The debacle in Western Asia is growing stranger. I wonder what the real story is?


the Afghanistan war has

In today’s New York Times we have a veritable plethora of subdued rage over the continuing American debacle in western Asia. 

In one opinion piece that reviews two newly printed books comparing Afhanistan to our efforts in Viet Nam, blogger Gail Sheehy writes:


"Many of us who marched against the Vietnam War 40 years ago have a terminal case of déjà vu over Afghanistan as we blunder into our ninth year of bombing and occupation. More than 90 percent of U.S. funding there goes to military purposes, and we still aren’t winning hearts or minds. Our Nobel Prize-winning president promised to “forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan,” but so far he has only threatened to escalate our troop level by tens of thousands." 

So very true! That article is here.

Here is an article that speaks to the odd political alliance between the Secretay of State Hillary Clinton and the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  They both want troops to stay in Afghanistan. What am I missing here?  The following is an excerpt.

"But as the Afghanistan assessment moves from a broad strategy review to a detailed and potentially contentious debate on how exactly to proceed, the two secretaries are expected to carry great weight as they begin to express specific advice.

In fact, given that the president puts particular stock in Mr. Gates’s view on military matters, the alliance between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gates, two moderate pragmatists, may be the deciding factor in a remarkably public debate that will determine the future course of the war."

The editors of the Washington Times however are quoted in this section of the article run by the New York Times as saying the following:

"To the editors of The Washington Times, however, “at the strategic level” the two conflicts are “decidedly different” — with one major exception: now as then, “a liberal Congress [is] working to undermine the U.S. war effort. "The U.S. military had won the Vietnam conflict by 1970, but when Democrats in Congress cut aid to South Vietnam in 1974, our trusting allies in Saigon were left helpless before the communist onslaught."

Interesting.  But not completely true.  They were as corrupt in Viet Nam as they are in Afghanistan and much more like a collection of thugs than a government.  Sound familiar?

Here is an article about how our giving aid money to Pakistan has placed us in an uneasy position between its weak civilian government and its powerful army. 

Here is an article about the continuing and growing violence in Pakistan that seems to indicate a widening and more brutal footprint for the Muslim ultra orthodox wing of the Terrorist Movement in the Middle East.

Sounds like soon someone in our government will put forth the idea that we should send troops to Pakistan.  I fully expect this in the next few months. Why not?  Isn’t that what Americans do nowadays, commit troops at the drop of a hat anyplace they wish?

Isn’t it funny that people in our government have no problem committing "troops" willy-nilly anyplace that they feel the need?  I find it curious that they never or rarely have any children or immediate family members in danger of being sent over there.  I just find it so odd, don’t you?

Troops are people and they belong to American families and communities.  Since America has a long history of citizen soldiers I think it is time to emphasize the citizen part of that phrase and de-emphasize the soldier aspect of it all. This is getting out of hand.

But then, who am I to say such a thing?

In today’s Washington Post we learn of a little slight of hand from the Obama White House.  It seems that although President Obama told us in March he was sending to Afghanistan an extra 21,000 troops, he actually sent 13,000 more than that but did not announce it claiming that these were support troops!

The article is here.  Support troop die too and they belong to American families and frankly, this is out and out deception from a man who told he was going to end these wars.  Here is an excerpt:

"President Obama announced in March that he would be sending 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But in an unannounced move, the White House has also authorized — and the Pentagon is deploying — at least 13,000 troops beyond that number, according to defense officials.

The additional troops are primarily support forces, including engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police. Their deployment has received little mention by officials at the Pentagon and the White House, who have spoken more publicly about the combat troops who have been sent to Afghanistan.

The deployment of the support troops to Afghanistan brings the total increase approved by Obama to 34,000. The buildup has raised the number of U.S. troops deployed to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan above the peak during the Iraq "surge" that President George W. Bush ordered, officials said. "

This is wrong, it decieves the citizens of this country and it was done to keep the numbers reported down.  No, this is simply wrong.

I was support personnel in the Coast Guard, a yeoman, and when I was stationed aboard CGC RUSH (WHEC 723) from 1984-1987 I could have lost my life on a drug bust that went bad off Guatamala and could have been seriously injured in two other law enforcement activities at that time. That does not count the night the engine room caught fire and we were 600 miles at sea. I fell onto a deck fitting and screwed up my back permanently. I have scars all over my body and a missing body part I will not mention (I am trying to be polite) due to injuries during Coast Guard activities.

And I was support personnel!  So I don’t want to hear that they do not get hurt.  B.S.!!!!

For a slight change of direction, here is an article in the Post today from Eugene Robinson questioning the recent tactics of the GOP relative to Obama Bashing.  It does not seem to be going over well.  An interesting read and it asks the question, whose side is the GOP on?  They seem to be allies of the Taliban according to Robinson.

But back to my frustration over the western Asian wars….

Hell!  I want to know, whose side is the Obama Administration on?  When a President says he is going to end a series of ill concieved wars and instead sends in 13,000 more troops than he publicly declared to the media, something ain’t right. 

Something is very, very wrong here.  This whole mess is getting stranger and stranger.

Do you get the feeling that they are not telling us something?

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)





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