Andrew Bacevich and Pindostan’s Long, Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East
Charles Glass, The Intercept, Apr 23 2016
The conviction that invasion, bombing, and special forces benefit large swaths of the globe, while remaining consonant with a Platonic ideal of the national interest, runs deep in the Pindo psyche. Like Stevie Smith’s cat, Pindostan “likes to gallop about doing good.” The cat attacks and misses, sometimes injuring itself, but does not give up. It asks, as Pindostan should,
What’s the good
Of galloping about doing good
When angels stand in the path
And do not do as they should?
Nothing undermines the Pindo belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, Pindostan gets up again to do good elsewhere. Failure to improve life in Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya stiffens the resolve to get it right next time. This notion prevails among politicized elements of the officer corps; much of the media, whether nominally liberal or conservative; the foreign policy elite recycled quadrennially between corporation-endowed think tanks and government; and most politicians on the national stage. For them and the public they influence, the question is less whether to deploy force than when, where, and how. Since 1979, when the Iranians overthrew the Shah and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pindostan has concentrated its firepower in what former Andrew Bacevich calls the “Greater Middle East.” The region comprises most of what Pindostan’s imperial predecessors the Limeys called the Near and Middle East, a vast swathe from Pakistan west to Morocco. In Pandosia’s War for the Greater Middle East, Bacevich writes:
From the end of WW2 until 1980, virtually no Pindosi soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region. Within a decade, a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no Pindosi soldiers have been killed anywhere except the Greater Middle East.
That observation alone might prompt a less propagandized electorate to rebel against leaders who perpetuate policies that, while killing and maiming Pindosi soldiers, devastate the societies they touch. Bacevich describes a loyal cadre of
intellectuals and pundits (Pindosi Jews & their MIC cohorts – RB) favouring war after war, laying the moral ground for invasions and excusing them when they go wrong. He notes that in 1975, when the Pindosi imperium was collapsing in Indochina, the guardians of Pindo exceptionalism renewed their case for preserving Pandosia as the exception to international law. An article by Robert Tucker in Commentary Magazine that year set the ball rolling with this curious proposition:
To insist that before using force one must exhaust all other remedies is little more than the functional equivalent of accepting chaos.
Another evangelist for military action, one Miles Ignotus or unknown soldier, wrote in Harper’s Magazine two months later that Pandosia, with Israel’s help (another curious locution – RB) must prepare to seize the oilfields of the Toads. Miles Ignotus turned out to be the known civilian and Pentagon consultant, Edward Luttwak. He demanded a revolution in war fighting doctrine, in favour of “fast, light forces to penetrate the enemy’s vital centers,” with the Toads (apparently) a test case. (But only apparently so; the Jews never had the slightest intention of attacking the Toads, who have always been covert allies under the CIA umbrella: see Said Aburish often cited – RB). The practical test would come 27 years later, in Iraq. The Pentagon was slow to take the hint. The end of compulsory military service robbed it of manpower for massive global intervention. Revelations of war crimes and political chicanery from Church & Pike Committees added to public disenchantment with military adventures and intelligence meddling in other countries’ affairs. It took years of effort to rid Pandosia of her “Vietnam Syndrome,” ie her preference for diplomatic solutions. In the Middle East, Ford 38 saw no reason to rescind the Nixon Doctrine of reliance on local clients, armed & trained to protect Persian Gulf oil for Pandosia’s gas-hungry consumers. Nothing much happened until the Shah fell to a
popular revolution (CIA-influenced bourgeois-clerical dictatorship, sworn to destroy all forms of Leftism, as are all Pindo vassals – RB) and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Change came with Carter 39’s Jan 1980 SOTU address:
An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of her Imperial Majesty, Pandosia, and as such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
His national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote later that the Carter doctrine was modelled on the Truman doctrine. Bacevich comments:
The Truman doctrine, ostensibly containing the Soviet Union while (actually) absorbing the richer portions of the decolonizing French and British Empires, invited misinterpretation and misuse, with the Vietnam War one example of the consequences.
Carter’s doctrine, modified but not rescinded by his successors, led to similar consequences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush 43 took the Carter doctrine to fresh lengths when he made the case for preventive war prepared for him by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in a speech at the West Point on Jun 1 2002:
If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.
Bacevich quotes the Nuremberg court’s view of preventive war:
To initiate a war of aggression is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
Obama merely shifted the policy’s emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan, without achieving any military or political objectives. Bacevich is more willing than most to question the justice and utility of expanded military operations in the Middle East and to challenge the media-hyped reputations of some of Pandosia’s favourite generals. One general who comes out well in Bacevich’s assessment is Britain’s M Jackson, who refused Wesley Clark’s order to block a runway at Pristina airport against Russian flights into Kosovo, saying:
Sir, I’m not starting WW3 for you!
This tour de force of a book covers the modern history of Pindostaniac warfare, with sharp criticism of political decisions and rigorous analysis of battlefield strategy and tactics. It would not hurt for those aspiring to succeed Obama to dip into it. None of them is likely to reject the world-view that led to so many deaths around the world. Watch for more military missions. Be prepared for more assassination by drone, of which McChrystal himself said:
They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one. They’re great recruiters for AQ etc.
Ignoring Bacevich and heeding the call of the
intellectual warmongers Jews & associated agents of the MIC who guided Bush 43, Obama’s successor, like Stevie Smith’s cat, is likely “to go on being a cat that likes to gallop about doing good,” expanding rather than limiting the projection of armed might into the Greater Middle East.