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Ear to the Ground

Obama Zeroes In on Afghanistan

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Posted on Mar 30, 2009

On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” President Obama did his best to convince CBS’ Bob Schieffer, and by extension the American people, that he knows what he’s doing in escalating U.S. military operations in Afghanistan—and that this won’t be his Vietnam.

Los Angeles Times:

Obama framed the escalation of military activity in Afghanistan and aid for Pakistan that he announced Friday as part of an effort to regain focus on defeating or neutralizing Al Qaeda, which was dislodged from enclaves in Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.

“We have to ensure that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan can serve as a safe haven for Al Qaeda. And, unfortunately, over the last several years what we’ve seen is—essentially—Al Qaeda moving several miles from Afghanistan to Pakistan but effectively still able to project their violence and hateful ideologies around the world,” Obama said in an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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By artie, March 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
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Obama is clearly for another four years of war, which is what the power elite want- it’s profitable. .

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By Tony Wicher, March 31, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

About the best thing we could do that I can think of that would solve the narcoterrorism problem around the world would be to legalize marijuana, grow our own opium and coca, and supply pure cocaine and heroin to registered addicts.

Obama is very smart and I am sure he has thought of this solution, but he is ovriously not in a political position to be able to say it. Yet.

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By Tony Wicher, March 31, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I am one who believes that 9/11 was an inside job, and that the real terrorists are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the neocons. I expect and hope to see them exposed and convicted of treason and war crimes in the not very distant future. Given this, what do I think about Obama’s stated strategic objective of weakening or destroying the Al Qaeda/Taliban extremists which he says are continuing to plot terror attacks on the United States?

I have long been a strong Obama supporter. I continue to have a lot of confidence in Obama and also in his commanding general, Petraeus. They have come to the conclusion that we can’t just walk away. It certainly is a geopolitical disease swamp that needs to be drained. Obama’s approach recognizes that this is a political problem which we cannot win through military action alone, but only in combination with international diplomacy and with efforts whose objective is to improve the lives of the Afghan and Pakistani people so that they will ally themselves with us instead of the extremists. It is a reasonable approach. In the mean time, we are getting closer to indicting the Bush Administration for war crimes and their 9/11 complicity gets closer to exposure. Obama is discouraging this, but I hope that soon the pressure will become too great (Spain has begun the process of war crimes prosecution) for Obama to resist. It is time for him to appoint a special prosecutor.

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By jackpine savage, March 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

He most certainly does not know what he’s doing.  When Joe Biden has to be the one who talks some sense into your war plans, you’re in serious, serious trouble.

The touted AfPak plan is so full of idiocy that liberal writers have to title their pieces “It Could Be Worse”.

Moreover, for him to give us the Al-Queada bogeyman yet again is beyond the pall.

I fear that he’s going to manage to make Clinton look like a decent president.

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By dr wu, March 30, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

President Obama’s   stated rationale for sending more troops and providing additional aide to Afghanistan is that we’re there to prevent Al Qaeda/Taliban from attacking the US. This rationale begins to wear thin after hearing it so many times over the years in regard to: Russia, China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, San Salvador etc.

Moreover, if we’re afraid of a terrorist attack on US soil from Afghanistan, we need to also consider possible attacks from any number of teetering-on–the-brink countries: Haiti, Somalia, Moldavia, Mexico, etc. In this globalized age a Bin Laden’s can operate from anywhere and short of going to war with the entire world, we need a smarter strategy than invading and occupying.

Strangely, there’s never a mention energy (oil, gas) and Afghanistan in the same sentence. The country is strategically located atop major energy routes. In the past the Bush administration negotiated with the Taliban on delivery routes for these vital resources. Is this a current possibility?

I’m no expert but I can tell you the Obama plan of re- invading Afghanistan is DOA. Just ask the master of foreign armies dying in that country, Rudyard Kipling. The place is still part of the “Great Game”—countries near and far want a piece of the action—energy routes, geopolitical control. So India fights Pakistan (solve this one and the whole region will quiet down!), the Taliban/Pushtuns fight Russia, USA, Iran. The place needs a grand bargain—make it neutral like Switzerland, offer a little something to everyone.

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