Journal: Moral Intellectual Vacuum in USA

02 China, 03 India, 05 Iran, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards
Chuck Spinney Recommends

You gotta love it when the War Party reveals its desperation to come up with yet another soundbyte to justify continuing the long Afghan War — a war becoming known to cynics in the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac as the Great Afghan Cash Cow, because it is a golden cornucopia for so many, including, inter alia, the Pentagon, defense contractors, USAID, NGOs, Warlords, the family Karzai, and even the Taliban, which is helping to fund its anti-US operations by running a protection racket paid for by the US-funded  trucking companies running supplies to the US forces in Afghanistan.

To wit:  The Pentagon just entertained the booboisie with recycled old Russian reports of Afghanistan's supposed mineral wealth (the Saudi Arabia of lithium, for example), which the New York Times and Fox dutifully amplified as new news.  Now, if the attached essay by Steve Levine is correct, we are about to be subjected to another recycling as well as a grand synthesis of old theories about turning Afghanistan in a “superhighway of roads, railroads, electricity lines, and energy pipelines for the entire Eurasian landmass.”  And lying in echelon behind this assault on our senses is the romantic magnetism of a new Great Game, perhaps devolving ultimately into a never-ending competition between the US and Russia on the high ground of Eurasian Continent.

It is easy to poke fun at such grand strategic nonsense, and Levine does a good job of dissing the latest.  But when these delusions are coupled with domestic politics, like …

  • the hysterical hype surrounding the FBI's allegations of a keystone-cops spy scandal where incompetent sleepers infiltrated the PTA meetings that fewer and fewer parents attend,
  • the now likely scuppering by Congress of a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia,
  • the likely torpedoing of the Obama-Medvedev rapprochement,
  • the increasing possibility of a congressional election debacle for the Democrats in 2010,

… it begins to look like the building blocks are falling into place for a return to political-economic normalcy in the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex — a normalcy taking the form of a permanent new Cold War with Russia.

Blaming Obama for losing the un-winnable Afghan war and for either ineffectually attacking or being afraid to attack Iran should ice the cake in 2012, thus paving the way for a new burst of defense spending in the second decade of the 21st Century, accompanied by its handmaiden, the politics of fear, and funded by greater debt as well as a renewed assault on Social Security and Medicare.

So, don't be surprised by the sound champagne corks popping in the Hall of Mirrors.

Chuck Spinney
Pilos, Greece

An Afghan trade route: What could possibly go wrong with that?

Steve Levine, Foreign Policy, 29 June 2010

The U.S. military is studying a plan to solve Afghanistan's problems by turning it into a superhighway of roads, railroads, electricity lines and energy pipelines connected to the entire Eurasian landmass. According to a piece in the National Journal by Sydney Freedberg, the proposal has the ear of Gen. David Petraeus, whose confirmation hearings to be the new U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan start today in the Senate Armed Services Committee.


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