Tuesday, June 13, 2017

beating the drums of war

Looking for a reason to engorge the current $500-plus billion military budget -- and coincidentally divert attention from the lack of jobs and schooling and medical care the United States might have -- well, here comes the "reasoning."
The United States is "not winning" the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress on Tuesday, promising to brief lawmakers on a new war strategy by mid-July that is widely expected to call for thousands more U.S. troops.
The remarks were a blunt reminder of the gloom underscoring U.S. military assessments of the war between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the Islamist militant group, classified by U.S. commanders as a "stalemate" despite almost 16 years of fighting.
"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible," Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mattis acknowledged that he believed the Taliban were "surging" at the moment, something he said he intended to address.
What, precisely, will constitute as "W" in Afghanistan has yet to be spelled out in any assessment of the current American involvements in the Middle East. America's longest war at 16 years shows no signs of running out of steam. The fact that the Brits washed out in Afghanistan and the fact that the Russians also lost their footing ... none of the lessons of others are worth noting.

What would we win if we won?
What would we lose if we lost?
Do any of these questions warrant an answer?
Is there some reason not to at least consider this assessment:

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday blamed the United States for instability in the Middle East and said Washington's fight against the Islamic State militant group was "a lie".
"You (the United States) and your agents are the source of instability in the Middle East...who created Islamic State? America ... America's claim of fighting against Islamic State is a lie," Khamenei said in a meeting with high-ranking Iranian officials, according to his official website.
It may be a harsh pill to swallow in the face of all the US agit prop about the wickedness of Iran, buy the autonomy of nations used to be a guiding principle ... or maybe I just dreamed that. I can't imagine Iran is washed in the blood of some holy lamb, but just because someone is your enemy does not mean they are wrong at every turn or do not deserve a hearing.

Who would you rather listen to -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or Donald Trump? I honestly don't know enough to say that I know.

1 comment:

  1. War is profitable and self generating. Major General Smedley Butler pointed this out in 1935.


    The war on drugs is 40 years old now, and a perfect example. From the DEA to the prison industry, money is being made hand over fist while drugs continue to become more available.

    War just isn't much of a problem solver, unless your problem is insufficient profit.