The ‘Long’ High-Speed End

May 14, 2008

Since early Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, the US has reportedly been at war.
According to Decider George and his bunch of continually-wrong minons, this war is being waged against those who practice terror.
Aside from the fact this actual war has been ongoing for decades, maybe since Iran in 1953, or even maybe back to the days of T.E. Lawrence, the current segment of this conflict is a complete, horrifying failure.

In 2005, after the infamous “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) phrase appeared a bit over zealous due to the bloody fact Iraq (and Afghanistan) were becoming messy affairs, big Don Rumsfeld and his Pentagon boys cooked up a military-history sounding slogan, “The Long War.”
Although the term had been credited the year before to Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, former head of US Central Command, Decider George snatched it up pretty quick.
He retched up the phrase during his State of the Union address Jan. 31, 2006.
The next day, Rumsfeld, during a press briefing, answered a reporter’s question this way about whether the “Long War” meant US GIs overseas in war zones a long, long time:

  • “No. The — quite the contrary. I think what we’re trying to do is to just simply tell the truth…”
    …
    (A question later in the briefing): One clarification on “the long war.” Is Iraq going to be a long war?
    SEC. RUMSFELD: “No, I don’t believe it is. We’re training up these folks and passing over responsibility every day…”
    defenselink.mil/transcripts, (2/1/06)

So Iraq and hopefully other small parts of the whole of the “Long War” won’t be long?

  • Still, I suspect “the Long War” will soon join the “Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism” in the dust bin of history. In fact, on naming its terror war, the Bush administration could probably use a little help. How about the Scare-You-to-Death-Struggle-for-Global-Ethanol-Independence-and-Republican-Electoral-Victories War (or SYTDSFGEIAREVW)?
    — Tom Engelhardt, Tomgram: Bushwhacked in Bushworld, (2/7/06)

The problem with the “Long War” is that it isn’t overseas.

In the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Andrew J. Bacevich, a teacher at Boston University, brought forth a concise and abrupt clarity to this whole ‘Long War’ bullshit.

  • Back in September 2001, Rumsfeld put it this way: “We have a choice — either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live; and we chose the latter.” In this context, “they” represent the billion or so Muslims inhabiting the greater Middle East.
    …
    The truth is that the United States, with rare exceptions, has demonstrated little talent for changing the way others live. We have enjoyed far greater success in making necessary adjustments to our own way of life, preserving and renewing what we value most. Early in the 20th century, Progressives rounded off the rough edges of the Industrial Revolution, deflecting looming threats to social harmony. During the Depression, FDR’s New Deal reformed capitalism and thereby saved it. Here lies the real genius of American politics.
    Rumsfeld got it exactly backward. Although we do face a choice, it’s not the one that he described. The actual choice is this one: We can either persist in our efforts to change the way they live — in which case the war of no exits will surely lead to bankruptcy and exhaustion. Or we can recognize the folly of generational war and choose instead to put our own house in order: curbing our appetites, paying our bills and ending our self-destructive dependency on foreign oil and foreign credit.
    — Andrew Bacevich, The ‘Long War’ Fallacy, latimes.com, (5/13/08)

If a national course isn’t adjusted within a short space, the end of the so-called ‘Long War’ will come to a hard-crash end.
Oil and its refined products, food and the modern system of transporting it, an infrastructure so weak roads and bridges are decades behind in upkeep — once a breakdown occurs, the horror of what’s happening in the Third World right now will come home to roost in the US.
Despite the glory and wealth, the US is in extremely poor condition — no real, overall maintenance since the 1950s, a shame of a rail system — and a population literally bloated and fattened on the finest things the world can produce.

Even at $10 a gallon, US consumers will continue to fill their vehicles with fuel.
Even at $5 a loaf, US peoples will continue to prepare sloppy peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

What happens then, when all this isn’t available in mass quantity?

Riots, death and destruction — no more peanut butter, no more jelly. 

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