Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday, War in Afghanistan!

Sorry for not buying you a present.

VOA News
October 7 marks the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

It has lasted longer than any other war in U.S. history. More than 3,000 international coalition troops have died in the war, including 2,000 Americans. Far more Afghan civilians have died.
Point of order, VOA!

Ronald Reagan, October 14, 1982
Speaking at the Justice Department, Reagan likened his administration’s determination to discourage the flow and use of banned substances to the obstinacy of the French army at the Battle of Verdun in World War I — with a literal spin on the "war on drugs." The president quoted a French soldier who said, "There are no impossible situations. There are only people who think they’re impossible."
And the War on Poverty was kicked off on January 8, 1964

None of these wars are going very well. (Of course, certain individuals and corporations are doing just GREAT, as always.)

UPDATE: Hat tip to Warren Terror.

Cross-posted at Whiskey Fire. Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sorry for not buying you a present.

Since you picked up the tab with your tax dollars, that won't be necessary.

lisahgolden said...

I second what Big Bad Bald Bastard says.

Looks like our American Exceptionalism hit the wall here. We're failing just like all the others who came before us did.

fish said...

The thunder seems to be droning on. It is Ralph Nader's fault.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I blame sewa mobil jakarta, feesh.

mikey said...

Well, to be fair, there is no way to "win" in Afghanistan. The Soviets tried it with maximal colonial brutality, and even that failed. The Americans have tried any number of things, from 21st century airpower to 20th century armor to 19th century rifle brigades to 18th century tribute. It all failed.

But that's as it should be. This is a local argument between a number of political and tribal factions with odd motivations and shifting loyalties. It is premised on arbitrary national borders drawn by "civilized" white men who cared not one whit for the people who had to live within them. There is no "solution" that can be imposed from the outside, no matter how many of them you kill.

It is a small-scale civil war between various groups for power, wealth and independence. As such, there is no reason for the US to be involved at all, any more than there is for the US to occupy Nigeria or Guatamala...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Exactly, mikey.

So how many times do we need to learn this lesson, or is it that other porpoises are being served by the waste?

mikey said...

Well, no. The reason American troops continue to occupy Afghanistan is obviously purely political. The political cost of exposing your "foreign policy cred" to even the most minor political or sectarian violence is MUCH greater than the whatever the political costs of keeping the troops bleeding in the sand.

Nobody's getting rich on Afghanistan. For every contractor receiving the $600/gallon largesse or the $12/meal bonus there are agencies that can't get to the trough because people tend to react violently to military occupation.

Afghanistan is a stoopid little hell hole without reason or justification, just lacking enough popular resistance to tip the balance...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'm thinking of 1984-type reasons.

War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

Alexia said...

Orwell had it right, fellas:

"they can twist reality into whatever shape they choose"

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war.

Or a football game.

Randal Graves said...

I knew I should have bought stock in General Atomics instead of that up-and-coming Baltimore opera hat company.

Smut Clyde said...

Nobody's getting rich on Afghanistan.

Hamid Karzai disagrees.