Apart from the natural horror seemingly occurring daily in the US midwest — 126 have been confirmed dead in Joplin, MO, while another 232 are reported still missing — another horror, the dumb-ass world on terror continues without rhyme or reason, but a whole-lot of dying.
Two huge IEDs exploded one-after-another in Afghanistan on Thursday, killing eight US GIs — an unusually large toll for a single incident — bringingÂ bring the US death total in that back-assward conflict to 1,586 since George Jr. gave the trumpet call nearly a decade ago.
(Illustration found here).
The killing of Osama bin Laden should have been the wake-up call, and to some, it was.
In a recent USAToday poll 60 percent of US peoples think it’s time to pull the plug on the war in Afghanistan, though, other more important stuff remains well ahead of war as a vital factor: The conflict continues to take second billing for a nation more concerned with economic woes. Fewer than 1 percent of those surveyed call the situation in Afghanistan the most important issue facing the nation; 4 percent cite wars in general.
Even the US Congress is getting the hint.
In the House:
A measure requiring an accelerated schedule for taking back the 100,000 troops from Afghanistan and an exit strategy for the war won 204 votes in the 435-member House, falling just short of passage but spurred the hopes of its proponents.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, went even further in an op-ed in today’s LA Times, calling for the US to get the shit out of Dodge (or Afghanistan).
A couple of noteworthy nuggets:
As quickly as can be safely accomplished, American forces should be drawn down to a point where they are sufficient only to conduct targeted counter-terrorism operations, train Afghan security forces and protect American and coalition personnel.
Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, has suggested that 10,000 to 25,000 troops would be adequate to fulfill this mission and that this level could be safely reached within 12 to 18 months.
We have to be realistic about what we can achieve in Afghanistan. The notion that the United States can build a Western-style democracy there is a myth. Instead, we should focus on what we can and must accomplish: preventing Al Qaeda from threatening the United States, and supporting Afghans as they determine the way forward.
The Obama administration has clearly defined our objective in Afghanistan: to defeat Al Qaeda, ensuring that it no longer poses a significant threat to U.S. national security.
We must not allow this goal to be distorted or expanded.
The truth is we can continue to disrupt and dismantle Al Qaeda with sophisticated intelligence and targeted counter-terrorism raids, as evidenced by the daring special forces raid that killed Bin Laden.
Although some assholes say the Afghan war is important and is going well, one UK soldier is not impressed.
Britainâ€™s former ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles says the Afghan war is not going too good at all and has heaped criticism upon Gen. Petraeus, the US commander.
From The Express Tribune:
Cowper-Coles, who also served as the United Kingdomâ€™s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, further commented on Petraeus saying â€œHe has increased the violence, trebled the number of special forces raids by British, American, Dutch and Australian special forces going out killing Taliban commanders, and there has been a lot more rather regrettable boasting from the military about the body countâ€.
He added that the use of statistics was â€˜profoundly wrong and not conducive to a stable political settlement.â€™
â€œOf course it produces tactical success in cleansing insurgents out of particular areas, but itâ€™s essentially moving water around a puddle, and I think any general who boasts of the number of Pashtun insurgents heâ€™s killed should be ashamed of himself,â€ he said.
He added: â€œRegrettably, General Petraeus has curiously ignored his own principles of counter-insurgency in the field manual, which speaks of politics being the predominant factor in dealing with an insurgency.â€
Yes, shame indeed.
In an age where nature’s fury has become of prime importance, it’s just way-way-wrong to continue pouring US blood and treasure into a fruitless operation like Afghanistan, a conflict that’s beyond any need for so-called national security.
War nowadays appears to be total, not only in Afghanistan, but all over the world.
And fighting a vapor is more than stupid when there’s a ton of other stuff we should be concerned with instead of trying to fight something as mystical as terror.
We all long for peace and quiet.
In one of Kabul’s poorest neighborhoods, when I spoke with a group of about twenty very poor women in the late summer of 2009, I asked what they needed most of all.
Their unanimous response translated as one word: “peace.”
Give it a chance, assholes.