- Category: Imperialism & War
- Created on Friday, 24 June 2011 09:32
- Written by Mike Ely
"Obama is 'winding the war down' (!) by barely chipping away piecemeal at his own escalation -- while planning a permanent occupation force. This is called 'responsible withdrawal.'"
"A police action becomes an invasion, becomes an occupation, becomes a permanent outpost of empire. And at every step there is the mix of whining disappointment and ongoing participation among official liberals."
"Would U.S. withdrawal mean that their puppets are exposed? Yes. Is that so bad? No.
"Would U.S. withdrawal mean that its future ability to threaten is weakened? Yes. Is that so bad? No."
"They will call our logic and demands 'irresponsible' -- well, so be it. We are responsible to a different set of people and a different future. Humanity doesn't need or want some strutting capitalist 'global policeman' (whose corruption, murder and plunder masquerades as self-defense and selfless aid.)"
by Mike Ely
Obama announced his Afghanistan plans this week, and it was all posed as a "responsible withdrawal" -- slow, paced, preserving U.S. "gains," protecting U.S. puppets, maintaining the dignity of a superpower. And the official media arena is filled with debate over whether it is "responsible" enough.
So we are presented with a (typical and deceptive) ruling class debate where the most basic realities are shoved to the side.
The facts remain: Obama's "responsible pace of withdrawal" may will leave troop in Afghanistan forever. And for the foreseeable future they are not far from where Bush-era levels of invasion force.
Obama's plan is a token shift of 10,000 soldiers (leaving by the end of 2011) and maybe (maybe!) 23,000 in another year.
Compare these numbers to the current size of the occupation force which is 250,000 military forces by the U.S. and its invasion partners (100,000 U.S. troops, 50,000 NATO troops and 100,000 Pentagon-paid contractors).
This is a plan for a continuing war and brutalization of Afghanistan's people (and of nearby Pakistan) -- all while claiming that the invaders "provide the people with the security they need for normal life"! Obama's plans apparently envision at least 25,000 occupation troops remaining after 2014. Meaning that there is zero discussion involving ending this occupation, but instead plans to make it permanent.
Doublethink: Winding down his own escalation, Continuing the war
Obama is "winding the war down" (!) by barely chipping away piecemeal at his own escalation -- while planning a permanent occupation force. Compare Obama's withdrawal numbers to his own initial escalation of this invasion:
He opened his presidency by sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan (a pro-war campaign "pledge" that his antiwar supporters seemed to overlook/excuse). Then that was followed by another 33,000. This "surge" (double-speak for escalation) went parallel with Obama's expansion of the war into Pakistan (with drone spying, aerial strikes, military raids, covert operations, massive espionage, infuriating killing of civilians and wholesale bribery of military and government officials).
A liberal state of calculated disappointment?
A police action becomes an invasion becomes an occupation becomes a permanent outpost of empire.
And at every step there is the mix of whining disappointment and ongoing participation of official liberals.
The candidate who won support (in 2008 election campaign) by presenting himself as the only Democrat to oppose the Iraq war forcefully and publicly -- now is the commander in chief of an escalated (and seemingly permanent) Afghanistan War (now the longest war in U.S. history). He continues the massive U.S. occupation and domination of the Persian Gulf (including its northern component of occupation in Iraq). He maintains Guantanamo Bay facilities. He threatens Iran. And has launched yet another war in North Africa, attacking Libya.
It is worth pointing out how massively unpopular this is. The Afghanistan war (which had overwhelming-if-temporary support as a revenge act after 9/11) now has 64% opposition. The decision to continue this war is a cold decision of empire, it is a calculation based on imperialist politics of an establishment elite (not on popular politics).
"Responsible" means an empire's gangster logic
The "responsibility" the White House insists it has (like a broken record) is not responsibility toward a) the people of Afghanistan, b) the people dying in this occupation, c) the interests of the broad population of the United States... it is "responsibility" to the empire.
Any imperialist who flinches and runs in the face of mere villagers has lost superpower status (some commentators worry), and so the U.S. cannot leave without some form of "victory" or permanence.
Meanwhile, left liberals are expressing disappointment. That is a bit of outrageous double think in its own right. If you don't want disillusionment, don't promote illusions.
No. Obama is not a "disappointment" -- he is a war criminal defending history's greatest empire of exploitation.
It is shameful when liberal opinion-makers play these endless games of disappointment and compromise (as they so-so-methodically prepare minds to support Obama next year!)
When they excuse for slow withdrawal (or make pathetic arguments for slightly faster withdrawal) they are (really) participating in global games of budget and power: How to maintain superpower status and dominance with fewer and less costly forces.
We should reject (and expose) that kind of "responsible" logic.
There is no "responsible pace of withdrawal." These are unjust, criminal wars of dominance and empire. The wars must be ended, and we must oppose them.
Nothing here is an issue of "American national security" or "national defense" -- these are the double-think words of empire, and used to justify threatening and dominating whole regions all around the world. All is in service to American capitalism, profit, and its exploitation of "cheap" resource and labor (with a "cheapness" that requires global armed force to maintain.)
Funds should be cut off, soldiers should resist, protests should be organized, the machinery of war exposed, the complicity in empire called out, and we should participate in the mobilization of global public opinion:
Yankee go home!
They will call our logic and demands "irresponsible" -- well, so be it. We are responsible to a different set of people and a different future. Humanity doesn't need or want some strutting capitalist "global policeman" (whose corruption, murder and plunder masquerades as self-defense and self-less aid.)
Would U.S. withdrawal mean that their puppets are exposed? Yes. Is that so bad? No.
Would U.S. withdrawal mean that its future ability to threaten is weakened? Yes. Is that so bad? No.
We should all (on the contrary) be expressing a determination to demand "U.S. out Now!"
Out of Afghanistan. Out of the Persian Gulf. Out of Libya. Not at some pace that preserves empire (and its capacity for the next aggression).
Withdraw the nuclear navy threatening Iran and the whole Middle East.
Dismantle the "Central Command" which raids and invades half the globe like it was "our backyard."
Remove U.S. troops and bases from the heart of Europe (from which the logistics train threatens war anywhere in the planet).
Dismantle Diego Garcia. Dismantle the CIA. Destroy the nukes, and drones, and spy satellites.
Shut down Guantanamo Bay -- not just the notorious prison facility but the forward Marine base itself -- and return that Cuban soil to Cuban hands.
Out Now. Immediately. In shame and defeat if possible. (The clearer the defeat and exposure of imperialism the better for the consciousness of the people everywhere, including in the U.S. -- look at the Vietnam experience!)
Leave countries and peoples to their own self-determination and conflicts. Leave people to unfold their own futures (and social transformations) without the cynical shaping by invasion forces and global corporate economics.
Don't thank that soldier "for your service" -- ask if they understand who they are serving, ask if they are resisting.
Expose the empire to oppose the empire. Oppose the empire to end the empire.
This empire won't dismantle itself
As we make such demands, we don't assume that agreement will come from the White House, or Pentagon or congress. It takes bankruptcy, major upheaval and defeat to end empires. And this empire too won't be dismantled until radically different forces come to power dedicated to its destruction.
And in that process, even at it beginning stages, as right is clarified from wrong, it needs to be pointed out that those political forces who want a more economical "responsible" empire, or a more multilateral defense of empire, or a more "friendly" or "democratic" face of empire.... what is that but policies of illusion and oppression?
U.S. Out Now!