Maybe Malism

September 16, 2011

malism: The doctrine that this world is evil — (HEADWORD) pessimism.

When George Jr. ordered the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 — another decade gone — according to Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, initial support by US peoples for the act was around 90 percent: In 2001 and 2002, about 40 percent of the public said they were following news about Afghanistan very closely. From 2009 to 2011, that number had fallen to 25 percent, Kohut says, adding that the pattern in Iraq was the same.
Earth was a way-another planet 10 years ago.

(Illustration found here).

Afghanistan has also been known as the “graveyard of empires.”
And the US troops still engaged there are indeed beginning to feel like care-takers in a cemetery.
According to the Army Times (via

After a decade of war in Afghanistan, many troops are losing confidence in the long-term likelihood of success for the U.S. military mission there, and their overall support for President Obama has slipped, according to the latest Military Times annual reader survey.
Slightly less than half of readers said the U.S. is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan.
The figure is lower among troops who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the survey shows.
That has slipped steadily from 2007, when more than 75 percent of readers surveyed said the U.S. was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan.

The growing pessimism among troops about the war in Afghanistan may reflect doubts about America’s long-term commitment to the herculean task of executing a counterinsurgency strategy.
“People wonder if we really have the commitment to follow this through,” said retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, who was the top enlisted service member for the NATO mission in Kabul in 2009 and 2010. “I think everybody knows that we can be successful over there.
But it’s going to take time and presence and commitment, and I think folks are worried that we go over there, we sacrifice our families and we work hard — but are we going to follow through?
Or is this all going be for naught?”

Oh, yeah.
And the US public has other troubles as domestic shit appears more important — there’s not a good view of the future found anywhere.
A new Bloomberg poll out this week shows only 20 percent of US peoples think this country is on the right track, and only 9 percent believe we won’t slide back into another recession.

The poll results show the public is running out of patience with political leaders after months of protracted negotiations over the national debt ceiling that brought the country to the brink of default and signs that the economy is weakening.
Seventy-two percent say the country is on the wrong track.
Both sides have suffered.
A 53 percent majority holds a negative view of the Republican Party, up from 47 percent in June.
The Democratic Party has also taken a hit, with a 46 percent to 44 percent plurality of respondents saying they have an unfavorable view of the party, a reversal from a plurality of 48 percent to 42 percent with a positive view three months ago.
“Both sides need to think outside the box,” says Rachel Reichard, 40, a political independent and full-time home- schooling mother from Hagerstown, Maryland.
“It just seems like everybody is thinking like they did in the Clinton administration.
They still had typewriters on the desk and landlines back then.”

Only 27 percent of Americans say they are better off now than in January 2009, when Obama took office in the depths of the recession compounded by the September 2008 financial crisis and the country was losing as many as 820,000 jobs a month.
That’s a decline from June, when 34 percent said they were better off.

The US public would be better off and the economy would get a great shot in the financial arm if the troops came home and two horrible wars are finished — don’t hold your breath.

And the Afghan war ain’t no ‘nother Vietnam.

“I call that having skin in the game,” he says (Army Col. Matthew Moten, a professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point).
“If America had a draft at the moment, even a very small draft, if mothers and fathers knew that there was some real chance that their sons and daughters might be conscripted into the military, I think they would pay a great deal more attention to what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
But it’s not just the public that has lost focus on the wars.
Many cash-strapped news organizations have scaled back or even eliminated their coverage. And the two conflicts barely cause a ripple on the campaign trail, especially among Republican presidential candidates, says Preble (Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute).
“Many Republicans don’t want to call attention to Iraq,” he says.
“That would remind the American public that they were, in fact, the cheerleaders for this war that most Americans now think was a horrible mistake.”

Oh, you — you’re just a pessimistic malist.

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