The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Afghanistan: The New Iraq- The New Money-Maker

When will the more-than-appreciable percentage of total lunkheads included in the American population begin to understand that this country- yes, the USA- has become a three-thousand- mile wide machine for vastly increasing the wealth of one- percent of the American population? Is it really that complicated to understand? Does not the obvious reality of the fact whack us in the head every moment of every day? Has our standard of living improved? Haven’t we taken notice of the corporate executives walking away with millions upon millions of dollars in their pockets after they’ve driven their companies into bankruptcy and destroyed the lives of thousands of employees? And then the taxpayers pay through the nose in bail-outs for their insane greed and thievery. What will it take for Americans to come out of denial?

Millions of Americans, including myself, have been heartened by the recent election. Yes, there is some hope. But then we have Afghanistan. The Russians were smart enough to get out of it within a month once they understood the futility of their position. And what are we talking about now? Increasing our troops. For what? Are increased troops going to be any more effective against guerilla war than they were in Iraq- or Vietnam?
Why aren’t we talking about getting out of Afghanistan with the same “deliberate haste” as Iraq? Our objective is to prevent another 9-11 and to thwart the growth of Al Qaeda- style terrorism around the world. So what does that have to do with increasing military action in Afghanistan? All we’re doing in Afghanistan at present is destroying the infra-structure and killing Afghanis via our weapon assaults and bombings. Meanwhile Bin Laden is free and Al Qaeda has expanded due to our stupidity in Iraq. So what do we want to do- attain undiscovered heights of stupidity- now in Afghanistan? My God, is there any end to our idiocy?

The “war on terror” is a ridiculous concept to begin with. Countering terrorism involves smart overt and covert action- not “war.” And in monetary terms that costs practically nothing compared to the expenditures involved in massive military operations. Yeah, there’s the rub. I’ll get into that in a couple of minutes.
Our objective in Afghanistan is to prevent the country from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism and the launching pad for terrorist operations against us. Are we accomplishing that by killing Afghanis and blasting the hell out of the country? Does that make Afghanis like us all the more? Is that going to make them less sympathetic toward Al Qaeda? Not bloody likely. And what form of government they adopt, whether theocracy, democracy, monarchy or blasted neo-papism, is none of our damn business as long as they’re not in league with Bin Ladin. Is that going to be accomplished by making any form of government there insecure and ineffective by perpetuating constant warfare, foreign occupation, chaos and never-ending destruction of their ancient land?

We have to get out. And we have to find a way to make it advantageous to the Afghani power structure to refrain from fostering terrorism. They have to be paid off: Paid off in terms of rebuilding their infra-structure and letting them take credit for it with the people; paid off in terms of developing lucrative industries as an alternative to the poppy-trade, and again letting them thereby gain credit with the people; paid off with advantageous trade agreements; and so forth and so forth. Terrorist groups and their allies in Afghanistan and other countries in the region have been winning favor with the people by providing education, food, medical care, social services and so forth. Why aren’t we enabling factions favorable to us with the means to do likewise but to a competitive extent? Why haven’t we devised more creative and more effective means to defeat the terrorists? And why haven’t we come up with more effective negative reinforcements than futile military actions destructive to the people of the areas involved? Why can’t we use our brains?

And as far as direct action against terrorists is concerned, as I’ve said occupation and poorly conceived military forays have hardly proven to be the answer. Improved intelligence in concert with our allies, covert action, effective diplomacy with pertinent nations, and so forth, seem to be the direction to go- coordinated police-action in other words. That of course would include military intelligence and ad hoc military actions responsive to intelligence reports. But not grand-scale occupations and on-going military operations which are futile and which subject our military personnel to unnecessary harm. How many of our young people have to be destroyed and maimed and killed for nothing because of our lack of intelligent strategy --- and worse?
Perpetual warfare is useful to only one faction in our country--- those who fill their pockets with the profits of it all. Who would benefit most from “100 years” of war in Iraq? The same ones who would benefit from 100 years in Afghanistan: the weapons industry; the corporate mercenary operations; the food and equipment suppliers; and on and on. That’s where all the money is going, isn’t it? What does it amount to thus far? A trillion dollars or thereabouts? Eisenhower knew what he was talking about when he warned so gravely about the “military-industrial complex.” Is that what we’re in now--- the war business? Is that what’s going to replace Ford and GM and Bethlehem Steel?

This has to be stopped. We either really want to catch Bin Ladin and disable the terrorists or we’re just creating phony wars to fill the pockets of the Almighty One Percent. From what’s gone on thus far one would have a hard time convincing me that we haven’t created our new national industry: War for profit. Such a noble idea! Is that what Franklin and Jefferson and Washington had in mind as they founded our nation? War for profit. What a noble idea. And our noble corporate government has made sure that we don’t even see the coffins of our slaughtered soldiers as they’re returned to be buried. Dying for profit. What a creative idea. Is that what we’ll go down in history for? In God’s name this has to be stopped.