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Ear to the Ground

Writers Pressure Obama Over Afghanistan

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Posted on Jan 26, 2009

Truthdig columnists Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer are among the notable writers who have signed this appeal urging President Obama to rethink Afghanistan. The ad, appearing in The Nation and The New York Review of Books, warns that “a new beginning will not be possible as long as we continue to spill the blood of the men, women, and children of Afghanistan.”

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By KDelphi, February 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

“By Anarcissie, February 7 at 7:49 am #


I need to add that Osama bin Laden’s claim to have supported or masterminded the 9/11 attacks was not an admission against interest.  All reports of bin Laden indicate that he wishes or wished to be the leader of an Islamic movement against Western power.  It would, therefore, be in his interest to claim responsibility for the attacks whether or not he had anything to do with them.  His “admission” is worthless.”

I am glad that you pointed that out—-I have thought that for some time…

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By blogdog, February 7, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

RE: bin Laden’s “admission” is worthless.

If for no other reason than that so many of the videos are such obvious fakes. A lot went into building the legend. It had to be maintained. Since the Buttoh - Frost interview, when she referred to bin Laden’s murder, they seem to have given up on it. Yet, the legend is now so embedded, it can be referenced unwittingly by anyone and it’s never challenged in the MSM.

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By Anarcissie, February 7, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

I need to add that Osama bin Laden’s claim to have supported or masterminded the 9/11 attacks was not an admission against interest.  All reports of bin Laden indicate that he wishes or wished to be the leader of an Islamic movement against Western power.  It would, therefore, be in his interest to claim responsibility for the attacks whether or not he had anything to do with them.  His “admission” is worthless.

Osama bin Laden, after all, competes in a crowded field and needs all the publicity he can get.  Millions of people, all over the world, hate the United States.  It is a growing business.  That is the burden, not only of being the richest country in the world, but of a long history of aggressive imperialism.  It will not be easily reversed and in any case the American ruling class has evidenced no intention of reversing it.  The more other people hate us, the more we will need our great leaders.

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By KDelphi, February 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

rmorris1—, “was carried out by Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda on 9/11/2001, before one American soldier set foot in that country.”

When were you born? (This morning?)

Anarcissie has got it right:”...and organized in Florida and Germany, as in Afghanistan.  In any case, the proper response was whatever action was necessary to arrest or neutralize the perpetrators, in Afghanistan or elsewhere.  Instead, a fanciful program of imperial “nation-building” was embarked upon, leading to hundreds of thousands of casualties and many billions of dollars of material damage, yet the surviving alleged perpetrators are mostly still at loose and seem to have more recruits and supporters than ever…”

Thank you, fusion. Excellent post.

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By fusion, February 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

“I mean, come on. I didn’t like Bush, either, but in this case he had no reasonable policy alternative.”
rmorris1, February 6 at 3:11 am #

This is wrong, both in the specifric instance and in general.


William Sloane Coffin

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1226-08.htm
 
The President, after all, did not have to declare war. He could have called the terrorists mass murderers, their deeds crimes against humanity. He could have said to the American people and the world, “We will respond, but not in kind. We will not seek to avenge the death of innocent Americans by the death of innocent victims elsewhere, lest we become what we abhor. We refuse to ratchet up the cycle of violence that brings only ever more death, destruction and deprivation. What we will do is build coalitions with other nations. We will share intelligence, freeze assets and engage in forceful extraditions of terrorists if internationally sanctioned. I promise to do all in my power to see justice done, but by the force of law only, never by the law of force.”

It was a ripe moment—to educate the soul of the nation, to improve the quality of our suffering. We had lost our sense of invulnerability and superpower invincibility, but as these were only illusions, we should not have grieved their passing. Other nations too had been unfairly hurt, many of them, and far worse than we. But instead of deepening our kinship with the world’s suffering, the President chose to invoke an almost unlimited sense of entitlement to pursue in our own way what he termed a struggle “to rid the world of evil.”

As a result we squandered the widely felt sympathy that was ours on 9/11, symbolized by the headline in Le Monde the following day: Nous sommes tous Américains. We also squandered the near-record budget surplus that could have helped victims abroad as well as the homeless and hungry in the United States, where poverty is a tragedy that great wealth makes a sin. Finally, ironically and predictably, the Bush doctrine of unilateralism and preventive war has recruited more terrorists than it has cowed. Clearly the past two years have been morally and politically disastrous.

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By Anarcissie, February 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

rmorris1—I don’t think you can hand-wave a couple of centuries of aggressive imperialism.  As I mentioned, the United States pretty much absorbed the concerns and work of the British Empire and its satellites, so it’s not just something that began with World War 2.  The U.S. involved itself in Middle Eastern politics, and 9/11 was one of the results.  I am surprised we haven’t seen more and worse.

There seems to be about as much evidence that the attacks of 9/11 were planned and organized in Florida and Germany, as in Afghanistan.  In any case, the proper response was whatever action was necessary to arrest or neutralize the perpetrators, in Afghanistan or elsewhere.  Instead, a fanciful program of imperial “nation-building” was embarked upon, leading to hundreds of thousands of casualties and many billions of dollars of material damage, yet the surviving alleged perpetrators are mostly still at loose and seem to have more recruits and supporters than ever.  Do you really want to defend this policy?

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By rmorris1, February 6, 2009 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To blogodog 2/5/09: There is no CREDIBLE evidence that 9/11 was a false flag effort. Osama bin Ladin boasted at the time that his people had perpetrated the attack. In Court, that would be called an “admission against interest” (as in confessing to a crinme.) Evidence doesn’t get any better than that.

To Anarcissie 2/5/09: The perpetrators of 9/11 may have been Arabs, but the effort was organizead from Afghanistan, and, most importantly, the admitted committers of this horrid crime were protected from arrest by the Taliban. Regardless of any history of USA “interference” in the Middle East—in which the USA was scartcely alone, or even primary (think of British and French colonial history), ANY country would attempt to retaliate against this kind of murder, ESPECIALLY as al-Qaeda had threat4ed to do this again and again. I mean, come on. I didn’t like Bush, either, but in this case he had no reasonable policy alternative.

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By Anarcissie, February 5, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

rmorris1:
’ ... terror bombing of the World Trade Center towers, which I witnessed from my office, six blocks away, was carried out by Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda on 9/11/2001, before one American soldier set foot in that country. The USA only invaded Afghanistan after Mullah Omar and the Taliban revealed that they were allied with al-Qaeda and would defend them…’

blogdog:
Wrong on both counts. Overwhelming evidence points to 9/11 as the most spectacularly heinous False Flag Provocation of all time…too much to cite….

Regardless of whether 9/11 was a false flag operation, rmorris1 forgets that the United States has been interfering in the politics and economics of the Middle East directly since the 1940s, and as the inheritor of the British Empire, since the 18th century.  Moreover, the people who carried out the operation were not only not part of the government of Afghanistan, they weren’t even Afghans—they were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  The maximum force justifiable in the case would have been that which was required to arrest the co-conspirators, if any were left, and if any were locatable in Afghanistan (or anywhere else), and if the U.S. authorities knew who they were, which seemed doubtful at the time.  (The U.S. declined to present evidence against bin Laden in regard to the attacks, probably because they didn’t have any.)

It is obvious that the response to 9/11 was not vengeance, justice or prevention of further attacks, but an opportunity for “nation-building” and other forms of imperialism happily accepted.  I don’t know why this still has to be explained at this late date.

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By blogdog, February 5, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

RE: ... terror bombing of the World Trade Center towers, which I witnessed from my office, six blocks away, was carried out by Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda on 9/11/2001, before one American soldier set foot in that country. The USA only invaded Afghanistan after Mullah Omar and the Taliban revealed that they were allied with al-Qaeda and would defend them…

Wrong on both counts. Overwhelming evidence points to 9/11 as the most spectacularly heinous False Flag Provocation of all time…too much to cite - best distillation available:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7408508582302540857 - 911 Synthetic Terror - Made in USA by Webster Griffin Tarpley

After 911 the Taliban agreed to turn over bin Laden http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn11012004.html. Moreover, the FBI does not list the 911 attacks as attributable to bin Laden. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20060610&articleId=2623

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By rmorris1, February 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

I saw the “Not This Time” advertisement which advises President Obama to negotiate with the Taliban, withdraw from Afghanistan, and cease trying to occupy it, in the NY REVIEW OF BOOKS, 2/26/2009 edition, p. 3.

The terror bombing of the World Trade Center towers, which I witnessed from my office, six blocks away, was carried out by Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda on 9/11/2001, before one American soldier set foot in that country. The USA only invaded Afghanistan after Mullah Omar and the Taliban revealed that they were allied with al-Qaeda and would defend them, which they did.

The war in Afghanistan is not a war of occupation, but of self-defense: both the Taliban and al-Qaeda have sworn to destroy us on multiple occasions, have tried to do so, and have never, ever, indicated the slightest interest in compromise or co-existence.

Your ad suggests negotiation, but neither the Taliban or al-Qaeda have ever indicated the slightest interest. “Not This Time’s” signatories advocate reaching out; so would I, except that the other side has never indicated any willingness at all to reciprocate. “It takes two to tango,” and I’m not willing to sit still and let them try a second time to cut my throat.

Thank you.

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By blogdog, January 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

President Obama DOES seem to buy the story that we were attacked by global terrorists on 9/11,... correction, if I may run the risk: “...shills the story…” as per his instructions — the 911 coup is an open secret in corridors of power the world over, but to say so is to literally lay ones hand on the 3rd Rail for any “blessed” career in Politics, Academia and the Media. The Psy-op works is a self-fulfilling, self-completing loop.

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By cyrena, January 29, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, January 27 at 2:06 pm #

Brzezinski seems to argue against promoting war between India and Pakistan here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-gardels/brzezinsk i-obama-must-pre_b_154530.html

~~~

Anarcissie,

Brzezinski has been arguing against this for as long as Obama was running, so I’m not sure what’s up with this. It’s odd,  because for well over a year, (and right here on this site) posters were using Brzezinski’s unofficial connection to the Obama campaign as ‘foreign policy adviser’ as the so-called reason for Obama’s position on Afghanistan. How bizarre is that, when ZBig has been arguing AGAINST further involvement in Afghanistan the entire time?

Maybe not so bizarre at all, at least for the talking heads and the group think that they attract. The talking heads focus on the huge error that Brzezinski made the first time, and haven’t bothered to listen to him since, failing to realize that some people DO learn from mistakes of past judgments, or that we also know that different circumstances and environments call for different responses.

I’m very disappointed in this part of Obama’s philosophy, because I don’t see a need for military involvement in Afghanistan. That said, I DO understand what his ultimate concern is in the area, and it’s not Afghanistan as much as it is Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan has nukes, and has been an unstable state for a very long time. Afghanistan has been a failed state for even longer.

Be that as it may, this is certainly not a SURPRISE, since this too, has been part of the Obama strategy all along. President Obama DOES seem to buy the story that we were attacked by global terrorists on 9/11, and that they are ‘based in’ that Central Asian region of the world. His actions in dealing with Afghanistan/Pakistan are clearly a result of his belief in that, and that has always been my own (and mostly ONLY)ideological disagreement with our new President.

Meantime, I DO hope this letter will at least bring the matter to President Obama’s mind. Keeping Gates on was a mistake in this respect, but then I said that as well.

It worries me.

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By Folktruther, January 29, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Zbig, as he now says publically, did not respond to the Soviet invasion with world Muslim attacks.  He enticed the Soviets to invade by funding Muslim attacks to overthrow the Soviet supported regime.  This was a progressive regime that was isolated from the feudal afghan population. The US BEGAN the Soviet-Afgan war.

The Afghan war is now lost from the US perspective, since they can no longer put in the Unacal pipeline from the ‘stans to the Arabian sea.  But it would be disastrous for Obama if it were recognized by the world as lost before his next presidential election.  It would destroy the US’s influence in Nato, which decreases in any event as Nato allies withdraw or stop fighting.

All Obama now wants to do is to keep the slaughter going until after his next election.  But how he can do this by escalating the war to Pakistan escapes me.
Bascially he has no experience in foreign affairs and I don’t tnink he knows what he is doing.  So the writers petition may serve a purpose in focusing attention on a basic irrationality, one of many.

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By jr., January 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps it’s just me, but, one thing history seems to be forgetting to remember is that it was these united states under jimmy carter that had decided to make afghanistan russia’s vietnam; funding the taliban and osama bin laden and, providing them with all kinds of nifty little weapons; that continued through the regan administrations.  Also, word has it the u.s. may be attempting to bring russia back into the fold… 

Warcraft shouldn’t be, but ending it may require a whole new value system, altogether.

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By blogdog, January 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Brzezinski - eminence gris - famous for telling frankly what’s best for geopolitical stability. When I hear him speak - always calmly, studied, yet with what seems the occasional wink and nod - I am compelled to recall the scene from The Godfather (of course it’s a novel, but I know none willing to join the Mafia to confirm its accuracy, and like most, my disbelief is suspended)...the scene where Don Corleone warns Michael that he will be assassinated at this meeting and the person that brings it to him will be a traitor.

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By KDelphi, January 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Crimes of the State—Good points. Isnt it amazing how we are always arming people who then turn and use them on us.

It may soon be our only export.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, January 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

These shallow appeals never work because they lack substance.  They fail to describe the conflict accurately, to assign blame, to reveal the underlying motives of the players, and the crimes committed along the way.  The Nation is notorious for its gatekeeping CIA influenced politics.  Very little will come of this ad.

The Taleban exists primarily because Pakistan’s military intelligence service arms it.  Pakistan’s military intelligence service, the ISI, is a recipient of billions of dollars of US “aid” per year.  The US has great influence over ISI and its covert activities. 

The ISI runs Pakistan, and large parts of Afghanistan.  It is apparently splintered.  This splintering, however, provides invaluable cover for those who play both sides of the “terror” game, and both sides of the opium trade game.

The “ad” basically endorses handing Afghanistan over to the Taleban, which is politically untenable, seeing how the Taleban are demonized and rule through tyranny.

The Taleban isn’t a much better result than the drug lords “Northern Alliance” whom the CIA and ISI partnered with to run most of Afghanistan after 2001.

Obviously these are complex matters, and Pakistan is itself on the brink of civil war, as radical fundamentalism was both tolerated and encouraged by ISI elements (drowning in US funds!).

This was a formula for endless “war against terror”, as per Bush’s grand strategy.  There was no easy solution, and a “war that won’t end in our lifetimes” was engineered from Washington, Tel Aviv and Islamabad.

That is what Obama has inherited.  That is what he seems more than willing to continue, without any significant change in strategy whatsoever.  Obama knows what he is doing.  He will continue this endless campaign of militarism consciously.  That is what he was hired to do.

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By KDelphi, January 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

felicity—Some very good points, and, one should remember, as well, the money that Reagan and Clinton both pumped into the Taliban. Reagan had them for lunch and called them “freedom fightses” (I have a pic!); and compared them to our “founding Fathers”.

http://politicalinquirer.com/2007/12/31/ronald-reagan-meeting-with-talibanal-qaedamujahideen

The Taliban is a US/“Cold War” creation, intentional or not. Reagan thought that religion, ANY religion, was better than the “communist, atheist” USSR.

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By Anarcissie, January 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Brzezinski seems to argue against promoting war between India and Pakistan here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-gardels/brzezinski-obama-must-pre_b_154530.html

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By blogdog, January 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

...“old hands” who are supposed to keep him out of doodoo. That is a stupid way to govern a country.

If only he were to “govern” at all - little is what it seems - but his role is not unkowable - the more-than-obvious Mumbai flase flag signals the course and reveals the unseen hand.

No rookie errors this time. Brzezinski will have this war fought by India. The peace movement in the US will feel it’s achieved a great victory when the US pulls out, but it won’t until India moves in.

And what does India get? More hi-tech contracts for its desperately underemployed population, Kashmire (more emotional than substantive) and a de-nuclearized Pakistan, the big security win. This is the gambit now in play on Z-Big’s Grand Chessboard. As for Putin, Z-Big’s move is to outflank him in Poland…the same war Z-Big’s been fighting all his life - his no-sum game.

The global financiers know they were wrong to put their money on the Straussians -rank amateurs. After the 911 coup, they totally blew it. Z-big’s team took charge when the Iraq Study Group concluded its sessions.

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By Little Brother, January 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

During the perpetual motion of the presidential campaign, Obama supporters never got tired of declaring that once elected, We the Progressive People were responsible for “holding his feet to the fire” to make sure he did the right thing.

We skeptics also heard a few million times about FDR supposedly telling civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, “You know, Mr. Randolph, I’ve heard everything you’ve said tonight, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I agree with everything that you’ve said, including my capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit. ...But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it.”

It will be interesting to see how successful this ad is in persuading Obama to stop twirling his War Boner like a majorette twirling a baton.

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By dihey, January 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

On a number of occasions I have pointed out that Afghanistan has no seaport. Even today all items except for weapons and, I believe, ammunition, are shipped to Karachi/Pakistan and trucked from there through “friendly ally” Pakistan to Afghanistan via the dangerous Khyber Pass. The trucks have been attacked on numerous occasions and not only by “insurgents” but by the looters of transit routes in that part of the world where looting caravans is as old as the silk road.
When rumors appeared that President Obama was negotiating a new route through Russia, Kazakhstan and a necessary third “Stan” (we are never told that at least two “Stans” are on the route where “looting” is a sport too. I commented that Mr. Obama would now have to “play nice” with Mr. Putin. I was not surprised at all that the Russians have demanded their “pound of flesh” so quickly but apparently they have already done just that.
The hugely dangerous supply line is just one of many reasons why the wars in Afghanistan/Pakistan fall in the category of “dumb wars” which Mr. Obama has vowed never to wage. Apparently he cannot see a “dumb war” when one stares right into his face.
Afghanistan/Pakistan will become a major military disaster for our country thanks to the now obvious fact that the Presidency is way above Mr. Obama’s unprepared head which is also why he has filled his cabinet with “old hands” who are supposed to keep him out of doodoo. That is a stupid way to govern a country.

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By Anarcissie, January 27, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

The petition is great, but it needs at least a million signatures, and we ought to look forward to getting a few hundred thousand of those people onto the streets of Washington, D.C., some time in the spring.  I know it’s sappy to say “We voted for peace, now we want some,” and expect to get any, but sometimes you have to go through the motions to demonstrate certain truths.

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By felicity, January 27, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

blogdog - An Afghani friend, who has news sources most of us don’t, told me yesterday that Karzai is turning to Russia for help.

Brzezinski told president Carter that when Russia invaded Afghanistan, America now had her chance to give Russia her Vietnam.  Sounds like Russia is being put in the position by Karzai to return the favor?

(Little piece of yuck history - Following a bombing in Afghanistan that killed 4,000 Afghans, Taliban leaders offered Bush to turn over Bin Laden to a neutral nation.  Bush refused labelling the offer “insincere.”)

Our consistent foreign policy appears to rest on the existence of an enemy and if there isn’t one handy, we create one.

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By Maani, January 27, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

bogglesthemind:

Absolutely.  Afghanistan will definitely be Obama’s Vietnam if the U.S. stays there.  Look how badly Russia was harmed during their almost decade-long adventurism there (which was, of course, what led the U.S. to arm the “mahujadeen,” which in turn led to the Taliban and OBL).

Will we NEVER learn from history?

Peace.

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By Folktruther, January 27, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

These kind of efforts should not be dismissed out of hand.  It will be useful to see if this kind of pressure actually changes in any way the Bushite policies that Obama is not only pursuing but intensifying.  If it doesn’t, and most signers probably think that it won’t, as I an many TDers also are inclined, then it will be another signal to the American population that Obama is committed to continuing Bush’s wars.

Which he hopes not to lose until after the next election.  But it is important that he pay a political price for the continuing slaughter and Scheer, Hedges etc have helped ensure that he does.

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By bogglesthemind, January 27, 2009 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam Afghanistan Vietnam

Let’s see, did I leave anything out, besides North Korea and Gaza?

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By blogdog, January 27, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

By all means, do everything possible to shame this Brzezinski puppet into abject embarrassment over his blatant Janus-faced rhetoric.

Obama Team Rejects Afghan Peace Project, German Expert Reports

by Webster Tarpley

from http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11937

The Obama transition team has already rejected out of hand a plan for a negotiated peace settlement in Afghanistan which had been approved by the Karzai government as well as by its opponents. A leading mainstream German Afghanistan expert, Christoph Hörstel, who had attempted to play the role of a back channel between Afghan circles and the Obama team, reports that his approach with this peace plan was brusquely rejected by Obama’s top Afghan advisor, who is not named in the report. This story is reported on the Swiss-German blog Alles Schall und Rauch.

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By Russian Paul, January 27, 2009 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

I hope Obama can be pressured into taking back this particular campaign promise…but unfortunately, it’s extremely unlikely. At this point, he has no reason to - He is enjoying immense popularity and the pressure from above is to maintain the status quo, to keep the war machine going…

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By fusion, January 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

“The Afghan Minister of Defence has 65,000 troops under his dubious command but says he needs 500,000 to control Afghanistan. The Soviets failed to contain the country even when they had 100,000 troops here with 150,000 Afghan soldiers in support. And as Barack Obama prepares to send another 7,000 [30,000?] US soldiers into the pit of Afghanistan, the Spanish and Italians are talking of leaving while the Norwegians may pull their 500 troops out of the area north of Heart. Repeatedly, Western leaders talk of the “key” – of training more and more Afghans to fight in the army. But that was the same “key” which the Russians tried – and it did not fit the lock.

“‘We’ are not winning in Afghanistan.”

Robert Fisk
The Independent [London]
Thursday, 27 November 2008; reporting from Afghanistan
http://tinyurl.com/567ogy
Fisk has more than 30 years’ experience as a foreign correspondent in some of the world’s hottest disaster zones. His home has been in Beirut since 1976.  He speaks colloquial Arabic.  He has had three face-to-face interviews with Osama bin Laden ...

Gates has no military experience.
CNN   Koppel 12/5/06
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0612/05/ltm.02.html

On September 20 2001, the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. The US rejected the offer.

George Monbiot   The Guardian [London] Tuesday November 11, 2003
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1082250,00.html

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By KDelphi, January 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Thank you. The Taliban is NOT “Al Qaeda”, and, prior to being shocked and awed “back to the stone age”, were much more likely to be reasoned with. If you want President Obama to talk to Iran, how can he not attempt to talk to the Taliban?

They may not have wished to talk in the past, because the uS always came to them from a postion of “surrender of die”. Perhaps if we could separate the people of Afghanistan, as well as the Taliban, from 9/11, maybe we could see them as human beings and vice versa.

The way I see it, the US fought the Cold War there, so we wouldnt have to fight it in North America or Europe.

Even if many people there disagree with the Taliban, they , for the most part, disagree with us more. If they didnt before, they do now.

Lets get out.

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By JDLT, January 26, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Dear Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges:

I oftentimes appreciate your articles and while your points are valid this time regarding the wise expenditure of American prestige and how the consideration of such might favor negotiations,  it is very unclear how these talks would be structured with the Taliban, a party that has shown no interest in disavowing the harboring of terrorists or changing what are clearly despicable and unjustifiable human rights views.

JDLT in Los Angeles, CA

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By JDLT, January 26, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges,

I oftentimes appreciate your articles and while your points are valid this time regarding the wise expenditure of American prestige and how the consideration of such might favor negotiations,  it is very unclear how these talks would be structured with the Taliban, a party that has shown no interest in disavowing the harboring of terrorists or changing what are clearly despicable and unjustifiable human rights views.

JDLT in Los Angeles, CA

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By gritona, January 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Excellent, well done everybody. I also wanted to tell Obama this- when he first floated the plan during his campaign. I sure hope he listens to you. don’t see too many people around him who have that much sense.

Afghanistan was a war crime from the start, and would never have happened if bush had not struck so quickly the citizens were still in shock from 9/11 and could not think straight.

troops out now!

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By Hemi*, January 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

And how do you suggest he turn the economy around without a war or three? Oh no, I leaked the spoiler of the Obama presidency. He’s going to war too. Republican bombs are bad, Democratic bombs are good. There, that settles it. To war!

“You’re a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you’re out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we’ll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.” - Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly in Duck Soup

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By Bilejones, January 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yeah, good luck with that. The murdering of brown people will continue.

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