I'd scream if I thought it might do some good. Keeping us dumb is part of the cost of doing the big business of war.
I'd add something clever about WikiLeaks here, but I've been warned away from reading them or anything about them by one of my military sponsors. I can say this one thing in my continuing role as a quasi-independent scholar: If nothing else, the WikiLeaks documents, at least what I have read about them, indicate that we know we aren't winning the war in Afghanistan and we also know that the governments we are propping up in Iraq and Afghanistan and even Pakistan and Yemen are so deeply corrupt that even the Taliban look more trustworthy. Not that we would recognize the Taliban, as last week's surprising announcement about the guy who claimed to represent them was revealed to be a fraud. He just knew a free meal when he saw one.
So there it is. Unless there is a Christmas miracle that surpasseth my understanding of how politicians, wars, and media conspire to prevent us from knowing the truth or instituting real change in a culture dedicated to producing and consuming a perpetual war, chances are good that despite whatever the Generals and experts presenting the official "review of the war in Afghanistan" to President Obama this week tell him, we are still in for a much longer haul than we voted for back in 2008. We can no longer afford this war, but it doesn't really matter.
And that $190 million a day that we can no longer afford to be spending? It will probably increase.
How about those dead soldiers, sailors, and Marines? More will die. Ditto civilians. And children.
And here's the assumed bottom-line question, the reason we are over there in the first place: will we be any safer as a result of those war efforts overseas? Probably not.
According to a chilling article by Stephen Salisbury this morning, the newly empowered Republicans are already drawing up plans to convince us that we are less safe than ever, that terrorists hide behind every tree in America, and that only the Teapublicans know how to keep us afraid enough to guaranteed their own reelection.
That is to say nothing of newly elected Florida Congressman Allen West's call, in response to the WikiLeaks publication in the New York Times and elsewhere, for blanket censorship of American news media. It seems we are too liberal. Too committed to truth, justice, and the American Way of Life. Of course, this is the same African-American Tea Party guy who initially hired an extremist radio talk show host to be his media liaison, a woman who was caught on camera calling for an armed insurrection against the Obama administration last July 4th. He let her go after the media he wants to censor let the dogs out on that one.
So we can't afford to continue to war? Really? Who says so? It doesn't matter that we are in the second worst economic downturn in our nation's history. Nor does it matter that we can't win the war. Or, that America has come to a very bad place where fighting it isn't really making us any safer and pulling out of it won't either.
"Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into." Indeed.
Welcome to the war that never ends. Rest in peace, Richard Holbrooke.
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