Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Afganistan will be fought anyhow.

At The Nation Jonathan Schell documents with memoirs and declassified documents that Lyndon Johnson and his advisers actually knew that escalation of the Viet Nam war was practically certain to be a tragic waste American lives and treasure yet went ahead anyhow for reasons of domestic politics. I believe the advance excuse making I point to in my preceding post is a sign that the same syndrome is at work today with the Obama administration. Failure is privately expected. The real hope is that stalemate can be maintained until the war becomes the problem of a future administration -- ideally one of the opposition party. This may very well also be the reason the Bush Administration neglected Afghanistan leaving any renewed action there to the next Administration. Less plausible, yet I would not absolutely rule it out, is that Senator McCain did not really want to be Bush's successor. Was the choice of Sarah Palin really a blunder?

The politics of war in my country -- and perhaps this has always been true everywhere -- is twisted and perverse to a degree that one recoils from recognizing.

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