Friday, September 9, 2011

Joe Lieberman's Paean to Post 9-11 U--S--A!!

OK, it's Joe Lieberman, so I guess it was to be expected - but his paean to American resolve and fortitude post 9-11 - and his dismissal of any talk about a lost decade - confirm my judgement of him as someone whose statements on US policy need no longer be taken seriously. Stuff like the US military turned the tide of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan?! He, John McCain, Lindsey Graham . . . the song that never ends: the Surge worked, We achieved Victory in Iraq, etc., etc. Furthermore, proclaims Joe:

Americans have proven adaptive and dogged in our prosecution of this fight, pioneering new capabilities and tactics -- from stunningly precise unmanned drones to a brilliant new counterinsurgency doctrine -- that have enabled our forces to outflank our enemies in this very unconventional war. Simply put, in the 10 years since 9/11, the U.S. has built the most capable and lethal counterterrorism forces in human history.

Except that those drones have been anything but stunningly precise. Our use of them has been indiscriminate enough to have enraged thousands of people across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen - and we have used them to engage in what can justifiably be termed an illegal war of assassination that, often enough to matter, has allowed our joystick aces at their computer panels to "take out" people who were guilty of nothing more than looking suspicious to some observer.

Joe's pals in the Netanyahu government are very familiar indeed with such assassination - the Israeli euphemism for them is "targeted killings" - something with which they have gone after Hamas in Gaza - and wiped out bystanders in the process. And speaking of Hamas, Joe, you claim that Hamas has American blood on their hands? Pray tell, when exactly was that?

And as for that brilliant counterinsurgency doctrine? Haven't you noticed, Joe? It didn't really settle anything in Iraq. And as for Afghanistan . . . well, last we heard, it's really not amounted to much. The Taliban are rooted as deeply as ever; they'll still be there long after we're gone. It's all about counter-terrorism now, Joe. What do you think those drones are for? And the SEALs? And how come you said nothing about those lovely night raids that have earned us Americans all those kudos from those Afghan villagers?

Joe's blather along these lines is bad enough in itself . . . but what makes his stuff truly unforgivable is the blitheness with which he insists that the Pentagon's budget must be held sacred; that we must all steel ourselves for a fight that may go on and on and on.

current geopolitical realities do not justify a claim of victory or a sense of closure or complacency about the worldwide war that Islamist extremists continue waging against us. This is not a moment when the United States can unilaterally declare a holiday from history. To stay safe at home, it is more important than ever for Americans to remain engaged abroad and -- despite mounting budgetary pressures -- to make the necessary investments to keep our military the best in the world and ensure the other instruments of our national power are well-resourced and strong.
As a matter of math, we will not work our way out of our national indebtedness or create the new jobs we need if we decimate our national security budget. Doing so will jeopardize our security here at home and destabilize the broader international order on which our domestic economy and prosperity depend.. . . .
The true test of our national leaders, therefore, is not their ability to perfectly predict what will come next for America but our capacity to remain prepared as best we can, militarily and otherwise, for a range of possibilities, and to adapt, as a nation, when the unexpected invariably occurs. It is especially important to remember that the wars we are required to fight are rarely the ones we predict or plan for. Yet it is profoundly encouraging to look back and see how well we have adapted to fight the current war with the Islamist terrorists who attacked us unexpectedly on 9/11.

In other words, throw more hundreds of billions at General Dynamics, Lockheed, et al.

For we are in the war that never ends.

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