‘Acid Test’

March 9, 2011

“When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.
– Bill Copeland

(Illustration found here).

In an interview Tuesday in the New York Times, David Petraeus blew smoke up the ass of history, a procedure that the good general is most good: “The momentum of the Taliban has been halted in much of the country and reversed in some important areas,” he said. “The Taliban have never been under the pressure that they were put under over the course of the last 8 to 10 months,” he added.
Dave pretty-much knows he’s bullshitting.

A big burr under Petraeus’ saddle is the killing of nine Afghan boys March 1 — they were gathering firewood in the evening and were slaughtered by a US helicopter gunship.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai snubbed a Petraeus apology for the incident, and the whole picture seems to be the ass-crack in the problems encountered in a losing war as the counterinsurgency program just isn’t worth a shit.
From Foreign Policy:

Karzai’s snub was the cherry on top of a nightmare week at the strategic communications offices of the U.S. military.
Petraeus’s apologies were likely refused not only because they seemed too little, too late for such a shocking civilian casualty incident, but more importantly because they came on the heels of Petraeus’s bungling of a separate incident that had happened in the same province 10 days before.
Afghan government officials allege that a NATO airstrike on the evening of Feb. 17 in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province killed 65 civilians, including a number of children.
Though NATO admitted that some civilians may have been wounded, it claimed the airstrike targeted combatants.
When the issue was raised in a meeting with Karzai and other Afghan officials a week after the incident, Petraeus reportedly suggested that some of those children injured or killed were not harmed by U.S. airstrikes, but may have been burned by their parents instead in disciplinary actions.
According to the Washington Post, many Afghan officials present, including Karzai took his comments to be an accusation that the parents burned their children to falsify civilian casualties.
The Post quoted one official as saying: “Killing 60 people, and then blaming the killing on those same people, rather than apologizing for any deaths? This is inhuman. This is a really terrible situation.”
Though the U.S. military later attempted to back-track and put Petraeus’ statements in a better light, the issue had already gone viral in the international media and incited widespread anger in Afghanistan.
Petraeus notably has not issue an apology over loss of civilians in that incident, nor his remarks following it.

And Petraeus’ immediate supervisor, US Defense chief, Bullet Bob Gates, was in Afghanistan this week — added most-likely to enlighten the apology for Dave’s big mouth.
Gates heed-and-hawed about the Afghan conflict, but tried to put a spin on the whole horrible affair, saying the coming spring battle-period is going to be the milk that killed the cat.
From Politico:

“I do feel like the pieces are coming together,” Gates said while touring a combat outpost to the west of Kandahar.
Gates, who arrived in the country unannounced earlier this week, is on his 13th trip to Afghanistan in an effort to assess conditions there as the Obama administration prepares to begin withdrawing troops this summer. “The closer you get to the fight, the better it looks,” he said.


The Taliban, however, are said to be gaining strength for their annual springtime offensive, and U.S. officials worry that they could mount a significant challenge to NATO troops in the warmer weather.
“We expect the Taliban to try and take back much of what they’ve lost,” Gates said. “And that will really, in many respects, be the acid test of how effective the progress we’ve made is going to be.”

The whole DOD should suck down some anti-acid tabs because the whole thing has ‘Loser’ written all over it.
In the New York Times, a look at the shit on the ground where US GIs are struggling.

But the colonel, a commander who asked that his name be withheld to protect him from retaliation, referred to “the great disconnect,” the gulf between the intense efforts of American small units at the tactical level and larger strategic trends.

A ‘disconnect’ between brain and mouth and a bowel purge.

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