"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 27, 2010

Feinstein: Give Petraeus What He Wants

Stanley McChrystal may have fallen on an imaginary sword for this:

"A senior Senate Democrat on foreign policy issues said on Sunday that the president's pledged July 2011 timeline for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan was malleable to the requests of military command.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.), whose hawkish grounding has angered progressive in the past, likely facilitated that anger again, when she told 'Fox News Sunday' that if General David Petraeus asked for more troops next summer, he should be granted them. 

'I would say give it to him, absolutely,' said the California Democrat."


Notice how the article casts "progressives" (not a group I have much inclination to defend, honestly) as anger prone in response to the (unstated, but implied) decision of realistic, flexible adults.

Feinstein continues with:

" 'Now, let's talk about the deadline. This is a transition point toward the beginning of a withdrawal or a drawdown as Petraeus said in his transcript before the Armed Services [Committee]. And I think he has flexibility realistically. Ten years is a long time to fight a war, particularly with what happened before the 10 years. And so we need to understand that [we have] to get the military trained, get the government online, secure and stabilize, and I think do away with the drugs to a great extent, because the drugs are now fueling the Taliban.' "

Out of one corner of her mouth, she discusses the duration of armed hostilities, waged against the people and factions of Afghanistan, posturing about "transition points" following the re-appointment of Petraeus as a proconsular fixer.

Immediately upon concluding this thought, though, she presents a series of goals which counter any likelihood of a transition.

On the one hand, she expresses the idea that Petraeus ought to have the flexibility to escalate the Afghan war even further. Feinstein argues that he needs this capacity (which, we ought to understand, means more young men and women handling and operating death machines, killing others on the way to destroying their own selves), and that Congress and the President ought to facilitate it, because the United States has fought a prolonged war that Obama has asked Petraeus to bring to and end. Petraeus' job, bringing the prolonged war to a "transition point," demands of Congress and the President a loosening of commitments to earlier promises.

On the other hand, and with no narrative pause or break in her preceeding logic, she leaps to a set of additional goals which, if pursued, can only negate the presumption of the first.

In order to "secure and stabilize" a now non-existent government, as well as eradicate a drug regime which flourishes because the whole country serves as a US weapons testing ground, the man hired to end the conflict must have an open ended contract to continue and escalate it into the foreseeable future, and beyond.

Feinstein's argument, in short, amounts to this: the US government must provide Petraeus with the bodies and tools to escalate, expand and continue the Afghan war in order to end it. He has to do more of a thing in order to do less of it.

The war, in order that it might end, must go on.

Put into other terms, this sounds like a wife beater begging the cops for an additional six days with which to beat his wife, so that he can stop beating her later, at an undefined future date.


Jay Taber said...

What do you expect from a Senator who in 2006 sponsored a bill to make activism illegal. Feinstein is truly San Francisco's shame.

drip said...

In your metaphor, the progressives are the battered spouse yelling "If you give him 6 more days, I'll love him enough that he'll stop." Of course he'll get the extra time.

fwoan said...

I wonder if the war can go on to a point that it becomes the norm and ending it would seem unnatural.

Or am I naive not to think it has already happened?

Jack Crow said...


She does manage to trade on Milk's name every year, too, no?


Until someone intercedes to save them, and pwoggies develop a new unhealthy crush.


I think no naivete adheres to you. The federal death state needs war. No war, no "economy."

I could be wrong, but that's a given.



RedPhillip said...

More or less in line with the spirit of 'Less talk, more burning things down', I'd really enjoy waterboarding La Feinstein with fast-setting cement. And of course, no towel over the mouth. Cement's expensive and I wouldn't want to waste it.

Jay Taber said...

Near as I can tell, the only good thing she did was appoint my friend Harry Britt to fill the SF Supervisor seat vacated by Milk's assassination.