Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mission Impossible In The New Vietnam

More troops are to be sent to their deaths on a fool's errand in the Afghan killing fields. Obama is set for a Mission Impossible surge with poodle Brown behind him, pinning hopes on everything coming up roses in time for crucial elections.

Both Washington and London are spinning an 'end game' to dupe a war-weary public on both sides of the Atlantic in a blatant election ploy.

After months of dithering, a rerun of the disastrous Bush/Blair Iraq debacle is on the cards with an increasingly sceptical public left to pick up the pieces.

Der Spiegel put it well: Obama's rallying call to the nation felt like "a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric, leaving both dreamers and realists feeling distraught."

Here Brown doesn't blink without first running it past Washington. Singing from the same hymn sheet, the outline of a 'timetable' has been carefully set up to keep the folks sweet.

Obama's popularity is plummeting. Mid term elections are looming. A president who built up hopes closing Gitmo, only to dash them, plans to end the war by getting in deeper.

Public approval for Obama's war has taken a nose dive with noticeable opposition from within his own Democratic party.

It's Vietnam all over again. The Taliban are the new Reds. Johnson and Nixon have been replaced by Bush and Obama who like Nixon promised to 'end the war' by getting in deeper.

Ahead of Obama's 30,000 troop surge, his poodle Brown got in early with 500 more UK troops and a few lamentable excuses, throwing in everything including the kitchen sink.

In a desperate search for a reason, Brown too is embroiled in a bitter battle to win over hearts and minds and capture the hopeless argument in the run up to the general election.

Apparently the armed forces now have the equipment needed to send in more troops. That begs the questions: why were ill-equipped troops sent to their deaths in the past? Shouldn't the right kit and proper support be in place before a country decides to wage war in a far off land?

Bogeyman Bin Laden popped up again as public enemy number one, with Brown urging a new push to hunt him down. Er, wasn't that what they were supposed to be doing ever since 9/11?

Now Brown has repeated his old con that sending in more troops will help keep the streets here safe. Poppycock. The London underground bombers were British not Afghan and trained in Pakistan not Afghanistan.

To top it all, there's a wonderful pre-election photo-op in January with an Afghan London summit.

As Obama and Brown embark on a fool's errand with mission impossible, some fools may be fooled by the spin. The Orange Party isn't. A US pull out, timed to coincide with election campaigns, is a despicable way to use the lives of brave troops for petty party political ends.

The sheer pace of Obama's military deployment mimics Bush's 2007 troop surge in Iraq. But the war-mongering pair can send as many troops as they can, it won't make a jot of difference. This is is an exercise in futility and failure.

People feel duped by a hopeless unwinnable half-hearted war now at stalemate. Opinion polls in the UK resonate with those in the US.

But Brown's government has bound itself to Obama's war, fought with all the fervour of Bush neo-cons, right down to the surge. An accelerated timetable with a built-in endgame smacks of electioneering.

As with Iraq, MPs have been duped, this time with a promised hand over to Afghan control. Oblivious to tribal allegiances of corrupt Afghan security forces, more troops will be sent to their deaths. A high price to pay to prop up corrupt and discredited Karzai.

But stepped-up 'training' for Afghan forces will allow Brown and Obama to claim everything is hunky-dory, just in time for those elections back home.

NATO and other allies will have to contribute additional troops to a war that is deeply unpopular in Europe. Setting out a rough timeframe is a sure sign of mounting concerns on Capitol Hill. But how Obama intends to pay for his escalation is left in the air with the extra cost put at around $30 billion.

Supporting a corrupt Afghan government by adding more troops is a fool's errand. As in the UK, the US public is waking up to the fact that the Afghan Taliban is not a direct threat to the US or UK. The threat comes from Islamic fundamentalists trained in Pakistan. The public has no stomach for Brown and Obama's war.

Like Bush and Blair before them, the new warmongers are doomed to failure in a hopeless, unwinnable war. Once again the public is being taken for a ride with the olive branch of an 'end game'.

Stubbornly refusing to learn the lessons of Vietnam, the Blair/Bush legacy of Iraq and now Afghanistan will come back to haunt them. And like in Vietnam and Iraq, it is troops and civilians who will suffer and bear the brunt of a bloody taste for war.