Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?


Troops Depart - TimoreseIt is six of one and half a dozen of another.

In this morning’s New York Times we learn that we actually are pulling out of Iraq. I was starting to worry. The article, G.I.’s Learning to Stand Down as Iraqis Step In , is refreshing news for a war weary American public as I am sure it is welcome news in war torn Iraq. The problem is, we have another war escalation brewing, don’t we?

In this article , Similarities to Iraq Surge Plan Mask Risks in Afghanistan , we learn that President Obama eventually came to believe that the surge in Iraq was a good thing. However, the elements are not the same and he has been warned by his own staff not to expect similar results from a different situation. It is clear however that the "surge" in Iraq is the basis for Obama’s decision to ramp up operations in Afghanistan. Great.

Now let me ask my fellow Democrats among the readers here, how is he doing now?  How do you feel about "yes we can" now?  How deeply betrayed do you actually feel?


In a piece entitled NATO Pledges 7,000 Troops, but Avoids Details it seems that of the 7K troops that NATO is pledging to send to Afghanistan, 2K are already there. It is, once again, a numbers game.

In an editorial called Afghanistan’s Army we find that the critical link in the ramp up execution and eventual decline of American force numbers in Afghanistan is a basket case. They are not much of an army and that is after eight years of attempting to build them into one.  This ain’t a good sign of things to come!

Here is an excerpt:

"The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, recognizes that there is no hope of defeating the Taliban without significantly improved security and governance. Army training has been reorganized and is broadly headed in the right direction. Current plans call for increasing the Afghan Army from 90,000 troops to 134,000 by next fall. General McChrystal wants 240,000 a year later.

Highly critical reports this fall by American officials showed why this is so hard: 90 percent illiteracy levels for Afghan troops; desertion rates so high that thousands must be recruited each year to keep the force from shrinking; broken logistics; and, most tellingly, "a lack of competent and professional leadership at all levels."

Better American military management, a large infusion of qualified trainers and President Obama’s new strategy of sending newly trained Afghan forces into the field in partnership with American and NATO combat units can start to bring about the needed changes."

Wow! This ain’t good!

In this editorial called Photos and Freedom we find that President Obama’s legal victory to surpress photos of American interrogators, both military and intelligence types, who were abusing prisoners is a two edged sword. He has lost massive support from the human rights community around the world as a result.

In the Washington Post this morning Dana Milbank writes a biting Opinion piece called Obama the mortal which is about all the left wing Democrats in the USA who saw Obama as they needed to see him instead of the fairly tradtional and mildly conservative middle of the road Democrat that he is. That lefties had been warned consistently by allies of Obama that he was closer to a Blue Dog than a Yellow Dog "true believer" never seemed to register with most of us. That includes me.

It was a shock for his true believers among the Left Wing to see him escalate this war in Afghanistan so brutally and so quickly. Trust me, I move in these circles all the time. This ain’t over. A price will be exacted and it will be ugly.

In this article Healers head to war, bearing their own wounds we read about mental health Army medics and what they will be doing in Afghanistan.

Several things are clear now like never before. It would serve us well to reflect for a while on the implications of the de-mythologizing of the Great Obama Who Never Was and what this actually represents far beyond any human personalities or political persuasions of the moment.

We have just been re-taught a very nasty but very necessary lesson in political reality. Power gets what it wants.

Perhaps the most important thing for us to bear in mind is that the Patrician Class in this country runs things politically and economically for the benefit of its own interests and it gets what it wants, no matter which Party controls Congress and the White House. This would be all the time, no matter what effect it may have upon the Plebes and regardless of who gets hurt among outsiders to inflate the portfolios of the already too wealthy.

Big Money is Big because it know how to stay Big. If that means killing Plebes who are forced to kill others in never ending wars, so be it. Who cares?  They are only worker bees.  It is not like they matter.

Big Money simply buys its way into the inner circles of power in government and forces the hand of the politicians that control the armed forces and other government machinery that have consistently acted as heavies and muscle for Big Money since the Spanish American War at the very least.

We have just seen that happen again this past few months.

Now, this has been going on for a very long time so to place this mantle of shallow subservience to Big Money all on Obama and his people is not appropriate or historically accurate. But the Obama Fall from Grace among his own left wing supporters has a lesson in it for all of us in this country, regardless of political persuasion.

Big Money runs this country and the interests of Big Money always are seen as primary in Washington, not anything else.  Once you understand that this is the one unchanging thing in this town, you finally understand that government is the underling of Big Money and not the other way around. 

Relative to the ramping up of a war in Afghanistan that makes no sense, at least to the Plebes, it is because the Plebian Class has no money tied up in that part of the world.

The fact that perhaps 15% of the 30,000 kids we are going to send into Afghanistan are going to be mangled does not matter one bit to anyone sending them there. The fact that perhaps another 15% will be mentally destabilized for life makes no difference either. Plebes do not matter.  They can always be replaced with more subhumans.

Oh, of course partriotic speeches will be made. The never ending tributes to their bravery and their courage and their determination to "strike at the enemy of our civilization" will be uttered over and over by fat, rich and completely uninvolved patricians who know damn right well they are murdering these kids for the sakes of their portfolios. But in the end, as all the times before, it will not matter.

Even the Plebes won’t protest.  They have seen it too many times before.

And the sons and daughters of the patricians will attend Ivy League schools, raise families in gated communities and more or less laugh at the powerless behind their backs. They will do it the way that they always have done it. Quietly, with the smug look of power and the laughing jeer of the powerful mocking the helpless.

This war in Afghanistan will end up being like all the others.  None of those who will benefit from the conquest will have borne the fight.  It is always like that.

So, let me ask you, now that it is clear that "Yes we can" was all b.s. and that absolutely no significant change is going to occur that will help the working class soldier or worker get out of his private little economic hell, is this really "the land of the free and the home of the brave" ?  What do you think?

Think about that. Let me know sometime when you form an opinion.

Get informed and stay informed. An informed veteran is a comfort to his friends and a danger to his adversaries.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)








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