Saturday, November 20, 2010

JMO - Shades of Vietnam

I've watching and listening to the news and analysis stories about President Obama's war plan in Afghanistan. I won't argue President Bush screwed the new President trying to get victory there and find Osama Bin Laden. Bush screwed the military and the American people there. He was and is an utter failure as a war President.

But what concerns me more is Obama's move to the right and even more right than Bush over war, intelligence and terrorism. He's turn hawk with the full support of the military who love war and love the power and money that comes with it. They'll sell war whenever and wherever they can and they hooked Obama completely into two wars we'll never leave. We won't and can't leave Iraq for a long time as it's center to our Middle East policy.

And we can't leave Afghanistan. Not that we actually can and plan, but all of this year's talk from the President are shades of President Johnson in 1964-66 when he escalated the war when eventually (1968) we had half a million troops there. Today in Afghanistan we have upwards of 250,000 troops, logistics forces and contractors in Afghanistan excluding the NATO forces which is 50-100,000.

In short, it's becoming another Vietnam in numbers, in tone and in policy. Everything Obama, and much of what the NATO commader is saying, is reminscent of what Johnson said about Vietnam and eventually the bombing of North Vietham and the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia. Only now it's Pakistan with the military and contract special forces and drones.

And recently the NATO commander said we're there until 2014 and President Obama said at the earliest, meaning 2016 and beyond because the Afghan forces and police will never get up to speed and the Afghan government will never be strong enough beyond the corruption. And that's the issues.

It's because the Afghans know we will stay until they're ready and they can simply delay. And more so, they love our billions of dollars in support for the government, military/police and building projects. Why ask the cash cow (us) to leave?

And we know the Taliban has more patience than we do. They outlasted the Soviet army and occupation government. They'll outlast our armies (US and NATO) and our proped-up government, just like we did in Vietnam. Clearly the Taliban aren't the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army who had China as backers, but they have something almost as good, Pakistan, who has our money too.

President Obama and the Democrats have gone hawk on us more hawk than the Republicans. They've lost touch with what America and American values are about to avoid being painted as weak. It's just a poltiical war here as a real one there, and it's all for the same reasons and purposes, not Afghanistan, but here and the power of Congress and the White House. It's all about politics.

The people see this and know this, and if there is no real progress there in 2012, you can be the Democratic base and Indepedents will do then what happened in 1968 to Johnson and the Democrats. And we know the Republicans aren't better or really that different, just more obvious with their rhetoric. We're smarter than they think.

So, Mr. President, take notice, for a student of history you're going down the road to repeat it, only about 35 years later. What don't you see or understand is that we want and need a different road and destination there and here. Our fight isn't in or with Afghanistan anymore, it's here with people, jobs, the economy, healthcare (sorry, you only fixed some of it), and everything effecting the lives of everyday people.

That's what you should do, focus on that and here. Or you'll face a voice of your base, and not for you but against you. Just like President Johnson did in 1968. The people won then (although we lost the election to a liar and crook) and we can win now too.

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