Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mush Mouth

Simanca Osmani (Brazil)

Because something is happening here

But you don't know what it is

Do you, Mister Jones?

--Ballad of a Thin Man
, Bob Dylan

I've got pot, I've got acid, I've got LSD cubes.
I'm probably the hippest guy around here.

I'm so hip, it hurts!

--I Love You, Alice B. Toklas

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

I can see all obstacles in my way

--I Can See Clearly Now
, Johnny Nash


There can be sanity in insane places and insanity in sane places, and the line between them is often blurred.

An op-ed which ran in
USA Today by National Security Adviser James Jones ("We Have Clarity in Our Goals") demonstrates some of those disjunctions. Psych wards are filled with delusional patients who swear they see things clearly. Their surety is reminiscent of the fantastical thinking disgorged from the White House post the 9-11 attacks.

Says Jones,
"First, there should be no doubt about the clear U.S. goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Military men love the "D" words, like delay, disorganize, disrupt and destroy, all of which are classic military mission concepts. But does anyone actually believe that the goals of disrupt, dismantle and defeat are achievable in our current military undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan?

While limited disruption may be possible, is it worth the cost?

"With the collaboration of both countries, al-Qaeda and the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 are feeling relentless pressure."
Contained within this one sentence of misstatement of fact lies the fallacy of the entire Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©). Exactly who are the extremists that attacked the U.S. on 9-11?

The answer is, al Qaeda. There were no other extremist groups associated with 9-11.

Jones continues,
"[B]ut should the Taliban be successful in its goal to take over Afghanistan again, there is no question that we and our allies would again be unacceptably threatened."
What analysis provides the basis for this prognostication?

There has been no data presented that the Taliban would export extremism if they reassert control of Afghanistan. The WaPo reports today that a majority of Americans do not think that war in Afghanistan is worth fighting
("Poll Shows Most Americans Oppose War in Afghanistan").
Could Mr. Jones kindly show us the intel briefs of such, which would allow the U.S. people to believe in the continued Afghanistan project?

"By advancing the economy, encouraging individual opportunity and strengthening governance from the smallest village to Kabul, we isolate extremists, put a dent in a drug trade that funds insurgents and help establish security."

Extremists are not necessarily terrorist, nor does
"putting a dent in a drug trade" add up to a strategy of success and victory. The war on drugs is a most problematic construction as witnessed by our own nation's abysmal record on that account.

Our own president used illegal drugs here in the States, and now he's passing judgment on the Afghanistan and Colombian drug trade. Smacks (blows?) of hypocrisy. A study published a few days ago indicates that a large percentage of
our bank notes sport traces of cocaine, which indicates that we are enjoying our illegal drugs while we crusade against the same in far-flung countries.

The Taliban may be a threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan but they are not a credible threat to America. NSA Jones is selling us another packet of Rice paper-wrapped delusional fear.

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Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

The Taliban may be a threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan but they are not a credible threat to America.

That is the key line. Much as they may hate Americans, left to their own devices the Taliban would pursue a policy of confrontation and control over their neighbors and subject peoples over attacks on America.

It's true of all nations throughout history, forays far afield are brief and uncommon than confrontations at home.

Observe how the Neo-Cons and the Toxic Right Wing Extremists no longer worry and declare we are in for the long hard generational slog now that they have lost political power at home.

Instead implying violence and murder against Obama and the Democrats are the calls of the day. Taking over at home is more important.

Friday, August 21, 2009 at 1:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim said...

Your cmt is a valid observation , BUT Jones is an Obama flunkie.

Friday, August 21, 2009 at 3:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous ranger said...

I was thinking of our comments last nite as i was drinking micro brews in Flat Rock, NC. I was in a really nice place and your cmts popped into mind.
The ultimate joke of the pwot is that by insisting on destroying the Taliban our US policy is actually benefiting the Iranians. This is also what we did in IRQ. We are so stupid that our soldiers are dying for totally bizarre geopolitical goals. One must conclude that we are lead by either madmen or idiots. I throw both Rice and HRC into the equation.
Do we have a clue? This includes the right and the left.

Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 6:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

OK I know this is silly but is anyone else at all bothered by the fact that we have a National Security Adviser named Jim Jones. Just creeps me out a bit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 1:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Well, as I learned in the Corps(e) Mission Accomplishment comes first, Troops are meat for the grinder.

Clearly, Party doesn't matter when it comes to the National Policy of Warfare.

I know Obama's not going to end the PWOT during his first term because he and his party need him to get re-elected.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Yep the war is all about politics and getting re-elected.Tom Ridges book clearly illustrates this point.
Obama will be a 1 term prez.
Petraeus will be the next one to carry the banner. BTW i am not for Petraeus, I'm just predicting.It doesn't seem to matter who is President,ignorance rules this nation.
JJ is ok, it's the grape cool aide that scares me.


Monday, August 24, 2009 at 7:26:00 AM GMT-5  

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