by William Skink
When I see the need in our community here in Missoula; when I read that Big, Rich America can’t even afford a cost-of-living adjustment for the old and disabled; when I see multiple crisis’ already happening and getting worse, I think about foreign policy.
Not only do I think about foreign policy, but I think about what my younger self would think about today’s foreign policy.
Let’s say it’s October 7th, 2001. America has just launched it’s Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Remember, since it was oh so long ago, why we waged war in Afghanistan:
Its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power.
Now, my October 7th, 2001 self is still reeling from the shock of the 9/11 attack and things are moving fast. Emergency powers in Congress are pushed through, a broad Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is pushed through, weaponized Anthrax is killing low-level aides to politicians. It’s madness.
And here I come, October 15th 2015 William Skink, and I say:
Billy, dude, I’m you from the future and I’ve got to tell you about how nuts we’ve become in America. People aren’t even paying attention to this Afghanistan thing anymore, which is probably a good thing because if they did they might wonder why the Taliban is as strong in 2015 as they were in your time here, as this absurd war is just getting started. And it gets crazier.
So Bush is all-in against Al-Qaeda, right? He even invades Iraq a few years later, justified by some bullshit like you’re getting about Afghanistan. Lots of Democrats vilify him, of course. Then a half-black Democrat by the name of Barack Obama ascends to the White House promising to end all kinds of insanity, like the wars and the torture prison in Cuba, but instead of doing any of that, this Democrat, who somehow gets a Nobel Peace Prize early in his presidency, does such a bang-up job of fucking up the Middle East that by October, 2015, America and its “allies” are actually arming Al-Qaeda in Syria in order to bring down Assad because the neoconservative strain of insanity merged with the neoliberal, neocolonial bloodlust to control everything and destroy whatever resists, and not even the latest brand of hopium offers any sanity for how to relate to the rest of the world.
Yeah, foreign policy.
Who seriously believes the original justification for the war in Afghanistan? And how can Obama quietly extend this war without anyone really giving a shit? From the link:
US President Barack Obama has announced plans to extend the United States military’s role in Afghanistan and keep the current force of 9,800 troops through most of 2016, amid a surge in Taliban attacks.
And here is something from the link before that:
The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) keeps as diligently careful records about violence in the country as is possible.
Little attention is paid these days to Afghanistan, as the focus of attention seems to be further westwards – with the Russian intervention and Western failure in Syria centre-stage. UNAMA data shows that the Taliban’s strength is now as it was before October 7, 2001 – when the United States began its Global War on Terror in the country.
American foreign policy is desperate, dangerous and insane. It accomplishes the opposite of what its stated goals are, time and time again.
While Obama extends a military presence in Afghanistan—which, remember, the original goal was to keep it from being a “safe haven” for Al Qaeda—US officials are complaining about Russia killing CIA Al Qaeda pals in Syria.
2001 me would have a hard time believing the state of affairs today. I have a hard time believing America remains collectively oblivious to the chaos this country is directly responsible for.
We are closer than ever to WWIII going hot. Will the spark happen in Syria? In the South China Sea? Can any entity talk America down from the most destructive tantrum a powerful toddler nation has ever thrown over not getting everything it wants?
Aliens. I always hold out hope that aliens will come down and save us from ourselves.