This blaster is intended to bring two very important reports and a short third report to your attention. The three should be thought about together.
1 is an essay by Robert Parry Consortium News. It is an excellent summary of the last 10 years of perpetual war and the debacle wrought by the Neoconmen. It also explains why these wars are now un-winnable and how President Obama has walked merrily into the Aftrap and is being set up as the fall guy to the Neconmen’s debacle. (My essay, which appeared in the Jan-Feb issue of Challenge, explaining the domestic politics underpinning the Pentagon’s need for perpetual war can be found here.)
2 is a more narrowly focused but deeply disturbing essay in Counterpunch by Gareth Porter, who reports on a recent book by Saleem Shahzad, the distinguished Pakistani journalist whose body was found outside Islamabad last week. As Porter explains, Shahzad has laid out how Al Qaeda, especially Dr. Ayman Zawahiri (the brains of the outfit), laid out a strategy that played President Bush (and his fellow travellers) like like a violin. Porter describes how the name of the game has been to dupe the cowboys in America to overreact to generate blowback in the Muslim word. He explains why Zawahiri wants the US mucking around in Afghanistan. But Belogolova’s report does raise a valid concern. If Shahzad is right in his assessment of Zawahiri, the good Dr must be laughing his rocks off … because from his perspective, Afghanistan may turn out to be the gift that keeps on giving.
3 is Olga Belogolova’s report on a new Senate study in the 8 June issue of National Journal …. She tells the reader that the Senate report suggests we can not even leave Afghanistan without collapsing the economy. This is kind of thinking can be used as yet another pretext for signing up to Zawahiri’s script of the U.S. staying in Afghanistan forever, enraging the Muslim world — and in the near term for scaring Obama into not withdrawing significant forces in July as he has promised to do. I am not so sure this concern over the economic effects of reducing aid is that important. If so much of the aid money goes into the swamp of corruption, a large part of the collapse may be related to corruption. Is eliminating the honey pot stoking corruption that bad for the Afghan people (or the Americans for that matter)? Will Afghanistan really collapse? Who knows? But I doubt it.
The real subject of these essays, however is the sorry state of the United States and its political elites who are either working for the benefit of other countries (i.e., see Parry’s discussion of the Neoconmen and Israel) or are brain dead strategists in Versailles on the Potomac, who, as we used to say in the Pentagon, “went for the cape — right off the cliff.” An now the numbskulls who got the United States into these messes are suggesting we must stay the course. Which brings us back to the Colonel’s lament in my last blaster.
La Ciotat, France
Phi Beta Iota: Integrity might be lost at the top, but it is the failure of integrity among all ranks that enables the corruption at the top to persist. We swear an oath to the Constitution, not to the chain of command, but all of our officers, with few exceptions, appear at this time to be in violation of their oath to the Constitution.