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September 22, 2009

McChrystal Wants US Troops Home. Obama Says Wait

By: Bernard Chazelle

U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal warned President Obama that failure in Afghanistan was a distinct possibility. McChrystal wrote in a confidential report:

The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves.

Damn! So we're fighting two enemies now. Call them T (for "Taliban") and W (for "We"). Enemy W are brave and ferocious, and they can defeat us. Enemy T are a bunch of ethnic cavemen, losers who don't have a prayer. So, when McChrystal asks for reinforcements, quite obviously, he means more troops to fight Enemy W.

Now, if Sun Tzu ever taught us anything, it is that you fight the enemy at the source! US Intelligence agencies have confirmed that Enemy W have training camps in a country called the United States of America (code-named USA). I've been told that General McChrystal wants to take the fight to Enemy W right on their home turf, USA, which is what I call excellent generalship. The good news is that we have 68,000 troops in Afghanistan. McChrystal wants to ship them stateside. At once!

I like the logic. Why should we do battle with ourselves in Afghanistan when we can do it right here at home? Remember how "we defeated ourselves" in Vietnam. Why did we have to go so far away to do that? Why Vietnam? Why not New Jersey? The Pentagon would also reduce its carbon footprint considerably if it fought its wars right here. Think of all the fuel saved. Plus we'd be fighting the only enemy worthy of ourselves, ie, ourselves. Lincoln understood all of that. He didn't fight the Civil War in Vietnam or Afghanistan. He did it right here. General McChrystal wants our troops home so we can win! Now, President Obama, do you want to win?

I have a slogan for this glorious battle: "Let's defeat ourselves before we defeat ourselves!"

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at September 22, 2009 06:56 PM

The first engagement of this historic campaign- Pittsburgh!

Posted by: RickB at September 22, 2009 08:15 PM

Wow. General McChrystal is Pogo! Though he looks more like PorkyPine.

Posted by: empty at September 22, 2009 08:18 PM

I have full confidence in the Democrats for this fight; nobody can defeat themselves better.

Posted by: DavidByron at September 22, 2009 08:30 PM

From the linked article...

"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," McChrystal wrote in a five-page Commander's Summary.

I don't get it. Resources i.e. manpower ( I presume ) will not win the war ( whatever that means ) and undersourcing will lose it....
What is he trying to say? Is this some kind of a draw or a tie ( sounds horrible)? How many young Americans have to die ( 842 already ) before the general says, 'enough'!

Of course, the exact number of Afghan civilians killed is difficult to find as majority are supposed to have been killed by the insurgents according to our military ( of course, our military has promised to reduce the civilian casualties though according to UN reports in February, the number had gone up by 40% )!

So, let us bring the troops home, let us defeat our military's peretual war against us before our enemy W defeats us.

For once, I have seen some democratic senators ( including my own ) showing some hesitation about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Mike Meyer keeps calling Pelosi and I keep sending emails to my senators and the president. That is the ONLY thing to do if we do not want them to defeat themselves ( of course, there are no guarantees there......are there!)

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 22, 2009 09:09 PM

NO tanks,plane,helicopters, or heavy artillary. BUT, Mullah Omar escaped Tora Bora on a moped. I DEMAND WE close the Moped Gap!!!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 22, 2009 09:12 PM

Or as Noam Chomsky pointed out that when Bush said nations (I’m paraphrasing here because I am lazy) who harbored terrorists should be treated as terrorists we would have to bomb ourselves. Think of the advantages. You wouldn’t have to send airplanes up just set the bombs around the various cities and set them off by remote control. It cuts out the middleman.

Posted by: Rob Payne at September 22, 2009 09:50 PM

And why New Jersey? Why not Texas ( I would have said Wyoming but Mike Meyer, I certainly do not want you to be involved in the battle! )?

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 22, 2009 10:24 PM

The sad thing is that there's a possibility they eventually will attack Enemy W in the US. A substantial portion of our population would watch the bombing and cheer, Israeli-style. Like that Jay Gould quote from the other day...

Posted by: StO at September 22, 2009 10:30 PM

When a post-Vietnam General in command of forces engaged in a foreign war tells the President that only WE can lose the war, he is saying that only THE PRESIDENT can lose the war. No more serious charge can be made against a Commander in Chief, so don't be fooled by the lack of invective in the "leaked" report. McChrystal was telling Obama in no uncertain terms what the Pentagon expects from him. Obama has put the onus on McChrystal to put a strategy in front of his troop request, and that should buy some time, but he is probably going to be more and more at odds with McChrystal and the General behind the curtain, Petraeus. Right now he doesn't want to do anything that will create a controversy that could weaken his position on health care.

But back to business. I'll skip the long report I could type on why the Pentagon will never willingly tolerate the reemergence of the dreaded Vietnam Syndrome that they finally masterfully defeated with the First Gulf War. People should read The New American Militarism by Andrew Bacevich if they want to understand that. There is no more important writer for understanding present-day America, since we are almost all militarists to one extent or another now. We're just so out of control and full of ourselves as a nation that some of us sound like pacifists because the real thing is so rare around here.

I like the Professor's wit, but there really isn't anything funny about McChrystal's attitude. He considers your everyday ATR reader an enemy, and if the military's propaganda machine weren't so effective, there might be consequences to that, because the military deals harshly with enemies. Hell, they even deal harshly with friends when they have to. But for now we're pretty much irrelevant, which I guess is good in a way, sort of.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 12:36 AM

[McChrystal} considers your everyday ATR reader an enemy . . . . He should consider me hie enemy as I am part of the we that wishes to defeat him and his war mongering commander in chief.

Posted by: drip at September 23, 2009 06:18 AM

The general population is always the enemy to ruling class elites since we are opposed to what they do in many it foreign or domestic policy....there are too many examples to choose from so pick your own!-Tony

Posted by: tony at September 23, 2009 08:20 AM

Bombing Wyoming would be a logistics nightmare. 1)ONLY 3 Walmarts in the whole state. 2) ONLY large populations are sheep or cattle with 2 or 3 people except at the bar, then MAYBE 5 people. 3) Its 100 miles between gas stations.
ON the PLUS side WE do have a BANKERS CELEBRATION at Jackson's Hole once a year wherein McChrystal COULD solve a lot of the world's problems with just a couple of Platoons of Marines.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 23, 2009 10:10 AM

Ask not what your country has done to you, ask what you can do to your countrymen.

Posted by: kdsljf at September 23, 2009 10:20 AM

Mike Meyer:
I would rather spare the Bankers than ruin Jackson Hole, one of the most beautiful places I have seen in the USA. Of course, CASPER would be ideal but I will go with Texas.

And anyone who enjoys espionage/spy fiction, this is even better! Truth is stranger than fiction.

"You also have information on al-Qaeda, specifically al-Qaeda in Central Asia and Bosnia. You were privy to conversations that suggested the CIA was supporting al-Qaeda in central Asia and the Balkans, training people to get money, get weapons, and this contact continued until 9/11…

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 23, 2009 12:03 PM

Obama "put the onus on McChrystal"???

Only if you imagine that Obama is a hero when the need arises.

Bwaaaah hah hah hah hah. The self-delusion... priceless!

Better read: More roman circus to distract the gullible and make Obama look heroic when he's doing nothing to stop anything. Remind me when Obama has actually reversed course from Bush/Cheney, on something *meaningful*.

The grains of sand are running...

Posted by: Fame is Not Wisdom at September 23, 2009 12:16 PM

Fame is Not Wisdom:

If Obama WANTED to send more troops, he could do that NOW. If your top general in the field tells you to send more troops and that's your preference anyway, there's no need to wait. Duh. Maybe that's what Obama will do, but he doesn't seem enthusiastic. Would you be happier if I just give up thinking and chant something?

I don't love Obama--he has big ears, and he didn't even send me a Valentine this year. I'm just saying those post-Vietnam Generals take almost as dim a view of the public as they do of any insufficiently militaristic Democrat politician who happens to be President and therefore Commander in Chief, at least if he refuses to act like it. They hide it, but they disrespect most of society, the public, and certainly Democratic politicians.

As for those even further left, those types of Generals (and they abound) would send the lot of us to Guantanamo in a heartbeat if the rest of the country would just get patriotic enough. Drip and all the rest of us can be glad to be considered enemies by the army, because right now we're so irrelevant that it isn't necessary to drag people off in the middle of the night and leave their bodies somewhere on the street to be found a few days later. But if things get a little dicier socially, then that attitude in the military could become quite significant.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 01:27 PM

Rupa Shah: I agree, Jackson IS beautiful and damn near verticle. That's the reason for the Marines, they could "surgically" just grab the Armanti Suits and NONE of the locals would mind a bit. They could even sell tickets and MAYBE get some of OUR MONEY back.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 23, 2009 02:15 PM

Robert Payne

Osama's favorite author William Blum (whoever made those tapes has a sense of humor) describes in one of his books calling the terrorist hotline or the State Department (whatever) to report a terrorist in Florida, specifically the anti-Castro Cuban Luis Posada, and getting a comically confused response. There was too much cognitive dissonance for whomever took his call.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 04:41 PM

Yes, Rupa, the Sibel Edmonds story carries such enormous and obvious implications that none of our "free press" MSM-variety will touch it. In an interview with Antiwar's Scott Horton, Giraldi said they shopped the story around, including (ha!) to Drudge, who all declined.

If true, Hastert, Marc Grossman, Feith, Perle and Wolfie should be arrested for treason. Feith and Perle are described as going through personnel files at the Pentagon and Rand to find vulnerable targets to blackmail or bribe -- for foreign intelligence services! Edmonds, the former FBI translator, seems credible, which is why, clearly, they placed the gag order on her. Now she's naming names.

"But someone would talk." Now someone is, bravely telling a tale of treason committed by, at a minimum, the former Speaker of the House, the No. 3 at State (Grossman), and high-ranking Pentagon officials, and watch as, surprise surprise, the MSM avert their innocent eyes.

Posted by: Oarwell at September 23, 2009 05:12 PM

Win/Lose... you pretty much lose the first instant that you fight.

I read Fareed Zacawhatever say in Newsweek that leaving Afghanistan is not a 'serious' option, because they would start fighting amongst themselves. As if it's serious to expect other people to do what we want them to do, and much more to expect them to do it because of violence.

Time to grow up.

Posted by: tim at September 23, 2009 05:32 PM


Posted by: tim at September 23, 2009 05:48 PM

Rupa Shah:

Thanks for the link to that interview of Sibel Edmonds by Philip Giraldi. I have been following Sibel Edmonds' story for years, but I hadn't seen that and that's the clearest she has ever been about her knowledge. I certainly hope the new changes announced today to limit the use of the state secrets privilege will apply with regard to the information Edmonds possesses.

I have suspected that Scowcroft was full of shit about his opposition to the war, and what Edmonds says is confirmation of that. One thing that is key to remember (and must be difficult to remember because nobody does) is that what these vultures say publicly does not necessarily reflect their real position. That Colin Powell and even initially George Bush feigned reluctance to invade Iraq back in 1991 didn't mean they really were reluctant--that was theater for the public audience. Likewise, what Scowcroft and the CIA or anyone else in the government acts as though the Second Gulf War was foolish means NOTHING. Their public positions are an act. The telling reality is that all those vultures were fighting over the carcass of Iraq before it had even been slaughtered. (The multinational energy companies are the real vultures; scowcroft and baker and grossman and perle etc are just beaks and talons.)

It's also interesting to me to see that more bin Ladens have been in on our gambit in Central Asia than just Osama. Not too many folks are aware that one of Osama's brothers was involved in the seige in Mecca in 79, which helped set King Fahd on the road to supporting jihad just as the CIA got that "strategy" up and running (BEFORE the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). There is a continuous thread from the Afghan Jihad to 9/11, and many people recognize that, but few people seem to look closely at what led to the Afghan jihad. It was NOT Soviet aggression. That was a response, and one Brzezinski has admitted he expected and hoped for to give them their own taste of a Vietnam experience. I don't think Carter figured that out in time, among many other things.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 05:54 PM


Certainly scandalous and offensive, but maybe or maybe not treason. Sometime if you want a glimpse into the murky world of espionage read Dick Russell's The Man Who Knew Too Much, about the fascinating story of Richard Case Nagell, who went into a Texas bank and fired a pistol in the air to get himself arrested so that he would be in police custody when certain events shortly thereafter transpired in Dallas in November 1963. Nagell apparently did a lot of skillful things to keep himself alive for the next couple of decades, like writing duplicate letters to the FBI and leaving the copies in safe locations to be mailed to various places in the event of his death. It's quite a tale, told only to Russell in bits and pieces over many years, because Nagell seems to have been at least a double-agent and perhaps a triple-agent. I mention that because you can't assume that someone leaking information to a foreign power doesn't have authorization to do that from somebody. Of course, not from our democratically elected leaders, but from somebody at Langley with some sort of authorization from something or other. God Bless the National Security Act of 1947 and the Patriot Act of 2001.

If you look at a map, you can see how important Turkey is. They are close to everything--Israel, Iraq, Iran, the Balkans, the Caucusus, even the various Stans. What gauls me isn't that all these prominent guys were committing treason, though maybe they were. It's how they clearly all saw that Iraq was about to be destroyed and chopped to pieces, and how they all worked for various "clients" to help them get a share of the spoils. That certainly conforms to my understanding of the whole sleazy business of running the world today.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 06:39 PM

I think it was 3-4 years after Sep 11, 2001 that I read a couple of articles in a Turkish newspaper which claimed that according to Turkish Intelligence, there was no organization called Al-Quaeda but it was a CIA project.
The more information I find, it only gets murkier. And it is not just an unknown Turkish newspaper claiming some sort of CIA invovement in someway but even London Times mentions involvement of a person who was allegedly a CIA asset and who had trained some of the hijackers!
It is frightening, how corrupt our govt is, individuals and agencies.

"Alleged Trainer Of 9/11 Hijackers a CIA Informant"

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 23, 2009 08:07 PM

Rupa Shah:

That's a great advantage for you, being able to read Turkish or Arabic, but there is plenty of information that has been translated.

Someone,I believe Nafeez Ahmed, explained in the Zero Documentary that Al Qaeda is a term that the CIA developed to refer to the database or list of mujahadin who fought in afghanistan and that it wasn't a name those people called themselves. In that sense, the name "Al Qaeda" was a CIA "project," but the name just refers to the database or list of those mujahadin. That is consistent with what I have read elsewhere. I believe from other sources that the term first began being used to refer to an international group of terrorists in some of the prosecutions associated with the embassy attacks, as a required legal element of a conspiracy charge, and it certainly has proved a handy name for the government to use thereafter to create an illusion of an evil enemy of international scope and diabolical sophistication, since we can't use World Jewry or World Communism for that anymore.

The fact that maybe a few percent of the population even know this, or care, shows how easy this scam is to pull off.

Posted by: N E at September 23, 2009 09:05 PM

N E:
No, I do not know Turkish language at all and know very little of Arabic. The article I have quoted above has a link to the Turkish paper and it is in English.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 23, 2009 09:44 PM

Rupa Shah, we're in the same boat then, except you know where to find the Turkish papers in English!

Posted by: N E at September 24, 2009 12:34 AM

Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

Posted by: Zoran at September 24, 2009 08:52 AM

NE, if a high-ranking Pentagon official (Feith, Perle) is looking through files, finding individuals who are in debt, alcoholic, homosexual, etc., and giving the names to Turkish and Israeli intelligence so that these individuals can be suborned to function as spies, how is that not treason?

Posted by: Oarwell at September 24, 2009 10:15 AM

Perhaps its not suposed to be TREASON if Cheney gives the orders. He had Plame outed and NOTHING MUCH came of it.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 24, 2009 11:58 AM

I agree with you. It is shocking to see what is going on in our govt..... totally out of control in the worst way. And, sad to say but it makes me laugh when the same people accuse the govts of the SOUTH of corruption!! I mean, there has to be a limit to their hypocrisy......or may be not!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 24, 2009 12:00 PM


You may well be right, and you might as well call it treason. Hell, just being a liberal, let alone radical, is enough to get a person accused of treason, so why not call something that looks like the real thing treason? I was really just thinking about the fact that we don't really know what goes on in the heart of the Beast, to use a term Jose Marti once used.

Specifically, I assume that Turkish and Israeli and Saudi and Pakistani intel are all working with U.S. intel to some degree, maybe on these very issues. So I'm not sure Feith and Perle and Grossman weren't authorized somehow to be doing what they were doing, or at least that what they were doing isn't common. There's definitely a form of treason to the people of the United States going on, but in a way it certainly seems like much of the government is part of it. The fact that the FBI was investigating it may be nothing more than turf protection and internal power politics, because all these agencies have their own ideological and pragmatic alliances and agendas.

People on the Right are much more "paranoid" about the existence of cabals and conspiracies than people on the Left. Many people on the Left don't naturally seem to like to that sort of thinking, maybe because people on the Right do, maybe because it definitely calls the role of government into question. (I think that's partly why we have ended up with no movement on the Left.) But no matter how hard I try to figure it out, and how much I think I understand intellectually, it remains something of a mystery to me on an emotional level. But I am sure that fear has a lot to do with it, probably in several different ways. Nothing is as scary as the truth.

Posted by: N E at September 24, 2009 12:21 PM

Mike Meyer:
I guess, we will have to be patient. I do not believe, Cheney has left the country even once since leaving his office ( please correct me if I am worng ). If he does, I am sure, Judge Baltasar Garzón will be waiting for him to charge him with war crimes ( though he is himself in a bit of a trouble for trying to investigate the crimes against humanity during Franco regime ).

It will not be our spineless elected officials who will investigate the crimes committed by govt officials at high levels and it is a sad commentary on our judicial system.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 24, 2009 12:27 PM

We have to fight us over here so we can fight them over there.

Posted by: Hogan at September 25, 2009 03:04 PM

That's Bingo for Hogan.

Posted by: N E at September 25, 2009 05:45 PM