Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hesitations and Escalations

Here comes Diana West, the Ann Coulter wannabe who waves the phony “Clash of Civilizations” flag whenever she can. She’s considerably concerned about a “fatal hesitation” in Afghanistan (Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Aug. 14, 2009). GO HERE FOR WEST's ARTICLE

If the lives of our American military men and women and our tax dollars weren’t at stake here, it would be enjoyable watching the contortions the Bush Warriors go through as President Obama (wrongly!) expands the war in Afghanistan. These tail-ender warriors have supported real “Death Panels” (not to be confused with Sarah Palin’s imagined Grandma executioners) in Iraq and Afghanistan from the get go. They want wars, yes sir. Wars led by Commander in Chief Barack Obama? Well, that’s clearly problematical.

And so West, her nose fully out of joint, is sniffing out “fatal hesitancy” under President Obama. She warns, are you ready for this, that generals in Afghanistan are actually saying things like: “The Afghan people are the reason we are here” and “When the Afghan people trust us and believe us . . . we will win overnight.”

With this mind set, can “fatal hesitancy” be far behind?

Nope. Noting casualty figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, West works at trying to make the “only 20 percent” of “civilian casualties” in Afghanistan caused by our over-extended and misplaced American war machine sound inflated and insignificant. Fess up to stuff like this, she reasons, and we’re on a slippery slope to “dangerous second thoughts” where “split-second decision making” is required.

I guess the quotation marks West uses around “20 percent” and “civilian casualties” are also supposed to make the deaths and the wounds caused by “Death Panel” errors in the heat of battle more palatable to Americans. The Afghan people? They don’t read UN reports. The literacy rate in this fractured and war torn country is only 28 percent. Most news travels orally. I find it hard to imagine an Afghan using finger quotes in the air as he tells clan members how death rained out of the sky, killing his “young brother and his wife.”

As stated, West isn’t worried in the least about what the Afghan people think of us. She’s too busy fighting the creep of “fatal hesitation” so that America can get on with mindless escalation.

Terre Haute Tribune Star: Readers' Forum: Aug. 24, 2009