International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Reality Check
The Original Quagmire
United States must leave Afghanistan now.
Not in eleven months or after careful discussion and continued study
to determine an undisclosed time, but now. Soon after, it must leave
These and other
difficult but sound decisions are only debatable because it is today,
and not four or five or six years ago when these hard choices should
have been made, instead of the slack-jawed flag-waving, ribbon-tying
jingoistic miasma we received. Back then, if you had asked any voter
if this country would still be embroiled in two wars seven or eight
years on, they would have chuckled, even bristled with fear and fobbed
it off as doom-speak and defeatist thinking by a paranoiac borne of
If only we could have employed a time machine and fast-forwarded the
mood then to now, we may have seen how literally insane it is to continue
to call what is going on in the Middle East a policy or a strategy or
any clearly defined idea that unfolds into a serviceable conclusion.
But, alas, there will be no conclusion. It will drag on another five,
ten years. And when it threatens to die down something else will pop
up to take its place. Iran? North Korea? Maybe it will finally spill
over into the real threat, Saudi Arabia or maybe the home base of true
tyrannical charm, China. Nah, too much money to be made; comrades of
convenience can abuse all the civil rights and unleash all the terrorists
they please, just keep the oil and loans a-comin'.
Ah, but, don't fret; you can wager for the rest of your natural born
life there will be American foreign military presence wasting our money
and stealing our children to not "win" somewhere.
And what the hell is "win" anyway? Can anyone describe what
a victory over terrorism would look like? Is it possible? Of course
the answer to these and other rhetorically sarcastic queries is no.
It is not possible. It will be as it is now; nothing but stemming the
tide, waiting them out, bleeding them dry, showing strength, taking
the fight to them, all adding up to a slag heap of blood and treasure
that will surely bankrupt the United States as it did the last in a
long series of history's fading super powers, the Soviet Union.
Nope, there will be no exiting Afghanistan or Iraq anytime soon.
And why not?
The government needs it.
War is nothing more than another in a spectacular line-up of wasteful,
inefficient, badly orchestrated and overly funded government program.
All these yahoos waving signs about tyranny and government take-overs
of Health Care had better start turning their attention to our greatest
mismanaged money-pit; the War Machine. With the money poured annually
in this finger-in-the-dam waiting it out policy in the Middle East you
could bankroll the education, health concerns and retirement of the
entirety of North, Central and South America.
This is why our president is "taking time to sort out details on
Afghanistan" or some such falderal. When running for the office
in 2007, Barack Obama visited Afghanistan and concluded that it was
not only winnable but crucial to the war effort, then campaigned diligently
on the "right vs. wrong" war ideology: Iraq = Wrong, Afghanistan
= Right. The imbecilic college rah-rah mentality of grass roots political
hysteria took this as some kind of anti-war slant, just as the poor
suckers who were waiting for Obama to legalize gay marriage or even
drugs -- the latter of which, by the way, would defeat the Taliban in
less than thirty days while also rescuing our suicidal farming industry.
But that must all seem like a dream to Joe Cool now that at the conclusion
of the bloodiest month in Afghanistan in eight years of baseless meandering,
the president hasn't bothered to speak to the general running things
over there but once since he was sworn in. Oh, and before people are
all up in arms about this nugget of info, where has your press been?
More importantly, where has your outrage been? Since the blatantly fascist
ban on the control of the media's coverage of returning coffins was
lifted, only the Associated Press bothers to cover the dead shipped
back from these completely useless and utterly winless exercises in
abject murder and destruction, all under the appropriation of our beloved
nation and on our dime.
Shit, did you even know that Cindy Sheehan is still protesting out there?
Yet, without our vocal participation, much of which is wasted daily
investigating the president's citizenship, which party asshole might
be calling the other nitwit a killer, whose lousy children are being
indoctrinated into some political mind frap, and an agonizing series
of insignificant television personalities trading on unchecked hearsay
as some kind of invincible factoid, the powers that be continue to dangle
these criminal acts of global stupidity as if a philosophical, and worse
still, political carrot of victory. And for the oddest of reasons, we
as a people continue to bankroll and support this crap, and allow our
brave and impressionable youth the fast lane to its slaughter.
When it comes to endless military campaigns, America goes beyond simple
amnesia; it dabbles in a rare stew of revisionist lying and slapdash
illusions sold as patriotism. Thus, we are trained to swallow impish
notions that to cease making one abysmal mistake after the next is "cutting
and running" or "giving up" or forefend, "quitting".
This, of course, is nonsense, like most of the lies perpetuated by the
Dullard Brigade; many of whom with different names from different ages
poured our money and blood into stone-cold failures in Korea and Viet
Nam and now Iraq and soon Afghanistan.
The Democrats won't stop it. The Republicans sure won't. Congress refuses
and the president, the one who rightly railed against this cycle of
madness appears to be fine with letting it continue.
Of course the generals keep asking for more troops. This is what generals
do. Then the guilty and confused in the legislature come running to
us with their hands out to get us to pay for it. This is how it goes,
over and over and over and over and over until you are dead and a new
set of saps take the reigns.
Forget about the national debt and political ideologies weighing heavy
on the future of our children.
They'll be too busy fighting and dying for that endless and most popular,
bipartisan government program: War.
© James Campion Oct 2nd 2009
Carter, America's political equivalent of Liz Taylor..
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