Obama’s violating the first rule of holes in Afghanistan…

…which is, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
 
Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan
 

Published on Thursday, July 9, 2009 by CommonDreams.org by Norman Solomon

The president has set a limit on the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. For now.

That’s how escalation works. Ceilings become floors. Gradually.

A few times since last fall, the Obama team has floated rising numbers for how many additional U.S. soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. Now, deployment of 21,000 more is a done deal, with a new total cap of 68,000 U.S. troops in that country.

But “escalation” isn’t mere jargon. And it doesn’t just refer to what’s happening outside the United States.

“Escalation” is a word for a methodical process of acclimating people at home to the idea of more military intervention abroad — nothing too sudden, just a step-by-step process of turning even more war into media wallpaper — nothing too abrupt or jarring, while thousands more soldiers and billions more dollars funnel into what Martin Luther King Jr. called a “demonic suction tube,” complete with massive violence, mayhem, terror and killing on a grander scale than ever.

As war policies unfold, the news accounts and dominant media discourse rarely disrupt the trajectory of events. From high places, the authorized extent of candor is a matter of timing.

Lots of recent spin from Washington has promoted the assumption that President Obama wants to stick with the current limit on deployments to Afghanistan. Soon after pushing supplemental war funds through Congress, he’s hardly eager to proclaim that 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan may not be enough after all.

But no amount of spin can change the fact that the U.S. military situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. It would be astonishing if plans for add-on deployments weren’t already far along at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, the White House is reenacting a macabre ritual — a repetition compulsion of the warfare state — carefully timing and titrating each dose of public information to ease the process of escalation. The basic technique is far from new.

In the spring and early summer of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson decided to send 100,000 additional U.S. troops to Vietnam, more than doubling the number there. But at a July 28 news conference, he announced that he’d decided to send an additional 50,000 soldiers.

Why did President Johnson say 50,000 instead of 100,000? Because he was heeding the advice from something called a “Special National Security Estimate” — a secret document, issued days earlier about the already-approved new deployment, urging that “in order to mitigate somewhat the crisis atmosphere that would result from this major U.S. action . . . announcements about it be made piecemeal with no more high-level emphasis than necessary.”

Forty-four years later, something similar is underway with deployments of U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that no limit has been set. Speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he sounded an open-ended note: “There is not a ceiling on troop levels in Afghanistan.”

Mullen’s comment was scarcely reported in U.S. media outlets. It has become old news without ever being news in the first place.

The war planners in Washington are bound to proceed carefully on the home front. News of further escalation will come “piecemeal” — “with no more high-level emphasis than necessary.”

Norman Solomon, co-chair of the national Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign, is the author of many books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” For more information, go to: www.normansolomon.com

 
About these ads

3 Responses to Obama’s violating the first rule of holes in Afghanistan…

  1. Dajenya Kafele says:

    But what are we, the peace movement, doing about it ? Ever since Obama was elected there has been a near total silence regarding the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Why aren’t we out in the streets?

    I don’t want the radical multi-issue ANSWER to start organizing & leading future demonstrations, because they bring in a lot of other agendas (besides peace) and claim (falsely) to speak for the whole march and turn a lot of people off.

    So I am turning to the biggest peace group I am aware of (and identify with) to ask please, start organizing some major peace demonstrations to show the Obama admin. that we still care about peace and object to this massive military spending. On-line petitions are not enough. They need to see large numbers of people out in the street protesting these wars! How do we get these large demos organized ?

  2. Jimmy Jonker says:

    Just proves the old adage. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

  3. Fantastic article, plenty of great info. I want to show my friend and get all of them the things they believe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,224 other followers

%d bloggers like this: