Saturday, June 11, 2011

Goodbye Gates

SecDef Gates has been doing his 'victory' tour, visiting many of the countries that he helped destroy, and some that helped him destroy them.

Strangely, his harshest words were for the helper countries, those of NATO, that have followed the US in all its colonial wars since 9/11 when the bar was set that if your weren't with the US, you were against it.

An objective look at the last ten years confirm what was predicted ten years ago, the entire exercise, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya, along with the covert war against Iran have been little more than an expensive boondoggle, enriching a few while impoverishing many.

Gates's fortune, to come after Rumsfeld, made him seem ultra-rational and competent, not to mention honest, but while he did not continue the massive escalation that Rummy would have undoubtedly pursued (Iran!), he was unwilling or unable to convert the adventures into anything but a useless continuation, with the accompanying destruction and impoverishment.

Lets run through the list of his accomplishments:
Afghanistan - a bleeding wound with no exit in sight, especially after the 'surge'
Pakistan - dumped Musharraf, upped droning, sped up the ongoing disintegration
Iraq - allowed the Shiites to win the US inspired civil war, benefiting Iran
Libya - a naked oil grab that has great possibility to spiral out of control on the doorstep of Europe

His answer to all these US disasters is to blame the European part of NATO and thus absolve himself and the US. Europe certainly bears its share of the blame, but for its blind obedience rather than its lack of enthusiasm.

On the other hand, the new 'team' looks worse. Panetta brings nothing to the DoD, just as he brought nothing to the CIA. A placeholder, he must have at least the virtue of loyalty, the question is, to whom. Turning the CIA over to Petraeus is extremely dangerous, another sign that Obama doesn't hold the reins of his administration, and doesn't even want to.

After all, there's an election to be won.


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