Sunday, June 14, 2009


clipped from:

He may be remarkable in many ways, but he is also president of the United States, which means that he is head honcho for the globe’s single great garrison state, which now, to a significant extent, lives off war and the preparations for future war.

In January when he entered the Oval Office, Barack Obama also inherited the largest embassy on Earth, built in Baghdad by the Bush administration to imperial proportions as a regional command center. It now houses what are politely referred to as 1,000 “diplomats.”

Another embassy, just as gigantic, expected to house “a large military and intelligence contingent,” will be constructed by the Obama administration in its new war capital, Islamabad, Pakistan.

He sits atop a U.S. Intelligence Community of at least 16 squabbling, overlapping agencies, heavily Pentagonized, and often at each other’s throats. They have a cumulative hush-hush budget of perhaps $50 billion or more.

The new president will preside over a country which now ponies up almost half the world’s total military expenditures.

in his war policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, his imperial avatar is already plunging deep into the dark, distinctly opaque valley of death. He’s just appointed a general, Stanley A. McChrystal, as his Afghan commander. From 2003-2008, McChrystal ran a special operations outfit in Iraq (and then Afghanistan) so secret that the Pentagon avoided mention of it. In those years, its operatives were torturing, abusing, and killing Iraqis as part of a systematic targeted assassination program on a large scale. It was, for those who remember the Vietnam era, a mini-Phoenix program in which possibly hundreds of enemies were assassinated:

Although he’s now being touted in the press as the man to bring the real deal in counterinsurgency to Afghanistan (and “protect” the Afghan population in the bargain), his actual field is “counter-terrorism.”

The team he’s now assembling in Washington...It’s filled with special operations types. The expertise of his chosen key lieutenants is, above all, in special ops work...bringing the total number there to about 5,000. Keep in mind that it’s been the special operations forces, with their kick-down-the-door night raids and air strikes, who have been involved in the most notorious incidents of civilian slaughter, which continue to enrage Afghans.

Gen. McChrystal, according to a recent New York Times article, has “been given carte blanche to handpick a dream team of subordinates, including many Special Operations veterans. … [He] is assembling a corps of 400 officers and soldiers who will rotate between the United States and Afghanistan for a minimum of three years. That kind of commitment to one theater of combat is unknown in the military today outside Special Operations, but reflects an approach being imported by Gen. McChrystal, who spent five years in charge of secret commando teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

So, this is now truly Obama’s war, about to be run by his chosen general, a figure from the dark side. Expect, then, from our sunshine president’s men an ever bloodier secret campaign of so-called counter-terror

The new crew aren’t counterinsurgency warriors, but – a term that has only recently entered our press – “manhunters.” And don’t forget, President Obama is now presiding over an expanding war in which “manhunters” engaging in systematic assassination programs will not only be on the ground but, thanks to the CIA’s escalating program of targeted assassination by robot aircraft, in the skies over the Pakistani tribal borderlands.

For those who care to remember, it was into counter-terrorism and an orgy of manhunting, abuse, and killing that the Vietnam era version of “counterinsurgency” dissolved as well.

No comments: