Thursday, November 11, 2010

Comment of the Week

"The false equivalency model is fully deployed by the left on the Wikileaks matter. Vietnam and Afghanistan are not equatable. Because Vietnam was a total clusterfuck does not mean Afghanistan is as well. If your country is at war, that fact alone does not justify giving aid and comfort to an enemy solely to oppose 'war.' Ellsberg survived because by the time he leaked the Papers the public had largely made its determination that Vietnam was unjust and unnecessary. History has verified that conclusion. Imagine if Ellsberg had leaked in 1967 instead of 1971. Manning is now in the unenviable position of hoping for a Vietnam-like outcome in Afghanistan. Otherwise, by the time he is released from Leavenworth his anus will have the circumference of a coffee cup.

-- Namron, on the Greenwald/Manning/Wikileaks saga


Captain Splendid said...

Say what? That comment is underwritten by the concept that Afghanistan has been, by any metric, a rousing success.

Seeing as how we just asked for help from the last idiots to get their asses handed to them there, I'd guess that's not the case.

Chez said...

No, it hasn't been a "rousing success," but it hasn't been Vietnam either.

kanye said...

Of course Vietnam and Afghanistan aren't absolutely comparable: Vietnam is over; Afghanistan is still happening. On the other hand, Vietnam 1965 and Afghanistan 2010 are quite comparable.

Where it goes from here will ultimately be decided by how the future unfolds, but let's be honest, another attack on the scale of 9/11 and damned-near every politician in this country will be howling at the moon about the need to bring back the draft.

If that happens, all bets are off.

This book is still being written; it's far too early to be making statements as to equatability.

Peter L. Winkler said...

The Wikileaks Afghanistan infodump has had no, I repeat, NO effect on the government's war policy. You seem to have missed yesterday's story:

Obama officials moving away from 2011 Afghan date

By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.

Read more:

Chez said...

No, Peter, I caught it. And it's more than a little unfortunate.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Vietnam and Afghanistan are comparable in one way, and it is the most important commonality: in both wars, the full might of our military was the buffer between a determined insurgency and a corrupt, incompeent U.S. client state that was unable to mount a coherent defense of its own capitol, let alone its country.

South Vietnam could only stand as long as we kept half a million troops in country, supplemented by massive air and naval power.

Hamid Karzai has demonstrated no ability to defend the portion of the country he controls. The only thing standing between the Taliban overwhelming Afghanistan is 100,000 U.S. and NATO Troops. Unless you're prepared to keep them there forever, it's only a matter of time before the Taliban succeed.

kanye said...

Good comments, Peter. I'd only add that we shouldn't forget about the 100,000+ contractors in Afghanistan as well.

Clare said...

This is about the best commentary I've read on Manning and Wikileaks. It is well worth your time to read.

Anonymous said...

The "extra added, implicit punishment" of jail time--getting raped by your cellmate, Bubba, really has stop in pop culture. Even a prisoner has a right not to be anally raped or otherwise abused, or contract a disease therefrom. It's a cathartic line at the end of a Law & Order episode, but it's practically generally accepted as part of the prison term now.

Anonymous said...

I remember this story from my time in the region. A NGO arrived at a local community where the women had to walk over four hours to a water source each day. This wasn't just a simple walk as the women were constantly at risked of getting killed by various armed groups of men and they literally had to cross regions filled with land mines and ordinances from the Russian invasion. Even worse, their water supply they traveled to was heavily contaminated and not always available. So the NGO dug and built a well right in the center of town. Clean water right within easy reach. Well the NGO moves on and about four or five months later a member returned to discovered that the well had been defaced and all the equipment destroyed. Asking around he learned that as soon as they left, the women of the town did it themselves. While their four or five hour journey each day risked their lives, the journey itself was literally the only time the women were allowed to venture out of their homes and communicate with one another. If they did within the town, they were savagely beaten by the men and forced to spend their entire time locked in their homes.

Afghanistan isn't a country. Their people are so damaged by decades of fighting that the "hierarchy of needs" doesn't really exist in normal terms. I really don't know what we are supposed to do, but the idea that if we just pull out and the region is going to stabilize in anyway is insane. I don't think people realize just how fragile Pakistan is. Once we pull out, must of the Taliban are just going to put more pressure on the Pakistan state. We cannot afford that country to implode.

Ref said...

Agghanistan is not a country, It is a political fiction drawn on a map by people who had little understanding of the people within it. THERE IS NO AFGHAN NATION. It is just a random collection of warring tribes. Doesn't anyone read Kipling anymore? There's a reason it's called The Graveyard Of Empires.