Enemy of the State's Blog

I Don't Have Cable, I Have To Make My Own Fun
JULY 7, 2010 2:08PM

Would The 24/7 News Cycle Have Had Us Speaking German?

Rate: 3 Flag

Its a question I often wonder about.  Vietnam was an aberation, a brief open window look at what war is really like, and the military and government, realising that was not a good thing, clamped down hard afterwards. All other military incursions since have tightly restricted media access and information flow. Control of information is power and its being heavy handidly exercised daily.

Supposedly this country is at war, and has been soon after the bleating reader of My Pet Goat decided to use that little 9/11 thing to show that he had bigger balls than his legitimate war hero daddy.

 But its an almost invisble war-  with minimal affect on general society if you  didn't lose anyone in the attacks or  or have or had a loved one  serving overseas.   And there's a certain disconnect which makes it hard to take claims of just how serious the government is about fighting the war, particularly in Afghanistan. 

 War is bad, war is horrendous, war causes untold tragedy and human suffering- there's no arguing that. But if a government makes the committment to fight- and sends its citizen soldiers off to do its bidding, what obligation does it have to do all it can to provide them with adequate support and make their survival first priority?

Its a sad truth that collateral damage- accidental civilian casualties is a by product of, and a  fact of, war. I'm not referring to deliberate massacres  of the local population, rather the unfortunate circumstance of their being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Afghanistan is a guerrilla style war , one where its hard to not only tell the bad guys fromthe less bad, but where  local combatants wear no uniform and melt into the civilian population without a trace. Its also a war  which has come to rely heavily on high tech rather than  up close and personal reports on the ground  for intelligence and operational decisions. And one where the presence  of a few civilans in an area is enough to call off operations designed to attack, and preferably eliminate, the enemy who is doing its best to kill  the  American and other forces . This of course gives the Taliban and its allies a chance to fight another day.

Its nice that the US (and British) miltary are so conscientious about  not harming the locals. And yes- winning their hearts and minds is difficult if a wedding party is attacked  because a drone in the sky misread it as a terrorist  gathering. And its nice that our side is considerably more conscientious about not harming the local population than either the Taliban or their Afghan allies.  But Afganistan is a strange place- one where power is respected considerably  more than compassion.

 If our government doesn't want this to turn into the 100 Years War- and we're 10% there - it has to decide just where to draw the line. If we're serious about the situation, then something has to change.




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Do you think we will see change in our lifetime?
I doubt it, sad to say
rated with hugs
I sadly don't see any change in the foreseeable future- I think this will just drag on indefinitely, dragging down our country and economy with it.
Yep, we got our hands stuck in the honey pot, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and someday soon, we'll decide that we need to fight another war, till we just keep marching forward forever into a wall.
I think as long as there's no draft- or obviously unpleasant ramifications or peasantry anger that dumbfuck politicians can no longer ignore- we'll just go stay on our garden little path heading deeper and deeper into the quagmire...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I don't know what the answer is. Shrub started the war, and then put Afghanistan on the back burner. This of course gave the baddies time to escape, regroup and retrench. Now, despite several hundred thousand military personnel having been there over the years- the corrupt national government barely controls much more than the area round Kabul. Pakistan continues to provide support and a home for the Taliban and their Al Qa'ida allies and part of the money paid in country to contractors to supply the military goes into the pockets of the Taliban. A few of their commanders are killed- but there are others to step up. The place continues to be Jihadi Central- and it looks to be that way indefinitely.
I hope the planned surge makes a difference- but I think its too little, too late.