The Audacity of Afghanistan (Dec. 7, 2009)

. . .

“We can’t leave and we can’t stay.  But we must leave, because we can’t afford to stay.  But we must stay, because we can’t afford to leave.”

“The graveyard of empires will be the graveyard of the American Empire.”

“And of many American kids.”

“At least in ‘Nam, the long shoreline allowed the Navy to provide much needed cover deep into the jungle.  The ‘stans are all remote caves and stone quarries.  We haven’t even started bombing and yet the whole place looks like it already has been bombed back to the Stone Age.  Charlie could move among a few countries.  Now they can move around the world.  My concern is not that we are signaling when we may leave in 2011, my concern is that they have ample notice to move to another theater.  The world is their stage.”

“The real concern is Pakistan and the Bomb.  And oil.  They don’t want anyone to deploy the bomb or to divert the oil.”

“And no real support on the home front again.  The populace is so disconnected from the sacrifice.  I don’t think I detested anything more than that draft.  The only way to bring the effort home is to reinstate the evil draft rather than the poverty draft.  It still steams me that even with the draft in place cowards like Cheney, Bush, Giuliani and the chicken hawks dodged the draft and then got to deploy kids off to get killed.”

“It’s all about the Bomb and oil.  The only possible way to fund the American effort is to quit funding their effort.  Implement the Terrorist Tax on fuel.”

“You have gotta pay to play.”

“Yet it comes back to the Bomb.  That remains the problem.  They got it.  The surge in Iraq was not military, it was economic.  The surge was a splurge of dollars to buy and bribe the locals for a cessation of violence for a short period of time.  The bribes worked.  The additional troops were incidental and marginal to the military effort, yet served honorably as the paymasters.  In Afghanistan, the US cannot begin to bribe all the tribal leaders and followers and buy peace.”

“The villagers are no different than the villagers in ‘Nam.  They are just trying to get through the day.  At night, when the US leaves, they receive visitors.  They need protection from their own.”

“The US is borrowing money from a very problematic source, China, to put troops in Afghanistan to influence activities in Pakistan so that Pakistan does not deploy the Bomb on India.  The US cannot ask for or accept Indian troops to be stationed anywhere near Pakistan soil, yet a few rupees to support the cause are in order.  Now Iran is bracketed by US troops on both sides, yet the US cannot afford to pay for the grand endeavor much longer.  The tactic mistakenly described as ‘terrorism’ is a greater threat to Europe than to the US, yet the Europeans are not making a commensurate contribution.”

“And because the American people are not making any sacrifices, they are not invested in the discussion.”

“We cannot afford to maintain the American Empire.  Pass the Terrorist Tax.  When the first Bomb is deployed, admittedly a few things will change.”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Vietnam:  LBJ’s ‘Nam;

Iraq:  Bush’s ‘Nam; and

Afghanistan:  O’Bama’s ‘Nam

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