Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finish the Job, Pardner

I like him. He uses complete sentences. He doesn't embarrass us. But I am afraid the POTUS is going to eat these words one day:

Signaling he's decided on new troop levels for the Afghanistan war, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he intends to "finish the job" on his watch and destroy terrorist networks in the region.

That sounds eerily like "mission accomplished."

"'Finish the job' in Afghanistan" are five words that don't make sense together. It is like trying to keep a straight face when you live in Liberal, Kansas. The Soviets thought they were going to finish the job, too.

"Destroying terrorist networks" is what we might call a long term project. Terrorists are not destroyed. They are created. That is why we call them terrorists. They never give up. If you leave one alive, he will kill you.

Finishing the job in Afghanistan would be what then, nuking the place and killing all life forms?

I am suspicious.

Cheney said we would be fighting terrorists for 20-30 years. That's about right as that is how long it will take for the oil to run out.

Fighting terrorists is the euphemism we use for resource wars. One could argue that anyone who threatens our 20 million barrel a day habit is a terrorist.

Afghanistan and Iraq are the bread slices for an Iran sandwich. Iran has some nice black sauce under the desert. In a few years when Americans start feeling the pinch because of a downslide in worldwide oil production, we will realize why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can be sure the job won't be finished.

Rather than tell us the truth about our energy needs and courageously offering a plan to transition to a new reality, Obama is following where Cheney led: a multi-decade, worldwide war for the remaining fossil fuels.

We are in for a rough ride.


  1. I think by "finishing the job" he means creating a self sustaining government that will prevent Afghanistan from providing safe harbor to anti-American and anti Israeli terrorist organizations. Specifically the Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Over all it will take about 10 years.

    It might mean catching Osama Bin Ladin or proving that he is dead and gone.

    Believe it or not, the streets of Kabul used to look like the streets of a modern European city. Before the Russians invaded, before the Islamic Right Wing Fundamentalists took over.

    Right wing Fundamentalists are bad news no matter what religion they come from.

  2. You all may or may not be surprised by this but I agree with John. In Afghanistan we see the results of unintended consequences.

    Anyone who took the time to read even recent history knows you don't go into Afghanistan and try to fix things. Trying to kill off Al Queda might be a plausible goal. Trying to fix Afghanistan is like trying to drink soup with a fork.

  3. Remember Jodie, that we funded those right wing fundamentalists to go in there and create a quagmire for Russia.

  4. Oh, I remember.

    And foreigners have been getting their assess kicked in Afghanistan for thousands of years.

    The other choice is to just walk away and let whatever happens to happen.

  5. Jodie

    We walk away in Africa all the time. Consider Somalia.

    And most of the time we just don't get involved in Africa. We considered Bosnia and Kosovo in our national interest. Burundi and Rwanda weren't. Go figure.

    I admit America has limited military resources and we need to choose where to get involved carefully. The method for choosing that has been used completely baffles me.

    Still, do we owe something to the Afghanis because we went in and messed? I struggle with that.

  6. John's right. It's all about oil, and has been for about 100 years now. Unfortunately, humanity is all too often interested in short-term goodies for a few than in long-term sustainable life for all. John Dominic Crossan calls it "the normalcy of civilization." He tries to make the point that it's not about human nature, it's about what happens when humans gather into groups. . . . but I'm not sure.

    Regardless of what side anyone is on, no one is listening to Jesus. Distributive justice-compassion is far more difficult than claiming land rights for oil.

  7. Wars are about the thing we never want to admit they are about--stuff and power. The stuff in the Middle East is under the ground.

  8. Distributive justice-compassion is far more difficult than claiming land rights for oil.

    Yes. Thank you!

  9. Wars ARE about stealing stuff from others. Curiously Tom Clancy says this.

  10. It's what Noam Chomsky refers to as "The Fifth Freedom": the freedom to rob.


  11. Agree or disagree, progressives should read and reflect on this opinion piece by Chris Hedges, Buying Brand Obama.

  12. I know it is Thanksgiving. But after the turkey, after the football, and before you embark on the annual robotic quest to the local mall, check out this interview on NPR with Chris Hedges, author of Empire of Illusion.