Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Lie!

The hell with Joe Wilson and his attention-grabbing antics during Obama's healthcare speech last September, this is me lobbing the accusation at the White House, regarding the present hemming and hawing on withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan.

Seems like the stalemate that has been predicted by virtually everyone with a functioning brain who has studied history, has crystallized tensions within the government over the viability of President Obama's plan to turn around the country and begin pulling out by July 2011.

From the New York Times: For now, the White House has decided to wait until a review, already scheduled for December, to assess whether the target date can still work. But officials are emphasizing that the July 2011 withdrawal start will be based on conditions in the country, and that the president has yet to decide how quickly troops will be pulled out.

Even if some troops do begin coming home then, the officials said that it may be a small number at first. Given that he has tripled the overall force since taking office, Mr. Obama could still end his term with more forces in Afghanistan than when he began it.

“Things are not looking good,” said Bruce O. Riedel, a regional specialist at the Brookings Institution who helped formulate the administration’s first Afghan strategy in early 2009. “There’s not much sign of the turnaround that people were hoping for.”

Add to the clusterfuck that is Afghanistan the recent news that the war has surpassed the longevity of the clusterfuck that was Vietnam, and...

...but wait. Hold the horses and the carts brothers. Seems the United States has "suddenly" discovered a veritable treasure of nearly $1 trillion of un-tapped mineral deposits in the land of poppies and public stonings in soccer stadiums. We can't possibly leave now, right? Not with all that booty of iron, copper, gold, and lithium (your iPods/iPhones/iPads/iEyes are made from this sought-after alkali) waiting to be extracted.

This is complete and utter rubbish, and I expect a hell of a lot more from this administration, but time and time again it's disappointed beyond belief and in this particular case it's acting much like its predecessor. Knowledge of this "suddenly-discovered" treasure chest by the U.S. military has been floating around concretely since the Soviets stuck their fat Commie fingers into Afghanistan in the late 70s. You see, it wasn't just an ideological conversion the boys in the Politburo were after; the old hags knew very well what laid buried beneath that dusty, crusty (and aptly-named) lithosphere.

Despite the staggering news yesterday that the vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was just recently discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists and that the Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, there is published evidence that the government has known about this for at least three years.

A 2007 United States geological report indicated that Afghanistan may very well be the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," reported the New York Times.

But, as a (sometimes disputed) literate, interested person in our long, convoluted history and subversive political and military meddling into Afghanistan, I call bullshit even on that timeline. If the Soviets knew about this booty in the late 70s, you better goddamn well believe Langley and the NSA were on top of this.

And so it goes. Orwell's prophetic words from 1948 ring true at almost every step, throughout almost every decade. War is indeed peace.

Here's an excerpt from Chapter III of "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" by Emmanuel Goldstein, the book that Winston Smith reads in George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" before being arrested. If someone wants to know where the current idea of a never ending war (in this case against terrorism) comes from, the answer is here: a lucid analysis of the function of war and why war (and terrorism) will forever be with us unless we deal with and dispose of state and super-state power once for all.

All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products such as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to synthesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour. Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, to control more labour power, to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely. It should be noted that the fighting never really moves beyond the edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of Eurasia flow back and forth between the basin of the Congo and the northern shore of the Mediterranean; the islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are constantly being captured and recaptured by Oceania or by Eastasia; in Mongolia the dividing line between Eurasia and Eastasia is never stable; round the Pole all three powers lay claim to enormous territories which in fact are largely uninhabited and unexplored: but the balance of power always remains roughly even, and the territory which forms the heartland of each super-state always remains inviolate. Moreover, the labour of the exploited peoples round the Equator is not really necessary to the world's economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the world, since whatever they produce is used for purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war. By their labour the slave populations allow the tempo of continuous warfare to be speeded up. But if they did not exist, the structure of world society, and the process by which it maintains itself, would not be essentially different.

No comments: