Friday, July 30, 2010

Media Matters: Media Lets Wikileaks Spill Out of It's Field of Vision

When the 90,000 or so graphic field reports and other previously classified and secret documents eminating from NATO from Afghanistan became public on Sunday following their release that day by The New York Times, Der Spiegel and The Guardian of London, on Monday the mainstream media trumpeted their arrival as huge news. And certainly they are!
Wikileaks and the individuals within the uniformed or non-uniformed ranks either within NATO, the U.S. military, or the intelligence community who were involved in obtaining and releasing this vital information took risks and deserve kudos. The link for Wikileaks is and pouring over these documents is educational to say the least, and obligatory for anyone with a stake in ending war, and we found can actually be addictive.
President Barak Obama is a well motivated man to be respected and admired by those of us on the left. He's done massive good in short order; from TARP, to Strategic Arms Reductions with Russia, to Health Care and Unemployment extension, to the overhaul of our Nuclear Weapons strategy! However as the ever increasing NATO, American and Afghan casualty figures emerge for the month of July this weekend, we must at least begin to finally come face-to-face with the folly that is General McChrystal/Petraeus'[are they really different people?] and Defense Secretary Robert Gates' counterinsurgency "strategy."
The Wikileaked documents demonstrate, more so than the duplicity of the Pakistanis, the absurdity of the risks our teens are taking at these remote forsaken outposts we are sticking them into. The desperation of the field reporters is often dramatic, and sickening. Again, I say, must reading. Far from treason, Mr. President, the individuals involved here, have taken huge risks for the cause of peace.
The Teflon Defense Secretary has been prosecuting this undeclared "war" for 3 and a half years with notable incompetence. General Petraus' "surge" in Iraq worked[I submit, temporarily] not because of increased troop strength or military might or building infrastructure, but because the opposition leaders--especially in Baghdad itself--were bought off with hard currency and the oppositon groups themselves effectively beheaded and disorganized. The principle is totally non-applicable in Afghanistan. The Petraus strategy that's worked in Baghdad is bribery, and is temporary, unfortunately. Both he and McChrystal, neither of whom I believe have any respect for civilian control of the military, sold this defective set of goods to the Teflon Defense Secretary Robert Gates--who can do no wrong, even as far as most major liberal media outlets are concerned. And then Gates, McChrystal, Petraus and the Joint Chiefs sold it to President Obama.
Under Gates we've had the last three and a half years of the soon-to-be 9-years war, with only miserable military failure and death to show for it! The obscenity that was the unhealthy and inhumane conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital! And now the fiasco of hundreds, maybe thousands of lost remains at Arlington National Cemetary! I ask my fellow lefties: Why are we keeping hands off the Teflon Defense Secretary???
The Wikileaked documents provide fodder and rationale for finally ending the Afghan nonsense and doing so in a way that the right cannot avoid dealing with the emotional drama of our teenagers in uniform being so much at risk. Mr. President, please go to yourself and hear the terror in the writings in real time of your field commanders as they write their field reports in desperation. And please dismiss Secretary Gates promptly. I recommend Senator John Kerry as a more than suitable replacement. Let's cut that $700 billion Defense Department budget down to size, and eliminate this overdrawn gang violence we continue to engage in within the sovereign borders of Afghanistan.

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