Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dien Ben Phu, Dien Ben Phu, When Will You, Meet Your Dien Ben Phu?

Is the United States going to invade Pakistan? Directly or indirectly. There have been stories for sometime about U.S. special forces already being inside many countries in the region. But Pakistan seems to be a particular focus of the Obama administration. People make much of the fact that the President learned to say the country's name properly -- Pah-kee-stan -- but nobody's bothered to ask why. Is it because the U.S. has it next on the list of countries that we will invade seeking the rose-petal path? Or maybe break it up into pieces, hand them out to neighboring countries who are either our friends or our colonies, keep everything away from any possible claims by China?

The people who started the movements towards the New American Empire -- called PNAC, Project for a New American Century -- don't really disappear just because "their" guy loses an election. Their goals remain the same. And remember, most of the money from this country has been stolen by their members -- the wealthy elite, the oil, the defense, the Wall Street criminals who have looted and pillaged during the Bush years. They've got the money, they bribe our politicians, they can pretty much get whatever they want.

So here's the question: since President Obama campaigned to end the war in Iraq, why doesn't he do it? We have 142,000 U.S. military personnel occupying Iraq right now, and an additional -- 100,000? --- private contractor mercenaries. That's 250,000 people occupying a foreign country. Let's get them out of there. But Obama says no, let's wait a year, and even then we'll leave 50,000 troops. To "help." That's ridiculous. The only thing the U.S. has done in Iraq is to kill and destroy, and teach others to do the same. Nothing is going to be resolved as long as we continue to militarily occupy that country. We need to get out. Now. Out Now.

But then we get the surprise news. Yes, Obama wants to "end" the war in Iraq by reducing forces to 50,000 -- which doesn't sound like an end to me, more a pause -- but he wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan. But why? What's there except rubble and poor people? What is our purpose or goal in being in Afghanistan? Except to have a staging ground to attack Pakistan. No, they won't call it an attack -- they'll say we're just sending some advisors in to help prop up the puppet government. Is that really why we are escalating in Afghanistan? To set up the staging ground for the next U.S. war?

There is a major battle taking place right now in Pakistan between the official government and the "militants" we call the Taliban. It should not be surprising that the Taliban would have popular support and strength in Pakistan. The Pakistan government and its state police, the ISI, haVE reportedly been big supporters of the Taliban for years. The country was a home-base for the al-Queda efforts in the region, with many of the top level people in the government being sympathizers with al-Queda (just like the royal family in Saudi Arabia provided their funding). Remember, they popularized the religious-fanatic schools that brainwashed the children and turned them out to become little suicide bombers of the future. Why would anyone be surprised that Pakistan is overrun with fanatics? We've been funding them for years -- they're our "friend." Just like with bin Laden, we have funded our future enemies.

This may seem abhorant to us - who could support the Taliban, never mind al Queda? Here's the answer: people support the local team. When the Yankees come to town to play against the team with the smallest payroll, youngest and most inexperienced players, oldest ballfield, who do the home-town fans support? The local team, no matter what the odds are against them. They don't like outsiders coming in and trying to take over. Same thing.

The United States has been a physical presence in the area since sometime after Israel was set up, since our arming of Israel and ongoing obscene levels of funding of Israel, our non-negotiable support for Israel's genocide against the Palestinians, and whatever else they do, has made it clear to a majority of the people in the region that the U.S. is only there to support a western, European-style colony of the region with the non-whites and Muslims acting the part of slaves, and the U.S. and Israel acting the part of brutal colonial forces. They do hate us, but it's not for our freedoms -- it's for our decades of brutal colonial assault on their countries and their lives.

I can see this whole thing playing out to one end: U.S. war in Pakistan. Not to get al -Queda -- I'm beginning to think nobody really cares about al -Queda -- just to get control. The elusive goal, the never-ending war: just until it's stabilized, even if we have to kill every single person in that country. Obama's position since he got into the White House has been a direct aim at Pakistan. I don't love Pakistan, don't get me wrong. But we have no business in Pakistan other than if we know bin Laden is there, let's go in and kill him. Other than that, stay out. U.S. Out of Pakistan.

Come to think of it, remember the oil pipeline? Way back in 2001, the U.S. made demands in Afghanistan to let western oil companies build a pipeline through their country? Because we want our corporations to steal all the oil from the region, carry it overland by pipeline, dump it into tankers, and have them bring it to California to fuel the Hummers. What was that campaign called? "Save the Hummers." As I recall, that pipeline was also supposed to go through Pakistan. Hmmm.

The AP article (link and partial quotes below) say that the Obama administration's position is that the U.S. cannot "win" in Afghanistan without peace and support, an alliance with Pakistan, that Obama is pushing the Pakistan government to engage in military battles with the Taliban, that the Obama government is claiming that the bad guys are now coming from Pakistan (I thought they were coming from Iran -- they keep changing the story). Oh My God, the U.S. is going to start another war. I can smell it.

Remember, Joe Biden wanted to break up Iraq into segments, give control of each segment to some friendly regime. Do they have the same thing in mind for Pakistan? Break it up, turn over control of segments to U.S.-aligned nations, have "treaties" which give us control of all their resources? Prevent China from gaining control in Pakistan? Remember, Pakistan's longest border may be with India, but they also have a border with China.

We will not "win" the countries in that region through military means. We can kill all the people, enslave the population, and keep an unstable puppet regime in place for short periods of time. But in the long run, we cannot "win." Not by bombs or guns.

Think of all the things we could have done that would have been good. Let's start with the Palestinians. Tell Israel to get out of the settlements and return to some borders (pick one -- any one). Rebuild everything for the Palestinians. Employ the people. Build housing, give them jobs, build schools, hospitals. Bring their brightest students to the U.S. for immediate professional education such as doctors, lawyers, CPAs, engineers, but at the same time build professional-level universities in their own country where they can turn out all the top-level people they need to run their new nation. Provide the funding. Build transportation and roads. If we had done that, and the Palestinians had gone from being the poorest victims of western colonial greed to becoming a new nation of opportunity where all the people have housing, food, clothing, medical, education, think how different things might have been. And at probably a fraction of what it costs for any of these wars.

We can win by showing people that there are better ways, better opportunities, that it's possible for countries to meet the needs of their people. Instead we bomb, murder, destroy. And this is what we have: war, neverending war. And a new one on the horizon.

While the citizens at home wait for help, our government is engaged in on-going wars against other countries with no benefit to us. We get nothing. The corporations get control of the resources. The citizens of those countries get killed or maimed. These are corporate wars, and we need to end them.

When the French were trying to keep control, keep their colonial ownership of Vietnam, the U.S. gradually moved in to aid in that effort, very early on funding 80% of the war against the Vietnamese. Then we sent in "advisors," then "special" forces, then the whole military. The French got their butts kicked at a battle in a place called Dien Ben Phu. Remember that song: Waterloo, Waterloo, when will you meet your Waterloo? The moment of reckoning. How many wars will it take until our creditors cut us off and our military limps home?

The federal government under the control of Bush and Cheney bankrupt our country and created devastation throughout the world. So far, President Obama has done nothing but spread a thin veneer of calm over what is otherwise a nation in a disaster, headed for collapse. Future generations of this country will pay by inheriting crushing debt, an economy which has few jobs, no manufacturing, no ability to make anything, no ability to grow our own food, no money, no capital, no public infrastructure, no schools or roads or transportation, no healthcare for the people, no adequate police or fire protection. Just like in Third World Countries -- nothing for the people, everything for the rulers.

U.S. Out of Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. End the Wars. Bring the Troops Home.

AP: "MINGORA, Pakistan – Helicopter gunships and mortar teams pounded militant strongholds, killing dozens outside emerald mines and in a district near the capital, the military said, as Taliban reinforcements poured down from their mountain hideouts."

"As the army began taking the fight to militants entrenched about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital, Pakistan's leader prepared to hear demands from President Barack Obama for forceful action from a struggling ally. "

"The army actions in the Swat Valley and Buner will please Washington, which is urging Pakistan to crack down on militants blamed for rising violence at home and in Afghanistan.

Since fighting broke out Tuesday, thousands of men, women and children have fled the region's main town of Mingora and surrounding districts, fearing an imminent major military operation. The government said it believes refugees could reach 500,000. "

"'It is an all-out war there. Rockets are landing everywhere,' said Laiq Zada, a 33-year old who fled the valley late Tuesday and was now in a government-run tent camp out of the danger zone. 'We have with us the clothes on our bodies and a hope in the house of God. Nothing else.'"

"The clashes followed the collapse of a 3-month-old truce in Swat that was widely criticized in the West as a surrender to the militants, who had fought the army to a standstill in two years of clashes that saw hundreds of civilian casualties. "

"The developments brought Islamabad's faltering campaign against extremism into sharp focus as President Asif Ali Zardari prepared for talks Wednesday in Washington with Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on how best to counter an increasingly overlapping spectrum of extremist groups behind surging violence in the neighboring countries."

"The Obama administration hopes to build a strong and lasting regional alliance, linking success in Afghanistan with security in Pakistan. Toward that end, the administration is encouraging Pakistan to confront — not make peace with — the Taliban and other militants.

'We need to put the most heavy possible pressure on our friends in Pakistan to join us in the fight against the Taliban and its allies,' Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told a congressional committee Tuesday. 'We cannot succeed in Afghanistan without Pakistan's support and involvement.'"

Stonewall Jackson: "Waterloo"


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