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Ear to the Ground

Obama Visits Afghanistan Ahead of bin Laden Death Anniversary (Update: Video)

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Posted on May 1, 2012
Nick Knupffer/Intel Photos

President Barack Obama (pictured here speaking in Arizona in January) visited Afghanistan on Tuesday to sign an agreement.

After a trip to Afghanistan cloaked in secrecy, President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a “strategic partnership agreement” with Hamid Karzai that promises continuing U.S. support for the Afghan president’s nation. The unannounced visit came as Americans and others marked the first anniversary of the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, shot during a raid by U.S. special forces.

The agreement, intended by the Obama administration to symbolically mark the beginning of the end of the decade-long war in Afghanistan, details the proposed relationship between the two countries over the next 10 years. —TEB

The New York Times:

It is intended to be a road map for two nations lashed together by more than a decade of war and groping for a new relationship after the departure of American troops, scheduled for the end of 2014.

Mr. Obama was scheduled to address the American people from Afghanistan on Tuesday evening, which would be the middle of the night in Afghanistan. The address – on the first anniversary of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan – will give Mr. Obama a new opportunity to make an election-year case that he has wound down two expensive and now unpopular wars, here and in Iraq.

The agreement with Kabul, completed after months of fraught negotiations, pledges American aid for Afghanistan for 10 years after the withdrawal of the last American soldiers. More symbolic than substantive, it nevertheless marks a transition for the United States, from the largest foreign military force in Afghanistan to a staunch, if faraway and complicated, ally.

The agreement and Mr. Obama’s decision to travel to Kabul to sign it are also meant to reassure Afghans that the United States will not abandon them once the soldiers leave, White House aides said.

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By gerard, May 2, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

PRETTY CLOSE to the last lines of Eliot’s famous and forewarning “Wasteland.”
  “This is how the world ends—
  not with a bang, but a whimper.”

A lot of people a lot smarter than you and me, saw this kind of thing coming over the hill after World War I.  In fact, my entire long life span, though personally very lucky and loving, has been spent watching “humanity” deliberately turn itself toward “inhumanity”—and trying to reach out and
catch America from plunging into voluntary lunacy. First it was “wealth” and “production” and “independence”; next it was “isolation” and “superiority” and “full spectrum dominance”.  At last it has become “Armageddon” and “Artificial Intelligence” and ... “Now what?”

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By Blueokie, May 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Apropos that he sneaks in as a thief in the night.

It will do us all proud if the rest of the world were to treat him with the contempt and aloofness he received in Cartagena.

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By vector56, May 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Agreed gerard; Rachel MadCow and the rest of the MSNBC fake-Liberals are milking the “adversary” of the killing of Osama for all it is worth!

Not once did any of these Corporate “tools” ask if we should be killing people without a trial.

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By gerard, May 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

So sad! So sick! So empty!

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By vector56, May 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

“And he’s milking the Hollywood smoke and mirrors of Bin Laden’s (sic, for not him—nobody dies twice) murder for all its worth to his bloodthirsty electorate. “

My thoughts exactly americanme; ironic isn’t it how he (Obama) had his thugs go through the trouble to fly Osama’s body(?) out over the ocean and dump it so those dam Muslims would not use his death to rally around.

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By prisnersdilema, May 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

So it looks like we will be in Afghanistan, for another 10 years.. and they will be in
us too ... the grief that we feel for our murdered children, and their murdered
children, we will carry inside us, and in the emotional scars our children carry
inside after their return from that part of the world.

They don’t tell you how to live with that. The real reality of life and death stripped
of all pretense that you can’t bury with the bodies. That stands in the way of your
becoming something else upon your return. 

Just as the Wars, and the waste, of us, stands in the way of this nation becoming
something else.  For all our desperate attempts to become, something else, it
stands in the way.

There will also be memories of American’s in the people of Afghanistan for a long
time to come even after that, just as there are memories of us in every country
we’ve ever been in.  What does it all mean? About us? How are we remembered?

Just tell us the truth, tell us that we went there because, we need rare earth, for
our economy, that we want to block Russian, and Asian access to the middle East,
that we want it all for ourself, and that we’re willing to lie, cheat, steal and murder
to get it.  And let the American people decide…

Let them decide if they want to be a part of the 4th Reich, and all that implies, but
stop the pretending, let them understand what you want them to become.

Go ahead, Mr. Obama, tell them what you expect of them, so that they have a clear
idea of who and what is standing in the way of their becoming something else.

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

And he’s milking the Hollywood smoke and mirrors of Bin Laden’s (sic, for not him—nobody dies twice) murder for all its worth to his bloodthirsty electorate.

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