Sunday, March 29, 2009

Editorial: Same Way To Quagmire

If the previous administration's catch-phrase was Condi's "No one could have guessed," this administration's catch-phrase comes from the top "Let me be clear." Barack Obama's in the habit of repeating that one non-stop and it's always a tip-off that he's about to lie.


He pulled it out for Friday's press conference:

So let me be clear: al Qaeda and its allies -- the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks -- are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan. And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban -- or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged -- that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

It's really funny that whenever this administration or the previous one wants to push for more death and destruction they suddenly know where al Qaeda is. About the only thing missing from Friday's press conference was Love & Death's Ivan muttering, "Medals, we get medals!"

Realizing that his reach around with the Taliban wasn't going to play, Barack made sure to repeat what a danger and menace the Taliban was. And naturally no one asked, "Then why is your administration attempting to cozy up with them?"

Maybe everyone's minds were reeling from listening to garbage like the following:

We are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States, our friends and our allies, and the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have suffered the most at the hands of violent extremists. So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.

No, that is not a clear and focused goal. That is a porous and permeable goal and one that makes this "Same Way To Quagmire" 'plan' no different than anything offered by the previous administration. How, pray tell, do you measure the above?

He basically said, "Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice. And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world." For those who find the statements strangely familiar, it's George W. Bush, from his January 2002 State of the Union address.

Barack's strung together a lot of lofty sounding goals, none of which are achievable and all of which continue to elevate criminals (terrorists) to the level of nation-states. Bully Boy Bush pulled this same nonsense and the American people can be forgiven for wondering exactly when that promised 'change' is supposed to kick in?

Those who follow the region were no doubt laughing when Barack declared, "It's important for the American people to understand that Pakistan needs our help in going after al Qaeda." Really? Because Pakistani intelligence has always know where they were and always had an open channel with them. While proposing an increased military adventure that will waste billions of dollars, Barack also stated the US will give in excess of $7 billion to Pakistan over the next five years and wanted to add, "At a time of economic crisis, it's tempting to believe that we can shortchange this civilian effort."

Why not "shortchange this civilian effort"? It's done at home, here in the US, all the time, president after president. And Barack continues the pattern. We will waste billions on the military under Barack and do nothing for the people of America.

Or as Barack would say, "our people." In a speech that was, one would think, aimed as much at overseas audiences as domestic ones, Barack couldn't stop with the "our people" (already noted once above). He even trotted it out near the end to link it with 9-11. 9-11 itself? He name checked it four times. Apparently the Bush-Cheney-Condi axis leaves on and the best way to argue for more war is to incessantly say 9-11 over and over.

It also helps to lie. Lie a little? No, go for broke. And Barack certainly did.

"I remind everybody," Barack declared eager to pimp the big lie, "the United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on September 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives."

How many Afghans have been killed since the October 7, 2001 start of that war, killed while "doing nothing more than going about their daily lives"? But let's fall back to the big lie: that "the United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan."

For those who have forgotten, the Afghanistan War started because, according to the previous administration, the Taliban was harboring al Qaeda and the US requested that Osama bin Laden be turned over. For those who have forgotten, the Taliban -- then the ruling government in Afghanistan -- responded by stating that they would turn over bin Laden if the US provided proof of his involvement in 9-11. Collie Powell, Bush lapdog and gay baiter of many decades, responded they'd get their proof when they turned him over. This wasn't a fleeting offer -- though it plays that way in the national memory today. October 14, 2001, after the war had started, found the Taliban proposing that they turn bin Laden over to a third country where he could be tried if they were provided evidence of his 9-11 involvement but Bully Boy Bush dismissed the offer, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."

The Afghanistan War started because the US wouldn't provide proof. We're not saying it wouldn't have started for other reasons (by July 2001, it was generally known that the US would be going to war with Afghanistan in October of 2001). We are saying the public record of the lead up to that war shows the US government throwing down the marker that bin Laden must be handed over to them and the Afghanistan government responding that they needed proof.

Instead of providing proof, the US government decided to go to war. Barack's a damn liar, the US government deliberately and decisively made the choice to go to war.

Barack's remarks raise serious questions such as whether or not his bellicose language might prompt a terrorist response? Instead of addressing those questions, we're sure we can expect more timidity and stupidity from what passes of the American left. Like Sonali Kolhatkar, appearing two Mondays ago on KPFA's The Morning Show (Ava and C.I. addressed it here), they rush to say the problem is that Barack's got 'bad' advisers. Oh really?

We thought George W. was supposed to be the mental midget and Barack the intellectual giant. That is the media myth, correct? So at what point does Barack have to take accountability? Or are we all supposed to join Sonali in her racist belief that Barack's too dumb to know what's going on around him? Are we all supposed to pretend, like Sonali, that a war which started in 2001 is something Barack never bothered to form any of his own opinions on?

Barack Obama made the decisions to continue the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War. They are no longer "Bush's wars," they are Obama's. A real left would grasp that and call him out. A real left would also grasp that when you've hit a sink hole, you back the hell out. You don't decide, "Hey, the thing to do is throw more money and lives at it."
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