Sunday, December 06, 2009

Uh, Wait a Minute

I've expressed some skepticism, I must admit, about our God-Assigned Mission in Afghanistan. "Our" mission? Yes, I know, I should be careful about that formulation -- who's "we?" God assigns the sacred duty of winning elections to the wise elders of the two big-boy political parties, and then -- like good managers -- they delegate the task to the gullible, some of whom travel to very remote places to kill exotic people who unaccountably try to kill them back, and others of whom become so swelled up with button-bustin' patriotic pride over all the killing that they vote for the sending elders.

Still, we're told very often that there's a job to be finished ("get the job done") in Afghanistan. What's the job? How do we know when it's finished? The answers depend, of course, on who's being asked; but it seems to me that the more frequently cited ones include: establish a stable national government in Afghanistan; kill all the members of al Qaeda (I assume that's what's meant by "crush" or "destroy" al Qaeda); kill or cow everyone associated with Taliban; kill or capture Osama bin Laden; establish women's rights; prevent either the Taliban, or al Qaeda, or both, from taking over Pakistan; prevent anyone from staging another 9/11. And undoubtedly more. Those are just the ones that return quickly to mind.

But now the noted vampire and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells us something different:
The tenacious Taliban and al Qaeda are the entities that the international and Afghan forces are trying to corral in battle. But one tack mentioned recently is diplomacy with the Taliban itself.

Asked about Karzai's comment that he would be willing to hold talks with Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Clinton said she is "skeptical about that" but it's still "worth exploring."

"We have no evidence that Omar is interested in speaking to Karzai or anybody else. If they were willing to speak, that would denote a dramatic 180-degree change from where they've been.

"Remember the U.S. government asked Mullah Omar to give up the [Osama] bin Laden leadership of al Qaeda after we were attacked on 9/11. If they had done so, we would not be in Afghanistan today."
Wait, what? If the murderin' Taliban had simply rendered up OBL for martyrdom, we wouldn't be all worried about al Qaeda and Taliban-ism and national instability and Islamist Pakistan and women's rights and more 9/11s and so forth? The "defense" contractors and the other corporate mega-parasites wouldn't be drinking their fill of our blood today? That strains my credulity pretty severely.

A related question, Madam Secretary: if OBL had been gift-wrapped and handed to our executioners on September twelfth or thirteenth, would be also not be in Iraq today? Uhhh, yeah, right, that's what I thought. Lots of proven reserves in Iraq; the big Trans-Afghanistan pipeline; an astronomical gruntload of profits for everybody from KBR/Halliburton to LockMart to Blackwater Xe. Lots of strength-in-sorrow photo ops for our politicos; and the death, maiming, and misery reserved for a bunch of nameless shitkickers -- mostly wogs, some Americans. Fabulous.


Grace Nearing said...

Wars are absolutely fantastic for running up huge deficits. Huge deficits are absolutely fantastic excuses for cutting or eliminating domestic programs. Domestic programs are absolutely hated by Conservatives. George W. Bush was a Conservative president. Ergo, somebody was gonna get popped.

Anonymous said...

It's all about oil, of course. A few months after we invaded Iraq, the big companies got back the contracts that Saddam, with incredible nerve, had denied them. I guess we showed him who owns the oil.