We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post Reply
User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 13 Jun 2010, 11:41

U.S. Intelligence Puts New Focus on Afghan Graft
The NY Times wrote:The military’s intelligence network in Afghanistan, designed for identifying and tracking terrorists and insurgents, is increasingly focused on uncovering corruption that is rampant across Afghanistan’s government, security forces and contractors, according to senior American officials.


What's next, a Diem? Or does Obama give another stern talk to Karzi?
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 17044
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 13 Jun 2010, 13:30

but we're still taking the fight to the poppy farmers, aren't we?
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

User avatar
Shem
Posts: 6992
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Shem » 13 Jun 2010, 13:35

Well, since we're using the same playbook, we have to expand the bombing, a la Cambodia, into Pakistan and...shit.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22069
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2010, 14:54

Shem wrote:Well, since we're using the same playbook, we have to expand the bombing, a la Cambodia, into Pakistan and...shit.
Calm down. If Afghanistan were like Vietnam then there would be a high-ranking American, a la Kissinger, who won a Nobel Peace Prize despite his role in ... oh, shit.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 13 Jun 2010, 15:12

To be fair, if you're looking to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam you'd expect the govermnet would be claiming that our involement was part of a greater, long haul campaign like the war against communism ... oh crap.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 17044
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 13 Jun 2010, 15:20

C'mon you guys. The war in Afghanistan is nothing like Vietnam. Military action in Vietnam was authorized by a bed wetting Congress who was terrorized into approving it after an incident that, while troubling, really didn't justify invading another count...shit.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 25782
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 13 Jun 2010, 15:37

Afghanistan gets far less rain than Vietnam. This is not a jungle war.

Also, whereas southeast Asia has opium smuggling routes, Afghanistan....oh, shit.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

Isaac Bartram
Posts: 1098
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 18:45

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Isaac Bartram » 13 Jun 2010, 17:55

Well, there is one difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam. There are no baby boomers worried about being drafted, so there don't expect much of an antiwar movement to develop.

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 13 Jun 2010, 18:09

Isaac Bartram wrote:Well, there is one difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam. There are no baby boomers worried about being drafted, so there don't expect much of an antiwar movement to develop.
There was a small vocal one until late 2008, early 2009. It sorta died out after that.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 11931
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Eric the .5b » 13 Jun 2010, 18:21

The anti-war movement focused largely on Iraq because they largely didn't care about Afghanistan.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
"Cyberpunk never really gave the government enough credit for their ability to secure a favorable prenup during the Corporate-State wedding." - Shem

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22069
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2010, 18:40

Eric the .5b wrote:The anti-war movement focused largely on Iraq because they largely didn't care about Afghanistan.
There was also the view that Afghanistan was a legitimate response to 9/11, for harboring the Taliban, whereas Iraq was based on lies from the get-go and furthermore distracted resources from the legit war in Afghanistan.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 13 Jun 2010, 18:42

Eric the .5b wrote:The anti-war movement focused largely on Iraq because they largely didn't care about Afghanistan.
And we're out of Iraq now, or will be by August 2011 if everything goes according to plan. And really, what could possibly go wrong between now and then?
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 25782
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 13 Jun 2010, 18:46

At some point there was a valid argument for going into Afghanistan, so most Americans (me included) supported it. I no longer support it, but the argument against Afghanistan will generally be more nuances and less passionate because it's a plausibly justifiable action gone bad rather than something that was just plain wrong from the start.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 13 Jun 2010, 18:48

Another difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam is that our allies in Vietnam weren't supporting the Viet Cong.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22069
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2010, 19:16

J sub D wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:The anti-war movement focused largely on Iraq because they largely didn't care about Afghanistan.
And we're out of Iraq now, or will be by August 2011 if everything goes according to plan. And really, what could possibly go wrong between now and then?
Even if nothing goes wrong, it appears that "we will be out of Iraq" is not synonymous with "there will no longer be US troops in Iraq." That's another way Vietnam differs from our current adventures: when American troops left Vietnam, that meant there were no longer American troops in Vietnam. Then some damn physicist type had to go invent quantum mechanics and apply it to the military so that "No troops are in the country" will mean "troops are in the country," somehow.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 17840
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 13 Jun 2010, 22:39

Suddenly, Afghanistan becomes a more interesting place.
“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”

User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 17044
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 13 Jun 2010, 22:42

Well, it looks like the US is gonna be there permanently (for the Afghans' good, of course).
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

User avatar
Taktix®
Posts: 7699
Joined: 07 May 2010, 05:29
Location: The Caribbean

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Taktix® » 13 Jun 2010, 22:52

J sub D wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:The anti-war movement focused largely on Iraq because they largely didn't care about Afghanistan.
And we're out of Iraq now, or will be by August 2011 if everything goes according to plan. And really, what could possibly go wrong between now and then?
Wasn't a withdrawal from Iraq by the Summer of 2010 one of Obama's promises during his first State of the Union address?

Oh, well, whatever. What time is America's Got Talent on?

EDIT: No HTML? Rly?
"Guilty as charged. Go ahead and ban me from the mall." - Ellie

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 22069
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Jennifer » 14 Jun 2010, 00:02

He said all combat troops out by the end of this August. Of course, he said nothing about peacekeeping troops, or occupation troops, or embassy caretakers or things of that sort.

And Afghanistan's mineral deposits will make some American mining company's shareholders very, very rich.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 25782
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 14 Jun 2010, 02:40

Smedley Butler said that he was sent to Central America to serve the interests of Wall Street and various fruit companies. Since the Pentagon conducted this study, I see that very little has changed in 75 years, if you replace "Central America" with "Central Asia" and "fruit companies" with "mining companies." I mean, couldn't they even tell the mining companies to do their own damn study and pony up the cost of mercenaries to protect the geologists?

But they'll insist that the only reason they send men with guns there is for freedom, and it was entirely coincidental that this adventure may benefit mining interests.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
--Shem

User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 13247
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Kolohe » 14 Jun 2010, 03:54

Hugh Akston wrote:
Well, it looks like the US is gonna be there permanently (for the Afghans' good, of course).
I said about a month into my tour, when the dining facility was having 'chinese night' that in 2025 there will be a Maj Chen Wu sitting on that same spot saying 'oh goodie, it's "American" night' and help himself to another burger.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

User avatar
dbcooper
Posts: 17993
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:40

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by dbcooper » 14 Jun 2010, 09:09

From Foreign Policy:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.
com/posts/2010/06/14/say_what_afghanistan_has_1_trillion_in_untapped_mineral_resources
In short, things don't look good for the United States ... which makes me suspicious of the timing of this attention-grabbing James Risen story in the Times, which opens with this mind-boggling lede:

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials."

Wow! Talk about a game changer. The story goes on to outline Afghanistan's apparently vast underground resources, which include large copper and iron reserves as well as hitherto undiscovered reserves lithium and other rare minerals.

Read a little more carefully, though, and you realize that there's less to this scoop than meets the eye. For one thing, the findings on which the story was based are online and have been since 2007, courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey. More information is available on the Afghan mining ministry's website, including a report by the British Geological Survey (and there's more here). You can also take a look at the USGS's documentation of the airborne part of the survey here, including the full set of aerial photographs.

Nowhere have I found that $1 trillion figure mentioned, which Risen suggests was generated by a Pentagon task force seeking to help the Afghan government develop its resources (looking at the chart accompanying the article, though, it appears to be a straightforward tabulation of the total reserve figures for each mineral times current the current market price). According to Risen, that task force has begun prepping the mining ministry to start soliciting bids for mineral rights in the fall.

Don't get me wrong. This could be a great thing for Afghanistan, which certainly deserves a lucky break after the hell it's been through over the last three decades.

But I'm (a) skeptical of that $1 trillion figure; (b) skeptical of the timing of this story, given the bad news cycle, and (c) skeptical that Afghanistan can really figure out a way to develop these resources in a useful way. It's also worth noting, as Risen does, that it will take years to get any of this stuff out of the ground, not to mention enormous capital investment.

Moreover, before we get too excited about lithium and rare-earth metals and all that, Afghanistan could probably use some help with a much simpler resource: cement.

According to an article in the journal Industrial Minerals, "Afghanistan has the lowest cement production in the world at 2kg per capita; in neighbouring Pakistan it is 92kg per capita and in the UK it is 200kg per capita." Afghanistan's cement plants were built by a Czech company in the 1950s, and nobody's invested in them since the 1970s. Most of Afghanistan's cement is imported today, mainly from Pakistan and Iran. Apparently the mining ministry has been working to set up four new plants, but they are only expected to meet about half the country's cement needs.

Why do I mention this? One of the smartest uses of development resources is also one of the simplest: building concrete floors. Last year, a team of Berkeley researchers found that "replacing dirt floors with cement appears to be at least as effective for health as nutritional supplements and as helpful for brain development as early childhood development programs." And guess what concrete's made of? Hint: it's not lithium.

UPDATE: Missed this Wall Street Journal story earlier. Money quote:

[T]he Mines Ministry has long been considered among Afghanistan's most corrupt government departments, and Western officials have repeatedly expressed reservations about the Afghan government awarding concessions for the country's major mineral deposits, fearful that corrupt officials would hand contracts to bidders who pay the biggest bribes -- not who are best suited to actually do the work.
Slip inside a sleeping bag.

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 14 Jun 2010, 09:45

D.A. Ridgely wrote:Suddenly, Afghanistan becomes a more interesting place.
“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”
The Department of the Interior is sending some MMS bureaucrats over to help them out.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
J sub D
Posts: 1741
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:36
Location: Way down upon the Detroit River, far, far away
Contact:

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by J sub D » 14 Jun 2010, 09:54

Jennifer wrote:He said all combat troops out by the end of this August. Of course, he said nothing about peacekeeping troops, or occupation troops, or embassy caretakers or things of that sort.
I am infuriated about the big lie that all "combat troops" will be out of Iraq by the end of August. We are going to still have 50 thousand troops there and as Joe Biden so succintly puts it
The NY Times wrote:In part for that reason, “we’re not leaving behind cooks and quartermasters,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Wednesday in a telephone interview. The bulk of the remaining American troops, he said, “will still be guys who can shoot straight and go get bad guys.”
But they are certainly not combat troops.
Jennifer wrote:And Afghanistan's mineral deposits will make some American mining company's shareholders very, very rich.
Or, ala the Congo, give the local armed factions something new to shoot each other over.

Edit to hide BBCode ineptitude.
Last edited by J sub D on 14 Jun 2010, 10:16, edited 1 time in total.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

My guess is this is the love child of some Objectivists what got excommunicated. - Warren

User avatar
dbcooper
Posts: 17993
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:40

Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by dbcooper » 14 Jun 2010, 09:56

I'm picking it will be more of a Congo outcome, unless the Chinese get involved.
Slip inside a sleeping bag.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests