Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baghdad Redux?

Nearly 70% of Americans agree with the new president's decision to add another 17,000 troops in Afghanistan, according to today's Washington Post. True, this is about half what President Obama requested. Still, the increase indicates a significant sea change, especially if you happen to be one of the 17,000 service members deployed there.

While an almost equal number of Americans, 60%, said that we lost more than we gained by the occupation, and plunder, of Iraq, an astonishing 44% still think that Iraq is an integral part of the so-called war on terrorism. And, many also expect greater success to follow a "surge" in Afghanistan as they think it has in Iraq.

One wonders if Kabul will be the next Baghdad with Karachi following close behind. Will the role of the U.S., in this millenium, be that of an empire that profiteers off promoting global instability? Or, will the empire strike back?

It's hard not to think back to Korea and Vietnam, only substitute Iraq for Korea and Afghanistan for Vietnam. One also can't help but think of LBJ who followed in the footsteps of a president, JFK, who had designs, and a plan, to end the war, and how LBJ multiplied American presence, and casualties, exponentially, in the name of ending the Communist (read "terrorist") reign in Southeast Asia.

Any country that is led by its military has accomplished little more than giving last rites to its domestic policy.

We'd like to think President Obama will sidestep the roadside bomb, and military quagmire, of Afghanistan, but war being the racket that it is, one can't help but wonder if that is possible.

This lust for power, in the final analysis, may be all that remains of the human race.