Friday, August 11, 2006

War, Huh! What is it good for?

Absolutely nothin' - Say it again...

And that includes this so-called War on Terrorism

Ask yourselves, friends and neighbors, where did this so called conflict come from? Got a pat answer? Think you're right on, based on media sound bites and eye candy! Wrong!

Where did it really come from? The desire of a hard core, right wing, politico-religious movement to maintain political control of the United States, that's where! Conspiracy theory? Nope... Liberal tripe? Hardly! Partisan squabbling? I don't think so...

In 2004, when the Shrub's movers and shakers were polling on whether voters were fer or agin war, they got widely differing answers, depending on how the question was asked, (And keep in mind, we're talking about polling done by Carl Rove and Co. so that they could decide which way their wind blows, OK?) Here's how it panned out: 70% of the respondents who said they were not in favor of the war in Iraq voted Democrat. 80% of the people who said they were for the war against terrorism voted Republican. Get the picture? Ever since then, we got a concerted effort to de-emphasize the fucked up mess we made in Iraq and to re-energize the War on Terrorism!!! Neat, huh?

Now, what's wrong with a war on terrorism? Well, how about that the entire concept is fundamentally flawed: How's that strike ya? See, 'war,' according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means, "A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties. A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious." So what's wrong with that, you ask? Well, I would submit to you, dear reader, that declaring a War on Terrorism is nothing more than an excuse to commit protracted worldwide conflict, and little else. It's not seeking peace, or the resolution of a given conflict, it's an excuse to start one, then another, and another, and so on. That's what's wrong with that...

Think I'm exaggerating? Do you remember how this shitstorm started? We went into Afghanistan to whack the Taliban, because they were in league with Osama bin Laden and his buddies, and we were going to put a stop to things like 911. Then all of a sudden, we're goin' to Iraq, because those bastards are in league with Bin Laden too, and, they got WMDs!!! It reminds me of a joke: A kid is standing at the chalk board, with the start of an equation written at the top, and in the middle, it read, "Then a tiny miracle occurs," and then at the bottom, there's the answer. The tag line is the Professor saying, "I really think you need to show your work here..."

Problem is, they did show their work as we headed for Iraq, and it turns out that not only did they get the answer wrong, they weren't working on the right question either. Our original intention, the War on Terrorism has gone by the wayside: We never got bin Laden, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, we've completely fucked up the Middle East, and quite possibly contributed significantly to the start of World War III. The War on Terrorism? Since when do you fight and win a conflict by poking a big stick into several hornet nests at the same time and waggling it around vigorously? And, you're surprised and pissed off when you get stung? Huh??!

War also implies somebody to fight against, a definable enemy, not a nebulous opposition without clear structure: Claiming that this is the case is chickenshit - It's just a way of crying wolf and keeping the populace scared and nervous. It reminds me of the imfamous War on Drugs: Who are you declaring war on, the drugs, the users, or the purveyors? How are you going to successfully prosecute a war on something that will always exist, as long as there's a demand? Are you going to fight people into not wanting to get high? Fight people into not growing poppies? What? It's the same deal here. Al Qaeda? The Taliban? Are they the enemy defined? Ok, let's look at how we did with that, then, shall we?

The Afghan-Soviet conflict from whence they came basically rolled right into the first Gulf War. Bin Laden left Afghanistan and offered his Mujahidin to the Saudi royal family to counter Iraq's threat: The offer was rebuffed, and he headed for Sudan. He was kicked out of there in '96, and returned to Afghanistan, where, to the best of our knowledge, he remains today.

When U.S.-led coalition forces began military operations in Afghanistan in late 2001, Taliban and Al Qaeda forces found themselves in a fight all over again with the many factions that had been suppressed during Taliban rule. As the ground offensive grew in scope, their forces retreated to the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they pretty much remain to this day.

So, bottom line? Almost five years, thousands and thousands killed, tens of thousands wounded, displaced and disillusioned, and the enemy remains fundamentally as they began. The U.S. military presence is spread perilously thin, and they're running low on personnel and morale. Nothing much of anything has been accomplished. We have spent ourselves into massive deficit, alienated ourselves from most of the world, including most of our former allies and supporters, and accomplished nothing other than destroying the infrastructure of two countries, (And counting..), and earned the burning enmity of many, many people.

Now within that bunch of accolpishments, I just don't honestly see anything resembling a victory anywhere in sight; do you?

How's that War on Terrorism lookin' to you now?

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