Top Leaderboard, Site wide
July 29, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates






The Sixth Extinction


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Obama’s Meaningless War

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Sep 1, 2009
troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Medics carry a Marine overcome by heat exhaustion to a medical evacuation helicopter in the Nawa district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province in July 2009.

By Robert Scheer

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, beginning with his war on poverty, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Meaningless is the right term for the Afghanistan war, too, because our bloody attempt to conquer this foreign land has nothing to do with its stated purpose of enhancing our national security. Just as the government of Vietnam was never a puppet of Communist China or the Soviet Union, the Taliban is not a surrogate for al-Qaida. Involved in both instances was an American intrusion into a civil war whose passions and parameters we never fully grasped and could not control militarily.

The Vietnamese Communists were not an extension of an inevitably hostile, unified international communist enemy, as evidenced by the fact that Communist Vietnam and Communist China are both our close trading partners today. Nor should the Taliban be considered simply an extension of a Mideast-based al-Qaida movement, whose operatives the U.S. recruited in the first place to go to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.

Those recruits included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attack, and financier Osama bin Laden, who met in Afghanistan as part of a force that Ronald Reagan glorified as “freedom fighters.” As blowback from that bizarre, mismanaged CIA intervention, the Taliban came to power and formed a temporary alliance with the better-financed foreign Arab fighters still on the scene.

There is no serious evidence that the Taliban instigated the 9/11 attacks or even knew about them in advance. Taliban members were not agents of al-Qaida; on the contrary, the only three governments that financed and diplomatically recognized the Taliban—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan—all were targets of bin Laden’s group.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
To insist that the Taliban be vanquished militarily as a prerequisite for thwarting al-Qaida is a denial of the international fluidity of that terrorist movement. Al-Qaida, according to U.S. intelligence sources, has operated effectively in countries as disparate as Somalia, Indonesia, England and Pakistan, to name just a few. What is required to stymie such a movement is effective police and intelligence work, as opposed to deploying vast conventional military forces in the hope of finding, or creating, a conventional war to win. This last wan hope is what the effort in Afghanistan—in the last two months at its most costly point in terms of American deaths—is all about: marshaling massive firepower to fight shadows.

The Taliban is a traditional guerrilla force that can easily elude conventional armies. Once again the generals on the ground are insisting that a desperate situation can be turned around if only more troops are committed, as Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal did in a report leaked this week. Even with U.S. forces being increased to 68,000 as part of an 110,000-strong allied army, the general states, “The situation in Afghanistan is serious. …” In the same sentence he goes on to say “but success is achievable.”

Fortunately, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is given to some somber doubts on this point, arguing that the size of the U.S. force breeds its own discontents: “I have expressed some concerns in the past about the size of the American footprint, the size of the foreign military footprint in Afghanistan,” he said. “And, clearly, I want to address those issues. And we will have to look at the availability of forces, we’ll have to look at costs.”

I write the word fortunately because just such wisdom on the part of Robert McNamara, another defense secretary, during the buildup to Vietnam would have led him to oppose rather than abet what he ruefully admitted decades after the fact was a disastrous waste of life and treasure: 59,000 Americans dead, along with 3.4 million Indochinese, mostly innocent civilians. I was reporting from Vietnam when that buildup began, and then as now there was an optimism not supported by the facts on the ground. Then as now there were references to elections and supporting local politicians to win the hearts and minds of people we were bombing. Then as now the local leaders on our side turned out to be hopelessly corrupt, a condition easily exploited by those we term the enemy.

Those who favor an escalation of the Afghanistan war ought to own up to its likely costs. If 110,000 troops have failed, will we need the half million committed at one point to Vietnam, which had a far less intractable terrain? And can you have that increase in forces without reinstituting the draft?

It is time for Democrats to remember that it was their party that brought America its most disastrous overseas adventure and to act forthrightly to pull their chosen president back from the abyss before it is too late.         

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



Get truth delivered to
your inbox every week.

Previous item: Not Really a Lifeline for Homeowners?

Next item: Cheney Plays to His Crowd



New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By shadowknows, September 9, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

To clear up any misunderstanding of where I come from I will say this (and you can attack me any way you want).
I have been an anti-British, anti-oligarchy activist since the 1960s when my reading of history showed the sceptered tyrants for what they are. I was deported twice in the early 1970s from England by MI6 and Crown Agents (not MI5 the British version of the FBI but by the Queens men) because I helped expose the British role in the Vietnam War. (In Vietnam, I had worked beside the British and knew what their role was in that war.)
As to my anti-war activism, among my mentors were my late friends, the great fighters for peace and justice David Dellinger and William Kunstler. From Dave I learned that, indeed, coalitions were needed to oppose war and injustice but never at the expense of principle. That is why I oppose the phony leftists of Obama’s netroots organization. From Bill I learned of the beauty of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law in the struggle for peace and justice. That is how we stop evil wars like Vietnam and Afghanistan. They were stalwart not opportunistic like Van Jones and the netroots crowd. They were seekers of truth not purveyors of ideology like Larouche (although they also know the role of the British in instigating the Afghan war). Dave & Bill were true menschs, they were brave and they were great. Would that such men were alive today, and perhaps the anti-war movement would not be in the mess it is in today.
I will contact the old traditional anti-war groups from the Vietnam era who are not compromised by support for netroots or ANSWER to see if they will coordinate such a movement and protest. These are the churches, community & student groups not any ideological faction. I do not trust the Trotskyites, the Larouchers, what is left of the CP and certainly not the Maoists nor any group that takes foundation money. You shouldn’t either.

For Peace & Justice
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
In solidarity

Shadowknows

Report this

By shadowknows, September 9, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

For everyone who is willing to start organizing for a national march against Obama’s wars in Central Asia in the Spring or early Summer, you can contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If we are able to organize this march, it will not be run by the phony anti-war organizations in Obama’s netroots cabal but by grass roots organizations and individuals.
NOTE: I will share all the information you provide with everyone else who is willing to work on this and we will see if we can start to build a real anti-war movement. There is no guarantee we can do this, but we have to start somewhere. If I get enough good and decent response, I will try to organize a web page so we can coordinate the new movement. Again, please note, I WILL SHARE all information you provide with others who truly wish to stop the wars in Central Asia. ORGANIZE YOUR COMMUNITY. So keep in mind even the enemy will know we are doing this. We have to operate in the light but we should always beware the pro-war forces are watching.
The email address I have set up is just for early communications purposes. After that it will be up grass roots organizations, individuals and those national peace organizations that wish to join to form a coordinating committee for peace & justice to protest Obama’s wars. I am not setting up myself as THE leader of such a protest nor am I fronting for any organization. If anyone out there can figure out a better way to get a movement against Obama’s wars going, all power to you. I have only done this because I do not trust netroots nor ANSWER (they support Obama)
I will contact the old traditional anti-war groups from the Vietnam era who are not compromised by support for netroots or ANSWER to see if they will coordinate such a movement and protest. These are the churches, community & student groups not any ideological faction.
OBAMA, HEY, HEY! HOW MANY KIDS HAVE YOU KILLED TODAY?
For Peace & Justice
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
In solidarity

Shadowknows

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 8, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

If it was self explanatory I wouldn’t be asking the question. Don’t give me that “use spell check” because it has its limitations. You didn’t give an adequate answer that addressed my question. Just answer it directly. I found the original incoherent so spell check wouldn’t help you. Hence the question in the first place.

Report this

By mandinka, September 8, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Night, the post was self explanatory and reflects the cause of assignations LWNJ, also since you are giving advice check out the spell check button its works!!!

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 8, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

“Who killed him the same folks who have killed all of our presidents liberal democratic nut jobs.”dan m ketter

Could you be more specific and how about the real topic here? So it was “liberal democratic hut jobs” that killed Kennedy and all of our other presidents et al over the years? Spend a little time when you right to make sure we can understand your meaning. Hence the “preview” button.

Considering wars kill far more don’t you think that is more important than even presidents?

Report this

By dan m ketter, September 7, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How did all change to how and who killed JFK. I love all the revisionists that contend that kennedy was going to pull us from Vietnam. That nonsense was spawned by his liberal followers years after his death. There is no credible information or even his written musings about vietnam.
Who killed him the same folks who have killed all of our presidents liberal democratic nut jobs

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Well Virginia777 you certainly like to criticize others but without facts just opinion. How about a backup of quotes and analysis and not character assassination? That is what our opposition does. Don’t you have some substantiation behind you on this? Or is this just for you venal pleasure? How about connecting it to the subject at hand which you have been remiss in doing? So far a loud mouth that rants without substance is a smoke bomb, no fire, no substance, just hot air. [This is what gives the Internet such a bad reputation.]

We have changed drivers but their are from the same agency and are driving still to the dark forest and on to the the castle of dark lords of the Sith. He tells us originally that he was going to turn us back to the Emerald city of the republic but he is still working for the dark forces. Different name but same owner.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, September 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

to FT:

“I’m trying to persuade her that Ardee blogs from The Forklift of Justice”

Ardee blogs from the fork lift of illusion,

just like you, FT

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Sounds like the A-Albion group who are among those who claim such a conspiracy that rules over us. Lyndon Larouche does too. In the past on drugs yes, but today? [The USA does a good job of keeping the obscene drug war going all by itself, doesn’t it?]  I don’t see it being of any great import in this conversation because there isn’t proof of it. The UK is the lapdog of the USA not the other way around. It happened because of WWII and the Lend Lease that helped save them from the Germans. Also losing all of their overseas lands to local control.

The USA war against the Middle East is a pragmatic bi-partisan affair and will remain so as long as the single mind set rules the stodgy and insular two-headed party system we have set in stone. The moribund and feckless and fanatical in those parties would have been dead politically if we had an open system. With this same system the Whigs would still be around to today from the 1850’s if it had been in place then!

Report this

By bob allen, September 7, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How long will Ma and Pa America keep sacrificing their boys and girls for Israeli wars (it seems one of the main aims of this war is the destabilization and breakup of nuclear Pakistan—that’s in addition, of course, to maintaining the high production of opium for U.S. war/druglords’ profits (the Marine Corps officers are so stupid to be serving these criminals in Helmand))?

Report this

By dihey, September 7, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

I object to calling this war “Obama’s war”. It is Bush’s war continued by Obama hence it is the Bush-Obama war.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 6, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

If all the straws in the brutal murder of Pres. John
F. Kennedy Sr. were stacked together, they would
form a small haystack. Some of the same satanists
were involved in the murder of JFK Jr. Are we unfair
to omit the role of the CIA, FBI, secret service and
a few key rats in the Dallas police dept. as well as
the vice president?
As far as the UK queen being the “queenpin” of the
illegal drug dominion, we shouldnt omit the 41st
U.S. president and his offspring, the CIA and US
military, and the string-puller of Mena, Arkansas. 
I would like to know how many tons of cocaine have
been transported by army and air force aircraft
since Viet Nam.
And why did the “queenpin” send prince Charles to
take a look at New Orleans?  dr.b_helthi

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 6, 2009 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

shadowknows:
‘JFK was killed by the British oligarchy while advancing U.S. interests in conflict with British geopolitical aims. ...’

Don’t forget the part about how the Queen is the world’s principal drug dealer.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 6, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

My point below, was the the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Brits was JFK moving to end our involvement in the war in Vietnam which was the KEY strategic element of the Brits trying to ruin America in the early 1960s.  Now we are engaged in the same thing again with Afghanistan.  Obama is probably safe unless he listens to those of us in the anti-war movement who want the Central Asian wars to end.  If Obama moves to our position, he will probably have a bullseye on his back and some British sponsored snipers or some “one lone nut” sighting in on him.  Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.  For the anti-war movement to be effective we must realize who is actually responsible for the war in Afghanistan and why.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 6, 2009 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

JFK was killed by the British oligarchy while advancing U.S. interests in conflict with British geopolitical aims. In his foreign and domestic policies, Kennedy had astonished the world by reverting to the idealistic nationalism last seen in those earlier murdered American Presidents.  JFK was killed by assassins working for Canadian born British Crown Agent Maj. Louis Mortimer Bloomfield’s Permindex organization which had previously failed to assassinate French leader Charles de Gaulle.  Permindex hired ex-anti-Castro mercenaries, right-wing homosexual cultists in New Orleons and Mafia hitmen to complete the deed.  New Orleans prosecutor was on the trail of Permindex when his investigation was sabotaged by the FBI.  Garrison had correctly identified several of the conspirators including Clay Shaw & others in the Permindex/New Orleons homosexual cult/Mafia nexus who worked for Permindex.  Maj. Bloomfield was an adviser to J. Edgar Hoover & the FBI’s foreign counterintelligence section, known as Division Five which coordinated the cover-up.  J. Edgar Hoover’s numerous connections to the Mafia & memberships in right-wing homosexual cults have become known in recent years.  The British have assassinated several of our Presidents and may do so again.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 5, 2009 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

Is it all about incremental genocide and
repopulation? The “north and south american”
continents were populated thousands of years before
“Eric the whatever” and the spanish queens man
Christopher C. allegedly “discovered” anything.
Savages ?  When we take a closer look, we discern
who the real savages WERE, and still ARE. The
genocide and repopulation begun by the Hitler
satanists with “Aryianism” continues today in Irak,
Afghanistan and Palestine. As far as superiority of
“the aryians” is concerned, I have had contact with
several persons whose grey matter was similar to
that of Albert Einstein. NONE of them had blond
hair. The fear that Iran will develop a nuclear
bomb, is an artifact of the Bush administration,
beginning with G.H.W.Bush Sr.  If you want to fear
the leadership of any tribe, read up on the history
of Israel. “They” have several nuclear bombs, thanks
to the family Bush. The zionists among them are
carrying out the incremental genocide and
repopulation of Palestine. Who did Sadaam Hussein
attack at the behest of family Bush? The incremental
genocide and repopulation of native Africa, Irak,
Afghanistan, Iran, New Orleans, Palestine et.al. is
the continued work of the satanic cabal that
puppeted Hitler into leadership.  The membership of
the satanic organization, “Skull and Bones” lists
some of the main players, among numerous other tag-
along-puppetry. Just who are “zionists”? dr.b_helthi

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Basic in consideration of the western world calamity is the influence of the group who own/control the US “Federal Reserve.”  The effort to remove it from control of zionists and render it the property of the US Citizenry, is one of the numerous grounds that sparked the assassination of John F. Kennedy Sr. The group of self-appointed “elitists,” who led the coordination of President J.F.K.Srs murder, also control the WWII NAZI organization that overtook the USofA after “Operation Paper-Clip”. Russia, China
and Japan currently “balance off” this evil cabal.
This evil cabals inducement of paranoia among the US citizenry against Russias leadership, is as
artificial as the “war on terror.” It was the family Bush, NAZI supporters, who established the
internationally artificial anxiety against Osama bin Laden. This while profitting from lucrative, illegal weapons and drug deals with the bin Laden family. Presidential interloper Obama, whatever his names and place of birth, continues the NAZI plan, in accordance with his string-pullers, the Rockefeller family. It is time for the patriots among the CIA, NSA, FBI, “secret service,” NASA and the US military to start behaving like patriots instead of like measly pimps among the dumb puppetry. dr.b_helthi

Report this

By shadowknows, September 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Well it seems that more commentators on this blog are realizing the immediate economic interests fueling the Central Asia wars (oil/gas and opium) but you still have not realized the historical and geopolitical reasons (1) to keep Central Asia forever undeveloped and (2, and most importantly, to bog down and destroy America as a symbol and leader of freedom and justice.  The Anglo-Dutch royals now control the major institutions of both the neo-lib left and the neo-con right and utilizing this strategy of divide and conquer are largely successeding just as they did before the civil war when British agents operated within the pro-slavery movement and within the pro-abolition movement to divide the country and lead us into the Civil War.  The same process is at work today.  Money funding the neo-cons can be traced to Skull & Bones and the largely anglophile foundations of the right while money funding the neo-lives can also be traced to Skull & Bones and the largely anglophile foundations of the left.  Lincoln understood this and while fighting the confederates did not succumb to the political correctness of the ultra-abolitionists.  Today, unfortunately, we have Obama who is a complete tool of the British influenced foundation controlled netroots left.  In my opinion, the situation, today, for America and the American ideal is probably worse than that before the Civil War because there does not seem to be anyone who understand the New British Imperialism which controls, through money, both the left and the right.  Oh sure, Ralph Nader and others have been telling us for years that there is really no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans (both support the transnational corporations, etc.) but no leader has demonstrated that American history can not be understood unless you understand World history. It is the players on the world stage that determine what is going on on the national stage.  Trace the money.  Bush & Cheney are Skull & Bones agents of the UK oligarchy and intelligence agencies and so are Kerry & Gore.  Most of you know about Bush/Cheney and the right, but open your eyes and look at where the netroots money comes from.  Learn where that IPS was started by Skull & Bones.  Learn the Katrina van den Heuvel (from an old dutch intelligence family) bought The Nation with CIA foundation money.  You know the right-wing neocons are corrupt, now is the time to learn that the left-wing neo-libs are just as corrupt.  All that happened with the Obama election was that our country went from control by an authoritarian fundamentalist right to control by a totalitarian politically correct left. Wake up, my fellow citizens! America must reject both the left and the right and return to our original ideals of rejecting tyranny, oligarchy and the free trade system which supports tyranny, oligarchy and is in turn supported by both the right and the left.  If you truly support peace, justice and freedom you must reject the politically correct movement behind Obama as much as you rejected the fundamentalist movement that supported Bush.

Report this
M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, September 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Given the manner, Night Gaunt, that certain US school districts seem to be be dealing with the country’s president’s «back-to-school» speech, one may be forgiven for wondering if your statement to the effect that «(i)t is a collection of fiefdoms run by individual warlords that have their separate domains under one national flag» may not have wider application than you know….

Henri (with «i»)

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 5, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Thank you for pointing out my errors M Henry Day. I should have checked to be sure of the data before typing it in.

It must be remembered that Afghanistan isn’t even a failed state, it is a pseudo-state. It is a collection of fiefdoms run by individual warlords that have their separate domains under one national flag. Why does the UN continue to treat Afghanistan as a nation-state when it obviously isn’t?

Report this

By dihey, September 5, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Senators Levin and Reed who have recently returned from Afghanistan are skeptical about an increase of our troops there. They advocate “strengthening of the Afghan Army”.

Afghanistan has never had a national army and is unlikely to have one because the Senators say so. The Afghan warlords and the Taliban love the “strengthening of the Afghan Army” because they can eventually take over and divide the weapons we gave that army among themselves for their private militias.

Report this
Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, September 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Those who really care about the 3.4 million Indochinese would not want to pull
America back from this war, not if they want to really put a stop to this
nonsense. Once you plunge into Central Asia there is no limit to what America
may take on, and the Afghans alone have been successful against the largest
armies of the past two centuries. These wars are wildly exacerbating the debt
burden that is already out of control. Why hold Obama back and stop him from
destroying the US economy in this way?  What could be better for the poor of
this world than to crash the American dollar and its military? Why do you want
to stop them from doing something suicidal?

Everywhere the rich are getting exponentially richer with breathtaking speed
and the poor are more and more under American economic domination
everywhere. The sooner this machine crashes the better for everyone, in the
long run. The longer it runs on the worse the calamity when it goes down. Why
deny the Afghans the glory of bringing down the Great Satan and her European
minions?

China will crash too when the dollar does, and that could free millions of
Tibetans and the Tarim Basin Muslims. The indigenous peoples of vast Siberia
might have a chance to throw out the Russians when the world economy goes
south. Everywhere there are subject peoples who will be freed when American
guns are no longer supplying Manilia and Mexico City with weapons. There is
little visible political left in America, and certainly the Democratic party will
never be anyone’s salvation. How can you be so naive as to think America is
going to vote its way out of this despotism? Those 3.4 million people died in
Southeast Asia, because Americans were unwilling to overturn a few police vans
and threaten the stability of America itself. I helped organize marshals for big
rallies back then in order that they stay peaceful, and it was foolish. A little
blood in the streets of the USA is long overdue, or are Americans going to
allow their government to sacrifice the lives of millions of others every decade
or two in their name on and on? Human sacrifice is, of course, a long-standing
tradition in the Americas. I am not willing to really advocate violence or
participate in it, and you probably are not either, but working to stop America
from wrecking itself seems to me irresponsible.

Report this

By Folktruther, September 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Leave Virgina alone, Night-Gaunt.  I’m trying to persuade her that Ardee blogs from The Forklift of Justice.

Virgina, my little tulip, be careful lest you slurp from, in Ardee’s phase, “an unsustainable but logical sounding broth.”

Report this
M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, September 4, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

«Stalin was after all a former priest wasn’t he? Certainly a peasant originally from Ukraine and heard the old stories of the ubor and their ilk.» Night Gaunt, you might possibly want to check your sources prior to posting ; it is true that Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili did attend a Georgian Orthodox seminary in Tsibilis where he acquitted himself well before being expelled before he could take his final exams, but he was neither a peasant (his father was a shoemaker) nor a Ukrainian ; he was born in the Georgian town of Gori. A little respect for the intelligence of your fellow truthdig readers would be in order….

Henri

Report this

By KDelphi, September 4, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Marshall—even Karzai the Crooked admits that the Taliban is the main dispenser of justice in Afghaninstan, for better or for worse. (I am not at all certain that Karzai is better than bin laden)

From http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2008/12/30/corruption-destroying-afghanistan-s-democracy.html

“..What they see instead, she said, is a restoration to power under President Hamid Karzai of the gunslinging, crooked warlords who were repudiated when the Taliban first started taking over vast parts of the country a few years after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. The “appalling behavior” of officials in the current government, including rampant bribery, extortion and violence, is a serious factor in the Taliban resurgence.

Chayes said, “There are people who don’t like the Taliban but may kind of knuckle under to them because, on the one hand, the government isn’t doing anything better for them. And the Taliban are going to kill them if they don’t visibly divide themselves away from the government.”


It didnt work for Russia,UK or Alexander. People forget “home court advantage”—what do they have to lose but their only homeland? HOw hard would one of us fight off a foreign invader? How do drones know who is part of Al Quaeda? How much collateral damage does it take to win hearts and minds?

If we want a real Peace movement, we will need a draft. No rich kid or college exemptions, no deferrments for flat feet or other “priorities”.

Get them by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow.

And NO malitia groups masquerading as
“contractors”—take the profit out of it or it will never stop.

Report this

By omop, September 4, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

THIS IS NOT A MEANINGLESS WAR.

THE PRINCIPAL JUSTIFICATION FOR THE BOMBING AND DEATHS OF AFGHAN MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN ADDITION TO US CASUALTIES IS THE TAPI GAS LINE.

Which will carry gas from Israeli-owned and
managed gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China.

The TAPI pipeline needs to cross Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are both very rich in gas reserves.  The Turkmen mineral assets are managed/owned by the former Mossad agent Yosef MAIMAN.
Maiman. 

Building the TAPI pipeline is a Zionist pipe dream that will use the mineral wealth of Turkmenistan to benefit Maiman and his partners. 

This is the main development project that Richard Holbrooke wants to accomplish for his neocon friends.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 4, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Hey Virginia777 what does your smarm and snark have to do with the topic? What bee is up your butt?

I would like to find out how Hitler got away and lived to be 104, that would be dead in 1992. I’ve toyed with the idea for use in a story or two but in reality? Stalin was so paranoid that Hitler would stay dead he had the body ID’ed as him dug up twice and probed. Reminded me of the old ways and the idea of the restless dead and vampire/ghouls on the prowl from their graves. Stalin was after all a former priest wasn’t he? Certainly a peasant originally from Ukraine and heard the old stories of the ubor and their ilk.

What I would like to know is what is the meaning for Obama and his ilk concerning Afghanistan. I think I know and have written about it already.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, September 4, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

it never ceases to amaze me how much blogging Ardee gets done from his forklift.

Report this
Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, September 4, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi and Marshall hold opposite views on Bin
Laden’s health and thereby location; like all
opposing views it doesn’t really matter in the end.
The only thing that does matter is to maintain a
healthy scepticism of all incoming information and
exercise a maximum amount of common sense when
consuming so much said information. It seems to me
common sense is what is most lacking in these
matters. Regardless of Bin Laden’s status, we should
be thinking of the best course of action for the U.S.
Given the lessons of history and the present reality,
it would appear we are going in the wrong direction,
no?

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 4, 2009 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

ardee:
’... I do not know, nor does Marshall either, whether bin Laden’s current address hinders his work. ...’

Actually, it seems “we” do not know whether Osama bin Laden exists or what his activities are.  It is certain that he is not the head of a tightly organized operation like the Wehrmacht or the CIA, however entertaining it may be to imagine so.  Marshall should be supplying us with a better quality of fairy tale; the stuff he’s putting out at the moment can be refuted by two or three minutes with Google and a live Internet connection.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 4, 2009 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

It is useless to offer up for negotiations, an
entity who died Winter 2004/5 from renal failure.
This after two unsuccessful kidney transplants, one
in a US Navy hospital. Not to worry, the illegal
contracts between the Bush family and the bin Laden
apparatus continue to function. However, the CIA
disinformation program must keep alive, at all
costs, the boogyman concept of Osama bin Laden.
Where is a boogyman of such magnitude to be found?
If the truth were to be adequately revealed, perhaps
George H.W. Bush Sr, or more recently his Junior,
perhaps even Cheney. However, revealing the truth
would defeat the NAZI-zionist goals, and induce some
logic into western-world thinking. Western-world
society has been so dumbed-down that many cannot
accept the truth, as it interferes with their daily
masturbation activities.  dr.b_helthi

Report this

By doublestandards/glasshouses, September 4, 2009 at 4:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The situation is actually much worse than the time of
the Vietnam war because first of all there is no
Wayne Morse, no Ernest Gruening, no Eugene McCarthy
in the senate today.  There isn’t a single senator
with a spine among one hundred.  There is no one to
tell Obama what he needs to hear.  He is more
isolated from opposition than Johnson ever dreamed of
being.  Secondly, public opinion no longer means
anything to anyone in Washington, least of all the
president.  What remains of the peace movement is
just a focus group as we have been told.  So the
stage is set for catastrophe surpassing anything
that’s happened in Iraq.

Report this

By ardee, September 4, 2009 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

OBL is in Pakistan’s ungoverned territories because he was driven from his
Afghanistan safe-haven.  He has a rather unsafe haven there now since his
activities are highly restricted which thwarts his funding and effectiveness.
NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan would allow him and/or AQ to return to
their former protectorate after the inevitable Taliban take down of the current
government and would provide an incubator for the Islamist movement but
with a state moniker.  The argument isn’t difficult - just a matter of whether
you agree with it or not.

The argument is more difficult because Marshall, as usual, lumps fact with assumption and mixes with ideological fervor into an unsustainable but logical sounding broth.

One must recall that, when last the Taliban was ruling Afghanistan, they offered bin Laden up for trial with only sane and logical provisos attached. I would further note that, under Taliban rule, Opium production in that nation was curtailed dramatically and, only when hostilities between us commenced , did they resume production in order to finance the war.

I do not know, nor does Marshall either, whether bin Laden’s current address hinders his work. Nor do I know what form the foreign policies of a Taliban ruled nation would see. Undoubtedly it would be a strict religious government but that would be the problem of the citizens of that nation. Whether the Taliban would engage in enmity towards the USA resulting in terrorism is not established, though we in the West have done much to lean them that way.

The Taliban claimed to have harbored AlQaeda with no knowledge of their activities. One may believe or disbelieve that as one wishes. But one should be leery of those who make assumptions like those of the poster in question as this form of post leads one down a garden path to more blood and gore.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 4, 2009 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

Misinformation-disinformation, Korea, Viet Nam, Iran, Irak, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden, Palestine, oil, oil, oil, power, colonization, on and on and on. An accurate political historian, Mae Brussell attended the “general assembly“ meeting called in 1981 by William J. Casey, after his appointment to chief of the CIA by Ronald Reagan. Brussell recorded a key statement by Mr. Casey: “- we will know that our misinformation program is successful when everything the American public believes is false.“  Similar to the propaganda provided by the NAZIs, US Allies and Russians, that Hitler was dead, the CIA continues to propagate a “disinformation“ program.  Hitler lived to the age of 104, essentially in a luxury villa in Paraguay. He travelled often, several times to the USA.  William J. Casey was an officer in the OSS during WWII, collaborated with NAZIs at the end of WWII. He was acceptable to NAZI SS General Gehlin, who re-organized the OSS into the CIA via two-hundred-million US dollars provided by Dulles.  Certainly, the oily tentacles of the John D. Rockefeller family are pervasive. Who bastardized the medicine industry, then the oil industry, and with complicity in the pharma industry?  Who financed the academic studies of H.B. Obama, whatever his name and place of birth? Who, with the help of zionists have bastardized the middle east, and are genociding Palestinians and Palestine for re-population by zionists? The role of the CIA is described somewhat by Mrs. Valerie Plame Wilson in her new book. It is clarified more specifically by former CIA agents, if one googles the phrase, “former CIA agent“.  A former WWII German soldier was a friend from 1977 til his death in 1990. Fritz had a saying, “All normal people have two things in common: an asshole and an opinion.“  AS OF TODAY, we are free to express our opinions online. Mister H.B. Obama supports an act in congress to overtake the internet, on the basis of an alleged threat to national security. Oily tentacles, once again.  Senator Jay Rockefeller has for two years added the internet to his list of assassinations. Right.  Is every statement of accuracy that countermands CIA propaganda and the will of zionists a threat to national security?  I wonder if cows in pastures, releasing their intestinal gas, are also a threat to national security, or only to the ozone layer, allegedly?  The gasy releases of the CIA, most politicians and national news media, in addition to oily tentacles, are the genuine threats to national security.  dr. b_helthi

Report this

By Marshall, September 4, 2009 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

By ChaoticGood, September 2 at 4:03 am #

“I thought that Osama Bin Laden is in Pakistan’s northern territories and Al
Queda already has a safe haven there, so why do we have to stop the Taliban in
Afganistan? I don’t understand that argument at all.”

OBL is in Pakistan’s ungoverned territories because he was driven from his
Afghanistan safe-haven.  He has a rather unsafe haven there now since his
activities are highly restricted which thwarts his funding and effectiveness. 
NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan would allow him and/or AQ to return to
their former protectorate after the inevitable Taliban take down of the current
government and would provide an incubator for the Islamist movement but
with a state moniker.  The argument isn’t difficult - just a matter of whether
you agree with it or not.

The reason none of your other reasons makes sense is because the one above
is the real one.  We really are there to prevent a Taliban/AQ resurgence after
having made significant gains in their defeat there and elsewhere.  While the
history is complicated, I think the basic reasoning for the war is fairly simple.

Report this

By KDelphi, September 4, 2009 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

popa—bush didnt commit himself stupidly alone.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

More likely the big nuclear mammoth in the room, Pakistan that is destabilizing as we speak. Now that is one of the sore spots the USA is poking needles into.

Report this

By Karl Schneeweiss, September 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does anyone really believe that the Af-Pak War is about the Taliban?  It’s about the Unocal pipeline, and heroin, isn’t it?

Report this

By Mike, September 3, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another then-as-now similarilty is that these wars are intiated/continued for domestic political reasons, specifically not wanting to face charges of weakness by the opposition.

Afghanistan is actually a worse situation than Vietnam was - then, there was one entity to deal with to try to win or end the war through increased military action or negotiation (the North Vietnam government).  In Afghanistan, numerous ethnic factions/warlords, etc. have to be dealt with.

Report this

By KDelphi, September 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

As I said, Stealth Bush:

Welcome to Bush’s Third Term:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175109/david_swanson_the_more_things_change

“It sounds like the plot for the latest summer horror movie. Imagine, for a moment, that George W. Bush had been allowed a third term as president, had run and had won or stolen it, and that we were all now living (and dying) through it. With the Democrats in control of Congress but Bush still in the Oval Office, the media would certainly be talking endlessly about a mandate for bipartisanship and the importance of taking into account the concerns of Republicans. Can’t you just picture it?”

Yes I can..yes WE can

Leaving Obamaland:by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
http://www.blackagendareport.com/

“Democrats could accomplish nothing during the Bush years, they told us, for the first six years because they were a minority, and during the last two because Republicans could filibuster.  Now, with both houses of congress, a filibuster-proof senate majority and a “transformative leader” in the White House Democrats can only continue the wars, the privatizations, the torture, coverups and kidnapping.  In power, Obama and Democrats can bail out Wall Street but not homeowners; they cannot accomplish anything voters want, like universal health care, Medicare For All.  Some Democratic activists are sobering up, looking around, and heading for the exits.”

Report this

By Folktruther, September 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

The latest poll yesterday according to Greenwald states thst 57% opposes the continuation of the Afpak war, 42% support it. The trend toward opposition has been increasing dramatically.  The NYTimes has suggested that Obama rely on the Gops for support.  Since the Gops are more explicitly racist, they will not vote for Obama.  So what happened to Johnson in the Vietnam war may be happening to Obama.

I wonder if it was planned that way, that Obama would sanitize the Bushite policies and then make way for a Gop.  In any casse the anti-war opposition must be against the entire War on Terrorism, which transformed the character of the US power system.  Including anti-zionism, which is a pro-war pro-poliice state ideology.

Report this

By ardee, September 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

popa, September 3 at 7:48 am #


I see a lot of criticism of Obama, but no specific opinions as to what he should do. 
Does anyone really think we can end Bush’s stupid commitments by simply pulling
out cold turkey?
.............................................

In a word, YES.

Report this

By John Czarnecki, September 3, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I totally agree that our wars are about profit (since WW2 at least), and that we should totally and absolutely withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is no off and on switch. We must set a reasonable timetable and adhere to it absolutely. We should attempt to stabilize and support the PEOPLE of both countries, not the puppets we installed as their leaders. Karzai and Maliki will not survive on their own. Each will loot their countries and disappear soon after or face the wrath of their people.
History will deem both adventures as foreign policy failures on the part of the US. Empire for the US is finally on its last legs. Thank God for that. Now, perhaps, we can take care of our own.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 3, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

popa: ‘I see a lot of criticism of Obama, but no specific opinions as to what he should do. ...’

There is not much point in discussing the mechanics of something when the basic principle hasn’t been accepted.

In this case the basic principle, operative as the overall policy of the United States government since at least World War 2, is that of war, imperialism and global domination.  Obama accepts this principle (or he would not have gotten as far as the Senate, much less the presidency).  There is no point in speculating about possible transitions to other modes of operation when there is no will to make the transition.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 3, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Besides the various profit motives some have for escalating and continuing the Central Asia wars (it is not just Afghanistan but Pakistan and the surrounding countries also), there is also the geopolitical reasons such as the Great Game of keeping the region from developing economically.  The person who convinced Obama, before he was elected, that Afghanistan was the “good war” was Britain’s Tony Blair, an original instigator of the neocon movement, leader of the Queens Privy Council, who has made a career of trying to get the United States bogged down in wars we cannot win.  He is the modern day Mephistopheles to Obama’s Dr. Faustus.  His central philosophy since at least the early 1990’s is to resurrect a new British Empire not a free world led by the United States.  Obama has been wooed and won by this devil and now we will pay with ever more blood and treasure, sinking our future while the “sceptered tyrants” (as Thomas Paine famously called the Brits Royals) further their goals for “global governance”.  I would call Obama a traitor but he is only a fool.  I would say it is time to consider impeachment except that he will only be replaced by the rest of the Faustus family in the Democratic Party.  Where is there a modern day George Washington when we need him.

Report this

By Howie Bledsoe, September 3, 2009 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You guys are tools.
Obama´s war, Bush´s war, bla bla bla….
They all answer to the same cats, be it Obama, Bush, Clinton, or Reagan, different heads on the same puppet.
Duh.
This is not Obamas was per se, but he has to do what he is told, and he has been told to go into Iraqistan
and fuck shit up.

Report this
Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, September 3, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

popa, September 3 at 7:48 am #

“I think I smell Republicans in the wood pile.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What’s that got to do with anything? Today, George
Will came out and said “we” should get out of
Afghanistan. Life isn’t that simple; there’s plenty
of good republicans; but they tend to avoid the
spotlight. Americas problem is this very divisiveness
between the parties. Mother of god, where’s the
people in all of this crap? Yeah, yeah, the
politicians are pretty lame in all of this…so…we
have to grow them up. If “we” can’t do this then we
be fooked, no?

Report this

By popa, September 3, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

I see a lot of criticism of Obama, but no specific opinions as to what he should do. 
Does anyone really think we can end Bush’s stupid commitments by simply pulling
out cold turkey?  Should Obama say hey this wasn’t my idea so goodbye to
Afghanistan?  That would be childish and irresponsible, and I suspect most of you
know that. So what’s going on, guys?  I think I smell Republicans in the wood pile.

Report this

By Everest Mokaeff, September 3, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

What connects post-colonial Indochina of 60-s with tribal-period Afghanistan of early 21 century? In both cases, officially proclaimed US policies have had nothing to do with concerns they convey to domestic constituency - ensuring national security by thwarting Communists’ expansion back then or denying al-Qaeda safe heavens nowadays. From Pentagon Papers to most recent Department of Defense Report to Congress, top officials never seemed lacking the knowledge of what was happening out there. To persistent observer, these documents will reveal true ugly nature that lurks behind virtually all military operations ordered by commander-in-chief in the name of freedom.

In Afghanistan US troops pursue dual policy. It didn’t occur to strategic planers in Washington that US troops were deployed somewhere there until after Taliban nearly marched into Islamabad. For them Operation Enduring Freedom ended with Taliban running off the cliff - the rest was ISAF problem of policing. With Taliban resurrected and menace to“stability of the region”, US started on military build-up to ensure, in case of emergency, not bumpy night-flight to Pakistan nuclear facilities to prevent wrong guys from getting their hands on ‘em. That is the first objective of US troops in the region.

The second objective is Iran. The last years US (what a secret!) had been clandestinely involved in terrorist operations in Iran to undermine its stability. Previously all covert operations were organized, commanded, and conducted from within Iraq. If one takes a closer look at the terrain map, one will see that it’s much more convenient to work from Afpac region to sabotage Iranian regime.

You can find my full story here. http://mokaeff.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/what-is-american-strategy-in-afghanistan/

Report this
Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, September 3, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

It’s been said Obama is serving Bush’s’ third term.
Tragically this is looking increasingly true. The
obvious tragedies in Afghanistan are the huge number
of civilian deaths, the increasing number of NATO
deaths and an accelerration of deploying yet more
troops. Behind this is another tragedy; the
devolution of our president. The stark reality of his
campaign rhetoric juxtaposed with an almost complete
turnaround on every issue makes him out to be a liar
and worse, a hypocrite. A bought man, betraying his
constituency. His numbers are going south daily as
well they should. Afghanistan will/is his undoing; if
he is really intelligent and not just a well
presented troll then he needs to act fast and get out
of Afghanistan…we are not too big to be another
empire gobbled up in Afghanistan’s rugged terrain. Afghanis are the definition of tough; we have no
idea.

Report this

By pblumel, September 3, 2009 at 3:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wait a minute. Obama is a Democrat. We’re supposed to support Democrat wars and interventions. The anti-war movement is only useful when Republicans are president. Get with the program!—pb

Report this

By christian96, September 3, 2009 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

OBAMA’S MEANINGLESS WAR—-The word “meaningless” is
not appropriate.  It has meaning for someone.  The
question is “who?”

Report this

By John Seiler, September 2, 2009 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

Hey, hey, Obam-A,
How many kids did you kill today?

Report this

By Commune115, September 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

I think we give Obama’s “intelligence” too much credit. His whole image and campaign were the equivalent of some corporate marketing scheme. Obama has always been very ignorant about foreign countries, anyone in Latin America can tell you that. The Pentagon is probably feeding the President a bunch of bad information and hollow assurances and he just tags along to not anger the generals.

Report this

By mdgr, September 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Nicely stated, Mr. Scheer. As if facts ever counted for anything in this country.

What the liberal pundits typical fail to note with sufficient vigor, however, is that we also have a meaningless president. Probably the most duplicitous and pusillanimous president in my lifetime.

Oh, he is likable enough. But in diverting trillions to the banks ex cathedra, thus giving the GOP and the Blue Dogs their talking points (and sinking real health care reform in the process), he is also arguably one of the most hypocritical and venal of presidents. Moreover, he is weak. Terminally weak, capable only of voting “present” on issue of importance.

True or false, that perception would be what Cheney would be counting on, of course, if he ran in 2012. And Olbermann’s subdued but admonitory tone tonight, sans all trace of the ridiculous, is probably spot-on.

“Cheney would make one hell of a dictator.”

Indeed he would. After Obama, most Americans would almost certainly view that as a blessing.

So goes America’s death wish. It is time, I believe, that people like yourself finally begin writing about it.

When, I wonder, will people wake up and realize, en masse, that they have been snookered? When will people like Kucinich resign from the DNC? When will we all resign, permanently?

Report this
CJ's avatar

By CJ, September 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s no Lyndon Johnson in more ways than one, except this one. There’s been a lot of talk of what a great legislator Ted Kennedy was, but so too was Johnson. Indeed, Johnson was the last Democratic President with a couple halfway good ideas. Not everything, but this is capitalist (alas) America, not socialist democracy. Johnson was just recently run down on MSNBC (during Kennedy’s funeral) for having refused to sign a paper to government fund funeral for JFK. According to Beschloss. Gee whiz, boys and girls, wonder why? Hmm… When the East Coast, Ivy League “Best and Brightest” boys held the kid from Texas in such great esteem? 

Kennedy, the colder warrior, started the damn war, what with his “advisors” and whatnot. Like the aptly named Bay of Pigs. Not so “bright,” evidently. More like “indoctrinated.”

But Scheer’s right. Johnson lost it (not just the war), stupidly. Stupidly pursuing the damn war until he finally bailed out—at least with a smidgen of integrity compared to the utter cowardice of likes of Bush, Cheney and Rummy, all hangers on. Not to mention, Nixon and Kissinger. “What’s integrity?” Johnson at least semi-tragic, the latter merely farce, unless you happen to be Southeast Asian, or more recently, Iraqi or Afghani. In which case not so farcical, anymore than for American vets of delusional debacles. And not for American citizens either, if to a far lesser degree. We mostly stood by, then as now. Although now far more so than then. Thanks too to media’s cowardice of more recent vintage.

I don’t mean great journalists currently, but mainstream media’s first agreeing to “embedding” and by now largely ignoring ongoing debacle in both places. 

What war on Iraq? Still? Afghanistan? Where’s that? Oh yeah, now I recall. I’ve been shopping. Dub, the real-deal empty Stetson, told me to right about 9/11/01. (Not hardly, but enough of us)

Something about a pipeline someday to be constructed from the one place across Afghanistan to another place? Something like that. Not to bring in the conspiracy thing.

No, I’ve never seen nor heard a wit of evidence proving the Taliban had a wit to do with 9/11. Indeed, I recall they asked—at the time—we supply evidence of bin Laden’s “involvement.” No doubt a ploy, but suppose we had supplied evidence? As opposed to resorting immediately to bombing the place to Stone Age it already was since Soviets did the same just a few years before? Afghanistan was THEIR “Vietnam.” But we’ll prevail where the inferior commie army couldn’t. And before them, the Colonial British one.

Like we prevailed in Southeast Asia. (Thank you from Khmer Rouge, by the way.) The Vietnamese commies and the Chinese commies were also archenemies at one point. Eventually, and ironically once again, the Vietnamese commie army prevailed in Cambodia. Mercifully.

It gets no historically richer, no more insanely richer.

Here we are again! With the same excuse more tired now than then! The Taliban practically in the role of NVR with al Qaeda in the role of VC. (Not quite, but for purposes of narrative.) But this time, China out best bud and the Soviets long gone, though we’re doing our goddamnedest to render Russia back into ole Cold War enemy. Primarily by means of idiocy that is still NATO.

Well, I guess the new president never studied on history either. Anymore than on economics. Though he has hired out mercenaries more than troops, thereby to obscure further the debacle east of the one he said he’d end. And blasted away at Pakistan too.

Yeah, that’ll all work, Mr. President, pipeline in mind or not. Next.

Report this

By Truth Vision, September 2, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

First, though I did not vote for Obama, I do think he is trying to do his best. As far as putting Cheney or Rumsfield back in there, that comment is the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. I beleive it is the Cheney Bush war that Obama is stuck with, much like LBJ got stuck with Vietnam. Let’s hope he has the sense to see that down the road, he will really suffer if he doesn’t get the troops out of there. (Both Iraq and Afghanistan)

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

There are supposedly more mercenaries in Afghanistan than the official number of US soldiers (55,000) at this time. Wackenhut, Blackwater/Xe and others. Isn’t that marvelous?

The least thing we need on this forum is a more subtle variation of the Jews rule the world conspiracy thats been knocking around for centuries. Usually by those who are in power and need a scapegoat to keep their population looking in the wrong direction. It isn’t needed now, and how about those Dominionists a different kind of Christian who are in power and who are making their moves for decades to transform this country into a theocracy. Those are the ones that riddle our body politic, including mainstream churches like parasites. To them only their Aryan-Nordic God of power & wealth will return is when they beat the earth into a safe haven for his whiteness. Not before they do it. Not just evangelized but forcibly convert or kill the rest of the earth’s populations into it. The Crusades and Inquisition are also part of them. No Armaggedon, not “rapture” none of that for their Calvinist based creed of greed.

So wars are part of their sacraments, their cleansing of the earth and themselves each time they kill, whether with a rifle, pistol, bomb or missile that is a step closer for them reaching their time of the Great Return. So wars are okay with them.

Report this

By mandinka, September 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

And just LBJ Barak thinks he knows to fight a war. The result has been catastrophic are worst KIA 2 months in a row since the Wars begun. This guy thinks that reading someone their Miranda rights during a battle is the human thing to do. Try telling that to the widows and fatherless children.
This guy needs to say I’m clueless and bring Cheney or Rumsfield back to fix this disaster

Report this

By Marc Schlee, September 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Waist deep in the Big Muddy, the big fool says to push on.”

Report this

By ardee, September 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

tom, September 2 at 6:20 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Does everybody here realize that we all have bills. To pay our bills, we need income. Usually income comes from a job, although wealth-shifting by inheritance is something the Baby Boomers are enjoying.

Can you explain this “wealth shifting” to which you refer? As an early Boomer I was unaware of how wealthy we all are. Most I know , if they have real wealth it is because they bought a home which escalated in value, not because they engaged in “shifting” ,either shape or money. Of course, one of my old High School classmates is CEO of Warner Brothers, I guess he has some real wealth.

Next point: Do you know how many Jews are in command of our country right now, starting with the MSM (Murdoch, yes, and Zell - Scheer will like that stinger) and going on to Emmanuel, Holbrooke, Ross, Axelrod, Geithner, Bernancke, etc.? Even Pelosi has some half-Jew grandchildren.

Murdoch is not Jewish, by the by, the rumor that his mother, the former Joy Greene, was Jewish is an unproven internet rumor. But then again, much of your stuff seems based upon exactly that sort of thing.

Oh, and it’s ‘half JewISH grandchildren’..

One doubts that Israel will bomb Iran without the approval of the USA, which, one hopes, will not be forthcoming.

Report this

By Folktruther, September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Mary Ann, what makes you think that Obama is a homophobe?

Report this

By Aliamoo, September 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

It is time to get hell out Afghaniston. We have no business to be there. We lost 3000 of our citizens and just imagine, how maney afghanis we killed since Sept 11. I have voted for change, so far all I have seen GWB policies and I am very disappointed with Obama and his adminsteration.

Report this

By Mary Ann McNeely, September 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

One more thing about Obama: he’s a homophobe.

Report this

By tom, September 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does everybody here realize that we all have bills. To pay our bills, we need income. Usually income comes from a job, although wealth-shifting by inheritance is something the Baby Boomers are enjoying.

Politicians have jobs, either as representatives at the national level, as lobbyists, or on think-tank faculties, and other governmental-related jobs (many times related to the party in power).

So. No politician wants to lose his/her job. The numbers of ones who voluntarily move on are small. The Pentagon and its many families and children of the vast military-industrial complex, have bills to pay, and need jobs, and conduct war/defense activities, to make a living. So they will not say get out of Afghanistan as soon as you can. What we are doing in Iraq is yet to be seen. And politicians do whatever the lobbyists (including AIPAC, bigtime) to get war chests to persuade us morons to reelect them. Jobs.

Next point: Do you know how many Jews are in command of our country right now, starting with the MSM (Murdoch, yes, and Zell - Scheer will like that stinger) and going on to Emmanuel, Holbrooke, Ross, Axelrod, Geithner, Bernancke, etc.? Even Pelosi has some half-Jew grandchildren.

Where will their sympathies be, when Israel finally bombs some Iranian nuclear facilities, using bases in Georgia and/or Syria, to get around US air cover in Iraq? We will wink, Iran will retaliate in the Persian Gulf, oil/gas prices will soar to unprecedented heights, and us morons will say, “What?”

It is all on the mesa, just waiting to happen. Remember Netanyahu and Sharon have been quoted in recent years as saying Israel owns the US, and they have only their real country at heart. US Jews for the most part, will support anything Israel does.

Look at the misquoting of Ahmadinejad, re “wipe Israel off the map”. He never said that. The person in charge of “translating” Farsi, at the State Department, is none other than the wife of David Frum, (remember his sick book with Richard Perle - probably the most infamous neo-con, and a rabid supporter of Chalabi, the Iraqi/Iranian whore, book called “Axis of Evil”? Pure Mysticism,. . . and so pro-Israel/Zionism, you will yoritz if you can read it all.)

Anyway, Frum’s wife, Meyrad, purposely mistranslated what Ahmadinejad said in that speech. (He could have chosen his words more carefully, but he wants to keep his job, too, eh?) He really said (according to Juan Cole, who speaks Farsi) that he wanted regime change (sound familiar?), to have an Israeli government who would settle the dispute and have peace with the Palestinians over the Left Bank, Gaza and Israel, and all their lives.

Point? Obama is as much a tool of the existing system, from Eisenhower’s warning, through AIPAC’s control of Congress (13% Jew senators, vs. 3% of the population) as Bush was of the neo-cons, who gave us (probably) 9/11 and Iraq.

There will be no sane end to Afghanistan. Zeus help those poor people. Oil and gas rules. Bush=oil, Obama=gas. Pipelineistan? No way. Democracy? Do you think the Afghans (after all, it is their country, mostly similar to those described in the Old Testament, according to the Dutch NATO boss in Helmand province) either understand democracy, want it, can handle it with their topography, culture and history? Karzai is a tinpot dictator, corrupt and incompetent as hell, but wants to keep his job, eh? So, rig the elections (again, sound familiar?)

So, I put my boot on the ground, look at my footprint as stated above, and paint me some other scenario, if you can.

Remember. A true democracy does not impose its system on a country who didn’t ask for it. That is tyranny, on the level of you-know-who, and you-know-who. From Alexander the Great, through the Brits (2x), and finally the Russians. Afghanistan is not there for the pickings. Graveyard of Empires, eh, Obama?

Keep up the good work Bobby Scheer.

Report this
dgswilson's avatar

By dgswilson, September 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

I read this while wondering if the author really believed it a meaningless war, or was going to try and convince the readers that it was a meaningless war. There really isn’t any way for me to know…One thing I keep in mind when I look around at the nutty things happening in the world is “The lie is different at every level…”

Either Robert is lying about what he knows, or he’s believing the lies he’s being told. Real investigative journalists understand what the lie is. They don’t write articles like this. They expose the liars. Real investigative journalists are often labeled conspiracy theorists. The lie is working very well…

This war is not meaningless. No war is meaningless. Wars cost money, wars are very profitable, wars are not financed for principles. If you see a war going on - it’s been sanctioned. This particular area is going to be controlled by the people who control the dollar. That counts out you and me and the government. It’s not Obama’s war. He is an administrator. He is in charge of executing a policy. Part of that policy is to get the resources this area now controls. Those resources, that I know of, are their global position and their drugs.

http://www.dgswilson.com/wp/?p=176

Stop by and say hello

Report this

By coco, September 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Viet Nam was a mistake Sheer, and Texas special interest had everything to do with it, and so did the republican party.
This time its all Bush and Cheney’s fault, and Obama is left to pick up the pieces just like Clinton was left with the mess of Sareavo and Kosovo by Bush 1. These wars are nothing but distractions to progress which seem to be a republican habit.
Maybe more attention should be given to the relationship of W and Osoma’s brother. Osoma didn’t start hating America for nothing. And Bush didn’t get rich off his own belly up, bankrupt, write off brain.
Bob Sheer needs to understand the word truth as good as he knows the word spin.

Report this

By popa, September 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How about this for a reason: What do you think is going to happen if we just pack
up and leave?  Everyone who supported us will be killed or worse and the Taliban
will reign victorious.  The mistake was going in there in the first place. Pulling out
and leaving the country in the hands of the Taliban would be compounding the
problem with a worse mistake. Obama would have spawned the fruit of the Bush
insanity. Is that really what you want, or is this empty, chest-beating rhetoric?

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Scipio Africanus:
‘To Anarcissie and others with issues over my sourcing—your comment would seem to presume that 1) everyone in the USG is a liar, and 2) everyone in the USG is working in cahoots to lie about everything all the time. ...’

No, it’s only necessary for some of the people to lie some of the time.  People in positions of authority and power, and those whose positions are dependent on them, are often willing to tell the truth when it serves their interests or their prejudices.  For instance, when the Katýn massacre was discovered, the Soviets said the Nazis did it and the Nazis said the Soviets did it.  As it happened the Soviets actually did it (although the two sides had agreed to eliminate the Polish leadership and intelligentsia so we can assume the Nazis would have done it if things had worked out that way.)  So the Nazis told the truth about that event, although of course they lied about a lot of other things.

That important officials of the U.S. government, from the Presidents on down, routine tell lies about important matters isn’t a matter of debate, it’s a common observation.  In general, officials of any government are going to be similarly untrustworthy.  (True) knowledge is power, and the powerful do not keep their power by giving it away, just as the rich do not stay rich by giving their wealth away.  This applies as well to important institutions within the State, for example The New York Times, as we know from its role in whipping up support for the invasion of Iraq.

Report this

By heavyrunner, September 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

I agree.  Bin Laden is dead.  So what?

People who want to plot against the U.S. are free to do so anywhere.  How about South Central L.A.?  Does the government have total information awareness there?  I hope not and I don’t think they do.

One thing you can’t do in South Central is construct a pipeline from the Caspian Basin to the Arabian Sea.  Afghanistan is a key component of that.

A wiser strategy would be to build streetcar systems and solar, wind and geothermal power systems here at home so we don’t need all that oil.

Oh, but General Jones wasn’t worried about oil for the U.S. citizens.  He was concerned that he wouldn’t have enough fuel for his big battleship that he was very concerned must be the biggest of all “battleships” and none other, right?  OPE etc.

Report this

By Rontruth, September 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

I remember reading a post on a different posting site that said that Benezzier (spelling?) Bhutto had publicly stated that “bin Laden has been murdered.” Even more interesting to me, and I admit I’m a conspiracy believer, is that she was assassinated within a short time after making that statement.

CIA doesn’t like it when their necessary whipping boy has been obliterated. Like Castro, they faked trying to kill him (they easily could have, given the ease with which they “neutralized” (George H. W. Bush) so many other leaders of other countries. They needed Castro as part decoy to cover their lying tracks in their covert operations in Central and South America. Now, he is living in retirement and still laughing at all the mayhem his longevity has created by covering for what the US did throughout Latin America.

Bhutto, had she kept her mouth shut about bin Laden’s demise, I think, would still be alive today.

Report this

By dihey, September 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Haevyrunner: What is your evidence that we would not be at risk or at less risk when Bin Laden is dead and the Taliban has stopped supporting him? History does not work that way.
Also there is a serious question whether the Taliban actually “supported” him. Immediately after 9/11 the Taliban was willing to arrest Bin Laden and hand him over to us on condition that he would not get a sentence of death. The Bush administration did not believe them.
Bin Laden had been one of the paymasters of the Taliban and not much else. One could argue that Bin Laden “supported” the Taliban.

Report this

By Henry Harris, September 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Come on guys.  You must realize that Obama is playing the hand he’s been dealt.
Like it or not, the misguided Bush doctrine set up a scenario that can’t simply be
ignored. People’s lives are at stake.  Sure, it’s easy to say just walk away from the mess Bush created, but it’s not about showing what an idiot Bush is. It’s about
doing the right thing with the situation at hand, the commitments made by the
previous sitting US president. It will take some time, but I trust Obama to turn the
Cheney/Bush juggernaut around.

Report this

By cognitis1, September 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

prole:

By only arguing against the government’s causes for the
Vietnam occupation, you accept the government’s
precepts and definitions. Try cogitating independently
and perhaps then you could comprehend the government’s
cause for occupation.

Report this

By cognitis1, September 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Even US Media has accepted and then divulged Pentagon
documents which all prove the bases for both invasions
of Iraq and Afghanistan to have been false, yet Obama
continues to pursue both occupations of Iraq and
Afghanistan. Do the facile commentators here estimate
Obama and his staff to be illiterate? That the bases
sold to the US public for the invasions have been
proven false only necessarily detects the real reason
for the invasions to be yet unknown to the public. US’
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan interest US but not
for the cause first sold to the US public.

Report this
prole's avatar

By prole, September 2, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

“LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind… but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.” Overwhelmed? One can only be underwhelmed by the faulty logic at work here. This is typical of liberal apologetics for imperial aggression. There was nothing necessary or ineluctable about the “cost” (especially human), “meaninglessness” or “endlessness” of the ‘war’ in Vietnam. All were perfectly preventable if the imperialist decisions that were premeditatingly taken by LBJ’s ‘best and brightest’, and of the administrations immediately before and after him, had never been taken. This so-called ‘war’ was never thrust upon LBJ or anyone in America by the Vietnamese. LBJ or his predecessor could have ended the unprovoked American assault on the peasant societies of Indochina - based on calculated lies - unilaterally and unconditionally, at any time. The fact that he (they) didn’t, makes a mockery of any pretense that he “had a progressive agenda in mind.” Or rather, perhaps tends to confirm the worst suspicions about so-called ‘progressives’, a rather ambiguous term at best. So for ‘progressives’ the dilemma “involved in both instances was an American intrusion into a civil war”. Not imperial aggression but merely “an American intrusion”, simply a slight breach of etiquette, nothing serious. “Into a civil war”???  What ‘civil war’, there was never any popular support for the contrived puppet ‘governments’ of ‘South Vietnam’ presided over by ruthless American-hand-picked military dictators and propped up with American military might. Vietnam was a war of national liberation – first against the French colonialists and then against their American successors and lastly, briefly against the Chinese. “The Vietnamese Communists were not an extension of an inevitably hostile, unified international communist enemy” – no, they were something more dangerous, an indigenous resistance movement that overthrew their colonial occupiers. A very dangerous example for potential resistance movements elsewhere around the globe, seeking to extricate themselves from the yoke of foreign bondage. But not to worry dear ‘progressives’, “fortunately, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is given to some somber doubts”, fretting, “I have expressed some concerns in the past about the size of the American footprint…” Now that’s the kind of concern that should relieve any true ‘progressive’ …what size jackboot should Amerika wear. No concern, of course, about the underlying assumptions of America’s right to wage wars of incalculable savagery and unprovoked aggression on hapless, underdeveloped nations - just the size of the invasionary force. “It is time for Democrats to remember that it was their party that brought America its most disastrous overseas adventure” – and, more to the point, heedlessly slaughtered millions of defenseless peasants in the process. “And to act forthrightly to pull their chosen president back”…before he willfully hurls anymore innocent foreign nationals into the abyss. “Those who favor an escalation of the Afghanistan war ought to own up to its likely costs”…not just the minor ones like troop levels or the draft i.e. “the American footprint”. The far more important costs. It’s estimated, upwards of 30,000 Afghans have already been extinguished by this most recent, in a seemingly endless series of invasions, of their impoverished land. Not to mention the spiraling refugee crisis. But first, Bigfoot Barack has to prove he’s got balls and show the natives who’s boss. And ‘progressives’ will applaud him for it. Imagine, a multicultural war of aggression, how politically correct.

Report this

By TheHaplessCapitalist, September 2, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Either way, Johnson’s Great Society was far more promising than Obama’s ‘Hope Society.’  At least Johnson didn’t pretend as if we were living in some post-racial society.

Report this

By heavyrunner, September 2, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

“I’ve spent my adult life in the national security business and have worked this part of the world for our government. I’m under no illusions about the long-term prospects for success in Afghanistan, but history shows that as long as bin Laden lives and the Taliban support him, we are at risk. “

Too bad you don’t have enough brains to recognize that steel framed buildings don’t disintegrate and collpase into their own footprints because of office furniture fires on their upper floors.  So what really happened?  Was it something you could organize out of a cave in Afghanistan?

***

Learn about the history of General James Jones’ career.  In case you haven’t heard of him, he is Obama’s National Security Adviser.  That means he is the one who tells Obama what to do on foreign policy and war matters.

He imagined the pipeline UNOCAL was going to build when Chevron bought UNOCAL.  Jones was on the board of Chevron when Obama picked him.  Who told Obama to pick him we don’t know, or at least I have not read what went into that decision.  But, basically, we have the lead guy on the Afghanistan pipeline idea as National Security Advisor. 

War on!  It’s doomed to failure though.  Maps are flat.  Afghanistan is anything but flat.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 2, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Oil and gas and defense contracting are certainly some of the reasons for the Afghan war but if you want to understand the real profit motive involved you need to understand the real profit motive for the Vietnam War.

Read Alfred W. McCoy’s The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia available from Amazon.

Here is an online version:

http://www.drugtext.org/library/books/McCoy/default.htm

As to the Bush crime families connections to the heroin trade here are some links:

http://100777.com/node/113

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/bushheroinconnection.html

As to the neolib organizations in the netroots coalition supporting Obama who are taking drug money just start researching their financier George Soros, a jew who, when he was younger during WWII turned other jews into the Nazi holocaust machine.  Soros is one of, if not THE, senior drug kingpins involved with international drug traffic. 

More research needs to be done on Soros but you won’t see any of the neolibs doing it as they are not all dependent upon his largess for their organizing activities.

Just as the neocons infiltrated the conservative movement and the Repubilican Party turning that Party into an instrument of permanent warefare (the neocom central goal), the neolibs have infiltrated the liberal movement and the Democratic Party turning that party into an instrument for addicting the human race (one of the neolibs central goals).  Both the neocons and the neolibs hail from the same source, the Anglo/Dutch free trade oligarchy.  Both are heavily controlled by Dutch intelligence and the British MI6 and those parts of the CIA controlled by MI6 and those American families (such as Bush) that are part of the free trade oligarchy. 

Nothing has changed since Vietnam with regards to the Anglo/Dutch oligarchy and their Malthusian goals for the human race except their tactics and the tentacles (neocons/neolibs) the have now wrapped around American politics.

If a real, effective anti-war movement is to grow and stop the wars in Central Asia, the left must purge the neolibs who take money from Soros and the drug dealers supporting the Obama administration.

Its drugs, people, not oil or a phony war on terrorism that is escalating the war in Afghanistan.

Report this
politicky's avatar

By politicky, September 2, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

This war, like who knows how many wars before it is only good for investors in defense contracting.

When are we going to learn?

Report this

By danielet, September 2, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

I admire Mr. Scheer a lot since we debated VN in Berkley in 2006—as I admire Seymour Hersh, the best investigative journalist. There are many similarities between Obama and LBJ. Both inherited a war not of their making that impedes their domestic agendas. Both fear the “right wing” reaction, should they fail. As a survivor of WTC on 9/11 and escapee from Communism, I must say that I shared worry about both. But I didn’t have to consider their threat to my political career nor to my presidential agenda. Neither LBJ nor Obama saw war in a totally self-centered fashion. But both feared a right wing exploitation of these that could turn back the clock of America’s advance as a democracy. LBJ, a Texan, or Obama, a black, losing a war would have greatly fueled that right-wing fire. On the other hand, LBJ feared that the Joint Chiefs wanted to push him into war with China. So he ended up using US force as stage prop, not tightly aimed weapon of mass destruction. He thus perpetuated and expended the circle of killing little people—not for any clear reason—but hopefully to intimidate the “real” enemy. Since the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan, massive US destructive power has been used, not to destroy enemy forces, but to intimidate. The killing of enemies was left to footsoldiers. LBJ never dared bomb the Vlodivostock-Haiphong-Hanoi route for every single bullet used in SVN after 1966, but instead, per a pilot: “used a $5 million plane to destroy a $5 oxcart,” to demoralize North Vietnam with bombing akin to Dresden and Hamburg, which had no strategic value. It was left to US troops on the ground to defeat the invading army from the North. But US generals are casualties sensitive, so they used airpower to “sterilize” the terrain before infantrymen walked it. As a result we went after BOTH the North and South Vietnamese people with airpower instead of cutting off Soviet supply line for invasion. In Afghanistan there is no foreign supply line; there isn’t even the “Arabs” of alQaeda anymore, they all went back to Mideast—only US trying to prop up the Karzai Gov that does most of the drug dealing, not the Taliban. Again, to protect our troops we are “sterilizing” the terrain with drones and B-52s as if there were more than just a guy behind a rock shooting at our SpecOps guys roaming around the mountainsides. There is no VCI-like core holding the Taliban together. It is supported by Afghans because, even if they don’t like it, they know it and it is made up of fighters anthropologically connected to the people, stupid polls aside. Afghans want us out so they can cope with the Taliban; they DO NOT see Karzai as an alternative. I say that because of the ethnography of the area and of our long failure there. Kilkullen and others who went from professional killers to professional apologists for the killing speak of “nation building” as if that’s what people want. Back in Vietnam, seeing the massacre our weapons inflicted on “our” Viets, I hung on to hope for the future as SVN went from 86% rural to 75% urban. But in Afghanistan there is no urban economy; heroine is still main export. I hoped the next generation in a SVN would inherit a South Korea-like nation to justify somewhat the ongoing massacre. But it never happened in VN and won’t in Afghanistan because we were not going to spend the expertise, time and $$$ needed to achieve it. As soon as our wars end, we pull out all our “nation building”—EVERY TIME!  We’ll do same with Afghan War, no matter on what basis we pull out our troops. alQaeda wasn’t the issue. To get Congress to fund Iraq Bush pulled a bait-and-switch: troops/supplies approved for Afghanistan were cannibalized to present a fait accompli: YOU CAN’T DENY FUNDS FOR TROOPS ALREADY IN COMBAT IN IRAQ! Just as we now leave Iraq to neighbors, why not leave Taliban to Shanghai Accord neighbors. They can’t afford Taliban rule and will deal with it as they deal with everything in South Asia.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 2, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Too bad Eisenhower didn’t do anything about it while he was in office. So typical of politicians, like Truman’s lament about creating the CIA, he so regretted it too late!

Obama isn’t “cleaning up the mess” in Afghanistan, he’s continuing what Bush started then making his own mess on top of it!

The Taliban were welcomed to take over Afghanistan deposing the Northern Alliance (the other Taliban) and they even got the national crop of poppies down to unheard of levels. The USA via Colin Powell gave them $43 million because of it. Now they are the enemies and it is the Northern Alliance that are the “good guys” in this. [First it was East Asian and now it is South Asia always as our ally and the other the enemy…] George Orwell‘s exaggeration of “1984” is a realistic farcical reality even more parodic and just as pointless and bloody. The games of empire are always pointless to most of us. We have the exotruth, they have the endotruth.

The pipeline sure but it is the proximity to Pakistan and especially Waziristan (Pashtun) that is the focus. The Pakistanis themselves can’t do much in that, it is too rugged and remote for their troops and equipment. US drones and fighters and bombers, if they so choose could saturate the area with fuel-air bombs killing as many as they can making the area a wasteland for survivors. (DU can be used as well.) If they so choose. Drastic and immoral but if you are truly an empire than such considerations are easily ignored in the way of brutal pragmatism. That and poison gas and even microwave weapons to torture the inhabitants could be used, incapacitate them even leave them as mental defects too. [Depending on the frequency used.]

Me? I would withdraw immediately from the entire area and just deal with these people diplomatically and in trade. Nothing else. End the drug war so that they can grow more food crops than overpriced poppies. Keep sticking your hand in the hornet’s nest of course you will be stung. Don’t blame them for stinging you. It is mentally ill to do so. So why are our intelligent external tyrants doing so? Hubris. Superiors can always fault inferiors for what they do as a natural reaction. They always will, hubris is part of the “superior minded” person.

Report this

By Folktruther, September 2, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Hank van dem Berg raises an itneresting point.  Obama’s Zionist advisers may not much care if Obama is elected next time or not.  They may identify with neoliberal zionism more than Obama, and are willing to use Obama until the neocons put up a Gop candidate.

This would explain why the Obama team is deliberately punking the left.  Axelrod wants to deliberately confront the left over medical care.  And Obama’s bankster economic strategy and militaristic strategy may fail.  In which case the Zionists will switch from the neolibs to the neocons.

And pay off Obama like they did Reagan and Clinton.  So Obama can in effect serve the third term of Bush, and they may have someoone in hand to serve the fourth. 

They are very clever politically but meanwhile the resulting policy sends the US down the toilet.  And helps to increase the carnage in the Afpak war.

Report this

By Rontruth, September 2, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

I would say that, as President Kennedy, and at that time former President Harry Truman while sitting in Kennedy’s Oval Office, the CIA has become as it was then, a meeting place of derelict vagabonds and scoundrels, killers for hire at tax-payers’ expense.

So connected are they to every aspect of organized crime in it’s generic sense, such that it now, as we discovered long years after November 22, 1963, as it did then, uses it’s powerful (because it is done in complete secrecy)“assets” to carry out it’s covert violent operations around the world.

I was sickened to watch and hear former CIA operative (“asset” is the media word for “operative”) Chip Tatum, following his personal philosophic and emotional change when he left the CIA. In YouTube presentation #7, he describes how he had been handed a memo, signed by then President George H. W. Bush, telling him that there was a certain person that he was to “neutralize,” and that he would “be protected from prosecution by any court anywhere on earth,” under some Article 12 of some national security act.

All of this is going on right now, in our name and with our tax $bahundredsof billions to this day in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the other nearby Central Asian nations.

To his credit, and unfortunately to his demise, Kennedy told his White House staff, and Truman who was visiting him, that he would “shred the CIA into a thousand pieces and throw the pieces to the winds.”
Such is the power of total secrecy that is given to any “agency” of the U.S. Government.

The major problem with such an accruel of secrecy to one body of any “free” government is that such an agency can, if it is allowed to, become such a deadly powerful force that it can, if it’s leadership seems to deem necessary (in the service of whom??) even cause wars, and kill even American leaders who stand in the way. That is now documentedly what happened to President Kennedy nearly 46 years ago.

The CIA has, in past decades, set US foreign policy by any means necessary, including those means listed above. The real truth is, I believe, that they (CIA) are in contact directly with the leaders of U.S. corporations, likely through members of Congress. I think everyone knows of their very real power.

The CIA is, therefore, by definition, not only taxpayer-supported organized crime, they are the joining point of organized crime and the government of the United States. The CIA serves the interests of corporate structures which produce weapons, parts,
and the extension of U.S. corporate power to places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.

I agree with those who understand that al Quieda’s presence in Afghanistan, and Pakistan were begun under a policy established and carried out under Ronald Reagan, whose vice president, George H. W. Bush actually ran the foreign policy show. Their funding came from the illegal CIA-led and facilitated drug trade.

They didn’t think Congress could trace where the money came from, through whom (Ramone Rodriguez), to whom, Felix Ismael Rodriguez Mendigutia (an old Bush, Sr. friend from the Bay of Pigs lying operation and second Cuba invasion plan days), and to whom the guns and bullets were sent

As pointed out above, when politicians are forced by the means implied in Robert Scheer’s article, they become the led instead of the leader. The “leader,” in order to “remain viable” in the public’s mind, has to follow the meaning and course of events, as dictated by the “secret government” that we have all heard about.

With drug money, which is all in cash, they apparently do not have to answer to Congress, hence they do not have to answer to the American taxpayers whose money forms their basic agency functioning capital. But the unConstitutional activities the CIA participates in is paid for through unlawful businesses, much the same as the activities of the mafia had been.

The has-been part the mob simply joined the CIA.

Report this

By atp2007, September 2, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought when we went into Afghanistan we were determined not to abandon the area prematurely again, and leave it to the war lords and Talaiban like we did before and then reaped the wind of terrorism.  How soon we forget.  Have we also forgotten the brutality of the Taliban, the beheadings, the torture, the slavery of women?  Once the Taliban controls the border along the Pakistani border, they will be able to support their brothers in Pakistan.  How long will the Pakistani army want to hold the area after we walk away, how long beofre they refocus on the Indian border?  Once Taliban have a foothold in Pakistan it won’t be long until they are moving toward the nuclear bases.
Let’s walk out of Iraq first, the Iraqis will not let Al Quada control Iraq whether it’s a Sunnis or the Schia dictator in charge.  Use those resources to hold Afghanistan. If corruption in Kabul is the problem then get rid of those causing the problem and put in a useful government.  There was a time when Afghanistan was stablle and had a government-army, we can reestablish that and not leave the type of chaos that will just bring us back to 2001.  Things are bad now but we are making up for all those years when the Chaney Administration ignored it and let it fester in order to focus on his wet oil dreams for Iraq.

Report this

By Alex Hidell, September 2, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Torture leads directly to a 9-11 re-investigation. Kean/Hamilton say the original investigation was ‘obstructed’ by the CIA due to torture,

9/11 Commission: Our investigation was “obstructed”
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/01/02/obstruction/

and when you see why Obama won’t investigate torture fully OR withdraw from Afganistan,

The Obama Adminstration is Helping to Upgrade Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons
How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan’s Nuclear Program From Day One
http://www.counterpunch.org/andrew06242009.html

you find that Valerie Plame-Wilson’s company, Brewster Jennings, was exposed in 2001 three years before she was ‘outed’ by Robert Novak in 2003,

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×2771387

Report this

By omop, September 2, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Indeed “follow the money and the power of the neocons”..... and as one
commentator/critic put it

“The stated aim of the Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was to
find Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaida members and put them on trial.  The
U.S., however, said it had given up its pursuit of Osama Bin Laden years ago. 
So why did the U.S. and Britain really invade Afghanistan—and why are we
still there? 

Why has President Obama increased troop levels in Afghanistan?  The short
answer is the TAPI gas pipeline, which will carry gas from Israeli-owned and
managed gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China.

The TAPI pipeline needs to cross Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are both very rich in gas reserves.  The
Turkmen mineral assets are managed by the former Mossad agent Yosef
Maiman.  Building the TAPI pipeline is a Zionist pipe dream that will use the
mineral wealth of Turkmenistan to benefit Maiman and his partners.  This is the
main development project that U.S. policy is trying to accomplish. 


Yosef Maiman, Israeli Mossad agent, owns much of the gas of Turkmenistan
and controls all of it.

Are we to believe that the U.S. is fighting an 8-year war in Afghanistan in order
to make sure the Afghans can get “goods and services consistently from their
government?”  Have we spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan so
we can build post offices, train stations, and power plants?  What are the
“economic underpinnings” that need to “start to move?”  Why would the U.S.
government care more about providing “goods and services” to the people of
Afghanistan than, say, the people of California?

“The economic development the generals talk about, including gas pipeline
construction, requires stability,” Gary Leupp wrote in Counterpunch on July 6,
“But Afghanistan, like Iraq, was destabilized precisely by a U.S. attack and
occupation in the first place.

“More ominously, Pakistan has been destabilized by the invasion of the next-
door country.”  Why are Americans fighting wars in Central Asia for a pipeline
from Turkmenistan?”

“To understand why Obama is pushing the war in Afghanistan, one needs to
understand that the Obama administration is really a Zionist-controlled
government.  If this were not already abundantly clear, it can be seen by the
person appointed to apply U.S. policy in the region.” 

“That person is Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke, one of Obama’s first
appointments. Holbrooke, a Zionist and a long-time associate of Henry
Kissinger, is the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
Holbrooke and Kissinger have been friends and co-workers since the early
1960s in Vietnam.”

Report this

By Scipio Africanus, September 2, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

To Anarcissie and others with issues over my sourcing—your comment would seem to presume that 1) everyone in the USG is a liar, and 2) everyone in the USG is working in cahoots to lie about everything all the time. If that’s your position, we’re never going to agree on much of anything.

I’ve worked in both the executive and legislative branches of our government for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen more than my share of ineptitude and, yes, the occasional cover up. There are reasons why words like COINTELPRO, SHAMROCK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” (among others) cause many in the Republic to view all government as corrupt, a waste of time, or both. I’ve also seen the honorable and courageous in our government, both from civilians and those in uniform. I served (and continue to serve) this country honorably, as do many others who believe our nation needs to return to some core values that once made us the envy of the world.

Some of those people worked on both the Joint Inquriy and the 9/11 Commission. I’m not talking about Kean and Hamilton, who I view as lackeys—I’m talking about some of the staff of both the Joint Inquiry and the Commission. I’ve heard no one from either party (or from no party) challenge the veracity and accuracy of the passages I quoted in my original post. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, I invite them to post in this thread—I’d be very interested in seeing it.

As for another source on the Taliban leadership being in Pakistan, I’m happy to oblige. Let me quote now from p. 249 of Ahmed Rasheed’s 2008 masterpiece, “Descent Into Chaos”:

“In Quetta [Pakistan] the JUI [Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a radical Islamic party in Pakistan] virtually handed over Pashtunabad, a large sprawling suburb, to the Afghan Taliban. Thousands of long-haired, kohl-eyed, black-turbaned Taliban roamed the streets. They forced or bought out the local residents and soon owned every home, shop, tea stall, and hotel in Pashtunabad. New madrassas were built to house a new young generation, who banned television, the taking of photographs, and the flying of kites, replicating Kandahar in the early 1990s. Local people, including the police and journalists, were too frightened to enter the suburb.”

Quetta is also the headquarters of the Pakistani Army’s Command and Staff College, and a major center for Pakistan’s Interservice Intelligence (ISI), which created, trained, and funded the original Taliban that terrorized Afghanistan for so many years and who gave aid and comfort to bin Laden and his band of merry murderers. As long as the Afghan Taliban leaders are able to maintain an unmolested presence in Pashtunabad—80 miles from the Afghan border—Americans will continue to die in Afghanistan…and that is one major reason why we’re losing the war.

scipiotheelder.blogspot.com

Report this

By KDelphi, September 2, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

As many are saying here, follow the money. As long as war is profitable for the elites, it wil thrive in a Capitalistic economy.

I agree that progressives are becoming very angry. (I am one of them) But there is only one problem with it—-Obama said, throughout his campaign that the war needed to be focused in Afghanistan. I disagree, but, apparently many heard what they wanted to hear. Obama is not budging from Af-Pak, for fear of being “soft on terror”. It IS Obama’s war now, but George Will can go straight to hell , after his cheerleading for it under Bush.

Did anyone ever consider that the (further) bank bailout and “war on terror” are more excuses to not pass a progressive social agenda that the Dems dont really want anyway, save a few in the progressive caucus? I can hear it now from Dems—-“in the second term, ...blah, blah..” They all got big bucks from the insurance industry, etc. Consider Hank Van der Berg’s post…:

. ” My informal polling of fellow progressives suggests this is already happening, after Obama dropped the ball by putting tax cuts in the stimulus package, permitting Wall Street bailouts and consolidation rather than nationalization, postponing bank re-regulation, taking single payer healthcare off the table, reducing environmental goals, ignoring gay rights, legalizing foreign renditions, fighting CIA disclosure, validating the Honduras coup, ignoring labor legislation, ignoring immigration reform, approving the tar sands pipeline, putting big coal front and center in his energy strategy, etc. etc.  The Afghanistan occupation will add to deficits and starve the government from undertaking any new progressive programs. ..”

Follow the money, again. WHY would a “progressive-thinking party” have passed such milquetoast bills on these issues? To benefit whom? Money from Big Coal, military supplies and contractors, big business (hence no immigration reform)etc.

As for labor, the “unions” in the US have sucked up toe big business to the point that they may as well not exist. And, I am sure Dems think, “where else are they going to go?”

I read a memo, apparently from David Axelrod, on Open Left.. Apparently he thinks that it is ‘time to confront the progressives”...and it goes on:

“On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one.

...“We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.” 

A tip: When a reporter quotes a single source in a story (quoting him eight times, no less) and then has a random controversial comment from “an aide”—chances are that aide is Axelrod.

Axelrod apparently is missing the polls.”

Yes! Time to confront those idiotic radicals who have no one else to vote for! I say that it is time we show the Dems that this is an intolerable strategy.
(David Axelrod Laying Groundwork for Dem Loss in 2010?)
http://www.openleft.com/diary/14893/david-axelrod-laying-groundwork-for-dem-loss-in-2010

Huge losses in 2010 will mirror Clintons’ sorry excuse for Dem Administration and deja vu all over again.

Report this

By MeHere, September 2, 2009 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Please…. this time around, the war is on the shoulders of Obama, the Democrats, and all those who voted for them.  If there was one thing Obama made clear early on in his campaign it was his intention to expand the war in Afghanistan and maintain military action in the border with Pakistan.  And he didn’t just say it to win votes—he fulfilled his promise very quickly after he came into office. We must take responsibility for what we support.

Report this

By Kay Johnson, September 2, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

I didn’t vote for Obama, and one of the major reasons was that he talked about escalating the war in Afghanistan.

“Television news will show a heart warming picture of President Obama’s daughter playing in the White House behind a couch. This helps to reinforce the family man image of the President. That very same man who approves of drone missile attacks in Pakistan. Where is his humanity there?”—thebeerdoctor

I couldn’t have phrased the question any better!

Report this

By Folktruther, September 2, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

the historical problem now is that Obama has committed himself to Bush’s war, with the support of the Dem lemmings, and now is in a lose-lose situation.  There is no way to win that war; indeed, there is nothing to win, except for the opium.

But it is possible to lose, indeed, inevitable.  The US and Nato are fighting the major ethnic group there, the Pusthans, half the popultion in Afghanistan and fifty million people on both sides of the colonial Afgan-Pakistan border.  And the current rigged election is apparently not going to change anything.

And that is merely one of the War on Terrorism’s wars which the whole world is rebelling against.  Obama, or whoever does his thinking, has decided to continue Bush’s policies.  Indeed, McCrystal was the leader of the White House death squads of Cheney, who Obama promoted.

It looks like Obama is going to be as big a disaster for the US power system as Bush was.

Report this

By Old Geezer Pilot, September 2, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ChaoticGood asks, “If none of the reasons we are
being offered by the Obama administration, make any
sense, then what is the real reason, we are there. 
It must be that we are there for some “political”
reason.”

How come nobody talks about the gas PIPELINE which
connects the rich fields in the Caspian basin through Turkmenistan,  Afghanistan and Pakistan to the port
at Karachi?

Maybe if we could make peace with Iran, we could “go
direct”.

That is the only other way to get that gas to market.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 2, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

It seems most Americans today, especially the youth, can’t see back beyond their own lives. Central Asia has always and still is a wild place and will continue to be so as long as our country continues to do the dirty work of those politically powerful families which for over 200 years have done everything possible to prevent civilization from developing in the region—and till we stop supporting the opium trade. Our troops are not there to fight the so-called war on terror, and certainly not to apprehend Ben Laden. Those are just excuses for those who can’t see America in the light of world events and only see American politics in a parochial light. Obama, like Bush before him, is playing the Great Game of keeping the region destabilized and backward. The war is not only spilling over into Pakistan but Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the other countries in the region including all kinds of CIA/narcotics-dealers spooky things going on in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. Narcotics are now, and have been for some years, a major commodity in the world (some would say more important than oil). Several of the international banks bailed out by Bush/Obama now absolutely depend upon narcotics bucks (and our tax-payer bailouts) to prop up their bottom line. The Bush crime family is and has been for a long time involved in international narcotics and several of the netroots organizations writing Obama’s legislation and policies also take money from international narcotics kingpins. Drug money is important to the phony two-party system and to the phony netroots groups involved in the anti-war movement. Republicans take drug money. Democrats take drug money. And some of the netroots organizations, who portend they are against the war, also take drug money.  The anti-war movement must expose the corruption of the neolibs in the Democratic party just as the corruption of the neocons was exposed in the Republican party

Report this

By hark, September 2, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are caught in a trap.  We scare the dickens out of the American people with threats of communism and terrorism, and then both parties scramble to prove to the frightened public that they are the toughest on defense, on national security.

You prove you are tough by waging war and winning.  And so we go, round and round, spending twice as much on the military as we need to, and fighting useless wars in perpetuity.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 2, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

It seems most Americans today, especially the youth, can’t see back beyond their own lives. Central Asia has always and still is a wild place and will continue to be so as long as our country continues to do the dirty work of those politically powerful families which for over 200 years have done everything possible to prevent civilization from developing in the region—and till we stop supporting the opium trade. Our troops are not there to fight the so-called war on terror, and certainly not to apprehend Ben Laden. Those are just excuses for those who can’t see America in the light of world events and only see American politics in a parochial light. Obama, like Bush before him, is playing the Great Game of keeping the region destabilized and backward. The war is not only spilling over into Pakistan but Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the other countries in the region including all kinds of CIA/narcotics-dealers spooky things going on in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. Narcotics are now, and have been for some years, a major commodity in the world (some would say more important than oil). Several of the international banks bailed out by Bush/Obama now absolutely depend upon narcotics bucks (and our tax-payer bailouts) to prop up their bottom line. The Bush crime family is and has been for a long time involved in international narcotics and several of the netroots organizations writing Obama’s legislation and policies also take money from international narcotics kingpins. Drug money is important to the phony two-party system and to the phony netroots groups involved in the anti-war movement. Republicans take drug money. Democrats take drug money. And some of the netroots organizations, who portend they are against the war, also take drug money. The anti-war movement to be successful must expose not only the corruption of the Republican neocons but also the corruption of the Democratic neolibs.  Both of these movements are deeply, repeat, deeply involved with drug money.

Report this

By the worm, September 2, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

A Democratic President, a filibuster-proof Senate, an overwhelming majority in
the House.
No money for health care reform, no money to fund job training and skills
development, no money to improve education, no money to build a non-poluting
energy infrastructure, no money for .... , but plenty of money to bail out the
financial industry and to hire mercenaries in Afghanistan. 
Obama’s priorities are clear; so are the Democrats’.
The difficulty folks have is accepting the obvious.

Report this

By shadowknows, September 2, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems most Americans today, especially the youth, can’t see back beyond their own lives. Central Asia has always and still is a wild place and will continue to be so as long as our country continues to do the dirty work of those politically powerful families which for over 200 years have done everything possible to prevent civilization from developing in the region—and till we stop supporting the opium trade. Our troops are not there to fight the so-called war on terror, and certainly not to apprehend Ben Laden. Those are just excuses for those who can’t see America in the light of world events and only see American politics in a parochial light. Obama, like Bush before him, is playing the Great Game of keeping the region destabilized and backward. The war is not only spilling over into Pakistan but Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the other countries in the region including all kinds of CIA/narcotics-dealers spooky things going on in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. Narcotics are now, and have been for some years, a major commodity in the world (some would say more important than oil). Several of the international banks bailed out by Bush/Obama now absolutely depend upon narcotics bucks (and our tax-payer bailouts) to prop up their bottom line. The Bush crime family is and has been for a long time involved in international narcotics and several of the netroots organizations writing Obama’s legislation and policies also take money from international narcotics kingpins. Drug money is important to the phony two-party system and to the phony netroots groups involved in the anti-war movement. Republicans take drug money. Democrats take drug money. And some of the netroots organizations, who portend they are against the war, also take drug money. We are ruled by drug dealers.

Report this
LostHills's avatar

By LostHills, September 2, 2009 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

The parallels to Johnson are inescapable. He escalated an unpopular war begun by his predesessor and it derailed his social agenda and cost him a second term. There’s an eerie parallel to president Clinton brewing here, too. He failed to pass health care reform with a Democratic majority in congress, and the voters turned congress back to the Republicans in the next election, derailing the rest of his presidency. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it…..

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 2, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

Scipio Africanus—the sources you quote are components of the U.S. government.  We know that the various components of the U.S. government routinely lie, even to one another, the famous weapons of mass destruction being a recent example.  Therefore, in order to believe anything about Afghanistan, bin Laden, the Mullah Omar, or related matters, we need to see confirming evidence from independent sources.

Report this

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook