Just wondering aloud here. Some of our government's policies on the surface make absolutely no sense. I know several right wing war mongers that will defend the invasion of Iraq, but even they can't understand why we're fighting in Afghanistan. I've wondered as well.
But it's not just Afghanistan. Consider the hostility and punishment directed towards Cuba even with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The hostility has only been intensified since the fall.
Everybody knows that the war on drugs has been a complete failure. A Rand report study compared the cost effectiveness of 4 methods of dealing with drugs. These were 1-source country control, 2-prohibition, 3-domestic enforcement, and 4-prevention and treatment. Prevention and treatment was FAR superior (which is also proved by the recent decriminalization in Portugal, see here), yet the vast bulk of the money in fact is spent on the very least effective technique; source country control (i.e. bombing Colombian peasants). More people die from tobacco than cocaine, yet we're not bombing North Carolina. What's going on here? It makes no sense. Or does it?
It only makes no sense if we assume that the stated reasons are the real reasons. What if the war on Colombia is more about clearing the land for agri-business or mining interests in this resource rich country? What if the aggression against Cuba was never about fear of the Soviets, but once again about installing governments that do as they are told by Washington, and the very act of defiance had to be squelched to prevent others from following a similar course? And the best way to overthrow a government you disapprove of is to portray them as a threat to the American people. Though that's no longer tenable the aggression towards Cuba remains and is kind of not discussed.
Tomorrow Obama will let us know if he'll be sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Michael Moore pleads with him not to. I wish Michael all the success in the world. And it might work. Politicians know more and more these days that popular resistance is a big problem for their imperial ambitions. But why would Obama even consider expanding a purposeless war? Well, maybe it isn't purposeless. Maybe there's a lot of money to be made piping oil out of the Caspian Sea, through Afghanistan and Pakistan and out to the Indian Ocean (bypassing Iran). Is that what's going on? I really don't know. But when our wars appear to make no sense I tend to think that there must be a way in which they do make sense. Obama has pressure from some people that stand to make a lot of money, and he must balance that against popular resistance. Tomorrow we will find out which way he goes.