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Ear to the Ground

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Addresses Escalation in Afghanistan

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Posted on Dec 1, 2009
Flickr / SEIU International

Rep. Dennis Kucinich in an e-mail to supporters:

Tonight the President will announce an escalation of the war in Afghanistan. An additional 30,000 troops will bring the United States’ total in Afghanistan to 100,000. Tomorrow I will offer an analysis of the President’s plan.

The community I represent in Cleveland, Ohio, is suffering from massive unemployment, record home foreclosures, and small business failures. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. The middle class is gravely threatened. What is happening in Cleveland is occurring nationwide. Yet, Wall Street received over $13 trillion in bailouts, with untold millions for high salaries and bonuses, while Main Street loses its power through unemployment, reduced wages and benefits and little or no access to credit or investment capital. There is something fundamentally wrong with our economy which borrowing more money to spend on war cannot and will not cure. Perhaps nation building should begin at home.

An escalation of the war in Afghanistan at a time of such economic dislocation and hardship raises questions about America’s priorities and whether or not we are losing our way as we attempt to stride aside the globe as some Colossus. Tomorrow we will begin anew the discussion.

Thank you.
Dennis

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By bob pistrami, December 13, 2009 at 4:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

dennis, cleveland has been in the hands of democratic leadership for decades and look at the result. you are part of the problem, not the solution. cleveland is the second poorest city in the nation along with the worst schools in america. the city is in decay.

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By samosamo, December 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

By rfidler, December 2 at 1:24 am

Where did you get this quote from as I believe it is mine:

‘we could all sing kumbaya and world peace would reign.’

but I cannot find it anymore especially in this post/article or at any other posts
here so I figured I didn’t hit the submit button or maybe someone ‘reported it’ and
it was removed.

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By FreeWill, December 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

RobertinWestbury said “Obama voted against the war in Iraq because Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  And he campaigned against the war in Iraq.  He NEVER campaigned against the war in Afghanistan, and has always supported the war there.”

Dead wrong pal.
In 2007 he campaigned and said “the first thing I will do is bring the troops home from Afghanistan and you can take that to the bank.” There’s a video clip of this and I’m sorry I don’t have the link for it to give you but it is fact. Obama has continued to say things and then go an do just the opposite. He’s counting on people forgetting his past utterances. Thankfully we can review the video to confirm the lie.

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By pebbles trippet, December 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If withdraw equals escalate-until-we-are-forced-to-withdraw by the American
people weary of war, we have hit an historical double-speak. The key issue—war
v peace—has been betrayed by the escalation in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Iraq. The
rest of the fabric is intimately intertwined and polluted.
If this means the end of the illusion that politicians lead and the people follow,
then a genuine effort at an independent 3rd party movement is now plausible
without derision & contempt by disaffected democrats to discourage momentum.
Trustworthy campaigns have local roots as a counterweight against cooptation.
That means everyone can find a way to participate at the level of the grassroots
where independent thinkers who stand by principles move and shake.
This is very good news.    pebbles trippet   12.2.9

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By gerard, December 2, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Problem:  Pakistan’s nukes—which they should never have been permitted to get. (and India’s)?
Problem:  Pakistan’s weak government that does not—probably cannot—control the Swat Valley radicals?
Problem:  Does America have a responsibility to try to “help” Pakistan’s government secure its nukes?
Problem:  If so, is there another, better way to do that soon, or quickly?  If not, what if ... ?
Problem:  If this is a reason for the “surge”, what can (will) be done about nukes in that region—and everywhere else—after the “surge” “succeeds” (which we had better hope it does!)
Problem:  What is the surge really about?  If we are not being told, why not? (I may be wrong, but I don’t think this one is about oil or “nation-building”—or empire, or opium or religion.) It’s about stopping violence with counter-violence, and perhaps a “lesser violence.”  Even if it “succeeds” it will only be a temporary “answer”.
Problem:  Once we get through this tight squeak, what long term changes must be made in the entire weapons of mass destruction policies worldwide?
Problem:  Adopting Taowalker’s term “closed loop” for our present dependence upon the military/industrial feeding tube etc., specifically what steps will help us humans open the “loop” and move toward less “artificial” more “natural” systems?
  I myself believe that this is the question behind all the other questons, and it will be either faced or ignored.  If ignored, we will go from this crisis to the next, blind, deaf and dumb. I also believe that Obama knows this and hopes to help answer it, but knows he can’t do it without massive, enduring help from ordinary people. A demonstration now and then won’t be enough.  “Now is the time . . . .“for a worldwide ethical shift.  I think that many people sense this but don’t know how to respond, specifically.

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By danielet, December 2, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Well, my fellow BOHONK, I guess it doesn’t matter because most people just don’t want to face the fact that America has limits. Yea, I remember my father dragging me half way around the world, after a long separation as refugees, to what he called this “Paradise of Freedom.” Until he died he tried to hide his disappointment. But America was getting there in the 60s as young Leftists called for MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE instead of Red Revolution—imagine me a Conservative then saying that (but Cal Conservatives for Poitical Action was 100% behind Betina Aptheker’s FSM at Berkely, calling for MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE. But with time we only heard “red revolution” because we have to be polarized to be mobilized so we followed neocon campaign of hate. Look where that got America now. And yet, Americans have done so much good for makind when their avarice and hubris doesn’t get in the way. Now we are as a nation as we let the blacks be in our nation—POOR—yet Obama likes NOW to pretend that we’re still powerful and can kick anyone’s ass. He should have stuck to the principles that guided him all his life instead of listening to the Clintonisquas that run his White House. Noew Hillary thinks she’ss run in 2012 because Obama will be in the toilet. Already her sucking up to Netanyahu proves she’s going after neocon support and her congratulations to Karzai on his electoral victory that she’s going after Right Wing “America’s gotta win” vote. It is so sad that as the ship of state is sinking all the politician rats are looking for the cheese instead of bailing water. But you’re different, mu fellow East Euro and make me proud. Thank you.

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By don knutsen, December 2, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: rfidler’s comments assuming that all muslims killed are terrorists apparently and everyone against these never-ending wars is a whiny liberal.

The point alot of people are trying to make, including myself, is that shooting a missle into a home or any gathering, like a wedding, etc..that we suspect has a terrorist in it and killing all those inside incl. women, children and old people does not for some reason instill a yearning for the american way and that by doing that over and over does create more terrorists then it kills. What part of that scenerio are you not able to comprehend ? HOw about grabbing people off the streets and holding them in Quantanimo or some other secret location, for 7-8 yr.s, then letting them go after abusing them because we really had no reason to take them in the first place, maybe thats winning a few hearts over ? Perhaps you can explain what strategic interest america has in continuing this war in Afghanistan, cause I have yet to hear one that makes any sense at all. Best of all, you can explain why helping the millions of struggling americans right here at home who are losing everything to the greedheads that run this country, isn’t in out “vital interest”. Best you put your blinders back on and sit back down infront of Glenn Beck, cause he has a similar simplistic view that appeals to those like yourself who are either incapable or just too damn lazy to think for yourself.

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By RobertinWestbury, December 2, 2009 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Photoshock said,

“President Obama, started his campaign for president, on the foundation of strength through peace, not war, now it has become a policy of war not peace, and peace through the barrel of a gun.”

This simply is not true.  Obama voted against the war in Iraq because Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  And he campaigned against the war in Iraq.  He NEVER campaigned against the war in Afghanistan, and has always supported the war there. 

His position was that the Bush administration diverted resources away from where the legitimate fight was.  That they let Bin Laden get away because we didn’t have sufficient manpower in Afghanistan because our man power was primarily in Iraq. 

He has always said the war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) needed to be waged and must be won. 

I love Dennis Kucinich and agree with him on almost everything.  But I have to disagre with him on this one.  It was the valley’s of Afganistan and Pakistan where the plotters of 9/11 launched that effort.  It is there that the radical anti-American terrorists still are, and where they will regroup and plot another attack on us if we just leave. 

It’s unfortunate that with Iraq the Bush administration tired out the American public on the war effort against those in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Nevertheless, Obama would be irresponsible if he ‘did the popular thing’ and walked away.  In another year or two when they blew up the US Capitol, everyone would then blame him (and they’d be right to). 

On this one I say “Bravo Mr. President.”

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By dexpose, December 2, 2009 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More dead soldiers, more soldiers without limbs, more soldiers emotionally tapped, more soldiers’ suicides, more military children left without parents…what cost due we pay for a barren desolate land which history has taught us cannot be conquered? If you have never served in the military do not speak of war.

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By rico, suave, December 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

I love the argument whiny libs make about how killing terrorists only provokes otherwise peace-loving Muslims into becoming terrorist. So if we’d only stop killing Muslims, we could all sing kumbaya and world peace would reign.

Funny how the folks who brought us 9/11, London, Madrid and Bali didn’t share the same circumspection, and how the whiny libs don’t suggest to the Islamofascists that beheading people might be a bit infra dig.

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By rico, suave, December 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

melpol:

It’s the “Sword of Damocles” you idiot

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By rico, suave, December 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

“as we attempt to stride aside the globe as some Colossus” (!!!)

Dennis is almost as illiterate as Folktruther

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By Roger Lafontaine, December 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s always a pleasure to hear and see Dennis Kucinich, a unique pleasure I must say since almost without exception the rest of our so-called representatives are simply bought and paid for by Big Money. No daughter of his is going to marry a Goldman-Sachs banker that’s for sure.Obama is not a ‘terrible disappointment’ because I knew all along where he stood and who he stood for. The thrill of finally electing a black person to the presidency has finally worn off and we are left with the same old National Security State we have had since 1963.

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By LostHills, December 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

A coalition of peace groups are organizing protests against the escalation in many cities across the country. Some of the sponsoring organizations are ANSWER, Code Pink, United For Peace And Justice, and the American Friends Service Committee. To find a demonstration near you, go to:

http://www.answercoalition.org

In most cities it will be Wednesday, December 2nd, at 5:00 PM. You can also call some of your friends and hold up signs at an intersection near your home. It’s time to take a stand!

peace

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By FreeWill, December 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Once again Dennis Kucinich has spoken the truth and is representing the working class people of America.

Dennis is a true Progressive Leader unlike the bogus Corporate puppet that we have as president.  I for one will never again vote for another Corporate funded /sponsored, Democratic or Republican candidate.  I urge Mr. Kucinich and the few other politicians who still actual represent the people, to leave the Democratic and form a new, strong 3rd party alternative. 

It is obvious that neither of the two Parties represents the interest of working people or offer any real choice or change from the Banker and Corporate greed centered agenda now so entrenched in government. As President Obama has vividly demonstrated it make no difference what these candidates say when campaigning. There actions will always favor Big Money interests.  As in this case, Obama’s decision to send more troops, will benefit the Military, Industrial, Corporate Complex, and their puppet politicians at the tragic expense of treasure and lives of the working class. It is not the Bankers sons who will be sacrificed for this needless, insane war but the lives of the sons and daughters of the working class and the poor. The only good that can come of this is that the American people may perhaps wake up to the fact that they have once again been stealthy conned and lied too.

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By melpol, December 1, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

The sword of Damascus will soon have the blood of infidels on its blade.
Politicians in Kabul will run for their helicopters and fly to Las Vegas when
American forces are withdrawn. Karzai will be the first to leave. Those left behind
will be forced to shovel camel dung to save their heads.

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By joell, December 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

photoshock “start another people’s movement for peace and prosperity.”

absolutely will not happen. Rep. Kucinich’s role is to represent “hope” of reforming the party.

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By photoshock, December 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Rep. Kucinich, you are exactly correct that the policy of escalation in Afghanistan, is wrong-headed and a disappointment for this administration.
President Obama, started his campaign for president, on the foundation of strength through peace, not war, now it has become a policy of war not peace, and peace through the barrel of a gun. What happened in the interim to make him, start this obscenity of an escalation?
It is not him and his family that will pay the price for this idiotic and insane policy, the people of the US are again going to be used as cannon fodder for the hopes and dreams of the elite. The few who do not have anything like the economic policies, the lending scam, the banking policies touch them, do not care about real people, the people who will be doing the bidding of a ‘progressive’ president.
This election was rigged from the start, the people have not received any of the promises made during the campaign and are going to be mired deeper in the policy of fighting a war we cannot win.
Please Rep. Kucinch, start another people’s movement for peace and prosperity. The Democratic party has abandoned its core principles for the promise of campaign money and money for the health care of the elected officials. The people have yet again been screwed and tatoo’ed. No one in Washington seems to give a damn about how their votes affect the people at home. We again have been suckered into believing that the representatives care about the ‘little people’ and how their votes mean something to us.

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