Merry Xmas Jarheads!! The Man of Peace, Nobel Laureate-to-be President Barack Obama, your commander-in-chief, is going to be shipping you out as a holiday gift to the people of Afghanistan.
You will be delivering bullets and bombs, with my name and the name of other American taxpayers on them, to the long-suffering people of Afghanistan by Dec. 25, according to press reports ahead of the Mr. Hope and Change’s planned nationwide speech tonight.
Back here in America, the land of the free and brave, come the holidays, we will be scraping together the cash to buy small gifts for our kids, hopefully without having to miss a rent payment or a mortgage payment. Fortunately, we’ve got Food Stamps, which are now, we are told, flooding the suburbs, and are “no longer a stigma,” so we won’t be hurting too much for Christmas dinner—though you still can’t use the stamps to buy eggnog.
It will be interesting to hear what your commanders tell you your mission is. The president is saying we need to keep Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, but from what I hear, there are no Al Qaeda operatives in the country. They all upped and left for greener pastures a long time ago—to places like Pakistan, Somalia, and maybe Europe and the USA. Hell, they can go anywhere. How do you spot an Al Qaeda guy anyhow? The fellows getting on the plane in Boston on 9-11 were clean-shaven and wore Brooks Brothers shirts, looking more like bond traders than bombers.
No, you will be targeting the Taliban. But the Taliban are Afghans, and look just like the people who are not Taliban, so what you’ll most likely be doing half the time or more is shooting up ordinary struggling Afghani peasants and shopkeepers, or members of weddings or funerals, whose angry relatives will then seek revenge by setting traps or ambushes for you.
From what I hear, we taxpayers will be forking over about $1 million for each of you for each year you are rotated into Afghanistan. You won’t see much of that money yourself of course, (most of the dough will flow to the war-profiteers who make your uniform, your gun, your ammo, your truck, etc.), but maybe it will feel good knowing that there’s that big an investment being made in you.
You’ll be called “our heroes,” too. I’m not sure why. I mean, it takes a certain amount of guts just to sign up for an outfit like the Marines, I know (my dad volunteered to be a Marine in WWII). But I just find it hard to see what’s so heroic about being part of the best-armed, best-trained fighting force in the history of mankind and fighting a group of poor, uneducated peasants armed at best with AK rifles and home-made bombs—especially when you guys reportedly outnumber your enemy by better that 10:1, and have the backing of completely unchallenged air support—F-16s, helicopter gunships, fixed-wing gunships and B-1 bombers.
That’s not a fight. It’s a slaughter.
I had a taste of this when I brought my son and a friend of his to the Army Experience Center, an recruiting experiment in Northeast Philadelphia where we were able to man a mock-up Humvee and race through a simulated village, firing our mounted machine guns at supposed Taliban fighters who would jump out at us, or plant IEDs in our path. At the end of the run, we were congratulated by the attending Iraq War vet/recruiter, for our number of kills and our low (25 percent) “error” rate—that was the number of civilians, usually women or kids, that we shot up in our haste to shoot first. We were told that such “collateral damage” was to be expected in war.
Merry Christmas Afghanistan!
Barack Obama says you’re just going there to stabilize Afghanistan and keep the Taliban at bay long enough for the people of Afghanistan to come up with a real government and for an army to be trained to take over from you.
We heard a faery-tale like that from another “peace” president, Lyndon Johnson. He gave his speech announcing plans to send two Marine and seven Army divisions to Vietnam at Easter, saying they were just going to be protecting the people and allowing the South Vietnamese government to upgrade its military so it could take over the fight against the other Vietnamese who were trying to overthrow it. A decade later some 2 million of those Vietnamese people were dead, mostly at the hands of our “heroes.”
Happy Easter, Vietnam.
So when you’re over there, try to kill as few of the poor Afghanis as you can. That would be a genuine act of heroism. Or just refuse to go. That would even be more heroic still.
Don’t believe your commander-in-chief when he says you are defending America over there. I’m confident that you’ll see pretty quickly once you get there that the notion that those poor people could be in any way a threat to this nation is beyond ludicrous.
No, what you’ll be defending is Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s scheme to look tough on defense, and to be able to kick the can of this ugly, pointless war down the road past the 2012 election without having to run as the “president who lost Afghanistan.”
You’ll be defending his goal of winning campaign contributions from the big military contractors like Boeing and Northrup Grumman. You’ll be defending the myriad members of Congress who cast gutless and foolish votes back in 2001 to endorse President George Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s declaration of a Global War on Terror—a fake “war” that has now been adopted by President Obama.
Good luck over there in the Hindu Kush. I hope you don’t get killed or hurt, but at the same time, I cannot say I wish you success, because success, as defined by your commander-in-chief, appears to mean the slaughter of many innocent Afghanis, and the further entrenchment of a brutal narco-state government in one of the poorest nations in the world.
No, my wish for you is that you and your buddies come home soon, and do as little killing as possible before you do.
Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist. He is author of Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Common Courage Press, 2003) and The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at thiscantbehappening.net
"[DNC Chair Tom Perez] has gotten instructions from Bill Clinton not to let the party go to the Bernie Sanders folks." - Jonathan Allen, co-author of Shattered, revealing new material in the upcoming paperback release pic.twitter.com/dLEnwl7kIc— HootHootBerns 🌹🐦 (@HootHootBerns) May 3, 2018