Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dead Minds Of The TV Wars

Hoo boy. This looks like fun:

"The Pakistani state could collapse within six months if immediate steps are not taken to remedy the situation, warned a top adviser to the US Central Command.

"David Kilcullen, who advises CENTCOM commander Gen. David H. Petraeus on the war on terror, urged US policymakers to focus their attention on Pakistan as a failure there could have devastating consequences for the entire international community [. . .]

"Asked to explain why he thought Pakistan was so important, Kilcullen said: 'Pakistan has 173 million people, 100 nuclear weapons, an army bigger than the US Army, and al-Qaeda headquarters sitting right there in the two-thirds of the country that the government doesn't control.'

"He claimed that the Pakistani military and police and intelligence service did not follow the civilian government; they were essentially a rogue state within a state. 'Were now reaching the point where within one to six months we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state, also because of the global financial crisis, which just exacerbates all these problems,' he said. 'The collapse of Pakistan, al-Qaeda acquiring nuclear weapons, an extremist takeover — that would dwarf everything we’ve seen in the war on terror today.'”

So, if this is true, how exactly do US drone attacks help to counter, much less contain, a "rogue state within a state"? Especially one possessing nuclear weapons? Kilcullen offers the standard recipe -- winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan, insulating its population from the Taliban, and generally turning that ravaged land into a democracy that can be a model for the rest of the region, etc. Sounds sweet. How this is going to happen as Obama expands what is now his war I'd be interested to know.

Could it be that the US is simply fucked in the head when it comes to the Near East? That for all the nice talk about "freedom" and fighting terror, our meddling there, which goes back to the Soviet occupation, has made matters much worse? And what if Pakistan "collapses," whatever that might actually mean? What then? Coup? Invasion? Increased bombing? Threats of annihilation? Or does the US find some common ground, any common ground, with those forces it supposedly wishes to vanquish?

Peace my dick. With Iraq heating up again, our new Father Leader will soon be up to his elbows in corpses, deepening resentment and hatred. The rest of us will be urged to go along with this by professional liberal outfits like the Center for American Progress, which recently told Nation readers, "In the words of President Obama, we are not against all wars, just dumb wars. Afghanistan is surely not the latter."

Don't you feel safer than you did last year?

Speaking of professional libchat, The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates slammed Bobby Rush for referring to Fidel Castro as an "old friend" during a recent visit to Cuba. "[D]ude, he's a dictator," lectured Coates. "And no amount of subject-changing can get around that fact." Coates was backed by Matt Yglesias, blogging on behalf of the anti-dumb war CAP, who added, "Castro personally is a dictator and a bad guy."

What cutting edge thinking. How do these guys keep their gigs?

Now, I'm not a big fan of centralized states and one-party rule, and I've never really warmed to Castro ideologically; but given the global situation, bashing Castro seems misplaced, if not utterly anachronistic. For liberals like Coates and Yglesias, it's a mandatory pose to show how "responsible" they are when it comes to Serious Political Commentary.

That the US has a long record of invading and terrorizing Cuba, well before Castro appeared, doesn't enter into their considerations. That revolutionary Cuba yanked itself from the US orbit, which prompted liberal godhead JFK to risk nuclear war while erecting a death squad apparatus that further plunged the region into misery and mass murder, seems at best odd to them, to the extent that they're curious about why Castro came to power in the first place.

About the best this pair can cough up is that the embargo is "misguided" and "bad." Of course, had the embargo broken Cuba and reduced it to the level of Haiti or Nicaragua, I doubt that Coates and Yglesias would give two fucks for that island. Indeed, they'd probably hail the embargo as an effective means to undermine regional "thugs" -- at least the kind who resist the US, that is.