[col. writ. 12/24/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal
According to a think-piece in a recent edition of Newsweek, President Barack H. Obama is a "post-imperial" leader, who seeks to bring 'balance' to foreign affairs, and a kind of disciplined realism to interactions with other nations.
Of the similarities between the dreaded example of Vietnam and Afghanistan, the analogy fails because unlike the fateful Diem brothers, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai was 'elected' and has significant support.
The analogy is about as weak as wet toilet tissue.
To say Karzai was elected is to do extreme violence to the term.
A recent piece in the Washington Post describes the Taliban as a virtual "shadow government" throughout much of the country, with dual governors, police chiefs, tax staffs and village governments.
Indeed, the Post reports Taliban control covers "broad swaths of the country, especially Afghanistan's vast rural areas." That's because in many of these districts, the U.S. supported Karzai regime has no presence.
Back to the point -- a corrupt, foreign - supported government, which is widely seen as a puppet regime. Sound familiar?
Do we have another Vietnam? Perhaps. The imperial press dutifully followed Pentagon and White House reports, painting Vietnam in rosy colors until the walls came tumbling down. They almost universally praised the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as righteous retribution.
Why should they stop now?
As for 'post-imperial', this is a label that is about as ridiculous as post-racial!
To invade countries that did nothing to it; to bomb and kill tens of thousands, to occupy and install puppets sounds pretty imperial to me.
And to add over 30,000 troops to this process means more of the same.
Is this 'post-imperial?'
--(c) '09 maj
[Source: Zakaria, Fareed, "The Post-Imperial Presidency", Newsweek, (12/14/09), pp. 36-40; Witte, Griff, "The Shadow Government's Clout: In Afghanistan, Taliban Officials offer a concrete alternative:, Washington Post, [Nat'l Wkly. Ed.], Dec.14-20, 2009, p.18]