Et Tu, Stanley?

2010 June 28

by Roy W. Bakos

“…his directives get passed down to us through Big Army, they’re all fucked up – either because somebody is trying to cover their ass, or because they just don’t understand it themselves. But we’re fucking losing this thing.”
-Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks/Serving in Afghanistan

The recent flap over the article in Rolling Stone magazine and the resignation/firing of the top US General running the war in the region, Stanley McChrystal, has caused pundits on both side of the issue of the war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror to wax endlessly on subjects ranging from terrorism to patriotism to the weakness of the President to candor in an interview and so on.  What all of them have missed so far is the above quote from a man serving in the field in America’s longest war…”But we’re fucking losing this thing.”

Why is this quote important but ignored by most covering the article and the resounding controversy?  It is ignored because our “Liberal/Progressive/Communist (insert pleasant or derogatory term here)”  President that promised to end the conflicts in the Middle East and Near Asia when running for office has instead embraced a policy of “counterinsurgency” that will keep us there for decades if executed according to plan.  This is like finding out that Luke Skywalker put on the Emperor’s cloak at the end of Return of the Jedi and decided to revive the Empire.  The War in Afghanistan is now the longest running war in our history (if you don’t count having 50,000 troops in Korea since 1953 and another 100,000 or so scattered across Europe since landing in France in 1944 as being “at war”) and there is no end to this in sight.  Are we there to extend the reach of our Empire by keeping those in the provinces in control or are we there to “get” the guys that caused the attacks of September 11, 2001?  I used to think that the former was the real reason and that our new president would get back to the mission, but President Obama has somehow been sold the idea that remaining in Afghanistan at a huge military, economic, and human cost (not to mention the cost of our Republic which is having it’s final bits tattered away and flushed down the toilet of history in both of these wars and their aftermath…see Patriot Act and a police state as the aftermath) is somehow in our “National Interest.”

As I previously did months ago, and will do again now, I emplore anyone to tell me why we are still in Afghanistan?  I am hoping for a Dickensian moment now where three figures will visit me in the night: the Ghost of Charlie Wilson; the Ghost that is Ollie North; and the floating head of Dick Cheney…and that they will all take me on journeys to the past, present, and future that can explain why we are still in Afghanistan and why we are fighting a war against a word.  Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is the same as the likelihood of this war actually ending.  What happened in Rome after Caesar crossed the Rubicon?

One Response leave one →
  1. July 7, 2010

    What happened after Caesar crossed the Rubicon?

    Jeep got a sweet name for an SUV.

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