Monday, March 12, 2012

The End Of the Rope: NOW is the Time to LEAVE Afghanistan!

The latest news that a U.S. Army Sergeant went haywire and gunned fown 7 Afghan adults and 9 kids, is the final message that it's time for this nation to pack up, and move its ass out of that country. There is no further good that can come from staying the course in this foolish occupation, and only mountainous loads of instability (and debt, deficits) to reap. Of course, many of those with geopolitical savvy predicted as much even five years ago. This is what we call "batting on a losing wicket".

This insane and vile slaughter (which btw, not even 1 million offerings of "condolences" or apologies will make up for, any more than for My Lai in 'Nam back in '69) is merely the latest in a string of gross actions showing total disrespect for the people and country being occupied (I do not now or ever will call it a "war" because wars are PAID FOR in taxes, via allocated budgets. This never was, neither were its abominable "supplementals").

Earlier we had seen the atrocious and inexcusable burning of the Afghans' holiest book, The Qu'ran. Do you think if a mammoth Chinese Army were occupying the U.S. and burned 100 bibles they'd ease off with some apology? Oh no, at the very least all red-blooded Christian 'Muricans would call for the Chinese heathen responsible to be hung by the neck until dead.

Then there was the case of the video that showed U.S. Marines urinating on dead militia men, adding to the sense that these foreign occupiers don't have one fucking clue of where they are, what they're doing or what their stupid fucking objective is. What we can be sure of now, after the latest atrocities, is that whatever cause existed is now over...finito surely as the American cause in Viet Nam once the My Lai massacre occurred. (Actually, the cause in 'Nam was lost after the Tet Offensive in January, 1968, but it took another 40,000 lives and multiple ass whippings by the Viet Cong and North Viet Regulars to finally concede it and cut losses).

The truth is the U.S. had no business going into this country at all (It was 19 Saudis that perpetrated 9/11). And even if "wipin' out them terr'ists" was at some point justified, it no longer was after al Qaeda spread out and especiallly after bin Laden was killed. After bin Laden's killing, we ought to have said 'Enough! Mission Accomplished' and Occupation over'.

We had by then already lost maybe half the hearts and minds through an accumulation of small scale missteps and stupidity like drone killings of wedding parties, and accidentally killing kids. Now, with the string of recent atrocities, we've probably lose 99% of heart and minds, which makes ANY success unattainable ....I don't care how many apologies are offered, and I am not even sure that hanging the guy that did it would have any effect. (As the Army ought to have hung William Calley after a court martial instead of giving him a slap on the wrist).

At least a hanging would show an equal respect for American and Afghan lives. Offering apologies and "condolences" merely shows that deep down inside you rank any American life as hundreds of time more than any Afghan's.

The Russians also saw this coming, and over the past three years - especially after Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - offered multiple warnings if we didn't heed their experience. Most of these warnings came from the former Soviet generals who’d led the invasion of Afghanistan (by the Soviet 40th Army) in December, 1979. A number of these generals have gone on the record in the past few years, in major international organs such as The Financial Times, The Economist and other major newspapers, emphasizing the sheer futility of an extended Afghan occupation and the inability to maintain any lasting superiority. (Even if the Soviet experience didn't grab the U.S. attention, that of the British Empire should have ..nearly a century before!)

Just as the U.S. (at the Korengal Valley - from which they retreated after a year) the Soviets’ greater firepower secured only temporary victories but they were unable to hold on and consolidate them. The mujahadeen, like the current Taliban, merely had to wait them out then re-occupy. Eventually, the military overstretch didn't work and the funds to support the occupation ran out as the then Soviet Union was run into the ground. What ought to have been a cautionary lesson for any other superpower with pretensions to military exceptionalism.

Much of the Sovet Afghan experience has been well documented in the book Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89, by Rodric Braithwaite, Profile Books, 2011.

As we know, the Russkies paid the price by the extreme costs of that occupation, by seeing their national economy go into the crapper. The same thing is happening to ours as our domestic needs go unattended and immense costs, deficits build up.....with enormous national debt facing us even as we piss $10 billion a month away in Afghanistan.

There is no, I repeat ...NO ..face lost in realistically seeing a situation as diminishing returns with no further upside. As for winning or losing, it's irrelevant since it doesn't apply to occupations anyway, only wars. This never was a "war", never mind the occasional shellings, mortars or whatever. My dad, fighting in 9 major battles in the Pacific during WW II, THAT was a war! With equal forces mobilized on each side, and defined battle lines, battleships firing from a distance, suicidal Kamikaze air attacks and trenches dug in for months and casualties in the tens of thousands per WEEK.

Even now, as I read my dad's war diary I am appalled at the ferocity of the Japanese and how comparing the Taliban to them is like comparing Pop Warner football teams to the NFL's most ferocious hitters.

Finally, as I said, WWII was paid for - by strict rationing and also what would be regarded today as punitive taxes - taxes that went on long after the war to support the Marshall Plan to rebuild a devastated Europe.

It is time, as I said, to have done with this sad and sordid episode in our history and move on - to rebuild our own country. As for Afghanistan, whether we stay another day or another ten years will not make one fucking dime's worth of difference because in the end, the country will still fall back into Taliban hands.

Our stupid, reckless and misguided actions have essentially assured it and all we can do now is make the blowback worse by remaining.

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