Tuesday, May 19, 2009

President Obama

Your selection of General McChrystal, a man tainted by his past, to head the ill advised expansion of the war in Afghanistan exposes the fallacy of the position you outlined to the American people.
It seems clear that your refusal to prosecute torture is not because it's "litigating the past" but because you want torture in your tool box. Abuse continues apace at Guantanamo. Bagram, where torture began is open for business. You have all ready authorized rendition flights and now you select a man associated with brutality to run operations in Afghanistan. His soldier's may have been advised not to abuse civilians and prisoners but the CIA and mercenaries, those who have been most deeply involved in torture, are under no such constraints.
There are no fledgling democracies in the Middle East for you to protect only the degenerate remains of western meddling headed by our corporate lapdogs.
Aggressive war is a more serious war crime than even torture yet you are fully committed to a militant Afghan policy. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9-11 and no threat to the US.
Your willingness to flaunt legality and constitutional restraints is equal to that of the last president who the world is now demanding be brought to justice.
The folly of escalating military operations in Afghanistan exceeds the hubris and willful ignorance of the last administration. You have the advantage of seeing that years of unnecessary bloodshed, destruction and crippling expense in Iraq has produced nothing lasting.
There are reasons Bush and Cheney shunned Afghanistan and why you should also.
In the late 19th century a group of Afghans calling themselves The Taliban destroyed British forces and drove out the Empire. The Afghans beat the Persians, the Turks and the Russians.
The landscape is unbelievably rugged, infrastructure is non-existant and the climate much harsher. An air war will only harden innate national and cultural resistance.
You are squandering your presidency on an undertaking that is wrong in its inception, murderous in its conduct and futile in its outcome.
Carol DW


Gordon said...

McChrystal, its suggested by Sy Hersh, was the commander of JSOC at the time that Cheney was operating his secret personal hit squad and believes that it is likely he was Cheney's guy. Hopefully he goes the way of Mudd, since Mudd was ostensibly ditched because of his torture links.

McChrystal has been linked to an operation called the Terrorist Screen Center (TSC), which was located at Camp Nama in Iraq. The institution was one of several Saddam-era torture centers converted into U.S. "interrogation facilities" by special ops forces under the general's command. A 2006 Human Rights Watch report documents extensive prisoner abuses at Nama, including sleep deprivation, the use of extreme heat and cold, sexual humiliation and simulated drowning. One soldier quoted in the report describes the torture of a detainee believed to be an Al-Qaeda financier:

Byard Duncan, Alternet: He was stripped naked, put in the mud and sprayed with the hose, with very cold hoses, in February. At night it was very cold. They sprayed the cold hose and he was completely naked in the mud, you know, and everything. [Then] he was taken out of the mud and put next to an air conditioner. It was extremely cold, freezing, and he was put back in the mud and sprayed.

This happened all night. Everybody knew about it. People walked in, the sergeant major and so forth, everybody knew what was going on, and I was just one of them, kind of walking back and forth seeing [that] this is how they do things.


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