Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Afghan Carousel / No Strategy, No Exit and More Suicides

The Afghanistan Carousel has been turning for well over eight years. Fueled by the Military/Industrial complex and wishful thinking, it has become a senseless bogged down occupation with no clear exit strategy ~ and growing suicides: Allen L Roland

The Afghanistan occupation is an albatross around America's and president Obama's neck and it's getting heavier by the day. But no more heavier than the military pawns that are fighting these senseless holding actions ~ and their suicide rates keep climbing.

Thirty-two soldiers took their own lives last month, the most Army suicides in a single month since the Vietnam era. Eleven of the soldiers were not on active duty. Of the 21 who were, seven were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.

The Army also said the number of U.S. soldiers forced to leave the military because of mental disorders increased by 64 percent from 2005 to 2009, USA Today reported Friday.

The so called Afghanistan War ( Occupation ) has now surpassed the Vietnam War as the longest war in U.S. history and American deaths have been increasing every year since 2007.

Here's the latest casualty count in Afghanistan based on the lowest credible estimates according to Unknown News.

U.S, Troops killed ~ 951
U.S. Troops seriously injured ~ 2853
Afghan civilians killed ~ 8669
Afghan civilians seriously wounded ~ 15,604
Total killed in Afghanistan ( including Afghan troops ( 8587 ), coalition troops ( 666 ) contractors ( 298 ) and journalists ( 11 ) 19,980
Total seriously injured in Afghanistan ( all groups) 48,844

And what about the cost of this exercise in futility ? $ 285 billion and still counting.

So why are we there ?
The plain and simple reason is preemptive Empire building which started with the Cheney/Bush administration and it has been continued in tact by the Obama administration.
Make no mistake about it ~ this is now Obama's Afghan occupation ( or so-called war ) and our eventual humiliating failure will lead to a one term presidency for Obama.

An investigation by the Independent on Sunday, July 11th found that "The strategic plan of creating an Afghan security force to replace U.S. and British troops fighting in Afghanistan is in serious disarray with local forces a fraction of their reported size, infiltrated by the Taliban at senior levels, and plagued by corruption and drug addiction."

The only major American mainstream columnist who seems to correctly sense this nightmare in Afghanistan is New York Times Op-ed columnist Bob Herbert who writes in late June ~ " We’ve been in Afghanistan for nearly a decade already. It’s one of the most corrupt places on the planet and the epicenter of global opium production. Our ostensible ally, President Hamid Karzai, is convinced that the U.S. cannot prevail in the war and is in hot pursuit of his own deal with the enemy Taliban. The American public gave up on the war long ago, and it is not at all clear that President Obama’s heart is really in it... For us to even consider several more years of fighting and dying in Afghanistan ~ at a cost of heaven knows how many more billions of American taxpayer dollars ~ is demented."

So why are we really there ?
We are there for political reasons and political reasons alone. President Obama has sold out to the conservative right on Health Care Reform as well as Wall Street Reform and he is not about to bring the troops home from Afghanistan before 2012 and risk being crucified by the Right as a liberal wimp ~ while countless Afghan, Coalition and Americans die on the poppy fields of Afghanistan.

As Herbert rightfully points out ~ " We are sinking more and more deeply into the fetid quagmire of Afghanistan and neither the president nor General Petraeus nor anyone else has the slightest clue about how to get out. The counterinsurgency zealots in the military want more troops sent to Afghanistan, and they want the president to completely scrap his already shaky July 2011 timetable for the beginning of a withdrawal. "

So, the Afghan carousel continues and always to the same out-of-date tune that was played in Vietnam and Iraq and its chorus is still no strategy, no exit and no sense but always to the theme of almost there.

Allen L Roland

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Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his
weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on


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