The article by Megan Eckstein in Wednesday’s FNP was titled “REASON FOR OPTIMISM” — in big, bold letters. The subtitle was “Bartlett confident about victory in Afghanistan after trip.” Pure propagandistic spin. Why such flimsy pretense in defense of this barbaric war? Why?
“Rep. Roscoe Bartlett said he’s optimistic about claiming victory when the U.S. military leaves Afghanistan in 2014, though his definition of victory doesn’t include defeating al-Qaida entirely.” Bartlett: “I’ve been very concerned that this would end up as the ultimate exercise in futility because this is the country that is called ‘the graveyard of empires.’”
Sometimes we can count on Roscoe to give the game away. Note the phrase “claiming victory” and the concern about “futility.” Translation: We must remain until we can claim victory — it might only take another three years or so — at that point at least we will be able to say the whole thing wasn’t futile.
There’s the reference to “graveyard of empires.” Is not Roscoe acknowledging that we are an empire acting the part of an empire?
And there’s the reference to not “defeating al-Qaida entirely.” I wonder if Roscoe remembers CIA Director Leon Panetta admitting about six months ago that there were no more than 50 members of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
More giveaways from Roscoe: “But even if we are (successful), then the bad guys go into Pakistan. And then if you spend I don’t know how much more money, and how many more dead kids and kids with their arms and legs blown off and drive (al-Qaeda) out of Pakistan, then they’ll go to Yemen and Somalia …”
“You know, Rome tried to stamp out the Christians,” Bartlett said, joking that he wasn’t comparing al-Qaida to Christianity. But he warned that “when you’re trying to stamp out a group of people, sometimes that creates more of those people.”
Sounds a whole lot worse than futile to me. Roscoe knows it. And, despite all the ridiculous propaganda, so do the rest of us.
The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is the world’s leading think tank for military affairs. This is what the IISS had to say late last year in a report on Afghanistan that was presided over by the former deputy director of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI-6: The threat from al-Qaeda and the Taliban has been “exaggerated.” The U.S.-led war is “a long-drawn-out disaster.” The presence of Western troops in Afghanistan is fueling national resistance. IISS said it was issuing these warnings because the war in Afghanistan was burning through scarce funds needed elsewhere.
It recently came to light that during this past December, in Kandahar, the U.S. military was routinely leveling villages. We dropped 20,000 pounds of munitions on a village called Tarok Kolache, erasing it from the map.
On Feb. 17, according to the Afghan government, U.S.-led foreign forces killed 65 civilians, most of them children, in Kunar province. About this instance of barbarity, Gen. David Petraeus in Kabul questioned whether Afghans might have burned their own children to exaggerate claims of civilian casualties! On March 1, NATO helicopter gunships killed nine young boys while they were collecting firewood in Kunar province.
On the last day Bartlett was in Afghanistan, March 7, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was also there, saying a U.S. presence may have to remain in the country past the 2014 deadline.