Operation Khanjar, over my covered body
In conjunction with the barbecued festivities of Independence (for Some) Day, Obama sends 4,000 marines to Afghanistan to join the 21,000 ‘extra’ troops (i.e. colonizers) there. ‘The new assault, Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, is the first big offensive under U.S. President Barack Obama’s new regional strategy to defeat the Taliban and its allies and stabilize Afghanistan.’ By stabilize, the Reuters writer really means, bomb, beat and stomp them into submission. Note how unquestioningly the reporter gulps down the military’s rhetoric, hook, line and sinker: ‘Is the operation decisive?’ ‘How long will it last?’ ‘What’s next?’
And the reasons given for the war—which should officially be dubbed Obama’s War—alter depending where in the dominant media one looks. On CNN, a head sergeant for the ground troops cried crocodile tears about the need to secure Afghanistan before elections, that the war (surely they are instructed not to call it a war) has ‘Afghans at its center’ and is ‘for the Afghans.’ Another soldier declared the war endgame as follows: stopping the growth of heroin in the poppy fields. Is the U.S. military going to get its own talking points in check?
It won’t be long before Obama himself exculpates this war as a rescue attempt to free Afghan women from the tyranny of their men, even as the burqa is losing favor with Afghan women. (Don’t tell that to Sarkozy.)