As President Obama continues his deliberations about what the hell to do about Afghanistan, this week saw a lot of fuel thrown on the fire:
- The number of US troops killed by the Taliban hit an all time monthly high.
- The Taliban showed they could strike anywhere, killing a dozen UN workers in their Kabul headquarters and shelling a five star hotel that regularly hosts the international media.
- A former combat decorated Marine, Matthew Hoh, who joined the State Department after serving in Iraq, resigned saying he saw no good end to continued US occupation of the country.
- The brother of the Afghan President, Ahmed Wali Karzai, widely believed to be a drug kingpin who has thus far escaped any serious investigation, was revealed to be on the CIA payroll for 8 years. Since a great deal of the Taliban’s money comes from the drug trade, that means that we are paying the guy who is helping to kill our troops.
- SecState Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan and read its government the riot act for not doing more to eliminate from within its borders the Al Qaeda who George W. Bush allowed to escape from Afghanistan.
- President Obama made an emotional midnight trip to Dover AFB to honor returning US troops and civilians KIA in Afghanistan, something that President Chimpy never deigned to do.
- Senator John Kerry pressured President Hamid Karzai to hold a runoff election after a UN investigation showed that, aided by his drug dealing brother, he defrauded his own people by producing nearly a million bogus votes.
- The military industrial congressional media complex turned up the heat on Obama to make a decision to their liking, painting him as indecisive for not giving General McChrystal carte blanche to escalate the occupation by adding anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 more troops, notwithstanding that total UN and US forces already outnumber Taliban fighters by a ratio of 12:1.
- The assumption that the additional troops would come from the Iraq drawdown took a major hit by the escalating violence there. This is a predictable development given that the minority Sunni, whose tribal leadership was devastated by General McChrystal’s Operation Phoenix-like assassination squads, fear that without a sufficient American presence, the Shia majority would move in and finish the job. How’s that for karma, General?
In addition to the moral and strategic questions involved in Obama’s decision, is the issue of cost. Unlike the Bushies, who hid the true monetary costs of fighting two wars and maintaining two long term occupations by funding them off-budget through continuing “emergency budget resolutions,” Obama has ended that subterfuge by including the costs in the country’s yearly budget, already strained to the breaking point by the financial thievery of the Wall Street Bankstas.
Some congressmen pride themselves as being deficit hawks and will vote against anything that helps actual people like economic stimulus, foreclosure relief, extending unemployment insurance, and heath care reform. But when it comes to pursuing an immoral, counterproductive and very expensive war, they are magically transformed into the biggest deficit spenders in the world. For which they’re corporate sponsors are humbly grateful, we’re sure.
To paraphrase a line from Jesus in The Urantia Book, issued when he confronted the incarnation of iniquity in his day:
May The Ancients of Days judge your asses divinely.
[Image found here.]