6 Responses

  1. There’s the Narrative (that so many buy into, because, not surprisingly given the effort expended to create it, it fits so comfortably and neatly with the Exceptionalist, jingoist world view) and there’s the reality. Which is so wonderfully inconsistent with the Narrative, when fortuity lifts little corners of the Big Sand and Spinach Tarp and exposes how it’s really being done, in our names and with our money.

    And no, all “Arabs” and “Iranians” and all the other folks that some of us are so charmed as to identify as “Unlawful Enemas” are not nice people. But it sure seems that the way the Game is being played simply amplifies the badness, here, there, and everywhere. Of course there are so many dark corners where rats and roaches can do their business that it’s impossible to keep it all illuminated so we who are sponsoring the Pretty Narrative can at least see the Actual Reality parts, not the images displayed like Pat Tillman and pre-Pecker-Problems Petraeus and All-Wise McChrystal and Unknown-Unknowns Rummy and Dick the Lesser Cheney, and have half a chance at getting to ask, and even maybe weigh in on the decisions, whether what all those jackals and sneaky-petes and Foggy-Bottomists and Pentagrammers make any sense in our increasingly mutually vulnerable world.

    On the other hand, suspension of disbelief is so, ah, comforting. Along with the reassurance that Competent Expert People are “in charge here.”

    “My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.” Plauger, P. J. (Apparently inapplicable to Foreign Policy and Military Doctrine Experts, who are generally personally immune to the hard consequences of their policies and doctrines. Getting canned for getting caught with your pants down, and maybe other unspecified but wonderfully speculatable-about misdemeanors and felonies, is not a hard consequence.)

    “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”
    Niels Bohr
    Read more at link to brainyquote.com (Some of our War Leaders seem to be approaching that limit, but the boundary on the right side of the graph is quite asymptotic… Good thing for them — and more so for the rest of us — that so far, there’s been enough resilience in our living system to spare us from any really hugely mortal consequences and outcomes.)

  2. Any careful examination of the record shows that Petreaus’ surge in Iraq didn’t actually succeed in achieving its stated objectives. However, it did allow the U.S. to save face and avoid a humiliating precipitous withdrawal from the country. This was paramount for the Washington establishment and the reason he’s been lionized.

  3. The press is a lap-dog, so why it doesa anything depends on whose “lap” is active.

    Why he WAS ousted? I dunno. The government must be filled, FILLED, with people (mostly men?) having affairs. So why him? Is having an affair a sort of pre-signed letter of resignation? If so, who put the “letter” into effect?

    Why Petraeus should have been ousted? Because he fomented war with Iran (per USA’s neocons and Israel’s government).

    Ray McGovern says: “MCGOVERN: Well, if you look at Afghanistan alone, you know, he kept saying, there’s progress, there’s great progress. But it’s fragile and it’s reversible. So, you know, if I’m no longer commanding the forces there, it could become reversible. Okay? He comes back and heads up the CIA. And then what do you see him doing? Supporting his favorite war in Afghanistan, and even more, trying to gin up more opposition to Iran by creating the kind of “intelligence” (in quotes) that Dick Cheney and George Tenet used to create.

    I remember it was just a couple of years ago he was in Iraq at the time, maybe five years ago, and Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came and announced to the press Petraeus has found a whole cache of Iranian-supplied, freshly supplied weaponry right outside Baghdad here, and in just ten days he’s going to have—bring you out there and show you. Guess what? Nothing happened. They cancelled the press conference because there were no Iranian freshly supplied weapons. Petraeus likes to make stuff up, okay? And that’s really not what you should be doing, either as a general or as the head of the CIA. * * *
    MCGOVERN: That is very unusual, and it’s guesswork on my part. But I think it’s true he probably went to Jim Clapper, who is the director of national intelligence, who says, you know, I’ve got this problem, okay. Maybe I should resign. And my notion of what Clapper said: I think that’s probably a good idea under the circumstances. Now they’re glad to get rid of him. They want to have a rapprochement or at least some direct contacts with Iran, without these neocons represented by Petraeus backbiting behind him. They want to—.”

  4. For all those Really Smart People who know all there is to know about Afghanistan now and in the future if only the pet policies and institutions they apologize for are carried out and carried along (at great and growing expense), here’s maybe one tiny piece of a niggling bit of a smidgen of doubt about Our Allies Who Are Running/Stealing The Country:

    Far too many Afghan families have been forced from their homes by some of the very government officials whose job is to protect them.

    The Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) says that between 1,000 and 1,500 jirib (roughly equal to an acre) of public land where private families reside, have been stolen or usurped by powerful government officials and warlords each day. The ministry says that in all, more than three and-a-half million jirib of these lands have been stolen, a staggering figure.

    Yousaf Pashtoon, who oversees MUD, says that these large-scale land grabs are surprisingly simple to carry out for powerful men with guns. “In the beginning” says Pashtoon, “these men usurped the land and then made counterfeit deeds. Now, they make counterfeit deeds first and then according to those deeds, take the land.”(/blockquote>

    link to ipsnews.net

    There’s just a little piece of what Toot-toot-te-roo, WAR really is, when you dig down just a tiny bit past the Narrative.

    Would the riposte be that hey, this kind of stuff happens anyway, it’s not onaccounta the US Invades Afghanistan WAR? Gee, that’s so logical, ain’t it?

    And Afghanis keep killing NATOists, and some note that maybe the reasons are more complex and disturbing than the stupid ones the Narrative supplies us with (They’re ALL TERRORIST AL QUADA UNLAWFUL ENEMA COMBATANT MILITANT INFILTRATORS!!!!!):

    The toll keeps rising. By the time this issue of Newsweek went to press, members and civilian employees of Afghanistan’s security forces had killed no fewer than 40 coalition troops this year—at least 10 of the dead, all of them Americans, in the first three weeks of August alone. The count has already passed last year’s total of 35 dead, and it’s reached fully double the figure for all of 2010. But as worried as U.S. commanders are by the growing number of insider attacks—“green-on-blue killings,” they’re sometimes called—Major Hasanzada (as he asks us to call him) says the trend doesn’t surprise him. “I understand why our men are shooting U.S. and NATO soldiers,” the Afghan National Army officer tells Newsweek. “I too have been personally hurt by the way American forces behave towards my soldiers, our villagers, our religion and culture. Too many of them are racist, arrogant, and simply don’t respect us.”

    link to thedailybeast.com

    Of course there are those with “responsible opposing viewpoints…”

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