In his speech announcing a new military push in Afghanistan, Trump didn’t mention even once his electoral landslide or how the goal of defeating ISIS and terrorism was all his idea. He read that teleprompter like a real grown-up adult person, although there’s no way Fox News will be writing Donald Trump off as one of those teleprompter-reading chumps like Obama. And unlike that loser, Obama, there’s no way Trump will be announcing, for the enemy’s edification, the number of troops we’ll be sending there. 4,000 is the figure I saw in the news yesterday. Very hush hush.
We’ll be working on common goals with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, except for the goals we don’t have in common. Like Pakistan’s goal of housing and sponsoring the Afghan Taliban – the forces we’re fighting – in order to maintain instability in Afghanistan as a hedge against India. India has been sticking it to Pakistan with its own investments in Afghanistan. Trump, in his speech, mentioned that we’ll bringing our ally, India, into the mix. Hopefully no one in Pakistan overheard that part.
Trump asserted his honorable goal of putting thousands more American soldiers at risk of being killed or maimed so that the ones who were killed and maimed already won’t feel that their sacrifices were in vain. What Afghan wouldn’t find that persuasive? As a pretext for war I’m definitely not persuaded. We might want to honor the killed and maimed by not being so quick to have others killed and maimed.
The elephant in this room isn’t just a GOP disease. Even Bernie Sanders expressed the prevailing delusion that our destructive presence in the region as invaders, occupiers and sponsors of dictators is a globally accepted paradigm; as though the US military is an obligatory geological feature like a mountain range. Every corner of the globe has such a mountain placed there by God to protect American interests in the name of world peace. So it’s logical that we’d find unacceptable the meddling of other nations that actually live in that region and have some commonality with the pan-Arab/Persian Muslim culture and history. Where did Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan get the idea that they too are entitled to national interests and spheres if influence of their own? Why it’s downright destabilizing. There seems to be no sense of irony in that assumption.
Trust me here when I say that I’m no fan of the destructive mayhem those countries churn throughout the region and beyond. Not to mention the fundamentalism that locks the region in perpetual civil war and worldview based on a romanticized past. My point is that their entitlement to impose their interests on the rest of the region is only slightly less reasonable than our own delusion of entitlement to do the same.
It’s our delusion that makes it impossible to form a realistic strategy for diplomacy or combat. It will keep us imprisoned in the quicksand of that region for possibly another generation.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, August 21, 2017
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