Tuesday, September 7

And the American Right stands silent

It was cleverly done. Team Obama knew that the American Right would not want to make an issue about the prosecution of the Afghanistan War while heading into the mid-term election campaign battles, during which the Republicans hope to regain control of the House and the Senate. They also knew the Right would be reluctant to criticize General David Petraeus because they were hoping he might consider running for presidential office on the Republican ticket.

So by the middle of August Petraeus and the Obama team were preparing the American public for the capitulation to Pakistan's military that NATO's command had been working toward for years. Of course the capitulation was not described in such terms but as reconciliation with the Taliban.

On August 20 the head of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry -- the same man who decades ago had played a role in the U.S. exit from Vietnam that led to a bloodbath in Cambodia -- announced that there was a "very active" effort under way to reach a negotiated political settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan:
"I can report without being specific that there are efforts under way. They are serious, and I completely agree with that fundamental premise — and so does General [David] Petraeus and so does President Obama — there is no military solution," he told NPR. "And there are very active efforts now to seek an appropriate kind of political settlement."

U.S. officials have acknowledged that some sort of political settlement must be reached with the Taliban — a loosely affiliated group of Islamic insurgents that control large swaths of territory in Afghanistan — in order to bring an end to the almost nine year-long U.S. war there.

The beginning of settlement negotiations represents a significant development in terms of Western involvement there.

The announcement also comes at a time when a growing number of U.S. politicians and the public are becoming war weary.

Kerry was asked if negotiations are underway between either between the Afghan government or NATO and a specific portion of the Taliban.

Allied forces in Afghanistan have fought Taliban insurgents since 2001, when the war began. The group, which once governed the mountainous Central Asian nation, was booted from power, but has since regained control of several key areas of the country.

Kerry said any "appropriate" settlement would have to include "a renunciation of al Qaeda," a "reduction of violence," a "recognition of the constitutional rights of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and greater efforts to reduce sanctuaries for insurgency." ...
On August 25 Petraeus took Fox News Cable's audience by the hand and gently explained that the betrayal of Afghanistan was a good thing and something that was always the ultimate goal, while Fox reporter Jennifer Griffin tried to arrange her facial features to look as if she didn't want to vomit.

During the interview Petraeus chattered on about how the Taliban were really the same as the IRA and the Iraqi Sunni tribes that had once fought Americans and then fought al Qaeda and the home-grown insurgents.

On September 4 the Associated Press announced the exit plan for "some" U.S. troops from Afghanistan was already drafted and that Hamid Karzai's reintegration plan for the Taliban was proceeding apace. Karzai's plan? Karzai does what he is told. He rarely leaves the presidential residence; he lives in fear of assassination by the Americans.

And somehow, in the face of such an enormous betrayal, I am supposed to go on supporting the U.S. military, my government, and my country. Somehow I am supposed to carry on as an American blogger, even though I can no longer bear to say I'm an American.

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