Today, I see a report that shores up the reverse logic of the previous post. Charlie Gibson reports with admirable empathy how the military is now accepting delivery of the latest generation Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Afghanistan, and how this rush into production will save precious American lives. This view through the looking glass sees the threat to American lives as the primary mission, even if imposing those protections have the effect of destroying the actual mission. What the average Iraqi or Afghan sees is not so much a humanitarian gesture on behalf of the Americans, but a greater degree of separation, where the occupation force is granted yet another higher degree of impunity to enforce its will without consequences. In the end such moves may indeed save American lives, but most likely at the expense of increasing the odds of perpetual failure, because after 8 years of doggedly pursuing the logic of these “wars” the only thing really certain is that the Iraqi and Afghan people have developed no love for the face of freedom as exemplified by the US military and their operations. So if in fact, the mission is to inspire a taste for liberal democracy and a respect and lasting friendship for the USA for making that possible – then we have failed miserably and are destined to keep on failing, even if we never acknowledge it.
Archive for October, 2009
I’ve often mused why it is that the worlds most well endowed army, backed up by the supposed political envy of that same world – cannot for their life subdue the t-shirted and AK-47 equipped insurgencies that seem to spontaneously generate where ever they pitch their tents. Fred Reed has an amusing post up as to why, concluding thereafter that :
America’s problem is not that its generals prepare for the last war, but that they don’t prepare for it, and then fight it again the same way.
Of course while, such a seemingly obvious set of reasoning will never be taken seriously by the “serious” opinionators, there is a big truth in the observation – that will simply ignored because in order to find a correction, the entire presupposition of how and what we are doing in these places would have to be questioned objectively as to how military application could possibly result in the desired geo-political objectives. And while this threat is symptomatic of the conventional/counterinsurgency debates within the military, no one (except maybe Bill Lind) is suggesting that the traditional military assume the (successful) tactics and social/cultural postures of their insurgent opponents, which incidentally is in all probability as alien to the US military hierarchy as the US military is alien to the host populations. Because that is what the face of change the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan represent to those people – an invasive, culturally illiterate, autocratic, ham fisted, and amoral conveyor of alien means of violence and death. Of all the (many) reasons the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan will fail, this simple explanation colors all the others, because who would identify, or gain confidence or belief in a future defined by a little understood and alien military force?
(click on image for enlargement)
This painting by Jon McNaughton (link to this painting) is making the rounds today, and because I’ve only got one good post in the uncategorized category, I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon. Doug J. at Jon Coles blog is calling it the “Sistine Chapel of early 21st Century wingnuttia”, with a commenter noting that the black man in the lower left is holding a copy of Glenn Becks bible .
And here’s the other awesome post I love so much:
Have a nice day.