• “No Pulling Out” Hillary and Afghanistan

    July 9, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State

    Well, it was bound to happen, given how much time they spent together. You watch them grow, you watch them take those first steps and poof! before you know it there are phone calls and (now) texts and even though they don’t see it, you, from a distance of more than a few years, can see: they are in love.

    Bittersweet, when it becomes “formal” in its awkward way, it is as inevitable as summer follows spring. And so it is with Hillary Clinton and Afghanistan, when Hills made it official by announcing, yes, the stories are true: She and Afghanistan have become officially “major non-NATO Allies.”

    Frightening in that this is actually real, the Secretary has designated Afghanistan as a “major non-NATO ally,” a title the US has extended only to countries such as Australia, Egypt, Pakistan and Israel, and which gives preferential access to US arms exports and defence cooperation. Clinton did this in the face of yet another in a dreary string of “donor’s conferences,” international gatherings the US holds to pressure its so-called friends into agreeing to give money to Afghanistan. These are the equivalent of your neighbor’s kid hitting you up for a donation so she can go to summer camp with her French class.

    The difference is one of scale: Afghanistan claims it needs some $4 billion a year in regular aid, on top of another $4 billion in military aid. Each year. Forever. The US can’t borrow that much green from China, and so turns to its partners, much like your neighbor’s kid extorts cash from you, to pony up. Like you, the partners can’t really say no, but will try and get away with giving as little as possible. After all, it is America’s own mess/someone else’s kid, not yours.

    It can get confusing. The change in status for Afghanistan makes it easier for them to purchase US military equipment. However, it will be many years before Afghanistan is in a position to actually buy weapons for itself, relying as it does on foreign support. The change, like many promises made by young lovers, is thus primarily for show, a whispered “Sure, I’ll always love you” made in desperate haste in the back seat of someone’s car to sanctify what is going to happen next in the evolution of young love.

    In fact, Clinton said “We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan.” Really, who could imagine pulling out when such sweet promises have been made, eh?

    (Pause)

    And yet, as Hillary strong-armed money in Tokyo, there were more signs in Afghanistan of just how cynical her actions are.

    The Washington Post reports a series of attacks across Afghanistan. Six American service members lost their lives when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in Maidan Wardak province, which lies just west of Kabul. On the same day, 23 Afghan civilians were killed by multiple blasts in Arghistan district of southern Kandahar. In another attack, five Afghan police were killed by remote-control bomb in Bamian province, regarded as “the most secure part of Afghanistan.”

    As William Astore points out on Huffington Post, “Just as in Vietnam, in Afghanistan we are not winning the war, because these were and are not our wars to win. We were and are only preventing one side from losing, a side that is seemingly sympathetic to America precisely because it feeds off our largesse.”

    Hillary, take note of Astore’s point: we destabilize Afghanistan with enormous sums of money and militarized “solutions” to everything.



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  • Recent Comments

    • jim at rangeragainstwar said...

      1

      pvb,
      as an alternate policy couldn’t we sell girl scout cookies to finance military aid to AFGH?
      as for nato-i fear that 98 years after aug 1914 the US may be pulled into a war by the actions of Turkey.
      we have not made much progress in the last 100 years. we are factually dumber than we were in the 19teen teens.
      jim at rangeragainst war

      07/9/12 2:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Don’t think the “Paradise” lyrics analogy works in Hillary’s commitment to Afghanistan. But I’m sure Slick Willie has sung this tune more than once:

      So now I’m praying for the end of time
      To hurry up and arrive
      Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
      I don’t think that I can really survive
      I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
      But God only knows what I can do right now
      I’m praying for the end of time
      It’s all that I can do
      Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!!!

      07/9/12 9:48 PM | Comment Link

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