Sunday, April 20, 2008


60 Minute Spin

I interrupted review of John Adams to watch the Afghanistan story on 60 Minutes. I liked most of it. There are true heroes on our very thin blue lines and that 15 minutes told the story of a few of them, two of whom didn't make it back. But what was the point of the story? Was it to show how heroic and competent our guys are? I fear not. But first some recent history.

Despite the naysayers prominent on the left and in the press (but I repeat myself) we, that is, our side, mainly the CIA and the very POed Northern Alliance, and then the 82nd and other regular Army units, with superb close air support, kicked the snot out of the dreaded Taliban and its al Qaeda, behind-the-scene-guys and the survivors all retreated in disorder to Pakistan, where they regrouped, fended off less than completely determined Pakistan assaults on their 'tribal area' sanctuaries and now, battle hardened, they are returning to Afghanistan, as the weather permits, aiming to do some mischief. Americans have primary military control over the northern part of Afghanistan and our NATO allies, including a lot of American warriors, have the south. Only the English speaking ones are actually fighting, that is, the Americans, the Brits, the Australians and the Canadians, about whom I make fun a lot for having so small an armed forces but who are fighting hard and dealing death to some of the worst people on Earth (my apologies to Keith Olbermann, who wouldn't know real evil even if it cut off his head). Of course the Taliban is better now, we and our allies have killed or captured all the ones who weren't good at it, and we've killed a lot of their good leaders, which is why they did very little last Spring and won't do much, but die in droves, this Spring too.

The South African 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan, who was leading the testimony of our soldiers, seemed non plussed that there was any Taliban activity much less determined Taliban activity that could pin down and threaten to overwhelm American forces (all 17 of them). Of course, we took just two dead and the Taliban took 120 dead. But to CBS, this two year old battle is "a wake-up call about the growing strength of the enemy in Afghanistan." To paraphrase Bill Paxton, as Hicks [no, Hudson], to his fellow space Marines after the first disaster in Aliens, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, Lara, but we just kicked the Taliban's ass (again, again, again and again). If we could go into Pakistan or if the Pakistanis were serious about booting the Taliban out of their country, we could repeat the overwhelming success of Winter, 2001-02 and the Taliban would be even more reduced. But we can't and the Pakistanis won't; and that has nothing to do with any implied failure on the part of American forces or on the part of many of our NATO allies. There is no such failure in Afghanistan.

The ending was a cheap shot too-- "Two years after the battle, the village where the fighting took place - and much of southern Afghanistan - remain under Taliban influence." (Emphasis added). Influence, not control. Oh heavens! Yeah, the Taliban is able to return to the country of most of its fighters origin but when they come out in the open, we, that is, the English speaking soldiers, continue to kick the snot out of them. Let's see whose soldiers give up first. Notice I said soldiers. I have no confidence in many of our political leaders' ability to realize we have a long hard slog ahead of us, a fight for generations to come, perhaps never ending.

Not of our making.

Bring all you've got. We'll eventually wake up and do to them what we did to the actually hard to beat Nazis and Imperial Japanese 63 years ago.



If the Taliban were like the actually hard to beat Japanese and Nazis we would have already defeated them. As I see "influence" it is a group of armed thugs that sneak into a village and kill Afghanis who cooperate w/ NATO forces. Our guys cannot be everywhere at once.

This particular area is the epicenter of terrorism. Too bad our president got us into the suckhole of Iraq. Think of how much more we could be accomplishing in Afghanistan or are you taking the position that we are doing all we can there?

If we put the effort into this war we put into WWII it would have ended years ago. What happened to the "we put too many soldiers in and it looks like an occupation and we create an insurgency" theory? That only works in Iraq but not in Afghanistan? Afghanistan doesn't have any oil. I'm willing to rescue them from the Taliban under the cricumstances and provide security and some very limited rebuilding but we need to help out a friendly nation in the middle east with a ocean of oil below and we are. Short term minor pain for long term greater comfort is always a sound strategery.
Yep. Keep waiting for Friday night Legion baseball and barbeque in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the people who brought down the WTC were training in Afghanistan which has resumed its placew as the world's greatest producer of opium in no small part to Nato's ineffective building of the economy there.

As foir a friendly nation floating on a pool of oil, are you saying that Iraq was actually about oil? Are the Iraqis really our friends?


Afghanistan has always produced opium. How is that some sign of failure now? Oil is as important now as it was in 1941 when the Japanese risked war with Britain and the US merely to get the oil in the Dutch East Indies. We do treat oil rich nations differently from oil poor. Ask Rwanda.
I do think the Iraqis are and will be our friends, especially if we don't stab them in the back like we did South Viet Nam.
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