Friday, November 14, 2008

THE GENERAL PLAYS ALONG. "Negotiations are the heroin of the chattering classes," writes More-Stars-Than-There-Are-In-Heaven General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters, "blinding them to every reality except the next fix they can inject into our foreign policy." The General's disdain for talky-talk is keen as ever, but what's got him fearing an outbreak of negotiations this time? An anti-war march? Impending Democratic rule? No, it's his hero General Petraeus' reported interest in talking to Taliban forces to secure peace in Afghanistan.

The General wants to clear something up: when a fightin' man such as Petraeus talks about talking, he doesn't mean, as do Washington milksops, that he wants to "make talks the centerpiece of the new administration's Afghan policy." He simply means them as a prelude to, or perhaps an entertaining respite from, killing. "The equation is simple," says the General. "We kill them, or we lose... History doesn't reveal a single exception."

As Petraeus is a real general and not one, like Peters, merely promoted by alicublog for his services to humor, Peters takes care not to criticize him. So he carefully differentiates Petraeus' nobly worthless overtures -- which may "peel away" some "disenchanted Taliban supporters," which is okay because it will leave less bodies to clean up after the killing spree -- from Obama's plan, which Peters characterizes as "begging the hardcore Taliban for talks."

This is not based on any quoted statements from Obama or anyone else, but on the General's conviction that such people "live in a lovely bubble (lined with mirrors)," and worship negotiation because they're lawyers who "get rich by talking" and don't understand the implacability of Muslim fanatics because "religious passion is as foreign to Washington as integrity in the budget process." Whereas men of action like himself and his buddy the CentCom Commander know it's a waste of breath; after all,
If Taliban elements agree to talk, most will view the talks as a chance to weaken our resolve -- and to buy time. This is the con for which we always fall. The Iranians, Saddam Hussein, the Palestinians, the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, the Chinese and the Russians all have played "Paralyze the Gringos" with endless talks.

We always wake up alone, with the sheets stained and torn.
I'm not sure whether the General meant for that last bit for the article, or whether he scrawled it in the margin (along with variations on OPE) and some confused editor left it in.

But you get the picture: there's no point in talking to these people, and Petraeus is only going along because... well, Peters never tells us why. He probably never thought about it, or did so only long enough to realize that any reason he could think up -- a deceptive maneuver, perhaps, meant to confuse the Taliban, or Obama? -- would, if revealed, compromise the security of the mission. Ever the good soldier, Peters knows that the decisions of his superiors (excepting the incoming CinC, of course) must be right whether he kens them or not. His not to reason why; his but to hue and cry.

UPDATE. Fixed typos.

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