Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cold Wars

They say in heaven love comes first
We'll make heaven a place on earth

Oooh, heaven is a place on earth

--Heaven is a Place on Earth
Belinda Carlisle

There is no greater hell

than to be a prisoner of fear

--Ben Johnson

The mind is its own place,
and in itself

Can make a heaven of Hell,
a hell of Heaven

--Paradise Lost
, John Milton

Actual advertising slogans:

Where Money Lives

[2009 update: Until We Kill It]

Capital One Bank:
What's In Your Wallet?

[2009 update: We'll Take It!]


The old Cold Warrior, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has put his hat in the ring, betting against the current U.S. "anti-insurgency" program: "That strategy cannot succeed in Afghanistan" (A Strategy for Afghanistan). But he is not about to give up on the fight.

He recognizes that the Afghan people are dedicated to independence writ small -- on the personal or tribal level, not the national, and he concedes that "no foreign conqueror has ever succeeded in occupying Afghanistan."
But he never goes the next step, to question the legitimacy of U.S. involvement. Henry doesn't want to be the one to topple America's iconic Apple Pie and John Wayne images.

The stakes are high. Victory for the Taliban in Afghanistan would give a tremendous shot in the arm to jihadism globally -- threatening Pakistan with jihadist takeover and possibly intensifying terrorism in India, which has the world's third-largest Muslim population. Russia, China and Indonesia, which have all been targets of jihadist Islam, could also be at risk.

Kissinger employs the scary bogeyman words with the conviction of fact. That is what it has come to. However, expert analysis does not hinge on non-operative words.

When he says,"The truism that the war is, in effect, a battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan population
is valid enough in concept," it is like Obama saying to his campaign opponent, "You're likable enough, Hillary." It means, "Not," and we are in the tank with that. Since his hedging belies truth, it is clear that the U.S. lost this war seven years ago.

War is a state of belligerency between two nations, and the shoot-em-ups in Iraq and Afghanistan do not fit that definition. Sorry, Henry, but the phony wars are against the populations of the countries that we are supposedly there to help. You can't kill them and buy their hearts and minds at the same time.

Wanting to be on the good foot with General Petraeus and former Secretary of State Rice, Kissinger says, "the
'clear, hold and build' strategy that had success in Iraq is particularly applicable" is the mountainous regions in Afghanistan which Petraeus targets as the origin of most of that country's military threat. That was a Condi Rice construct fabricated without Department of Defense approval, and Ranger questions its efficacy in Iraq.

Kissinger correctly says success is to be measured by
"how [the war] will be ended." Half-time scores are irrelevant.

After discussing Pakistan, Kissinger said,
"Other countries, especially our NATO allies, face comparable choices. Symbolically, the participation of NATO partners is significant." Again, he concedes support is thin, but suggests Obama's popularity might "modify these attitudes." How did NATO get a horse in this race? NATO is a defensive alliance that is superannuated since the Warsaw pact is OBE. Gone, gone, gone. NATO, like the U.S. is not an international police force.

Kissinger's final statement is most un-realpolitik:

President Obama said Tuesday night that he "will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world." Whatever strategy his team selects needs to be pursued with determination. It is not possible to hedge against failure by half-hearted execution.

Kissinger, along with Obama, must realize that he cannot control the world. Terrorists will continue to plot against the U.S. from safe havens around the globe. The U.S. lacks the military or financial resources to control the actions of the world.

Terrorism is a grim reality of 21st century life, best handled by vigilant police and intelligence partnerships, not military invasions.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

kissinger: consistently wrong since 68.

that we are still dealing with members of the nixon team as rational human beings is one of the biggest reasons i can think of for the neccessity of a special prosecuter for bush/cheney.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

I don't think Henry Kissinger will ever concede that America cannot control the world, even though history teaches us just that. In Kissinger's universe, it's just a matter of determination or more bombs or simply more.

Why is anyone listening to this war criminal?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 3:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

What? Treat terrorists as criminal gangsters?
You'll never be a warrior-president with talk like that!

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 2:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger section9 said...

Actually, Kissinger was consistently right after 1968.

One of the things the Left most hated about him and Nixon was that they had to clean up the hellish mess that Lyndon Johnson and Robert MacNamara left in Southeast Asia, and they did it rather well.

Unfortunately, the responsibility for starting the Vietnam war has gone down the memory hole for most liberals.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 12:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Sec. 9.,

Can you explain how invading Cambodia, bombing Laos and civilian infrastructure in N. Vietnam was "cleaning up" Johnson's mess?

Before calling me liberal -- I voted for Nixon.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 12:37:00 PM GMT-5  

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