ME war fallout continues
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:58:25 AM EST
Another month, another surge of war in the ME for the US, with NATO forces committing an atrocity of war, kiling 20-30 civilians in a bombing. And this:
The airstrike took place in an area under Dutch military control and if Dutch forces were involved in the incident it could have serious political repercussions in the Netherlands, where the government collapsed Saturday over an effort to extend the stay of their 2,000 troops in Afghanistan.
It's not too surprising that the Dutch have had enough of being the lead NATO force in Afghanistan. The prime minister, of the center-right Christian Democratic Alliance, had been a hawkish partner to the US in executing a military solution for Afghanistan. The Dutch Labour Party, which was the second largest party in the governing coilition, pulled out on Saturday.
The Dutch will be out of Afghanistan by August, according to the PM. A new election will be held in May. It's entirely possible that the long-standing acquiescence to war by Labour (which is now 4th or 5th in the Dutch polls) will give rise "to a rabble-rousing Geert Wilders who is now running a close second in the polls with his ragbag of populist messages and Islamophobic slogans."
John Kampfner has an article that sums up the fairly pathetic attitude among the center-left. Why is our anti-war outrage muted at this Afghan folly? Even the doubters seem to be giving this military intervention one final chance, but there is little confidence it will succeed.
At CPAC, over the weekend, Ron Paul defeated Mitt Romney (who has won the past three years) easily in the straw poll, after a speech "that stressed anti-interventionist foreign policy as the key to reining in big government on the home front."
A rebellion among conservatives has long been brewing, and the CPAC convention represents the first skirmish in a civil war on the right, a war that is essentially over foreign policy.
Though the anti-war attitude is on both sides of the political spectrum in the US, its been pretty much muted out to date. The neocons & Palin have shut down the debate down on the right, and Obama/Clinton support of the war has shut it down on the left. But that's not going to last. Its with the support of the Afghanistan surge, that Democrats fortunes for '10 shifted to negative. A whole lot of anti-war progressives, especially among the youth, have turned out the Democrats as a result.
And, the 'Libertarian Democrats' have largely left the house, as a result of the bailouts and the continued ME surges of war under Democratic power. Here in the US, we have our own Geert Wilders, in the form of Glenn Beck. Recall the flawed strategy to make Rush Limbaugh the face of the Republican Party? Off by a decade.
Basically, the folly of the Democrats has been to take the reigns of the Bush wars, and own them by continuing the militarization of the ME, instead of fulfilling the campaign pledge to pull-out and end the wars; this has hand and will continue to have electorate fallout, until it is reversed. That might actually begin soon.
Originally, Obama pledged to be out of Iraq by 12 months. He revised that last year to mean 18 months, meaning August 2010. And after three surges in Afghanistan to raise the troop level to over 100,000, he has pledged a July 2011 deadline.
Last week, Biden said "You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer," which echo'ed Obama from last month's State of the Union address: "I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president." The neocons, predictably, are already flipping out at the prospect of pulling out of Iraq. It would be a huge success, but its far from certain.
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