Friday, October 30, 2015

"no boots on the ground" ... again

The phrase "lying sack of shit" springs to mind, but that is so uncouth and so inflammatory and so emotional that I won't say that. I won't say "lying sack of shit."
The United States disclosed plans on Friday to station the first American boots on the ground in Syria in the war against Islamic State fighters, saying dozens of special forces troops would be sent as advisers to groups fighting against the jihadists....
In Washington, U.S. officials said the small special forces contingent in Syria would work with local "moderate rebel" groups to fight against Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and that it should not be considered a combat mission.
"The president has been quite clear that there is no military solution to the problems that are plaguing Iraq and Syria. There is a diplomatic one," White House spokesman
Josh Earnest said in Washington.
He said the special forces' mission would be to "train, advise and assist" local groups.
Making clear they would number fewer than 50, he added: "I think if we were envisioning a combat operation, we probably would be contemplating more than 50 troops on the ground."

In 1961,
Following a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and South Vietnam envoy Nguyen Dinh Thuan, an agreement is reached for direct training and combat supervision of Vietnamese troops by U.S. instructors. South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem had earlier asked Kennedy to send additional U.S. troops to train the South Vietnamese Army. U.S. advisers had been serving in Vietnam since 1955 as part of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group. There would be only 900 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam at the end of 1961, but in accordance with President Kennedy’s pledge to provide American military assistance to South Vietnam, the number of U.S. personnel rose to 3,200 by the end of 1962. The number would climb until it reached 16,000 by the time of President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963.
By the time the Vietnam War ended in 1975, 58,000-plus American troops had died. The war was prosecuted largely under the banner of "the domino theory" -- a postulate that argued if one country in a region went communist, other nearby countries would do the same.

Once it was communism used as leverage in prosecuting military intervention and a good deal of money-making. Now it is "terrorism." The scare effect as well as the wobbly logical underpinnings for an exceptionalist raison d'être is much the same, but of course a later generation has not been well enough educated to recognize a rerun of old television shows and old mendacious policy making. To a new generation, it is a new excitement.

Naturally, the global situation is "more complex" than an expletive-based fortune cookie like "a lying sack of shit." Do I have a better solution? Nope. But I see no reason to lie through our teeth when "boots on the ground" are clearly "boots on the ground."

Who would call out anyone as well-dressed and well-spoken as White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Who would consider pointing out that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck and Earnest, for all his earnestness, is quite simply a lying sack of shit.

But of course it is not his children that may be shipped into harm's way. It is -- or might easily be -- mine, which is one reason for my raucousness, obviously. Still, even if I had no children, the facile, clean-finger-nailed delivery and the bloody implications would turn up my volume.

Sometimes I wish these clean expositors of ersatz national policy would just stop lying to me. No biggie -- just stop lying.

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