Saturday, December 08, 2012

Coda for a War

 Eleven years on, the violence continues
“The ground shook and everyone started to run,” said Abdul Wali, 25, a hardware shop owner whose gaping glass storefront was still covered with a blanket Monday. “I don’t know who would do such a terrible thing, but we have no security at all. The police beat people, the Americans raid our villages and still we are not safe. We would be happy if they all left tomorrow.”
A great deal of happiness would ensue if Mr. Wali gets his wish.  I don't doubt that some difficulty will occur along the way to that happiness but I know that the likelihood of Afghans coming to terms with one another will be enhanced with Americans out of the equation.  I also don't doubt that after 2014 Americans will continue to be in Afghanistan.  They won't be the bigfoot highly visible foreign occupiers, though.  After 2014 Americans will morph from foreign occupiers to a big money foreign interest.  I hope Mr. Wali's village finds safety in the changes to come.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 07, 2012


Not only did Washingtonians legalize same sex marriage and marijuana on November 6, we also had the highest voter turnout in the nation.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Oh, Wow...

Marijuana is legal in Washington State.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 02, 2012

More Than Just Intelligence

 A Washington Post article on CIA and military intelligence reorganization included some language that made me me pause.  Early on, is this statement (my emphasis in quotes),
 Through its drone program, the CIA now accounts for a majority of lethal U.S. operations outside the Afghan war zone.
Lethal operations?  A sterile term for what is assumed to be a routine function of government.  It all sounds so normal.

Later on,
The plan reflects the Obama administration’s affinity for espionage and covert action over conventional force. It also fits in with the administration’s efforts to codify its counterterrorism policies for a sustained conflict and assemble the pieces abroad necessary to carry it out.
 DIA needed to be repositioned as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan give way to what many expect will be a period of sporadic conflicts and simmering threats requiring close-in intelligence work.
The bad news is that conflict is in the nation's future.  The good news (I think) is that the Obama administration is looking for more nuanced and cost-effective ways to deal with the potential threats that might arise from those conflicts.  Still, all this intelligence activity addresses (maybe) symptoms, not causes, so the conflict is likely to last.

Lethal.  Sustained.  Conflict.

Our choice.