Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Flim-flam man Obama's shell game: get 'em into Afghanistan, and escalate from there

Obama’s War Speech:
An Unconvincing Flop

(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo

...Every President claims not to have made the decision to go to war "lightly," as Obama put it: every commander-in-chief claims to be going to war as a last resort, and evokes "restraint in the use of military force." Even George W. Bush did that. And, no, I’m not impressed that the President talked about worrying about "the long term consequences of our actions." If he didn’t – or didn’t claim to – then that would be really odd. But what if he hasn’t considered all the long-term consequences – or simply decided that we have to live with those consequences, after all? You know, just like his predecessor...

Remember how the Bush administration officials went on and on about that infamous "mushroom cloud" Condi Rice was always talking about? Rice, Cheney, and President Bush all conjured visions of nuclear holocaust if we didn’t heed their calls to go to war with Iraq. Americans are scared to death of anything nuclear: you have merely to evoke a vision of radioactive devastation and you have them quaking in their boots, ready to do anything, consent to anything, in order to avoid it: it is their Room 101, and it works every time...

Since there are less than a hundred al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the war is half-won already – right? Well, perhaps not quite: and then there’s Pakistan. What does he intend to do about that? Nothing that he’ll admit right at this moment, but the inevitable question arises: when will we invade? This drone campaign can’t continue indefinitely: soon the time will come for boots on the ground, and then what? Will we be told, in July, 2011, that, yes, we’re beginning to withdraw from Afghanistan – as Obama announced in his speech – so that we can go to where the real action is – in Pakistan? I’d lay odds on it.

This is a shell game, but I don’t think the American people are gong to fall for it...

The fast-paced tempo of this military operation – the rushing of the troops to the Af-Pak front at "the fastest pace possible" – has about it an air of panic, and even disarray. It projects anything but strength. Obama, in this instance, looked like someone about to take a liberal dose of some very nasty medicine, who downs it all in one gulp so as to get it over with as fast as possible. But this accelerated surge – or "super"-surge – is likely to be followed by yet another, and several more before we’re done, and to pretend otherwise is just dishonest. But then this whole speech was just one extended exercise in flim-flammery.

There were seven or eight references in the speech to the happy day when we hand over responsibility to Afghan forces – another reminder of the Bush era, when George W. made constant references to the day when the Iraqis would "stand up" so we could "stand down." And still the war went on for years, as it will in this case. "Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground."...

In spite of all the folderol about how the US and Pakistan are fast friends and allies, and how we are committed to helping them, subsidizing them, and protecting them, there is no "mutual trust" as Obama would have it, but only mutual contempt and distrust – as Hillary Clinton made clear during her recent trip to Pakistan, where she all but directly accused her hosts of hiding Osama bin Laden. If Obama is seeking "a strategy that works on both sides of the border," then one day he is going to have to cross that border. And I don’t think he’ll hesitate for one moment to widen this war. That’s what this speech, and all this fanfare at the launching of yet another military campaign, are all about: preparing us for a much wider regional war, one that envelopes Pakistan and most of the other Central Asian ’stans. Because as we drive them into Pakistan, and then out of there and into, say, Tajikistan – well, let’s just say there are lots of possible "safe havens" in that part of the world. Out by July, 2011? Don’t bet the ranch on it: by that time we’ll already be in the "tribal areas" of Pakistan, and encroaching on Uzbekistan...Cont'd...LINK

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