Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Little Birdy Told Me

Thanks to Watching America I picked up some rather startling news. The US and NATO may be drawing down troops in Afghanistan in July, but that doesn't mean an end to American forces in Afghanistan is in sight. Far from it.

From Germany's Junge Welt:

The Obama administration is currently talking to their friendly warlords in Kabul about the United States keeping permanent military bases in Afghanistan. “This is the subject of our negotiations,” America’s puppet Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai confirmed on Tuesday. Representatives of the U.S. government are interested in maintaining military units in the country “over the long term,” and the careful parsing of words shows that they hope to avoid alerting sleeping congressional watchdogs by using such terms as “permanent military bases.” But the enormous Pentagon-funded building program in the Hindu Kush that will expand and improve the many installations there leaves little doubt that the United States plans to keep a permanent military presence in the country. ...

An analysis of U.S. military and other government publications, including those published by the military and the Army Corps of Engineers, clearly shows the gigantic construction programs for hundreds of military bases large and small that will ensure a permanent U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. ...
[Emphasis added]

It's bad enough that we are still fighting a war that should never have been engaged in the first place. The excuse originally proffered was that we had to root out the Taliban who had given shelter to Al Qaeda who had attacked the US. Revenge is hardly the best excuse for war, but it was the handiest one available. Nearly ten years later we're still there, primarily because President Obama decided to adopt this one as his war after it had been so woefully neglected once Bush moved into Iraq. That was two years and one super-duper surge ago.

But it's even worse that at a time when the economy still stinks and the fiscal conservatives are busy trying to gut the federal government by wiping out any kind of socially beneficial programs the Pentagon is cheerfully spending billions to build super bases in a country we're supposed to be disengaging from. And they'll probably get away with it. We're not quite through with giving into our imperialist urges.

What really galls me, however, is that I had to learn about these permanent bases from a German newspaper, not an American one. Why, when budget considerations are beginning to ramp up, hasn't an American paper or news program not looked more carefully into the Pentagon budget, one which is supposed to be the biggest in history? Why hasn't any reporter looked into the construction going on in the Hindu Kush and asked a few questions about that construction?

I guess some things are more important than others, things like the war machine and the contractors who feed it.

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Blogger Captain Mike said...

Ugh, none of this is a surprise, yet so depressing.

6:30 AM  

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