Monday, June 21, 2010

NATO, Ship of Fools

Osama bin Laden must be ecstatic. The most recent stats are (roughly) 1000 American dead in Afghanistan, 300 British dead, and 150 Canadian dead. Canada has some kind of weird bragging rights because our casualties per capita are greater than anyone else’s. I’m talking deaths here, not the wounded which is a far greater number and much more expensive. And there’s no end in sight.

Osama, if indeed he was responsible for 9/11, managed with 20 guys, boxcutters, and half-assed flight training carried out in plain sight, to lure the United States into a land war in Asia, and – unexpected bonus unless Osama is actually more of a genius than he appears – the US was lured into a preliminary land war in Asia (Iraq) that has already practically bankrupted the US. And there’s no end in sight.

Even better – if you’re Osama bin Laden – insane military adventures are occurring in Pakistan, particularly in the Pashtun tribal belt, with extrajudicial assassinations being carried out without any kind of legal basis – in fact, war crimes – and almost no accounting for who actually was killed, how many civilian casualties were incurred, or who in fact is responsible other than Obama. You know, Obama is starting to remind me of Tiger Woods: a smooth-talking black guy of impeccable credentials who, ironically, is conducting a snow job on the American population. And there’s no end in sight.

I used to call it the Curtis LeMay Syndrome: if bombing doesn’t work, use more bombs. Uri Avnery is more poetic about it: if force doesn’t work, use more force. Here’s a news flash for ISAF Public Affairs:

1. Force won’t work in Afghanistan (ask the Russians).
2. Osama bin Laden is being successful beyond his wildest dreams: 9/11 is achieving its objectives in full measure.
3. The Taliban won’t negotiate anything about anything until NATO leaves Afghanistan.
4. The Russians made a dignified exit, unlike Saigon.

And there's no end in sight.