A War Of Absurdity

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lexingtonrick
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A War Of Absurdity

Postby lexingtonrick » 2009 Oct 07 14:50

I have been pondering our involvement in Afghanistan and the possibility that we may prolong this 8 year war when I read Robert Scheer's article in the Huffington Post.

Basically we've won that war, if achieving our objective is a working definition of winning.

Here are a few excerpts that make for very interesting reading.

Robert Scheer: " Every once in a while, a statistic just jumps out at you in a way that makes everything else you hear on a subject seem beside the point, if not downright absurd. That was my reaction to the recent statement of the president's national security adviser, former Marine Gen. James Jones, concerning the size of the terrorist threat from Afghanistan:

"The al-Qaida presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies."

Less than 100! And he is basing his conservative estimate on the best intelligence data available to our government. That means that al-Qaida, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan--so why are we having a big debate about sending even more troops to fight an enemy that has relocated elsewhere? Because of the blind belief, in the minds of those like John McCain, determined to "win" in Afghanistan, that if we don't escalate, al-Qaida will inevitably come back.....................

Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of al-Qaida are barely hanging on. As The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, "Hunted by U.S. drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. ... For Arab youths who are al Qaeda's primary recruits, 'it's not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,' said a senior U.S. official in South Asia."

It's time to declare victory and begin to get out rather than descend deeper into an intractable civil war that we neither comprehend nor in the end will care much about. Terrorists of various stripes will still exist as they have throughout history, but the ones we are most concerned about have proved mighty capable of relocating to less hostile environments, including sunny San Diego and southern Florida, where the 9/11 hijackers had no trouble fitting in.

There is a continued need for effective international police work to thwart the efforts of a widely dispersed al-Qaida network, but putting resources into that effort does not satisfy the need of the military establishment for a conventional field of battle. That is the significance of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's leaked report calling for a massive counterinsurgency campaign to make everything right about life in Afghanistan, down to the governance of the most forlorn village. The general's report aims not at eliminating al-Qaida, which he concedes is barely existent in the country, but rather at creating an Afghan society that is more to his own liking.

It is a prescription, as the Russians and others before them learned, for war without end. That might satisfy the marketing needs of the defense industry and the career hopes of select military and political aspirants, but it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. In the end, it would seem that some of our leaders need the Afghanistan battleground more than the terrorists do".

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Uji
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Uji » 2009 Oct 09 09:42

lexingtonrick wrote:... it would seem that some of our leaders need the Afghanistan battleground more than the terrorists do".

Great article, LexRick. Given that O. campaigned on expanding the presence in Afghan., and given that he is currently dragging his feet on supplying the requested increased troop numbers, do you think he's starting to think along the same lines? Seems to me he's laying the ground-work for pulling out.

What do you folks think? :dontknow:

TJ2

Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby TJ2 » 2009 Oct 15 21:01

Baracko drags his feet because its part of the charade. He will eventually give in, because war is for big profits and this war in some form will never end just as the war in Orwell's "1984" never ends. A war against a non-existant enemy, as shown in a recent BBC documentary, "al Qaeda Does Not Exist".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mztfFdpd1Rk&feature=related

Confirming this fact by independent source, The Corbett Report, "Al Qaeda Doesn't Exist".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7ZHenQnu4&annotation_id=annotation_118682&feature=iv

Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Major General Smedley D. Butler - USMC Retired has written a book, "WAR IS A RACKET", which is very informative.

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

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Uji
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Uji » 2009 Oct 18 11:59

TJ2 wrote:Baracko drags his feet because its part of the charade. He will eventually give in,

Fraid you're right, tj2. We can hope... :shakeh:

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Coondog
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Coondog » 2009 Dec 03 14:49

Afghanistan! Arm Pit of the Near East!

I can't imagine what Obama is thinking. Sending more troops to that Hell Hole makes no sense.........unless, he's got cards up his sleeve he's not showing.
On the one hand, he's showing more guts than his predecessor by making any kind of decision. No one on the left wants the war to continue. No one on the right wants it to stop.

Well.....I can think of only one good reason for escallating considering the nature of affairs at the present time....and it's not the one upon which this move was predicated.


A little perspective: Wellington didn't tell Napoleon his strategy. Knowing the Prussians were in the woods would have been useful. The element of surprise is a key element. And........Keeping the real strategy away from congressional blow hards, second guessers and political yin yangs would be an equally good idea. Hopefully, Obama has enough imagination for a more realistic strategy than it appears on the surface.

One scenario would be to insert enough troops to shift into a coordinated offensive with the Pakistan army against the border regions, squeezing Al Qaeda until they're wiped out completely. This is unlikely as the Pakistanis are not likely to perform in any reliable manner.

So.....here's Coondog's recipe for Victory. The 30,000 additional troops provide leverage for negotiation with the Taliban. The deal is this....rat out Al Qaeda. Hand them over and we exit stage right and leave the country to them. (this was Bush's original demand anyway) We up and leave them to their version of violently established sovereign rule.

We kill every Al Quaeda operative on the spot to avoid jurisdictional and judicial haggling. Leave the destiny of Afghanistan solely in the hands of Afghanistan. We have no interest in the place. There's nothing there! If the crappy government can hold it's own, that's fine. If not, they can return to the archaic social repression they seem to crave. We just let them know that if they tolerate more subversive terrorist activity, we'll be back. Shock & Awe.....and then we leave..... again!

Then we can take all the money we're wasting on a crooked regime in Afghanistan and give it to the corrupt regime in Pakistan for the purpose of maintaining the status quo.

Finally, we can bring all the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq to join their fellow citizens in unemployment lines all across the Nation. Or give them vacation vouchers to Somalia..............????

Let's face it! Fear of a bunch of whacko thugs has turned this country into a Nation of Pussies. We need to man up! Who can respect a country who is so debilitated by the very idea of of some potential terrorist attack (real or imagined) they are basically destroying themselves both socially and economically by overreacting in such a rash and inadvisable manner as to invade country after country in a vain quest for security by illusionary elimination of all threats. That's like trying to protect yourself from bees by beating the hive with a stick!

We need to realize that most of the world is as illiterate and unsophisticated as that percentage of our own country who stand in line to buy Sarah Palin's published accounts of her dreamlike fantasies. We cannot bring them into the fold. They are truly lost and we need to leave them to their own sorry fates. The bees will never be our friends and allies! We need to keep the beekeeper suits in the closet...use them only when needed.....not wear them until they suffocate us!

Most of all, we need to dredge up some of that strength and courage we're always talking about and not be so afraid of a few potential bee stings. They will not kill us as surely as will brainless reactionary overkill or the self destructive fear we manifest within ourselves.

General Coondog :salut:

Ain't afraid to be unafraid!!

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Sam
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Sam » 2009 Dec 03 21:48

coondog wrote:Afghanistan! Arm Pit of the Near East!

I can't imagine what Obama is thinking. Sending more troops to that Hell Hole makes no sense........

Hey Man, they all become the same.....haven't you gotten that yet. Our country is going to that hell in a basket and all those politicians are too busy fighting each other and trying to look like they are doing something to help our country. I believe all are to blame.

Gotta say right colorful language there, sounds like third grade name calling level or backroom bar talk. Remember Obama is our fearless leader, he bows to no one. Or is that he bows to everyone, I got to get that straight, Maye its he bows to other countries leaders. Could be the way he was brought up. Hey man, Obama doesn't need any opponents he has himself.

Where's my Jack Danial's I need it after reading the old man's rhetoric or was that letting off steam.
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Coondog
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Coondog » 2009 Dec 04 12:01

A shot glass of courage........................
we need to dredge up some of that strength and courage we're always talking about and not be so afraid of a few potential bee stings

Jack Danials! Now that's what I'm talking about. This country was built on Old #7 and those guys weren't afraid of nothin'.

Some elderly babe was on MSNBC this mornin' advocating exactly the squeeze play I described in the Afg-Pac border regions.
Maybe I should be in charge, eh? Also learned that the guys (or gals) who are operating the drones are actually doing it from Las Vegas. How cool is that? It's a video game! In Vegas!

"Hey, Barney! I'll lay you 3 to 1 odds I can take out that mud hut and only kill 20 civilians......with a 2 point spread!"

General Audacious Coondog :salut:

Maybe we should have copies of 'Going Rogue' translated and drop those on the terrorists. That should stupify them into surrendering! :coffee: :coffee: :surrend:

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Wise One
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Wise One » 2009 Dec 04 12:04

Obama is most disappointing on this one.

  • Error #1 was asking a hawkish general to submit a public report on what it would take to "win", whatever the hell that means. Generals, unless they are most wise and exceptional, always prescribe an expanded military solution.
  • Error #2 was virtually inevitable after Obama had effectively painted himself into a corner from which there was no escape. With insignificant deviations from the "Escalate!" recommendation, he is following it.
The September 11 event was a highly damaging crime perpetrated by a very small group of thugs. It should have been dealt with smartly as the crime problem it was.

Responding with our national military against a country that had nothing to do with the crime, as if we had been subjected to a military invasion by another national power, was overkill of the worst kind. It's like responding to the sight of a cockroach in one room of your house by throwing a stick of dynamite into another room.

The Obama decision on Afghanistan is indistinguishable at this point from Bush's decision on Iraq. Neither made sense and neither will achieve the stated objectives (which change about every other day, because none of them can be achieved.) Al Qaeda is gone from Afghanistan and nearly powerless. People confuse Taliban (there are at least 3 flavors of Taliban) with Al Qaeda ... they may be a problem for Karzai, but they are no threat to the US.

:shakeh:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Dec 04 14:36

Protecting Afghan Opium Fields, Bribing Taliban

This could have rightfully gone into the thread titled The Other War......but this is now the other war. I had seen a documentary about this about a year ago and just filed the info away in my head for another time. Just as the iraq debacle was/is blood for oil, Afghnistan appears to be blood for heroin.

Hmmmm...................maybe the Taliban aren't the only ones getting their palms greased with dirty taxpayer money.


:hmm:

*This isn't my first choice as a guideline to this subject. But, my time is limited until the weekend and this does capture the point in short form.

One more tidbit to chew on:

US Gives Up On Eradicating Afghan Opium Poppies
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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lexingtonrick
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby lexingtonrick » 2009 Dec 04 15:36

The Afghan Speech Obama Should (have) Give(n). By Tom Engelhardt

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091214/engelhardt/single

I've edited this down to the essentials:

"During the presidential campaign I called Afghanistan "the right war." Let me say this: with the full information resources of the American presidency at my fingertips, I no longer believe that to be the case. I know a president isn't supposed to say such things, but he, too, should have the flexibility to change his mind. In fact, more than most people, it's important that he do so based on the best information available. No false pride or political calculation should keep him from that.

And the best information available to me on the situation in Afghanistan is sobering. It doesn't matter whether you are listening to our war commander, General Stanley McChrystal, who, as press reports have indicated, believes that with approximately 80,000 more troops--which we essentially don't have available--there would be a reasonable chance of conducting a successful counterinsurgency war against the Taliban, or our ambassador to that country, Karl Eikenberry, a former general with significant experience there, who believes we shouldn't send another soldier at present. All agree on the following seven points:

1. We have no partner in Afghanistan. The control of the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai hardly extends beyond the embattled capital of Kabul.

2.Afghanistan floats in a culture of corruption...............

3. Despite billions of dollars of American money poured into training the Afghan security forces, the army is notoriously understrength and largely ineffective; the police forces are riddled with corruption and held in contempt by most of the populace.

4. The Taliban insurgency is spreading and gaining support largely because the Karzai regime has been so thoroughly discredited, the Afghan police and courts are so ineffective and corrupt, and reconstruction funds so badly misspent.

5.Al Qaeda is no longer a significant factor in Afghanistan. The best intelligence available to me indicates--and again, whatever their disagreements, all my advisers agree on this--that there may be perhaps 100 Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and another 300 in neighboring Pakistan. As I said in March, our goal has been to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and on this we have, especially recently, been successful. Osama bin Laden, of course, remains at large, and his terrorist organization is still a danger to us, but not a $100 billion-plus danger.

6. Our war in Afghanistan has become the military equivalent of a massive bail-out of a firm determined to fail...................... The American people will be spending $100 billion a year or more on this war, probably for years to come. Simply put, this is not money we can afford to squander on a failing war thousands of miles from home.

7. Our all-volunteer military has for years now shouldered the burden of our two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if we were capable of sending 40,000-80,000 more troops to Afghanistan, they would without question be service people on their second, third, fourth, or even fifth tours of duty. A military, even the best in the world, wears down under this sort of stress and pressure.

These seven points have been weighing on my mind over the last weeks as we've deliberated on the right course to take. Tonight, in response to the realities of Afghanistan as I've just described them to you, I've put aside all the subjects that ordinarily obsess Washington, especially whether an American president can reverse the direction of a war and still have an electoral future. That's for the American people, and them alone, to decide".

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Uji
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Uji » 2009 Dec 04 16:18

I'm not sure what to make of the Afghan situation. I don't find it -- or O's policy -- black or white.

But I'd like to remind those of you "disappointed" in O that he was consistent throughout the campaign in his thinking that the Afghan front should be the focus of attention. So, we might wish he had changed his mind, but we've got no business being surprised that he did what he said he was gonna do all along.

I'm not sure what I would have done in O's place, to be honest. But I think I would have been more troubled if he'd announced a withdrawal. That's because the war has more to do with what's happening in Pakistan (with their 60 or so nukes) than Afghanistan at this point. I don't know... :tongfreez: <-- that seems to be a fair analysis of the situation.

And to say that Afghanistan is about heroin is -- like saying that Iraq was about oil -- a bit too simplistic. If it were that simple, it would be that simple and there isn't anything simple about the Afghan situation as far as I can tell.

:nono: But, hey, I'm supposed to be the nihilist here; you folks are the ones professing such hope in a progressive future. Humans act like humans--which, for me, rules out any up-coming golden age; but the future won't be all venal and self-serving, no more than humans are. This might just be one more example of the failure of our leaders. But I don't think there is any evidence to suggest that -- evidence that is any stronger than the evidence for the opposite.

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fangz1956
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Dec 04 16:34

Hmmmm.......I wasn't aiming for simplistic here. My opinion is that the opium production of the region is a significant factor in what is happening. I believe that is a facet that too few folks are willing to to even look at, much less discuss.

As for O.......I wasn't disappointed or even mildly shocked. He's right on cue. Sometimes, I find it a better way to go when I don't place high expectations on other people........elected officials included. People will always let you down in one way or another........nature of the beast.

:tongue3:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Trend Setter
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Trend Setter » 2010 May 16 11:31

Here's my nomination for the most absurd statement by a government official last week.

That Ian Cruxton is a f.cking genius — unlike criminals, who apparently lack the mental capacity to figure out that one can exchange a €500 note for five one-hundreds.

:laughing:

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Coondog
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby Coondog » 2010 May 17 13:35

And to say that Afghanistan is about heroin is -- like saying that Iraq was about oil -- a bit too simplistic.

In the midst of the current trend toward fundamentalist conservatism (which, as I see it, has more to do, ultimately, with religion than politics - if there is a difference).......I hope the U.S. does do a better job of taking over the poppy business in Afghanistan than with taking over the oil in Iraq.

When the ideological conflict over the proliferation of Islam comes to a boil, we'll need all the mind numbing drugs we can get our hands on.

Coondog

:sail: ...........where did all the water go that I sailed my boat upon yesterday?

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Trend Setter
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Security Absurdity

Postby Trend Setter » 2010 Jul 28 09:52

Picture This, and Risk Arrest.

Take a photograph and, increasingly, you may be arrested. These hyperbolic over-reactions to 9/11 must stop. The "war on terror" is terrorism itself.

Anybody who believes that arresting people for taking a photograph does anything at all for security, is a fool.

:nono:

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nudgewink
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Re: A War Of Absurdity

Postby nudgewink » 2015 Jan 18 22:01

PERSPECTIVE ON TERRORISM --

We need to stop hyping the threats to Americans posed by global terrorism. In the United States, according to the Global Terrorism Index, there were 3,029 deaths from terrorism from 2000-2011, but 195,948 homicides.

Ninety-five percent of the terrorist fatalities in the world since 2000 have occurred in developing countries, the overwhelming majority of those in just five countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria). And the Pentagon has reported that, among our military men and women, suicide has now surpassed war as a cause of death.

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Crux
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Auntie,

Postby Crux » 2015 Jan 19 09:56

There were 150 some odd kids killed in a school in Pakistan a couple weeks ago. There were 2,000 villagers killed in Nigeria last week. You just witnessed Paris. You are not accounting for the deaths of countless thousands killed by Islamist Militants through terroristic tactics. Australia recently had those folks killed in a coffee shop. We just had two cops killed in NYC. We can go on and on....

Of course "terrorism" and Islamic Jihadiis are a GLOBAL and significant threat, and actual PROBLEM, that deserves massive attention.

If Iran with the help of Obama, develops and deploys a nuclear bomb to bring about the New World Caliphate that won't be HOMICIDE.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is not a War of Absurdity, not the way you reckon. It is not ABSURD but real. You don't take Islamic Militants seriously, I get that.

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Crux
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I don't like to pick on old ladies...

Postby Crux » 2015 Feb 23 23:00

Especially my own Auntie Nudge. Hey, I told her so. The forum poo pooed me but I was right. Obama will let Iran have the bomb...

http://news.yahoo.com/phased-us-iran-nu ... itics.html

GENEVA (AP) — Edging toward a historic compromise, the U.S. and Iran reported progress Monday on a deal that would clamp down on Tehran's nuclear activities for at least 10 years but then slowly ease restrictions on programs that could be used to make atomic arms.


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