Eight Years Later

October 7, 2009

Today eight years ago, Oct. 7, 2001…

“On my order, U.S. forces have begun strikes on terrorist camps of al Qaeda, and the military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” Bush said in a somber, televised address from the White House Treaty Room.

“We are supported by the collective will of the world,” Bush said.

— George Jr., CNN

History is way-ironic, yes it is.
Now the collective will of the world is focused on figuring out how to extract itself from a terrifying, tempestuous Afghanistan.
The US is also now poised to descent even further into an intractable abyss.

(Illustration found here).

Not only is President Obama pondering  the intensely-crucial decision on whether to jack-up the US Afghan troops levels — dragging the country (and with it the region and ultimately the world) into a quagmire with no end (see ‘abyss‘) — but there also appears to be a pull on the civilian leash-control of the military on what to do.

Reportedly last week, Obama met with Gen. Stan McChrystal, head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, aboard Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen and chewed his ass about opening his lean-and-mean mouth — McChrystal had stated the only way forward in Afghanistan was with a troop surge and nothing short of that would accomplish the trick.
Don’t talk asshole talk behind the boss’s back: Bruce Ackerman, an expert on constitutional law at Yale University, said in the Washington Post: “As commanding general, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements.”
He added that it was highly unusual for a senior military officer to “pressure the president in public to adopt his strategy.”

And what’s even worse, the White House won’t even venture an answer to a vital question Helen Thomas asked Bob Gibbs on Monday during a press briefing — what would happen if the US withdrew from Afghanistan?

Helen Thomas: “Is pulling out of Afghanistan part of the assessment?”
Robert Gibbs: “No. In fact, the President was — the President was exceedingly clear that no part of the conversation on — no part of the conversation involved was leaving Afghanistan. That’s not something that has ever been entertained, despite the fact that people still get asked what happens if we leave Afghanistan. That’s not a decision that’s on the table to make.”
Thomas: “What does he think will happen?”
Gibbs: “What does he think will happen?”
Thomas: “If we leave?”
Gibbs: “I don’t think we have the option to leave. I think that’s — that’s quite clear.”

Is it really all that clear?
The big-money words: ‘no part of the conversation…on leaving…’ and ‘that has never been entertained‘… and ‘don’t think we have the option to leave…’
Such total bullshit.
And the words ‘despite the fact‘ seem to scream out from Gibb’s fluttering answer: People want to know the freakin’ consequences if the US leaves.

One must remember another little spiel that spilled out Oct. 7, 2001: Osama bin Laden issued a strongly-worded warning that same day to the US in a recorded statement broadcast on al-Jazeera TV.
After a shitload of religious arrogance way-similar to George Jr.’s cowboy antics, Osama said this near the end (BBC translation):

As for the United States, I tell it and its people these few words: I swear by Almighty God who raised the heavens without pillars that neither the United States nor he who lives in the United States will enjoy security before we can see it as a reality in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Mohammed, may God’s peace and blessing be upon him.

Bin Laden eight years later — either dead or alive — has accomplished a great deal without really doing much at all.
In George Jr. he had the best dupe available, and now it appears President Obama is heading in that direction.
It’ll be a major shock if Obama does not okay the whole 40,000-GI request from McChrystal, and, what should have been a quick engagement in Afghanistan in 2001, maybe drawing down troops in 2003 or so, instead has morphed in another empire killer.

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