Afghanistan is today’s Vietnam.
No question mark needed.
BY THOMAS H. JOHNSON, M. CHRIS MASON
AUGUST 20, 2009
For those who say that comparing the current war in Afghanistan to the Vietnam War is taking things too far, here’s a reality check: It’s not taking things far enough. From the origins of these North-South conflicts to the role of insurgents and the pointlessness of this week’s Afghan presidential elections, it’s impossible to ignore the similarities between these wars. The places and faces may have changed but the enemy is old and familiar. The sooner the United States recognizes this, the sooner it can stop making the same mistakes in Afghanistan.
Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment:
Robert Steele is not Daniel Ellsberg, but he might as well be. Below is what Ellsberg told Kissinger in the 1970’s, remarkably analogous to what Steele tried to tell Jones (copied to Clapper and out-going Marine Director of Intelligence Dick Lake, see the actual letter below.
The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information]
Daniel Ellsberg, SECRETS: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (Viking, 2002). This is his recollection of his words to Henry Kissinger, then National Security Advisor to President Richard Nixon. The three pages on the pathological effects of falling prey to the cult of secrecy, on pages 237-239, should be forced rote memorization for all who receive clearances.
Below is the letter to General Jones. Like all of his predecessors, he is cut off from reality as well as the ethics of the American Republic. That does not in any way impugn his honor or his intentions. He cannot know what he does not know. The government is broken. What General Jones CAN do is pay attention and do some serious outreach.
Those who remember Marines landing outside the Pentagon to break up the protesters will see this again. Our well-intentioned but very ignorant White House is repeats all of the mistakes of earlier generations, the most important mistake being to lose touch with BOTH reality AND the public.
See also the earlier post on Gallipoli and Military Incompetence (Confusing Loyalty with Professionalism), and the three books below, among many others that can be quickly studied from the Annotated Bibliography at www.oss.net/PIG.