3.12.09

Excuse me, Mr. President

Barack Obama’s plans are those of a man in a hurry to divert attention from issues back home. Clinton did it. Bush did it. He is doing it. The American tax payer will be shelling out $30 million in the first year for something s/he has no clue about. Is this revenge for 9/11? Prevention of another 9/11?

No. 30,000 more troops will go into Afghanistan so that Americans forget about their problems and feel good. There is more:

The President vowed to start bringing American forces home from the strife-torn country by mid-2011, saying the US could not afford and should not have to shoulder an ‘‘open-ended commitment’’.


Has anyone asked the United States of America to send troops? Is this a UN initiative? How does America know that by 2011 it will be fine to move out? What are its plans? It is time Mr. Obama stopped talking as though it is a magnanimous gesture and the US will suffer. Cannot afford? Of course, it cannot. It has to take care of its own economy, but since that is a problem area the word ‘afford’ married to ‘strife-torn’ works like magic.

It cannot be a close-ended commitment and has to be open-ended unless there are specific plans. How can he promise to bring “this war to a successful conclusion”? Which war is he talking about? The one that has US drones? Or the one that is a civil war in which the US has no place? Or the one it is fighting in its mind?

Obama set out a strategy seeking to reverse Taliban gains in large parts, increase pressure on Afghanistan to build its own military capacity and an effective government and step up attacks on the Al Qaeda in Pakistan.


The Taliban is also in Pakistan, which he does not speak about. The Al Qaeda is all over the place, but Pakistan is good enough. So, what is this talk about helping Afghanistan build its military capacity?

Defence secretary Robert Gates has done the defence job:

“It is neither necessary nor feasible to create a modern, Western-style Afghan nation-state. Nor does it entail counterinsurgency from one end of Afghanistan to the other. We will not repeat the mistakes of 1989, when we abandoned the country only to see it descend into civil war, and then into Taliban hands.”


Just who does Mr Gates think he is? Does he know that Afghanistan has a long history and has survived many marauders? What does modern mean? I have said it before. Iraq was a modern state. Iran was a modern state. Until the interference started and the religious guys decided to take over control. The insurgency is not from Afghanistan but from outside, so the counter-insurgency will come from them.

The US abandoned the country and left it in the hands of the Taliban? Geez. The Afghans were fighting alongside the Russians against the Mujahideen, the holy warriors, who had the help of the United States of America!

Please, Mr. Obama, history is inconvenient truth. We just have to live with it.

6 comments:

  1. Farzana why should these brutal enemies call it war, its invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Christian Imperialists wanted to impose their democracy in these countries and they succeeded in imposing US backed puppet rulers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  2. Indeed. It is not a war, at least not against the US. But America wants its finger in every pie.

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  3. “Barack Obama’s plans are those of a man in a hurry to divert attention from issues back home.”

    No FV, American denizens in their full ignorance don’t know about the Af-Pak. And they Don’t care, policy or no policy. You don’t need expensive diversion tactic for a situation that doesn’t command public mindspace. Its that simple. That argument of whipping up jingoism is better suited, and almost wholly applicable to the angry-streets of Middle-east and packestan. Your assertion is a bad premise for an article.

    “Is this revenge for 9/11? Prevention of another 9/11?”

    I thought you knew that answer. It’s a punitive expedition which has a deterrent value.

    “30,000 more troops will go into Afghanistan so that Americans forget about their problems and feel good”

    As I told you, American voters really don’t care about it. Military jingoism doesn’t work there any longer. Nonetheless. After this deployment American troop strength in Afghanistan will be at 1,00,000. And this does not take the allied troop presence into count. Not to forget the CIA and Black Water operatives. It is an Iraqi style surge.

    “Has anyone asked the United States of America to send troops? Is this a UN initiative? How does America know that by 2011 it will be fine to move out? What are its plans? “

    Gi-Joes will actually apply for afghan visa you know. But seriously dear when did UN sanction really matter. Having said that, US operations in Afghanistan did get a UN nod when operation enduring freedom began.


    “It cannot be a close-ended commitment and has to be open-ended unless there are specific plans. How can he promise to bring “this war to a successful conclusion”? “

    To your credit, amerikhans are already saying that withdrawal date is not cast in stone.

    For the other part of your assertion, US will declare itself successful when it has dispatched enough ‘‘students’’ and eventually all parties in Afghanistan come to agree that US is more fanatic, violent and crazy of the lot. After that we will get to hear “operation concluded” along with sounds of bugle and trumpets.

    “Which war is he talking about? The one that has US drones? Or the one that is a civil war in which the US has no place? Or the one it is fighting in its mind?” “

    What do you really have against those endangered birds of prey. They only clear the environment of the genetic residue. And this promised afghan civil war is yet to show up on ground. The only people the ‘students’ have really managed to blow up are they themselves. Americans and its allies are still sitting pretty and sipping coke. Even Iraqi’s did better than that.

    “The Taliban is also in Pakistan, which he does not speak about. The Al Qaeda is all over the place, but Pakistan is good enough”

    Why do they need to, when pak army is itself in their pocket.

    “So, what is this talk about helping Afghanistan build its military capacity? “

    Obviously! To do their bidding. And also to stop the ‘students’ from coming back to Kabul. It is that simple only.

    “Just who does Mr Gates think he is? Does he know that Afghanistan has a long history and has survived many marauders? What does modern mean? “

    Don’t worry. They are not gonna teach pashtuns to learn to live in peace. By modern, he means a state that interacts with the international community to keep pashtuns in a manageable condition.

    “The insurgency is not from Afghanistan but from outside, so the counter-insurgency will come from them. “

    Exactly. And I think Americans are gonna go there as well. In-fact, Quetta may get visitations by Drones and Blackwater anytime now.

    “Please, Mr. Obama, history is inconvenient truth. We just have to live with it. “

    I agree on that. And I think that even Americans also agree. Therefore Yankees have opted to rather tackle geography and make it more convenient for them. And the world will have to just live with it.

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  4. Farzana,
    A couple of points - mostly intimately related to your post...

    1> Afghan Taliban and Pakistan Taliban are two entirely different entities. In fact, Afghan Taliban *was* the state at some point in time . (Though, just for the record, it doesn't make them any better).

    2> The surge in american troops has met resitance from within White House itself. Vice President Joe Biden has been a fairly consistent critic - though somewhat less vocal. In fact he has been pushing the line of differentiating between Al Qaeda and Taliban , further more - actually opening talks with Taliban. (Afghan Taliban). A huffingtonpost article (link : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/why-joe-biden-should-resi_b_320929.html) highlights Biden's crticism against the Afghan policy.

    3> In fact the surge has been criticised in American mainstream media as well. A recent article in NYTimes by Nicholas Kristof is one such example (link : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/opinion/03kristof.html?em )

    And , btw, in the meantime - drones continue.

    Cheers,
    Mahesh.

    p.s.: Have a nice weekend.

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  5. Hi Amit:

    You don’t need expensive diversion tactic for a situation that doesn’t command public mindspace. Its that simple. That argument of whipping up jingoism is better suited, and almost wholly applicable to the angry-streets of Middle-east and packestan. Your assertion is a bad premise for an article.

    Mindspace thrives on anything. It is jingoism vs. sophisticated chicken soup for the soul. Those bloody tribals are doin’ us in, is a good enough thing to give bliss to ignorance.

    “Is this revenge for 9/11? Prevention of another 9/11?”

    I thought you knew that answer. It’s a punitive expedition which has a deterrent value.


    And has it?

    Gi-Joes will actually apply for afghan visa you know. But seriously dear when did UN sanction really matter. Having said that, US operations in Afghanistan did get a UN nod when operation enduring freedom began.

    They’d apply for reasons of pugnaciousness. Therefore, jingoism does work. I was not talking about UN sanctions, but whether this is an initiative NOW. It isn’t. You are right it is not required. Not for the US, at least. The situation is different currently, and Obama cannot decide on a date.

    To your credit, amerikhans are already saying that withdrawal date is not cast in stone.

    For the other part of your assertion, US will declare itself successful when it has dispatched enough ‘‘students’’ and eventually all parties in Afghanistan come to agree that US is more fanatic, violent and crazy of the lot. After that we will get to hear “operation concluded” along with sounds of bugle and trumpets.


    You said a while ago that the Americans don’t care! Yes, we will hear all those sounds, and then there will be a deep breath until another Operation Saviour act.

    What do you really have against those endangered birds of prey. They only clear the environment of the genetic residue. And this promised afghan civil war is yet to show up on ground. The only people the ‘students’ have really managed to blow up are they themselves. Americans and its allies are still sitting pretty and sipping coke. Even Iraqi’s did better than that.

    And you think it is all good?

    By modern, he means a state that interacts with the international community to keep pashtuns in a manageable condition.
    Oho…it is for Hamid Karzai to trim his beard, look like a li’l cross between Ben Kingsley and Ernest Hemingway while the Pashtuns continue their tribal warfare at anytime, including in Pakistan.

    And I think Americans are gonna go there as well. In-fact, Quetta may get visitations by Drones and Blackwater anytime now.
    So, give them a whack.

    “Please, Mr. Obama, history is inconvenient truth. We just have to live with it. “

    I agree on that. And I think that even Americans also agree. Therefore Yankees have opted to rather tackle geography and make it more convenient for them. And the world will have to just live with it.


    Again…where do the Americans come in? You mean the politicians? They have made it convenient for them to learn history via geography? Why not anthropology? Then they’d understand the mindset better. The world will have to put up with this, but they cannot change an independent mindset. These guys know the rough terrain and are not brought up on soggy fries. The Americans don’t learn.

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  6. Good evening, Mahesh:
    Thanks for the links.
    1. Right now the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban are different, although earlier the NWFP was a huge supporter of the former because of racial affinity. However, the rise of the Pak Taliban also has to do with policy matters and the American interference in local government matters.
    2. If Joe Biden is critical his voice is obviously less important than that of the Secretary of State.
    3. Media criticism works at another level because the NYT is not always so large-hearted. And who will they influence? Is their criticism to do with ideological and ethical concerns or just let us nto ‘waste’ out soldiers?
    Yes, drones continue.

    PS: The weekend is almost ending…hope yours was good.

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