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Fool's Errand

by afew Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 06:15:41 AM EST

So McChrystal is out, Petraeus in. What difference does it make?

There was some discussion around McChrystal in yesterday's Salon, but, as Gary Wills says in the New York Review Blog (cited here by ARGeezer):

McChrystal Does Not Matter | The New York Review of Books

The conflict around McChrystal will only matter if it is the occasion of recognizing what a fool’s errand he was sent on.

Wills discusses the Rolling Stone interview of Stanley McChrystal by Michael Hastings, which is widely considered to have precipitated McChrystal's downfall because of the implied criticism and flippant dismissal of Obama people and diplomatic players it contains.

The Runaway General | Rolling Stone Politics

In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side.

In fact, says Wills, the interview contains far more damning material, on the fundamental impossibility of winning in Afghanistan.

The Runaway General | Rolling Stone Politics

Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win," says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. "This is going to end in an argument."


Arguments there are already aplenty, according to Hastings. Soldiers are furious at being told to hold their fire because too many civilians have died. Counter-insurgency can't work if you alienate the civilian population: so insurgency tactics have always been to mix with the civilian population like fish in the sea. So now NATO soldiers get killed in ambushes and by IEDs while being told to lower their profile so as not to alienate the population, and their impression (quoted by Hastings from an exchange between troops and McChrystal) is that the insurgency is gaining ground, that they are losing.

Losing the unwinnable.

The Runaway General | Rolling Stone Politics

McChrystal, like other advocates of COIN, readily acknowledges that counterinsurgency campaigns are inherently messy, expensive and easy to lose. "Even Afghans are confused by Afghanistan," he says. But even if he somehow manages to succeed, after years of bloody fighting with Afghan kids who pose no threat to the U.S. homeland, the war will do little to shut down Al Qaeda, which has shifted its operations to Pakistan. Dispatching 150,000 troops to build new schools, roads, mosques and water-treatment facilities around Kandahar is like trying to stop the drug war in Mexico by occupying Arkansas and building Baptist churches in Little Rock. "It's all very cynical, politically," says Marc Sageman, a former CIA case officer who has extensive experience in the region. "Afghanistan is not in our vital interest – there's nothing for us there."

According to Obama, the change of personnel is not a change of policy. So forward, deeper into the swamp, while telling the world a different story (just like Vietnam?). Rolling Stone today:

Replacing McChrystal: Can Petraeus Win the War? | Rolling Stone Politics

Here is the narrative we're about to be sold: Things will be tough in Afghanistan. It's going to get worse before it gets better. But eventually, with good old American perseverance, violence will drop (fingers crossed). When that happens, U.S. soldiers will stop dying in large numbers — and Americans will stop paying attention in large numbers.

It would be funny if it weren't tragic.

Display:
How long before "NATO allies" get out?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 06:20:59 AM EST
The big political difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam is the volunteer army. If there were a universal draft, the college students would be in full 1970 mode and the public outcry against the war would be overwhelming. That's why neither party wants to have anything to do with the draft.
by asdf on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 07:17:37 AM EST
And that's why professional armies are so profoundly anti republican... and should be done away with.
by Lynch on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 04:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can any new strategy or military leader actually change the final result?

There are growing perceptions that we are, in terms of the facts on the ground, engaged in another Vietnam. Afganistan cannot be won. But to leave is also unthinkable, given that Al Qaeda remains intact, and the Taliban are ready to overrun the south, if not then eventually the north.

The theocracy of the past along with women-beating religious police will return to the streets of Afganistan's cities. And we will have come full circle.

Bush dropped the ball, but Obama will be blamed, but we cannot leave lest we are willing to throw the Afgani people to the dogs. That would not only haunt Obama for the rest of his term(s), it would haunt the free world, Americans and Europeans alike.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 07:39:58 AM EST
That's certainly the dilemma. Though how the military hold the solution is hard to see.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald:
The theocracy of the past along with women-beating religious police will return to the streets of Afganistan's cities.
Uh, what?

Afghanistan: Law Curbing Women's Rights Takes Effect | Human Rights Watch (August 13, 2009)

"Karzai has made an unthinkable deal to sell Afghan women out in return for the support of fundamentalists in the August 20 election," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "So much for any credentials he claimed as a moderate on women's issues."


By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:11:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

True in 2002, true now.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 04:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True in 1998, true in 1992...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 03:46:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But to leave is also unthinkable, given that Al Qaeda remains intact

al qaeda remain intact, largely because they very wisely left Afghanistan years ago and set up in ungoverned parts of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. and if the US were to start bombing there, they'd move again.

al Qaeda is not an army and cannot be countered by military means. In fact it is boosted when opposed by a military force. al Qaeda is an idea, even if a nihilistic one, and you only counter ideas by proposing better ones. You cannot bomb them into submission.

, and the Taliban are ready to overrun the south, if not then eventually the north.

The theocracy of the past along with women-beating religious police will return to the streets of Afganistan's cities. And we will have come full circle

That's related to the ridiculous woman hating version of Islam to which the Taliban (who are not al Qaeda) subscribe. We, NATO, had the opportunity to make a difference to that when we first entered Afghanistan in 2002. But we decided that we didn't do "nation-building", we did military conquest. So we scooted over the border to blow up Iraq and left the Afghans to fester with the same Stone Age infrastructure and the same crooks who'd run their civic organisation before the Talibs ran them out. We basically replaced something bad that left the civil population alone (so long as women were slaves) with something that was both bad and robbed the population blind (and was quite happy with female slavery) and dealt out injustice right left and centre..

Funny how the population prefer the Taliban. They can take anything, but not the injustice.

Can any new strategy or military leader actually change the final result?

No. This is not a military problem and so there is no military solution. But the military is the only thing we're willing to spend money on and we lost the chance to do anything else the day we turned our attention to Iraq.

There is no victory here. There is no honour either. Only the constant question Senator Kerry asked of another conflict;-

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Until then we only have Kipling;-


When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen, Keep in mind that Al Qaeda had training camps in Afganistan before the US help the Northern Alliance to rout the Taliban, who were supporters of Al qaeda. In fact, Clinton bombed those camps in the 90s after the first World Trade Center and/or African embassy terror attacks.

Karsai's strategy during the recent election was abominable. He lost, but won.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If all this terror-training infrastructure results in people who fail at setting gasoline on fire it may be advisable not to interfere with the curriculum.
by generic on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:51:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would think at this point, Al Qaeda is still lying low and would not activate a training camp in Pakistan, which would immediately be picked by US intelligence and drone attacked.

So they have now limited their training to night classes (no link).

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, al Qaeda had training camps in Afghanistan. Now they're elsewhere.

al Qaeda still isn't an army and it won't be beaten by one.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bin Laden is in Iran now.

So I've heard.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Highly unlikely. Do you have some evidence or even a link? Just who told you? That sounds more likely more Israeli anti-Iran propaganda.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bin Laden said to be in Iran - UPI.com

JERUSALEM, June 8 (UPI) -- Osama bin Laden and his top aides are hiding in a mountainous town in northeastern Iran and Turkey knows it, intelligence sources said Tuesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is aware that bin Laden, his chief lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri and five other high-ranking al-Qaida leaders have been living under Tehran's protection for the past five years, military intelligence Web site Debkafile reports.

[amused]

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's that good ol' Israeli intelligence, otherwise known as the Department of Hasbara.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 02:51:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warmongers don't need to feed the press true information, necessarily...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 04:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bbbut we got the number 2 guy about 30 times!

victory is just around the corner. not...

what blows my mind is less america's folly in trying to outwit afghans in afghanistan, but britain's.

wasn't once enough?

it is great to see rolling stone pulling its political weight.

back in around '70 william greider's page of grown-up writing was what started me into thinking about world politics, and the fact of its surreal juxtaposition with the latest led zep antics and rock news made it even more interesting.

the volunteer army is really dragging the bottom for fodder, disaffected, deprived kids, shamelessly lied to by recruiters, and pumped on testosterone movies/games, thrash metal, junk food, synthetic growth steroids and racist propaganda, the desire to spray bullets as solution to any and every problem is depressingly evident in the article.

n. americans have been suckled on violence, gratituitous and spectacularly cold-blooded, it has become a mentally detached form of light entertainment, a participatory cartoon, adding spice to an otherwise emotionally flat-lined tunnel of a life.

that's why i empathise so much with the american counterculture, what there is of it. to keep your head straight in the midst of such cogdiss, writ so super-size, is no small achievement.

if it weren't afghanistan, it'd be somewhere else....the enemy is even paid to act their roles as supply line guards, like extras in a movie.

plus, they don't have to actually beat NATO, they just have to outwait them, and keep stinging them, death by a thousand roadsidebombs. they've never been beaten yet, and can melt away into some of the wildest terrain on the planet. what do we think this is? a movie where the brave heroes sweep away the persecuted maidens from their oppressors?

i think we have it in for anywhere we want something. the people and civilisations in the way... wipe 'em out, roll over them, turn them on to a cut of the scam or kick them out.

and if you can mouth platitudes about democracy while supporting corrupt incompetents who wouldn't know democracy if it hit them on the head by a 2 by 4, and certainly wouldn't want it, then the insanity is complete...

this compulsion for empires to up their hubristic attempts-ante as their sunset flares out is so awe-fully, predictably routine. humans who refuse to learn from history are doomed.

every army who tried to trounce the cavemen has slunk off with its tail between its legs, and every one truly believed that 'this time it'll be different'. (new hardware, gets stale on the shelf).

obama's not a fool, why doesn't he stop acting one?

rhetoric that good never rang true to me, especially now since the obama phenomenon. too smoove by arf.

how the us media is going to paint this as a victory is going to take propaganda of a level rarely seen before.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 05:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
how the us media is going to paint this as a victory is going to take propaganda of a level rarely seen before.

But that's the point, they will not have to. As you, starkly and a bit unfairly, put it;-

n. americans have been suckled on violence, gratituitous and spectacularly cold-blooded, it has become a mentally detached form of light entertainment, a participatory cartoon, adding spice to an otherwise emotionally flat-lined tunnel of a life.

which boils down to there being no political downside to continuing the war, but plenty in ending it.

Americans will always support war, the networks like it, the papers like it, the corporations like it, the political establishment like it. It feels good; "America. Fuck Yea". We have the same over here to a lesser extent, but it's still there. War makes us feel good, feel powerful, "Someone who opposes us is having a bad day. Yee-hah !!" There's always money in the budget for it.

but ending a war ? Sure, if we have a big scene on a battleship, preferably involving penitent enemies in chains signing documents ceding their mineral wealth as plunder into perpetuity and asking forgiveness cos they're very very sorry. But peace with honour didn't work, everyone knew they lost. No politician is gonna try that one again.

So, why saddle yourself ? An unpopular war is still 100 times better than an unresolved cessation of hostilities and a fudged withdrawal, especially if it leaves in place all the things you went over there to stop. too risky.

obama's not a fool, why doesn't he stop acting one?

He isn't a fool. That's why the war goes on. Kick it down the road, make it somebody else's problem. There's always money in the budget for another decade of war. After all, Americans will always support war ....

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 06:17:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's Debka. Highly reliable, you know that.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt that.

bin Laden is militant Sunni, Iran is militant Shi'ite. They hate each other far more than they hate anyone else.

people's front of Judea vs Judean people's front

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The news report is real.

I very much doubt that it's true, because I very much doubt that Bin Laden still exists as an individual.

But in the middle of one of the biggest military build-ups in the region since WWII, it's remarkably convenient to see allegations that Iran is - effectively - supporting Public Enemy No. 1.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda was never an army. It's a terrorist group operating subliminally. They're very sneaky.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't add much to this, except a few of the many links. I think it's an excellent summary of a tragic situation, including all the main points that have been endlessly discussed. I'm surprised that so many ETrs seem to still think in terms of the talking points instead of the readily available strategic facts. I know it's a pain in the drain, but a review of the discussion of the Afghan /COIN strategy is a useful exercise.
A start:
US Army War College, Brookings For the core document that has gone so badly awry
and
100 Al qaeda left in Afghanistan
and
Worse than Taliban

Read it and weep.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Above is in response to Helen's first.
Sorry.
Need Beer.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry. Need Beer.

I feel your pain.

ps found an interesting beer shop not too far from you

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you recommend a good light beer that gets sold in the US?

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd hate to steal Helen's thunder, but Stan McChrystal's favourite drink is Bud Light Lime.

OK, Helen can now come in with a list.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:40:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. If it's lite beers, as in expensive brand name product with less alcohol, then I have got no idea whatsoever. Anyone who drinks Bud Lite lime deserves every bad thing they get imo.

As for light beers which are more accurately called golden ales or beers... ummm dunno. Craft beers are all over the USA and usually very geographically restricted in availability. find one you like from a quality craft provider, drink till you fall over, rinse and repeat.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 01:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. I didn't mean a list of lite whatever.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 01:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most American Lite beers are terrible. Try the Canadian, Labatt's Light Beer. 10 calories more than the average 100 cals but worth it.

by shergald on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 02:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try the Canadian, Labatt's Light Beer.

not in this life. Or the next. I prefer something a little less  ... industrial, y'know, with actual flavour of beer as opposed to eau de sewer pipe

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 03:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But to leave is also unthinkable, given that Al Qaeda remains intact

So what?

Nobody has as yet made any convincing, or even remotely plausible, case for why exterminating al Qaeda is an important policy objective.

Al Qaeda is in the business of finding new and imaginative ways of using high explosives to stage expensive photo-ops, not in the business of seriously threatening our society, security or even any of our legitimate strategic interests. As it is, we're wasting more blood and treasure hunting al Qaeda than we would be wasting by leaving them alone to fiddle with their photo-ops-with-high-explosives shtick.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:53:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda is like religion - it's whatever you want it to be.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:09:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald
we cannot leave lest we are willing to throw the Afgani people to the dogs. That would not only haunt Obama for the rest of his term(s), it would haunt the free world, Americans and Europeans alike.

The problem is that we have done something incredibly stupid which is so expensive as to endanger the entire society. The expense of our involvement in the Mid-East and now South Central Asia has already exceeded $1 trillion and will continue even if we leave today. For a large number of the soldiers the costs will continue so long as they live. Having just donated >$2 trillion to corrupt US Banksters makes this even less sustainable.

The fact that we are facing even higher costs for oil in the foreseeable future and likely highly significant drops in the productivity of the ecosystem due to climate change makes this policy even more bizarre. It is a "Foreign Adventure" distraction writ large and we cannot afford such distractions. The US needs to match its efforts to its means. This means leaving Israel to its own devices and allowing the US Likud supporters to make their contributions directly to Israel, rather than leveraging them via influence over US foreign policy and the resultant access to the pockets of all US taxpayers. It also means withdrawing from the hundreds of bases world wide. The choice is whether we do it while we can have some influence over the tactics and timing or whether we do it by default, pun intended.

I regret the treatment of women in Afghan society, but I see no feasible means of changing that other than killing everyone. Any haunting that Obama would suffer would be richly deserved. He correctly analyzed much of the situation but, for political expediency, did it anyway. His choice of Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of Staff effectively signaled that he had tied US policy to Likud policies. Another major lose-lose decision. His embrace of the Banksters sealed his doom.

All that is left for the US is to see if we are really stupid enough to elect Palin President and if we survive that catastrophe as an intact society. I have my doubts. The impacts that US society will receive over the next few years would tax the most able and public spirited leaders. Unfortunately, US voters have shown a taste for incompetent tools. Obama is increasingly being shown as simply an incompetent tool, possibly with angst.

[ARGeezer's Crystal Ball of Doom™ Technology]

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 12:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McChrystal wanted to be sacked playing the hard man because he came to realise the military strategy he had championed was doomed to fail.  Now he can become a tea party candidate against the wimp Obama who refuses to go all the way.  Obama loses whatever he does.  The Afghan people lose pretty much every way too. Militarism gone mad.  Those whom the Gods which to destroy they fiorst make mad...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 07:58:01 AM EST
My God, Frank is channelling ... ME!!!

Anyway, question.

On Tweety's show (Hardballs) yesterday I heard the phrase "Won in Iraq" in some fashion.  When did we suddenly WIN in Iraq?  Was there a parade and I  missed it?  Are all our soldiers home?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 09:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Petraeus won in Iraq. Don't you know anything?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you and Teh Twank about McChrystal wanting to get fired as a political ploy.

Oddly, Rolling Stone's current article Can Petraeus Win The War?, cited above, ends seeing Petraeus at some future date in the White House having at last to deal with putting an end to the war...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:08:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I predict (and we all know what thst's worth) that the US military will be in Afghan. 10 years from now, assuming the US exists 10 years from now.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:15:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was talk, some time ago, about Petraeus being the next big thing for the Republican party and winning them back the Presidency having "won" in Iraq.  I could see Palin nominating him for VP slot if she wins the GOP nomination.  Now the poor guy has to "win" Afghanistan as well.  Smart move by Obama. (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...)  The Afghan people are only so much collateral damage in the Washington power struggle that many Democrats (including many on DKos) regard as the only real game in town.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeh.
My wit for the day.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 11:09:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just can repeat my comment in today's Salon - there will be no difference, if the strategy is flawed nobody can help Americans, except Pakistanis. History teach us neither Bush nor Obama could exert any pressure on ISI "to give up" Osama Bin Laden. What difference Petraues can make?

I feel sad about the string of unwarranted and unjustified resignations lately. It's not that I feel overwhelmignly sad, no person in this world is irreplaceable but my feeling is somewhat similar to what Anna Leonowens felt when her friend Tuptim, a concubine of king Mongkut of Thailand, was executed. Feeling like I can do nothing to prevent it, still I think it's wrong, but my life is not affected in any way.

by FarEasterner on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:25:53 AM EST
"On December 19th [1972], General Alexander Haig was sent to Saigon to meet with Thieu and deliver a personal letter from President Nixon (drafted by Henry Kissinger). "Let me emphasize," Nixon wrote, that General Haig is not coming to Saigon for the purpose of negotiating with you.  The time has come for us to present a united front in negotiating with our enemies, and you must decide now whether you desire to continue our alliance or whether you want me to seek a settlement with the enemy which serves U.S. interests alone."

Maybe it's time for Obama to have a little talk with Hamid Karzai...

by asdf on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 01:04:47 AM EST


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