C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Monday, 29 June 2009

The 'Good' War

Simon Jenkins of the Guardian has an article on Afghanistan, with which I find myself largely agreeing:

Vietnam began with President Kennedy's 1963 intervention to keep the communist menace at bay and make the world safe for democracy. That is what George Bush and Tony Blair said of terrorism and Afghanistan. By 1965, despite Congress scepticism, American advisers, then planes, then ground forces were deployed. Allies were begged to join but few agreed.

The presence of Americans on Asian soil turned a local insurgency into a regional crusade. The hard-pressed Americans resorted to ever more extensive bombing, deep inside neighbouring countries, despite evidence it was ineffective and counterproductive.

No amount of superior firepower could quell a peasant army that came and went by night and could terrorise or merge into the population. Tales of American atrocities rolled in. The army counted success in enemy dead. A desperate attempt to "train and equip" a new Vietnamese army made it as corrupt as it was unreliable. Billions of dollars were wasted.

Every one of these steps is being re-enacted in Afghanistan. Every sane observer, even serving generals and diplomats, admits that "we are not winning" and show no sign of doing so.

History is not a forte for most in the mainstream media. As history is occurring now in Iran, for instance, the conservative MSM is attempting to spin the protests as somehow being analogous to the 'colour' revolutions of the former Soviet bloc, protests that the left don't support as the left allegedly admires the Iranian regime's 'anti-Americanism'.

It's not merely the Tory shysters who are to blame, however. Jenkins hits the nail on the head when he says that 'a heavier guilt lies with liberal apologists for this war who continue to invent excuses for its failure and offer glib preconditions for victory.'