Saturday, September 27, 2008
Afghanistan, the Right War?I'm glad Bruce said it first. I really wish Obama would come to his senses and stop trying to make Afghanistan the next stop for our weary soldiers once we get them out of Iraq. It's a noble idea, it would be great to see Bin Laden finally dead, or even in jail, it would be great to get rid of the resurgent Taliban. I just don't think it's do-able. Afghanistan is a much different place than it was in 2002, and we have through incompetence, or just plain stupidity, allowed radicals to grow much stronger, and much more firmly entrenched.
I want to compare the situation in Afghanistan to one much like the Soviet invasion in the late 90's. The Soviet Union was over-stretched militarily and economically, and were drawn into a war that they couldn't win. Today, in the US, we are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, with a military stretched to the brink, and we want to go back to Afghanistan? It's just not going to have a good outcome. First we withdraw from Iraq, and whatever crappy scenario that is waiting us there, most likely Iran absorbing the whole country, and then we take on another war surrounded by hostile countries (including Pakistan) on all sides? There is no happy ending.
And more to the point, there is no money. I don't know why Americans think the Democrats are more responsible with the economy than Republicans, but if we Democrats were, we'd be telling the nation that there are very difficult times ahead. We would not be trying to sell people on hope, we would not be telling them that we're going to create jobs and affordable health care, and better education, when we will soon be paying down a national debt of 11.3 trillion dollars. Tax revenues are slowing with the economy, when people don't have work, when people and companies incur capital losses, (and hasn't everyone lost money this year?) there is no income to tax, and therefore no revenue.
The rest of the world is just waiting for the complete collapse of our nation. It might happen next week, or next month, but we will surely be in a very different position at the next inauguration. George Bush and Friends are trying to squeeze the last $700 billion out of us right now. There is maybe enough money to rebuild our nation, or maybe enough money for one last war.
But the days when we could wage war at will, and still give our citizens a comfortable life are over.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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