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America’s Forgotten War

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Posted on May 28, 2010
Flickr / U.S. Army

A U.S. Army member patrols with Afghan soldiers in the village of Yawez in Wardak province, Afghanistan, last February.

By Bill Boyarsky

Perhaps President Barack Obama should be thankful for the bad news—the oil spill, intractable unemployment and the rest—for it has definitely diverted attention from his biggest disaster: the Afghanistan war.

So far, the distant war, fought by service volunteers and civilian contractors, can’t compete for attention in the media world. This may be good for Obama today. I doubt he wants a national debate on Afghanistan. But it’s bad for the country, and as it continues it will be bad for Obama, dragging him down as other senseless wars have done to his predecessors.

Casualties are rising, passing 1,000. The Afghanistan war’s cost in February alone was $6.7 billion, USA Today reported. At this rate, there may not be enough money to pay for the health care reform that Obama sees as his legacy. 

Each week, I read the e-mailed report on news coverage produced by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. It lists how newspapers, the Internet, network TV and cable TV played the news in the past week. For the week of May 17-23, Afghanistan was in seventh place in the overall standings. For newspapers, the war was 10th. It was seventh for online, sixth for network television and 10th for cable TV. Afghanistan coverage didn’t register for radio. The oil rig explosion, the 2010 elections, the economic crisis and the Mexican president’s Washington visit all occupied more space or time.

Actually, this was the war’s best showing for weeks. It didn’t make the top 10 in the preceding three weeks. Perhaps the number of war dead topping 1,000 prompted the interest. The New York Times noted the milestone in two pages of pictures of those killed since late July 2008, “Faces of the Fallen.” As James Dao and Andrew W. Lehren of the Times wrote, “Having taken nearly seven years to reach the first 500 dead, the war killed the second 500 in fewer than two. A resurgent Taliban active in almost every province, a weak central government incapable of protecting its people and a larger number of American troops in harm’s way all contributed to the accelerating pace of death.”


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With the death toll rising and the number of Americans in Afghanistan increasing, why the poor coverage? I put the question to Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and my former colleague at the Los Angeles Times. What he had to say was enlightening but depressing.

“One factor is that, historically, if Americans—and the American news media is a reflection of them—have pressing domestic concerns … the domestic concerns seem to come out first,” he said.

“Interwoven with that is war fatigue,” he said. For seven years, the media and the public have focused on Iraq, and even there coverage has diminished. Another reason for the drop is that the mainstream news business is short of money and fearful of imminent extinction. Covering a war is expensive.

In addition, editors and other media managers don’t think people are interested. “The American media tends to mirror what they think the American people are thinking,” Rosenstiel said. Finally, there’s not much political debate over the war, and without controversy there’s not much interest on the blogs and among cable’s so-called analysts, who have become more influential than old-fashioned reporters.

The few prominent opponents and critics of the war can’t catch their attention.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s resolution for withdrawal from Afghanistan within 30 days was defeated in the House. Peace candidates in the current election campaigns, such as Marcy Winograd, who is running against Rep. Jane Harman in a Democratic primary in Southern California, are scarce.

And there has been minimal coverage of legislation requiring President Obama to develop a flexible timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Walter Jones, R-N.C. Obama has said he wants to begin withdrawing troops in July 2011, but that obviously isn’t a firm enough promise for Feingold. The senator also disagreed with Obama’s goal of denying al-Qaida “a safe haven,” stopping Taliban advances and strengthening Afghanistan’s government. This made little sense to Feingold, who said, “A large open-ended expensive military presence in Afghanistan is not the way to defeat al Qaeda.” He inserted the Feingold-McGovern measure as an amendment to a spending bill, but it was voted down, 18-80. I’m sure you heard about it—if you watch C-SPAN.

Blind coverage by mainstream television and print helped get us into the Iraq war. So did acceptance, on the part of most politicians and a good segment of the public, of the lie that Iraq was somehow behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. President George W. Bush was let off the hook for years.

Now mainstream television and print outlets are letting President Obama off the hook. An increasingly thin Afghanistan press corps is doing a heroic job. But too many news bosses, uninterested in the war, won’t play up the story. Bloggers, usually soloists, don’t have enough resources. As a result, there’s nobody available to save Obama from himself in this useless war.

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LetIdB's avatar

By LetIdB, June 2, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

My hair is on fire!  The collective mentality of our citizens does not deserve freedom and liberty, and it’s not just corporate media’s fault.  It doesn’t take corporate news filterers to inform us that our country sacrificed millions (yes, MILLIONS) of human beings in Southeast Asia (Viet Nam, etc.)  and our ONLY LESSONS from those crimes against humanity were to (1) hide the returning American body bags from citizen view in future insane wars against Third World countries, and (2) avoid a draft (as no one with any influence or leverage cares about the poor volunteers who have no employment opportunities other than the military).

It is a LIE of unfathomable proportions to tell the American public that “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan will keep “terrorists” from our shores.  Such “wars” WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED 9/11, the shoe bomber, the underwear/Christmas bomber. the Times Square bomber, (or, for historical linkage, the Oklahoma City bomber), or the other bombers now plotting in the basements of St. Louis tenements or forests of Idaho .  And, again, the public does not need to read or listen to corporate news media to know these truths; they are self evident.

Our economy is fast tracking to hades in a hand basket and yet we have the audacity to waste TRILLION$ on our killing industry and its war profiteers.  And, we have the blind ignorance to protest Universal Health Care for ALL of us because it might cost billions.  It is not the media’s fault; the fault is in our own stars and the “audacity of dupe.”

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By ofersince72, May 31, 2010 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Zing, my apologies,

That indeed is too good to describe those idioits.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 31, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

By amunaor, May 31 at 1:30 am #

Israel kills Rachel Corrie, it kills 4000 people in 9-11, kills 19 people in the activist humanitarian ship, it kidnaps 9 americans, and Israel also shots an american girl destroying her left eye. and yet USA with the biggest Armed Force of this world cant do any thing about it. Is USA really the Home of the Brave, and the home of the liberty?

I think that USA suffers from low-self esteem caused by the dark history of America which began when British Colonizers killed american native indians.

There is just too much darkness and evil in our history


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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

By Tobysgirl, May 31 at 8:44 am #  I think that the stance that we should have in USA is the stance of Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix, which was compassion and pitty for the people fooled inside the beautiful world of The Matrix, which was a world of beauty but of lies, where people lived in a lie.

And i think that the real cause is lack of guidance, lack of teaching, americans have been living a life without mentors, all on their own, this country needs more good teachers, more mentors and more guidance.  We are alone in this country without a guide on what books to read, on what to do, on what is good, on what leads to happiness and strength (Which is book-reading, and health) and not sports-cars, not luxury cars, not expensive clothes, and not big expensive homes which are not rational in this world of economic crisis for a family of 3 to 5 people.

I was reading in the book “The Wisdom of Life” by Arthur Schopenhauer where he said that 90% of a human’s self esteem, well-being, superiority, happiness and mental security come from having a good health, a good diet (like a low-carb diet) knowledge usually from book-reading, intelligence, information and wisdom, and not what americans have been taught what makes them happy and secure which is big cars, expensive homes and luxuries.  Schopenhauer claimed that things outside of your body are irrelevant for happiness and security. He claimed that wealthy people were sad and felt like pieces of shit, because they wealthy people realize that all the millions of dollars, material things like private jets cannot make them feel superior at all, because those are things outside of their bodies.

Another problem i see in USA is that people in USA are taught that alone by themselves, isolated without friends people can achieve any goal they want in life. And that’s totally wrong, in order to do any thing in this world, wether you want to be a lawyer, doctor, teacher, business manager etc. people have to work in teams, in groups, in community.  And that’s why people in USA feel that their lives are not going any where not only because of our oligarchic-economic system that USA has where a few earn a lot of money and live real well while the rest of americans work like camels, are taxed to death and billed to death, but another problem i think is that many people in this country hate to work in groups, and hate to join political movements and parties.

Oh by the way and what you said about people not talking to each other in this country, you know like they only talk to members of their own family or church. Thats because i think that this country has a family-oriented system, i think it’s because of the Christian Catholic tradition of Feudal, and Caste systems where people only made friends with members of their own family and close friends. 

If you think about it, USA is still almost like a caste system, like a monarchy and feudalism. That’s why USA needs a real revolution to get away from this backward feudal, obsolete system of castes and catholic family-oriented traditions, where if you are outside of the family you are almost like an enemy.


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By D.R. Zing, May 31, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72—Please don’t use whores as metaphors for the media.  It’s an insult to the whores. Hell, I like whores. Don’t you?

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By Inherit The Wind, May 31, 2010 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

If it doesn’t involve sex, the American MSM has the attention of a fruit fly.  “Afghanistan? We have soldiers in Afghanistan? HAIR! MAKEUP!!!”. 

But talk about Sandra Bullock’s cheating, low-life husband, or Kim Kardashian’s weepy tales of former boyfriends, and THOSE stories have legs that are longer than Bullock’!

Meanwhile, throughout the BP oil mess, NPR has kept up steady reporting on Afghanistan and the mess there.

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By Leefeller, May 31, 2010 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

When people bring up right or left or any other label of convince, they seem to be missing reality. I like to believe myself as a person who assimilates ideas and forms opinions about most things and I can change my opinion (some call this flip flop), compared to many people who have their ideas set in stone, a stone so immovable allowing for no movement.

Those who promote ideas like a religion and it seems politics, feel others must see the light and understand their locked in logic as a gospel of absolute truth the facts, only they do not know this is not opinion.

When I can agree with someone on something, which usually turns out to be another persons ideas set in stone, but I may not agree with every bit of their whole argument because the minefield they set, requires in their mind, everyone to follow their exact footsteps or else!

This is how I see so many posters here, my opinion not set in stone but set in sand!

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By Tobysgirl, May 31, 2010 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

Tennessee-Socialist, I don’t agree with your entire perspective, but we certainly agree on a lot, such as:


I certainly believe that the people who run this country and the media who service them are whores, but I cannot forget that the American public prefers lies and propaganda to any notion of what is actually going on in their nation or the world. To some extent, our government and media reflect who we are; they do not exist in a vacuum.

In the state I live in, we had significant choices when our U.S. Senate seats were up for election. We had a man clearly in favor of national health care, education, reducing the military, converting our economy to peacetime production, etc, and we reelected a senator whom the public adores as a moderate (she keeps telling us she’s a moderate, so it must be so). We then had another choice, a woman who supported national health care, education, etc, and we reelected another “moderate.” I cannot believe I live in the only state where people have actually had decent choices to represent them in Washington and instead chose people who represent business and business as usual.

I do not agree with many leftists that it is all the big bad government and corporations which oppress us. It is comforting to think that ordinary people are really good at heart, just misguided by the propaganda they are inundated with. But my experience in life has demonstrated to me that many people are only nice if your skin is white, you agree with them politically, you participate in a religion they approve of.

Most people simply do not want to think about the world. I have some sympathy with this because I don’t think we evolved to live in so-called civilization. However, many people who do not want to think are happy to regurgitate whatever they last heard on Fox News or at their local tea party. They are full of hate and rage, and they have a lot to do with perpetuating our nation’s downfall.

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By ofersince72, May 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment


Public Law 107-40 is a declaration of war

it gives the Executive powers anywhere and anytime
he choses.
Americans don’t understand this.

Until this public law is repealed, the executive is
free to do what he whats anytime and anywhere in the
name War Against Terror.
Thats just the way it is… can thank the 107th

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By Leefeller, May 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

D.R. Zing;

A post after my own heart, I do not watch TV either.  If I
didn’t know any better,  me thinks you just described
Sarah Palin?

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By Bobert, May 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The (brutally oppressive) Taliban rulers of Afghanistan harbored the al-Qaida
planners of 9/11, who were almost certainly preparing a second strike of
attacks. The United States had no choice but to attack and dislodge the Taliban
and the terrorists they protected. If President Bush had not, it would have been
tantamount to treason, because the first and foremost responsibility of the
president is to protect the nation.

When the Taliban were dislodged, it became an obvious necessity to form a
replacement government. If this had not been done, it is almost guaranteed
that terrorist cells would have filled the power vacuum, turning Afghanistan
into a terrorist haven all over again. The American invasion gave the Afghan
people a chance to decide their own destiny. It is our moral imperative and duty
that we assist the Afghans in securing their towns and cities, helping to rebuild
their infrastructure, and training their police and military so that they can
defend themselves.

Furthermore, there are countless Afghans that have taken positions of
responsibility and cooperation with the Americans and the Afghan government
because they believe in the freedom and democracy it represents. If the U.S.
were to withdraw from the nation immediately, the Taliban would kill nearly all
of them. Is this how we should treat those who stood up to a brutal regime and
tried to install freedom in their own country, which has never known it?

Lastly, combat troops begin withdrawing in July 2011, whether the plan drafted
by General McCrystal and General Petraeus, and executed by President Obama,
has been successful or not. We will not know whether or not it is until the
offensive against Kandahar province launches this summer.

Side note: Comparisons between the American occupation now and the Soviet
occupation of the 1980s are ridiculous - the strategy and tactics used by the
U.S. now are not even remotely close to what the Soviets used during their
invasion. To claim otherwise betrays an astonishing lack of knowledge on the
part of whomever claims this.

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By amunaor, May 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Sorry…...correction to post below.


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By amunaor, May 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

As the USA, once again, begins to celebrate ‘ bombs bursting in air’ while simultaneously weeping and embracing the gore of war, under the banner of Memorial Day Sales… one get one free…..operators are standing by…..please have your credit card ready when you call…..

Israeli forces have attacked the international aid convoy Freedom Flotilla en route to the besieged Gaza Strip, killing at least two people and leaving more than 50 injured.

The attack came on Monday morning after Israel deployed warships and threatened to stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza…..


Someone somewhere is attempting to set the big farm on fire.

Let us remember that neither the invasion/occupation of Afghanistan or Iraq was ever a declared ‘war’, as though the term war were to somehow sanctify the licentious release of brutal murder and carnage.

Wars should not be celebrated or remembered! It is a shameful thing, murder!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By robert puglia, May 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

america’s forgotten illegal occupation

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment



Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

By Peter Knopfler, May 30 at 9:33 pm #

USA has a big problem, what i mean is the war-based economic system. USA is at a crossroads, it cannot quit wars, but it cannot keep on waging wars for many more years, because sooner or later the national debt and external debt of USA will grow so big, that it will destroy the US dollar, which would lead to a hyperinflationary currency meltdown, and a total grind of the US society, economy which would lead to civil wars, chaos and revolutions in USA.

Even Professor Panarin predicted that if USA continues on this imperialist militarist fascist path, the USA will turn into 4 different nation-states


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By ofersince72, May 30, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

America’s War Disease..
America"s Forgotton War..

America’s Uncurable Abnesia
America’s Collapsing Empire

Tennessee, keep flashing those pictures,
it is amusing how they disturb.

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By Peter Knopfler, May 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Not sure I understand the Hugo- Castro pictures, two
old politicians having a gay old time talking about
the good old days that never happened, two want to bes
that never was.Hugo Castro and the Pope, common ground,
like minded catastrophes. Castro the Inquisitor, Hugo
top gun for life, the Pope ex Nazi soldier. Whoopee! DO

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

By Peter Knopfler, May 30 at 9:33 pm #



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By Peter Knopfler, May 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

American history shows every president fought a war
or participated in a war, work your way backwards,
Obama-Afghanistan, Bush Iraq, and so on, map it out
all the way back to 1776, now you will understand who
and what America stands for. America is like Baseball
sacrifice is part of the game. So if we cant entice
others we will inflict self-sabotage like WW1 and
WW2, Vietnam,even the troops USA right NOW are
guarding and protecting the Poppy fields and Heroin
production worth 500 million excuse,the military says
WE can`t let OSama get the money^” OBama wants the
money, its all the same.Columbia cocaine is treated
the same Way, 8 new bases in Columbia. Get the drugs
and make money.All of it false Flag operation!

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By Hammond Eggs, May 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Every morning, when Obama opens his eyes, ready to face another day as Master of the Universe, he gives thanks that there is no conscription in the United States.

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By ofersince72, May 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, I always bypass the first rule of

don’t write while you are angry

but it is very well plain to see, I am not a journalist.
just angry at them

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By thecrow, May 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

“Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.”

“Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.”

“The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.” 

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997

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By Dale Headley, May 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America will ALWAYs be either in a war or looking for one.  The powers that
REALLY rule this country look at war as a means to an end - several ends,
actually.  They see war as a powerful impetus to the domestic economy (as
George Bush inadvertently admitted in an unguarded moment of arrogant
candor); they see it as a way to spread American cultural influence (customer
base); they see it as a means of imposing an economic paradigm on other
nations in order to placate the greed of American companies.  There is a reason
America maintains some 800 military bases around the world, and it isn’t to
protect those countries; it is to protect the assets of the Fortune 500.  Nearly
every war in which America has participated has been driven and even
instigated at the behest of the super rich, who see war as making them even
richer.  Even our most iconic war - The Revolution - was, at its core, an effort
by a few rich men in Massachusetts to enhance their economic power.  The
notion that the average American suffered under the yoke of British oppression
is nonsense; most Americans couldn’t have given a rat’s behind.  Then, as now,
the rich had to wave Betsy Ross’ flag in front of Americans to gain their
support.  The War against Mexico had nothing whatever to do with
remembering the Alamo (a bunch of intransigent, belligerent, illegal aliens
trespassing in a Mexican mission), but everything to do with riches to be stolen
in Northern Mexico (California). 
    Sadly, most of the members of Congress hold their jobs at the pleasure of
their corporate masters.  For that reason, don’t expect America to extricate
itself from Afghanistan (and Iraq) until we have at least the prospect of another
war to take its place.  To be considered “patriotic” in America is to be willing to
send its young men and women to destroy any impediments (men, women,
children) to American corporate power - even die for it, if necessary.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 30, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

By D.R. Zing, May 30 at 3:21 am #

Have you seen the other non-news mainstream TV channels like The Food Network, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Univision, Telemundo, and how most of the programs and shows on those TV channels are so right-wingers, so classist, so anti-Cuba.  I swear many of the Hollywood movies have subliminal subtle anti-Castro messages, well they are not subliminal at all, they are in your face anti-Castroism, specially the movie Transformers which had many anti-Iran insults


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By balkas, May 30, 2010 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

It seems to me that most americans only know of the war of independence. Why just that war? because it was the only war that was half just and in toto needed as canada and australia clearly prove; both being independent and with a better life than most americans have.

All other US wars being completely, mostly, or partly unjust, nobody wants to remember them. In add’n, 90%+ of americans cannot prevent US wars no matter what they do or don’t do, why feel any responsibility for them or dwell on.
Americans know they have lost their country.tnx

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By gerard, May 30, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

If I want to insult people I write using capital letters because it tells them they are so dumb they won’t “get” it unless I use big letters.

If I want to bore people, I go on and on in great detail about why I am right.  I quote other people, famous if possible.  I refer to historical examples so they will know I am “well-read” etc. I lean on big names wherever possible.

If I want to turn people off, I make extreme comparison’s and attack individuals with insults and swear words.

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By mrfreeze, May 30, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

D.R. Zing - Bravo!

If I thought, for one nano-second that the “MEDIA” had any interest in actually telling the truth rather than making money, I would give them the benefit of the doubt. But in today’s 24/7, non-stop, non-content, “entertainment tonight” manifestation of the “news” I’m left with a sense that journalism is no longer a valid profession.

Thanks for stating the obvious so well and with such passion.

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By Gordon Leslie, May 30, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How many forgotten wars do the You-alls have?  I say “You-all” because there are three Americas, and only You-all arrogance suggests there is but one.

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By Ouroborus, May 30, 2010 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

D.R. Zing, May 30 at 3:21 am

+1; nice one.

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By D.R. Zing, May 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

The news media should take heart: We hate you all. 

I cannot tell you who a single anchor is on any television station, be it network, cable or local.  I hate you all. You all suck. 

When I hear talking heads giving a narration of events or a sign off I want to puke. I want to throw shit at the television. I want to pull an Elvis and blow a great big f’ing hole in the television. 

One wonders: In 2100 will these assholes still be narrating like they did in the 1950s?  Will they still be signing off with an inoffensive to no one, suitable for children, objective if you’re from Mars and have no fucking idea what’s going on, objective if you leave off the concept of something being self-evident and never mention what is self-evident, will they still be doing the same horseshit one hundred years from now? May they burn in hell with me. 

You gotta give it to newspaper foreign correspondents. They have the hardest writing job in the world.  They can get shot or blown apart or their head chopped off doing what they’re doing. And very few people even give a shit what they write. They are not allowed to say “I.” They can’t report what they see with their own eyes unless they are unlucky enough to be kidnapped, then it’s okay to write first hand. They can’t quote books that have already been written on the subject. They can’t recall history (unless of course you’re a domestic reporter writing about Monica Lewinsky then you better damn well mention the cigar and the oral sex).  They can’t use profanity. What they write has to suitable for children and an inoffensive to Puritan octogenarians (my apologies to all the degenerate octogenarians out there; may you too burn in hell with me). 

So, yes, what they publish is shit.  The way they present television news is shit. And no one really likes to read it or watch it because though people sometimes do not recognize art when they see it they damn sure recognize shit when they see it. 

Did I mention all my favorite writers are journalists? Seriously.  I have no beef with journalists, except to say they should be marching in the GD streets demanding the break up of the corporate titas who own them who force foreign correspondents to risk their lives writing watered down pap that no one wants to read. 

No sense of history.
No sense of reality.
No reference to books.
No profanity. 
No sex.
Plenty of violence.
But no pictures of dead people please.

My god how I hate you all.

May we all burn in hell together. 



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By Marc Schlee, May 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That whole Afghanistan thing is SO 15 minutes ago. 

What were we talking about?



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By SteveL, May 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Congress continues to dump money down these rat holes that don’t want us
there.  Meantime states all of which get a fraction of the tax money they send to
the Federal government continue to go broke.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment


1. A U.S. resident (“any person”) is prohibited from committing an act that is illegal under international law (Principle I), and therefore under U.S. Constitutional Law, even if commanded to do so by one’s superiors, including the President, provided a moral choice was in fact possible (Principle IV). One must disobey an illegal order or command.

2. The complement of the above is that individuals are responsible for obeying international law even if their government’s policies carried out by superiors are not so obeying.

3. Complicity is a crime (Principle VII), i.e., one is prohibited from participating in any act which knowingly furthers the crimes against peace, war crimes, or crimes against humanity under international law (Principle VI), & therefore under Constitutional law.

Thus, if a nation engages in an illegal overt or covert war, i.e., a crime against peace, or commits a war crime or crimes, or commits crimes against humanity, each of that nation’s citizens who is aware of such violation(s) is under obligation to disobey the command and refrain from participating in this illegal conduct.

Punishable under international law are crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (Principle VI, a.,b.,c., the essence of the Nuremberg Principles). The plea of superior orders or demands of state is no defense (Principle IV).

If one chooses to refuse compliance with military orders to fight in or political laws to pay for an illegal war, the person is not breaking the law. Nor is that person simply obeying a higher law. The person is in fact obeying existing U.S. law.

The U.S. Law:
Resistance law is established in the “Law of Land Warfare” in the U.S. Army Field Manual, Secs. 498-511 (FM 27-10, July 18, 1956). The manual incorporates the Nuremberg Principles which apply to “any person, whether a member of the armed forces or a civilian.” Consequently, one is obligated to obey only lawful orders; to disobey unlawful orders.

It is further clarified as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, especially Articles 2.3 and 2.4 prohibiting member nations from using “force or threat of force,” a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1945, thereby intrinsically part of the “supreme law of the land” under Article VI, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution.

The Nuremberg Principles themselves are part of U.S. law, enunciated in the Executive Agreement the U.S. signed with the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and France, August 8, 1945, and part of the U.N. International Law Commission as reformulated in 1950, and further set forth in the U.S. Army Field Manual (above).


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By samosamo, May 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment



By Tennessee-Socialist, May 30 at 12:29 am

Check out these ‘orders from headquarters’, ‘the doctrine of

In all of history, I consider this most insidious and arrogant and
reason to regard the catholic church as harbinger of evil on this

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By john crandell, May 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Yes folks: all of it - the result of the arrogance and blindness of Lyndon Baines

Moral blindness that is. For, with his savage cynicism, he sees that he can only
keep the walnut shells spinning, keep up with his tap dancing. They called
Clinton The Heartbreak Kid. This guy is something else entirely. It won’t work.
Like I said after he threw a bucket of shit in our faces with his announcement of just who was set to give the invocation at the inaugural:  good luck with
Afghanistan and I’m signing off. It was ALL SO APPARENT right then and there.

This war veteran, this student of the U.S. experience in Vietnam, this veteran of
the Robert Kennedy and George McGovern campaigns is now utterly indifferent,
is left hoping for the fall and thorough collapse of the American Imperium. Let
other democracies replace it - in the spirit of the 1776 Declaration of
Independence: The Pacific States of America, The Atlantic States of America, The
North-Central States of America and let the rest devolve into utter geographic
shit. Something new must emerge.

After all, he’s gone and lost his base, hasn’t he? Do not call me a Democrat…

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By tahoevalleylines, May 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Suggested railway rebuild strategy for region, as seen in 1917 book ““The War And The Bagdad (sic) Railway” offers early out methodology for USA logistics and security forces.  Railway was and is “Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform” as seen in circa 1950 logistics manuals.

China offers interesting example of rapidly modernized country not overlooking desirability of full-fledged railway matrix even as motor mania is at hand.  See “aspoarticle1037” postings in Jim Kunstlers’s blog for more.  “ELECTRIC WATER” is germane to US planning at home and abroad, by industrial designer Christopher C. Swan.  Chinese are following the line of using renewable generation in transport even to railway prime movers.

Reformed US Railroad Operating And Maintenance Battalions are no-brainer requisite assets for warfront and, orders of magnitude more for homeland defense utilization.  USA strategig requisite is separation from imported oil, and that means railway expansion and extension with all due haste.  War time evolution of railway logistics units translates to ability for adoption of stateside dormaqnt rail branch lines… Agricultural lines in US, Canadian Wheat Belt Line abandonement also is in this calculation, and should be turned around. 

Students looking at issues of war and peace, water supply, food production and transport policy should include familiarity of legacy US rail lines in their resume’.  See vintage “OFFICIAL GUIDE OF US RAILWAYS” circa 1920-1950 as source.  See also US Rail Map Atlas Volumes from on the web.  Doomers are lazy, or downright anti-social, thinking gold and guns and hide-outs are the anser… WRONG!  US is not a nation of quitters, and we now have to roll up the shirtsleeves, face the music and get our butts into gear.  Getting off oil is truly the way to get out of oil wars.  No Duh!

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By bookmark dofollow, May 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Well, I think there is a tendency for people to say, well, maybe—let me just say, there are some who say, don’t call this a war on terror. And there are some who have accused me of using the words “war on terror”

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment


US ORIGINS In Genocide/Extermination:

George Washington said that Indians were “wolves and beasts” who deserved nothing from the whites but total ruin, the MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY in 1630 made it illegal to “shoot off a gun in any unnecessary occasion, or at any game EXCEPT an Indian or a wolf.” [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 240-41].

“Founding Fathers”

In 1812, Thomas Jefferson, now a senior sage out of office, concluded that White Americans were “obliged” to drive the “backward” Indians” with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains”; in 1813 Jefferson stated that the American government had no other choice before it than “to pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.” In other words, the Native Americans are to be given the choice “to be extirpated from the earth” or to remove themselves out of the White Americans way. Thus, to the majority of White Americans the choice for Indians was one of expulsion or extermination.  [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, p. 120].

Scalping Bounties

Extermination was officially promoted by a “scalp bounty” on dead Indians. “Indeed, in many areas it [Indian-killing] became an outright business.”

Thomas Jefferson, writing to his Secretary of War in 1807, instructed that any native resistance to U.S. expansion into their territories should be overcome militarily, with the object that the Indians be “exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi.” This was sound policy, he claimed, because “in war, they [Indians] will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them.” [Churchill, W. (1997). “A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present.” San Francisco: City Light Books, pp. 150, 181-182].

Washington’s Orders to Sullivan:

Continental Army Supreme General George Washington’s orders to General Sullivan in 1779 during the Revolutionary War made it clear he wanted the Iroquois threat completely eliminated:

Orders of George Washington to General John Sullivan, at Head-Quarters May 31, 1779:

“The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.

I would recommend, that some post in the center of the Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.

But you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected. Our future security will be in their inability to injure us and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them.”

[Writings of George Washington. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, XV, pp. 189-93; Drinnon, R. (1980). Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, p. 331].

US Historical Operating Principles (several of which are explicit in George Washington’s orders):

1. Total War, civilians and combatants alike considered legitimate targets

2. Preventing/Not Wanting Peace

3. Preventive and Pre-emptive War

4. Terror

5. Torture

6. Revenge

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment


The Empire of Liberty is a theme developed first by Thomas Jefferson to identify America’s world responsibility to spread freedom across the globe. Jefferson saw America’s mission in terms of setting an example, expansion into the west, and by intervention. Major exponents of the theme have been Woodrow Wilson and “Wilsonianism”, and George W. Bush.In the History of U.S. foreign policy the Empire of Liberty has provided motivation to fight Spanish American War (1898), World War I (1917), World War II (1941), the Cold War (1947) and the War on terrorism (2001).

Monroe Doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine was designed to make the New World safe for liberty and American-style republicanism, as well as prevent the further growth of European empires in the New World. The Monroe Doctrine was invoked against the takeover of Mexico by France (1860s) and Imperial Germany (see Zimmerman Telegram 1917). After 1960 the Monroe Doctrine was invoked to rollback Communism from its new base in Castro’s Cuba. Ronald Reagan, emphasized the need to rollback Communism in Nicaragua, Grenada.

Jefferson used this phrase “Empire of Liberty” in 1780, while the American revolution was still being fought. His goal was an empire dedicated to liberty that could stop the growth of the British Empire, which he hated and feared:

“We shall divert through our own Country a branch of commerce which the European States have thought worthy of the most important struggles and sacrifices, and in the event of peace [ending the American Revolution]...we shall form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of the British Province of Canada and add to the Empire of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous Enemies into valuable friends.” - Jefferson to George Rogers Clark, 25 December 1780[1]

In 1809 Jefferson wrote his successor James Madison:

“we should then have only to include the North [Canada] in our confederacy…and we should have such an empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation: & I am persuaded no constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire & self government.” - Jefferson to James Madison, 27 April 1809

Other dimensions
Economic dimensions of the Empire involve spread of American religion, technology, popular culture and management skills.[2]

Opposition to American Empire
Anti-American forces in the Third World often capitalized on local hatred of oppressive empires by using the label American Empire in a negative sense. On the left in the U.S. it is also a hostile theme, as represented by Noam Chomsky and Chalmers Johnson. Their argument is that America represents the very thing that the “Empire of Liberty” was conceived to counter, imperialism. Compare criticism of the Manifest Destiny doctrine.

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By gerard, May 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Postscript:  “vacinity” looks funny, so I guess it’s a typo. Should be “vicinity.”

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By gerard, May 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

I think it is a grievous error to believe that “the war is forgotten.” Every hour of every day the war keeps on taking its hidden toll in deaths and injuries that will never be healed, in disappointments and loneliness, in disgust and revulsion, in guilt and wishful thinking.

The toll of war continuing inflicts invisible wounds on us all, on every person in the world who thinks about it even once a day.  The horror of it bears down even on those who spend money and energy trying to forget it or avoid thinking about it— energy that could and should be used for recovery, for learning, for healing, used for discovery, energy directed away from work on creative solutions and hopeful building for tomorrow and the next day. Year after year, jillions of ergs of energy are drained daily from young and old.  Negative energy gushing like the BP spill, turning everything in its vacinity into poisoned mental and spiritual territory that once was full of life and living, but now is slowly dying to the spiritual forces of respect, liberty, equality, community,care.     
  Pooling in empty places, it fills the political atmosphere with the poisons of regret, evasion and stymied development.  Hideous, twisted, blind, war now bears almost no resemblance at all to a human activity.  Rotten to the core. 
  We are living in a hell we have made. We must unmake it.  Life is calling on us for better answers.  Life wants to keep living.  It will keep calling till we answer.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

By diamond, May 29 at 7:36 pm #

You gotta go to and read an article by Bela Khun there on how the middle-classes always side with the upper ruling class in most countries. Americans have a wrong notion of the middle-class workers. The middle class citizens and workers in USA have never voted for progressive candidates in America or even for The Green Party.

So don’t just point your blame against neocons, you also have to blame, the middle regular classes, the people who are not rich, but who are not desperately poors, and not only the middle bourgeoise professional classes. But even the middle lower classes side with the US imperialism system of wars, Bank of America, AIG, and Hollywood Celebrities.

So its a bigger problem than we think. The middle and lower middle class people like nurses, teachers, bank employees, are all right-wingers, pro-wars and in the 2012 elections will caste their votes for Sarah Palin, Hillary, or Jeb Bush

USA is fucked up


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By neil, May 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, we will not fight this war, because we as Americans traditionaly don’t have the stomach for any sort of drawn out affair and anyway care about war and the reasons for it only if it all can comfortably compare to sports (then we’re all for it). Otherwise we aren’t interested.

Now, if only our leaders had the BALLS to say THAT at the beginning of these adventures….
(....he’d be crucified)

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment





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By rollzone, May 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

hello. what war is he writing about? are there tank battles, air superiority fights, missile launches: or troops trampling countryside, looking for a target shoot? the DEA cornered the heroin, it is past time to bring the troops home to our southern border. impeach Oboymamma.

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By PatrickHenry, May 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Afghanistan needs its own reality TV channel beaming HD3D to the American public 24/7.  Same goes for Iraq.

Put it all out there for the public to scrutinize and determine the necessity.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

I ran accross this quote today from Kipling’s


When your wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains
And the women come out to cut up the remains
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a good soldier

thought approp or ths dig…......

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By gerard, May 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Myronh:  Sorry I must have misinterpreted you.  Anyhow you are right when you say “I do know it has to start by at least electing a President that is not married to the military-industrial complex.”
  My point is that there is no such person alive today—and won’t be until election financing is completely reformed to prevent candidates from needing corporate money to get elected.
  Nuf said.

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By samosamo, May 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment



By Go Right Young Man, May 29 at 7:10 pm
““I am on record here on how most of the individuals who opine
on this site have, for several years, been chasing Neo-Con
phantoms. Apparitions, if you will.”“

You go on thinking that and I, for the present, agree because o
has shown what would make any ‘right leaning’ person proud to
see how he and the democrat congress have done so well in
maintaining the neoconservative agendas as far back as when
those first think tanks of treason popped up during and after
slick dick nixon’s terms or stay in office. And now I STILL
consider the repubs(right) and dems(left) to be of the same shit
as each one tries to make the other appear for the US vs THEM
division of this country, surely a great way to keep the infighting
going as ‘united we stand and divided we fall’ surely does
support a mantra of the charade of our 2 party government
when it is a ONE PARTY political system working in cahoots with
each other.

Maybe the pnac offends you or not but if you haven’t looked at
it, then you don’t know or refuse to acknowledge that the real
neoconservatives, richard pearl, paul wolfowitz, william kristol,
robert kagan, dick cheney, scooter libby and many many more
of these traitorous bastards whose ideas, plans and schemes
have placed this country in the dire straights it is in but also
NOT without the explicit help of the ‘other party’.

If you haven’t checked out the pnac lately here is the link to it
and wikipedia’s ‘definition’ also, one of the wiki subjects I can
believe is correct:

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By diamond, May 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Ofersince72 you have to face the fact that changing the president does not change the culture. The neo cons are just the latest manifestation of a bunch of rich fascists who have been running America for decades. They are unelected and they do whatever the hell they want. Obama is one man and while it may feel good to throw all the crap at him he IS elected and he can be thrown out. You don’t really need to worry about him: it’s the fascists, the unelected fascists, the ones behind 9/11, the anthrax letters, the global financial meltdown, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war they’re planning in Iran. And however much you want to deny it, this is overwhelmingly a Republican phenomenon. Yes, they buy the Democrats who are prepared to be bought when and if they need them but they are the ones running the game and until this perversion of the democratic process is addressed it will continue. To expect one elected representative to dismantle a culture that is owned and run by billionaires who control the Pentagon and the intelligence services when it is the work of generations and has to involve an effort by every citizen if it is to work seems like a form of escapism to me. Obama doesn’t have a silver bullet and he has to work within the confines of this corrupt culture. That doesn’t make him corrupt.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

excellent post GO_Right_Young_Man

NEO CON,  NEO LIB   funny isn’t it, both the same.

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By samosamo, May 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment



Too bad about the double post as maybe it still has something to
do with truthdigs website issues because on such a large
comment, by the time I tried to submit it, the connect to truthdig
was lost, may have been on my machine or on truthdigs.

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By Go Right Young Man, May 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, Domestic Electronic Surveillance, Enhanced Interrogation, Indefinite Detention, Drone Missile attacks and Extraordinary-Rendition were once thought to be sure evidence of a “Neo-Con Cabal” in the White House.  All of the above made for “The Worst Constitutional Crises In American History”.  That was then.

Today the U.S. has a democratic President with a majority House and Senate.  All of the above policies remain fully in effect and have, in some cases, been strengthened and expanded. - The Patriot Act was recently and unceremoniously made permanent by a democratic legislature and president.  Drone missile attacks, de facto summery executions, are now preferable to capture and interrogation.  - Not a “Neo-Con” in sight.

I am on record here on how most of the individuals who opine on this site have, for several years, been chasing Neo-Con phantoms. Apparitions, if you will.

Question: Do we redefine our world-view and context now?  Or do we redefine who and what a “Neo-Con” is?


Food for thought:  Some people don’t realize that Neo, literally, means “New”.  Dick Cheney hardly qualifies as a new-conservative.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know why, and maybe someone can explain to me
why, that Alex Jones is such a bad word to liberals???
He has exposed 911 with unrefutable evidence of an
inside job.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Our government and their media supporters are…



N O T H I N G   B U T   W H O R E S

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the post Samo…

I just clicked on to Obama delivering his
Memorial Day Speech

I had to quick click it off before I threw up.

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By samosamo, May 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

There is a document on display at the link provided above.
This is in essence a contrived plot from that neoconservative
think tank of the Project for the New American Century to gain
control of the mighty american military juggernaut for the
explicit use of globally extending american hegemony of that
stinking piece of shit, milton the turd friedman’s economic
idea of ‘unbridled, unfettered, unregulated, free market

One of the tenets in this treasonous document is the phrase:

““Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled
“Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”, includes the sentence:
“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings
revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”“”

which means events that will ‘need’ to occur to carry out the
strategy of what can be considered ‘disaster capitalism’ where
by what ever events, natural or man made intentionally or
irresponsibly, are immediately ‘pounced upon’ to ensure a
certain control to benefit by disaster, war or other calamitous

And though I don’t think the number of ongoing events was a
specification, it sure as hell helps this subversion along to
have as many ongoing events happening at the same time, the
more the merrier as ‘partygoers’ say. Certainly this has the
desired affects to further this heinous agenda set out to
benefit the few at the expense of the many, taxpayers for a
polite word or term.

There are, in my opinion, more than enough ‘man made’(and
home grown at that) events that upon a real investigation
would expose the crimes that are and were used to create a
false sense of fear and terror. The attack of 9/11 begs of an
investigation that would reveal much to many people’s horror
who actually was responsible for it, a ‘new pearl harbor’. But it
is very curious how that ‘crime scene’ was immediately
scooped up and shipped out of country instead of allowing
investigative bodies to go in and look for evidence, very

Apart from this pnac,  what the earlier think tanks derived was
that gaining control of the mainstream media was of a critical
urgency so that what is now just 4 or so conservative owners
of the msm’s tv, radio, newspaper and magazines where the
bigger majority of msm addicted people get their information
is controlled as to what, if any information, should be
disseminated to the people. But it also is responsible for
hedging on any and all calamitous events AND freely reporting
on anything that is of basically little or NO worth; what is
what so many of the dumbstream of america use for their
information input.

The truth, for one, will set people free but there are too many
who are already addicted to the falsehoods that what is
‘believed’ to be truth.

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By samosamo, May 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

There is a document on display at the link provided above. This
is in essence a contrived plot from that neoconservative think
tank of the Project for the New American Century to gain control
of the mighty american military juggernaut for the explicit use
of globally extending american hegemony of that stinking piece
of shit, milton the turd friedman’s economic idea of ‘unbridled,
unfettered, unregulated, free market capitalism’.

One of the tenets in this treasonous document is the phrase:

““Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled “Creating
Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”, includes the sentence: “Further,
the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary
change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and
catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”“”

which means events that will ‘need’ to occur to carry out the
strategy of what can be considered ‘disaster capitalism’ where by
what ever events, natural or man made intentionally or
irresponsibly, are immediately ‘pounced upon’ to ensure a
certain control to benefit by disaster, war or other calamitous

And though I don’t think the number of ongoing events was a
specification, it sure as hell helps this subversion along to have
as many ongoing events happening at the same time, the more
the merrier as ‘partygoers’ say. Certainly this has the desired
affects to further this heinous agenda set out to benefit the few
at the expense of the many, taxpayers for a polite word or term.

There are, in my opinion, more than enough ‘man made’(and
home grown at that) events that upon a real investigation would
expose the crimes that are and were used to create a false sense
of fear and terror. The attack of 9/11 begs of an investigation
that would reveal much to many people’s horror who actually
was responsible for it, a ‘new pearl harbor’. But it is very curious
how that ‘crime scene’ was immediately scooped up and shipped
out of country instead of allowing investigative bodies to go in
and look for evidence, very unusual.

Apart from this pnac,  what the earlier think tanks derived was
that gaining control of the mainstream media was of a critical
urgency so that what is now just 4 or so conservative owners of
the msm’s tv, radio, newspaper and magazines where the bigger
majority of msm addicted people get their information is
controlled as to what, if any information, should be
disseminated to the people. But it also is responsible for
hedging on any and all calamitous events AND freely reporting
on anything that is of basically little or NO worth; what is what
so many of the dumbstream of america use for their information

The truth, for one, will set people free but there are too many
who are already addicted to the falsehoods that what is
‘believed’ to be truth.

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By Myronh, May 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, I am impressed with your ability to determine that I have no idea how corporate power controls the government. I have no idea how old you are, but I am willing to wager that I was criticizing the takeover of our government by the rich before you were born.
Any reasonable person knows that this country is in bad shape. It is also obvious that the military/industrial complex has taken over, in spite of Eisenhower’s warning. You make the claim that millions of people would be out of a job if war was suddenly ended. Well this person with “no idea” happens to have a few ideas as to what we could do with the hundreds of thousands military people we have scattered around the globe in the 700+ military-bases.
1.  Bring them home. As a starter, line them up shoulder to shoulder across the Mexican border; that will end the illegal immigrant problem. Another benefit will be they can now spend their paycheck in the USA.
2.  Put some to work on cleaning up our National and State Parks, which are now being poorly maintained due to budget problems.
3.  Heavy equipment and trucks can be converted into commercial use, such as road building and transporting goods.
4.  Military Officers can become supervisors working in the ghettos of our cities to restore order and basic cleanup.
5.  Military personnel with adequate education can become teachers, security guards, police, firemen, etc. (Remember, all these military personnel are already being paid full-time.)

I don’t know if there is any one person that can start this ball rolling in the right direction. However, I do know it has to start by at least electing a President that is not married to the military-industrial complex.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Truth Dig posted an article about the starvation and
droughts in Africa, it only recieved two comments.

Where were all you liberals?

It proved my point that the only concerns liberals have
with Rand Paul and the hints of racism that they cry about
are nothing but political scoring points.

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Most Americans have forgotton the oil gusher already

thanks to our whoreish media and their love of
the corporate overlords.

The media once again has proven who owns them, with their
massive coverup and lies about what is going on in the
Gulf of Mexico.

Our media and our lawmakers are absolutly nothing but
W H O R E S….

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By ofersince72, May 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Forgotton War???  Ignored war by the media.

The vultures eyeing the Natural Gas and Oil Pipline
from the Caspian Sea haven’t forgotton.  The whores
on Capitol Hill that get their kickback money to enable
this tragedy certainly haven’t forgotton. 80—13, Senate
356—65 House.  We can’t blame the American Public for
this, they are war fatigued, I used to blame the public
but can’t much blame them for opting out for American
Idol.  We tried in 2006 and thought we won, the whores
on Capitol Hill laughed at us for believing we still have
a democracy. 
The media , with all their government CIA, NSA , plants
guide Americans with their double speak and lies.
you hear me Robert Scheer, Eugene Robinson and all you
other inept journalists????

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

By godistwaddle, May 29 at 5:03 pm # : my friend, i really don’t know how the USA will get out of the deep hole that Republicans and Democrats have sunk the USA since 1800s.  The 800 military bases, the dependence on Multinational Corporations, on Israel, on The Pentagon, the bankrupt economy, the high illiteracy rates, the high rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart-related illnesses in many americans, the poverty levels, which according to US government statistics say that only 12% of US citizens are living below poverty levels and i believe that statistics is wrong.  There must be about 20% to 30% of US citizens living below poverty-levels.

I might sound crazy, and you can call me crazy if you want for i will tell you: To me the only solution i see for USA is Nietzsche’s Superman. Marxism is great but too weak as an ideology to overthrow the satanic monster of US zionist corporate imperialism.  So we need a stronger medicine to fight this Goliath.Übermensch/

The Übermensch (German; English: Overman, Superman) is a concept in the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche posited the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (German: Also Sprach Zarathustra).

The book’s protagonist, Zarathustra, contends that “man is something which ought to be overcome:”

All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…

There is no overall consensus regarding the precise meaning of the Übermensch, nor one of the importance of the concept in Nietzsche’s thought.

The first translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra into English, was by Alexander Tille, published in 1896. Tille translated Übermensch as Beyond-Man. In his translation published in 1909, Thomas Common rendered Übermensch as “Superman”; Common was anticipated in this by George Bernard Shaw, who did the same in his 1903 stage play Man and Superman. Walter Kaufmann lambasted this translation in the 1950s for failing to capture the nuance of the German über and for promoting an eventual puerile identification with the comic-book character Superman. His preference was to translate Übermensch as “overman.” Scholars continue to employ both terms, some simply opting to reproduce the German word.

The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is prepended.[1] Mensch refers to a member of the human species, rather than to a man specifically. The adjective übermenschlich[2] means superhuman, in the sense of beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity.



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By ardee, May 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

godistwaddle, May 29 at 5:03 pm

Most of those serving in Afghanistan signed up for monthly meetings and two weeks of training each summer. They have been betrayed as have we.

I find no merit in calumny towards those who wear the uniform of this nation, not politically, not promoting alliances, not in any way at all. They are not your enemy and making them such works to the benefit of the powerful who can then point at you and claim you to be outside of the culture,and unpatriotic. Thus isolating you and me from any hope of gaining enough support to ensure that no other American kid must serve in a war for profit.

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By godistwaddle, May 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Any American “hero” stupid, ignorant, vicious or poor (mercenary) enough to volunteer to fight in a war based on lies and Obama’s re-election deserves what the Afghan freedom fighters and patriots have in store for him/her.

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By Tobysgirl, May 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

moonraven, I’m with you on this one . . . again. The irony of this would be just too delicious.

SteveL, it’s been painfully clear ever since Obama stepped onto the national scene that they don’t teach much at Harvard. What could one expect with the likes of Larry Summers running a department? Obama’s grasp of history—whether that of Afghanistan or the United States—is abysmal and seemingly fairly typical of a huge swath of the population, and I’m not referring now to the perpetually down and out. I’m referring to the so-called educated classes, who, in my experience, are shockingly ignorant of history.

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By ScrewIraqHaters, May 29, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If we leave now, then it will be Vietnam all over again. “If you do not learn history,
you re doomed to repeat it.” If the country is not stable when we leave, then it is
all going to fall apart and every last drop of blood spilled will be wasted. If we
want the lost to have died in honor,we need to finish what we started. Oh, and
ofersince72, there is no such thing as a good Dem. Also, Obama can’t scream to
his enemies when we are pulling out, because the second they know, they are
gonna stop with the periodical bombardments and stockpile for the day we leave.

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By gerard, May 29, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Myronh wants to believe—in Feingold—or somebody—to lead the country out of war. He asks for “proof” that Feingold couldnl’t do that. First off, there’s no way to “prove” that anybody can’t do anything.
  But more important, Myronh’s desire is so widespread that it needs to be directly addressed. So here goes:
  The reason nobody (if elected president) could do it, is that our economic system (billions and billions of invested dollars, marks, yen, pounds, lira etc.) are invested in the manufacture, organization and operation of war, its ideology, its equipment, its maintenance, its promotion and its killing after-effects.  It is the mainstay of capitalism and wears the sick sneer of business-as-usual.  If it were to be dis-empowered tomorrow, millions of jobs would disappear everywhere and people everywhere would become victims of countervailing forces. Therefore, we need a plan for getting off the military/industrial machine.
  A few people would have some ideas about what to do and how to do it, but they would need to work together rapidly to help people learn to try new ways of doing things, to have faith in their ability to care and help each other, to understand what was going on and to manage the huge powers of production and distribution for their mutual benefit instead of for destruction—and prevent the new system from succumbing to old top-heavy power structures.  That’s for starters.
  I can see it happening—but not without the help of millions of people like Myronh who, apparently have no idea of how corporate power and control over governments prevents democratic change by strangling alternatives in their cradle.
  Let’s talk, people.  Let’s listen.  Let’s learn. Let’s be “part of the solution”.

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By balkas, May 29, 2010 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Here we have another piece ab sensation sans causation-aimfulness.

If one omits to posit or postulate the cause for all US wars and not just for US aggression against afgh`n, one cannot teach us anything.

Saying that afgh`n war is a ``senseless war`` appears sensationalistic; it only evokes jeremiahs instead of merrymiahs.

Even if US war-occupation is indeed w.o. a cause or aim, then, that being so, is also aimful and caused.

What i am trying to say is that everything that happens in universe is indeed caused and is aimless-aimful.
But devil fobid, aim-endgoal-cause exist for MSM columnists.

By hyphenating the thre aspects of one reality i am positing the notion that they don`t have separate existence from one another nor from one and only reality we ahve.
Thus, aim causes the cause, and vice versa. Aim-cause produces effects and these in turn cause further causes-aims-end goals. tnx

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By bogi666, May 29, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I disagree with the premise of this article that the media reporting reflects what the public interest is. What the media in the USA reports is what the oligarch’s, and plutocrats what reported. The MSM just recites what the government declares and the governments declares what the CORPORATE KINGS tells them to declare. Americans have been forged into narcissistic, consumerist, gluttons of mindlessness and the institutions of governments, businesses, and churches encourage epecially mindlessness which is the inability to discern truth from facts including the thoughts of others which are then construed into one’s own facts. Mindlessness is institutionized which gives it legitimacy.So the premise of this article is just more mindlessness.

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By ardee, May 29, 2010 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

Myronh, May 28 at 10:49 pm

You ask me to prove my thesis correct, yet history has already done exactly that. Read, memorize and learn.

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By Money is funny, May 29, 2010 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

This is what happens when you play and replay video on television of people falling from sky scrapers 24/7 over and over for weeks without any level headed analysis.

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By yours truly, May 29, 2010 at 2:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to the Defense Department eleven American military personnel were killed in Afghanistan last week.  The fact that most were from small* towns may have something to do with the media’s diminishing coverage.  Yes, almost every weekly Defense Department’s killed in action list also carries the name of a soldier or marine from inner city America, so it’s no stretch to infer that, same as in the past, our military is made up mostly of the children of poor working class and agrarian America, about whom the media’s predominately middle class audience knows little, cares little, so why bother?  What it amounts to is that the war doesn’t directly effect the lives of the middle class and in a society where take care of number one is the guiding principle, aside from the families of the troops in Afghanistan, for far too many of us the war hardly even exists.  Would increased and in depth coverage change this?  Very likely.  Why isn’t this happening?  Is there a truthdig reader who doesn’t know the answer to that one?  Just in case there is one such person, it’s called censorship.                 

*anyone heard of Alexandria, Tenn., Desmet, S.D., Waterloo, Wisc., Perrysburg, Ohio, Stafford, Va., Antelope, CA., Waynesboro, Pa., Dubberly, La., Penbroke Pines, Fla., Houston, Texas

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment


In order to conduct an effective struggle against war, it is first necessary to understand the causes of war, and this is only possible if we grasp the class interests behind wars. Lenin explained long ago that capitalism means war.  In the present epoch of capitalist decline this is truer than when it was first written. The global crisis of capitalism expresses itself as general instability - economic, political and military. This is the starting point for Marxists, and must be understood by all class-conscious workers and youth. Imperialist war is the continuation and sharpening of the predatory politics of the bourgeoisie. The struggle of the proletariat against war is the continuation and sharpening of its class struggle. The beginning of war alters the situation and partially the means of struggle between the classes, but not the aim and basic course.

Trotsky described the outbreak of WWI in his autobiography My Life:

“Buchanan, the former British ambassador to St. Petersburg, speaks with exaltation in his memoirs of ‘those wonderful early August days’ when ‘Russia seemed to have been completely transformed.’ There is similar exaltation in the memoirs of other statesmen, although they may not embody the self-satisfied fatuity of the ruling classes with the completeness of Buchanan. All the European capitals were having equally ‘wonderful’ days in August. They were all entirely ‘transformed’ for the business of mutual extermination…

“…The people whose lives, day in and day out, pass in a monotony of hopelessness are many; they are the mainstay of modern society. The alarm of mobilization breaks into their lives like a promise; the familiar and long-hated is overthrown, and the new and unusual reigns in its place. Changes still more incredible are in store for them in the future. For better or worse? For the better, of course what can seem worse to [the average worker] than ‘normal’ conditions?

“I strode along the main streets of the familiar Vienna and watched a most amazing crowd fill the fashionable Ring, a crowd in which hopes had been awakened. But wasn’t a small part of these hopes already being realized? Would it have been possible at any other time for porters, laundresses, shoemakers, apprentices and youngsters from the suburbs to feel themselves masters of the situation in the Ring? War affects everybody, and those who are oppressed and deceived by life consequently feel that they are on an equal footing with the rich and powerful. It may seem a paradox, but in the moods of the Viennese crowd that was demonstrating the glory of the Hapsburg arms I detected something familiar to me from the October days of 1905, in St. Petersburg. No wonder that in history war has often been the mother of revolution.

“...Like revolution, war forces life, from top to bottom, away from the beaten track. But revolution directs its blows against the established power. War, on the contrary, at first strengthens the state power which, in the chaos engendered by war, appears to be the only firm support and then undermines it…”

To approach war from a purely sentimental or pacifist standpoint is a futile exercise. It would be like a doctor who, instead of providing an accurate diagnosis and appropriate medicine, limited himself to weeping tears over the patient’s symptoms. The patient may be grateful for this display of sympathy, but will not derive much benefit from it. Wars cannot be prevented by the United Nations or by pacifist appeals for peace. War can only be prevented by mass action and by the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and capitalism.


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By squeaky jones, May 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets understand, February 2010 cost for killing people in Iraq, and Afghanistan is a reported 12.2 billion. How many schools in the U.S.of A. could be helped by that money alone? Squeaky.

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By SteveL, May 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

My fifth grade teacher explained to us that historically Afghanistan was one of the
worst places to send an army.  What in the world do they teach at Harvard and

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment


As a former company commander with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, and a graduate of the National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington, DC and as a retired brigadier general who served active army duty in the Middle East, I ask you to break away from the strangling Israeli lobby, AIPAC, and do the right thing for peace in the Middle East. This Israeli lobby has been corrupting our politicians far too long and has resulted in more violence than ever between the Israelis and the Palestinians with no sign of any improvement in years ahead. In addition, the Israelis have nearly wiped Gaza and south Lebanon off the map with their disproportionate attacks.

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By Myronh, May 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Arde, you wrote “I am certain that you are sincere in your belief that all we need do is elect the right person and all will miraculously be made right.”

“I am just as certain that you are very,very wrong.”

Just what evidence/facts do you have to prove Faith wrong. What makes you think that electing Fiengold to the Presidency would not be an improvement? Do you have a better choice? Prove you are right.

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By ardee, May 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

faith, May 28 at 8:40 pm #

I encourage readers to contact Senator Russ Feingold and encourage him to run against President Obama in the next presidential campaign.

I am certain that you are sincere in your belief that all we need do is elect the right person and all will miraculously be made right.

I am just as certain that you are very,very wrong.

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By Kristen Smith, May 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not all of us have “forgotten” this illegal immoral invasion/occupation.

In fact, while the author was writing about the Health Insurance Profit Protection Act on and on and on, and pretending the government has the power to force the citizens to purchase whatever they think is called for at the time, some of us were protesting.

There are fewer of course, because now that a Democrat is ordering drone missile strikes the whole war thing is a lot more popular with those that used to criticize the repubs.

And while the majority was cheering on the latest American Idol, or wondering who would win The Biggest Loser, The Two Headed Hydra (D,R) stole our liberties, our jobs and they’ve just about bankrupted our grandchildren.

A trillion dollars (and counting) to occupy the Middle East:
Nice work!

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By faith, May 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

I encourage readers to contact Senator Russ Feingold and encourage him to run
against President Obama in the next presidential campaign.  We have elected for
our current term, simply another member of the old boy club that supports and
sanctions the military industrial complex.  A president who simply appoints his
Harvard (think creative economics here:  Summers, Geithner, et al) and his Harvard
buddies much as Bush hired his Yalie buddies.  It is beyond abysmal.  We are a
lost nation spending trillions of “BORROWED” dollars from China to fill the pockets
of the defense contractors, bankers, and Wall St.  Obama is no leader.  He may
have been a great community organizer and a super orator.  But he fails at
leadership.  Let’s get together and do the unthinkable - not elect an incumbent to

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By moonraven, May 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Afghanistan essentially took the yeast out of the bread that was the USSR.

In the graveyard of Afghanistan the US hurtles at mock 6 speed into the dustbin of history.

Fine with me.

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By FRTothus, May 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

It is NOT a “spill”. It is Criminal. The on-going,
US-led capitalist War(s) OF Terror for Resource
Control are CRIMES, not “disasters”, or “mistakes” or
“blunders”.  We are nowhere safe, and we are fools to
think that our victims all live overseas. The primary
enemy of any government is its civilian population. 
It is they that must provide the bodies for war, the
submit to wage-slavery and innumerable ‘austerity
measures’ and ‘belt-tightening’):

“Somebody’s paying the corporations that destroyed
Iraq and the corporations that are rebuilding it.
They’re getting paid by the American taxpayer in both
cases. So we pay them to destroy the country, and
then we pay them to rebuild it. Those are gifts from
U.S. taxpayer to U.S. corporations…”
(Noam Chomsky)

(“We have met the enemy, and he is us”, said Pogo)

“Throughout the twentieth century and into the
beginning of the twenty-first, the United States
repeatedly used its military power, and that of its
clandestine services, to overthrow governments that
refused to protect American interests. Each time, it
cloaked its intervention in the rhetoric of national
security and liberation. In most cases, however, it
acted mainly for economic reasons-specifically to
establish, promote and defend the right of [wealthy]
Americans to do business around the world without
(Stephen Kinzer)

“There is nothing puzzling ... about America’s
gratuitously aggressive foreign policy or about the
oligarchs’ successful efforts to drag the Republic
into five wars. What an aggressive foreign policy
accomplishes by slow degrees, a state of war
accomplishes in a trice. Overnight [war] kills
reform, overnight it transforms insurgents into
traitors and the Republic into an imperiled realm.
Overnight it strangles free politics, distracts and
overawes the citizenry. Overnight it blasts public
(Walter Karp)

“And in the general hardening of outlook that set in
... practices which had been long abandoned -
imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners
as slaves, public executions, torture to extract
confessions ... and the deportation of whole
populations - not only became common again, but were
tolerated and even defended by people who considered
themselves enlightened and progressive.”
(George Orwell, 1984)

“The problem the United States faces is that almost
all of its invasions violate international law, and
sometimes, as in the case of Iraq, in a blatant
manner. So how do the political elite and the news
media reconcile this contradiction? Simple: They
ignore it. It is virtually unthinkable for a
mainstream U.S. reporter to even pursue this issue.”
(John Nichols and Robert McChesney)

“We live in a nation hated abroad and frightened at
home. A place in which we can reasonably refer to the
American Republic in the past tense. A country that
has moved into a post-constitutional era, no longer a
nation of laws but an autotocracy run by law
breakers, law evaders and law ignorers. A nation
governed by a culture of impunity ... a culture in
which corruption is no longer a form of deviance but
the norm. We all live in a Mafia neighborhood now.”
(Sam Smith)

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By ofersince72, May 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

80-18   Senate
356-65   House
Thanks for this article, indeed mainstream media has
proved who they work for. I do not for one minute believe
the casuality reports, such fierce fighting for nine years
and 1000 US deaths.  They got caught in Viet Nam fudging
and no doubt are covering again.
Obama continues to call the oil gusher a spill, he is
smart enough to understand that this is a lie.

By the voting numbers,  I hope all understand it is
mathmatically imposible to vote enough “good” Dems into
office to stop the war machine.

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By ardee, May 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Gee, who knew this would turn out badly? Perhaps the Russians might have warned Obama, perhaps a reading of history might have forewarned him. But then, the MIC must be fed after all.

Imagine what we could do with the money being poured into that region?

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