By Robert Scheer
San Francisco Chronicle
November 5, 2009
The most idiotic thing being said about
People who argue for that plan clearly have not read Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's report pushing for escalation. The general is as honest as he is wrong in laying out the purpose of this would-be expanded mission, which is to remold Afghanistan in a Western image by making U.S. troops far more vulnerable, rather than less so.
He is honest in arguing that American troops would have to be deployed throughout the rugged and otherwise inhospitable terrain of rural
As the president's top national security adviser has stated, there are fewer than 100 al Qaeda members left in
As Matthew Hoh, the former Marine captain and foreign service officer in charge of the most contested area, said recently in his letter of resignation, we have stumbled into a 35-year-long civil war between rural people "who want to be left alone" and a corrupt urban government that the United States insists on backing.
Hoh, who quit after a decade of service in
"In the course of my five months of service in
Just how unrepresentative was amply demonstrated in a very low turnout election in which the U.S.-backed candidate, Hamid Karzai, won after stealing one-third of the ballots he claimed for his victory, according to U.N. observers. In a message of congratulation to Karzai, President Obama made reference to the need for reform and an end to the corruption that is endemic in the Karzai regime, but then stated, "Although the process was messy, I am pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law, which I think is very important."
What law? A runoff was avoided only when Karzai refused to accede to his opponent's demand for changes in the election commission that had stuffed the ballot boxes.
When Bob Schieffer of CBS said of the election "the thing was a fraud," White House senior adviser David Axelrod had the arrogance to defend the rigged process as having "proceeded in the constitutional way." Just what is it we are telling the world about our belief in the integrity of elections? It is no different from our having extolled those garbage elections that occurred with great regularity in Vietnam during the war there, a point made to great effect by Hoh:
"Our support for this kind of government, coupled with a misunderstanding of the insurgency's true nature, reminds me horribly of our involvement with South Vietnam; an unpopular and corrupt government we backed at the expense of our nation's own internal peace, against an insurgency whose nationalism we arrogantly and ignorantly mistook as a rival to our own Cold War ideology."
Obama must know the truth of those words and should heed them before he marches down the disastrous path pursued by another Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson
- who, we now know from his White House telephone tapes, sacrificed the youth of this country in a war that he always knew never made sense.
2009 CREATORS.COM Robert Scheer is editor of truthdig.com, where this column originally appeared. E- mail Robert Scheer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs