One of the first books I can recall having an incredibly profound effect on my political mind is "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," the true tale of a man paid good money to ensnare poor countries in a web of corporate and militant mayhem, impossible to pay or politicize their way out of. One line in particular struck me and has never left me as I watch from afar our continued decent into a hellish snake pit of no return in the Middle East. John Perkins was working in the South Pacific at the time and went out to dinner with a few students and professors. This was at the height of the Cold War, and as they sat and sipped cocktails and enjoyed flavorful fare, one of the students made a prophetically morbid comment. The student said that victory against Russia was no problem, if in fact victory when not at war is possible. The student said that since it was government fighting government, Russia would eventually fold. However, in the future, the US would scratch the itch and venture into the Middle East and never be able to find the way out again. Why? Because you will be fighting a religion: ideals, beliefs dug thousands of years deep into a culture unfazed by Western influence. There will be no victory for their solid religious resolution will outlive your troops, by ten fold. And now here we are.
According to new reports, the insurgency in Afghanistan is gaining new strength, attacks being 59% higher than this time last year. Simultaneously, or the catalyst for all this being that in just the month of September, the U.S. Air Force has dropped 700 bombs throughout Afghanistan. Since July, they have dropped more than 2,000 bombs.
As of now, for every suspected militant killed by air strike, 25 civilians are killed. Apart from the UN and humans rights organizations wagging their fingers at us, Afghanis are less than happy with the above figures. Ummm...do you fucking blame them?!
According to a doctor working in the northern regions of Afghanistan, a record number of people have been coming in begging for sedatives, just to get a night's sleep, which very possibly could be their last. When you can't sleep, you see your neighbours, friends and family evaporate in ear piercing balls of fire, you do one of two things, run and hide or stay and fight. That's just plain old evolution for you: fight or flight. Flight being a rather ironic mention considering our favorite method of "dispatching insurgents," drone sorties.
A drone sortie consists of a single unmanned remotely controlled spy plane carrying up to four precision guided missiles. Drone sorties are characteristically carried out in pairs or sometimes even four to six participating in these "licensed to kill" missions.
So far in 2010, The Pentagon has authorized 21,000 of these unmanned drone sorties in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Now, if after reading all these figures, you haven't run through a wall and still have brain power enough to think, begin to think of the amount of devastation these missions cause on a country roughly the size of England, about 20,000 square miles smaller than Texas.
I find it hard to believe there are enough people still alive to man an insurgency. And if so, I'm amazed that we still have any troops alive on the ground. This is palpably absurd! What the fuck are we doing over there? Do you or anyone else even know why the hell we're still over there? Hasn't this just turned into Vietnam to the 100th power? Bin Laden is of no concern to us. The same people authorizing these missions had Bin Laden on their pay roll, even post 9/11. That's right - good 'ole Osama was a CIA employee. How's that for honesty and justice kids? How's that for Uncle Sam more or less cocking a loaded pistol and blowing away thousands of our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, friends - our own fucking people in the name of what - corporate payback, catastrophe cover-up?
No matter what the reason, this is where we are. And we're not gonna make it out like we did in Vietnam - clumsily grab our choppers and gangrenous limbs and fly back home claiming it was a draw. Nope. We're up against something far greater than the countries we invaded, far more dangerous than the bombs we drop. An idea can not die. A religion can not be bombed into submission. The people under the influence of a faith can not be conquered. Yet, because our education system shuns history as glorifying the past, we sit there with protractors and mathematically perfect killing machines while ignoring common sense, historical proof and sound judgement.
As our bombs continue to fall, anger, resentment and militant fervor grow under the watchful eye of a deep rooted faith and hard-as-nails ideologies rather effortlessly painting us as the evil in their midst.
God may bless the US, but I don't think even the big guy upstairs can save us from our own series of colossal fuck ups. I'll hate to say I told you so.