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Keeping Afghanistan Safe From Democracy

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Posted on Nov 3, 2009
McChrystal in Afghanistan
AP / Anja Niedringhaus

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, left, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, center, NATO’s director of communications in Kabul, visit the site where villagers reportedly died when American jets bombed fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban outside Kunduz, Afghanistan, in September.

By Robert Scheer

The most idiotic thing being said about America’s involvement in Afghanistan is that the best way to protect the 68,000 U.S. troops there now is by putting an additional 40,000 in harm’s way. 

People who argue for that plan clearly have not read Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s report pushing for escalation. The general is as honest as he is wrong in laying out the purpose of this would-be expanded mission, which is to remold Afghanistan in a Western image by making U.S. troops far more vulnerable, rather than less so.

He is honest in arguing that American troops would have to be deployed throughout the rugged and otherwise inhospitable terrain of rural Afghanistan, entering intimately into the ways of local life so as to win the hearts and minds of a people who clearly wish we would not extend the favor. He is wrong in indicating, without providing any evidence to support the proposition, that this very costly and highly improbable quest to be the first foreign power to successfully model life in Afghanistan would be connected with defeating the al-Qaida terrorists. 

As the president’s top national security adviser has stated, there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida members left in Afghanistan and they have no capacity to launch attacks. These remnants of a foreign Arab force assembled by the U.S. to thwart the Soviets in their hapless effort to conquer Afghanistan are now alienated from the locally based insurgency.

As Matthew Hoh, the former Marine captain and foreign service officer in charge of the most contested area, said recently in his letter of resignation, we have stumbled into a 35-year-long civil war between rural people “who want to be left alone” and a corrupt urban government that the U.S. insists on backing. Hoh, who quit after a decade of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote that he was resigning not because of the hardships of his assignment but rather because he no longer believed in its stated purpose:

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“ … [I]n the course of my five months of service in Afghanistan … I have lost understanding and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. … To put simply: I fail to see the value or the worth in continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war. … Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people. … I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.”

Just how unrepresentative was amply demonstrated in a very low-turnout election which the U.S.-backed candidate, Hamid Karzai, won after stealing one-third of the ballots he claimed for his victory, according to U.N. observers. In a message of congratulation to Karzai, President Barack Obama made reference to the need for reform and an end to the corruption that is endemic in the Karzai regime but then stated, “Although the process was messy, I am pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law, which I think is very important.” 

What law? A runoff was avoided only when Karzai refused to accede to his opponent’s demand for changes in the election commission that had stuffed the ballot boxes.

When Bob Schieffer of CBS said of the election “the thing was a fraud,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod had the arrogance to defend the rigged process as having “proceeded in the constitutional way.” Just what is it we are telling the world about our belief in the integrity of elections? It is no different from our having extolled those garbage elections that occurred with great regularity in Vietnam during the war there, a point made to great effect by Hoh: 

“Our support for this kind of government, coupled with a misunderstanding of the insurgency’s true nature, reminds me horribly of our involvement with South Vietnam; an unpopular and corrupt government we backed at the expense of our Nation’s own internal peace, against an insurgency whose nationalism we arrogantly and ignorantly mistook as a rival to our own Cold War ideology.”

Obama must know the truth of those words and should heed them before he marches down the disastrous path pursued by another Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson—who, we now know from his White House telephone tapes, sacrificed the youth of this country in a war that he always knew never made sense.

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.



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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, November 5, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

omniadeo,

This should read….. “result of poor infrastructure and an (in)ability to provide basic services or effectively levy taxes.”

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, November 5, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

omniadeo,

I think we should shy away from wiki for our best historical records.

You’re correct about the Seleucid Empire. But why did you stop there? You omitted the entire Alexander years. Certainly control over such a large region as Bactria for more than 500 years qualifies in the context of this issue.

Put simplistically; I think most historians would agree that the Seleucid Empire itself eroded, not as a result of armed conflict or local resistance, but rather the result of poor infrastructure and an ability to provide basic services or effectively levy taxes. Outposts were thus difficult to service and maintain and, all that that implies.

Outside factors and pressures in the near and far regions of the Seleucid Empire should equally be considered in it’s demise.

You seem angry and overly standoffish on the issue.

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By SoTexGuy, November 5, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul and a few others have the high ground on this issue.. or at least have identified the core issues.. should the United States of America be out and about in the world flexing our military muscle (for good or ill) without a very clear and imminent reason?

.
All the discussion about our higher intentions in the world theatre, ‘acceptable losses’, winning or the cost to our prestige if we fail are substitutes for the real issues.. The main one being; is it in our Constitution or even in the vital interest of America to expend the lives of our people and our work (and that of our grand kids) to support this Afghanistan war or whatever new war is promoted?
.

Just for myself.. I got tired of our recent foreign excursions with the first photos of kids blown up or of women burned so badly their children couldn’t recognize them.. whatever we are trying to achieve is made less worthwhile with each and every such incident.. Saying the other guy started it or that we are the good guys doesn’t mean squat.

.
We are doing a lot of evil in the name of freedom and safety and more.. remember not so long ago when images of Americans overseas were of smiling people with shovels or stethoscopes or hammers, and crowds of smiling kids? That was a potent symbol of America.. nowadays our people handing out candy are in body armor carrying an M16 and there’s an armored vehicle with an SMG in the background.

.
It’s a changed world!.. many say.. Ok, who changed it and how do we get that earlier ideal back? First thing we can do is stop the talk about acceptable casualties or collateral damage.
.

War is about killing..America should be about something better.
.

That’s some of what I think about that.

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By @CT, November 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

It IS looking Viet Nammish: somebody’s bringing the war home at Fort Hood.

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By omniadeo, November 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Adding to Hulk2008’s refutation of To Go Right Young Man:

The Seleucid Empire, named after one of Alexander’s generals,  was a short lived survival of Macedonian influence in Central Asia. It lasted less than 250 years

Area
- 301 BC[1]    3,000,000 km2 (1,158,306 sq mi)
- 240 BC[1]    2,600,000 km2 (1,003,866 sq mi)
- 175 BC[1]    800,000 km2 (308,882 sq mi)
- 100 BC [1]    100,000 km2 (38,610 sq mi) was

It was notoriously unstable and it’s first losses?

“Nevertheless, even before Seleucus’ death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains…Seleucus invaded India (modern Punjab Pakistan) in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya…Chandragupta received vast territory, sealed in a treaty, west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern day Afghanistan…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucid_Empire#An_overextended_domain

If you want to learn history, read history. If you want to write proaganda, well, I guess you already know how to do that.

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By tomack, November 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

There is NO sober and/or rational rebuttal to this, or to ANY BAD WAR. You can pick and choose your historical precedents all you want, the bottom line remains: we do NOT belong there. The Brits did NOT belong there. The Soviets did NOT belong there. Nation and Kingdom building all. Don’t you get it: only THEY belong there—the good they and the bad they.  These people must sort out their own future just like many other countries have throughout history. As bloody and confrontational as it might be. We will only make it worse in the long run because when we decide to leave for reasons of finally “winning” or just to save face (which I think is too late) guess who will be left there? THEM. All alone. 

There is no logical debate here—NONE. Period, simply that. We create the debate for our own ends, whether they be political or ideological, they are created out of thin air. And while we debate the local people duck and cover.

Leave militarily, stay advisory—for whatever good that will do.

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By @CT, November 5, 2009 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

“Our Western mission in Afghanistan is going to end in utter disaster.”
Robert Fisk:
America is performing its familiar role of propping up a dictator—As in Vietnam, Karzai is going to rule over an equally tiny island of corruption

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-america-is-performing-its-familiar-role-of-propping-up-a-dictator-1814194.html

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, November 5, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

To ChaoticGood:

    Excellent reference !!

To Go Right Young Man:

    a. If the British were so successful, as you imply, why were they involved in 3 Afghan conflicts ?  Seems that “success” would have meant one or two at most.
    b. Supposedly NATO went into Afghanistan to get Al Qaeda - not the local Afghanis, regardless of their sadistic local habits.  Re: the Russians: has there ever been a conflict in the middle east where outside influences were not involved ?  (Europe and the US would be much farther along with Iranian negotiations if it were not for Russia and China.)
    c. The gist of Mr. Scheer’s article is that the human risk is not worth the remote chance of success.  As a veteran of the 1964-1968 era, I can assure you that generals do NOT give the President advice that saves lives.

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By ProTester, November 5, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

In response to Go Right Young Man:
You have presented a very sober and rational rebuttal to Sheer’s article.
This is why I would like to ask you a question:
Why did we sacrifice over 50,000 troops in Vietnam?

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By melpol, November 5, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

There has never been a government that is not filled with hacks representing
greedy interests. Some nations like the U.S. keep their claws and fang hidden.
Idealists believe that society would be a more moral place in the absence of big
government. But when that happens powerful gangs run amok and create hell on
Earth. The U.S. at the present time might be the best of all worlds.

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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, November 5, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

The US lecturing Afghanistan on election integrity. Now
that’s rich. Does anyone remember Diebold? Florida?
Ohio? Oh wait, AIPAC-run contribution bundling?
Corporate lobbying gone wild? Perhaps before we try to
teach Afghanistan how to have a democracy we ought to
think about establishing one in the US. Does anyone
still believe we have a representative Democracy over
here? What a hoot. I guess Karzai doesn’t have a
mainstream media to coopt to he can’t really be as
subtle about making it seem like there’s a choice.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, November 5, 2009 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

As President Obama decides whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, we should remember that most of the conventional pessimism about Afghanistan is only half-truth.

Remember the mantra that the region is the “graveyard of empires,” where Alexander the Great, the British in the 19th century, and the Soviets only three decades ago inevitably met their doom?

In fact, Alexander conquered most of Bactria and its environs (which included present-day Afghanistan). After his death, the area that is now Afghanistan became part of the Seleucid Empire.

Centuries later, outnumbered British-led troops and civilians were initially ambushed, and suffered many casualties, in the first Afghan war. But the British were not defeated in their subsequent two Afghan wars between 1878 and 1919.

The Soviets did give up in 1989 their nine-year effort to create out of Afghanistan a communist buffer state - but only because the Arab world, the United States, Pakistan and China combined to provide the Afghan mujahideen resistance with billions of dollars in aid, not to mention state-of-the-art anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

While Afghans have been traditionally fierce resistance fighters and made occupations difficult, they have rarely for long defeated invaders—and never without outside assistance.

Did we really take our eye off the “good” war in Afghanistan to fight the optional bad one in Iraq? Not quite. After a brilliant campaign to remove the Taliban in 2001, a relatively stable Karzai government saw little violence until 2007. Between 2001 and 2006, no more than 100 American soldiers were killed in any given year.

In fact, American casualties increased after Iraq became quiet - as Islamists, defeated in Iraqi’s Al Anbar province, refocused their efforts on the dominant Afghan theater.

Is Afghanistan the new Vietnam? Hardly. In the three bloodiest years, 2007 through 2009 so far, the United States has suffered a total of 553 fatalities - tragic, but less than 1 percent of the 58,159 Americans killed in Vietnam. What is astounding is the ability of the U.S. military to inflict damage on the enemy, protect the constitutional government and keep our losses to a minimum.

Unlike past foreign interventions, our U.N.-approved aim is not to create a puppet state, but a consensual government able to defend itself against the Taliban and al-Qaida - while preventing more strikes against the United States.

With Iraq relatively stabilized, jihadists have no choice but to commit their resources to prevent a second defeat. Meanwhile, Pakistan at last is cracking down on terrorist enclaves.

Unlike the case with the unpopular Bush decision to surge troops in Iraq, President Obama does not face a hostile political opposition at home. Many Americans are undecided rather than against continuing the war.

What, then, prevents President Obama from sending more troops to secure the country?

Mostly problems of presidential indecision and confusion. Candidate Obama ran on the theme of Afghanistan as the necessary war, Iraq the optional one. But he assumed the then-quiet front in Afghanistan would stay that way, while Americans would withdraw from what he deemed a hopeless effort in Iraq.

Just the opposite ensued. The surge worked. But Afghanistan heated up. So now the president finds himself increasingly trapped by his campaign rhetoric. He is on record as committed to defeating the Taliban and winning the “necessary” war. But the president is now also a Noble Peace Laureate who apparently does not want what has become a messy conflict with Islamists on his watch.

We have experienced soldiers and military leadership, a just cause and Western unity. In other words, we have everything we need to defeat the Taliban—except a commander-in-chief as confident about fighting and winning as he once was as a candidate.

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By ChaoticGood, November 5, 2009 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

Do you remember the scene from the movie in one of the “Day of the Dead” flicks where the zombies just ate two paramedics and then the dispatcher radioed them and the zombie took the call and said:
“Send more Paramedics”

Kinda like Afganistan, huh

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By LemuelG, November 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

I do not disagree with the majority of this article. The political culture installed in Afghanistan is a disgrace and a hypocritical embarrasment.

But, it is quite simply not idiotic to argue that more troops will mean more security (I can just imagine the nonsense people will start to spout as I’m writing this…)

Here’s a deal I’ll offer to any writer/journalist - if you can find a platoon of troops, on an overnight ambush in a hostile area, squatting in foxholes, possibly recieving sporadic sniper-fire or mortar-rounds, if you can get those men, as a unit, to admit that they would not be any safer with an extra platoon in reserve or covering their flanks… well, I will concede the point forever.

I don’t like your chances - and it really is that simple - the more soldiers committed, the less casualties overall.

Don’t let political beefs and grudges stand in the way of common-sense, these are your brothers and sisters out there; and while they’re there, they deserve the best chance of success in their mission.

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By msgmi, November 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s tough to defend proxy-Karzai and have illusions that his central government is capable of providing security. The Soviets lasted 10-years before seeing the light that their proxyman had no capital.

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By TAO Walker, November 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Maybe if all the other members of the mythical “family of nations” got together to do an “intervention,” the U.S. of A. could at last be moved to see and admit the error of its ways, and get on a twelve-step plan to recovery.  There’s sure as hell nothing at all going to happen internally to bring about such a thing….there’s still too much of theamericanpeople’s drug-of-choice available, at a price they still think they can afford, for that to occur.

The problem, of course, is that every other corporate security state in the world is equally addicted, and caught-up in the dead-end futility of institutionalized “global” co-dependency.  This is a “public health emergency,” tame Sisters and Brothers….not a matter of tweaking the command-and-control regime a little to dial-back its more frightening current effects on the “....huddled masses.”

Isn’t it plain enough already that setting a bunch of corporate-sponsored politicians (and they all are everywhere) to coming up with a “healthcare plan” is only to guarantee the “worst-case-scenario” becoming the only possible outcome?  How many times do you have to see it before it finally sinks-in?

If you want a viable alternative try The Tiyoshpaye Way.

HokaHey!

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By Clovis, November 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

This is an old cartoon from days gone by. A lot like US foreign policy since WWII.

Picture an office with a large picture window overlooking a landscaped periphery.
This is the FBI, and the Director is standing with his boyfriend watching a chase.

Around the trunk of a large oak directly to their front, a “target” is pursued by two
agents, weapons drawn. Around and around they go, the target running, the
agents chasing.

“Put more agents on the Ackley case,” orders the Director.

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, November 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Kudos, Mr. Scheer !

If the Pres dares to do the truly courageous thing (withdraw), he should first contact Dick Cheney ...... to get the location of that safe underground bunker - because the teabaggers and Glenn Beck types will be gunning for him even harder than they are now. 

Beck and Limbaugh never saw an assault weapon they didn’t like.

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By Fraser Tothus, November 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is ...a huge tacit conspiracy between the U.S. government, its agencies and its multinational corporations, on the one hand, and local business and military cliques in the Third World, on the other, to assume complete control of these countries and “develop” them on a joint venture basis. The military leaders of the Third World were carefully nurtured by the U.S. security establishment to serve as the “enforcers” of this joint venture partnership, and they have been duly supplied with machine guns and the latest data on methods of interrogation of subversives.”
Edward S. Herman

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prole's avatar

By prole, November 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

“Just what is it we are telling the world about our belief in the integrity of elections?” The same thing that we’ve been telling them for years. Does anyone seriously think “the world” is listening anymore. Isn’t this an old story by now? Just like Ron Paul, the U.S. has always shown great “consistency”. Consistently pursuing it’s hegemonic designs outside of “the integrity of elections”. Whether its viciously attacking and blockading the legitimate government of Hamas, or supporting and succoring the shady government of Karzai, the U.S.’s belief in the “integrity of elections” is not something necessary to disprove anymore. And the recent spate of articles on Afghanistan by virtually every columnist on this site are powerless to do anything about it. Force and war have always been the U.S.’s preferred means of diplomacy and Obama is perfectly consistent with those means and their imperial ends. So why bother? Shout it from the rooftops, not many in decadent Amerika are going to put themselves out to stop it. Vietnam had to defeat America by the same means that America used against them, petitions and protests didn’t work. Hezbollah heroes had to liberate southern Lebanon the same way. Iraq is still waiting to be liberated, as is Palestine, despite the endless columns and articles about them. Talk is cheap. That’s not the kind of opposition the powerbrokers in the U.S. or Israel respect or fear. They can always roll right over them with their tanks, just like they did to Rachel Corrie. Obama must know this, too.

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By Dave Schwab, November 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Soon President Obama will decide whether to send as many as 60,000 additional U.S. soldiers to the war in Afghanistan.

Let’s urge Obama to live up to his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Tell him to withdraw troops from Afghanistan—not send more.

http://bit.ly/noafghansurge

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By James Purrington, November 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is the mission of our military forces?  Based upon our history that question is impossible to answer simply except that it is determined by the commander in chief (the president) with congressional approval for acts of war. Because wars must be declared by congress, other uses of the military are called “conflicts” or “police actions”
Since WWII there has never been an a “war” fought by the United States. Korea, Viet Nam, Cuban Missile Crises, Afghanstan, and Iraq have all been so called military conflicts or “Police Actions,” as in the case of Korea.

Since our country was founded as colonies (Pre constitution) there have been ten wars and many more military conflicts, some of which have been by our own aggression or chosing. The Department of Defense use to be called The Department of War. 

The Korea, Viet Nam and Afghanstan 1 conflicts were really surrogate conflicts during the Cold War with Russia; and they were part of our US doctrine in fighting communism. These were very serious wars and should have been so classified instead of a military conflict.  They all lasted for years.  (In the Afghan 1 war between the USSR and the Afghan Taliban, we supported the Taliban with weapons, MI and advisors only. Osama bin Laden fought with the Taliban and after the disintegration of the USSR, The Cold War was over Russia had withdrawn from Afghanistan and al Qaida was formed by Osamaa bin Laden.)

Osama bin Laden was part of the several royal families in Saudi Arabia who are members of the extreme militant Wahabbi sect of the Muslim faith, which is dominant in Saudi Arabia and part of Pakistan. He established the al Qaida militant terrorist organizaton and a training camp in Afghanstan.  During the Clinton years, al Qaida attacked several US Embassies.  Clinton carved out a special intelligence organization to follow and track the al Qaida terrorists to insure that they did not hit the homeland.  This organization was headed up by Richard Clarke and did a remarkable job by getting advance copies of the FBI and CIA field reports where he cut through the intelligence red tape and followed the terrorists, preventing the attack on the LA Airport and the New York Port. However, Clinton wanted to wipe out al Qaida once and for all and therefore had Richard Clarke’s organization plan an attack on al Qaida in Afghanistan.  al Qaida was operating in a known location and concentrated in a small area.  Air bombings and a small combat force could easily wipe-out the organization at that time.  That plan was completed early in December 2000, and the result of the election had not been decided.  When Bush was declared President, Clinton had the new Bush administration briefed thoroughly and advised them to act quickly on the plan.  Rice delayed any action and deferred to Dick Cheney who stated “We are not going to let the Clinton Administration tell us how to fight terrorists.”  Richard Clarke’s organization was dissolved and therefore no special organization now was following the terrorist except the FBI and CIA who took forever to process the field reports. The plan was shelved by Cheney and was not resurrected until after 911.  By that time al Qaida dispersed and the invasion of Afghanistan (using the Clinton plan) only forced al Qaida into the mountains out of reach of the military and the military equiptment we had there.

During the first Iraq War (or conflict) President George H W Bush had our forces invade Iraq because of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kwait.  It was a short war and the US quickly left there leaving Hussein’s Army in tact with their weapons and equipment.  He realized that Hussein and his army were important deterrants to Iran and needed to keep that balance in place.  He also realized the conflict between the Shias, Sunnims and the Kurds.  Without Hussein there would be civil war.  A strong Baath party was needed to keep peace (word limit exceeded see next)

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By Folktruther, November 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Great poem, Glen Wayne.  Set it to music and you’ll have a popular song in two years.  likr the Viet Nam songs.

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By C.G. Marxer, November 4, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Give Axelrod a break.  The administration can truthfully say that the Afghan election had as much integrity as our own do.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, November 4, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

“Although the process was messy, I am pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law, which I think is very important.”

I regret to inform you that The Great Genius Obama actually believes this BS.

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By @CT, November 4, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer writes:
“David Axelrod had the arrogance to defend the rigged process as having “proceeded in the constitutional way.” Just what is it we are telling the world about our belief in the integrity of elections?”

It’s the Chicago Way—seize state power by any means, then bleat about “democracy”.

You gotta wonder if the five magic Norwegians regret that stupid Peace Prize ...

It’s feeling quite Viet Nammish.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, November 4, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

There’s an easy way to end this war.  It can be captured in a one line slogan.

PEACE NOW! .... OR NO SECOND TERM!

If the ‘peace voters’, which is about 70% of the electorate, were to abandon the Democrats, the Democrats would have zero chance of winning any election.  The Democrats are only in power due to the support of the ‘peace voters’.

When we withdraw that support, and instead launch strong, unified, independent campaigns that target the CLOSEST Senate and House races, we gain the political power to end this war.  And if we target Obama with a national peace candidate, he becomes a certain one-term president.

When the Democrats are looking at across the board defeats in an election cycle, then they’ll come to us asking ‘what do we want?’ 

That’s the day these wars end.

PEACE NOW! ... OR NO SECOND TERM!

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, November 4, 2009 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Of course, these are the same Democrats that have told us for eight years now that there’s no fraud in American elections.

The quote that the elections ‘proceeded in a constitutional way’ would apply as well to American elections.  And likely with the same dripping sarcasm.

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By Glen Wayne, November 4, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Dessert Deja vu     ePie         November 4th, 2009

Deja vu, Deja Vie Deja Viet
from jungle orange to desert rubble
from B-52 to predator blue
We have a liberator democratic bomb for you.
So celebrate, make marriage parties, copulation bands
Sharia bonds…Make love so..
the war of drugs and rocks… Like the Afghan nation talks
for it’s Deja vu it’s Deja vu it’s Deja vu

Deja vu, Deja Vie Deja Viet
Vet me a dick and I’ll vet you a dictator;
a war lord, or two blood brother’s of let.
Junk the jewels of the bet
the junk, the jet, the jaded set
blow my Kazoo, my Karzai ,my Kiefer, my Horse pipe.
Inflate the domino fools,.. the stools,.. the tools
of World Order not.
Congratulations ballot stuffer, pipe line puffer,
Cheeney cubed huffer

Deja vu, Deja Vie Deja Viet
you ain’t seen nothin yet.
Withdraw before the Rush calls it a dither
Oh come Ho Diem,... come thither.

Commander in chief you’re a Noble thief
Withdraw.
The fig can be a leaf.

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By hark, November 4, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama and the Democrats have been checkmated into escalating this conflict because to do otherwise would be seen as their being “weak on national security,” and they would get clobbered in the elections.

Imagine if Obama declared this “war” as the fraud it is, withdrew our troops, and then we suffered some kind of terrorist attack.  It would be all over for the Democrats for a generation.  They simply cannot, and will not, take that risk.  The odds are overwhelming that someday we will get hit again no matter what we do to prevent it.

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By dihey, November 4, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

What fraction of the DOD’s funding goes to so-called “small businesses”, the darlings of the Republican Party?

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By David, November 4, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America’s Afganistan Policy

More must die so that those who have died will not have died in vain.  Ad infinitum.

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photoshock's avatar

By photoshock, November 4, 2009 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

And the picture becomes clearer and clearer.
This country is no longer a republic, which is a representative democracy, but an autocracy, based upon the ‘military-industrial-Congressional Complex!’
These were the words that President and General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower, upon leaving the office of President wanted desperately to say.
His was an intimate knowledge of both politics and the military. Until, he left office, the military was not a true standing military, but afterwards, he in his prescient and knowledgeable way, spoke of a coming time when the military-industrial-Congressional Complex would rule the political scene of America to the point of our becoming an authoritarian state with no remembarance of what this country was founded to do and how we were to act in the world.
We are not the world’s policeman, this function was foisted upon us, the people by corrupt and ignorant politicians who listened to the military and industrial typhoons, who needed to make more and more money to serve their true masters, the banking cartels; those central banks invested in and wholeheartedly for the running of wars as an industry.
How we the people, throw off the yoke of bondage to these crazed and insanely money-hungry men, is another story. But this we must do, for our very lives depend upon our actions within the next 3 years. We are at a crossroads, we cannot long continue the fighting in Afghanistan or any other country for that matter, our people are weary of the call to arms, for yet another lost war and this even before it has started.
The list, cannot and has not committed the atrocities that have been attributed to it. The list, is but a figment of the imagination of the CIA and the other ‘intelligence’ agencies that have created this mess at the behest of their masters.
People arise shake off the yoke of the oppressor, and give your voice to the cause of freedom wherever it lies and needs to be found. We are not the puppets and slaves to the Central banks of the world. We are their masters and we cannot stand longer their crazed and indifferent antics to the cries of the poor and lost of the world.

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By peterjkraus, November 4, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

We never had any business going into Afghanistan. Had we truly wanted to go after Al Quaida, Hamburg would have been the logical choice, not some remote mountain valley in the country known as the “Graveyard of Armies”.

As most wars, this one was waged to provide enormous benefit for the aptly named profiteers, for the politicians and their financial supporters, for the professional soldiers whose aim in life is a general’s star. Who cares about dead throwaway people like soldiers and indigenous populations?

As long as our national mantra is Profit Über Alles, soldiers will die, populations will be wiped out and the fat asses will be counting their profits.

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By melpol, November 4, 2009 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

Poppy crops have been milked for 5 years and turned into enough Heroin to
supply the worlds addicts for a century. It sits in abandoned missile silos guarded
by private armies, the rest is hidden in Afghanistan caves. The Heroin is owned by
a man called Feelgood whose real name remains a secret.

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By godistwaddle, November 4, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Prior to establishing one’s “democracy” one must kill the myrmidons of the brutal, foreign occupier (in our case, the Brits).  Afghan patriots and freedom fighters know this, and will welcome more targets with bullets and shards.

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By omniadeo, November 4, 2009 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

Obama’s Secretary of Defense is Robert Gates, whom he chose to inherit.

Though positioned by the amnesiac pressoganda as a seasoned “moderate” after Rumsfeld, Gates was appointed by George Bush the younger after serving as Director of Central Intelligence for George Bush the elder, who himself served as DCI, after serving as a covert operative.

For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, that tells you all you need to know.

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By jack, November 4, 2009 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good article, but misses the point. Citing misunderstanding of the natives and their resistance at
being occupied and regularly bombed as the failure in this war to “bring democracy” to a “backward
people,” is to accuse the prosecutors and those who direct the prosecutors of the war only of
“incompetence.”

Incompetence and blow back - tag team cover up of the real mission of the Global War Of Terror:
Fail these inconvenient states, exploit their tribal rivalries, if peace threatens to break out, instigate
provocations. Fund and support every side - most of all keep them at war.

And finally, if these people can’t be made dead enough in this lifetime to get them out of the way,
there’s the next generation, already seriously damaged by DU poisoning — soon enough the entire
region may be uninhabitable; leaving the minerals to be exploited by robots.

The Gobal War Of Terror is on the verge of rivaling the Holocost in the scope of its tragedy. It is
already impacting the entire human genetic legacy as DU nanodust blows around the world - next
to this stuff Global Warming’s a quaint nuisance.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 4, 2009 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

Is not the real question here: Can President Obama actually make any decision to change the death grip that the war industry has on this country? Lyndon Johnson could not stand up to IT, and he was, as biographer Robert Caro pointed out, “master of the Senate” long before he ever became president.
Take what happened yesterday in Congress, when 344 members voted to denounce the Goldstone Report on the atrocities committed in Gaza, for fear of being seen actually questioning the wretched narrative put forward by the Israeli government. Does anyone believe that President Obama, the one time junior Senator from Illinois, is going to stand up and question the expert advice of his supposed military experts? By saying he believes in fighting the right kind of war, Barack Obama assures us that the enablers of profitable insanity will continue unabated.
Where is it in the United States Constitution that clearly states that it is this country’s duty to be the world policemen?
All of these policy discussions are based upon assuming falsehoods that claim that war is about freedom and democracy.
If President Obama is the smart guy people claim he is, then he most likely knows that is perpetrating a hoax, that viewed from a peculiar political prism, probably seems necessary. But how strange it must be, if you know what are the right actions to take, but you can not do anything about it. I wonder if the 36 members who voted against resolution 867, have similar frustrations?

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 4, 2009 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

It would appear this president is falling victim to the Washington group think process ... give the military whatever they want because they know policy better that our elected representatives.  McCrystal is looking for another star on his collar and at his career path to the Joint Chiefs.  He cares little about how many bodies on both sides are created during this march.  I have arrived at the point where I would encourage all soldiers and enlisted to just refuse to go anymore.  If the majority said no, could the military really court martial all of them?  Or would this be the kick in the head our politicians and others need to get them thinking right.  Afghanistan is none of our business anymore.  If they want to let the Taliban run the place, that is their decision, not ours.

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