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Our Big, Fat, Invisible Wars

Jon Letman @ Truthout - Appearing on Comedy Central's "Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, the president joined a small pantheon of acting and former heads of state like Pervez Musharraf, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Evo Morales and Bill Clinton to sit down for some casual conversation peppered with quips and yuks.

Stewart asked the president if he was surprised that "even [his] base can be disappointed" and yet he never once uttered the words "Afghanistan," "Iraq" or "Pakistan." The complete lack of even an oblique reference to what both Obama and Bush have made the centerpiece of their foreign policy, if not their entire presidency, is pretty remarkable, but sadly indicative of how, after a decade of war with close to 6,000 American troops killed, almost 50,000 American soldiers still in Iraq, nearly 100,000 in Afghanistan and an undeclared, virtually unscrutinized predator drone war in Pakistan that has more than tripled in number of strikes since Obama took office, it doesn't even merit a mention in an interview with the commander in chief less than a week before midterm elections.

One can only assume that the White House offered Stewart a one-on-one with Obama on the condition that there was to be absolutely no mention of the wars, the troops, terror threats, predator drones, Guantanamo, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, or anything with even the slightest whiff of war.

War is what we do and once it's underway, it appears American politicians, the public and media see increasingly little need or desire to discuss or debate it, lest we distract ourselves from planning the next war looming on the horizon. Read more.


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