If the Wikileaks disclosure of classified documents concerning the mangled mess that is Afghanistan changes any of the granite-minds of centrist Democrats (read Rockefeller Republicans) and wing nut, asshole, reactionary Republicans then Pfc Bradley Manning and Julian Assange should receive the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize respectively.
Unfortunately it will not. And they will not.
A Christian Science Monitor headline tells the tale:Congress's response to WikiLeaks: shoot the messenger. There's really no need to read further. With the exception of a handful of enlightened Democrats and one socialist, most of Congress is ready, willing and quite capable of throwing more troops, more treasure and time into the sewer that is Afghanistan.
If I have said this once I shall continue saying a thousand times: Since Vietnam, winning a war, any war, was and never has been the objective government of the United States, both on the elective Constitutional side and the career management side. And as we should know from the recent events that led up to and subsequent to George Dubya Bush-Hank Paulson engineered TARP bailout, the upper echelons of career federal management and high seniority elected officials take their marching orders from the Wall Street Investor Class. The Investor Class has no incentive to end America's military adventurism. It's good for business.
The primary goal of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower aptly named the military-industrial complex is to keep the fight, any fight, going as long as possible to keep the the real engine of our creaky domestic economy humming along. In many respects the military-intelligence-industrial complex is the last bastion of American technological expertise, organized labor in the private sector and heavy manufacturing.
I mean, just look around your own home. How many made-in-America products can you find, aside from perhaps the furnace and central air conditioning unit? Even traditionally domestic-manufactured items as washing machines and refrigerators and furniture are increasingly being imported from China. But the United States can still make one helluva air superiority jet fighter!
The another thing the military-intelligence-industrial complex successfully did to keep it deeply embedded in the US economy was the shifting of pension funds from traditional "defined-benefits" pension plans, whereby employee retirement compensation is funded totally by the employer, to "defined-contribution" pension plans, the 401k for example, whereby the employee is responsible for contributing towards his own retirement. But from my own experience with the federal employees version of the 401k, the Thrift Savings Plan, the individual employee is never let in on the secret of where his hard-earned money is being invested. The same can be said of Individual Retirement Accounts, IRA, which I also have. I receive a prospectus once a quarter but reading through it is tedious and the names of many of corporations which the fund held stock in meant nothing. I had no idea what Halliburton did, even though my IRA held its stock, until 2000. Suffice it to say that if you own any investment vehicles for retirement, IRAs or 401k, you are investing in the American way of war. By the collusion of Wall Street and Congress in legislating our we fund our retirement the military-industrial-intelligence complex has made us all accomplices in their crimes.
The most curious thing that keeps the American-way-of-war going is the bleeding heart anti-war movement. Because our oh-so-sensitive Pentagon does not want to upset the bleeding heart anti-war movement the American-way-of-war tries its darnest to limit civilian casualties. I do not support the Bush wars, yet from Troy to Korea wars were never won by worrying about civilian casualties. Look at all the German and Japanese civilians we, the United States the ostensible good-guys, slaughtered in World War II! Sorry to sound like a contrarian but if killing civilians brings an end to a war then so be it. The only realistic way of limiting civilian casualties is to not get militarily involved in the first place!
The only way out of the Afghan morass is: One, our troops on the ground in Afghanistan are defeated in detail, ie massive casualties and surrender of entire elements of army and Marine units to Taliban forces; two, a country-wide mutiny of a majority of American military units in Afghanistan; three, a systemic economic collapse on the home front. The first two scenarios are unlikely, the third almost happened in 2008 but thanks to the Bush-Paulson TARP bailout the military-intelligence-industrial complex shuttered, sputtered but did not fail.
But never fear, good and gentle readers, the next theater of operations in "the war on terror" is on the horizon: Somalia.
So remember, gentle reader, war may not be good for children or other living beings but it is positively wonderful for the Investor Class and its running dog lackeys in the coordinator classes and the union men and women hard at work in the factories that churn out our military weapons of mass destruction.