RANGER AGAINST WAR: Heart-Shaped World <

Monday, October 25, 2010

Heart-Shaped World

The heart dies a slow death.

Shedding each hope like leaves,

until one day there are none

--Memoirs of a Geisha

Put your seat belt on, boy.

I don't ride with anybody

'less they wear their seat belt.

--Repo Man

Over under sideways down,

Backwards forwards square and round.

When will it end, when will it end,

When will it end, when will it end

--Over Under Sideways Down
The Yardbirds


Speaking of gender bias ...

Afghanistan's President Karzai recently bemoaned the fact that "Our sons cannot go to school because of bombs and suicide attacks"
, a succinct summation of an almost decade-long fiasco (Uncertainty Over US Plans as War Enters 10th Year). Happy 10th Birthday, Afghan War. We love you like a child.

Gone missing from Karzai's statement is any mention of the rights of females to an education. He did not use the grammatical masculine in a universal sense -- this was a statement specific to the young men of his country.

Kind of flies in the face of U.S. propaganda that we are there to defend women's rights to equality.
"Three Cups of Tea" is a quaint story for the ladies' book clubs, but it doesn't seem like the country's education minister is on board with that point of view.

We understand the President's concerns. We guess that when you're
bacha baz (as half of Mr. Karzai's Pashtun tribal peeps are), you don't want a dope beside you; that is why they shun the company of unlettered women, we presume. In the best tradition of the oiran or courtesan, a boy player should provide some sort of substantial company.

The U.S. has found, upon returning its attention to Afghanistan after the unfortunate Iraqi distraction, that Counterinsurgency doctrine does not actually win hearts and minds. It does, however, offer the indigenous a swift learning curve on how to exploit the largess of the occupiers.

Anyway, why is the U.S. concerned if the Afghans love us, for such a goal -- were it even possible -- has no military significance. Further, why should the U.S. love the Afghans? It is clear we and our phony Afghan allies are on two separate sheets of music. The U.S. gains naught even were the Afghan people to overflow with adoration for us.

Our initial war objectives should be critically examined for internal validity. Neither the Afghan people nor their leaders will ever adopt a Western liberal philosophy, and it is futility to make this an objective in a low-intensity conflict.

The War in Afghanistan is like the U.S. housing market: It is underwater and not worth the money invested in the purchase. The only logical solution is to declare bankruptcy or let the bank repo the structure. The U.S. will not get its equity out of that mess. Why can't the president see that?

This Ranger for one cares not one iota for the hearts and minds of anyone other than my fellow Americans. Let the Afghanis be whatever they want to be and if they become a realistic threat, deal with them in an old-fashioned punitive campaign.

Shoot and scoot.

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,

"The War in Afghanistan is like the U.S. housing market: It is underwater and not worth the money invested in the purchase."

That's a damn good metaphor!


Monday, October 25, 2010 at 7:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous basilbaest said...

Yes, this is very good Jim. In the perfect world, Ranger should be Chief of the Joint whatever-they-call the top brass that advised the WH.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 1:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

In an ideal world Ranger would be fat, dumb and happy, playing golf and getting drunk like all the other retired officers.
But now that you mention it -i'll be chief of the joint, but i'll have to move to Ca or the Netherlands.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 8:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

Love the title of your post Ranger. And as usual, you are right on the money. Especially with this line:

Neither the Afghan people nor their leaders will ever adopt a Western liberal philosophy, and it is futility to make this an objective in a low-intensity conflict.

But then, you never know, one fine day Afghanistan and other countries in the region might take up our "western" concept of religious and personal liberties. But they will do so slowly, and on their own accord. Should however the majority of Afghans choose not to, so be it.

But that is beside the point, as I believe the freaks in charge are fully aware of the fact that you don’t bomb villages to make its men learn manners and start treating their women better. All this talk of bringing democracy to the country and liberating its women is the Afghan equivalent to Iraq’s WMD threat, a bullshit story designed to give the continued occupation a valiant shine, swallowed whole by a mostly gullible audience around the world.

Obama’s rhetoric in Cairo about how the US doesn’t want to be in Afghanistan, but is forced to by circumstances out of its control, is laughable. According to him, the moment there is no more threat emanating from the country US troops will be leaving. Say again? The moment there is no more threat emanating from the country US troops will be leaving. WTF. US troops are seen by many Afghans as occupiers, as ruthless when it comes to snuffing out Afghans, whole wedding parties if need be. Based on that fact alone will there always be a resistance movement.

Even if the Taliban is totally wiped out (meaning entire tribes and villages), the US can be assured there will be Afghans ready to die and take as many occupiers and if need be “martyrs” with them as possible The snake eats its tail, and there you have it, the self perpetuating low intensity war, with a blanket excuse to boot.

All you have to do is make sure that there will always be a group of people, section of society, prepared to die in their fight against the occupiers, and the occupiers have eternal reason to be there. Been working now for nearly a decade, and according to Australia’s PM Julia Gillard, we will be there for another ten years, or more. Twenty years occupying a country, although we don’t want to. Sure Julia, we are right with you Obama.

There is a bigger plan at work, one that has little to do with the noble idea of spreading women’s’ rights but more so with having a military presence in a strategically important square on the chess board. No alliance of countries affords itself a war this costly for kumbaya reasons like making sure girls can go to school or people can get on the piss. That’s the feel good slogan for the banner, troops and supporters at home. The fact that after nearly ten years of occupation and billions of dollars being poured into the country in most parts of Afghanistan women’s lives haven’t changed a great deal, or worse, become more filled with fear and angst than before, clearly demonstrates how low the issue of spreading human rights is really ranked.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

As you’ve been writing for years, even the other often used justification for having tens of thousands of troops and another thousand or so drones patrolling the country, the PWOT, making sure AQ doesn’t re-emerge and build an operations base, is hogwash. The origin and place of training of the 911 and 7/7 attackers shows that Afghanistan is close to irrelevant to terrorist planing attacks against the US and her allies.

What this Afghan adventure is really about I can only guess. The strategy employed makes me think continued military presence and permanent bases are a desired outcome. Afghanistan is a bridgehead, establishing a foothold in the area. Right there where all your enemies/targets are hanging out, Iran, China, Russia…. Nuclear super powers falling apart, others hanging on whilst new ones are emerging, the time has never been better to project military strength.

At a crucial time in human history, extremely vital resources dwindling fast, we shouldn’t forget that Afghanistan it is rich mining country, with immense mineral wealth itself and a crucial piece on maps found hanging in offices of every global oil and gas corporation. Having a government in place whose existence depends on one’s occupation guarantees a certain influence, which could come in handy. You don’t want to have China buying the lot.

Maybe the continued troop presence is designed for the US to have an active war, somewhere, needed to defend an awkwardly high military budget in the face of near fiscal ruin, the huge industry that feeds off this humongous budget, the countless players who have reason to worry about their financials should there be no more wars for a while. At the same time it provides the arms industry with a permanent real life battle field in which to test their new gadgets. I know it sounds morbid, but business is business, there are plenty of mouths to be fed, profits to be made. If in doubt about why things are the way they are, look at who benefits, follow the money.

What to us appears like a fuck up, might actually be a plan unfolding nicely. All warfare is based on deception.

In an ideal world Ranger would be fat, dumb and happy, playing golf and getting drunk like all the other retired officers.

Lisa, get off his case :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Lisa did not make that cmt about an ideal world.
It's my voice.
I don't believe that following the money is really the total picture here, somehow istm that we have entered a fantasyland that goes beyond truth and/orreality.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 5:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Very well-said.

And Jim likes to refer to himself in the 3rd person, so he said that somewhere about himself. Methinks he's always secretly wanted to wear those chequered pants and be on the links riding about in a little motorized car with a mimosa :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I stole the title from ROCK & ROLL.
Chris Isaaks-I especially like I DID A BAD BAD THING. i'm not sure if it's on HSW.
I don't refer to myself in the third person- I AM IN THE THIRD PERSON.

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 9:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

Hi Jim,

I knew it was your comment, just thought it would be amusing to suggest it is Lisa who is holding Ranger back from enlisting with the league of fat, dumb and happy, drunk, golf playing retired officers. But it seems it is pure self-control.

Hola Lisa,

Regarding the chequered pants, I picture Ranger more with camo gear.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 6:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Juan,

After I wrote it, I caught your humour and thought what a wet towel I'd been ;)

Oh, I'm sure Jimbo does see me as somehow keeping him down on the farm ... perhaps he'll enlighten us all a bit more on the topic :)

Your links are absolutely brilliant (the poor deer!), and the camo golf balls more pertinent to this moment than perhaps you shall ever know.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 11:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I seldom wear camo , as that's a red neck thing in these here parts.
Also, i'd be mistaken for a militia or t bagger, as they wear these items a lot.
The only camo i use are the camo condums , b/c i'm a sneaky devil.
They never know what hit em- typical SF guy-quik in , little time on target, and get the f..k out.
Thanks for writing.
I wouldn't be caught dead on a golf course.
No enemy soldier has ever been killed with a golf ball.
A bit of Army Marksmanship humor.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 12:50:00 PM GMT-5  

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