“Such subtle covenants
shall be made, ’til peace is war
— John Dryden
by Barry Hastings
Now, because of a steadily rising toll of Americans killed by Afghan soldiers and policemen (supposedly our allies), the U.S. General in charge of that nation-building FUBAR has decided to classify information on the attacks, and other military matters. This kind of order is not given without approval of the White House.
From now on, all American families will be like Pat Tillman’s, never really knowing what the hell happened to their young son or daughter — murdered by someone they were trying to help, or killed in combat with the Taliban. (Tillman’s family got at least five stories on his death. The last (of five) medical examiner to check his corpse, claimed he was shot by friendly fire, once from a range of five (5) feet, or less. I wonder how that made them feel about his patriotic fervor to join the fight?
Under this classification rule, Americans will have no information about what goes on there, and the military doesn’t have to confess that such killings occur frequently, if not exactly regularly. Has any reader ever heard of Afghan troops ‘holding their own’ in stand-up fights against Taliban fighters? I believe I’ve heard of one, maybe two examples, but across the board, they’re failures who’d rather kill Americans than fellow Muslims (however radical).
The (Leon) Pinetta Report of CIA torture became public last week. The document noted CIA-inflated value of information obtained through torture. Trouble is, these spooks enjoy their work, and part of the work is lying as a way of life. So in future, when you see that plump little muffin USAF General Hayden (NSA), or the slim and trim Admiral Mike Morell, you’d be wise to severely discount whatever they’re trying to sell. They’re both modern times Ugly Americans.
You say you’d like to improve foreign impressions of the USA? Then thoroughly weed out the top three pay grades in our 17-18 intel agencies (and it wouldn’t hurt to unload part of our huge over-supply of admirals and generals across the services).
Meanwhile, everything goes on here as though nothing is going on “there.” There’s nothing good about our world position.Besides a whole middle East aflame, we have China throwing her (massive) weight around the far East, threatening Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan, and the Philippines with crude naval confrontations at sea, and much blustering (the big reason for the President’s trip to India last week). It’s happening almost daily. Giant-peanut-in-a-man-suit complicates the situation further.
At the same time, the Roosian bear has actually invaded Crimea, in addition to arming rebels there (tanks, RPGs, small arms and ammo). At the same time they’re trying to cow the Scandinavian democracies with many low and high level military overflights, and more Stalin-era bluster. Putin is a fine example of what years of service in “secret intelligence agencies” does to a person’s heart (rotten) and soul (condemned). A murdering, torturing bastard, on equal footing with our own CIA , NSA, et cetera, et al.
The way we’re going, strategically and tactically, we’ll never defeat the hard-core ISIL and al Quaeda forces. They’re inspired; the fighters by the ease with which their enemies collapse in combat, the leaders by the joy with which their fighters die. . . . and a never-ending supply of inspired replacements.
I have to admit, on this question I find myself closer to Sen. John McCain, than to President, military, and spooks. Gear up! Bring back a (fair) military draft, give the whole nation a taste of dead and maimed soldiers, not just the poor, or poorly informed.
I was cheered last week to see Senator Diane Feinstein take the exact same position I’ve been expounding for some (many) years, “If we’re in it, let’s be effective; if not, GET OUT!” But remember this, our absence will not make their hearts grow fonder. These are dedicated and deadly enemies. They will keep trying to harm homeland and citizens. Wherever and whenever they find us unprotected.
My own feelings about the current political scene are thus: This is the last chance for Republicans to gain stature as statesmen. If they don’t find a way to work with the black man they despise, denigrate, and denounce (hourly it often seems), and get some necessary work done for the nation, they’ll break-up into splinters and disappear into history’s dust bin. A fit exit for the racists they’ve coddled in the party, as well as their fervor for the Patriot Act, torture, foreign prisons, ineffective war and big money.
Progress now, or Hillary, Joe, Elizabeth — some popular (hopefully populist) demo — will be given Party majorities in both houses, and the GOP will tear itself asunder playing the blame game.
It’s you, you fools. (But I’d love to see it.)