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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/19/10

Maintaining the empire

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First it was Press Secretary Robert Gibbs attacking the "professional left" (whatever that means) for wanting to "eliminate the Pentagon." Then the liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd kicked the left for "constantly sniping at Obama" and for considering "pragmatism a moral compromise."

Next, pragmatist Senator Harry Reid announced he opposed building an Islamic mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York, the sort of pragmatism power-Democrats understand, ie. pandering to the intolerant bigot vote in a tough election, in Reid's case against Republican nutcase Sharron Angle.

The fact the New York mosque is far from Nevada and is the project of a Sufi element of Islam that preaches peace and love didn't seem to bother Harry.

The left does not oppose pragmatism or compromise; the left can't stand the absence of backbone and a moral compass.

Consider the latest on Afghanistan. General David Petraeus is visiting all the major media outlets and employing his charm and facile language skills to insert a wedge into President Obama's stated intent to remove troops from Afghanistan beginning in July of next year.

"I didn't come out here to carry out a graceful exit or something like that. I came out here committed to achieving our objectives," Petraeus told David Gregory of "Meet The Press." And what are those objectives?

"It's about rooting out every last guy, so that there's not even somebody who can fire a single, solitary RPG round from some little galat out here." Then, "If you don't want to have to kill or capture every bad guy in the country, you have to reintegrate those who are willing to be reconciled and become part of the solution instead of a continued part of the problem."

So our mission is to reconcile "every bad guy in the country" to our mission and "root out" and kill those deemed irreconcilable. The general now has his "inputs" right; that is, he has tripled troop levels and tripled the civilian commitment and raised the financial input dedicated to training Afghans in the army. He told Gregory he sees Afghanistan as "the longest campaign" in the so-called "long war."


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I'm a 72-year-old American who served in Vietnam as a naive 19-year-old. From that moment on, I've been studying and re-thinking what US counter-insurgency war means. I live outside of Philadelphia, where I'm a writer, photographer and political (more...)
 

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