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By Thomas Vincent
Interested readers are invited to check out Tom's Political Blog "Certain Doubt"
I find the recent release of classified documents about Afghanistan by the independent web site “wiki leaks” fascinating, not for what the documents reveal, but instead for the White House and Pentagon response to their appearance on the world stage.
As reported by the fawning corporate media, the Obama Administration’s comments on the leaked information continue to focus on the legality of the leaks, the possible negative effect on America’s security, and the potential harm they could cause to our soldiers currently fighting in Afghanistan.
However, nowhere in the government’s response is there any mention of the questions the wiki leaks material raises about the wisdom of a foreign policy that costs billions, puts our soldiers in harms way, and which continues to result in the deaths of countless innocent civilians. The government avers they are sticking by their guns but no one seems willing to ask the question why.
Recent revelations that US monetary aid to Afghanistan has been winding up in the pockets of the Taliban was embarrassing enough. But add to this wiki leak’s reporting that our own military has concluded the Pakistan security services (the ISI) has been secretly giving aid to the Taliban and a picture emerges of a foreign policy that is dysfunctional if not outright criminal. For example, why are we are giving billions in military aid to Pakistan – in large measure to encourage them to fight the Taliban – if we feel the Pakistan secret service is turning around and giving aid the very enemy we are ostensibly trying to defeat? Am I the only one who sees this strategy – of giving aid to our “friends” who turn around and give aid to our “enemies” – as slightly, um, counterproductive?
While we are on this tack, does anyone still believe the Obama Administration’s stated reason why we have 94,000 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan? You know the argument I’m talking about, right? – That our national security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That the only way for us to be safe is to “…disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.” source
According to the party line, we have to stabilize Afghanistan in order to prevent the Taliban from regaining power, from which point they could move on to destabilize and overthrow Pakistan thus gaining access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons – which they will, of course, immediately hand over to al Qaeda. (Who will then presumably fashion them into shoe or underwear bombs that can be used by their legions of martyrs to wage radioactive Jihad on American cities.)
The writers of “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Twelve,” and “Thirteen” couldn’t come up with a danger scenario more convoluted, far-fetched, and just plain absurd as this. The administration’s rationale for why we are shelling out 4 billion dollars every month in military hardware and weaponry to “stabilize” a country whose total yearly per capita GDP is only 800 dollars is so laughable that one almost can’t believe the President can say the words with a straight face. The wiki leaks documents only add to the farce. Are we really to believe that America is sending soldiers overseas to fight an enemy who is funded by our own tax dollars?
The significance of the wiki leaks documents is not that the war is going badly; it is not that releasing the material is illegal or that it could endanger our troops. The important thing about the wiki leaks revelations is that they widen the already gargantuan hole in the official cover story as to why the United States continues to wage war in Afghanistan.
It’s patently absurd to claim that we need to exert our military might in places like Afghanistan solely to protect ourselves from terrorism. Obama knows this. General McChrystal and General Petraeus know it. General James “mad dog” Mattis, Obama’s choice as the new CENTCOM commander, definitely knows it.
However, if everybody knows that the official reason for continued US military action in Afghanistan is a joke, then like his predecessor, Barrack Obama has taken the country to war based upon a lie. This is the true danger of the wiki leaks documents. They reaffirm unequivocally the bare naked truth which everybody knows but is afraid to state: the Emperor – indeed the empire – is not wearing any clothes.
Seeing an empire parade around butt naked… it’s not a pretty sight.