The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
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    Peace With Honor: Vietnamization in Afghanistan or Obama Channels Nixon

    There is much to be said of the deceptive and dishonest speech the President delivered to the country tonight regarding the withdrawal of a small portion of the massive American army permanently stationed in Afghanistan.  But one point is pivotal and it is this: in order to assuage soft minds, in order to mollify those who fervently wish to believe in their leader and that he intends to end the war in Afghanistan he knowingly and deliberately decieved the public and he did so with the full and enthusiastic assistance of the corporate media.  The President tonight led people to believe that the withdawals he announced mean the war is beginning to wind down.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The President and the imperial US government he leads has no intention of EVER leaving Afghanistan.  This disasterous policy represents a far greater threat to the people of the United States than it does to the Taliban or Al Qaeda.  What's more, even if our leaders refuse to acknowledge the threat this policy represents to our economic and national security: Al Qaeda understands very well and though it's numbers are now severely diminished the remaining terrorists can take great pride in knowing they have succeeded.

    The crucial part of the speech upon which the deception rests is when President Nixon, uh, I mean Obama, declared that the time has come to rebuild our own nation.  What?  Can we believe what we're hearing from our mighty war President? Not if we are wise.  He knows the vast majority of Americans believe it's long past time to start rebuilding America and that this message will be well received after 10 years of a costly failure in Afghanistan that only compounds the costly failure in Iraq and as the President conducts his own costly, disasterous and illegal war in Libya to secure that nation's oil in the name of "freedom".  What exposes this rhetorical flourish about attending to our needs at home as the lie that it is, is the fact that nowhere in his speech does the President make any definitive statement that our vast army and the even larger and more vast army of mercenaries (now called "contractors" in Pentagonese) we support in Afghanistan will ever leave that poor and unlucky nation.  He didn't even come close to saying our troops would ever come home.  All the President told us today was what he told us when he escalated the war back in 2009 and that is that the additional troops he ordered in will leave within a known timetable.  What we are left with when these troops go home is a permanent army of occupation the same size it was when Bush left office or a little larger.

    His deliberate deception will be blared across headlines on the internet tonight and in the newspapers in the morning.  Those headlines will feature this basic and very misleading message: "The Beginning of the End in Afghanistan" or "Obama Announces Plans to Wind Down Afghanistan War".  But, in fact, that is not at all the intention of our President or the malignant cabal of forces within our government that is in cahoots with the military industrial complex to conduct war in the Muslim world without end.

    But how can I say the President is deceiving the nation?  Surely this Democratic President intends to invest more in America as he says even if the wars continue for another 5 or 10 years(as they surely will).  The fact is, we cannot invest in our own nation when we are draining the nation's treasury to fight these obscenely expensive, losing wars throughout the Muslim world.  He knows that his hands and the hands of the Democratic members of Congress will be tied and unable to invest in rebuilding America so long as our imperial armies are abroad and sucking trillions away from our schools, infrastructure and all our other vital domestic needs. 

    We cannot afford to continue waging the wars we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan period.  But neither our President, nor our Congress will admit the collosal error we made in these wars and so they cling to the very same pathetic excuses and strategy that we had while losing the Viet Nam War.  And so, because our government, military, political and opinion leaders do not have the courage to admit our national mistake they instead choose to bankrupt the nation on these hopeless and fruitless invasions and occupations on the other side of the earth.  They would rather destroy what is left of the once mightiest economic juggernaut the world had ever seen with their pointless mlitarism and bravado than rebuild our country before it is too late.

    The strategy of training an army of uneducated peasants in a far away land that is ruled by a corrupt puppet government is a failed strategy yet it is the strategy we pursue in Afghanistan. It failed in Viet Nam and the public knew it had failed (despite the best propaganda efforts by the government and the military) years before the war ended.  I am appalled that we have been reliving this scenario now for 10 years, at how very predictable it all has been and how utterly stupid our military and political leaders have proven to be.  Instead of cutting our losses and getting the hell out of these countries where our military might does nothing but create more enemies for America in those places and around the world we spout nonsense about training the Afghan "military" and strengthening the corrupt Karzai government and reaching a "pollitical settlement" with the Taliban.  This is exactly the same doomed strategy we had in Viet Nam where the entire premise of our presence there was to train the South Vietnamese army and police, to strenghten and support the courrpt South Vietnamese government of President Thieu and Vice President Ky.  It was clear for years that America  could not win that war if it took a thousand years to do it though militarists and imperialists never acknowledged that reality in Viet Nam just as they refuse to do so today in Afghanistan.  The only thing that could have won that war for America would have been something close to open genocide because we were invaders occupying their nation and interfering in their internal politics.  In both Iraq and Afghanistan we once again are foreign invaders, resented by the population and so much so by a significant proportion of the population that there is a neverending stream of willing soldiers to be recruited from the native population to defend their homeland against the foreign invader.  But this dynamic isn't even reported on in America so it is never discussed. 

    Secretary Kissinger and President Nixon searched in vain for a political solution that never came because the North vietnamese knew the reality Nixon and Kissinger would not accept and that is that no matter how long America stayed and killed and bombed and destroyed, ultimately the Vietnamese would win and that is what happened.  They assured the nation as did LBJ before them that we were winning the war which was a transparent lie from the first time the claim was made.  And as Vietnamization proceeded and Americans "stood down" as the ARVN "stood up" the regular and guerilla forces of the north relentlessly gained ground until finally, at long last, they swept into Saigon and our military and political leaders could no longer deny the truth: we lost the Viet Nam war.  But in Afghanistan there are only irregular forces thus providing the militarists the opportunity for their endless war.

    Now, a generation and a half removed from the debacle of Viet Nam, much of the population has forgotten or wasn't alive to hear that pack of lies the the militarists and our Presidents perpetrated.  The Pentagon shrewdly analyzed the causes of the evaporation of public support for the butchery they perpetrated in Viet Nam and have done a superb job of minimizing the number of dead US soldiers while doing their level best to hide the reality of the war from the public and particularly the unGodly number of soldiers that, while not killed, have been maimed in unspeakable ways, major head truamas, loss of limbs, eyes, etc... and the huge but unknown number of deep psychological wounds that will never heal and which drive the far too high suicide rate of returning soldiers and which all but permanently disable the lives of those haunted by their experience at war. Thusly do they create the illusion that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not the wholesale bloodbaths and orgies of carnage, murder and death they really are.

    President Obama got nominated by Democrats for President and subsequently elected in 2008 by deftly making broad statements that deceived the public into believing he was whatever they wanted him to be but for the Democratic base he was portrayed as a man who opposed our imperial wars and who would work hard to bring substantive change to the corrupt cesspool our nation's capitol has become and to restore the rule of law abandoned in the Bush years.  We know now after seeing his track record that none of that was true.  But this speech is perhaps the pinnacle of the kind of cynical deception he is so masterful at and which so many desperate Americans are so willing to swallow (despite the evidence) hoping against hope that he isn't lying to them but the sad fact is: he is lying to them.

    All the President did tonight was repeat the same misleading and flawed line George Bush offered us for the 8 years of his disasterous and illegitimate Presidency.  Obama assured us that by the middle of his second term the additional troops he ordered into Afghanistan since he became President would be withdrawn.  That's all he did.  He didn't say the war would be over and our troops would be leaving during his Presidency or even during our own lifetimes.  He didn't even intimate an end to the war within a reasonable period of time.  He did assure us that if only given enough time his strategy (the one Bush intitiated and he wholeheartedly embraced) will work as it has allegedly been working.  But of course we know that it hasn't worked at all and that it is a dismal failure.  He claims that by a date certain our troops will no longer serve in a "combat role" but in a "support" role.  We know this is mere semantics and a bold faced lie. Because we already know we will never be able to train an adequate number of Afghanis to serve in their own army (owned and operated by the United States) we also can recognize that this is an appealing puff of smoke blown by the President into the eyes of our nation obfuscating the truth which is that Bush's falied policy of endless war is also Obama's war policy.

    Worst of all, is that while this lie can be maintained for a very long time given enough resources and effort by the government, aided and abetted by a willing corporate media, the continued destruction of our domestic economy, the impoverishment of our people and the bankrupting of the US Treasury, our nation gains nothing but it's own destruction which was precisely what Osama Bin Laden had intended by attacking the US on 9/11: to cause our nation to bankrupt and destroy itself in a hopeless, impossible effort to dominate and crush his ragtag bunch of miscreants.  What an irony.  There was a time when most Democrats understood this was Al Qaeda's strategy too and they demanded the wars be ended.  Sadly Obama's election changed that and many Democrats abandoned their vigorous opposition to the wars believing Obama deserved a chance to show he would bring this folly to an end.  Our leaders have failed us, they have failed the nation and worse their failure threatens to destroy the stability and prosperity Americans have always considered their birthright.  We cannot sit idly by and allow this.

    There is only one hope for the future of the United States and that is for the common people of the nation to reclaim command of our own government by building an antiwar movement that will empower the citizenry and dismantle, once and for all, the murderous, malignant, and coutnerproductive military industrial complex which has already brought us to our knees and threatens to destroy us altogether. 

    Our leaders do not work for the people or respond to their needs.  We all know this.  We know they work for themselves and their corporate masters and the mega wealthy few.  The only way to change that is outside of the system as was done in the Civil Rights movement and the antiwar movement that some of us still living participated in.  We know when the system is as unresponsive and corrupt as ours has become people power is the only means by which to affect change.  And please, spare me the "it won't work" argument.  Tell the people of the many nations over the past 30 years whose presence in the streets has toppled dictators and plutocrats across the globe whether in the Phillipines, Poland, East Germany, Egypt, Ukraine, etc. 

    This is the pivotal historic moment and critical challenge for our nation wherein we will determine as Hunter S. Thompson once said (and I paraphrase) whether we are a nation that can and will live up to it's highest, loftiest and most dearly held ideals or whether we're just a nation of used car salesmen and greedy hucksters.

    If we follow Obama as he channels Nixon's "peace with honor" deception to entice us to forget Bush's failed strategy will not work no matter who the Presdient is or how long we pursue it, we will have missed what may be our last, best chance to reclaim humanity's "last best hope."


    Here's a young man who gets right to the point and is worth listening to.  It gives me hope to see young people objecting to the tragic, destructive farce of the supposed "war on terror".


    Wow, now that is one mean attack.

    I do not know what the hell we are doing 'over there'.

    If bush were still in office providing us with new 'surges' I would be jumping up and down screaming my head off.

    I just feel drained. There is no place to turn.

    But I could never vote for one of those lying repubs.

    I have little doubt that one of the Pauls would get us out of both wars (or is it five wars?) immediately. But I also have little doubt that we would at least double our prison population; destroy Medicare and Medicaid and SS forever as well as at least five or six Federal Departments including Education.

    But damn! what a price to pay!

    I understand, but you know SS and Medicare are by no means safe with Obama in office.  He wants to cut both and that's what his intention was to do with his rotten Catfood Commission.

    In the end though it isn't an either/or choice.  We don't have to accept rotten deals from our elected leaders and shouldn't.  People are far too passive in the face of this insanity.

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