Tuesday, February 25, 2014

U So Karzai

“Bad puppet! Bad!” This is the message that Obama and the State Department mob keep trying to convey to our man in Kabul – the guy with the sheepskin hat and the coat of many colors – Hamid Karzai. As far as they're concerned, he owes us, man! We put him into power, we're his sole means of support, and yet he keeps acting like he's his own man. He even says things like “Afghanistan is a sovereign country.” Dude – when you're country is still occupied by foreign troops who invaded it more than 12 years ago, it's not “sovereign”. Get over it.

But what Obama & Co. see as flakiness on the part of Karzai is nothing more than survival tactics. I mean... the guy is not stupid, OK? He knows full well that even though we call him an “ally” he's expected to salute and click his heels every time Obama or some State Department functionary gives an order, er, suggestion. And while the rest of the world (and not a few people in this country) call him a puppet, a goodly portion of his own citizens consider him a collaborator. And as if this weren't enough, he has also seen what a temperamental and unreliable “ally” the U.S. can be. I mean OK, we do have one “eternal ally”, namely Israel, and that would not change if Moloch himself ascended the throne. But otherwise, we're perfectly capable of turning around and walking away, leaving our “friends” behind holding the bag (or their own heads). It happened in Vietnam – though not without ample cause – and, arguably, in Iran and in any number of other marginal, third-world places. Basically, the relationship is over when we say it's over... and Karzai expects that one of these days it will be his turn, so he's trying to make a few friends, and unmake a few enemies, in order to ease his plight when that day arrives. And in that part of the world, the “plight” in question typically involves being separated from one's own head by main force. Anyone remember Najibullah? He was Moscow's man in Kabul, and, according to Wikipedia, he “(was) said to have been castrated by the Taliban, and... was dragged behind a truck in the streets of Kabul before being publicly hanged.” Now there's an attention getter for you! No wonder Karzai is hedging his bets.

The main bone of contention at this time is the question of how long our troops will be permitted to stay, or tolerated, or whatever the euphemism is – and this in itself is remarkable since we certainly didn't ask permission to invade Afghanistan, or cause a regime change, or occupy it for lo these many years. And yet all of sudden we're asking permission to stay. This could, in fact, be a sneaky way of creating an excuse to leave – like, well, we were perfectly willing to hang around until doomsday, but hey, Karzai said no, so we just have to go, too bad so sad. Well, of course that argument would be somewhat novel, and it certainly wouldn't fit into our empire-building model. After all, we still have troops stationed in the Axis powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan – nearly 70 years after the end of World War II. We don't ask their permission, and they don't ask us to leave; don't ask, don't tell.

The other sticky wicket at this time is the release of prisoners – but that's easily explained, once again, by Karzai's need to make friends and unmake enemies.

The reason the “Global War on Terrorism” is a full-employment act for all kinds of people is that there's no criterion for victory – for an end point. How would we ever know that it was over? Because even if you kill or suppress all the “terrorists” in a given area or country, more could come bubbling up at any moment. It's like killing weeds – they're never really dead, they just suffer a momentary setback after which they come back as strong as ever (or stronger, if they learn how to eat the weedkiller). So the “war on terror” is, by definition, a perpetual war; it can be no other. And by the same token, it can occur anywhere in the world, so the choice of where and when to invade, where to station troops, where to direct out intel apparatus, etc., is more or less arbitrary. We could argue that we're fighting terror by spying on Iceland, or parachuting into Tasmania.

But! -- you might say – Afghanistan was run by the Taliban, who were providing a safe haven for terrorists. OK... except most of the 9/11 hijackers (alleged) were Saudis... so why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia and simply keep anyone else from migrating to some terrorist training ground? Et cetera. The point is that the “war on terror” is perpetual and cannot be won. To truly uproot and exterminate all the causes of “terrorism” we would, basically, have to declare war on all of Islam (which we kind of have, come to think about it) and undertake a massive genocide to kill all Moslems (compared to which bombing a few wedding parties seems like rank tokenism).

How does one eliminate conflict, in the most general sense? One can eliminate one (or both) sides of said conflict, or one can eliminate the cause. Killing all Moslems – impractical. Killing all Americans – politically risky. That brings us to the cause, and I'll say it again, along with Ron Paul: “They're over here because we're over there.” Ergo – get us out of the Near East, Middle East, wherever there are Moslems who might be offended by our presence (which means wherever there are Moslems). Get us out of their pants economically, politically, diplomatically... quit trying to force “democracy” down their throats, or American “culture”. Just forget about that part of the world entirely. Easy, right?

Dream on. What's keeping us in that part of the world? Two things, basically – oil and Israel. And even if we achieve self-sufficiency with regard to oil, Israel will still be there, all alone and feeling blue without our 24-7-365 help and vigilance. And what are the chances that we will abandon our “eternal ally”? I would say zero out to the 1000th decimal place, no matter what sorts of paranoid fantasies “Bibi” and his gang come up with, and no matter how badly they treat our leaders with snubs, insults, and campaigning for their opponents. And this, in turn, reflects the fact that we are no longer in control of our own destiny as a nation or as a world power. There are countless people above Obama's pay grade (to use his own words) who make these decisions now, and all we can do is follow orders passed down from our invisible rulers by way of our visible figureheads. And these rulers, by the way, are not opposed to “terrorism” in the slightest – it's a huge moneymaker and power source, not to mention an excuse for ramping up totalitarian activities. They don't want to defeat terrorism any more than the medical profession wants to defeat cancer. Yes, that's right – just like everything else, it's ultimately all about jobs, and the American military and taxpayers are, as usual, no more than cannon fodder and serfs.

So in a funny kind of way, I think we should give Karzai a little respect – a few “ups”. He's a survivor, and ultimately a realist, and he's shown that kowtowing has its limits. Oh sure, he may wind up with his head on a pike, but at least he hasn't been unfailingly obsequious towards people who deserve no respect or honor.

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