Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Generals Get Replaced, American
Warmongering Does Not!
By Ben Tanosborn
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 28, 2010
Poor Obama! The economy continues in shambles, ‘though
often portrayed otherwise, and his war policies/politics share in a similar
state of disarray. Yet, many progressives continue hoping for
miracles, overlooking the president’s mirages, delaying time and again any
demands for the promised change.
But change requires leadership: the
possession of strong mental qualities required to get something done;
something which in present day America is in short supply. And how do
we know such leadership is not being exercised? One such test,
according to Arnold Henry Glasow, a wise twentieth-century American
humorist, is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an
emergency (something absent long ago from the White House). To which I
would add a second test when referring to presidential leadership: the
ability to choose a cadre of advisers who unequivocally will accept,
certainly adopt, the president’s will; and not individuals with personal
agendas, no matter how seemingly indispensable, who will advise, even cajole
him to carry theirs.
From the outset, as
evidenced during his 2008 campaign, this president has given many
indications of a ductility common in career politics, but not in the
politics of change. Yet, it is change that many of us have been
clamoring for; if not from a messiah, at the very least from a prophet,
someone to prepare the nation for a political “second coming.” Barack
Obama, time after time, is turning out to be a deliverer of centrist
palavering and very little else – definitely no messiah, nor a prophet for
the arrival of one.
Barack Obama does not get a passing
grade, at least not during his seventeen months in office when it comes to
problem-solving in the domestic arena, either when tackling the problem
economy he inherited, or in taking the appropriate steps for coming up with
true and affordable healthcare reform that can be made universally
available. And his lack of success domestically is further compounded
by the failure in his adopted war.
Yes, the war in Afghanistan is,
by his choice, lock, stock, and barrel, his adopted war!
we revisit Obama’s trip to Afghanistan in June 2008, then as senator and
presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, we will find him extending his
peace offerings to the brass at the Pentagon – after all, he was on record
as having been against the invasion of Iraq – by adopting a more hawkish
position in Afghanistan calling for an increase in troop levels… just 2 or 3
brigades was his call then; later to become 30,000 troops. This June
2008 tour-de-force for his presidential campaign, requiring some tête-à-tête
with American field officers and Hamid Karzai, gave the would-be president a
validation of his adherence to America’s military raison d’etre. His
urgent call for more troops for Afghanistan ran in parallel urgency to his
need for an imprimatur from the Pentagon.
America appears to need
the passing of the baton between commanders-in-chief to have a central
focus, a central war, a common enemy that is generally agreed to by much of
the citizenry. So Obama adopted that misnamed “war on terror” as his very
own. Never mind that more than half of the planet considers us to be
the true terrorists, using both weapons of fear and criminal
sanctions, and thus exempting ourselves from the need of that last resort
act associated with followers of Islam: self-immolation.
American military-papacy with its see at the Pentagon is way too large to
maintain perfect order in its ranks, with almost a thousand star-rank
(generals and admirals) princes on active duty. So it should come as
no surprise to see a military noble, four-star-general Stanley McChrystal –
son of two-star general Herbert McChrystal – enter into a state of
self-righteousness which would be judged as apostasy.
hard-driving, ascetic man in charge of the conflict in Afghanistan, a man
who sleeps for four hours a night, partakes of only one meal a day and runs
(daily) at least the longest track event (10,000 meters), finally had no
choice but to yield to the civilian feather-merchant mentality.
“Mullah McChrystal,” as he had been distinctly known in his theater of
operations, at the request of the President – who had himself no alternative
but to ask for his resignation, tendered his resignation.
General Petraeus will soon be confirmed as McChrystal’s replacement to run
Obama’s war in Afghanistan. And, soldiering expertise aside, he will
continue representing the idiocy that is America’s military presence in the
region. No matter how many more troops we send to push away the
influence of the Taliban, Americans will fare no better in Kandahar and
Helmand than they have recently in the unincorporated agricultural district
of Marjah (Helmand province).
It is an ominous sign for all of us
in America to recognize that generals can be easily replaced but the
warmongering robot that is the Pentagon has been programmed long ago to
serve the needs of that “military-industrial” monster. Every president
or candidate to the presidency of the United States must consent to that
reality… and Obama does not appear to wish to become a sacrificial lamb.