Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Will Afghanistan Host the Next Hundred Years' War?

With NATO and the United States committed to unlimited engagement in Afghanistan, some of us are wondering if and when this war will ever end.
The war being waged by the United States and the Western military alliance it controls, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is well into its tenth year and is already the longest war in the history of the U.S., Afghanistan and NATO alike. In fact it is NATO's first ground war and its first armed conflict in Asia.It has now graduated into a broader war, having engulfed neighboring Pakistan with a population of 170 million and a nuclear arsenal.

The war launched on the whim of a Clash of Civilizations; has escalated into the longest war in the history of the United States and Canada.

John Farmer from the New Jersey Star-Ledger says that History is repeating itself in Afghanistan. He's absolutely right. It's as though we've learned nothing.
The maddening thing about Afghanistan is that losing is not an acceptable option, but winning doesn’t seem a real possibility. It may be a new American tragedy, but it’s a very old one as history records these things.

All of this dates back to “The Great Game,” as history has dubbed it, the arrogant efforts of imperial powers dating back 200 years to dominate South Asia and what is now Afghanistan, a keystone to the region. Now, we’re caught in that cockpit.
A war that was lost from the day we first landed troops.

Stageleft says that it has turned into a circus, and Don Cherry's recent visit validates this notion. A great place for photo-ops, but I wouldn't want to live there. Because there is a war we don't see. One taking place behind those photo-ops. That's the war we need to stop.

This is not a partisan issue, but a human one, since it appears that this could very well outlast any government.

However, it is my civic duty to protest war and that's what I'm doing. Not as a Liberal but as a Canadian.

And it's my civic duty to protest so much money going to feed this war, when it could be better spent feeding our nation.

But on that note, Canada has won another award.

Yes we have won the American Foreign Policy in Focus, 'Lemon Award' for our purchase of fighter jets that are the world's Edsels.
The Golden Lemon Award goes to the Conservative government of Canada for shelling out $8.5 billion to buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters. According to Defense Minister Peter MacKay, “This multi-role stealth fighter will help the Canadian forces defend the sovereignty of Canadian airspace.” Exactly whom that airspace is being defended from is not clear.

The contract also includes a $6.6 billion maintenance agreement, which is a good thing because the F-35 has a number of “problems.” For instance, its engine shoots out sparks, and no one can figure out why. It is generally thought a bad idea for an engine to do that. There are several different types of F-35, and the vertical lift version of the aircraft doesn’t work very well. It seems the fan that cools the engine, doesn’t, and the panels that open for the vertical thrust, don’t. Also switches, valves and power systems are considered “unreliable.”

The F-35 is looking more and more like the old F-105 Thunderchief, a fighter-bomber used extensively at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Pilots nicknamed it the “Thud” (the sound the plane made when it hit the ground after failing to clear a runway, a rather common occurrence). One pilot said it had all the agility of a “flying brick,” thus its other nickname: the “lead sled.”
I'm so proud.

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