Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The War is Over, the War is Lost, Bring Them Home

From CounterPunch:

This latest GI mental explosion by the staff sergeant was preceded by increasing acts of American troop indiscipline – Marines pissing on Afghan bodies, the Koran-burning fiasco, units loudly cheering indiscriminate Hellfire drone attacks on a village, etc. – that an increasingly demoralized junior and midgrade officer corps has neither the ability nor will to stop.

The troops are protesting “by any other means” their entrapment in a no-win landscape where Washington politicians and career-crazy senior officers keep a war going beyond the limit of sanity.

It’s no stretch to suggest that GI suicides, domestic violence by returning soldiers and their self-harm by narcotics are a depoliticized form of protest against the same despair that was felt by General Westmoreland’s cannon fodder at Hue or World War One poilu at the Chemin des Dames allied massacre when they refused to fight any more.

The Afghani war is over. Yet the President, his cheerfully on-message advisors, and most of the stenographic media refuse to call it a night when the situation on the ground, with its secret night raids and fucked up soldiers, can only get much worse. Mitt Romney, who never served and has five military-age sons likewise, wants to stay there presumably forever and fight it out. Rick Santorum wants to hang in until “mission accomplished” whatever that is.

More here.

We've been there a fucking decade. Bin Laden's been dead for nearly a year. I don't know what we're even ostensibly fighting for these days, let alone what we might be really fighting for. Apparently, we're fighting in order to win, but nobody seems to know what winning means or what it's supposed to look like.

I opposed the Afghanistan war from almost the beginning, based on the reasoning that outraging Muslim populations can only make the disaffected fundamentalist jihadi movement gain sympathy and grow. That's still a very good reason to get the fuck out, but there are now numerous other good reasons to end the war, as well. Monetary cost, among them. Collateral damage, another.

But right now, after this bizarre shooting spree performed by a man who was cleared to continue serving in spite of his traumatic brain injury, I think that fucking up permanently our soldiers' minds and emotions by inflicting endless war on them stands as one of the most compelling. We can't wait for 2014. It's time to get out right now.