AFGHANISTAN / VIETNAMISTAN
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AFGHANISTAN / VIETNAMISTAN

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May 9, 2012, 8:40 am
Politics
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DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
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President Piffle, Nobel Peace Prize winner, sneaked into Afghanistan in the dead of night on May 1st, the 1-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Ben Laden in his pigsty hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan (say that 3 times fast). The Prezzy was there, in the graveyard of Empires, to sign a paper with Hamid Karzai, the President and thief-in-chief of that Allah-forsaken country, and to declare that the 10-year-long US military's tragic, futile and exceedingly unpopular big-footing through Afghanistan would continue for another 10 years!! Not to mention the war profiteering and stealing!

Originally cooked up just after 9/11 to avenge those terrible sneak attacks, rout Osama and Al-Qaeda from their sanctuary in Afghanistan and kick the ruling Islamist Taliban out of Kabul, this so-called “good war” (as opposed to the Iraq War the Bush/Cheney criminals lied us into), has slowly morphed over the past decade into a foolish and fruitless misadventure reverberating with echoes of the Vietnam War.

There's an old song that summed up the Vietnam quagmire: "We're waist deep in the Big Muddy/ And the damn fool yells 'Press on!'"

Obama's every dishonest and dissembling word on Afghanistan, and likewise those uttered by the generals of our "Ever Victorious Army" could have been lifted straight from the archives of the Vietnam War.

Our supposed allies are thieves and liars. We have no friends there only payees. We can't speak their language and haven't a clue about their culture. And could care less. The first notion, to smack Osama and Al-Qaeda was worthy, until the Bush/Cheney villains decided to let the bastard escape, thinking it was better for the marketing of their "War On Terror" con to have him alive and lurking. The Taliban were quickly sent packing, but they're baaaack, because, like the Vietcong, they never left. They live there. And they know we will leave. Probably with our tail between our legs. Like the British and the Russians before us. Like the famous scene of the last helicopter on the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon.

Time and again from 1964 to 1975, LBJ and Tricky Dick declared we were only in Vietnam to support the "legitimate" government of President Steals-Alot, and train the (cowardly and incompetent) South Vietnam Army to take over the fighting and defeat those awful Godless Commies. While bringing the blessings of democracy to the hapless natives. "When the South Vietnam Army can stand up, we'll stand down," our Ministry of Disinformation insisted. Every military victory was the final blow to the pajama-wearing, always disappearing enemy. Every flop and failure (the most egregious being the Tet Offensive) was declared a victory. We had to destroy the village in order to save it. In 1967, the tinpot General William Westmoreland announced our victorious troops would be home by Christmas! That ridiculous prediction was later reduced to the famously dishonest, but oft-repeated, declaration that "There is light at the end of the tunnel!" The 11-year-long fiasco, cost over 58,000 dead American troops and more than 300,000 wounded. Vietnamese casualties were beyond counting. And the US taxpayers forked over more than $584 billion for that monumental military and diplomatic failure. Will the last American to leave Vietnam turn out that light at the end of the tunnel!!

If you can't hear those echoes of Vietnam in Afghanistan, you're not listening. Or you are as tone-deaf as our government and our military/industrial/security complex, who are also stone-deaf to the 70+% of Americans who are saying: "Get the eff out of Afghanistan now!!"

The Prezzy's teevee campaign speech to America from the Bagram Air Base and Torture Complex, could have been uttered by Nixon during the 1972 election campaign. Kissinger, the war monger, had signed a "peace" agreement with the North Vietnamese while we bombed the crap out of both Vietnams, Laos and Cambodia and slow-walked some of our troops homeward.

Nixon called his gambit "Vietnamisation" based on the fantasy that "As they stand up, we can stand down". Not much has changed with President Hopey-Changey except the term "Afghanistanization" is too clumsy for anyone to utter.

The Afghanistan folly is not an exact duplicate of Vietnam, but the numbers are telling. Almost 2,000 dead American troops (not draftees this time, but volunteers supplemented by better- paid mercenaries) and over 15,000 wounded. The drone-bombing of Pakistan could stand in for the carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia. And the national cash register is ringing up a weekly bill of $2 billion (a total so far of $445 billion).

Listen to the echoes in Obama's speech:

"Today, I signed an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan [South Vietnam] that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries - a future in which Afghans [South Vietnamese} are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign nations."

"...over the last three years, the tide has turned."

"First we have begun a transition to Afghan [South Vietnam] responsibility for security."

"International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans
[South Vietnamese] and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans [South Vietnamese] step forward. As we do, our troops will be coming home."

"Second, we are training Afghan
[South Vietnamese] Security forces to get the job done."

"Third, we are building an enduring partnership. The agreement we signed today sends a clear message to the Afghan
[South Vietnamese] people; as you stand up, you will not stand alone. It establishes the basis of our cooperation over the next decade(!), including shared commitments to combat terrorism and strengthen democratic institutions."

"Fourth, we are pursuing a negotiated peace."

"Fifth, we are building a global consensus to support peace and stability in South Asia
[Southeast Asia]..."

Of course this being Afghanistan, not Vietnam, Obama banged the Al-Qaeda drum more than a few times.

"...one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set - to defeat Al-Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild - is within reach."

"Our goal is to destroy Al-Qaeda, and we are on a path to do exactly that."

"...we must give Afghanistan the opportunity to stabilize. Otherwise, our gains could be lost, and
Al-Qaeda could establish itself once more."

Some of what he says about Al-Qaeda is true. Osama is definitely dead and has not yet risen from the bottom of the deep blue Arabian Sea. Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, is everywhere and nowhere. There are probably not enough Al-Qaeda members left in Afghanistan to field a softball team. But, then, they do not need rugged, backward, poor Afghanistan anymore. It's a franchise now. Like McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Or Ray's Pizza. They can and do live in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, London, Zurich, Amsterdam, New York (and Brooklyn!). Not to mention Islamic dumps like Yemen, Somalia, Uzbekistan and, it seems, all over Pakistan. They are like smoke. Or Reds under the bed. The once and future bogeyman of the international military/industrial/security complex. Boo!!

Stunningly, at the end of his Afghanistan speech, Obama very nearly collided smack into that classic Vietnam cliché:

"My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light.....of a new day on the horizon."

He had come just one slip of the tongue from declaring "the light at the end of the tunnel."

He might also have mentioned, in the true spirit of dreadful irony, that April 30th (the day before his Afghanistan speech) was the 37th anniversary of the last frantic helicopter escape flight from the US Embassy in Saigon.

Will the last American to leave Afghanistan turn off that light on the horizon!!

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Author: Bernard Jenkins
Bernard Jenkins a regular Contributor at Jornal.us, is a writer and raconteur commenting on U.S. and world affairs for eons.
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