Thursday, September 02, 2010

Samonella Free

Eggs from my cousin's chickens.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Rules

Andrew Bacevich also thinks paying attention to others is a good idea.
In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America’s presumed strong suit -- since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own. In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism -- a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. (my emphasis)

Much more in the full article which presents the main ideas in Bacevich's new book, Washington Rules.


A Policy America Could Live With

Afghanistan for the Afghanis.
What Karzai wants, rather, is for Western forces to take a less active role in engaging with residents, leaving such interaction to Afghan army, police and government officials.

"We want, as part of that review, for the international forces to gradually take distance from the daily life of people," Daudzai said. "Because people are getting tired with the way they are behaved with."

Daudzai described a recent evening when he headed home from the palace only to be caught in a time-consuming traffic check by international troops.

"That's not their job. . . . That's the Afghan police job," he said. "Or in the rush hour, going into the market with these heavy cars, not letting anybody overtake them. Or on the main highways, they go on the wrong day. Like, for instance, on New Year's Day, everybody goes out for a picnic, then you see a huge NATO convoy comes on that day and blocks the whole road.

"This is what we mean by taking distance from their lives."

The US would do well to listen to the Afghanis and stand down. We certainly don't need to occupy Afghanistan to protect America from terrorist attack. The only "terrorist threat" to America from Afghanistan is what it was on 9-11: a bunch of narrow-minded and absolutist believers are willing to kill and injure others to further their cause and might train and organize in Afghanistan.

A reasonably competent national security team should be able to identify and disrupt planned attacks without resorting to military occupation. You know, like what Bush's team did NOT do with the early warnings of airplanes as fire bombs on 9-11.

Leaving Afghanistan to local control is likely to be pretty ugly, though. But I don't see that more years of war and occupation added to the past nine years of war and occupation is any less ugly.