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Ear to the Ground

Obama Looks for an ‘Exit Strategy’ in Afghanistan

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Posted on Mar 22, 2009
White House / Pete Souza

The president has frustrated his anti-war base with plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, but he told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he’s not looking to stay indefinitely: “What we can’t do is think that just a military approach in Afghanistan is going to be able to solve our problems. ... So what we’re looking for is a comprehensive strategy. And there’s got to be an exit strategy.”

Reuters:

He made clear his new approach would call for a greater emphasis on economic development in Afghanistan, diplomacy with neighboring Pakistan and better coordination with international partners than under his predecessor George W. Bush.

“What we can’t do is think that just a military approach in Afghanistan is going to be able to solve our problems,” Obama said. “So what we’re looking for is a comprehensive strategy. And there’s got to be an exit strategy ... There’s got to be a sense that this is not perpetual drift.”

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By Sepharad, April 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, After what Netanyahu and Lieberman say they are planning and not planning to do, I can’t support the existing Israeli government but will remain active in the opposition. Also think the U.S. should consider some economic sanctions that will make N&L reconsider their proposals. While there may be a lot of truth to Lieberman’s proposition that concessions to not prevent wars, the rest of their policies, if followed, can only result in tragedy for both Israelis and Palestinians. And perhaps beyond.

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By KDelphi, March 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther-“Netenyahoo, with Obama support, has announced that Iareal is going to create housing for another two hundred thousand settlers added to the nearly half million already occupying Israel.  Using Labor as a guise to continue the fake Peace Process.  this is also insane, but no Zionist tries to cut off US aid or isolate Israel to oppose it.”

Is this true?! How absolutely horrible!

Only those in the ruling class, or benefitting from the ruling classes would say that there is no monoilithic ruling class. The avg person knows just who the ruling classes are…

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By Anarcissie, March 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

cyrena:
Tony Wicher responds to Anarcissie

“I don’t even know what “the U.S. ruling class” is. It’s not monolithic. Under the Bush administration the “neocons” took over the government, staged 9/11, invaded Iraq, and tried to start a war with Iran. You can’t blame Brzezinski for any of these things.”
Another bulls eye for Tony. You hit it on the head here, and I’m guessing you might have been ‘diplomatic’ when you said that you don’t even know what the “U.S. ruling class” actually is, since it’s clearly obvious that Anarcissie doesn’t have a clue herself. People like Anarcissie, KDelphi, Folkliar, Shields, et al, have NO idea who or what the alleged ‘ruling class’ is. Not a clue, at least not based on anything they’ve ever posted here. ...’

On the contrary, I’ve given directions for not only establishing that there is a ruling class, but for finding it and observing what it does.  All you need to do is notice certain phenomena, like the first great bailout of the current series, which something like 99% of the people opposed but was passed anyway, or the appointment of Larry Summers, or the career of George W. Bush, or the re-invasion of Afghanistan, which are inexplicable without the concept of a ruling class.  Look into these phenomena, analyze them, follow the money.  See who’s doing what to whom and how.

Of course, if you don’t want to see something, then you can shut your eyes tightly and hold your hands over them and say you can’t see anything.  There is nothing I can do about that.

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By cyrena, March 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher responds to Anarcissie

“I don’t even know what “the U.S. ruling class” is. It’s not monolithic. Under the Bush administration the “neocons” took over the government, staged 9/11, invaded Iraq, and tried to start a war with Iran. You can’t blame Brzezinski for any of these things.”
Another bulls eye for Tony. You hit it on the head here, and I’m guessing you might have been ‘diplomatic’ when you said that you don’t even know what the “U.S. ruling class” actually is, since it’s clearly obvious that Anarcissie doesn’t have a clue herself. People like Anarcissie, KDelphi, Folkliar, Shields, et al, have NO idea who or what the alleged ‘ruling class’ is. Not a clue, at least not based on anything they’ve ever posted here.  So if you asked any of them who or what the supposed ‘ruling class’ is, they couldn’t tell you. But, nobody ever calls these people on their bullshit generalizations, and so they continue to sprout the same theme over and over again, and so the ‘ruling class’ becomes as invisible as say ‘al-Qaeda’.  Somehow they are ‘everywhere’ and NOWHERE. Another Wizard of Oz concept that nobody ever questions.

And don’t expect them to ever take up the task of actually identifying this so-called ruling class, in part because they wouldn’t be able to, and even if they could, it would blow their whole theory, which holds about as much substance as the invisible Wizard of Oz. For them, the ‘ruling class’ is anybody with more money and power than they have.
Let’s take another example: Have you EVER heard ANY of these people complain about the Dick Cheney Administration in the way they’ve been dogging Obama for the past 2 years? Nope. Why? They don’t even know who THAT group of ruling class was or remains. Dick Cheney had a SECRET STAFF that ran EVERYTHING, without most Americans even knowing who they were. How many Americans knew who David Addington was and is? How many Americans knew that Addington wrote every single Executive Order and secret signing statement that was secretly attached to every bill that the moron Bush signed? Who do they think wrote the Patriot Act? The Wizard of Oz?  Who do they think came up with the Military Commissions Act that then Senator Obama argued so passionately against, and is now in the process of overturning? Oh wait, they haven’t a clue to what the MCA actually means.
Let’s not forget that Obama and his team have been after this ‘ruling class’ since day one…that would be the minimum of 52,000 US citizens, (the ones with all of the money) who have been hiding our revenue in their off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes on it. Have you heard a peep out of these people about that? Of course not.

And yet Jackpine Savage claims that Obama isn’t ‘being honest with the American people.” Is he in a coma, or is he just so accustomed to the unprecedented secrecy of the former regime, that truth and transparency have now become ‘dishonest’ if only because it’s not what they wanna hear?

How many ways can we spell denial, denial, denial, or a thousand ways to blame anybody or anything EXCEPT for the real culprits? Well, just keep reading their posts. They come up with something new from time to time, but never is it the real deal.

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By Tony Wicher, March 30, 2009 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, March 29 at 10:31 pm #


Tony Wicher:
‘Re Anarcissie, March 24 at 8:44 pm

Once again, I’m only hearing your completely unsupported opinions. Brezinski has certainly never said that the U.S. ruling class should rule the world. What he said in the video you said you watched, is that, so far from ruling the world, the U.S. does not even have the power to rule Afghanistan, whether it would like to or not. That is a fact-based evaluation.’

Brzezinski’s subject, in the video, is what to do about Afghanistan.  Such a subject, such a question, can be based only on the assumption that the U.S. ruling class, which is what Brzezinski serves and whose beliefs and interests he clearly identifies with, has some business ordering the affairs of the people in Afghanistan (and elsewhere, of course).  There is no other possible explanation of Brzezinski’s line of thought.
————————————————————————-
I don’t even know what “the U.S. ruling class” is. It’s not monolithic. Under the Bush administration the “neocons” took over the government, staged 9/11, invaded Iraq, and tried to start a war with Iran. You can’t blame Brzezinski for any of these things.

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, March 23 at 3:12 pm #


I got an exit strategy—“About face! Forward march!”
——————————————————————————
You’re probably right, KD. How can we drain the swamp of Afghanistan when we ourselves are an even bigger one? Maybe we should just go home and try to clean ourselves up first. Hell if I know.

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By Folktruther, March 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, your last analysis about the ‘Stans is quite right: the Shanghai Defense organization has more or less won there.  So Zbig has more or less changed his position from US world conquest in THE GRAND CHESSBOARD.  As Anarcissie says, he serves the American ruling class.

As for attacking Iran, I agree that it is politically insane.  But I think that Zionists, including you, ARE politically and ideologically nnsane, and are following a death strategy which will result in the destruction of the Israeli power system.  And this is the opinion as well of a number of Zionists.

Netenyahoo, with Obama support, has announced that Iareal is going to create housing for another two hundred thousand settlers added to the nearly half million already occupying Israel.  Using Labor as a guise to continue the fake Peace Process.  this is also insane, but no Zionist tries to cut off US aid or isolate Israel to oppose it.  Zionists are lemmings like Howard, who may sound reasonable like you, but who are running toward the cliff edge with the pack.

Tony Wicker: you have pompoms for brains.

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By Anarcissie, March 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher:
‘Re Anarcissie, March 24 at 8:44 pm

Once again, I’m only hearing your completely unsupported opinions. Brezinski has certainly never said that the U.S. ruling class should rule the world. What he said in the video you said you watched, is that, so far from ruling the world, the U.S. does not even have the power to rule Afghanistan, whether it would like to or not. That is a fact-based evaluation.’

Brzezinski’s subject, in the video, is what to do about Afghanistan.  Such a subject, such a question, can be based only on the assumption that the U.S. ruling class, which is what Brzezinski serves and whose beliefs and interests he clearly identifies with, has some business ordering the affairs of the people in Afghanistan (and elsewhere, of course).  There is no other possible explanation of Brzezinski’s line of thought.

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By cyrena, March 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, March 25 at 12:34 am #
“Cyrena, Obama’s not responsible for the environmental crisis or Afghanistan or anything else he inherited. But I’m worried about sending more soldiers into Afghanistan because their entire culture, moreso even than in Arab countries, is based on being left alone, in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and not interfered with or their families endangered. Personally, I think the Taliban telling people what to do and throwing acid in school girls’ faces is a very bad thing and if Afghanistan’s people genuinely ask for our help in dislodging them, then we should try.”

Sepharad,
I rarely agree with you, but for the most part, I do agree with you here. I have mentioned many times on this forum, that I do not agree with our military action in Afghanistan, which means that I don’t agree with President Obama on this, and I never have. I ‘sort’ of went along with it at the beginning, because the lying and criminal administration of Dick Bush convinced everyone that was where bin Laden was holed up, and most definitely assisted by the Taliban and the ISI. I didn’t know any better at the time, so it seemed reasonable enough to go after the ‘terrorists’.
Since then, (because it took me a while to sort through the lies) I know that we NEVER had any business in Afghanistan, though we might have dealt with the real danger that Pakistan represented. But instead of dealing with Pakistan, (who sponsored several of the alleged highjackers) Dick Bush paid the then DICTATOR of Pakistan several MILLION taxpayer dollars to supposedly deal with the ‘terrorists’ on their boarder. Now exactly how or why did Dick Bush expect Musharraf to ‘deal with’ the so called terrorists when Musharraf was instead PROTECTING them?
So, even though I may have been ‘fooled’ initially into believing that there might be a reason for our action there, (Pakistan DOES have nuclear weapons, and I am a nuclear weapons fanatic who believes that NOBODY should have them, and that they shouldn’t even EXIST) I don’t believe that any longer. India has them, Israel has them, and I am a US citizen with no plans to reside in or even visit either place. Neither Pakistan or Afghanistan is a threat to the US, so why should I care? I wouldn’t care if they attacked Israel, except for the fact that it would jeopardize the Arab population as well.

Meantime, Pakistan has a new leadership, and so I don’t think we belong there at all. You mentioned it would be OK if they ‘asked’ for our help to save them from the extremists that do things like throwing acid in girl’s faces. That isn’t likely to happen either, since they weren’t doing it before we interfered.
That said, I do UNDERSTAND why President Obama feels a need for action there, but I personally disagree. He’s determined to wipe out al-Qaeda, but I don’t believe al-Qaeda to be a threat to us, UNLESS we’re practicing our standard global hegemony that allows the US to think they can go anywhere in the world. That’s why the USS Cole was blown up….we were ILLEGALLY docked in Yemen’s waters.

So for me, the solution to global terror is largely a matter of the US minding our own business, and that includes our sponsorship of Israel. Most folks refuse to accept that one of the reasons we are so hated in the Middle East is because of our support of Israel’s crimes against humanity. Crimes Israel would not be able to accomplish without the billions of dollars and weapons that we have consistently provided.

I’m pretty sure Obama ‘gets that’ because he’s certainly indicated that we are NOT ‘winning’ in Afghanistan, and it’s equally clear that he needed to come by this reality only after he took office and set-up a review of the situation on the ground there. So, he knows we need an exist strategy, which is why I don’t get why he’s sending more troops.

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

By tropicgirl, March 24 at 12:56 pm #


Obama can’t get out of Afghanistan.  The reason is that he has no idea why we are there (besides taking marching orders from Israel).
————————————————————————-
tropicgirl,

Oh, go gas a Jew, why don’t you?

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, March 26 at 12:17 am #


“I am sure Zbigniew would prefer to rule Afghanistan through suasion, guile, and bribery, rather than with direct force, but his basic assumption is that it’s the job of the U.S. government or ruling class to control the big picture in Afghanistan and everywhere else in the world, if possible.  At least, that’s the distinct impression I got from watching the video.

  Of course the invasion of Iraq was insane from Z’s point of view, since Iraq was already pretty much under control.

Tony W. said that Obama was listening to Z., and I think the actions comport with that theory: get out of Iraq, sort of, and send more troops to Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan.

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Anarcisse,

Zbig is a geopolitical strategist. He thinks in terms of what is the U.S. national interest around the world. He has a realistic view of U.S. power. He was always opposed to the neocon hubris that the U.S. could or should rule the world. And, being the principal author of the strategy leading to the demise of the Soviet empire in Afghanistan, he is especially shy of getting involved there, as he emphasized over and over in the video, if you  
were listening. Obama’s move to put in 4000 more troops announced on Friday was a response to Gen Petraeus (who wants still more) not Brzezinski.

I continue to join Obama in having confidence in Petraeus as well. To the best of my knowledge they are the most honest and competent people we could find to handle this mess. I hope they are equal to it.

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, March 26 at 12:17 am #


“I am sure Zbigniew would prefer to rule Afghanistan through suasion, guile, and bribery, rather than with direct force, but his basic assumption is that it’s the job of the U.S. government or ruling class to control the big picture in Afghanistan and everywhere else in the world, if possible.  At least, that’s the distinct impression I got from watching the video.
  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Anarcisse,

Zbig is a geopolitical strategist. He thinks in terms of what is the U.S. national interest around the world. He has a realistic view of U.S. power. He was always opposed to the neocon hubris that the U.S. could or should rule the world. And, being the principal author of the strategy leading to the demise of the Soviet empire in Afghanistan, he is especially shy of getting involved there, as he emphasized over and over in the video, if you  
were listening. Obama’s move to put in 4000 more troops announced on Friday was a response to Gen Petraeus (who wants still more) not Brzezinski.

I continue to join Obama in having confidence in Petraeus as well. 

  Of course the invasion of Iraq was insane from Z’s point of view, since Iraq was already pretty much under control.

Tony W. said that Obama was listening to Z., and I think the actions comport with that theory: get out of Iraq, sort of, and send more troops to Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan.

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Re Anarcissie, March 24 at 8:44 pm

Once again, I’m only hearing your completely unsupported opinions. Brezinski has certainly never said that the U.S. ruling class should rule the world. What he said in the video you said you watched, is that, so far from ruling the world, the U.S. does not even have the power to rule Afghanistan, whether it would like to or not. That is a fact-based evaluation.

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By Tony Wicher, March 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Folks,

I have been trying to figure out what is going on in Afghanistan/Pakistan, what after all the right strategy for our country should be. At this point I am completely perplexed. I just listened to Gen. David Petraeus and his self-described counterpart Ambassador Holbrooke on CNN this morning. In my view, Petraeus does indeed deserve credit for his counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq (stupidly called “the surge”). I said that at the time, while Obama was still making speeches opposing it. I took a lot of flak for saying that Petraeus was a good general, that good generals are hard to come by, and that Obama should keep him on when he gets into office. I was right about all that. Obama changed his mind about “the surge” and kept Petraeus on to manage Afghanistan/Pakistan.

The main problem in Afghanistan/Pakistan is corruption. Holbrooke repeatedly called it a “cancer’ on CNN today. I think “narcoterrorism” is a good word to describe it. It looks to me as though the whole thing comes down to a war between various drug gangs, with the people of the area caught in the middle. The forces include the central government, warlords operating since the 80’s, the “Taliban”, an obscure group of fundamentalists funded and brought to power by the Pakistani intelligence, the ISI, in the mid-90’s, “Al Qaeda”, a group of mostly Arab “mujahedeen” organized by bin Laden and Zawahiri in the early 90’s from the fighters remaining after the war against the Soviets, funded by both the CIA, the ISI and Saudi intelligence working together against the Soviets. All of these parties seem to be involved in the massive drug trade. Truly it is a geopolitical swamp that needs to be drained.

On Friday Obama announced that he is sending an additional 4000 troops. I continue to have confidence in both Obama and General Petraeus, so I am not going to be demonstrating or signing petitions against it. But both Petraeus and Holbrooke did not satisfy me with their answers on the question of Pakistan. If the concern is the threat to the U.S. posed by the international jihadis of Al Qaeda, what about the fact that Al Qaeda is operating out of safe havens in Pakistan? We are told we cannot operate on the ground inside Pakistan, so we must rely on the Pakistan military and ISI. But didn’t we hear only recently that the Pakistani government signed an agreement to stay out of the locally administered tribal areas, which have never been under the control of the Pakistani central government? Didn’t the ISI virtually create the Taliban? Did they not also fund Al Qaeda, not only during the war against the Soviets, but also afterwards? Indeed there there is strong evidence that the same person, Saeed Sheikh, who directly funded the 9/11 “hijackers” was not only a bin Laden financial manager but also worked for the ISI.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/main/saeedsheikh.html     

I put the word “hijackers” in quotes because I believe Atta and the rest were either plants and patsies who never hijacked anything, just used to lay a false evidence trail, or were completely fictitious, as for example Saudi Arabian pilot Waleed Al Shehri, one of five men that the FBI said had flown AA flight 11 into the World Trade Centre.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1559151.stm, who is still alive and said his passport had been stolen by a pickpocket.

I don’t see how Obama, Petraeus and Holbrooke can get this mess sorted out with the best will in the world. But I guess they are the best we have, so I wish them luck.

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By Anarcissie, March 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

I am sure Zbigniew would prefer to rule Afghanistan through suasion, guile, and bribery, rather than with direct force, but his basic assumption is that it’s the job of the U.S. government or ruling class to control the big picture in Afghanistan and everywhere else in the world, if possible.  At least, that’s the distinct impression I got from watching the video.  Of course the invasion of Iraq was insane from Z’s point of view, since Iraq was already pretty much under control.

Tony W. said that Obama was listening to Z., and I think the actions comport with that theory: get out of Iraq, sort of, and send more troops to Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan.  Shorten your swords and lengthen your frontiers.  Divide and rule.  All that kind of imperial thing.  This isn’t a change in Obama: he said the same thing long before the election, even before the campaign.  It’s other people who construed him to be the peace candidate which he never was and never said he was.

Regardless, I would like the U.S. to get out of the war and imperialism business.  So I am at odds with these fellows.  Which side are you on?—as the old song goes.

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By cyrena, March 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, March 25 at 11:48 am #
Sepharad- Of course Obama is responsible for the wars and mess he inherited, that is why he was put into office, to do something about them.  What he is doing in Afganistan is expanding the war to Pakistan.


Folkliar,
Same old shit here, eh? What makes you think that Obama was elected to do something that he never promised to do in his campaign? He said he would wind down the War ON Iraq, since he never approved of our being there to begin with, and knew (as any Prof of Constitutional Law would know) that the US military presence in Iraq was illegal to begin with, because Cheney and Rumsfeld went in without a UNSC approval or resolution. (remember when Colin Powell tried to convince them that Saddam had weapons?) They didn’t buy it, and so they wouldn’t give the approval for us to attack Iraq, and so Cheney and Donny went ahead without it. (Powell later very quietly withdrew the request.)

So, Obama promised to finish that operation by withdrawing our troops, and of course he made that official within weeks of assuming the office, not long after giving the order to close Guantanamo, and suspend the kangaroo trials going on there. And all along, (way before we elected him) he SAID what he was gonna do about Afghanistan and Pakistan as well. He promised to get us out of Iraq, and he said in the same breath, that the job in Afghanistan had been left undone, (without ever saying that we shouldn’t have been their to begin with either) AND…he SAID he was going to send in additional troops to Afghanistan, based on the concern for the fact that Pakistan is now, and has been for a very long time, a center for militancy in that region of Central Asia. To deny that those tribal areas are so called ‘hot beds of extremism’ would be pretty stuip, don’t ya think? To deny that Pakistan has become a failed state with their own nukes would be pretty stupid, don’t ya think? Now that doesn’t necessarily make them a threat to US, (which is my point) but it doesn’t mean that militants with nuclear weapons aren’t an obvious threat to other parts of the world.

Now I don’t necessarily agree with him about either/or,  if only because I’ve long doubted the validity of the Pakistan threat, and because I know that the US military presence in Afghanistan under the former regime only made things worse for them.  It appears that Obama now recognizes that as well, which is why he’s now looking for an exit strategy.
So why do you continue to use these IED’s Folkliar? Why would you think that Obama was put in office to stop the war on Afghanistan, when he never made such a claim at all, but rather has always said the opposite? He’s ALWAYS talked about the action in Afghanistan as being a counter terrorism operation, and has never deviated from that, based on information that he has, (that apparently you DON’T have, or won’t acknowledge) about the reality on the ground.

Contrary to your lies here folkliar, Zbig is NOT in favor of continued military action in Afghanistan. In fact, for obvious reasons, he’s downright opposed to it. So why do you continue to lie, knowing full well that we all have access to the truth? There’s just something really stupid about that.

So it would seem folkliar, that you just can’t handle this new transparency from an Administration that actually tells the truth, in addition to remaining flexible enough to reconsider policy based on real live situations on the ground, and other facts, (or the exposure of those facts that have been hidden for seven years).

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By Sepharad, March 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, Escobar is right: at the moment oil and gas are the main goals of the new great game—not that anyone has yet undone the damage caused by the old great game. In the long run the only way peace for anyone will come is through another less rare and less toxic source of energy. The prospects seem dim because there is no such thing as affordable clean coal technology, most biofuels need more energy to create than they save, and nuclear power continues to be dogged by the problem of waste disposal, unless there is a technological breakthrough I’ve missed.
$
Even if Obama is, in the back of his mind, attempting position the U.S. to stake a claim on central Asian oilfields I think it’s too late for that. Obviously we are not making any friends in Afghanistan, we don’t have a set policy for Pakistan, and the Russians and Chinese have pretty carefully sewn up the remaining ‘stans unless we want to start a war with them too. (The exception is non-existent Kurdistan.)

What is it that you don’t understand about just how “small potatos” Israel and its concerns are? We aren’t going to attack Iran just to make Likudniks and neocons happy. Some—particularly religious extremists—in Israel might be willing to try it, but even Netanyahu must understand we are all in a political and financial crisis and to do anything as rash as an attack on Iran would alienate not only the U.S. and all of Europe and Russia and China but also would alienate those Israelis and American Jews opposed to such an attack who are more interested in peace than in killing Palestinians or committing national suicide.

OK—do your worst—but remember Israel is not and has never been at the heart of the great game, either I or II.

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By Folktruther, March 25, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

I agree.  But Escabar seems a little careless in his generalizations.  And his focus on oil and gas tends to leave out a lot.

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By KDelphi, March 25, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie—good stuff at tomgram. its worth taking a look!

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By Anarcissie, March 25, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Some interesting comments on the Great Game:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175050/pepe_escobar_welcome_to_pipelineistan

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KC20Df01.html

not totally irrelevant to this discussion.

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By Folktruther, March 25, 2009 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Sepharad- Of course Obama is responsible for the wars and mess he inherited, that is why he was put into office, to do something about them.  What he is doing in Afganistan is expanding the war to Pakistan.

The standard military measure is not one soldier for every 40 citizens, but ten soldiers for every insurgent. this is why Afghanistatn has defeated its conquerers, all the men can become insurgents.  there are now 15 million of them in Afghanistan.  There are 180 million people in Pakistan.

Obama obviously can’t win that Af-Pak war and he isn’t even trying. He merely wants to avoid losing it before the next election.  Losing it would deminish the US leadeship role of Nato and thus American imperialism. And thus Israeli imperialism, which you support.  It would destroy Zbig’s imperialist strategy outlined in the GRAND CHESSBOARD.

So the killing, mutalation, rape, looting, drugs and terrorizing is continuing largely so Obama can win the next election.  Just as the Gazan war was fought largely to win the Israeli election.  Since both parties are strongly influenced by Zionists, and like yourself, Zionists are strongly pro-war under the guise of wanting peace, Obama must cater to them if he is to get re-elected.  The two presidents that defied them in some measure, Carter and Bush 1, both were defeated for re-election.

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By Sepharad, March 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, Obama’s not responsible for the environmental crisis or Afghanistan or anything else he inherited. But I’m worried about sending more soldiers into Afghanistan because their entire culture, moreso even than in Arab countries, is based on being left alone, in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and not interfered with or their families endangered. Personally, I think the Taliban telling people what to do and throwing acid in school girls’ faces is a very bad thing and if Afghanistan’s people genuinely ask for our help in dislodging them, then we should try. But the more soldiers we send the more violence seems to occur—and we’re nowhere near the number required to make a real difference and I hope we never will be. (If one soldier per 40 citizens is still the standard of effectiveness that would be a quarter-million soldiers. The Russians had half a million troops and it didn’t work very well for them even so.) Obama is talking about a comprehensive approach that includes development and an exit strategy, but sending more troops might not bring the added security it did in Iraq because the two countries are so radically different. Without more security he can’t improve the rate of development. It’s a mess, and I hope his approach is successful, but he’s really up against a tough situation. Maybe if Afghanistan were still the feudal warlord place it was, they would have long since taken care of the Taliban themselves. Under Bush, we seem to have maneuvered the Afghanis into being more receptive to religious extremists than they ever were.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, March 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
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It’s far too late for the USA in Afghanistan.  It always was.  The corruption in that medieval nightmare of a country is just too overwhelming.  All Obama can do is negotiate for a “decent interval”, a la Vietnam, then leave, claiming Victory, and hope the Taliban, the bandit gangs and the warlords don’t make him look like a fool.  George W. Bush must be chuckling like the homicidal clown he is.

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By Anarcissie, March 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher:
‘Re Anarcissie, March 24 at 10:17 am

What good are your fact-free opinions? This is so much hot air. I bet you didn’t even bother to look at the link I provided.’

Certainly I looked at it, and my opinions, far from being fact-free, are derived directly and obviously from it.  Brzezinski thinks the U.S., meaning the U.S. ruling class, should run the world, but more cleverly than it did or tried to do under the Bush regime.  If the U.S. is not running the world, what business does it have in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran and Georgia?  To name but a few of the recent and proposed adventures.

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By tropicgirl, March 24, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Obama can’t get out of Afghanistan.  The reason is that he has no idea why we are there (besides taking marching orders from Israel).

He can’t get out because he has no idea why it is wrong.

The shadow government will continue to run our policy and kill our kids (and theirs).

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By Dag Andersson, March 24, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

@Tony Wicher

Predicting the future outcome of US engagement in Afghanistan is not based on facts, but knowledge, experience and common sense.
However, FACT is: Operation enduring Freedom is not an US enterprise, but NATO.
  Here is what Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Huffington Post

“We have to decide more precisely what is the objective of our involvement. Because we are increasingly running the risk of getting bogged down both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan in pursuit of objectives which we are lacking the power to reach ... The problem is the more we get involved in Afghanistan the more deeply we get involved in Pakistan as well. Hence we need very specific narrow objectives.”

  I believe the political leadership of NATO agree with his view. Anyways-they still need Karzai’s approval for any “surge”.

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By Folktruther, March 24, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

U don’t look at your links, Tony, because you are a braindead airhead whose sole political objective is cheerleading for Obama.  Even worse, the disgusting mentors of Obama like Zbig.  But I forgive you because it is obvious you are not capable of critical analysis, or even recognize it when it appears.

It is increasingly evident that Obama is in over his head. He is coasting along continuing Bushite policies while making increasingly thin Progressvie defenses of them.  And this two-faced policy won’t fool people much longer.  As Anarcissie says, he apparently doesn’t have a plan B.  More death, more destruction, more lies to cover them up.  As the population increasingly understands that Obama is a tool of the power structure of the ruling class.

But not you, Tony, never you. We can always count on you to support Obama no matter what he does or doesn’t do.  Let’s hear it now, give me an O….Bive me a B…...

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By Tony Wicher, March 24, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Re Anarcissie, March 24 at 10:17 am

What good are your fact-free opinions? This is so much hot air. I bet you didn’t even bother to look at the link I provided.

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By Dag Andersson, March 24, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

These are the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United Sates. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people…

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By Anarcissie, March 24, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Brzezinski’s theory is that the United States, or rather its ruling class, should run the world; he differs with Bush and his neocon buddies only as to technique.  He is apparently incapable of asking the more fundamental question of whether the U.S. ruling class should be running the world in the first place.  If this is what Obama is listening to—and I think there is a good chance it is—it’s a pretty depressing situation: we’re in for four more years of colonial wars, the corruption they breed, and the economic and moral bankruptcy they lead to.

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By Tony Wicher, March 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Please, people, inform yourselves before putting keyboard in gear. Listen to this interview of Brzezinski by David Frost. How much more clear and precise can you be? This is the advice Obama is hearing about Afghanistan. 


http://www.politube.org/show/1416

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By Anarcissie, March 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Mr. O hasn’t withdrawn from Iraq, yet, and he not only hasn’t withdrawn from Afghanistan, but is sending more troops there.  Plus, there are still those 700 military bases around the world, in dozens and dozens of countries.  The military budget has been increased.  In short, he’s saying one thing and doing another.  Not that this is a big surprise; if he were actually opposed to war and imperialism, he would not be president.  It’s not allowed.

So, on April 4th, I’m going to be in one of those demonstrations.  I don’t like demonstrations much, but somebody’s got to do it.

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By JFoster2k, March 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

60 days in office and the neocons and far left loonies are out in force screaming, “I told you so!”

Look, the situation for the soldiers in Afghanistan was horrible. They were severely undermanned. Getting them additional support was the right short term move. I stress short term.

The G20 will be the place to hear from all interested parties and develop a comprehensive strategy. We can expect to hear more on it in a couple weeks. Obama is no idiot. He knows Afghanistan is an “Empire Killer”. I just hope we’re not already dead.

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By KDelphi, March 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

I got an exit strategy—“About face! Forward march!”

As for the emails you get from change.gov or whitehouse.gov: ie “Troops out of Iraq—Done!” I stopped getting those, at my request. LIke the wives, chldren and parents—I will believe it when they are standing here.

I will not belive that taxing the bone-uses is “done” (its being officially non-supported—makes sense, since Dodd, Pres(then Sen)Obama supported the bailout and stimulus language.)

I will belive that “
health care reform” is “done” when as many people are covered here, at as low a cost, as France or Canada. (per patient—not “consumer”)

Ps—Plenty of people make fois gas here, too. I cant eat it. Poor geese. It tastes great. But, yuk. Good thing—I sure as f*ck cant afford it.

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By NYCartist, March 23, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

Channeling LBJ?  The Reuters article mentions a meeting in Strasburg, France.  Isn’t that where the geese have funnels stuck down their throat to “grow” pate de fois gras? I’m old enough to have seen the movie “Mondo Canne” as a teen. (I’ll blame the reference on Mr. Fish influence.)  Karzai is getting “help”...another Vietnam flashback.

Exit strategy: Declare victory and leave.  Get good PR writers to write it.  Who was the guy who put up a sign in his place on Broadway, Manhattan: This way to the egress?

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By Folktruther, March 23, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

This is standard Obama strategy: continue Bushite policies but use rhetoric that appeals to progressives.  Except that he is not continuing Bushite policy in Afghanistan, but escalating it, and extending it to Pakistan.  This is a course so disasterous that only the pompom twins, Cyrena and Tony Wicher, could defend it.

This two faced strategy, words for the progessives, plicies for the conservatives, are finally getting on people’s nerves.  So incrasingly Dem apologists will take on the slezoid tone of Cyrena since the facts, morality and rationality are against them.  The Democratic Limbarghers and Coulters are already in place.

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By Tony Wicher, March 23, 2009 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

Obama has said that he is conducting a “wide ranging review” of our Afghanistan policy, with emphasis on the “wide-ranging”. He said in the 60 Minutes interview that because of immediate conditions on the ground he had to send the 17,000 troops before the review could be completed. Meanwhile, as the review proceeds, I am sure he is listening to advisors like Zbigniew Brzezinski telling him that there are indeed no military solutions in Afghanistan and cautioning strenuously against getting bogged down there as he so cleverly provoked the Soviets into doing. Afghanistan is in any case a cesspool of corruption, with the central government, various warlords, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the CIA and the ISI all profiting from the drug trade. If Obama has any illusions about all this, I’m sure Zbig doesn’t.

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By Dag Andersson, March 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

My dear cyrena

Before you start polishing Obama’s halo you should contemplate on the iincoherence between his lack of strategy and the plan to increase the number of soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan.
  One thing is clear: There are no military solution for Afghanistan

http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2009/03/afghanistan_on.html


The solution for Afghanistan lies in finding a diplomatic understanding with Iran and Pakistan  and for that he need to reduce the influence of the neocons and Israel firsters ihnside his own government.

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By cyrena, March 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Uh Oh!! This is gonna break Max and Folkliar’s hearts. Obama has already followed through on his promise to withdraw from Iraq, and now he’s gonna do the same thing in Afghanistan.

What are the Obama haters gonna DO? Oh well, they’ll make up something else to blame him for. The environmental crises should be a good one for them to blame on him. There’s no doubt he’s responsible for that as well.

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