywhere.

So what else is new? No matter what the country, if our national leadership determines that the country has "vital national interests" at stake, you can forget about withdrawal of US troops. And I put the question to you: can you imagine a country on the face of the globe that some president cannot construe as vital to US national interests? And can you imagine a Pentagon that would say, "No, Mr. President, we don't agree. We don't want to deploy out troops and expensive toys there." Are you kidding me?

Here's another big surprise. The new US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, says victory is achievable. "The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort," McChrystal said. Now, where have we heard this before? It's evident to everybody that he's gonna ask for more troops. Nobody doubts that. August was the worst month ever for US troop deaths in Afghanistan, 47. So to solve the problem let's feed more sausage meat into the grinder.

The stone cold fact about this horrible little war that's about to become a horrible bigger war is that we don't have a chance of winning it, I don't care what some damn general says, and we don't have a discernible national interest in that god-forsaken place. All we have there is another excuse for a president to prove his manhood, that he's not soft on national security, that he has the requisite set of balls for foreign policy, and for Wall Street and the accursed defense industry to turn more filthy profit.
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