Category Archives: Don Rumsfeld

What Went Wrong In Afghanistan

It is now clear after a dozen years from the initial invasion of Afghanistan what went wrong with American policy. Most Americans have forgotten that a large portion of the “invasion” force was composed of Afghan warlords and their armies. Afghanistan in 2001 and Afghanistan in 2014 is a large geographical areas in which dozens of tribal groups live as they have lived for a few thousand years. About a thousand years ago, these people converted to the Islamic religion, but they have always, and still are, governed by rules, traditions, values that predate the arrival of the Islamic religion. Americans sought to impose a “democratic ethos” to “Afghanistan.” But, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld trio imposed upon tribal peoples a concept of nationalism that simply did not exist. Their idea of “nationalism” was their tribe, not the nation of Afghanistan.

Back about 2004, a British think tank proposed focusing upon tribal leaders rather than upon the government in Kabul. The argument was to create local armed forces which would guarantee peace and security within their tribal areas. Instead, the Bush, and then the Obama administrations continued their idea of “nation creation” when the population was tribal creation. Our failure to grasp that security lay within the power of tribes allowed the Taliban to return to power in many areas of Afghanistan.

We also failed to understand that growing poppy was the road to economic success for countless Afghan farmers. So, we destroyed their crops and drove them into the hands of the Taliban which preferred to allow poppy growing as long as they got a cut of the sales. We should have purchased the entire poppy crop, and made farmers our loyal allies!

Iraqi Unintended Consequences

The Republican party has spent this election blasting President Obama for failures in Iraq. According to this story, the great war leader, George Bush left office with the presence of an Iraq army prepared to fight against all enemies. It was failure on the part of Obama to retain American troops in Iraq which resulted in the debacle of a collapsed Iraq army. Nice story, completely incorrect. It was under the administration of George Bush that Nouri al-Maliki became head of Iraq. This sectarian bumbling incompetent leader angered the Sunnis and drove them to support terrorist groups in order to protect themselves from the brutality of the Maliki government. The reason no US troops were retained in Iraq is clear- President Obama refused to leave them because the Maliki government insisted that any US soldier charged with a crime in Iraq would be tried by a Sharia court. Imagine the reaction of Fox News to that one!S.

ISIS had about 25,000 men when they confronted the Iraq “army” of over 200,000. The Iraq army fled the field of combat and left tanks and missiles for ISIS. Yesterday, ISIS forces shot down an Iraq Army helicopter with one of those missiles. This means many US attack Helicopters can not be used in Iraq or Syria due to the loss of the equipment. Blame the problem on its source- the failed government of Maliki which allowed corruption to run rampant and destroyed morale in the Iraq armed forces!

Forget About The Iraq Army

Every so often I realize that over a decade has passed since the trio of George, Dick, and Don sent our men and women into Iraq to bring democracy to the backward people of that region. I recall the days when Americans were promised by President Bush that he was fully in charge of what was being done to ensure that Iraq had a modern government and that Iraqis would become a leading democratic government. Oh, and along the way of this task being accomplished evil doers such as al-Qaida would be destroyed. That was then, today is now. It is so easy to blame Barack Obama for every problem in the Middle East when, in reality, he inherited a mess, and simply lacked the ability to transform disaster into some form of success. What is most amazing about this story is American failure to grasp some basic concepts regarding the situation in Iraq.

1. Iraq is composed of tribes. These tribal groups are centered in religion. About 30% are Sunnis and the remainder are Shiite.

2. Urban Iraqis have a much higher percent of people educated in modern school systems, but they still are centered in religion.

3. Saddam Hussein destroyed leaders who might have led the nation.

4. Americans imposed leaders who never were leaders.

Reality check: The current Iraq army lacks faith in its purpose. It has been led by kleptomaniacs whose only desire was to make money. Iraq army officers never trained soldiers, let alone inspired them to fight. It will take months, hopefully, to equip and inspire an Iraq army to fight.

Things Not Happening Today

There are things that will not occur in the United States of America today:

1. No black teen will be halted or shot.

2. Rick Perry utters an intelligent comment.

3. Stephen Colbert does a show without praising himself.

4. Barack Obama talks WITH people rather than to them.

5. John Boehner desires to pass a law that benefits poor people.

6. Congressmen play a game of softball together regardless of party affiliation.

7. Mitt Romney addresses a labor union meeting.

8. Pope Francis urges rights for women in Catholic Church.

9. It is proven that Mitch McConnell does have a backbone.

10. A Wall Street tycoon pays taxes at a higher rate than his secretary.

Doctor Rick Perry Wants Bans

This blog can now confirm that one of America’s leading experts on Ebola is insisting that President Barack Obama institute a ban on travel to any nations in which there is a single case of Ebola. Governor Rick Perry of the state of Texas in which the first case of Ebola was uncovered would not respond to our inquiries as to whether travel from or to the state of Texas will now be banned. Although I have long been an opponent of the man from Texas, this is one time I agree with him. Let’s keep the nut cases from Texas confined to that state and not allow them to infect our society with their weird ideas about guns or abortion or education. You know, Texas is the state in which children are warned in schools about radical terrorists such as Martin Luther King who sought to undermine the white purity of the state. Hold on for a second! I was just informed that Governor Perry has become a “doctor.” Yes, Kilgore Cosmos University has awarded the leader of their state with the degree of Doctor.

Frankly, there is no surprise that Dr. Perry believes in bans on travel to and from infected nations. He is firmly in favor of banning people from voting in Texas, he is in favor of banning abortions in Texas, and he certainly wants to ban “those people” from down below who seek to enter the great state of Texas. I await:

1. A Texas ban on women from living in the state who are pregnant and not married to a man.

2. A ban on those who opposes guns from being able to own one.

3. A ban on anyone who holds a degree in any aspect of science. Texas does not need egg heads in their beloved land.

Bombs Away At Kobani

Air strikes continue on ISIS forces that are attacking the Kurdish city of Kobani. There is something ironic that over a decade after American forces invaded Iraq, American forces are still fighting in Iraq. Of course, once upon a time, the government of Turkey was our “ally,” but today the government of President Recep Erdogan is committed to the war against terrorists from Kurdistan whom he considers to be a greater threat than any ISIS force. Bombs fall on Kobani as Turkish tanks and troops watch the action from a mile away in Turkey. American and other coalition planes drop bombs, and seek to destroy ISIS through the air. Once again, Americans believe that bombs dropped from planes will “destroy the enemy.” Examine the facts of bombing from the air:

1. US and British air forces were daily sending 1,000 planes to bomb Germany. They destroyed vast sectors of cities, but up until thirty days before the end of World War II in Europe, the German army was still fighting against its enemies.

2. There is still criticism by many Jewish groups about the issue of bombing train tracks leading to death camps. At no time, until two months before the fighting ended in Europe did the German army fail to repair bombed train tracks within four days.

3. We bombed and bombed in Vietnam, and it was the bombers who finally left Vietnam.

We can bomb Kobani. However, unless either one of the following happens, it can not win the war: (1) troops on the ground arrive from coalition forces, (2) the Kurdish army is provided modern weapons and logistical support to take on ISIS. Do either one of these actions and ISIS will be destroyed. Bomb away all you want, it will not end ISIS!

Killing Leader Of Bad People Is No Policy

The foreign policy of the United States of America for over a decade has been predicated upon the assumption that if one kills the leader of bad people, the result will be the end of bad people. From George Bush promises to kill Osama bin Laden to President Obama’s joy at killing Osama bin Laden the American people have been assured that if one gets rid of those on the top of terrorist groups the end result is no more terrorist groups. This is an interesting theory, but the facts do not support the theory. From day one of the aftermath of 9/11 there have been promises, actions to kill the leader of bad guys since once he is gone, then… This has always been a THEORY, not a policy supported by evidence. Each day drones go out to spot a bad guy, and then blast him to pieces. The only result of this policy is that another ad guy emerges to take his place.

Terrorist groups contain men and women who believe in ideology based upon hate. Yes, they do follow a leader, but if he is gone, another person will step up to the role of leadership. One cannot defeat ideas with bombs. It is time to end the belief that killing one person ends the group. Sorry, no evidence supports this theory!

Are You Still Alive??

I do not know if any other human is still alive in Europe or the United States of America since we now know the appearance of terrorist groups threatens the very existence of our societies. American planes, Saudi Arabian planes and even some from Jordan or Qatar are blasting sites in Syria and Iraq currently under control of ISIS or one of the other dozen terror groups which daily display their power on the Internet. Just to make Americans feel fearful they chop off the heads of some innocent people. It is part of their campaign of terror– only the “terror” they display is on TV, which today has become a more powerful weapon than any machine gun or bomb on a battlefield. Recent surveys reveal that at least one out of three Americans fears they will be killed by “terrorists.” As of this day, after thirteen years of fighting in the Middle East about six thousand Americans lost their lives in the fight against terrorism. However:

1. During the battle of Antietam during the Civil War, over fifteen thousand died in that single fight in three days.

2. During the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, over ten thousand died in the course of a SINGLE WEEK!

3. During the War of 1812, the British set fire to Washington D.C.

No, terror groups are not going to kill you today or tomorrow. You face greater danger from AMERICANS with guns in their hands than from any terrorist. You face greater danger from any AMERICAN sitting in a car, that weapon of mass destruction than from any terrorist!

Modern Americans are the most fearful Americans in history! BOO!

Americans Believe Republicans Fight Terrorism!

Among the most incompetent of President Obama’s failures in leadership is his inability to make clear the origin of groups like ISIS. Perhaps, he might speak about the following:

1. In 2001, al-Qaeda consisted of about 5,000 followers. Today, in the thousands.

2. In 2001, Iran had two powerful enemies on its borders-Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to President Bush, enemies of Iran were destroyed.

3. It was the war in Iraq which created terrorist groups. This was the legacy left to the next president.

4. It was President Bush who arranged for American troops to leave Iraq in 2011.

The Bush blunders created havoc and chaos in the Middle East. NO president could have eradicated what was the Bush legacy unless he simply packed up our troops and left!

REPUBLICANS CREATED THE CURRENT CHAOTIC SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?