“Plus ça change…” We Can Believe In December 14, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in A: Roger's Original Essays, About Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tags: Afghanistan, autoworkers, bailout, Barack Obama, Economic Crisis, foreign policy, George Bush, Iraq, labor, pakistan, pakistan missiles, regional security, Robert Gates, roger hollander, soviet union, state secrets, troops, workers rights
©Roger Hollander, 2008
More “Plus ça change…” We Can Believe In: Update on Obama’s continuation of Bush Agenda, April 2009:
Iraq: Obama lies to American people about total withdrawal in that he is leaving up to 50,000 combat troops but calling them by another name; paramilitaries to stay; the mega-Embassy in Baghdad to stay, military bases to stay. Some withdrawal.
Pakistan: Obama accelerates bombing of border areas with unmanned missiles, causing numerous civilian injuries and deaths and what local officials are calling a humanitarian crisis.Pakistan
Economic Crisis: Obama’s Treasury Secretary and economic advisors are the same financial and banking industry officials (Summers, Rubin, Geithner, etc.) who are responsible for the financial disaster in the first place. They are giving trillions of taxpayer dollars to their criminal buddies in the industry.
Labor: After gigantic welfare handouts to wall Street, Obama is set to let the auto industry go into bankruptcy, thereby wiping out workers’ pensions and virtually destroying the union.
Bush Administration Crimes: Neither Obama or his Attorney General, Eric Holder, have had the guts to go after Bush, Cheney and company for their war crimes and gross violations of the US Constitution (leaving the task to courageous Spanish Judge, Balthasar Garzon); Obama’s Justice Department has used the pernicious “state secrets” privilege (as did Bush) to protect Bush administration criminals with respect to torture and warrantless spying.
Afghanistan: Obama is timidly allowing Bush appointees, Defence Secretary Gates and General Petraeus, to call the shots on an escalation that is destined to fail, cost thousands of lives and be a major recruiting boon for the Taliban and al Qaeda.
(here’s the original “Plus ça change…” We Can Believe In article)
“In response to questions from audience members after his formal remarks, Mr. Gates said that although the Pentagon would be sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan over the next months, he was ultimately worried about the size of the American presence on Afghan soil. The United States plans to add some 20,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2009.
“’I am more mindful than most that with 120,000 troops the Soviets still lost, because they never had the support of the Afghan people,’Mr. Gates said. ‘I think that after we complete these troop increases that we’re talking about, we ought to think long and hard about how many more go in.’”
These, according to a December 13, 2008 New York Times article (“Troops to Stay Longer in Iraq as Support, U.S. Says”), are the words of the Bush/Obama Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, “speaking at a conference on regional security.”
Observe that Gates takes note of the Soviet failure in Afghanistan and attributes it to their lack of support of the Afghan people. Is there a better description of the situation as it exists for the United States in Afghanistan today (not to mention Iraq)?
Gates tells us that he thinks we need to think ”long and hard” about how many more American young men and women are sent into Afghanistan to kill and be killed in Afghanistan AFTER we send in the first batch of cannon fodder. Apparently President-Elect Barack didn’t think that long and hard before appointing this veteran of the Iran Contra debacle and who, according to the same Times article, has served under seven U.S presidents, which makes him, of course, an expert on failed foreign policy.
It gets curiouser and curiouser, and it would be laughable but for the fact that so many hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake.
Plus ça change … we can believe in.