« Where were you when... | Main | "Gettysburg Trip" from "Death Piled Hard" by W. Patrick Lang »

18 November 2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Charles I

Announcing that an agreement had been reached when in fact it has not says all we need to know. Are there ANY contingency plans, other than jsut saying "Um, We're not quite packed and ready to checkout, thank you.

Fred

From ABC news:
"Once our troops leave, the eyes of the United States will go away and we can't let that happen," (Laura) Bush said. "We need to make sure they don't think we shifted our attention as well as our troops."

Her physically fit combat aged children spent the last decade shirking this ‘obligation’. Does her family have no shame? Women can serve in combat now, let her convince Barbara and Jenna (Hilary can do the same with Chelsea.) of their ‘duty’ to the women of Afghanistan. Or does that just entail a sinecure in a think tank 3,000 miles from harm's way where they can attend press conferences and make speeches to the truly brave – the ones who never serve but always have another cause for which we must send in the troops?
Also from ABC:
Kerry gave some tips to the male students in the audience, where former President Bill Clinton also attended.

"For all the men…who sat in or who sit in classrooms where Bill Clinton sat so many years ago, my advice to you is this: Study hard, go to Oxford, become governor of your state, and then maybe you can marry one of the country's remarkable secretaries of state," he quipped to laughs from the crowd.

Enlist, lead, go in harm's way? Nope. To the ‘best and brightest’, he says let others bear the burdens of the Republic. What an ass. I’m ashamed I ever voted for this bastard.

Matthew

Col: "In fact I think that Karzai knows this is true and is calculating the moment of his departure for Dubai."

Priceless.

steve g

I second that emotion on both counts.
Creedence Clearwater said it best in
their song "Fortunate Son" which we
could add "Daughter" in this case.

Peter C

Karzai will hit the Lecture Circuit, and be placed on some Boards of Directors in the defense industry somewhere. Karzai will gain control of a company that makes currency counters, he will wear many out counting greenbacks. I can see Karzai becoming a partner is a consultancy dealing with Federal Contracts and contacts in far away places. Karzai may make the A list for certain social events. Possible ambassador to the U.N. for Afghanistan, he would get those hard to get restaurant seats in NYC.

The possibilities are unlimited for Karzai.

jonst

So you don't think he is going to play like Najibullah eh?

The Bush comment put me in mind of a story in today' Portland Press Herald (Maine)....some nonsense about a Portland 'committee' hoping to 'influence' the Russian City of Archangel, Portland's 'sister city', into getting the Russian State to 'change' its policy towards 'gays'. A whole story...on the front page. Some meaningless, petty trinket selling operation by a Chamber of Commerce to give people an excuse to travel someplace and maybe get a contract selling frozen fish or something...seen as a vehicle to influence a nation. We are children, friggin children.....I will bet you none of the delegation even knows the history (or did not know the history) of the Expedition there by US forces.

Fred

I am sure they will find the courage to spit out "Thank you for your service.".

JohnH

Question put to Stephen Walt at the London School of Economics: "Why is it that politicians in the United States usually think it is safer to take a hard-line, flag-waving, decidedly hawkish approach to many international issues, instead of openly and consciously articulating a vision that emphasizes minding our own business (at least some of the time), embraces diplomacy first and military force last, and reminds Americans that their first duty is to each other. In other words, a view that thinks Americans should spend less time telling the world how to live until they've cleaned up some of their own enduring problems at home."
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/11/17/postcard_from_london

Nailed it! Now if someone could only convince Laura Bush...

Eliot

"Enlist, lead, go in harm's way? Nope. To the ‘best and brightest’, he says let others bear the burdens of the Republic. What an ass. I’m ashamed I ever voted for this bastard."

There's a venal sense of entitlement in many of our major universities. It speaks to the places where we come from, and what we've come to value.

Stanley Henning

Yes, we've wasted human and monetary resources on Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan - have we learned anything yet? That remains a question mark. Our so-called leaders have based their understandings upon hollow, meaningless, individual views tainted by empty political party approaches and acceptance of clearly false "intelligence" (Iraqi nuclear capabilities and Assad use of chemical weapons versus merely owning them). We need to wake up and take care of our own country - we have shown a serious lack of effectively handling key international affairs based on shallow understandings. If we do not wake up to our own
shortcomings we will end up at the end of the line no matter how wonderful our military may appear - the military is only one part of a broader equation which requires approaching issues with real understanding and common sense.

Bandolero

Good news:

Iranian Press TV directly from Kabul: Afghanistan rejects provision of US security pact

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/19/335392/afghanistan-rejects-provision-of-us-pact/

jerseycityjoan

One problem we have is that we do not have a single ally who is not a parasite and a dependent on us.

I wish to God we got told to fix ourselves first a lot more often than we do.

Instead, even our "best friends" stay silent. Now I think part of that silence is appreciation for the good things that we do.

But I am afraid the majority of our friends keep up the smiles and the surface agreement with us because they want us to keep doing things and paying for things on their behalf, even the things that are a complete waste of our money or things things that they could and should do for themselves.

I for one completely agree that we should be put ourselves first. But that will require a long and difficult process of breaking old habits and relearning new ones. I myself have no problem admitting we've been dumb at times and that we really need the money that we are wasting at home and abroad. Many others are resistant -- and still more don't even seem to realize that we are not the infinitely rich King of the World anymore.

RetiredPatriot

@JohnH, because it is so much simpler to keep the rubes at home riled up and thinking about issues far away than it is to actually begin to work on those issues that really matter to those same (propagandized) rubes.

And yes, many of those rubes were the stars of our highest ranking officers.

RP

The Virginian

The Karzai's (along with other Afghans - political elite, narco/warlords, and Talibs alike - already have places in Dubai lined up, including on the famed Palm. Afghanistan may not totally collapse as it did in the 1990s, but the regression (or really just the re-prioritization on) past patterns of behavior and demarcations of rivalries seem set to come to the fore. At best Kabul will remain a city-state, with Herat and Mazar the other city-states reaching out in their immediate environs, with the dealmaking between so-called leaders to take on new heights. Recent anecdotal evidence from friends in Kabul suggest a new exodus of Afghan elites is in the works as those with money (to include money scammed from US tax payer supported "development" programs) are creating contingency plans for getting out.

Buzz Meeks

To Fred and Steve G,

Don't forget wearing fake, mocking Purple Hearts at "nominating" conventions. All part of thanking folks for their military service.

bth

These same Afghan families have also acquired residential properties in New Delhi.

Charles I

Any news from Kabul about American contingency plans?

Walrus

Your post is offensive on any number of levels.

Norbert M Salamon

sorry off topic

Interesting statement of Iran's view on the talks

http://www.euronews.com/2013/11/19/Iranian-fm-releases-video-before-new-round-of-talks-in-geneva/


I could not copy the url, just retyped it, hope no mistake

John Adamson

"There have been so many fallen comrades, so much money thrown away, such a waste. I know the feeling well."

Spot on!

Nothing changes.

Fred

Yep, that too.

jerseycityjoan

In re-reading what I wrote, I could see that someone might think I was trying to be an instigator and deliberately nasty. If that is what you thought I was doing, I am sorry.

But I was not. I was just describing the situation as I see it. I do think our friends are our friends, but I also think our all our friends are dependent on us. Do you disagree?

All of our international relationships are colored by the fact that we are world's sole superpower, used to doing things and paying for things because nobody else had money after WWII. If we were a smaller country and the world were different, I am sure our relationship(s) with whatever reigning superpower(s) existed would be similarly affected by the same considerations.

But look, I've had enough of sacrificing to maintain a reverse-empire in which we hand out resources to First World countries which provide great healthcare and four weeks of vacation to everyone.

I don't want us to keep borrowing and I want us to spend more of our money on ourselves -- lots more of it.

The only way to do that is if we stop overspending on healthcare and defense.

I have quite a bit of affection for some of our allies, especially our fellow Anglosphere countries. But we are going to have to greatly cut back if we want to keep ourselves.

Our wages have fallen, jobs creation is low, we have ourselves all tangled up in immigration matters that are a net drain on our resources now and will be a far heavier burden in the future, as we eventually legalize illegal immigrants already here and they bring in their overseas families.

You all must know the days of big changes are coming.

Babak Makkinejad

I think phrasing things in the lacuna of "friend" or "enemy" is not very useful.

I think it is more accurate to think in terms of "those who want to work with us" and "those who do not wish to work with us".

I think many people and governments are willing to work with the United States and many others - on the other hand - have concluded that they cannot work with the United States.

I do not know about North Korea but I think even Cuba or Iran - given changed circumstances - would be interested in working with US.

Certainly Syria was - before US leaders decided to designate it as an enemy.

confusedponderer

Hostility is a choice as much as a reflex.

US foreign policy follies of the last devades are IMO largely informed by the US being at liberty to pick and choose enemies from a position of safety and comfort.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I think that to Washington, ruled by Ds or Rs, diplomacy ain't diplomacy unless it's coercive and backed up by military force.

Point is, when you have goals that are utterly unacceptable to the other side, then coercion becomes a preferred choice since it is the only conceivable way of reaching that unacceptable goal without 'loss of face'.

And needless to say, it isn't really victory when you can't kick the other side when they are down.

It is that puerile atitude, and the equally moronic idea that a desire for regime change is a surrogate for a policy.

Actually, the more unrealistic the ideas that are being pursued become, the more attractive the 'game changer' becomes.

Iraq is a textbook example: Despite all US demands Saddam inexplicably refused to commit ritual suicide in order to achieve the US goal of regime change. How dare he.

Since sanctions didn't produce regime change, a game changer was needed and it came in form of the US invasion. That overapplication of coercion then squashed Saddam. And that secular Baathist Iraq as we knew it with him.

I look at the aftermath and see the limits of power and coercive diplomacy.

Charles I

You seem to have the "we're essential, everyone's dependent on us" down pat and I'm sure it is a burden. But its a burden America has insisted on imposing on itself, albeit greatly to the world's overall benefit in lieu of any other power. Still, overspending on health and defense are choices. One heartily supported, both feasted on.

As is American insistence in trying to impose tax, air travel and other extra-territorial law on its "dependents". Currently it is trying to get its maximalist criminal copyright sanctions regime imposed on the TPP. Apparently it is believed it is so dominant this will be swallowed. Dependency ain't all its cracked up to be. Single payer health care is though.

The biggest change coming will be the dependents making new arrangements as the U.S. becomes less dependable, a la the Saudis upon hearing that there are not enough Navy ships to protect Saudi tankers. One could imagine most of these perforce disentanglements will tend to the nation's benefit, but the political dissonance will be Fordian.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

September 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
Blog powered by Typepad