The good thing about the President’s decision to escalate the Afghan war is that the decision was deliberately made. There was an analysis, there is a mission statement, there is a declaration that the mission is in the interest of the USA, and there is an actual plan for getting in and getting out. This is a refreshing break from the years of Donnie Rumfield and Dik Chainy inventing wars for the benefit of the companies they used to work for and jumping in with “the army you have” which was under-equipped and under-personed and not already for the aftermath of the alleged victory.
So kudos to Barack Obama. He did it right even if the decision was wrong.
There was one rampaging elephant in the room that weighed heavily in the deliberations over our Afghan policy that was neither recognized nor mentioned. It is the same rampaging elephant that caused Lyndon Johnson to escalate in Vietnam and forced the USA to stay there for so many dead soldiers. It is simply this: irrational right wing madness.
Anti communist fervor in this country broke out just after WWI, and while it was irrational, vicious and ugly, it was only background noise until after WWII. That was when the serious anti communists took over the Congress of the United States, dominated the news media and nearly destroyed our Constitution. In the years of the McCarthy Hearings no one was safe from stalinist-like denunciation, only cowards had jobs and heroes became unemployable. Pete Seger refused to knuckle under and the President of the Screen Actors Guild … that scumbag Ronnie Raygun… denounced many of his members.
The fear that communism would spread to overtake the largest, fastest growing and most progressive economy in the world was laughable on its face. The internal logic of anticommunist propaganda causes it to collapse on itself. If Communism is a false and unworkable economic system and Capitalism is the best of all worlds, how can Communism succeed? None the less, there was not an electable politician with presidential ambitions in 1964 who believed he could give the lie to right wing fears and still get elected to the presidency.
Flash forward to2009. The boogey man lives in Afghanistan where he plots to destroy our world and trains the terrorists who will carry out that mission. This is nonsense on its face. The people who wrecked the World Trade Center and murdered 3,000 Americans did not train in Afghanistan. They hatched the plot in Germany, trained for it in the USA and carried it out with little or no direction from Afghanistan. They may have been funded by Al Queda, but the guy who led the attack on the USA held Bin Laden in contempt. In the eight years since George W. Busch failed to protect us from his Saudi friends, no plot has been launched from the Afghan mountains that reached further than Mumbai.
Terrorists in Sudan, Yemen and Indonesia pose as great a threat to our national security as do terrorists in Afghanistan. If there is a reason at all to continue in Afghanistan, it is first to kill that punk Bin Lauden and second, to show support for Pakistan, which is feeling beseiged and bothered, primarily because we have screwed up policy in their neighborhood so badly. We could do that without escalating the war.
In a rational world, we would put a division of special forces in the Waziri Mountains and assign them to kill Bin Laden. Bring them home when they are done. We don’t lose a thing by not hanging out for the next ten years trying to prop up a corrupt incompetent and failed Afghan government.
But the right wing scream machine has been braying like an Ass Hound for eight years about the terrorist threat and how we have to fight it and how it is a war and how we are not safe if we don’t fight it. That’s all crap, but the President of the United States does not think its safe to say so. The elephant is still rampaging around trhe oval office. We won’t be free of unnecessary wars until some one shoots it.