"We're not leaving Afghanistan," (Gates) declared, adding: "There should be no uncertainty in terms of our determination to remain in Afghanistan and to continue to build a relationship of partnership and trust with the Pakistanis. That's long term. That's a strategic objective of the United States. Clinton, Gates: U.S. in Afghanistan for long haul - CNN.com.In fairness to the Obama administration, that is exactly what he said he'd do during the campaign: increase the number of troops and continue to wage war in Afghanistan. According to the folks at PolitiFact, Obama said:
"This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires... (The US has) taken our eye off the ball ( by invading Iraq instead of concentrating on Afghanistan). As a result, parts of Afghanistan are falling into the hands of the Taliban, and a mix of terrorism, drugs and corruption threatens to overwhelm the country. As president, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to reinforce our counterterrorism operations and support NATO's efforts against the Taliban."Of course, that was when he also said we'd at least end the war in Iraq, shut down Gitmo and do something about this health care disaster. It was also before so many have come out so strongly against the Bushies justificaitons for the war. Those justifications include "fighting terrorism, stopping al Qaeda from having a base in Afghanistan, and women's rights". Let me start with this last one, laughable enough under the Bushies, but just plain horrific to see Hilnary Clinton in her feminist fashion of a royal blue pants suit supporting this particular package of lies. Women are NOT better off since the US invasion. According to a new film, Rethink Afghanistan, this is how things look under the US occupation:
Self immolation is a method of suicide by lighting oneself on fire. According to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, self immolation has never been such an epidemic in Afghanistan as it is today. This is one fact that leads people to the sobering reality that our efforts in Afghanistan have done nothing for the vast majority of women there. When the U.S and its allies chose to put the Karzai regime in place, they conveniently overlooked the fact that it is overrun with the same patriarchal attitudes toward women as the Taliban...A few brave women from RAWA and the Afghan Women’s Mission pointed out in a recent article that the military establishment claims that it must win the military victory first and then the U.S. will take care of humanitarian needs. But they have it backward. Improve living conditions and security will improve. Focus on security at the expense of humanitarian goals, and coalition forces will accomplish neither. The first step toward improving people’s lives is a negotiated settlement to end the war.According to Jeremy Scahill, the film "Rethink Afghanistan" makes clear that the other justifications for the war are equally false. In the film,
a string of former top intelligence officials, perhaps most significant among them the former head of the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center, Robert Grenier, are heard meticulously deconstructing the dominant justifications for the continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. What does Grenier know? Oh, he was just the CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he was one of the Agency’s top officials planning the U.S. invasion. Grenier, along with former CIA operative Robert Baer and other former intelligence officials, rebut in detail the claim that the war in Afghanistan is about fighting al Qaeda or making America safer, which Baer says bluntly in the film is “just complete bullshit.”I guess the lesson here is that our tax dollars going to endless war is going to happen whether we want it to or not. That the war might cost $1 TRILLION is not even up for discussion. And that the war in Afghanistan continues to be justified with a series of ridiculous lies for why it's happening and an entire ideological complex driven by the corporate media is the reason American citizens don't riot in the streets. We have been taught our civics lessons. Obama's foreign policy will always be radically similar to Dubbya's because Dubbya's was not that different than Clinton's. Ultimately, the President's foreign policy will always be the military industrial complex's foreign policy. Maybe that can just be the official civics lessons in American schools? That when it comes to foreign policy, the President is beside the point.