By Paul Craig Roberts, Counterpunch, June 24, 2010
Our petulant president’s ego can’t handle a general letting off steam. Neither can any of the spoiled children who comprise “our” government in DC, the capital of the “superpower.”
Generals have to fight wars that civilians start, either from the incompetence of their diplomacy or the arrogance of their hubris. Generals have to get young troops killed because of the stupidity or ambition or corruption of civilian government officials.
All McChrystal did was to let off steam. A real president would have realized that and let it go.
Don’t get me wrong. McChrystal is a militarist, and I am pleased to see him gone.
However, McChrystal didn’t restart America’s aggression against Afghanistan. Obama did.
People elected Obama, because they were tired of Bush’s wars based on lies. So Obama gave us a new war in Pakistan and reignited the Afghan war. No one knows what these wars are about or why the bankrupt US government is wasting vast sums of money, which it has to borrow from foreigners, in order to murder the citizenry in two countries that have never done anything to us.
Just as Bush/Cheney and their criminal neocon government deceived the world that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” that threatened white people everywhere, Obama has conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda. Obama has sold the tale to white countries that unless the US determines how Afghanistan is ruled and by whom, white people are in danger of being exterminated by al Qaeda Taliban terrorists.
The most telling aspect of the McChrystal-Obama contretemps is that it has caused no one in the US government, or media, to ask why the US is still killing women and children in Afghanistan after 9 years. The US government is prepared for everyone except itself to be tried at the War Crimes Tribunal.
Fred Branfman writing in AlterNet on June 22 reminds us that unnumbered Iraqis were killed, maimed, tortured and displaced by an American invasion based on lies told by the highest officials in the American government. Yet, no one has been held accountable.
But Gen. McChrystal is held accountable for letting off steam.
Once the Roman senate, the legislative branch, collapsed, the caesars, the executive branch, became the captives of the military. Now with Gen. Petraeus once again moved to the fore as McChrystal’s replacement in Afghanistan, we have Obama elevating Petraeus to the Republican presidential nomination in the next election. Thus has Obama replaced himself with a man who will unify the military and executive branch.
Associated Press writers Jennifer Loven and Anne Gearan write (June 23) about the “admired and tightly disciplined Gen. David Petraeus,” the “architect of the Iraq war turnaround,” who is “once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort.”
Petraeus is an evolved form of general. He “won” in Iraq by paying protection money to the Sunnis who were effectively resisting the US occupation. Petraeus figured out that it was far cheaper and more efficient to put the Sunnis on the US military payroll and to pay them to stop fighting, which is how the war between the Sunnis and the Americans ended. To keep the Americans out of the ongoing large scale sectarian violence that continues to slaughter Iraqis, the US military was confined to remote bases.
If history is a guide, the Afghans will also accept Petraeus’ protection money, and Petraeus has just enough time to buy the Afghan war before the next presidential election.
The Afghans will, of course, take the money and wait us out, just as the Iraqis are doing.
All of this drama is playing out despite the continuing lack of any valid reason for the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington idiots, trying to dictate how Iraq and Afghanistan are governed, are destroying constitutional government in the United States. In our hubris to determine how Iraq and Afghanistan are ruled, we are losing our own government.
Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com