"Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards," the president said. "There is no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the Taliban has gained momentum. Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the border....In short: the status quo is not sustainable."
(SIDENOTE: If you substitute "public schools" for Afghanistan and "teachers unions" for "Taliban" and "Al Qaeda", the ed deform rhetoric he uses is interchangeable boilerplate from the war rhetoric.)
Obama hasn't been as unrealistic in his public assessments of the conditions in Afghanistan as Bush was in his public assessments of the war in Iraq, but we learned last night from leaked documents published in the NY Times, the Guardian, and Der Speigal that both the Bush and the Obama administrations have been involved in some major deceptions about the war.
A six-year archive of classified military documents made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.
The secret documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.
The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday.
The documents — some 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from January 2004 through December 2009 — illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001.
The reports — usually spare summaries but sometimes detailed narratives — shed light on some elements of the war that have been largely hidden from the public eye:
• The Taliban have used portable heat-seeking missiles against allied aircraft, a fact that has not been publicly disclosed by the military. This type of weapon helped the Afghan mujahedeen defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
• Secret commando units like Task Force 373 — a classified group of Army and Navy special operatives — work from a “capture/kill list” of about 70 top insurgent commanders. These missions, which have been stepped up under the Obama administration, claim notable successes, but have sometimes gone wrong, killing civilians and stoking Afghan resentment.
• The military employs more and more drone aircraft to survey the battlefield and strike targets in Afghanistan, although their performance is less impressive than officially portrayed. Some crash or collide, forcing American troops to undertake risky retrieval missions before the Taliban can claim the drone’s weaponry.
• The Central Intelligence Agency has expanded paramilitary operations inside Afghanistan. The units launch ambushes, order airstrikes and conduct night raids. From 2001 to 2008, the C.I.A. paid the budget of Afghanistan’s spy agency and ran it as a virtual subsidiary.
Over all, the documents do not contradict official accounts of the war. But in some cases the documents show that the American military made misleading public statements — attributing the downing of a helicopter to conventional weapons instead of heat-seeking missiles or giving Afghans credit for missions carried out by Special Operations commandos.
Wow - there's some change we can believe in here in these documents.
Obama has stepped up assassination squads that target insurgent leaders but, oops, sometimes kill the wrong (i.e., innocent) people.
Oh, well, it's all for the good.
What's a couple of hundreds innocent murders a week when we're talking about being all big and manly and strutting and showing how tough we are in the conduct of this war.
Except that of course none of this shit is working.
None of it.
And we will leave this country just the way the Russians left it before - with billions spent, hundreds of thousands of innocents dead, thousands of soldiers injured, maimed or dead, and the place still a mess.
I hate to keep coming back to the Obama education policy, but the comparison is apt.
President Accountability hits on a strategy and will brook no dissent from his viewpoint.
He's like that with education.
Only firing teachers, firing principals, closing schools and reopening them as for-profit charters will fix the ills of the system.
To adapt an LBJ/Nixon era saying to the current situation, we must destroy the public education system in order to save it.
And Obama has the same stubborn strategy for the war in Afghanistan.
He thinks the war is winnable, so it's winnable.
Who cares how long it takes or what it costs or how many people die...
But it's clear from these documents - and the group that leaked them, WikiLeaks, says more are coming soon - that the war is NOT going well, that to WIN this war (whatever win means) will take another ten years and lots more cash and lives.
And to what end? The Taliban and Al Qaeda operate with impunity in Pakistan, so if Obama is doing this because he's going after Bin Laden ("Dead or Alive," Barack?) or he thinks he can permanently diminish the power of the Taliban, try moving the fucking war to Pakistan.
Nope, I don't think he's got such rational reasons for the way he has doubled down on the war with very Bush-like actions (i.e., assassination squads, lying about the actions of "our Afghanis," etc.)
No, I think this war comes down to another example of the BIGGER DICK FOREIGN POLICY in action, as elucidated by George Carlin:
That video of Carlin is old, but it remains as important and accurate an assessment of Obama's foreign policy today as it was of Daddy Bush's conduct of the Persian Gulf war in the 90's, Clinton's various little wars, and Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Change we can believe in?
Nope - just more lying bullshit from an asshole president/war criminal who conducts assassination squads in secret, covers up the real state of the war (and the war crimes the U.S. is engaging in to "win" it) and pursues an unwinnable war for his own egomaniacal ends.