Swat Valley Cease-Fire, Obama's failed peace bid
RichardKanePA | 01.07.2010
Most when they think of the Swat Valley cease-fire, where modified Sharia Law was accepted by both the Pakistan government and the Obama administration they only remember that both hawks and the US peace movement thought that it wasn’t a good idea.
However it shows a potentially significant difference in how President Obama and President Johnson deals with a war that seems all but descend to escalate until the America people finally say enough. This time due to US’s ever increasingly expensive smart weapons, may actually be after a dollar collapse, with the American people bartering or desperately seeking yens and euros.
Some of the criticism of Obama I consider just smears like calling him Bush-like. However Obama's efforts at change are similar to Johnson's Great Society and Civil Rights efforts, and their attitude toward war considerably overlap.
Instead of one more article preaching change I am going to try something different. Pretending this was back when people still admired President Johnson.
What would have happened if Johnson had open up negotiations with Ho Chi Ming to bring Communism slowly to South Vietnam with guarantees against reprisals against those Vietnamese who got too close to the Americans. Of course the Khmer Rouge Cambodian bloodbath would have never occurred and many in Laos as well would still be alive today, but the people complaining about Johnson allowing communism in South Vietnam would be unaware of that fact. If Johnson just withdrew troops or stopped escalating and Ho Chi Ming took over, even a few public acts of vengeance would get wide coverage as well as heavy coverage of a number of Vietnamese trying to flee South Vietnam.
Johnson negotiating with Ho Chi Ming would have been logical. But news footage of Johnson shaking Ho’s hand, would have led to the accusation that Johnson’s Great Society programs and Civil Rights programs were communistic that would have been a lot more intense than the few racists that were already saying so. Maybe Johnson’s programs would have succeeded anyway and Johnson go down in history as a successful president, but maybe not.
One difference, today, is that Joe Biden is Vice-President. He suggested that instead of escalation, the US hunker down to secure areas in Afghanistan. However the Christmas Day airplane terror attack attempt still would have occurred, with Cheney and other super-hawks screaming, “See I told you that Al Qaeda attacks when one shows weakness” would have been overwhelming. I think Biden’s suggestion was the least acceptable option available.
I take that back, the least acceptable option is for the US to continue to find ever more expensive weapons to fight an endless war with or a war until the economy collapses and Americans start hunting around for yens or euros.
Maybe off the subject and maybe not. When the financial markets of the world froze, due to Bush’s policies, both Europe and the US threw a massive amount of money at it, and especially Europe threw money at preserving jobs. Except Sweden which declared that the Swedish government wasn’t in the business of running a car company, and let Sabb go under. If the US followed what Ron Paul and the libertarians suggested, the perception of the world would have been that the US caused the mess and now wants to rest of the world to pay for it. This would have led to a united economic war against the US. While we are on the subject of economics, US foreign exports are suffering due to workers striking over heath benefit cuts. It’s not allowed for a country to pay a subsidy for export products. Perhaps it would be allowed for the US to only pay health benefits to workers in export related field. Perhaps only giving it to them would be considered a violation of international trade laws. The government paying the health benefit to only working Americans would seem unfair whether or not it would be considered a violation of international trade laws. The worse spin on this whole subject is the belief that there is a heath care fiasco that is just a plot of the rich to fleece the middle class and the poor and enslave people to buy health care with their own money whether they want to or not. Conspiracy theory is the second largest threat to American aside for bankruptcy. Other than systematically rewarding incompetency, there was nothing Dick Cheney could have done to make 9/11 happen, that wouldn’t risk someone, even some official’s wife, blowing the whistle. To expand conspiracy theory into one big conspiracy that engulfs President Obama is bad news.
Back to the beginning of this essay. My guess is that the US participating in modified Sharia Law coming to Afghanistan and the Talban, as part of the peace agreement symbolically or in some significant way renouncing al Qaeda is the best US policy for the future. Obama already has a policy of befriending any local fighter that will denounce al Qaeda and the Taliban. Why not instead try to befriend the entire Taliban, by offering to get out if the Taliban would make it clear that Bin Laden and his top lieutenants aren’t welcome to return from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
Those who instead think that the US should just get out of Afghanistan, should spend a lot of time explaining that a few Afghans shouting betrayal and a little confusion and chaos in Kabul is far preferable to Americans eventually or perhaps much sooner desperately hunting to euros or yens to buy things with as Afghanistan continues in its on way, forgotten by the American people.
Sadly the fact that Obama is treating disabled veterans right with amazing ever more expensive and more seemingly real artificial limbs to replace the original ones, as new limbs keep getting blown off is adding to the possibility of dollar collapse. But Obama is looking around for the best policy not with any precluding that the most force is best policy. If we cheer less than perfect alternatives, we might make a difference. Obviously hawks and neocons are doing what they can to push Obama toward less then perfect policies but as things now stands the peace movement is in no way pushing him in a better direction.
Be sure to read “Obama an incredible contradiction”,
by Richard Kane