War, again.

‘The War’ is all over the news this morning- the war that most Americans have forgotten about and which seldom comes to mind during our busy shopping, leisure and vacation days.  Oh, THAT war, off in some distant god-forsaken mountainous pile of rocks.  The one whose enemy doesn’t wear a uniform but seems to have an endless supply of men and weaponry.

Wikileaks.org has so many hits this morning that my browser cannot access it. That’s the site that published the ‘secret documents’ detailing just how poorly this Afghanistan War is progressing [or regressing] as if those of us paying attention didn’t already know. By the way, when DO wars go well?

Afghans attacking the retreating British Army 1842

Many Americans are ‘shocked’ this morning with the news leaked by this website. These are the same people who often miss the subtleties of politics and are easily led by slick propagandists. Many societies have poorly-informed citizens- but they generally are Third World countries where the people scrape to make a living and  have neither the time or energy to pay attention to their rulers.

We Americans, on the other hand, hardly are scraping through life.  Yet, we are often just as uninformed as those living at the end of some dusty trail in the  mountains of Afghanistan.   We are too busy with our complex lives to have the time to explore our war mission and its goal.  We know as much about them as they do about us: they are ‘the enemy.’

We Americans can easily spout off ‘9/11’ when asked about our involvement in Afghanistan, but not anything more deep or significant.  Rather, we choose to wrap ourselves in the Flag and feel that this war is ‘making us more secure.’  It brings to mind that propaganda line that the Bush Administration used in promoting its war on Iraq- “We’re fighting them over there so that we won’t have to fight them over here!”

The website, CostofWar.com tallies the Afghanistan war at $286,000,000.000. That’s about a thousand dollars per person- children included- to fund this war.  And the politicians are griping about the cost of health care and financial stabilization of our banks?  How much good could have beenaccomplished for the citizens of this nation with that quarter of a trillion dollars? How many new roads, bridges, water and sewer lines? How many new schools, libraries, health clinics could have been built?

Money down the drain. Gone forever, in the pockets of the military industrial complex. And for what purpose?  To make us more safe?  Or to make us think that we are more safe? The pathetic, never-ending story of war continues…

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12 thoughts on “War, again.

  1. First comment: Why is not so shocking to find that The Pakistani Intellignece Service is cooperating with The Afghani Taliban?

  2. My question is and has been, where are the liberal anti-war voices in Congress? Where is Sen. Kerry? The anti-war Democratic standard bearer in 2004? Oh, you say now he is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Well, that didn’t stop William Fullbright back in the 1960s who helped bring LBJ down with his hearings on the VietNam War.
    Where is the RFK or Gene McCarthy? It is Obama’s war and Obama and the Democrats have changed it from an anti-terror war to a nation building war. Look, when U.S. troops are being used to build infrastructure, water plants, schools, government buildings, and our troops are being shot and blown up while so doing, it is no longer a anti-
    terror war. It has become a war of anti-insurgency. In a country that is living in the Second Century A.D., there is no way the U.S. is going to be able to build a nation. Obama is on a slippery slope; even without the wars, he is facing a one-term presidency. If the wars blow up in his face, he will be. Is this the reason the leading Democratic doves like Kerry and the Senator from Wisconsin are keeping their mouths shut? Is Obama “too big (important) to fail”? Are the liberals afraid to speak out as they will lose the White House? That must be it. But, their silence is probably making it happen. Yeah, I shudder to think of the Republican alternative and the damage one of them would do as president for four years. But, it’s coming……

  3. A follow-up to the discussion about adding a new dimension or setting up an organization…

    Looking for an organization that can have some agreement across the political landscape…

    Here is a suggestion: An organization that examines the global economy relationship to U.S. manufacturing and the building of a non-petroleum
    infrastructure…..

  4. OK, I’m ticked that the Taliban destroyed Afghanistan’s cultural heritage (e.g., the Giant Buddhas at Bamiyan), but a repressive regime is not a reason to start a war.

    US meddling during the late 70s-80s in the form of support for the Mujahadeen didn’t help much either.

    And, there is petroleum/natural gas in that part of the world.

    But, none of these should be reasons for a war in this part of the world: especially since that is far more destabilising in the long run.

  5. WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

    A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

    In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

    How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

    Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the self-same few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

    -Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler, War Is A Racket

  6. UTF, you raise excellent questions about the whereabouts of Kerry and the rest of the formerly vocal anti-war crowd.
    The answer is simple. Obama was elected and hitting the talk show circuit to demonstrate outrage is no longer politically necessary to convince the couch entrenched masses that the war is wrong and entirely Bush’s fault. After all, thanks to youtube, the video is still available of Obama promising to have the troops home no later than 18 months after he takes office!
    Or, even sooner!

    But, John Kerry isn’t stupid and he knows full well as do the other formerly vocal types that open criticism and disagreement isn’t tolerated.
    Remember those “blue-dog” democrats who weren’t going along with the heathcare bill?
    They all got a private ass chewing that “suddenly” changed their minds on the issue! The open secret among my lefty friends is that Obama promised to see to it that any of those folks who marched out of step would find union support conspicuously absent from their reelection campaigns!

    Kerry is safe until 2014. But, how many of the other former critics of the war only have 100 days to go before November?
    Seems like a pretty bad time to be critical of the man who can pull the plug on your future employment with a phone call!

    The moral principle you’re seeking from those folks has and always will take a backseat to their own self interests.
    When Bush was in office, it not only carried the appearrance of a moral position to oppose the war but, it was political points to take the position.

    Now that Obama is in office, it seems that moral positions and political points on the subject have become taboo. The mere mention of the war only serves to remind those “single issue voters” who oppose the wars and voted for Obama that he hasn’t delivered on that promise.

    One also has to realize that politicians (left and right) only give 2 shits about what your feelings are up until 1/1000 of a second after you’ve cast your vote…then you can kiss their ass until they need you again!

  7. Laci, the destruction of the Buddas pissed me off too. Theye didn’t do it just because they were “repressive”. They did it because they were trying to erase history to reflect that no other god has ever existed in the minds of the people which could cause doubt.
    Also, Afghanistan wasn’t invaded just because the Taliban were repressing anyone. They were invaded because they allowed Islamic fanatics who shared their beliefs safe haven to train, plot and, launch jihad from within the country. IMO, America’s blame falls on the fact that our government encouraged the behavior while it was “in our best interest” to see the Soviet occupation fail dismally.
    I would question who’s “best interest” lies in seeing US fail in the same venture.
    From my limited view, I keep seeing the U.S government borrowing vast amounts of unrepayable money from the Chinese while fighting an enemy who mysteriously has a seemingly never-ending supply of Chinese weaponry to fight back with!
    A conspiracy theorist would surmise that we’re repaying our war loans to the Chinese who are also financing the war against us. After all, they have the most to gain from an America thats deeply endebted to them and, the only power capable of challenging them being placed into a submissive position.
    Arming the jihadis and prolonging the cost of the war…in theory could push America into the same trap the Soviets fell into by keeping the threat alive long enough to bankrupt the invading country and kill off national prestige and future military threat we may pose which would leave china as the world’s only “superpower”.
    Sound far-fetched?

  8. Sepp concludes, “One also has to realize that politicians (left and right) only give 2 shits about what your feelings are up until 1/1000 of a second after you’ve cast your vote…then you can kiss their ass until they need you again!”

    The only cure, it seems to me, is term limits. Maybe something like one term for senators and 3 terms for representatives. In addition, we need to think about proportional Senate seats based on population.

  9. Another idea M_R…

    was thinking of a term that could indicate the purpose of the organization: You know something like the concord coalition.”…well
    thought of RUST = Restore United States Trade…Maybe not quite there but you are the good one for shibbolteths, lol… RUST for the rusting of American factories……the rust bowl…..

  10. So, the question on the table, ladies and gentlemen is: “Should the United States continue to fight the War in Afghanistan?”

    It seems that, on this blog, the answer is HELL NO!

    Too bad that the politicians don’t listen to the people, but then, ‘the people’ may be too ignorant to understand why we are there and what we hope to accomplish.

    Thus, it becomes a moot point…

  11. “From my limited view, I keep seeing the U.S government borrowing vast amounts of unrepayable money from the Chinese while fighting an enemy who mysteriously has a seemingly never-ending supply of Chinese weaponry to fight back with!”

    Sepp, I have to concur with you 100% This is a point I have raised over and over again. The quicksand pit of Afghanistan has been of our own making.
    During the Soviet War in Afghanistan, we supplied the Taleban and the Norther Alliance with arms. The CIA taught them to grow opium as a way to finance their resistance and set up the smuggling pipeline.

    Now, we have become the Soviets and the Chinese have become us.
    History teaches us that peripheral details may change, but the operating systems stay the same.
    If Obama chooses to stay in Afghanistan, he is doomed. He will undoubtebly empower the fall of his presidency and perhaps lose the executive office to some kind of republican extremist.
    If he opts for a sane exit…then perhaps he will have doomed himself as well, but there are more alternate realities possible.

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