Tuesday, December 8, 2009

War On Terror: The Bush-Obama Strategery

I haven't completely given up on Obama, but I've given up on his being able to herd that flock of cats who call themselves democrats... demo cats? I haven't said anything about the Afghanistan "surge," mostly because 1: I have no idea what it is we're trying to accomplish; 2: which means I have no idea how to accomplish it; 3: I have felt all along that Afghanistan was where we could accomplish something of value, where we could say to the Muslim world, "see, we don't hate you, we hate the extremists." Except for the last eight years what we've demonstrated is, if not that we hate Muslims, that we simply don't give a damn; and 4: I honestly don't see a good way forward. No matter what we do, we're screwed. Lean back and enjoy the show, folks! (Picture from Blue Oregon, video via Jesus' General)


Dean Wormer said...

The thing I like about you Lockwood is you're logical.

I don't think there's an easy answer on Afganistan. Obviously anything we do in that region is less about Afganistan and more about nuclear-armed Pakistan. The threat of that country falling to extremists is real and scares the hell out of me.

Having said that- the best way to avoid this situation would've been winning hearts and minds as you mention. I fear that this ship has sailed years ago. Our efforts at building schools and infrastructure were plagued with ineptitude and corruption.

What bugs me about Obama's decision to escalate is that I didn't get the sense it came out of any real deliberation on his administration's part, despite him dragging it out. Instead I got the feeling that the Washington establishment goaded him into it. So it might be the right thing to do (I don't know) but for the worst of possible reasons.

I also would've felt much better about the escalation if he had first kept his promise on Iraq and we now had minimal troops there and weren't pissing money down that shithole.

My .02

Lockwood said...

Thanks, Dean!

pygalgia said...

Love the line "demo cats".
Obama has been just about what I expected, and his Afghanistan choice is no surprise. This is America; we am what we am.

Fran said...

It seems to me the mission to accomplish in the Middle East is not to "win", but to get a strong foothold in the region & stay there.

Thus the huge complex in Iraq & 8+ years in Afghanistan.

This situation is bizarre.... opium poppies grow freely for heroine trade in Europe...
so you have heavy duty illegal drug mfg (main export), a whole lot of cartels & corruption.
add in some Taliban terrorists who were originally the mujhadin (sp?) initially trained & armed by----

the US back when they thought provoking a war with the then USSR. Now they have turned the military might towards us, as we bumble in the very rugged country.
Many have fled for Pakistan.... so our military presence caused them to head towards Pakistan , which has nukes..... so now we must send drone planes to bomb Pakistan.

The way I see it, the philosophy is

• One war leads to another.

• Funding war is a priority over what the people (who's money it is) need.
Over 60 % of the entire budget goes to military spending.

• the military industrial complex keeps a elite group of war prifiteers fat & happy....

Or as Smedley Butler put it-- War is a racket.

If you can't win it, repair it, train the locals in 8 years, how seriously do we believe the situation will change in any additional amount of time?

Furthermore, Obama has surrounded himself w all of Bush's military advisors..... of course he will continue to get crappy advise.

It's not rocket science to figure out every time we are told they just don;t have money for (fill in the blank).... it is because we are paying for wars.


It's too damned Bush esque.