Obama’s surge, will it work? What a stupid question. First of all, Bush’s surge didn’t work. Everyone said it did because he sent over all those troops and the fighting stopped. Never mind that the Sunnis and Shiites were already driven out of or killed in each of the other’s communities. Never mind that the U.S. government started paying bribes to the insurgents to stop shooting at us. Yes, if you forget those two small items then the obvious conclusion is that the surge worked. What a joke. SO, will Obama’s surge work? Probably not. We are not paying anyone and the Afghans we are fighting are the folks who live there and just want us to leave. Obama has made a dreadful mistake.
I am borrowing from Bob Herbert’s column, when he quoted Eisenhower yesterday. A president remembered mostly for his golf game, Ike said some rather provocative things with which I am in full agreement.
“I hate war,” said Dwight Eisenhower, “as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” He also said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
It makes me wanna shout, but this ain’t no song and dance. They say the recession is over, but the only folks celebrating are the banks and bankers and , of course, our arms manufacturers. Food stamps are feeding one in eight Americans and one in four children. There are 36 million Americans using food stamps and the program is expanding at the rate of 20,000 people a day. Those people claiming the recession is over ought to step outside and take a look around.
Those banks we bailed out with “OUR” money are still foreclosing on the folks who got ripped off in the toxic loans. The banks are not helping anyone. American taxpayers gave the banks $75 billion to stop foreclosures and we find out that only 2,000 of 500,000 loan modifications made last month have become permanent.
Yes, well, we shouldn’t tie what we are doing in Afghanistan to our woes in this country. We should base our sacrifices on the real rationale for why we are there. So, why are we there? I heard last night, from Obama, we are there to prevent the Taliban from overthrowing the government in Afghanistan, and thereby creating a power vacuum next to Pakistan. In other words, we are there to prop up the current Afghan government.
In late 2001 we installed Karzai as the interim head of the country, There was a lot of text around at the time that linked Karzai to the oil company, UNOCAL, and the CIA. That has since been “rewritten.” Regardless of Karzai’s background, his government is not only too corrupt to govern, it is also grossly inept. To get anything done, one must pay a bribe. Even then it doesn’t get done. Add to that, Karzai’s brother is a major heroin producer and you have to ask why are we killing and maiming our young people to support this crook?
Why indeed. We are fighting Afghans who voted the bum out. The majority of the people in Afghanistan said to Karzai, “Take a hike.” Prevent a power vacuum? It already exists. The best thing we can do is stop supporting Karzai. Help the person who was actually elected take his rightful place and then get the hell out of there.
If the real problem is preventing the nuclear weapons in Pakistan from falling into the hands of El Qaeda, then let’s help the Pakistanis see why it is in their best interest to resist El Qaeda. Maybe we could use our influence to clean up the India/Pakistani conflict, I don’t know. I have just recently written about ending the war in Afghanistan so I don’t want to do that again. But, I was writing here about how if we are going to fight over there, the decision should be made on its own merits. I guess that pretty much means we shouldn’t.
THAT instantly frees up one hundred billion for healthcare. Wasn’t that easy? Obama made the wrong choice. He was right about one thing. We have to help the poor and uneducated with their infrastructure collapsing around them, but we don’t have to look for them over there. We have plenty right here to fix. As Ike said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” Surge? What a joke.