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Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Friday, October 30, 2009

SCOTT RITTER: "MCCHRYSTAL DOESN'T GET IT. DOES OBAMA?"

"Some, including leaders of the Bush administration, were making the case that the Taliban was directly implicated in the attacks since it had provided al-Qaida with a safe haven to plan the events of 9/11. It had yet to be proved that the Taliban was a witting host, however. As a student of the region, I believed that the United States would do well to use tribal concepts of honor to isolate and disenfranchise bin Laden and his Arab outsiders from their Taliban host. If the United States, working through the offices of the Pakistani intelligence services, could convince the Taliban that its hospitality had been abused by al-Qaida-in that the murder of innocents had been committed while under its protection-then Afghan tribal custom and honor and, even more important to the fundamentalist Taliban, Islamic law, dictated that the Taliban revoke the protections and privileges afforded bin Laden and al-Qaida."
--Scott Ritter

Listen up. The Daddy has told you about Scott Ritter. When he lays it down, you can pick up and take it to the bank. Ritter is a former weapons inspector for the United Nations from 1991 to 1998.

Wilkipedia put it this way: "Ritter is known for his role as a chief
United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and later for his criticism of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Ritter publicly argued that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). He became a popular anti-war figure and talk show commentator as a result of his stance."

Now, Ritter is speaking out against our presence in Afghanistan. Every word he lays down is true, as far as The Daddy is concerned. Check him out:

Posted on Oct 29, 2009
AP / David Guttenfelder

U.S. Marines walk through the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand province

By Scott Ritter

There is a curious phenomenon taking place in the American media at the moment: the lionization of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the American military commander in Afghanistan. Although he has taken a few lumps for playing politics with the White House, McChrystal has generally been sold to the American public as a “Zen warrior,” a counterinsurgency genius who, if simply left to his own devices, will be able to radically transform the ongoing debacle that is Afghanistan into a noble victory that will rank as one of the greatest political and military triumphs of modern history. McChrystal’s resume and persona (a former commander of America’s special operations forces, a tireless athlete and a scholar) have been breathlessly celebrated in several interviews and articles. Reporters depict him as an ascetic soldier who spouts words of wisdom to rival Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent Gen. McChrystal to “fix” the war in Afghanistan in the way that his boss, that earlier military prophet Gen. David Petraeus, “fixed” Iraq. Whether by accident or design, McChrystal’s mission became a cause célèbre of sorts for an American media starved for good news, even if entirely fabricated, coming out of Afghanistan. One must remember that the general has accomplished little of note during his short tenure to date as the military commander in Afghanistan. His entire reputation is built around the potential to turn things around in Afghanistan. And to do this, McChrystal has said he needs time, and 40,000-plus additional American troops. There are currently around 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s request would raise that number to around 110,000 troops – the same number as the Soviets had deployed in Afghanistan at the height of their failed military adventure some 20 years ago.

McChrystal, or more accurately, his staff, has authored a not-so-secret report that outlines the reasoning behind this massive increase in American military involvement in Afghanistan. Rightly noting that the American-led effort is currently failing, McChrystal argues that only a massive infusion of U.S. troops, and a corresponding “surge” of American civilians, can achieve the stability necessary to transform Afghanistan from the failed state it is today. A viable nation capable of self-government, the new Afghanistan could maintain internal security so that terrorist organizations like al-Qaida will not be able to take root, flourish and once again threaten American security from the sanctuary of a lawless land. This concept certainly looks good on paper and plays well in the editorial section. And why shouldn’t it? It touches on all the romantic notions of America as liberator and defender of the oppressed. The problem is that the assumptions made in the McChrystal report are so far removed from reality as to be ludicrous.

McChrystal operates under the illusion that American military power can provide a shield from behind which Afghanistan can remake itself into a viable modern society. He has deluded himself and others into believing that the people of Afghanistan want to be part of such a grand social experiment, and furthermore that they will tolerate the United States being in charge. The reality of Afghan history, culture and society argue otherwise. The Taliban, once a defeated entity in the months following the initial American military incursion into Afghanistan, are resurgent and growing stronger every day. The principle source of the Taliban’s popularity is the resentment of the Afghan people toward the American occupation and the corrupt proxy government of Hamid Karzai. There is nothing an additional 40,000 American troops will be able to do to change that basic equation. The Soviets tried and failed. They deployed 110,000 troops, operating on less restrictive lines of communication and logistical supply than the United States. They built an Afghan army of some 45,000 troops. They operated without the constraints of American rules of engagement. They slaughtered around a million Afghans. And they lost, for the simple reason that the people of Afghanistan did not want them, or their Afghan proxies.

To read the full article, click here:

7 comments:

Vigilante said...

Daddy, thanks so much for posting this Ritter column! I'll sneak a look at the link provided while I'm at work. The # 1 Rule in American statecraft is that advisors (civilian and military alike) advise and Presidents decide. If President Obama allows this principle to be turned on its head, he will not prove to have been a creditable steward of his high office. I am somewhat hopeful he will listen to the people as well as his advisors on this one. Even Thom Friedman's broken watch shows the correct Afghanistan time.

MacDaddy said...

I hope he will listen to the people, too. I thought it was interesting that he went to Air Force base where the soldiers come home dead. It was also interesting that he said he thinks of them everyday. Blessings.

Stimpson said...

I see Vigilante and I seized on the same point: McChrystal is being insubordinate; he's publicly trying to pressure the president. Here's my fave part of Ritter's piece:
"A general may offer advice, but any effort to engage the machinery of politics to pressure a sitting president defies the basic constitutional tenet of civilian control over the military. President Obama, once a constitutional law professor, should know as much, and would do well to severely reprimand McChrystal for his actions. Or better yet, Obama should fire McChrystal and replace him with someone who respects the rule of law and the chain of command."

Fire McChrystal now.

Oso said...

MacDaddy,
Sounds like McArthur and Truman. I hope Obama takes the Truman approach.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hey Mac,

I read long ago that the oil companies were wooing the Taliban to cut some deals, but offered them a paltry sum of money. Their entitlement let them to think table scraps were sufficient, and they didn't care a whit about male-female roles in Afghan culture.

Hell hath no fury like a racist white capitalist who cannot exploit a minority group. Cuba is an excellent example of the grudge still held. Iraq and Afghanistan are even better. The puppet running Afghanistan used to work for the oil companies, and ain't that a coincidence?

Obama knows all this an more. I see him as David in the Lion's Den. I could be wrong, and maybe he was co-opted long ago, but when I think this it eff's up my head. I don't know if he can stop all that's happening, but I do think he's slowed it down and is daily trying to buy the world more time.

~Kit

Constructive Feedback said...

DaddyB:

When, as recently as 4 months ago when Obama and Biden were saying "Afghanistan is worth it" and/or "THIS is the right war" - did you register any protestations against their claims?

Did you fundamentally repudiate the notion of "The Right War"?

Ritter makes the case that the Taliban can be "convinced" that their hospitality was abused. I wonder if you have any particular position on the ABUSE that they rendered while in power?

A few years ago upon seeing little girls going to school rather than being bound at home - their forces threw acid in the faces of these girls as a means of intimidating any other who had the 'crazy ideal' that they could go and get an education.

And you say what?

Vigilante said...

I'm askin' you, C. Feedback, how much $$$ we should invest crossing guards for the little Afghan boys and girls? I'm not sayin', just askin'.