Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks, war, and wingnuts: Rational thoughts on the irrational

CNN: What leaked documents are telling us about the Afghan war

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you may have wondered at some point what my position is on the current war in the Middle East.  Like I've said many times before, I do not identify with either major political party, and on this issue I stand firmly behind that principle, as I see both sides throwing stones at the war issue while nothing gets done.  Most Republicans simply label anyone against the war as a "commie", "socialist", or the like, while many Democrats want our troops out of there immediately with no further effort. 

I wouldn't be writing on this topic at all if it weren't for this weekend's massive Wikileaks release to The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel containing about 90,000 reports on activity in Afghanistan, many filed by the military, from 2004 to January 2010.  I'm no stranger to Wikileaks, I "StumbledUpon" it a while ago and thought it quite interesting that such a forum existed to oust government cover-ups from the trivial to the outrageous.  While I don't regularly keep up with the site, I nevertheless applaud Julian Assange for releasing these reports, regardless of their actual accuracy, and I'll tell you why.

The jist of the leak is that things in Afghanistan are not going exactly as planned.  Until now, the American press has been given limited information as to what is happening over there, in regards to civilian death toll, details of insurgent attacks, progress of the Afghan society, etc.  If our ridiculous media sphere doesn't know the facts, why trust them?  I'll take previously covered-up information over television garbage any day of the week.  The most interesting pieces of news are the ones mommy and daddy are hiding from us (aka the government).  Yesterday's and today's leak-driven news reports make many interesting claims:
  • Many of our more recent military tactics revolve around minerals, surprisingly not oil!
  • The general population thinks their new government is worse than the Taliban. 
  • Insurgents have shown up to battle wearing government-issued uniforms and driving government-issued Ford Rangers, both of which the United States provided to them. 
  • Pakistan law currently allows secret service members to hold strategy meetings with the Taliban in order to discuss plans for taking down the American occupation in Afghanistan, including assassinations of Afghan government officials. 
  • Goodwill missions are often abandoned after only a few months, including an orphanage founded in 2006 which after a few months reported housing only 30 orphans when there were supposed to be over 100, and after only a year of the orphanage being established, reported housing no orphans at all. 
  • According to Assange, actual civilian casualties at Afghan roadblocks, airstrikes, etc. "numerically eclipse" the death tolls of bigger events we hear about on the news.
My personal opinion on the war?  Whether or not these claims are completely accurate, they all support the notion that things simply aren't going very well over there.  I come from a military background on both sides of the family, love my 2nd Amendment rights, and have no sympathy for Osama bin Laden or any other member of the Taliban for that matter.  However, I think we're going about this entirely the wrong way.  The Afghan citizens have showed us that they don't want what we have to offer.  We can give them government, but we are still outsiders to them, and we are obviously being taken advantage of as corruption infects every institution that we have created there.  We're being too trusting that this society, ravaged by tyranny, terrorism, and organized crime for decades, is simply going to open their arms to democracy and everything will be alright.  We can't even control our own society here at home--our economy is tanking, approval of the government is at an all-time low, and our politicians continue to disappoint.  We need to fix that before we try to influence any other nation.

Military spending currently makes up over 50% of our federal discretionary spending.  That's about a trillion dollars a year.  Something tells me that's more than enough money to create tactical strategies that actually target terrorist groups from the inside out, but instead our plan is to...well, I don't know, let the insurgents come to us first and blow up our troops?  Build fake orphanages to act like we're doing some good for their society?  It's disparaging to our honorable armed forces, and to our national identity, to draw this out much longer.  The Wikileaks crowd got it right; they exposed the disorganization surrounding this war, and silently posed this rhetorical question: What's the plan?

Time to actually start picking off the real terrorists, methinks.  They have the money and the capabilities to do so.


  1. Greeting's Ms.Stetter!

    I actually agree with the majority of this, I was a little suprised I reckon on your view's. I of course as well been an NRA supporter for a few decade's as well, so I am very pro gun right's, I dont knock those who dont like them, to each their own ... I just grew up with gun's, archery, and throwing knive's and mostly for sporting. But we are so snowballed on this war and getting milked and drained like cow's actually. Those behind alot of this ... are actually in it for the billion's of yes ... resources that they will be mining with already negotiated no bid contract's such as China for instance who already have the copper mining and railway's directly from Afghanistan into China only ... this is very deep as well ... I have covered actually many of the scam's. The thing is also many dont realize .... is some of these folk's like pakistan for instance who we just announced to give over $7 billion to, also want the Taliban to be part of their government when all is settled too. I have a nephew just completed 2 tour's in Iraq (US Marine Sargeant) and my niece in Oceanside, CA just enlisted US Army after HS grad, and is being deployed to Afghanistan, she is your age actually.

    Thank You, have a good un

  2. Another thing I want to point out here, that we live in such a politically correct pop culture herd mentality type society, and frankly speaking both of these polarizing side's of left and right are spending more effort on trying to say they are all "good" and their political opponent is of course "evil" ... there is no grey area or alternative thinking, and this has been this way for decade's, and recently more intense, due to economic strain's, war's, and other issue's. The entire mindset rest assured will change in time, and of course much of the old relic's who have proven to be more politically incompetent than productive will retire and go fishing or whatever the Hell they do, or die off, which is way past due in my opinion as well. Many American's believe that these war's which frankly are corporate dictated strictly on an international level, are war's to free people from oppression and the clenches of evil, then when we do fight these so called manufactured war's, we give our troop's rule book's on how to fight properly when the enemy (who we also financially support indirectly or directle)dont give a rat's ass about the Geneva Convention or any rule's except their own for that matter. This whole ordeal is just so insanely twisted it's remarkable most folk's believe what they do.

    Enough said ....