Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Lies In Afghanistan War

In the leadup to the permanent campaign, our military keeps pouring out assurances that their expensive wars are going really, really well. The gains in Afghanistan, long touted as proof that it was alright to take away forces for the preferred war on Iraq, are invented anew for low days in the news cycle.

An observer who has declined to kowtow to the worst administration ever keeps writing about what is actually happening. As I have reported before, his experience in wide-ranging travel and reporting in Afghanistan refuted the comfortable message of Victory! being promoted by the warmongers not long ago in a Newshour discussion. Yesterday he had more news for us.

...whatever successes there have been have largely been led from the field, not from Washington. Those working on the ground have worked hard in many cases to reverse or evade policies imposed by the Bush administration.

Nonetheless, no amount of success in Khost amounts to success in Afghanistan. If counter-insurgency success in Khost does not reduce the strength of an insurgency whose leadership and logistical bases are in Pakistan, it shows the failure of the Bush administration to address the challenge of Pakistan. President Karzai (and nearly all Afghans I have spoken to) have argued for years that the factors that turn Afghanistan's innumerable internal problems into a violent insurgency that is increasingly using suicide bombs lie mainly in Pakistan.

In a discussion after we went off the air, Ignatius asked me if the success in Khost could be spread nation-wide if the US took over the entire effort, with its greater COIN expertise. I said, first, I doubt it, because Khost was such a small place with a relatively high level of education (it was called "Little Moscow" under the communists), and, second, the forces for such an expansion are not available, because the U.S. is stuck in a disastrous war in Iraq. It is not the fault of the Americans working in RC/E that the U.S. is in Iraq, but it is the responsibility of the administration, which undermined the chances of success in Afghanistan and Pakistan with an illegal war based on propaganda and ideology, a war that should never have been waged and should never have been authorized.

The same week that Ignatius and I appeared on NewsHour, al-Qaida and some Taliban disrupted an important national celebration in Kabul, killing three people and barely missing President Hamid Karzai. Subsequent investigations showed that this operation was carried out with the complicity of high officials of the ministries of defense and interior who were either complicit with the attackers or corrupt. The attack was planned and financed in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

No amount of road building and police mentoring in Khost will compensate for a failed regional policy and unreliable security forces. The successes in Khost are not so much fake as irrelevant to the larger picture. No amount of mini-successes in isolated show pieces will compensate for the overall strategic failure of this administration.

The propaganda war has been thoroughly exposed, and it is time to end this misapplication of American's very hard earned money. If the truth won't support their arguments, they need to stop digging. Calling it victory or staying the course or nation building or bringing democracy to the Middle East is not going to make these wars work.

With a new administration we have a chance to pull something out of this deranged quagmire. They will need a lot of support.


Yet another reason America needs liberal Dems in high offices:

Local news reporting that 10% of this summer's employees at Six Flags are over 50, at $7 an hour. Taking away jobs from teens is happening everywhere.

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Blogger H. Candace Gorman said...

Just when you think things can't get more outrageous .... they do.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

But victory is nigh! see today's post re:victory.

These war criminals are depending on massive ignorance to keep them in power. I think they're going to be disappointed.

1:29 PM  

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