Last Sunday night, the CBS News program 60 Minutes interviewed Afghan President Mohammed Karzai, installed in his position largely with the help of the United States. Karzai is a man who radiates dignity and self control, but in this CBS interview , he seemed trying to keep his temper from boiling over.
His complaint: That U.S. air strikes, aimed at Al Quaida bigwigs, are killing innocent civilians instead.
Civilian dead: 270.
High value targets: 0
Indeed, in further interviews with Air Force Colonel Gary Crowder, and a former Pentagon official, CBS uncovered that we’ve managed to kill 270 civilians with these air strikes, but not a single “high value target.”
Col. Crowder tut-tutted that while the civilians 270, Al Quaida 0 statistics are correct, “we have come a very long way in getting that intelligence to be more accurate. We will collect human intelligence, signals intelligence, overhead full-motion video, all of that tied together, very often in real time. That gives us a better understanding and a significantly higher confidence that the targets we're engaging are in fact valid military targets."
All very nice, one supposes, but Col. Crowder still didn’t offer any evidence that our new, improved techniques have netted us so much as one high value target either. Which leads one to wonder how much gas this Air Force brass gas bag can hold.
Meanwhile, we’re convincing more and more Afghans – neighbors, relatives, friends of the innocent bystander civilians killed by our “better understanding” – that they want to kill us in return. Can you blame them?
Imagine that a foreign power came to the United States, chasing people that none of us like – such as drug dealers and gang leaders. You might or might not like it, depending how much you mind a bunch of foreigners with weapons running around your home town. But suppose, that without killing a single thug, they managed to kill hundreds of Americans, destroy your home, and ruin your business. How would you feel then?
How do others hate us?
Let us count the ways.
Okay, that’s why now we’ve got the citizens of Afghanistan wanting to kill us. I don’t need to tell you about Iraq. They’re not putting out those IED’s because they really, really love us. So that’s two countries that would see us in hell.
How about Turkey? While trying to run interference for a group of Iraqui Kurds that’s creating hostile action on the other side of the Iraq-Turkey border, we’ve managed to alienate this once-strong NATO ally. That’s three nations that would see us in hell.
How about Iran? We’re threatening sanctions, and we’re barely veiling a threat to bomb them. Judging by the Presidential mumbo-jumbo that got us into Iraq, President Bush and his crowd seem to want to go beyond the threat, ASAP.
Okay, that’s four nations that want to see us all in hell. But wait, there’s more!
While we’re stretched out in the Middle East
why not go pick some fights in Latin America?
We’ve made it perfectly clear to Cuba that we’re not budging on our embargo there. Since the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962, we’ve been embargoing them, but quietly. Now, with Fidel Castro evidently dying and his younger brother Raul running things, we seem determined to poke a sharp stick into the Raul Castro’s eye. What will we get for this effort – unless it’s another invitation from Cuba to Russia to re-install those guided missiles pointed at the U.S. – you know, the ones that Jack Kennedy negotiated out of there more than 40 years ago?
That’s five countries whose citizens, for the most part, might be inclined to see us in hell, protestation of the Cuban career refugees in Miami notwithstanding.
Then there’s Vladimir Putin. Not a nice guy, which may be why George Bush seems to consider Putin something of a pal.
But with “friends” like Vladimir, you don’t need World War III. Which makes it puzzling why George Bush is now poking a finger in Putin’s eye by trying to ring Russia’s western flank with missiles, purportedly to shoot down missiles from Iran that actually don’t exist.
Synergy for a nuclear firestorm
That’s six countries that would like to see us in hell. And now we’ve got some synergy going. For example, instead of negotiating with Iran to cut out the nuclear stuff we keep threatening them, thus providing the irrityation that makes them work faster on developing a nuclear bomb and nuclear ICBMS, neither of which they have just now.
This makes us rush to get those missiles installed in Poland and Czechoslovakia, which infuriates the Russians enough to retaliate by installing missiles pointed at us in Cuba. So, lacking troops which are bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, we nuke Cuba, which causes Russia to nuke us back.
Oh yes, did I mention North Korea and its own nukes?
How about Pakistan, which is unquestionably armed nukes and in peril of being taken over by Muslim extremists who hate our guts?
And for good measure, have you notice we have no good friends in Venezuela any more? That’s pretty important, because each time we offend someone in the Middle East, the price of oil goes through the rough again, driving our economy deeper into a hole. $10 a gallon gas, anyone?
Death Wish Infinity – The Ultimate Finale
What it boils down to – on the questionable assumption that he isn’t a total imbecile – is that George Bush is in the thrall of a powerful death wish. He wishes to die in a nuclear firestorm. Or to see the U.S. economy die in a financial firestorm. Or both. And he wishes for the rest of us Americans to die with him.
When people are dangerous to themselves or others, they are usually deemed insane, taken off the streets and confined to a mental institution where they can't do any harm. In this case, the body with power to get George Bush off the streets is Congress. Think they'll do it in time? Think they'll ever do it?
Oh, forget about it. Just pass the Kool-Aid.