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John Passant

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November 2009



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Afghanistan: the death knell for Obama’s presidency?

On Tuesday Barack Obama is set to announce that he will send an extra 34000 American troops to Afghanistan.

This decision will destroy his Presidency.

It will become the symbol of Obama’s failure to implement progressive change; it will be the death knell of Obama’s ideology of change and a recognition of his final embrace of the Bush project.

It will be a lightning rod for the left to desert Obama, disappearing in despair at the prospect of change being possible at all.

The monolith of power that Obama was meant to challenge will now appear too great to defeat.  From torture to health care, from unemployment and poverty to systemic racism, Afghanistan will open the floodgates of the disillusioned.

But there is another reason this decision will destroy his presidency.  The United States cannot win in Afghanistan.

Sending more troops will only boost support for the resistance to the invaders. 

In the 80s the US armed the resistance in Afghanistan to the Russians as part of the battle of the two imperialisms for global supremacy.

The outside support for the Afghan resistance today is much much smaller. It matters little.

The resistance already controls much of Afghanistan. It is extending its reach into non-Pashtun areas.

More US troops will only increase resistance to the invaders.  That resistance is an expression of the legitimate desire of the Afghans to be free of occupation.

As the invaders kill more civilians, as they patrol more villages, they will alienate more Afghans.

Obama will become the overseer of defeat. This will make his re-election in 2012 much more difficult if, as may happen, the resistance has driven the US out by then. 

Even if that does not happen, the quagmire of death that is Afghanistan will make his re-election much more difficult.

By accepting the ideas of empire, Obama will legitimise whoever his republican opponent is, much as the Democrats did in 1968. 

As Vietnam shows, if a mass anti-war movement develops it has the possibility of radicalising itself and society and forcing Obama and his lacklustre Democrats to the left.

There is a nascent anti-war movement. It can take solace from the fact that in 1964 an anti-Vietnam war demonstration in New York attracted only 600 people. 4 years later there were millions on the streets against the war.

The task for the left in the US is to become a pole of attraction for those disillusioned with Obama’s failure to change his underpants let alone Washington.

They can do this through for example linking the money wasted on the war in Afghanistan to the failure to introduce health care for all Americans and building a mass movement around that demand.

The money spent on the US military to subjugate the world could instead be spent on the American people.

The message to Obama seems clear. Get out of Afghanistan now.



Comment from Arjay
Time November 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Obama could well be the last USA president.The USA could go the way of the USSR and divide into separate states.

The next looming collapse will be the US dollar.They should have put all the zombie banks and other institutions into liquidation instead of destroying the real productive economy by manufacturing cyber money.

Govt dept is now $14 trillion.Total USA debt is said to be $58 trillion or $187,000.oo for every person.No one really knows.They cannot afford the interest,let alone repay the principal.

The derivative bubble is said to be worth $150 trillion.We are on the cusp of a collapse that could well dwarf the Great Depression.

If the right decisions were made 2 yrs ago,this could have all been averted.

The US Federal Reserve have orchestrated this whole mess, but now,not even even they are in a situation to benefit from the chaos.

Where are our leaders of substance?

Pingback from Tweets that mention En Passant » Afghanistan: the death knell for Obama’s presidency? —
Time November 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dillon Davie, John Pol. John Pol said: En Passant » Afghanistan: the death knell for Obama's presidency? […]

Comment from peter d. jones
Time November 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Even Zbigniew Brzezinski – who set the Russians up in 1979 – has warned Obama but unfortunately he’s fallen into the old trap of listening to the military, who as always in history, just want more troops to finish the job …..

Pingback from En Passant » Obama’s war in Afghanistan: out-Bushing Bush
Time December 3, 2009 at 9:56 am

[…] Readers might also like to look at Afghanistan: the death knell for Obama’s presidency? […]

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