Monday, December 27, 2010

Home for Christmas

I’m taking a break from the column to enjoy the holidays, making up for all the ones I spent at sea.   Next week we’ll explore a host of war mongrel shenanigans, including an AP report on UN kibitzer to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura’s revalation who says that the Taliban know they can’t win, they just won’t admit it publicly.  AP doesn’t mention when or where the Taliban admitted it to de Mistura, nor do they speculate on whether de Mistura knows that King David Petraeus has admitted that we can’t win. 

Ho, ho, ho, huh?

I'd like to think that someday, somehow, we'll be able to bring a lot of our service persons home for the holidays and all the other days too  by putting a stop to the insanity of the Pentarchy's Long War.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Send in the Strategy Clowns

by Jeff Huber

Perhaps nothing signals how bogus the Obama administration’s latest review of its own strategy in the Bananastans more than the Dec. 14 announcement by White House spokesmodel Robert Gibbs that there will be no change to the strategy. 

The administration bull feather merchants said the same thing when Obama transferred “Bananas” Stan McChrystal to Civilian Command for shooting off his mouth (and other body parts) in front of journalist Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone about what colossal buffoons National Security Adviser James Jones and special Bananastans envoy Richard Holbrooke and the rest of Obama’s security team were (and, with the exception of the recently deceased Holbrooke, still are).  McChrystal’s insubordination was unacceptable, we were told, but the strategy he was using was perfectly sound.  

As wrong as McChrystal was about everything else, he was dead on about Jones and the rest of Obama’s strategy clowns.  They are colossal buffoons, and the strategy they keep telling us doesn’t need fixing is the biggest butt-trumpet of a war plan since the Maginot Line, the massive border defense system that took the French two decades to build and Hitler’s army two days to defeat.

The Bananastan strategy became official when it hit the war-cozy New York Times in March 2009.   The psychedelic “White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group’s Report on U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan” was a five-star hallucination from beginning to end.  “The United States has a vital national security interest” in the Bananastans, it told us.  Why?  Because, “In Pakistan, al Qaeda and other groups of jihadist terrorists are planning new terror attacks” against the U.S. homeland as well as the homelands of some of our allies who we still pretend to care about.

There’s nothing like basing strategy and policy on a delusional premise.  Just look at how well that worked for us in Iraq.  We have no idea if al Qaeda or any other terrorists are planning new terror attacks on anybody, much less whether they’re doing so in Pakistan.  Our intelligence in that part of the world, by which I mean all of Asia and Africa, is like a chain letter racket: its inherent design dictates that whoever is at the far end of the chain gets crushed against a cliff and flung down a bottomless chasm. 

Throughout our misanthropic misadventures in the War on Ism, we’ve stepped from one Pungi trap to the next to the next because our intelligence is based on bribing or beating whatever locals we can get our hooks on into telling us what we want to hear.  Want to get rid of your worst enemies?  Tell the Americans they’re al Qaeda number two men.   But don't tell them right away, I mean, don’t take the first wad of bills they flash at you.  Hold out for at least twice the original offer. 

This business of King David Petraeus negotiating with a “high-ranking Taliban leader” who turned out to be an imposter was the stuff of a Doonesbury episode (I’m pretty insured it inspired the story line where The Red Rascal aka Jeff Redfern gives a $5 million bribe to someone who claims to be Karzai but isn’t).  That our intelligence is bad enough to let a four-star theater commander get suckered into dropping his pants in front of a glory hole like that shocks even me, who’s never been remotely impressed by the caliber of U.S. intelligence, military or otherwise.  I’m convinced at this point that our intelligence agencies are training their operatives with the same two-step method the Navy used in my day to produce qualified hospital corpsmen: watch a qualified instructor perform a procedure once and you’re qualified to perform it unsupervised.  Then you perform the procedure unsupervised once and you’re a qualified instructor. 

Our best intelligence estimates guess there are maybe a few hundred al Qaeda in the Bananastans, and that they’re probably hiding in some cave town in the Pakistan’s SWAT valley.  They’ve apparently been hiding out there for close to a decade.  Pentarchy stenographers Mark Mazetti and Dexter Filkins of the Times report that unnamed “senior military commanders” are “pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas.”  Oh, boy.  How many new evildoers will they create when they slaughter everybody except the bad guys they’re supposed to be going after?

Gen. David Petraeus
The “progress” that Obama’s Bozos boast of in the latest strategy review refers to the scorched earth operation Petraeus is running in Kandahar, where he and his troops are laying villages to waste like James Earl Jones and his hooligans did in the original Conan the Barbarian.  Remember the look on little Conan’s face when Jones lopped off his mommy’s head with his daddy’s sword?  I’ll be back!  The beauty part is that Petraeus can’t justify reenacting Sherman’s March to the Sea in Kandahar as being necessary to defeat al Qaeda because what little there is of al Qaeda isn’t in bloody Kandahar.  But Petraeus quit having to justify anything he does a long time ago. 

Given how successful Obama’s national security Kadiddlehoppers think Petraeus’s grand mal massacre in Kandahar is going, the next thing we should try is carpet-bombing every square inch of Afghanistan and Pakistan for a solid month or two.  We might accidentally kill all the bad guys along with the entire civilian population, and then we’d have a tough time cooking up an excuse for occupying that part of the world for a generation or two.  But, that’s how wars go; once in a while you have to take risks.

One of several problems in our present national security environment is that the people who draw up strategies are professional war wonks.  War wonks typically have no military experience or any other background that makes them any more qualified to run a war than a Navy hospital corpsman is.  And war wonks come in two flavors: they’re either the neocon schlemiels who led us into our national pratfall or they’re Democrats who are so afraid of losing their jobs to the neocons that they do whatever they think the neocons would do if the neocons already had their jobs.   Whatever lesser evil we stick in the Oval Office will always be surrounded by advisers for whom inextricable wars equal job security.

So stick that in your peace pipe and blow bubbles with it. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is the author of the critically applauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a satire on America’s rise to global dominance.       

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wiki bin Laden

Julian Assange, founder and commander in chief of Wikileaks, appears to have replaced Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the rest of the world’s wily evildoers as the number-one threat to U.S. security.  In fact, we seem to be at war with Assange and his network of allies, a network that seems to be growing faster than the roster terrorists we’re creating with our ham-fisted war on terrorism.

According to the Pentarchy-pliant New York Times, we’re witnessing the start of a “cyberwar” against “hundreds of Internet activists” who have “mounted retaliatory attacks” on Web sites that they deem “hostile” to Wikileaks and Assange.  From the sound and fury the war mongrels are channeling through the media, you’d think Assange had supplanted Osama bin Laden as American’s most-wanted boogey man.  

What's all this, then?
The national security noise generators would have us think that the only real difference between Assange and bin Laden is that we have Assange in custody.  Well, our British lapdogs have him in custody.  If you could call Assange’s arrest a capture.  He turned himself in.  But you can safely bet a shiny decimal tuppence that half of Scotland Yard put itself in for the George Cross the second Assange walked through the front door of his local bobby shop.  

According to the U.K.’s Guardian, British District Judge Howard Riddle refused Assange bail on the grounds that he “might fail to surrender.”  Um.  Riddle me this, Judge: why are you worried Assange won’t surrender when he just, like, did?

Assange’s incarceration supposedly has nothing to do with Wikileaks’ recent dump of embarrassing State Department documents.  It’s all about a Swedish warrant for his arrest on charges by two women of sexual misconduct.  One might wonder how any sort of sexual behavior could be viewed as “misconduct” in Sweden, but fortunately we have Swedish attorney Gemma Lindfield, an “experienced extradition practicioner,” to explain things for us. 

The first complainant, “Miss A,” accused Assange of “using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.”  I hadn’t heard that Sweden outlawed the missionary position, but I guess the Swedes can’t have it getting out that anyone in their country is having plain old vanilla envelope sex. 

Defending their integrity

Miss A also alleges that Assange "sexually molested" her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.  How often does something like that happen in Sweden?  Just about never, huh?  Wouldn’t that be your guess?  And I bet when something like that does happen, the Swedish Bikini Team threatens to go on strike until the Swedish justice system sets things right. 

Miss A also charged that Assange “deliberately molested” her "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity."  Jesus in a hoop skirt.  This is starting to remind me of a joke I heard in the Navy about the blind Buddhist monk the Siamese geishas.  It sounds to me like Miss A got her watertight integrity violated and she’s mad as a herd of homeless hornets because she’d been saving it for Mr. Right.  

The other complainant, “Miss W,” charges that Assange had sex with her without wearing a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.  Hm.  Now, if she was asleep, how did she know…  And how did Assange get into her Stockholm home while she was asleep if he didn’t have his own…

And hey, do you suppose Miss A and Miss W filed charges against Assange before or after they found out about each other? 

Oh, never mind.  I shouldn’t make light of this.  Judge Riddle says these are “serious allegations.”  I guess he’s never heard of this kind of behavior happening in England.  It’s probably never come before his bench in all the time he’s been sleeping on it. 

Assange told City of Westminster magistrates that he intends to fight extradition to Sweden, setting the stage for what promises to be a long legal battle.  Maybe long enough for some Pentagon or Justice Department legal beagle to cook up something of substance to charge Assange with.  Every high-profile war mongrel in Congress and the executive branch is howling about how Assange’s release of thousands of “classified” documents “jeopardizes U.S. national security.”  But the truth is that nothing Assange has revealed or ever will reveal could violate the integrity of our national security the way our government’s senior leadership has ravaged it.

Assange didn’t cook the intelligence on Iraq like Big Dick Cheney and His Beltway Destroyers did, and Assange didn’t funnel pro-war propaganda into the public ear the way the New York Times did, and he didn’t stand in front of the United Nations with cameras rolling and present “hard” intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that he knew damn good and well was used dog lunch the way Colin Powell did.  Assange didn’t sucker us into going along with extending the war in Iraq the way David Petraeus did, and he didn’t roll over like a slut-puppy for his generals and escalate the unwinnable war in Afghanistan the way Barack Obama did.

The people putting our troops in danger are the same yahooligans who are crying a river of crocodile tears because they look like fools in the Wiki-leaked documents Assange released.  Our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (aka Suzy Strident) says Assange’s leaks are an “attack of U.S. foreign policy interests,” yet few people in the history of our country have done more harm to our foreign policy interests than Hillary.  Hillary makes Condi Rice seem marginally competent in comparison, and to make Condi seem even that good, man, you have to totally suck to the point where it’s unfathomable how bad you totally suck.  
Twenty years ago, or maybe even ten, whoever is feeding Assange his material would have taken it to the New York Times or the Washington Post.  Alas, those outlets, as well as the vast majority of the rest of our “pink” press, have taken a nose dive on the job and they’ll never get back up.

So here’s to the information warriors who have engaged in cyber-combat with Amazon and the credit card companies and the rest of the deep-pocketed slobs who have used their clout to try to stifle the closest remaining thing we have to a fourth estate.

What a shame that the only journalistic watchdog America has left resides in stodgy old sexually repressed Sweden.  


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is the author of the critically applauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a satire on America’s rise to global dominance.     

Monday, December 06, 2010

Pots and Kettles and Wikileak

by Jeff Huber

Among the gourmet morsels contained in the latest Wikileaks release was a cable written a year ago by Secretary of Screech Hillary Clinton.  In the cable, Hillary accused several Arab states, most of them our supposed allies, of funding terrorism.  She says citizens of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the primary funders of al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and other outfits that her hapless State Department classifies as “foreign terrorist organizations.”  The Mossad, Israel’s assignation bureau, isn’t on that list for some reason.  Neither are the CIA or Blackwater or the Ku Klux Klan, but they’re all based in America so they don’t qualify as foreign terrorist groups.  
Go ahead, pull it!

Suzy Strident is especially cross with the Saudis because terror groups raise “millions” of dollars each year from Saudi sources.  Christ in a CARE package, Hillary.  You’re dragging a cheese grater across the faces of the closest things we have to friends in that part of the world over millions of dollars?  What, you’re like Dr. Evil and just woke up from three decades in cryogenic preservation and you think millions of dollars are worth getting worked up about?   

Hillary says in her little cable that Saudi contributors are the main source of terror funding around the world.  Mother of Moe, Curly and Shemp, lady, how many billions do you suppose have made their way from collection plates in Boston to the Irish Republican Army’s war chest over the past couple of centuries?  

I wish only to speak with The Red Rascal.
But the money private American citizens blow to arm Irish hoodlums isn’t a shot of Jamesons in the ocean compared to the tens of billions, quite possibly hundreds of billions that the United States government steam shovels into the hands of the same band of Muslim merry men that Hillary says gets all its money from the Saudis and a few other Arab states. 

There’s no telling exactly how much of every dollar we piddle into Afghanistan and Iraq ends up in the hands of the people we’re supposedly fighting, but it’s enough to float several third world nation’s economies and more than enough to sink ours.  King David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency “genius,” has been passing out stacks of greenbacks and cases of weapons to camel banditos for years now.  Iraq still looks like a carpet-bombed animal park and the Bananastans are so bonkers that our best hope for a peaceful solution there is probably Gary Trudeau’s Red Rascal (aka Jeff Redfern).  

Oh.  God.  Shut.   Up.  
Thank God for Wikileaks.  Hillary has been playing FAG (Foreign Affairs Groupie) Hag to bureaucratic bimbo Bob Gates, the undisputed master of the delicate balance between sucking up to his superiors and appeasing his subordinates, since young Mr. Obama made the bad judgment of nominating her for the State Post.  Of course, you wouldn’t get that impression of her from big media.  The way they treat Hill the Pill and Uncle Bob, you’d think you should take them seriously. News outlets like the Washington Post, the paper that saved the Constitution from Richard Milhous Nixon, have become the de facto propaganda arm of the American warmongery.  It’s a wonder anybody bothers to watch Fox News or listen to Rush anymore.  Old habits die hard, I guess. 

In July, Wikileaks posted 90,000 documents that The Guardian described as “a devastating portrait of the war in Afghanistan.”   Today, you’re hard pressed to find a mirror of the Wikileaks site that hasn’t been shut down under pressure from our anal-retentive government (they can pry into our secrets but we can’t know theirs).  But you can tune into ABC’s Good Morning America and watch the vaginal George Stephanopoulos embed his nose half-way up Dave Petraeus’s colon, and see footage of all the wonderful things going on in Afghanistan thanks to the magnificent work of our troops (“It was enough to make me want to jump on a plane and visit the place,” a friend reported).  

Wikileaks honcho Julian Assange is under attack from all corners.  Even mug-mogul Jon Stewart has attacked Assange, illustrating once again that underneath his hip exterior, Stewart’s low-comedy act is about getting cheap laughs, not seeking the truth.  Stewart, a master of appearing informed by memorizing a handful of factoids his staff spoon-feeds him, has illustrated once again that he seldom understands what he’s talking about.

The Christian Science Monitor suggests that Assange may already be under indictment by a secret U.S. grand jury for his latest round of leaks.   If the Feds manage to bag Assange and render him to the states for trial, watch our media fail to rise in defense of the freedom of the press it so long ago abnegated.

Assange has been arrested by our British lapdogs on a Swedish warrant that charges him with sexual misconduct toward former female Wikileak employees.  Funny how that timed out, isn’t it?  If there is anything to these allegations, though, I’m not sure what they say about Assange other than that he’s eminently qualified to serve as a justice on our Supreme Court.  

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is the author of the critically applauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a satire on America’s rise to global dominance.