On Analogy and Imperial Ambition

by matttbastard

What was that about Afghanistan not being even remotely analogous to Vietnam?

Andrew Bacevich:

Implementing the McChrystal plan will perpetuate the longstanding fundamentals of US national security policy: maintaining a global military presence, configuring US forces for global power projection, and employing those forces to intervene on a global basis. The McChrystal plan modestly updates these fundamentals to account for the lessons of 9/11 and Iraq, cultural awareness and sensitivity nudging aside advanced technology as the signature of American military power, for example. Yet at its core, the McChrystal plan aims to avert change. Its purpose – despite 9/11 and despite the failures of Iraq – is to preserve the status quo.

[…]

If the president assents to McChrystal’s request, he will void his promise of change at least so far as national security policy is concerned. The Afghanistan war will continue until the end of his first term and probably beyond. It will consume hundreds of billions of dollars. It will result in hundreds or perhaps thousands more American combat deaths – costs that the hawks are loath to acknowledge.

Bah — costs, shmosts. Remember, kids: Failure is not an option; No end but victory; Clap harder, etc. Positive reinforcement is like the platinum card of force projection — and one can always refinance the mounting debt if the interest proves too great.

Glennzilla (h/t):

Obama deserves some credit for at least refusing to capitulate immediately to the military’s demands without taking time to consider alternative options.  Russ Feingold just wrote another Op-Ed arguing for a withdrawal timetable from Afghanistan, but that option is not even part of the Washington debate.  The only issue is whether to escalate and, if so, by how much.  The Washington Post today reported that as part of Obama’s March order for 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, “the White House has also authorized — and the Pentagon is deploying — at least 13,000 troops beyond that number.”  With Democrats like Feinstein controlling the U.S. Senate, is it any wonder that our status as a perpetual war nation appears to continue indefinitely?

Ah well, if we can’t actually be granted meaningful Change in the direction of US foreign policy, at least we can vicariously cling to the imperial hopes and dreams of those who profit from the expansionist state.

Yes, we can.

Oh, and for us Canucks, the prospect of US forces committing to a protracted, NATO-lead COIN campaign in Afghanistan combined with soaring Tory poll numbers would appear to put Harper’s long-promised 2011 exit date for Canadian combat troops in serious question.

Ok, I guess there are some differences between Afghanistan and Vietnam — at least Canada knew enough to stay out of that tar pit.

Related: First Van Jones, now Joe Biden?! Seriously, Arianna Huffington (or her ghost-writer, natch) desperately needs to get over the notion that being out of power somehow magically imparts one greater influence (and PONIES!)

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Sharpening the Pitchfork

by matttbastard

Oh FFS, part deux:

“Last February, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune wrote on the Huffington Post, ‘For the mega-rich, recession brings with it the ability to live well at a lower cost and with less of a hassle.’

In Decemeber, Arianna Huffington’s daughter Christina came out at New York’s International Debutante Ball.* The organizer’s justification for the $14000 a table event: ‘Watches cost more.'”

Watches.

Cost.

More.

Buh?!

Ok, not to get all class war and shit, but. a FUCKING COMING OUT PARTY IN 2009 DURING A FUCKING RECESSION?! You know what? Fuck it — Sarah, via email (h/t), is absolutely fucking correct:

[T]hat’s exactly when we need to get all class war. Right now, when even my Republican parents are pissed about bailouts and CEO pay.

I mean,  an asymmetrical class war has already been going on for too fucking long (Tax cuts! Welfare reform! Deregulation!), only with hostilities coming from the top down–and they’ve been kicking our fucking asses. With all that wealth still concentrated at the VERY top,  it’s about goddamn time the little people finally started fighting back. Because it really, really says something that some people (even nominal progressives ) still have the fucking stones to throw $14,000/plate debutante balls during the worst economic crisis since the Great fucking Depression.

That’s it — I’m fucking done taking hunks of cake without question and pretending to like the taste. Time to import a non-violent modern variation of the French Revolution to North America post-fucking-haste.

*[insert tart observation about how not paying your writers really helps with the bottom line — and the coming out party expenses.]

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