By Col. Khrushchev (ret) STAFF WRITER/Editor
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, who is in charge of strategic communication & info ops in Afghanistan, has valiantly tried to present the past of the Operation Moshtarak as another Iwo Jima or Stalingrad battle – with a little help from designated imbeds.
Under his supervision, C.J. Chivers lulls his readers into ‘feels good’ day-dreaming about Marja success story.
If anything, I enjoy this terrific sequel about Taliban marksmanship fables much more than the average civilian couch potato because I relate to it as any Soviet & American vets who have been on the receiving end of ‘freedom fighters’ fire.
Instead, it would be more appropriate to have a total recall of general Schvartskopf’s indignation, when Papa Bush stopped him dead in his tracks one click away from Baghdad during Desert Storm, because his Langley analysts predicted an imminent fall of Saddam’s regime. And you know the price in goodwill, blood & treasure America has paid during the second Iraqi invasion to rectify the blunder.
The significance of Operation Moshtarak transcends the dueling skills between US Marines and local drug farmers, casually called the Taliban, because Marja is, first & foremost, about narco-profiteering for national insurgency and transnational terrorism, sitting pretty (that’s right, they don’t hide out) in their lairs right across the border.
Sugarcoating the past to conceal the present
To back up a gag order on chemical WMD in Marja, Admiral Smith would plant any story in the media meat grinder, come hell or high water, just to conceal one thing – US Marines have been kidnapped by an Afghan viceroy, first as witnesses, then as accomplices, and finally, as the scapegoats of CIA and State Department Drug Management Strategy. For the meantime, Helmand & Kandahar are about to erupt now and then with a new toxic plume of opium poppy harvesting – to be followed by cannabis planting.
The fog of the future
I hope that general McChrystal, to avoid the tragedy of general Schvartskopf, will revolt from the Holbrooke yoke and will issue an order to bomb, bulldoze or defoliate all twin-killing fields of opium & cannabis at one fell swoop all across Afghanistan in the crucial days of April.