Bruce Gagnon blog
Saturday, August 08, 2009
SUPPORT FOR AFGHANISTAN FALLS BUT PERMANENT BASES BEING BUILT
"Afghanistan is almost certainly the Obama policy that Republicans like the most," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Nearly two-thirds of Republicans support the war in Afghanistan. Three-quarters of Democrats oppose the war."
This is of course very good news. But the flip side of the coin is that, just like in Iraq, the US has no intention of leaving Afghanistan. New permanent bases are being built in Afghanistan - for example a $17 million troop barracks (above) at Bagram Air Base.
Columnist David Wood writes, "Eight years after American forces scattered the Taliban and effectively conquered Afghanistan, the United States is embarked on a frenzied $220 million building campaign at this sprawling and still expanding military air base. Just to meet the base's demand for fresh concrete, it has two of its own cement factories working full time."
"Today, Bagram sports a Burger King and Pizza Hut, five mess halls, and living quarters for 20,000 people (so far), office spaces for the command, Joint Task Force-82, and for dozens of other headquarters and agencies. A well-stocked PX sells everything from potato chips to vacuum cleaners."
"Bagram's air facilities, its supersized runway, parking aprons, cargo handling machines and maintenance bays are sized for the stream of intercontinental and local cargo aircraft, aero-medical evacuation planes, bombers, strike fighters, unmanned drone aircraft and cargo and attack helicopters that roar in and out of here day and night."
It appears that what the American people want, an end to the war in Afghanistan, will just have to wait. The corporate dominated US government has other plans in mind. I know what you are thinking, how can we afford to keep permanent US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan while our economy collapses back here at home? Who will pay for all of this?
The answer it seems is you, your children, and your grandchildren. The US government will continue to run up massive debt and we all will be paying for it. We will also see more cutbacks in social spending as the politicians attempt to balance the budget - on our backs.
Please remember, the Pentagon has determined that America's role in the world under corporate globalization will be "security export" and that is just what we are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan today. We are exporting war and violence and we are rather good at it.
Don't be fooled that a new president will turn things around for us. He won't. He is doing the bidding of the military industrial complex. The citizenry has to provide the leadership now. We have to demand a halt to endless war and conversion of the war machine. If we don't then we will just get more of the same.
Your kids and grand kids might end up sleeping in these new barracks at Bagram...it might be the only job available under our "security export" economy.