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Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Hearts and minds

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tacmotusn, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    This article makes a whole lot of sense. Please read it with an open mind.
    Yes, at this point and time, after so many lives lost and military members maimed and scarred for life ...... I am pretty much anti-war and want our servicemembers home.
    below is the article
    The Militarization Of America

    March 21, 2012 by John Myers


    A U.S. Marine crosses a bridge during a security patrol in Afghanistan.​

    America is a declining empire trying to resurrect itself through military intervention and armed occupation.
    The more than $1 trillion decade with Iraq has finally ended. But neocon dreams of democracy for Iraq did not pan out. Iraq has a corrupt, shaky and ineffective government. Thousands of people continue to die in sectarianviolence as Iraq wallows in a bloody civil war.
    As for Afghanistan, most of the original terrorists in al-Qaida who planned 9/11 are either dead, in prison, on the run or holed up in Pakistan. Washington tells us that Pakistan is our most trusted Muslim ally, ignoring Peter Bergen’s 2011 New York Times bestseller The Longest War: The enduring conflict between America and al-Qaeda. Bergen writes that Pakistan has consistently been found to be “one of the most anti-American countries in the world.”
    It seems obvious that the continued occupation of Afghanistan — a country that has defeated the armies of the Russian tsars, the British Empire and the Soviet Union — is doomed to fail.
    We Need Cronkite
    What makes news today are celebrity overdoses, dirt on Presidential candidates and the best new reality series. But consider what Walter Cronkite said on Feb. 27, 1968, following the Tet Offensive: “It seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.”
    Cronkite made this statement four years into that war. America is into its second decade of fighting in Afghanistan, and even a stalemate now seems impossible.
    If the goals of victory were the killing of Osama bin Laden and the almost complete destruction of al-Qaida within Afghanistan, then victory has been achieved. But if the neoconservatives still believe we can institute a democratic government in Kabul, they are either naïve or initiating wars simply for the sake of war.
    For decades, our government has been arrogant in imposing Western principals and ideals. Washington cannot understand that Afghanistan, a tribal and Muslim country, will not accept Western ideals any more than we would accept a prescript declared on us by a foreign power.
    Imposing On Others
    I am a peaceful fellow who is past middle age. I always tried to either walk or, better yet, run away from a real conflict. But if armed Chinese soldiers occupied and patrolled the streets of my city, I would clean the barrel on my hunting rifle. I am willing to bet that a great many of you would do the same to resist foreign occupation.
    Yet Washington thinks American ideals should be welcomed with outstretched arms. Some of this has to do with the experience of World War II and how Europeans welcomed the United States as a liberator.
    Here is the catch: The period 1925 to 1945 was an aberration — 20 years of dictators. Consider that before Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, much of Europe had thrived for decades with democracy. The United States helped restore that political order (except in Spain, which suffered with Franco until his death in 1975).
    While the United States left scores of military bases in Europe to protect the West from a possible Soviet invasion, there was no occupation. The boys were back home months after victory in Europe. The Nazis had occupied Europe. Because of that, the murderous will of the French, Polish and Dutch resistance was visited upon German troops.
    On this subject I was struck last year while re-watching Ken Burns’ PBS series, The Civil War, first broadcast in 1990.
    In one segment the documentary tells of how Union cavalry surrounded a lone Confederate soldier who had no horse and whose clothes were dirty and tattered. A Union officer said to him that it was obvious that he had no wealth and not the means to own slaves. The officer asked: “Why are you fighting this war?”
    The Confederate answered: “Because you are here.”
    The Washington establishment fails to consider this universal truth in human nature. Senator John McCain continues to advocate the bombing of both Syria and Iran. And with the courageous exception of Ron Paul, the contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination strongly favor using the military over diplomacy and oppose any reductions in defense spending.
    Exactly who is this enemy that America must outgun? Nobody has a good answer.
    Neoconservatives always call upon the lesson the world learned when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler. How much better the world would have been, they argue, if Britain had stood up to Germany.
    But is that the only lesson of the past 100 years? What of President John Kennedy’s refusal to launch a military strike during the Cuban Missile Crisis? It can be argued that America’s diplomacy-first gambit saved the human race.
    If you don’t like the Kennedy example, consider World War I. Because some crackpot shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand, war erupted. That war cost 20 million lives. Diplomacy could have prevented that war and, as a result, prevented the rise of Hitler and, thus, World War II.
    I can only scratch my head when I listen to leaders like McCain. Have any of them read history?
    Wars Serve A Purpose
    Why war trumps diplomacy is explained by Stephen Glain in his new book, State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire. Glain concludes:
    U.S. relations with the world, and increasingly America’s security policy at home, have become thoroughly and all but irreparably militarized. The culprits are not the nation’s military leaders, though they can be aggressive and cunning interagency operators, but civilian elites who have seen to it that the nation is engaged in a self-perpetuating cycle of low-grade conflict. They have been hiding in plain sight, hyping threats and exaggerating the capabilities and resources of adversaries. They have convinced a plurality of citizens that their best guarantee of security is not peace but war, and they did so with the help of a supine or complicit Congress. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. presidents have ordered troops into battle twenty-two times, compared with fourteen times during the Cold War. Not once did they appeal to lawmakers for a declaration of war.
    I am not saying we should never use force. I believe America has enemies, and those enemies should be dealt with in a swift and deadly manner. I also believe that only if another nation is a real and “legitimate threat” to the United States should we initiate war.
    America should be using the best special forces in the world with surgical strikes on those that would do us harm. America should use the RQ-1 Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles on terrorist groups and even possible terrorist groups. I am prepared to live with some collateral damage that will result from such strikes. This will be less deadly to foreign civilians and will save the lives of our young men and women in uniform, while helping to restore America’s standing in the world.
    Compare this strategy to the armed occupation of Afghanistan. It is a non sequitur, and the real powers who run this country know it.
    They know, and they just don’t care.
    Yours in good times and bad,
    –John Myers
    Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report
  2. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey++

    The argument is a little over simplified. The killing of Arch Duke Ferdinand was the excuse for a war that was coming either way. While I agree we are the worlds bully, we need to stop trying to bring our government to others that don't want it.

    In the example of WW2 we made total war and occupied Japan and Germany for many years. The people there had no rights. We slowly returned them to freedom. If you walked the streets in Germany with a gun we would kill you. We fought the people and the country.

    Now we pretend to fight an idea not a people that is not a war, and it cannot be won.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  3. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    I believe we should clean the viper's out of our own basement(Mexico),before we worry whats going on in the next town.
  4. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Have a son and a nephew there and if there was a legitimate reason I would have no qualms about it. It is a country that has been ruled by dope and warlords for centuries--we are NOT going to change it. Six months after we leave it will have returned to exactly the same existence. Nothing is gong to change--unless they want it badly enough to make it happen themselves. When the country gets tired of being ruled by the taliban then they will rise up and kill them like the dogs they are. We are only building their numbers by our presence. Just like we would they are now reacting to a foreign presence.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    Ill be a Gentleman tonight......
    The war in the middleast and agafnstien seems to be short compared to building back
    "THE WORLD TRADE CENTER" Trufully the USA is a the weekest point in my lifetime and nothing on the horizon will bring it back to her greatness. Is it the well lets hope not.

    Wars fought to win puplic opinion arent worth the time of day let alone amy bloodshed. Thankd Tach for the thred
  6. armysgt

    armysgt Guest


    Sorry, you can ban me if you like, but there is no afghan worth any American son or daughter. Get out and let them kill each other like the superstitious 4th century morons they are.
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    The Soviet Union tried it for I think 7 years with about the same resuts that weve had.
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Hey Sarg, this ain't your run of the mill forum. You can disagree with anyone here, as long as you do it in a valid meaningful civil manner. The COC, code of conduct is fair and liberal. This is a much different forum site than probably any other you have frequented or still do. To me it is home, and most everyone here are friends. jmho
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    A some here will agree with you (some might not.) That ain't the way to get banned. Stealing Falcon15's bananas will do it for ya.
  10. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    I felt the same way about Iraq, and had a Nephew there in the first one, and a Niece there recently. The family is thankful that they are home safely, and wish everyone's sons and daughters were safely home too.
  11. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    I had a battalion commander tell me the very same thing about Iraq before the ground invasion in 2003. It's still true.
  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I hate to say it, but you are only telling folk here what they already know and generally agree upon. Tell us if it makes you feel better, but you really should be telling the Richard Crania, aka Presidents and their administrations not to play with tar babies. Drawing the USA into Iraq and Afghanistan (Via 9/11) were two sucker punches that Bin Ladin managed to fool America into directing against itself. The USA can't afford to make any more strategic errors like those last two.

    If it does decide to do so.....just draft all the sons and daughters of the wealthiest 25% of US citizens (including Sate and Federal politicians) as front line troops, and see how enthusiastic the poweers that be are to launch the USA into foreign adventures. When congressmen and senators and administration cabinet officials are fretting about their children's welfare like most of the much less wealthy parents have been doing, then we may see some changes in policy. Unless the wealthy and powerful share the same risks as the poor and powerless, then we will continue to see more of the same.
  13. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Uhm, no, Larry. The then USSR was attempting to annex by indirect and direct military action and invasion. The USSR had continued what had started in Tsarist Russia with the "Great Expansion". They did not just "let the Afgan people handle their own business". The Official Soviet Union military action began in 1979, and ended with complete withdrawal of troops in 1989, shortly before the USSR fell in 1991. The Afghanistan conflict between the USSR and Afghanistan "rebels and insurgents" is colloquially known as "Russia's Vietnam".

    The standing legal government actually approached Russia for help. Russia, having much invested so much into the region, and seeing Afghanistan as having strategic importance in the region, agreed to help support the Afghanistan government against the insurgents.

    Of course, WE (the US) had to get involved:

    So, it did not matter, at that time, that the mujahedin rebels were fundamental Islamist in their beliefs. Just as long as they were anti-communist and against the USSR's intentions with Afghanistan. Point of fact Presdent Ronald Regan hosted, greeted, and spoke with the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan in 1985, at the White House stating "These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America's Founding Fathers". Oh how short our memories are.
    chelloveck likes this.
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