The 50 year war on terror?

long war“Let us say, hypothetically, that American forces kill or capture Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, enabling President Obama to declare victory and bring our troops home. Would he? Not according to the Pentagon’s plan for a fifty-year “Long War” of counterinsurgency spanning Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines and beyond.

Military intellectuals envision a prolonged cold war against Al Qaeda, with hot wars along the way. It happens that the Long War is over Muslim lands rich with oil, natural gas and planned pipelines. The Pentagon identifies them as hostile terrain where Al Qaeda and its affiliates are hidden.

Among the top experts responsible for this fifty-year war plan, concocted in 2005 in windowless offices in the Pentagon, is Dr. David Kilcullen, a former Australian soldier, an anthropologist, former top adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and current aide to Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Kilcullen is a media favorite, the subject of a long New Yorker profile by George Packer, glowing columns by David Ignatius in the Washington Post and weighty late-night conversations with Charlie Rose.”

Kilcullen’s recent book, The Accidental Guerrilla, presents the case for a Long War of fifty or even 100 years’ duration, with chapters on Iraq (a mistake he believes was salvaged by the military surge he promoted in 2007-08), Afghanistan (where he recommends at least a five-to-ten-year campaign), Pakistan (whose tribal areas he sees as the center of the terrorist threat) and even Europe (where, he says, human rights laws create legislative “safe havens” for urban Muslim undergrounds). More

And then there were 499…

david wiltshire“Mr Wilshire, the MP for Spelthorne in Surrey, made the announcement after spending hours attempting to defend his allowance claims to the Tory leadership.

He said that the investigation into his controversial arrangements would cause “great distress” to his family and friends.

“These allegations also run the risk of harming my local party and our national party’s chances of winning at the next general election,” he said.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed Mr Wilshire had paid £105,500 from his office and staffing allowances to Moorlands Research Services, a company owned by him and his girlfriend.

Parliamentary rules dictate that MPs must not enter financial arrangements that “may give rise to an accusation” that they or someone close to them profited from public funds. More

MP’s don’t want to wait to get to the trough…

restarauntmadmen_icon2bthepoliteer says: You do wonder if they will ever join the rest of us in the real world… Oh yes, great timing time as well, just as they are wiping the parliamentary gravy off their chins…

“MPs are campaigning to reverse the decision to halve the number of seats reserved exclusively for them and their guests in the Commons’ Strangers Cafe.

Fifteen have backed a motion opposing the decision to expand the area staff and visitors can use.

They want the authorities to reverse the change “immediately”.

The change was made because staff and visitors often have to wait for a seat even if the less-used cordoned off MPs’ section has spaces.” More

Political Quote of the Day (16.10.09)

carolyn gold heilbrunCarolyn Gold Heilbrun (January 13, 1926 in East Orange, New Jersey – October 9, 2003) was an American academic and prolific feminist. Heilbrun attended graduate school in English literature at Columbia University, receiving her M.A. in 1951 and Ph.D in 1959. Among her most important mentors were Columbia professors Jacques Barzun and Lionel Trilling, while Clifton Fadiman was an important inspiration.

Heilbrun taught English at Columbia for more than three decades (1960-1993). She was the first woman to receive tenure in Columbia’s English department (not unlike Trilling, who became first tenured Jew in that department less than two decades earlier). Her academic specialty was British modern literature, with a particular interest in the Bloomsbury group. Her academic books include the feminist study Writing a Woman’s Life (1988) — see non-fiction bibliography, below. Upon her retirement in 1997, she was Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Columbia.

Thinking about profound social change, conservatives always expect disaster, while revolutionaries confidentially expect utopia. Both are wrong.