Determined To Be Deaf, Dumb And Blind: Afghanistan 1958, 2009

Obama’s U.S. ambassador to The Mayor of Kabul Afghanistan doesn’t think much of the White House caving in to CENTCOM’s surge. It’s a little inconvenient that General Eikenberry commanded the NATO troops in Afghanistan 2006-07. But Team Petraeus knows a Defeatist Wanker when they see one. It ain’t nothing but a thang. President Petreaus will not forget. Besides, Gorbachev agrees with the crank. Exactly.

It unfortunately gets worse. We found another gem in the Bunker Library to share on point. We're Contractors And We're Here To Help It’s an original (and beautiful) copy of the “United States Operations Mission to Afghanistan” plan for 1958.

It’s charming for a number of reasons. First, it’s a beautiful piece of AgitProp. We mean it. One almost should scan the whole thing. The document radiates the tail end un-ironic stylings of American political sloganeering “New Deal”, “Fair Deal”, etc. All possible only pre-Dallas 1963. These were times when a World’s Fair meant a big deal – New York’s in 1964 would be the last. Obama would give his eye teeth to have this kind of simple optimism.

Second, on the analytical and substantive levels, State/AID could just fax it in with minor editing — like adding the small detail we’ve conducted semi-random violence in the country since Nov. 2001 to increasingly bad effect. Hey, How Do You Say 'Release Form' In Pashto? Yeah, Here, Just Sign . . . An 'x' Works Great!Add that, a few rhetorical flourishes about narco-economics, and cut. It’s a take.

All the proposed solutions in 1958 are a smooth transition with the general bureaucratic cave to CENTCOM’s escalation. Whether Obama has an AID Director or not. Everything’s already here in 1958: ending corruption/good government, getting out of the way to encourage Afghans to take the lead, and even our current surge’s familiar Helmand Province is front and center. NRO could blog for weeks with this stuff.

What’s old is new. Odd to hold a bromide in one’s hands.