Monday, September 21, 2009

The McChrystal report: Now it hits the fan

All over the news is the release of General Stanley McChrystal's report to the president, in which he says, more or less straight out, that without more US troops with the year, Afghanistan will become a "failure." The NYT's report (link above) links to the report itself, while a much more detailed overview by Bob Woodward (what Atlantic mega-blogger Andrew Sullivan refers to as the "Woodward leak") can be found in this morning's WaPo.

I also strongly recommend Sullivan's post.  He ends with the following:

It seems to me we are at another turning point in the road, and one
of the few moments when American enmeshment in Afghanistan might be
turned back. We have to weigh the chances of serious terror groups
re-grouping and operating even more freely throughout Afghanistan and
Pakistan against the risks of more money, more troops, more casualties
and more blowback. And let's not fool ourselves: neither of these is a
good option. That's the Bush legacy. 

But if McChrystal is right, he is strategizing Afghanistan as a
semi-permanent protectorate for the US. This is empire in the 21st
century sense: occupying failed states indefinitely to prevent even
more chaos spinning out of them. And it has the embedded logic of all
empires: if it doesn't keep expanding, it will collapse. The logic of
McChrystal is that the US should be occupying Pakistan as well. And
Somalia. And anywhere al Qaeda make seek refuge.

In the end, Gulliver cannot move. And his pockets are empty.

Indeed.  Mr. Obama will indeed have time for nothing more than a photo op with Netanyahu and Abbas.

Oh, and lest we forget, some Republican worthies are also calling in today's WaPo for the "military option" to be used against Iran.  Blockade first (which, by the way, is an act of war), then bombing if necessary.

Hey, you betcha!  We're the USA, right?  We can lick 'em all!

Or, as W would have said, "Bring 'em on!"

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