Afghanistan is now Obama’s war

Like so many of the seemingly unsurmountable problems that President Barack Obama inherited from George W. Bush, the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan came with the job.

But Obama is quickly making it his fight and he is doing so in ways that make Bush seem timid when it becomes to war mongering.

The President has approved a plan to put more combat troops in harm’s way while replacing clerks and pencil-pushers with private contractors. He will soon get a request from the Pentagon to put even more troops on the ground. More troops, the generals will say, will help us win the war.

Sound familiar? It should. Back in the 60s, the guys with the stars and bars on their uniforms told then President Lyndon Johnson that sending more troops to Vietnam would give us victory in the rice paddies.

It didn’t work then. Odds are, it won’t work now.

Like Vietnam, Afghanistan is a country with a history of outlasting attempts of outsiders who want to control its destiny. The French gave up in Vietnam. The Russians pulled out of Afghanistan. We didn’t understand the culture of our enemy in Vietnam. We know even less about the culture of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Vietnam distracted Johnson when he tried to build the "great society." Afghanistan will increasingly distract Obama as he tries to cope with the economic crisis and other pressing domestic issues like health care.

Like Vietnam, the war in Afghanistan is one America cannot win while, at the same time, it cannot afford to lose.

But we’ve already lost. Sending more American men and women to die in another lost-cause war will not change that reality.

13 Responses to "Afghanistan is now Obama’s war"

  1. DejaVuAllOver  September 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Nice, Cashel. Your parody doesn’t make me feel any better, but it IS reassuring to know that some people have the sense to see things for what they are. You and Carl Nemo gave me a laugh, at least. Cheers…..

  2. Carl Nemo  September 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks Doug for bringing up the prescience concerning our impending failure in Afghanistan.

    Although Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” is covered in our military academies and the War College it seems that the following fundamental axiom doesn’t seem to impress those students that are to become our general staff and advisers to presidents.

    *****

    “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” … Sun Tzu 6th Century B.C.E.

    *****
    In contrast to this current unfolding Afghani debacle we have the performance of an old school warrior; ie., General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. who evidently paid close attention to Sun Tzu’s admonition as referenced above along with other principles advised by the great Chinese General.

    During the Gulf War in the 1990s, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. practiced Sun’s principles of deception, speed, and attacking the enemy’s weakness. However he stated that “The technology of war may change, the sophistication of weapons certainly changes. But those same principles of war that applied to the days of Hannibal apply today.”… extract from Wiki

    It should be added that our engagements in Afghanistan as well as Iraq are being met with guerilla, assymmetric resistance. There is no front with the enemy diffused throughout the countryside. Only the Mongols were able to control Afghanistan for a period of three hundred years from the 13th to the 16th centuries, but they used scorched earth, terror tactics; ie., mass civilian killing to instill absolute and total fear in a populace with no quarter given. Our times are far too civilized for us to engage in such activity leaving us with but one alternative, but to cease and desist in our efforts to subdue the diverse, contentious elements in these two countries.

    Seemingly too our President is being advised by those that are failing to heed Sun Tzu concerning the effective waging of war for all time and all places. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. woody188  September 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    It’s a good time to remind everyone that the Soviet Union had some 500,000 troops in Afghanistan and failed to bring the tribes under their control. What makes the US generals think their outcome with far fewer troops will be any different?

    Watch we’ll accuse the Soviets or Iran of helping the Taliban or some such, just as the USA helped the “freedom fighters”, aka OSAMA BIN LADIN during the Soviet occupation of that nation. This will keep escalating until the whole region is engulfed, just as planned by the Project for a New American Century in their paper Rebuilding America’s Defenses.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Congress is elected to represent, not to direct, the people.

  4. DejaVuAllOver  September 2, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Your piece is based on the premise that our masters do NOT want us to die and that the Afghanistan war is merely based on their own ignorance and folly. I think this is an incorrect assumption. Jay Gould said, “I can get one half of the working class to kill the other half.” The war in Afghanistan is just one more way for the Rahm Emannuels and Hillary Clintons of the world to practice multi-ethnic cleansing of ‘undesirables’ from this country, and Afghanistan, too. They lust for power, solely and completely. What better demonstration of power and control could there be than to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and get half of us lowly niggas to kill the other half? Afghanistan is part of the plan, pal.

  5. Warren  September 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    This is really good:

    Bush’s Third Term? You’re Living it.
    By David Swanson, Asia Times Online, as reprinted from Tom’s Dispatch.

    —W—

  6. sherry  September 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I read it. It’s dead on.
    As Snoopy would say, “Curses! Curses!”

  7. Carl Nemo  September 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Stunning parallels for sure…!

    This surely verifies the idea that AmeriKa is now controlled by a single party system of duopolists charading as two parties while forcing New World Order corporatism down our collective throats.

    Thanks Warren for the link. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. TacticalMarket  September 4, 2009 at 6:53 am

    That’s pretty much a personal taste thing. It’s not something you can really describe as such.

    Tactical Market is the great online source to get info about night vision products like ATN Night Vision, night vision camera, night vision rifle scope and more.

    http://www.tacticalmarket.com/

  9. Carl Nemo  September 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Yo TacticalMarket…

    Somehow you managed to get through this site’s current SPAM filter. I can’t even correct a simple spelling from an earlier post without being denied access via the aggressive filter.

    The ATN equipment just might come in handy the way this nation is going. We surely don’t want to be fighting NWO robocops technically disadvantaged and in the dark so-to-speak.

    Setting your ill-placed advertising aside I must say that ATN makes good products and I own one of their night vision scopes. It’s imperative that modern day warriors and insurgents “own the night”… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  10. bogofree  September 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Obama will follow Gates on this one and good luck on that and Oboma has already stated his intentions for this ongoing war…what is it now? 100 years? 200 years? Son #5 is now getting ready for Iraq and you just know Afghanistan is in his future. Four sons have been or are in the military and it is quite a collection of exoctic locals through the years. Administrations may come and go but only those boys go.

  11. Walter F. Wouk  September 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    “Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men, Uncle Sam needs your help again…”

    Barack Obama and the democratic party bosses will continue to wage war in Afghanistan because 2010 is an election year and they don’t want to appear to be soft on “terrrr.”

    Like their Republican counterparts, these self-serving swine will fill as many body bags as it takes to prevail in the next election cycle.

  12. Cashel Boylo  September 7, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Cashel Boylo
    ADAM SMITH in 1776
    (in paraphrase for USA 2009)
    The Wealth of Nations: Of Colonies
    This country which possesses the colony of Afghanistan, and which trades Opium to the World, enjoys, indeed, the whole show and splendour of this great commerce. Other countries, however, notwithstanding all the invidious restraints by which it is meant to exclude them, frequently enjoy a greater share of the real benefit of it. The colonies of Spain and Portugal in the 18th Century, for example, gave more real encouragement to the industry of other countries than to that of Spain and Portugal.
    After all the unjust attempts, therefore, of every country in the World to engross to itself the whole advantage of the trade in Opium of its own colonies, no country has yet been able to engross to itself anything but the expense of supporting in time of peace, and of defending in time of war, the oppressive authority which it assumes over them. The inconveniencies resulting from the possession of its colonies, every country has engrossed to itself completely. The advantages resulting from their trade it has been obliged to share with many other countries.
    At first sight, no doubt, the monopoly of the great Opium commerce of Afghanistan naturally seems to be an acquisition of the highest value. To the undiscerning eye of giddy ambition, it naturally presents itself amidst the confused scramble of politics and war, as a very dazzling object to fight for. The dazzling splendour of the object, however the immense greatness of the commerce, is the very quality which renders the monopoly of it hurtful, or which makes one employment, in its own nature necessarily less advantageous to the country than the greater part of other employments, absorbs a much greater proportion of the capital of the country than what would otherwise have gone to it. . .
    It is not contrary to justice that . . . Afghanistan should contribute towards the discharge of the public debt of the U.S.A. . . . . a government to which several of the colonies of America owe their present charters, and consequently their present constitution; and to which all the colonies of America owe the liberty, security, and property which they have ever since enjoyed. That public debt has been contracted in the defence, not of the U.S.A. alone, but of all the different provinces of its empire; the immense debt contracted in the late war in particular, and a great part of that contracted in the war before, were both properly contracted. . .
    If it should be found impracticable for the U.S.A. to draw any considerable augmentation of revenue from any of the resources above mentioned; the only resource which can remain to her is a diminution of her expense. In the mode of collecting, and in that of expending the public revenue; though in both there may be still room for improvement; The U.S.A. seems to be at least as economical as any of her Competitor Imperialist Nations. The military establishment which she maintains for her own defence in time of peace, is moderate compared to that of any State which can pretend to rival her either in wealth or in power. None of those articles, therefore, seem to admit of any considerable reduction of expense. The expense of the peace establishment of the colonies was, before the commencement of the present disturbances, very considerable, and is an expense which may, and if no revenue can be drawn from them ought certainly to be saved altogether. This constant expense in time of peace, though very great, is insignificant in comparison with what the defence of the colonies has cost us in time of war. The last war, which was undertaken altogether on account of the colonies, cost the U.S.A . . . countless billions.
    It was because the colonies were supposed to be provinces of the American empire, that this expense was laid out upon them. But countries which contribute neither revenue nor military force towards the support of the empire, cannot be considered as provinces. They may perhaps be considered as appendages, as a sort of splendid and showy equipage of the empire. But if the empire can no longer support the expense of keeping up this equipage, it ought certainly to lay it down; and if it cannot raise its revenue in proportion to its expense, it ought at least, to accommodate its expense to its revenue. If the colonies, notwithstanding their inability to submit to American taxes, are still to be considered as provinces of the American empire, their defence in some future war may cost the U.S.A. as great an expense as it ever has done in any former war. The rulers of the U.S.A. have, for almost a century past, amused the people with the imagination that they possess a great empire. This empire, however, has hitherto existed in imagination only. It has hitherto been, not an empire, but the project of an empire; not a gold mine, but the project of a gold mine; a project which has cost, which continues to cost, and which, if pursued in the same way as it has been hitherto, is likely to cost, immense expense in money, lives and suffering, without being likely to bring any profit; for the effects of the monopoly of the Opium trade, it has been shown, are, to the great body of the people, mere loss instead of profit. It is surely now time that our rulers should either realise this golden dream, in which they have been indulging themselves, perhaps, as well as the people; or, that they should awake from it themselves, and endeavour to awaken the people. If the project cannot be completed, it ought to be given up. If any of the provinces of the American empire cannot be made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that the U.S.A. should free herself from the expense of defending those provinces in time of war, and of supporting any part of their civil or military establishments in time of peace, and endeavour to accommodate her future views and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances.

  13. Cashel Boylo  September 7, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Cashel Boylo
    ADAM SMITH in 1776
    (in paraphrase for USA 2009)
    The Wealth of Nations: Of Colonies
    This country which possesses the colony of Afghanistan, and which trades Opium to the World, enjoys, indeed, the whole show and splendour of this great commerce. Other countries, however, notwithstanding all the invidious restraints by which it is meant to exclude them, frequently enjoy a greater share of the real benefit of it. The colonies of Spain and Portugal in the 18th Century, for example, gave more real encouragement to the industry of other countries than to that of Spain and Portugal.
    After all the unjust attempts, therefore, of every country in the World to engross to itself the whole advantage of the trade in Opium of its own colonies, no country has yet been able to engross to itself anything but the expense of supporting in time of peace, and of defending in time of war, the oppressive authority which it assumes over them. The inconveniencies resulting from the possession of its colonies, every country has engrossed to itself completely. The advantages resulting from their trade it has been obliged to share with many other countries.
    At first sight, no doubt, the monopoly of the great Opium commerce of Afghanistan naturally seems to be an acquisition of the highest value. To the undiscerning eye of giddy ambition, it naturally presents itself amidst the confused scramble of politics and war, as a very dazzling object to fight for. The dazzling splendour of the object, however the immense greatness of the commerce, is the very quality which renders the monopoly of it hurtful, or which makes one employment, in its own nature necessarily less advantageous to the country than the greater part of other employments, absorbs a much greater proportion of the capital of the country than what would otherwise have gone to it. . .
    It is not contrary to justice that . . . Afghanistan should contribute towards the discharge of the public debt of the U.S.A. . . . . a government to which several of the colonies of America owe their present charters, and consequently their present constitution; and to which all the colonies of America owe the liberty, security, and property which they have ever since enjoyed. That public debt has been contracted in the defence, not of the U.S.A. alone, but of all the different provinces of its empire; the immense debt contracted in the late war in particular, and a great part of that contracted in the war before, were both properly contracted. . .
    If it should be found impracticable for the U.S.A. to draw any considerable augmentation of revenue from any of the resources above mentioned; the only resource which can remain to her is a diminution of her expense. In the mode of collecting, and in that of expending the public revenue; though in both there may be still room for improvement; The U.S.A. seems to be at least as economical as any of her Competitor Imperialist Nations. The military establishment which she maintains for her own defence in time of peace, is moderate compared to that of any State which can pretend to rival her either in wealth or in power. None of those articles, therefore, seem to admit of any considerable reduction of expense. The expense of the peace establishment of the colonies was, before the commencement of the present disturbances, very considerable, and is an expense which may, and if no revenue can be drawn from them ought certainly to be saved altogether. This constant expense in time of peace, though very great, is insignificant in comparison with what the defence of the colonies has cost us in time of war. The last war, which was undertaken altogether on account of the colonies, cost the U.S.A . . . countless billions.
    It was because the colonies were supposed to be provinces of the American empire, that this expense was laid out upon them. But countries which contribute neither revenue nor military force towards the support of the empire, cannot be considered as provinces. They may perhaps be considered as appendages, as a sort of splendid and showy equipage of the empire. But if the empire can no longer support the expense of keeping up this equipage, it ought certainly to lay it down; and if it cannot raise its revenue in proportion to its expense, it ought at least, to accommodate its expense to its revenue. If the colonies, notwithstanding their inability to submit to American taxes, are still to be considered as provinces of the American empire, their defence in some future war may cost the U.S.A. as great an expense as it ever has done in any former war. The rulers of the U.S.A. have, for almost a century past, amused the people with the imagination that they possess a great empire. This empire, however, has hitherto existed in imagination only. It has hitherto been, not an empire, but the project of an empire; not a gold mine, but the project of a gold mine; a project which has cost, which continues to cost, and which, if pursued in the same way as it has been hitherto, is likely to cost, immense expense in money, lives and suffering, without being likely to bring any profit; for the effects of the monopoly of the Opium trade, it has been shown, are, to the great body of the people, mere loss instead of profit. It is surely now time that our rulers should either realise this golden dream, in which they have been indulging themselves, perhaps, as well as the people; or, that they should awake from it themselves, and endeavour to awaken the people. If the project cannot be completed, it ought to be given up. If any of the provinces of the American empire cannot be made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that the U.S.A. should free herself from the expense of defending those provinces in time of war, and of supporting any part of their civil or military establishments in time of peace, and endeavour to accommodate her future views and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances.

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