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THE LADY MACBETH SYNDROME August 2, 2010

Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA.
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According to The Guardian, US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates has ominously suggested that Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, “may well have blood on his hands”.

What Gates is suggesting is that “the Taliban” or the Pastun Resistance to Imperialism, or however the enemy in Afghanistan might be accurately described as have engaged in revenge killings of people assisting the invaders, very much for example like the French Resistance would do to people cooperating with the German occupation of France. The French did not have access to the database provided by Wikileaks.

So what the objectives of the invasion? Afghanistan, after a generation and a half of warfare and invasion, is one of the poorest countries on Earth. We have heard no more of the supposed mineral wealth just waiting to be tapped by presumably foreign mining companies. That rouse must have served it’s short term purpose. After suggesting the so-called war is unwinnable, The Independent on Sunday in its editorial suggests:

The priority now is to discuss this war rationally, to address the reality that, so very far from diminishing the threat of terrorism in Britain, which is its ostensible purpose, the war in Afghanistan may well be contributing to extremism at home. The recent devastating analysis by the former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, of the way in which the Iraq conflict actually contributed to the alienation of British Muslims is relevant here. Afghanistan is not so potent a cause of disaffection as Iraq was, but the conflict adds to the problem of domestic extremism rather than diminishing it.

Without denying the courage of British and coalition forces in the conduct of this war, we should now be thinking through a political strategy for withdrawal, which will include engaging with the Taliban within Afghanistan, and Pakistan outside it. Most Britons would be reluctantly prepared to accept British casualties in a conflict which had a plain, achievable and recognisable purpose. This war has no such purpose. The best we can hope for is to help establish a post-conflict Afghan government that does not play host to al-Qa’ida and that includes sufficient power-sharing to avoid a return to outright hostilities. What we cannot do is bring that about by military means alone.

Now let us suppose, as we might, that these goals could have been achieved with the loss of life, destruction, and suffering for all involved, not to mention the economic cost. Stupidity and violence appear to be their own reward, at least it would seem for some people, but while I hope that speculation is never true, there is a question as to why these manufactured and murderous conflicts continue. What is it that gets into people? Are they like Lady Macbeth denying their own humanity for the sake of appearances as they conspire and plot their complicitous schemes?

Meanwhile, in The New York Times, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler report that mafiosi tactics are the new hot tactic to win the war. They write:

When President Obama announced his new war plan for Afghanistan last year, the centerpiece of the strategy — and a big part of the rationale for sending 30,000 additional troops — was to safeguard the Afghan people, provide them with a competent government and win their allegiance.

Eight months later, that counterinsurgency strategy has shown little success, as demonstrated by the flagging military and civilian operations in Marja and Kandahar and the spread of Taliban influence in other areas of the country.

Instead, what has turned out to work well is an approach American officials have talked much less about: counterterrorism, military-speak for the targeted killings of insurgents from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Faced with that reality, and the pressure of a self-imposed deadline to begin withdrawing troops by July 2011, the Obama administration is starting to count more heavily on the strategy of hunting down insurgents. The shift could change the nature of the war and potentially, in the view of some officials, hasten a political settlement with the Taliban.

Mr Gates and others within the Washington bubble never express remorse for those innocent bystanders who are killed as a result of their “collateral damage”. They must have thick blood.

For as the good Lady was to observe as drawn by the pen of Bill Shakespeare:

Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
44 Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
45 That no compunctious visitings of nature
46 Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
47 The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
48 And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
49 Wherever in your sightless substances
50 You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,
51 And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
52 That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
53 Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
54 To cry “Hold, hold!”

ELSEWHERE:

The Dutch under the influence of representative democracy, a novel idea, prove that a military withdrawal is possible – and so far the sky has not fallen, although over the next one hundred years the seas will rise.

At The Guardian, Julian Assange that Wikileaks has been careless about sources, putting the blame on compilation and composition of the original material and saying that it was widely available inhouse.

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