June 23, 2010
Crashing and burning
By Bob Menamin
Afghanistan has a long history of being a burial ground for failing empires. General Stanley McChrystal's insurgency plan for Afghanistan has been going poorly and he probably realized that the plan was doomed to failure. The insults he and his staff flung at the Obama administration and the civilian chain of command in the now-infamous interview with Rolling Stone magazine are the beginning of the finger pointing to fix blame for the failed Afghanistan policy. It is clear to many Americans that we should bring our troops home and end this insane adventure. McChrystal has a history of excessive drinking, insubordination, and deception (see the cover-up of the death of Pat Tillman).
McChrystal's firing should the catalyst for our withdrawal from Afghanistan. We have to rethink our destructive role of military empire that is fueled by the congressional-military-industrial complex and its private arms manufacturers that exist to extract huge profits from a government that has been captured by those who themselves need strict oversight. We then need to cut at least 50 percent of the bloated military budget and rethink why we have more than 800 military bases scattered throughout the world.
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You used or coined a very appropriate term, " congressional military industrial complex." The previous Rolling Stone issue (6/24/10) contains a much quoted article on the oil spill. My take after reading the article is that the administration is pursuing a conscious continuity of the Bush policies suggesting that we've devolved into some kind of oil oligarchy.
"Governmental oil and military industrial complex?" We do have three branches of government that have structural checks on each other, so there is a certain amount of complicity. We also found out this week that Afganistan is full of valuable minerals, so other extractive industries may be just as predisposed to imperial pursuits. Maybe Fightingbob can sponsor a contest to come up with the most succinct term to describe our ruling consortium.
A few points to remember about Afganistan. We (and our Saudi allies) funded and organized the Taliban for the purpose of overthrowing the elected modernizing (e.g.educating girls) Marxist government. The government of the Soviet Union explicitly did not support this rise to power because it could not ensure its existance in this bordering nation. This "puppet" government suvived for years after the Soviet miliary withdrawl. In fact, it lasted two years after the disbanding of the Soviet Union.
Afgan society is no longer modernising, drug addiction is exploding, the country is in ruins and one million Afgan civilians have been killed.
-dd | Hudson, Wi | June 23, 2010
McChrystal did the right thing by resigning after insubordinating himself. He really chose the wrong venue to air his complaints. Add him to the long list of careers that went down the toilet in these invasions.
Yet another sordid chapter in the book of Bush's Follies.
-J.P. the Populist | Bruce,WI | June 23, 2010
Are you trying to criticize Obama's war on terror without actually speaking badly about Obama? Difficult position for you. You may want to reuse some of your old Bush war rants from days gone by. Just change a few names. It'll make you feel better.
-RMJ | Hudson, WI | June 23, 2010
It will be easier to bring the troops home and close bases once the military and warmongers have bankrupted the country. Until the last dollar is spent and we can no longer be on top, those making the decisions just won't get it.
Then you have the religious zealots and fruitcakes who actually believe this is a Christian country and that their god sanctions and will bless our efforts to save the world. They think the same god will save us from destruction.
Hang on tight so when the nutcases go through their rapture and get sucked into their fantasy of heaven, you don't get sucked up too.
Reason doesn't rule. Not sure if it ever has.
-Franz Fripplfrappl | Stoughton | June 23, 2010
To RMJ from Hudson, This is not Obama's war on terror. It is the Congressional, Military, Industrial Complex's(CMIC) war on Terror. Bush and Obama are just hired hands carrying out their slavish, mundane tasks. They and Congress have been bought and paid for by the CMIC. Obviously Bush does not have the mentality to even know what he did. He was clueless. Obama knows better, but has come to the conclusion that the CMIC is far more powerful than he ever realized and has concluded that he has to dance to the tune. One of the costs of doing business and being president. Republicans are a completely owned subsidiary of the CMIC. Some Democrats fight the good fight, but in the end the Democrats are also a completely owned subsidiary. The food fight between the Dems. and Repubs. is nothing but a distraction and in the final analysis they dance to the tune of the CMIC and related corporations. They have all read the script and realize that their continued success in winning elections is based on their complicity with the CMIC. So don't get caught up in too much rhetoric in defending Bush or attacking Obama. Just relax, the fix is in!!
-Bob Menamin | Verona, WI | June 24, 2010
Yes, we should leave Afghanistan so the Taliban can complete their destruction of the country, impose a bizarre theocracy and attack women and children. Unlike Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, the Taliban was intimately involved in this attack on America. Since then, they have embarked on a campaign of attacking women and children to ensure their male-dominated theocracy. Perhaps we cannot win this war, but we spent trillions in Iraq to destroy a country where religious freedom was allowed. If we walk away the Taliban will have won. That means the US will have, once again, lost another war.
-Mencia | Watertown, WI | June 24, 2010