Saturday, December 1, 2012

War? What War?

Trey Smith

It is amazing to watch politicians trying to weasel their way around their promises. President Obama is providing us with a good illustration of the art.

During the latest presidential campaign and in the final televised debates, both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were unequivocal in asserting that the US would be leaving Afghanistan and ending the war in that country at the end of 2014 -- a goal most Americans profoundly want. Biden, in a heated debate with his Republican opponent Paul Ryan, said the US would “absolutely” be “out” of Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Obama, a week later, said, “By 2014, this process of transition will be complete and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security."

I’m reminded of President Clinton, a lawyer who, when pressed under oath by a special prosecutor hounding him over the details of whether he had had sex with a young White House intern, said that the answer hinged on “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

This past weekend, it was reported that Obama and the generals at the Pentagon are planning on keeping at least 10,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan indefinitely after that 2014 deadline for ending the war and withdrawing from that war-torn land.

Just to make it clear what we’re talking about here, 10,000 troops would represent an army half the size of the entire military of either the Netherlands or Denmark, two countries which currently have troops assigned to the NATO forces posted in Afghanistan as allies in the 12-year-long US war there.

The notion that these 10,000 post-2014 soldiers would just be “training” the Afghan military is simply absurd.
The day is coming soon when the US will be warring all over the planet and yet the President will announce that our nation has gotten out of the war business altogether. Welcome to your new Orwellian society!

We're almost there now.  We recently bombed the crap out of Libya, yet that somehow did not constitute a "war."  Through our drone program, we are targeting people -- many whose identities we are clueless about -- on several continents and yet none of these strikes result from any declared "war."  

As Lindorff points out, soon the "war" in Afghanistan will be "over" and yet our soldiers will keep on fighting as they have been doing for the last several years.

Yes, our military apparatus will continue to destroy and kill at the same pace (or worse) that we destroy and kill today, but we citizens can go to sleep with sugar plums dancing in our heads because, at least, we will no longer be at "war."

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