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Here We Go Again

Posted on Dec 2, 2009
AP / Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama speaks about the war in Afghanistan at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

By Robert Scheer

It is already a 30-year war begun by one Democratic president, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose. President Barack Obama’s own top national security adviser has stated that there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan and that they are not capable of launching attacks. What superheroes they must be, then, to require 100,000 U.S. troops to contain them. 

The president handled that absurdity by conflating al-Qaida, which he admitted is holed up in Pakistan, with the Taliban and denying the McChrystal report’s basic assumption that the enemy in Afghanistan is local in both origin and focus. Obama stated Tuesday in a speech announcing a major escalation of the war, “It’s important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place.” But he then cut off any serious consideration of that question with the bald assertion that “we did not ask for this fight.”

Of course we did. The Islamic fanatics who seized power in Afghanistan were previously backed by the U.S. as “freedom fighters” in what was once marketed as a bold adventure in Cold War one-upmanship against the Soviets. It was President Jimmy Carter, aided by a young liberal hawk named Richard Holbrooke, now Obama’s civilian point man on Afghanistan, who decided to support Muslim fanatics there. Holbrooke began his government service as one of the “Best and the Brightest” in Vietnam and was involved with the rural pacification and Phoenix assassination program in that country, and he is now a big advocate of the counterinsurgency program proposed by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to once again win the hearts and minds of locals who want none of it.

The current president’s military point man, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, served in Carter’s National Security Council and knows that Obama is speaking falsely when he asserts it was the Soviet occupation that gave rise to the Muslim insurgency that we abetted. Gates wrote a memoir in 1996 which, as his publisher proclaimed, exposed “Carter’s never-before-revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen—six months before the Soviets invaded.”

Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asked in a 1998 interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” and he answered, “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” Brzezinski made that statement three years before the 9/11 attack by those “stirred-up Muslims.”


Square, Site wide
So here we go again, selling firewater to the natives and calling it salvation. We have decided to prop up a hopelessly corrupt Afghan government because, as Obama argued in one of the more disgraceful passages of Tuesday’s West Point speech, “although it was marred by fraud, [the recent] election produced a government that is consistent with Afghanistan’s laws and constitution.”

To suggest that the Afghan government will be in seriously better shape 18 months after 30,000 additional U.S. and perhaps 5,000 more NATO troops are dispatched is bizarrely out of touch with the strategy of the McChrystal report, which calls for American troops to restructure life down to the level of the most forlorn village. Surely the civilian and military supporters of that approach who are cheering Obama on have been giving assurances that he will not be held to such an unrealistically short timeline. Evidence of this was offered in the president’s speech when he said of the planned withdrawal of some forces by July of 2011: “Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. We’ll continue to advise and assist Afghanistan’s security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul.”

A very long haul indeed, if one checks the experience of Matthew Hoh, the former Marine captain who was credited with being as successful as anyone in implementing the counterinsurgency strategy now in vogue. In his letter of resignation as a foreign service officer in charge of one of the most hotly contested areas, Hoh wrote: “In the course of my five months of service in Afghanistan … I have lost understanding and confidence in the strategic purpose of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. … 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.”

Maybe they should have given Capt. Hoh the Noble Peace Prize.

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By mick, December 3, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Go Right Young Man,

You offered to give reams of information regarding the requests by Clinton Administration asking the Taleban to hand over bin Laden.

I do not want reams just post a link to your original source for what you claim.

I look forward to reading the link you provide

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment


In other words you’re upset with me for pointing out how wrong you were.  The United States did not impose sanction on Iraq as you had first erroneously claimed.


You wish to be known as an advocate of peace.  I’ll accept that.  It’s a noble pursuit.  But how exactly does it help anyone’s cause by making the claim that the United States imposed sanctions on Iraq when this is so clearly incorrect?  And how in the world did you come to believe in such a thing for nearly two decades?  To me you seem instinctively conditioned, almost robotic, to Blaming America First.

There were over a hundred nations involved in those sanctions.  The Security Counsel voted, I believe, unanimously (with some abstentions).  The top five members of the Security Counsel, several members of which are almost always diametrically opposed to one another, agreed on those sanctions.

You could show us all hundreds, even thousands of like minded opinions as your own, however, you would completely fail to get even one U.N. Member nation to agree with your views on those events.  Not a single one.  But you and millions like you will not hear it.

How does it further your agenda of peace by claiming it was the “United States” that caused the suffering of the Iraqi people after it’s been exhaustively documented that Hussein spent TENS OF BILLIONS in Iraqi treasure and resources on himself and, not on things like food and medicine for the Iraqi people?  Or the fact that Hussein turned down humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people after it was offered by the global community?  Or how you appear to desire that nobody talk about the hundreds of thousands of human beings in mass graves in the deserts of Iraq?

The United States is no angel.  It has made many very serious mistakes. What you believe in, however, is something else.


Down to the real business.

What is it you need, Doc?  You want U.N. Security Counsel minutes?  I’ll bet you we could locate them.  Would it work if you took the time to read these dozens of resolutions signed by over 100 nations?  I’m certain I can produce those for you.  You appear to heavily rely on media sources.  Do you need hundreds of archived news articles from the early 90’s into 2000?  I can produce those IN ABUNDANCE.

What will it take to get you to stop being part of the problem, Doc?

-“United States” did not impose sanctions on Iraq.  The “United States” did not starve a half million children in Iraq. <—- there is an actual, verifiable, hard copy and internet copy of the United Nations resolution on the specific cause(s) of those sufferings.  It doesn’t mention the United States once as the cause.  China didn’t blame the U.S..  Nor did Russia, Britain, Germany, France, or any other member nation.  They blamed Saddam Hussein.  Want to see that? You have but to ask.  What exactly will it take?

BTW: The No Fly Zones you write of were patrolled by British, French and U.S. air power in order to save the lives of Iraqi’s.  They had nothing, whatsoever, to do with U.N. mandated sanctions.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 3, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man is one of those head-in-the-sand neocons, who simply can not fathom that the U.S. is capable of monstrous actions. As usual, he hides under the skirts of United Nation actions whenever it serves as an alibi. U.N. sanctions against Iraq? Most certainly. But who was it exactly that enforced those sanctions? Ever hear of the no-fly zones? The United States kept bombing sections of Iraq, long after Papa Bush achieved his “glorious victory in the Gulf”.
By why bother. if G.R.Y.M wants to be a fool that is their choice.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment


If I may?  I would like to rephrase your last comments.

“Thank you no, Go Right.  Any information that runs counter to my theories would only serve to prohibit me from spreading falsities and, I would be unable to place blame in those I actually enjoy hating to the point of complete and total blindness to the facts.”

“I enjoy the hard-on I get when thinking about all those I hold such hatred for.  I can’t stand more than half the country (the “right wing” teabag” crowd) and wish only to keep it that way.”

“I’m allowed my vile bigotry so, PLEASE leave me alone in my ignorance. It’s all mine and you can’t take it away from me”


Now don’t you feel better, Peetawonkus?

Now stop telling people that “the repugs” refused to take in bin Laden as an excuse to go to war.  You should clearly understand now it’s completely, provably, and verifiably incorrect.

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By Peetawonkus, December 3, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Go Right to Hell Young man,
Bite me. You are a right wing cartoon. And that other clown who shows up quoting Wikipedia. Oh, well, Wikipedia, that’s the last word on investigative journalism, isn’t it?

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By Outraged, December 3, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

From Wiki:

“In 1996, Osama bin Laden moved to Afghanistan from Sudan. He came without any invitation from the Taliban, and sometimes irritated Mullah Omar with his declaration of war and fatwa to murder citizens of third-party countries, and follow-up interviews, but relations between the two groups became closer over time, and eventually bonded to the point where Mullah Omar rebuffed its patron Saudi Arabia, insulting Saudi minister Prince Turki and refusing to turn over bin Laden to the Saudis as Omar had reportedly promised to earlier.

Bin Laden was able to forge an alliance between the Taliban and his Al-Qaeda organization. It is understood that Al-Qaeda-trained fighters known as the 055 Brigade were integrated with the Taliban army between 1997 and 2001. Several hundred Arab Afghan fighters sent by bin Laden assisted the Taliban in the slaughter at Mazar-e-Sharif. Taliban-Al-Qaeda connections, were also strengthened by the reported marriage of one of bin Laden’s sons to Omar’s daughter. During Osama bin Laden’s stay in Afghanistan, he may have helped finance the Taliban. Perhaps the biggest favor Al-Qaeda did for the Taliban was the assassination by suicide bombing of the Taliban’s most effective military opponent mujahideen commander and Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud shortly before 9 September 2001. This came at a time when Taliban human rights violations and extremism seemed likely to create international support for Massoud’s group as the legitimate representatives of Afghanistan. The killing, reportedly handled by Ayman Zawahiri and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad wing of Al-Qaeda, left the Northern Alliance leaderless, and removed “the last obstacle to the Taliban’s total control of the country ...”

After the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, Osama bin Laden and several Al-Qaeda members were indicted in U.S. criminal court. The Taliban protected Osama bin Laden from extradition requests by the U.S., variously claiming that bin Laden had “gone missing” in Afghanistan or that Washington “cannot provide any evidence or any proof” that bin Laden is involved in terrorist activities and that “without any evidence, bin Laden is a man without sin… he is a free man.” Evidence against bin Laden included courtroom testimony and satellite phone records. Bin Laden in turn, praised the Taliban as the “only Islamic government” in existence, and lauded Mullah Omar for his destruction of idols like the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment


Take a breath and calm yourself.  Remind yourself that you know nothing about me.  Conjuring some “right wing” cartoon character is of no help to anyone.

I ask again.  Which parts of what I write are bull and, can you actually prove me incorrect?

Would you like solid, credible, verifiable information on Clinton administration and United Nations attempts to negotiate with the Taliban to hand bin Laden over for trial?  How the Taliban three times reneged on those deals?  How the Taliban offered only to hand bin Laden over to a third party Muslim nation and not the Bush administration?  Would this help to dispel what you have come to believe?

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By Peetawonkus, December 3, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Any and all. The problem is, like birthers and Tea Baggers, you won’t believe the evidence that is prolific and in plain sight. No evidence is enough to get in the way of what you want to believe. It’s a waste of time to convince people like you that the sky is blue when they know, they KNOW, that the sky is green. Now be off with you, and go hit a blind orphan for Jesus.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment


Which parts of what I write are bull and, can you actually prove me incorrect?

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By Peetawonkus, December 3, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man
It never fails. An article is posted and decent, intelligent, informed commentary and opinion arrive. Then people like you show up. Right wingers who try to hijack the thread and spread your neo-Confederate poison through any attempt at dialogue. Like most righties, you think if you just keep repeating the same garbage, or get enough Tea Baggers to chant a Corporate lie, that belief alone makes it “true.” It doesn’t matter what article is posted, you vultures descend on it and in short order are bringing your Sarah Palin talking points and lies about Health Care. And when that fails, you launch into a screed about abortion. Trying to refute your crap would be to admit you actually have a brain. Any simple internet search would knock the pins out your so-called “points.” But, of course, investigative journalism is avoided by you righties like garlic to vampires. You’re a time waster. Just go crawl back under your Confederate rock and wait for the Rapture.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment


Which parts of what I write are bull and, can you actually prove me incorrect?  Or is it enough for you to simply label what I write as bull?

Is this akin to another of your unfounded, and completely unprovable theories, that the Taliban offered to hand bin Laden over to the Bush administration?

I’m not in the habit of making claims I cannot prove, Peetawonkus.

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By Leefeller, December 3, 2009 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget, the Police and Military will take over in Afganistan so our troops can come home in 2011 and a half! 

Guess the last eight years has fine tuned the Afganistan military and police to take over and protect their own country, which has never been one country at all, so 3000 years of evolution has been fixed in 10, it is so clear even an idiot can see it!

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment


I believe it’s imperative to understand that the Taliban did not offer to hand bin Laden over to the U.S./repugs.  It never happened that way and I hope you rethink your theories.

After more than a year of both the U.S. and United Nations attempting to convince the Taliban to hand over bin Laden, and only after Sept. 11, and only after they had three times reneged on similar deals and offers, did the Taliban offer to hand bin Laden to a third party Muslim nation IF the U.S. could produce evidence, acceptable to the Taliban government, of Osama bin Laden’s guilt, would they be willing to release bin Laden.

There was never an offer to hand bin Laden over to the Bush administration.  The Bush administration did not refuse such an offer so they could go to war.

I hope you rethink what you believe you know about the dealings between the Bush administration and the Taliban.  - It’s equally important to solidly understand that negotiations to release bin Laden began in the Clinton administration.  This fact is almost always lost in those who push your similar theories.

I can supply you with reams of information on the subject if it will be of help.

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By Peetawonkus, December 3, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man
When, exactly, is the point going to come when you just plain choke on your own bullshit?

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By Glen Wayne, December 3, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Welcome To The Rubble Roach Hotel   empirePie     December 3rd, 2009

In a desolate desert oceans away,
mighty leaders check in but not to stay.
Alighting from the tarmac to the crisp mountain air,
a red carpet leads them to the grotto lair
as a hushed welcome greets them
at the Rubble Roach Hotel.

Welcome to the Rubble Roach Hotel
Check your values at the door
corporate carpers line the floor
an eerie Harper plays fore score
in Afghan timeless time
Make sure you know your lines
at the Rubble Roach Hotel

The tower is a five star beast.
Check in with the ‘least of these’
Dust your sandals in the breeze.

The puppets pause in corridors
listless, limp, and looking lonely,
lipping empty phases
in the new moons losing light
“We’re here for our…..for our,..
for our safety”

The murmurs fade….
oceans and desserts away
in the strategy without a pipe.
in the strategy without a line.

Welcome to the Rubble Roach Hotel
step up, step up, step up,.. to the balls
The jacuzzi is down the hall.

The check outs are staying,
though the donkey’s mascots..
they ain’t braying.
They whisper weasel words
they say,.. they say,.. it ain’t been heard,
for there’s no before at the Rubble Roach Hotel.

Check out is just two worlds away.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

RAE, - “Just so you don’t forget, Go Right -”

Believe me when I write that I need no reminding on how the government levies -confiscates- taxes.

Aside from that I think it’s important to point out that not all who apply for basic health care are one in the same as those paying taxes.  Roughly 90% of those who do apply are not the individuals paying the taxes.  Most who apply for assistance pay no income taxes at all.

But please don’t miss my original point.  There’s no need to exaggerate by claiming basic health care is not provided to all who are in need of it.  It is.

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By Peetawonkus, December 3, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Fact: the Taliban had nothing to do with 911. Fact: the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden and his bunch over to the Bush Administration…and they didn’t want him. Why? Because the Repugs wanted a jolly good war. To push through their right-wing domestic agenda. Nothing like a good Reichstag fire to whip up the credulous into attacking the innocent. Afghanistan was a gateway war to Iraq. Now that America wants to forget it went temporarily insane over Iraq, Afghanistan is the war we’re left with. It would be refreshing to see Obama grow a pair and lay the blame for the shitmess that is Iraq and Afghanistan at the feet of the people who dreamed it up and continue to defend their lies and war crimes. Eight years in Afghanistan and everything we’ve done has been an expensive disaster and hasn’t worked. 18 more months isn’t going to change anything except break more things and kill more people. Sometimes the best thing you can do, for yourself and others, is…walk away.

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By omop, December 3, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment


Seems to be the only one that touched on an aspect of the Afghan war that is
covered in some detail in European political discussions.

Namely that “Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of
influence.”  The war in Afghanistan is certainly no different. 

And that the Israelis are determined to use their influence in the United States
to advance their interests and influence in Central Asia while limiting those of
Russia and Iran.  Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Israeli agents
sought to gain control of the strategic assets of the newly independent Soviet

In mineral-rich Turkmenistan, for example a Mossad agent named Yosef A.
Maiman was very successful in gaining control of the republic’s immense
resources of natural gas.

  And that as an agent of Israeli intelligence, Maiman heads a network of Mossad-
controlled companies that serve Israeli interests.  As the chief executive of the
Merhav Group, Maiman has long controlled the development of Turmenistan’s
gas resources, which are considered to be second only to Russia’s. 

He’s beeb described as “a leading miner” of Central Asian gas fields by the
Israeli news media.  Given his control of the immense gas resources of
Turkmenistan, Maiman, as well as the Mossad would all profit if and when the
U.S.-led coalition were able to “pacify” and control Afghanistan so that the
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline could be built
allowing the gas of Turkmenistan to be sold to energy-hungry India.  The TAPI
pipeline project would bring-in billions of dollars every year. Its the projected
profits from the TAPI pipeline that is the real reason for the war in Afghanistan.

  Thats the view in some European countries and the reasoning for European
countries not to send any more military troops to Afghanistan.

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By Leefeller, December 3, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment


Your Comment question seems as mine!

The same question I asked myself as I headed to Vietnam, and now ask about this great black hole called Afganistan! Obama did not say anything different than Bush or Johnson.

Rae commented in asking. “I ask, Americans, why would you so wildly throw your most precious resources into an unwinnable and pointless war’? 

May I ask the question differently? Why do Americans allow a few to profit from our most precieous resources and continue to do so.

Wars seems what some strive for, it is big bushiness, so why do I vision fat cats leading others down a path of death, not in front but from a comfortable game of golf or shooting fellows hunters in the face while duck hunting. 

Maybe winning is not really a goal, for win has never been clearly defined? Pointless war on the other hand, seems what most war is, especially as propagated by a self procalimed greatest nation on earth.  Greatness in war maybe?

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By thecrow, December 3, 2009 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Once more for the “progressive” back row:

September 11 (911 “emergency”, towers a giant “11”) was an immense and brazen psychological operation.

That Mr. Scheer and his fellow “progressive” journalists continue to avoid the copious evidence that this operation was an “inside job” like kryptonite confirms the wild success of this mass mind-rape.

Only a de-programmed public can resist the MIC and their salesmen.

Avoiding the “forbidden” questions in an attempt to remain “mainstream” empowers the Myth and its makers, perpetuates deep mental enslavement and will not save lives or your Republic.

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By RAE, December 3, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Just so you don’t forget, “Go Right” -

“every American who applies receives “basic health care” provided by tax payer funds.”

One and the same. The American IS the tax payer. The tax payer IS the American. The funds that pay for his/her health care BELONG TO him/her. They are his/her own money.

Governments - all governments - just assume that they are more capable of handling YOUR money than you are. They not only dream up that assumption but go further to assign themselves the RIGHT to do so. They take great delight in taxing (confiscating) almost every cent you don’t absolutely need to stay afloat and to spend it in any way they see fit (read: that they can get away with).

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By thecrow, December 3, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

“‘The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large and plotting,’ he said, echoing Mr. Bush’s oft-repeated refrain.”

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment


There is no real need to exaggerate to make your point.  Contrary to how you understand the system every American who applies receives “basic health care” provided by tax payer funds.  That is the system as it stands today.  It’s not nearly good enough but, it’s basic care for all in need of it.

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By RAE, December 3, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Since America is almost always “at war” with someone or something, and since “truth is the first casualty of war” - a truism held in high esteem, - it follows that the real truth - the real reasons behind any American action - will remain hidden from all except those few “in the know,” which is just my way of saying those “profiting the most.”

Another THIRTY THOUSAND troops to Afghanistan. The cost in dollars and lives is far beyond a sane person’s ability to calculate. It leaves me without words. And this from a country TRILLIONS IN DEBT that can’t/won’t even cough up enough to provide its own citizens with BASIC HEALTH CARE. Talk about cognitive dissonance! The hypocrisy boggles the mind.

I ask, Americans, why would you so wildly throw your most precious resources into an unwinnable and pointless war?

My answer - it’s been my experience that when dealing with Americans you must FOLLOW THE MONEY to find the answer to “Why?” Little else matters.

And no, I don’t have any more hard evidence to back up my own glib opinions and untested assumptions as does anyone else posting here. I know NOTHING about the inner workings of those few pulling the strings of the American military-industrial complex and I see no supportable evidence that anyone else writing here does either.

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By 9circlesofhell, December 3, 2009 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rumor has it that immediately after President Obama finished his speech at West Point a collective cheer was heard from the Taliban Bar and Grill, “Bring it on!”

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By PatrickHenry, December 3, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

The jury of public opinion is still out on 9/11.

Seems the getaway car from that crime scene 8 years ago that has brought us to Obamas speech the other night, was stolen.

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By Go Right Young Man, December 3, 2009 at 4:58 am Link to this comment


What is the underlying reason you are so desperately trying to change the subject away from which you originally commented?  Away from the questions I posed? 

You incorrectly claim that the “United States” imposed sanctions on Iraq.  You incorrectly claim the “United States” caused the sufferings of the Iraqi people.

Below you’ll find direct information regarding member countries of the United Nations imposing sanctions on Iraq. 


“SANCTIONS IMPOSED: In August 1990 the Security Council adopted resolution 661, imposing comprehensive sanctions on Iraq following that country’s short-lived invasion of Kuwait. Throughout 1991, with growing concern over the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the United Nations and others proposed measures to enable Iraq to sell limited quantities of oil to meet its people’s needs. The Government of Iraq DECLINED THESE OFFERS, contained in particular, in resolutions 706 and 712, adopted in August and September 1991.”

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By Shenonymous, December 3, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

Well truedigger3, from my point of view which is as valid as yours, you are wrong
and need some glasses that allow you to see through your own fetid arrogance. 
For that matter you have never said anything of importance on Truthdig.

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By Shenonymous, December 3, 2009 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

I am hearing Republicans on the news and talk shows admit Iraq was either the
worst mistake in US armed history or next to it, as Vietnam was.  That
concession is a wedge that liberals need to use to break the war machine that
has more or less taken over the political minds, hence the seat of power, in
America.  Idealism about the gruesomeness of war is something that has to be
expressed or ending such human behavior would never be a possibility.  On
the other hand, it is very difficult to withdraw from a conflict as deeply
embedded in the consciousness of people on both sides of the struggle as
what is going on right now. It is both ideological and political.  A difficult nut to
crack.  If realism does not prevail, this warring of humans will never end.

ardee made the statement that escalation will escalate the growing hatred for
the west and I wonder if there can be any larger degree of that hatred as
already shown.  How much more hatred is in the kettle?  I am not arguing that
this warring should not end, as for humanity’s sake it should, but it is not as
simply done as gerard compassionately thinks it can.  That is not realistic
because the powers that be will not ease their effort regardless of the
passionate arguments offered by people of peace.  There has to be some
movement on both sides toward that goal.  If anyone detects any movement
however slight on the side of the Taliban or al Qaeda toward peace, surely you
will let us all know?

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By truedigger3, December 3, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment


This is not the forum to prove that you are a “good girl” and get your promotion or may be tenure Ms. professor of philosophy and critical thinking.
I cann’t see an atom of critical thinking in your writings. You are parroting all the nonsense that in support of this vicious stupid war that will lead to more wars ad infinitum.
Take your so called critical thinking and take a hike in a dense forest and Get Lost.

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By ardee, December 3, 2009 at 3:56 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, December 3 at 6:37 am

I must offer my agreement that we are ,once again, making the same damn mistake. VietNam was supposedly about curtailing the spread of communism, Afghanistan and Iraq, the spread of “terrorism”.

To the Viet Cong and NVA, it was about reuniting an artificially separated nation. To the Taliban, about ending a new Crusade, Christian invading Islam.

In order to reinforce this idea that military might against Taliban is a good thing
we find the same techniques used by the extreme right, tell a lie and repeat it endlessly until it becomes as truth.

The idea that Taliban and AlQaeda are in league is such a mantra, unproven and yet repeated as justification. “if we abandon Afghanistan we will see a resurgence of AlQaeda in that nation, the Taliban will commit evil against us”.

The Taliban offered to turn bin Laden over to any Muslim nation that guaranteed no death penalty, an offer sounding like no alliance I am familiar with. Of course the right wing of the progressive movement, loyal to the democrats to the end, simply negate such offer, easy to do if truth is not your ally.

This escalation will simply escalate the growing hatred for the West among the indigenous population, one that doesn’t want the Taliban reinstated, but one that sees the needless and heartless slaughter and moves towards the Taliban as a result of moving away from our methods.

To those who express surprise that, after Obama campaigned on shifting this war back to Afghanistan, many criticize his decision now I would add this; You fail to understand that those who express dismay and critical analysis are the same ones who did so during that campaign, who think Obama wrong then and now.

Further it will continue to bankrupt our nation, making recovery a more difficult task. But it will profit those invested in the war machine.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 3, 2009 at 3:51 am Link to this comment

For some strange reason Go Right Young Man believes that what I stated is merely opinion.
FACT: Saddam Hussein did sell the United States oil during the famous OPEC embargo.
FACT: Donald Rumsfeld did prostrate himself before Saddam Hussein as Ronald Reagan’s envoy:
FACT: There is no denying the atrocity committed by the Clinton administration against the children of Iraq. Sec. of State Madeline Albright said it was worth it.
FACT: The UN resolution for the Iraq war was based on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction. There were no such weapons. Consider the conceit of Iraq war partner, Prime Minister Tony Blair:

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By Shenonymous, December 3, 2009 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

It is difficult to equate Vietnam with the Middle East conflict.  The communists in
Vietnam did not aggress against the United States and did not commit any
terrorist attack on this country, did not kill one American on American soil, did
not announce publicly they were intent on killing Americans and destroying
America.  I think there is a difference but if there isn’t please elaborate.

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By Outraged, December 3, 2009 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

Re: Lefeller

This is not Vietnam, this is not 1968 and Obama is not LBJ.  Things are different, the world has changed.  I’m not claiming things are hunky-dory…. but the world is a different place, the stakes are different and the situation is different.  Our aim is NOT a country, it is an entity, actually two fused and supposedly “not” fused entities.

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By Leefeller, December 3, 2009 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

Sheers article is on the money, here we go again. Obama is emulating Johnson’s decision to escalate the war in Vietnam all over again, (It might as well be Vietnam)  so I had the great opportunity to go and serve my country in Vietnam, lucky me I was able to make it back!

The then grand delusion was the Commies were taking over and had to be stopped, far as I know that was the idea?

So, now we are escalating the war in Afghanistan,  if one watches Democracy Now at:

Amy Goodman’s interviews with three different people, Kucinich. An ex officer who served in Vietnam whos lost a son in Iraq and now a Professor at Boston University and an independent reporter who has been both in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Coming from three different locations, but they paint a different picture then the one Obama is selling. If anything they provide some food for the thoughtless directions being touted and cause for concern.

Amy Goodman’s interview obtain’s much more than the usual MSM cheerleader pom pom dance. Is the MSM actually covering the war?

Seems Obama is selling us a clunker, and the sales pitch is, “it is just like new”!

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By glider, December 3, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

john crandell
>>If only one had risen and protested vigorously. THAT would have been one of the most electrifying moments in American history!!!<<

I think a loudly shouted “Liar!” as Obama went into his “if I thought that… I would bring our troops home tomorrow” deceit would have been appropriate.

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By DE Teodoru, December 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brzezinski was a one eyed man who only saw Soviets and nothing else. If a Soviet was there, bomb the place was his guiding line. But he too matured and realized the folly of our ways. Bravo to him, better late than never. As bad as was the American willingness to kill “gooks” and to suffer sons coming back in boxes from Vietnam, now the coke and pot head “me-ists” of the 70s are old farts scared to death by post-9/11 neocon propaganda on the threat of ISLAMO-FASCIST so they cheer while tens of thousands of Muslims are indiscriminately bombed. Even McChrystal called for stopping that (but didn’t). To make Israel dominant in the Middle East neocons called for “World War IV” against the Muslim World. But they wanted focus on Iraq and so used Afghanistan as bait and switch. After Congress fully funded war against the Taliban and getting binLaden, forces and supplies sent to Afghanistan were cannibalized for use in Iraq in order to present congress with a fait accompli: YOU CAN’T *NOT* FUND THE IRAQ WAR, OUR TROOPS ARE ALREADY IN THE BATTLEFIELD!

OBAMA IS COVERING UP FOR BUSH refusing to declassify the documents of the Bush “war on terror.” He STUPIDLY inherited the Afghan War from Bush as Nixon inherited LBJ’s war in Vietnam. Now I want to know if when Obama went to China last month whether he ask the Chinese to extend our loans so he could pay for his healthcare pan and did the Chinese say: OK, BUT ONLY IF YOU INCREASE YOUR FORCE IN AFGHANISTAN IN ORDER TO BEAT THE TALIBAN. If we leave Karzai is not worried because two years ago he made a deal with the SHANGHAI COOPERATIVE ACCORD (Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia and all the “stans” that surround Afghanistan) for it to stop the Taliban because none of them want a Jihadi state in their midst. But just like the Saudis and Israelis that pushed the US to war against Saddam, the Chinese would rather we shed our blood killing the Taliban for it fears most their support for the Uygur Muslim rebellion in China’s West. If this is true, then Obama is allowing American mom and dad volunteer soldiers to be mercenaries for China and he is worse than Bush. POLITICS IN AMERICA IS FILTHY BECAUSE AMERICANS HAVE BECOME A NATION OF 1970S “ME-ISTS,” NOW OLD IMMORAL FARTS SUFFERING FROM “AIN’T MY KID GOING TO IRAQ” DISCONNECT SYNDROME THAT ONLY WANT TO GET BACK TO SHOPPING TILL THEY DROP FOR CHINESE TRINKETS. To see McCain berate the same Obama SecDef Gates that a year ago he kissed up to as Bush’s SecDef even though Bush had abandoned Afghanistan only goes to show what scumbags lead this nation to fascism. But while Germany was totalitarian and people were afraid to stand-up, America was always democratic and the scumbag leaders wouldn’t be in power if they didn’t reflect the scumbag voters that elected them. Soon Europe will abandon US in Afghan War and we will be alone led to defeat by incompetent generals. We Americans deserve all we get because we never cared enough to stop the Pentagon from doing to “OUR” kids what we would never allow it to do with our biologic kids. How we can sit still and let Obama be bullied by the idiotic hot-button hollow McChrystal Report that gives no analysis and has no depth but is like the Petraeus blah blah justifying the Iraq “surge” is hard for me, an American by choice, not chance, to understand. Our only hope is if heroic American journalists like Bob Scheer and Sy Hersh never go quiet so Americans can’t use the cheap excuse: I didn’t know!

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By Outraged, December 2, 2009 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

Pres. Obama claimed he would do this during the campaign, most of you are acting like its the first you heard.

“Candidate Obama consistently portrayed Afghanistan as the primary front in the war against terrorism while criticizing former President George W. Bush for neglecting military and diplomatic efforts there while fighting an “unnecessary” war in Iraq.

In a prime-time speech Tuesday night, he reaffirmed that claim,”

Something had to be done, he’s doing what he thinks should be done.  He had taken the position of stopping the Taliban for a long time, well over a year.  Agree or disagree with that position, but how can anyone claim surprise?

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By gerard, December 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

It id complicated, though I didn’t say that.  We CAN just leave.  In fact, I don’t understand why we don’t just leave, so far as military force is concerned.  Are there any legitimate reasons at all? 
  What I am reflecting on is the fact that the present situation has developed out of a decades-old past of doing nothing to solve the problem of modern war, even though we all have known that if we did nothing, we would create an ever worsening situation, especially with nukes having become a “sign of national prestige” in spite of their known hideous dangers.  We who are older have been living under this terror for most of our lives. And some of us remember how we worked to get the Test Ban Treaty, even though it proved to be nothing much.
It is not surprising that I would be suspicious about Pakistan and India under civil stress that has not been settled for decades—especially Pakistan now as a possible flashpoint.
  My point was not that we should send in more Americans.  Far from it.  We should get out, and start negotiating big-tme on exactly how well they can control the nuclear stuff they both have.  And not just them, but all the nations who have and are trying to get nukes. The US is the most obligated of all because we invented the stuff in the first place.  I remember how I felt in the pit of my stomach when Robert Oppenheimer said “Science has known sin.”  This may be ancient history to most of you people, but it lives in my bones—literally.

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By Xntrk, December 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

I can add nothing to Scheer’s remarks. He’s about covered the subject, clearly, and concisely.

I would recommend going to and reading David Lindorff’s piece about Obama - The Manchurian Candidate. It is a bit more humorous, and broader ranging. But Lindorff also raises the question of a third Party and why we seem to be so apathetic when it comes to actually doing something about this treasonous behavior.

Something along the lines of ‘whose ox is being gored’? or maybe: “I’ve got mine, now go away and leave me alone…”

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By Nap, December 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can take the American out if Afghanistan, but you can’t take the war out of the American. So Afghanistan is as good as anyplace to campaign for reelection, in fact it could not be more perfect.

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By Alan MacDonald, December 2, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The key to understanding the impossibility of Obama’s dilemma is that he is trying to defend a Global Empire with American blood and treasure.

Obviously Obama will not articulate this reality, and thus his plan entails seminal incongruities, which are seen by some, but sensed by the wider audience of Americans.

Obama has tried to gloss over these incongruities by using the historical techniques of Empire salesmen—- he has engendered fear by characterizing the enemy as a “spreading cancer”, or ‘falling dominos’—- but the real spreading cancer is the Global Empire that hired him to defend it with American blood and treasure.

Historically, the salesmanship of Empire has been based on promising the domestic population that they will share the ‘spoils of war’, or the ‘safety of winning’, in return for fighting, and paying, for imperialism.

But Obama, although a consummate salesman, will encounter increasing resistance from the American people because of the incongruities of fighting and paying for a Global Empire with domestic dollars and dead, and without any benefits actually accruing to the American public.

Obama’s dilemma in selling and defending the escalation of war in Afghanistan is the same as his dilemma regarding his escalating defense of that vsame Global Empire on Wall Street——that all the benefits are privatized and all the costs are socialized.

Unfortunately for Obama, but fortunately for us, the confluence of symptoms pointing to Global Empire as the single, hidden, and metastasizing cause of this cancer is now becoming increasingly apparent.

When the traditional ‘nationalist empires’ of the 20th century (British, French, German, Soviet) misled their people, by promising benefits and security in exchange for fighting and paying for empire, the pride, prizes, and protection of reaching ‘Empire Status’ at least initially were apparent.

But when the American Empire was forcefully morphed into the Global ruling-elite corporate/financial/militarist Empire—- which now controls our country by hiding behind the façade of its two-party ‘Vichy’ sham of democratic government (aided by the equally ‘Vichy’ corporatist media)—- the traditional empire promises of war booty, economic benefits, and homeland security were broken.

As this ‘shape shifting’ of Empire progressed, increasing segments of the American middle/working-class started to notice that ‘war spoils’ from what they suspected was ‘their American Empire’ were not being shared with the domestic population—- not ‘trickling down’ as another famous propagandist for empire cynically suggested.

The reason, of course, that the traditional promises and benefits of empire were not ‘trickling down’, was that the bonuses of empire status were being captured by only the top tier elite of American society, but also that the spoils of empire were being uniquely employed to lure other nation-states’ ruling-elites into this new and growing form of Global Empire.

Now that the American people are directly feeling the ‘tip of the lance’ of this Global Empire directly in their own faces in the form of—- the highest GINI Coefficent of Income Inequality in the world, the continuing ‘crash’ that Empire is causing on Wall Street, health care oppression, foreclosures, domestic tyranny and spying, poor education, and increasing number of lives sacrificed to imperialist wars abroad——Americans will increasingly recognize that this Global Empire, which Obama will not even name is the source of all our symptoms and ‘sorrows’ of Empire.

Yes, despite how great a salesman he is, Obama will find Americans understanding that all their pains and sorrows have one singular, seminal, and previously undiagnosed tumor of cause—- that they are being asked to pay in lives and treasure the socialized costs for rapacious benefits that are accruing only to this new private Global Empire. 

Alan MacDonald

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By tahitifp, December 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

This is one loyal dem’s response.

“It’s complicated.  We can’t just leave.  Obama is brilliant.”

And then her girlfriends chime in:  “Well said, right on.”

What a travesty.  Did anyone see Michael Moore’s response on LKL?

Pakistan’s looming as our worst nightmare, if it isn’t already?

Obama needs to go golfing and we need a real prez, a progressive, not a centrist/repub.

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By zeroinfinity, December 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The middle of this article discusses THE irony of ironies.  The Taliban were once USA allies and even offered to aid the USA by forking over members of al-Qaeda as well as finding others.  What wound up being tragic was that the Taliban was willing to do this on one condition - that the USA would offer proof that it was al-Qaeda that did 9/11.  A reasonable request I believe.  Unfortunately, the USA believed that the Taliban (who the USA put in power remember) were not only unworthy of receiving such evidence, but also undeserving of being in power.  The Taliban may have ruled with an iron fist, but they were OUR bastards.  That’s history now.

    Today, the USA seems to believe that it will succeed in doing something than has never been done for millennia.  This could possibly stem from our social arrogance and superiority over any other nation.  I am EXTREMELY skeptical of a successful military endeavor in Afghanistan.  Slogans such as “These colors don’t run” and “Don’t tread on me” hinder our abilities as a society to think objectively and realistically in areas that are not a part of the USA.

  Afghanistan is among the most poverty stricken areas on earth.  The people of Afghanistan exist as tribes in various areas with their own ways of life and their own languages.  I always compared Afghanistan to native American tribes prior to colonization by Europeans.  Each group have their own ways and traditions, existing for millennia, along with a history of successfully resisting foreigners.  We MIGHT succeed in Afghanistan, doubtful but maybe.  I can’t help but view Afghanistan as a giant money pit.  Plus, killing off people who live in a third world nation, such as Afghanistan, because of suspicion that they are members of al-Qaeda does not make the USA out to be friendly.

  Even if the USA succeeds in Afghanistan, how many Americans would be willing to go there for a vacation?  Billions of tax-payer money has been sent there.  Who wants to go to Afghanistan when the dust settles?

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By PatrickHenry, December 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

The best speech Bush never gave.

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By gerard, December 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

As to West Point, Annapolis and all those feckless “cadets.”  We have supported those institutions—no, honored and lauded them over and above “ordinary” colleges for generations.  Why?  Because we have accepted, glorified, placed our hopes and our taxes in wars for generations without question.  In fact, even to ask a question is to be suspected of dishonor, lack of patriotism, cowardice, disrespect etc. etc.  In short, WE, you and I, have not dared to question the morality of war, its utter and absolute destruction of body and soul, of community and nation. A majority of our free people have freely turned away from nonviolent resistance to brutality and shame and told our own chiidren that wars are “inevitable, “necessary,” even “just”. 
Now is a time, again, when we must face the ugly realities of wars that every year become more dehumanizing, more soul-wrenching, more destructive, more clearly sub-human.  Now is another chance to withdraw—I could put a very graphic figure of speech in here, but I will leave it up to your imagination. The farce is over.  War is evil.  It is avoidable. We must stop—and find humane, sensible, wise, solutions to our self-created problems. Welcome the opportunity!  It might be a new day.

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By radson, December 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

To Susanflower

That’s right your beginning to see the picture and the strategy ,which by the way has nothing to do with the war on terror or the war on drugs ,but which has a lot to do with corruption.The goal is called assimilation ,which is a polite way of saying i’m going to destroy your culture.


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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Correct me if I heard incorrectly but isn’t Obama’s big intention to have a
nuclear-free world?  That was a rhetorical question.  He started down the path
of taking measures to reduce the American store of nuclear weapons.  He is in
negotiations with Russia, who is the biggest reservoir of nuclear weapons. 

The idea that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, that is a very unstable country and
could be taken by the combined super-militant kook killer group Taliban and
their brethren al Qaeda is not to be taken lightly.  That idea scares the bejeezus
out of me.  Tell me one time that the US has dragged out their nuclear weapons
since Hiroshima/Nagasaki, 60 years ago?  The irrational North Korea is hell
bent on nuclear weapons as are the Iranis.  This is a very nettled problem, it is
not as simple as throwing water on a fire.  I agree the nuclear problem is
probably the most chilling problem that faces the world.  It has to be dealt
with.  Obama needs to be reminded of his frequent call for the end of the
nuclear weapon age and his presiding over the 2-hour, yes, two hour,
somewhat surreal given the gravity of the topic, UN meeting in September on
nuclear disarmament. 

From Reuters, Sept. 24,

The U.S.-drafted resolution called for “further efforts in the sphere of
nuclear disarmament” to achieve “a world without nuclear weapons” and urged
all countries that have not signed the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) to do so.

Critics of the resolution said it failed to include mandatory provisions that
would have required nuclear weapons states to take concrete disarmament

Chinese President Hu Jintao made clear that Beijing had no plans to scrap its
nuclear arsenal.

“We will continue to keep our nuclear capabilities at the minimum level
required for national security, and make efforts to advance the international
disarmament process,” Hu said.

For the entire article, visit

The United States has an arsenal of 7,900 nuclear weapons, Russia on the other
hand has 14,000.  France 290, Britain 300, China 400.  North Korea is declared
a nuclear nation having conducted several missile tests, firing one nuclear
explosive device in October 2006 and another in May 2009.  They have
withdrawn from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.  Details of the nuclear
weapons stocks from news article also found at Reuters, same date.

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By yours truly, December 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Except for a few apologists most posters here have no difficulty seeing through President Obama’s rhetorical flim-flam in defense of the indefensible, the hail America, America not only rules the world but is hell bent on destroying it (along with all living beings), what with time running out and perpetual war + global warming + economic meltdown = doomsday.  So for the progressives of the world (assuming that we posters are representative of them) the problem isn’t figuring out what’s gone wrong, but what to do about it.  Aside from following the advice of the few diehards who cling to tbe belief that President Obama may still deliver on his promise of change we can believe in, our options come down to l) rallying behind candidates (regardless of their party affiliation) in the 2010 & 2012 elections who promise to push for a progressive agenda that includes, among other things, troops out now, demilitarization, Medicare for all, nationalization of banking & finance and decisive action to reverse global warming.  Except one thing that recent elections have taught us that candidates don’t keep their promises, which means it would be risky, if not foolish to go this route; 2) forsake the political arena and turn to think globally, act locally endeavors, except, should the wars and climate change go on unabated, let alone the economy continue its decline, doomsday won’t be averted, no matter how much progress there is at the local level; 3) We rise up en masse and change the world, such that. there’s peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings.  These are the options. Which will it be?

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By SusanSunflower, December 2, 2009 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Our goal in Afghanistan appears to be the creation of a police state in which our “gift” of an army and national police is used to keep the population in submission so—apparently—the historically weak to nonexistant “central” govenment can continue to keep keep the people in submission—got it?

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By gerard, December 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Outside of a relatively few super-militant kook killer groups, I am more afraid of the U.S. weapons of mass destruction than of that.  Us inented them. Us sells them. Us makes more of them.  Us refuses to get rid of their own and join others in pacts to reduce.  Us thinks we are smarter, richer, more powerful than, etc. etc. ad nauseum.  In short, us is an international bully.
  Having said that, and, knowing what we know and doing what we do, and having done what we did (Hiroshima etc. etc.)  I we have a responsibility to prevent whatever “holocausts” we can, and I’m calling for that responsibility. That’s speaking as a nation.

Now speaking as individual human beings—we (I) have a responsibility to speak truth if and when I (we) can catch a glimpse of it. I don’t care where that truth comes from, particularly, if I think it may be a truth. As far as I know, we are doing too little about “containment” (so-called, but better than nothing) and I also suspect that Obama has this problem on the front of his mind. I try to find out what is going on from whatever source, bearing in mind the self-interests of that source.  Thanks for the info, but I do not rest very easy knowing nukes are unassembled and dispersed. I want them controlled by reliable hands (and where is that?) and eliminated a.s.a.p.  My point being, U.S. huge responsibility as inventors and worldwide purveyors.

As to France, Nixon, “bunker-busters” et al—I do question, I have questioned, I have worked in organizations for years, fulltime and part-time on the problem of nukes.  I even spent time in Japan listening first-hand to victims. 

I framed my questions as questions because I wanted to hear thoughtful answers. Thanks for your responses.

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By dihey, December 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

1. To those of you who think that the pipeline through Afghanistan is a done deal: everyone who knows the “lay of the land” in Afghanistan understands that any pipeline through that country cannot be fully protected ever against determined insurgents. The Taliban and certain warlords will therefore have to be paid off to refrain from blowing the pipeline to smithereens. The Taliban will then demand the equivalent of their current income from the sale of poppies.

2. Mr. Scheer is the first commentator I have read who points his finger on Mr. Obama’s escape hatch: “taking into account conditions on the ground”. Who will determine and report “the conditions on the ground” real or fancied? You got it, General McChrystal if he is still in command there.

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By john crandell, December 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Expressing Thanks doesn’t, can’t begin to adequately do justice to any appreciation of the wisdom expressed by Andrew Bacevich this morning on Democracy Now.

Most particularly his remarks concerning the cynical use of the cadets.

But then, you sit and watch their expressions as they sit and listen to him. Yes, they have their careers to consider. Oh for eternity’s joy: if only one had stood up, put his destiny on the line and yelled out a protest against Obama’s dastardly and cynical presence.

All their careers on the line. All of the future tickets punched. Brownie points.

If only one had risen and protested vigorously. THAT would have been one of the most electrifying moments in American history!!!

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Taking what you said seriously, gerard, and thinking beyond personal petty
arguments that have emerged on this forum and from which I hereby withdraw,
and thinking beyond Afghanistan, and which no public effort will stop at this
point, what would be the next conflict then after that?  Is it Pakistan, the Iran,
then North Korea, then and then?  Can Afghanistan be the American public’s
last stand?  If so, it will take an enormous organized movement to influence the
politicians who orchestrate these things and fund them and maintain them. 
Then there is the opposition in this country, the conservative effort that seems
to want wars and I have never figured out why that is given their alleged
Christian foundation.  The only explanation I can imagine is the support of the
armaments industry and the military machine based on their public votes and

But say those who abhor war do get the opportunity to affect whether America
does not go into war again, what if militant terrorists sanctioned by a country
who is disaffected by the United States do attack, then what?  Are we to
suppose that is not even a possibility?  Do we not retaliate if the possibility
turns into reality?  There is now a history not only here but around the world of
militant attacks that have killed literally untold thousands.  The Philippines is
only the most recent.  Does anyone think for an instant that militant Islamists
will cease their destructive path?

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By Thrashertm, December 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Don’t blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.

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By Sondjata, December 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All broken down here:

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By garth, December 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Accordin to Juan Cole ate Informed Comment and University of Michigan, the Pakistan nuclear weapons are unassembled and in are dipersed throughout the countr.  Al queada, if you want to assume that they are a real group (my feeling), represent a minor threat to the stabilty of Pakistan.

All this crap about nuclear weapons comes from the American Press.  It should be ignored.

If you are so concerned about nuclear weapons why not look at the only government in the history of the world to use them—the USA.

And why not question Nixon’s suggestion of using them in the War in Vietnam, or George W.‘s talk of using nuclear blockbusters on Iran?

Why don’t we back an invasion on France, which is one the coutries that is rapidly building nuclear weapons?  Why don’t we get the UN on our case?

I do not believe any of the rumor that is currently promulgated by the US State Department.

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By gerard, December 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Well, I’m really a loner out here today, but ...

  Problem:  Pakistan’s nukes—which they should never have been permitted to get. (and India’s)?
  Problem:  Pakistan’s weak government that does not—probably cannot—control the Swat Valley radicals?
  Problem:  Does America have a responsibility to try to “help” Pakistan’s government secure its nukes?
  Problem:  If so, is there another, better way to do that soon, or quickly?  Do we know enough of the territory to do this?  If we do not “contain” the present situation, what if ... ?
  Problem:  If this is a reason for the “surge”, what can (will) be done about nukes in that region—and everywhere else—after the “surge” “succeeds” (which we had better hope it does!)
  Problem:  I may be wrong, but I don’t think this one is about oil or “nation-building”—or empire, or opium or religion. It’s about stopping violence with counter-violence, and trying to avoid a “greater violence.”  Even if it “succeeds” it will only be a temporary “answer”.
  Problem:  Once we get through this tight squeak, what long term changes must be made in the entire weapons of mass destruction scenario worldwide?
  Problem:  Adopting Taowalker’s term “closed loop” image for our present dependence upon the military/industrial feeding tube etc., specifically what steps will help us humans open the “loop” and move toward less “artificial” more “natural” systems?
  I myself believe that this is the question behind all the other questons, and it will be either faced or ignored. Violence against people is violence against nataure is violence, is violence etc.  If ignored, we will go from this crisis to the next, blind, deaf and dumb.  “Now is the time . . . .“ for a worldwide ethical shift to create evidence for the possibility of control and gradual elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, starting with nuclear. The geniis have got to be put back in the bottles, and it won’t be easy but it’s possible. (The same with global warming.)
  We are on the verge of discovering and instituting better answers to problems than killing people.
  A worldwide media blitz of possible and positive suggestions might encourage grassroots developments. People need to know that they can do something, that they don’t need to wait for their conflicted governments to tell them what to do. And a huge majority of people don’t want to kill other people.

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By garth, December 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

I think that By RobertJM3, December 2 at 7:11 pm has it exactly right in the right order of business.

... there is a two-fold purpose to the war in Afghanistan, namely, 1. to control opium poppy production for the CIA which has been in the drug business since Viet Nam, and…
If you remember, George W. stopped what he was doing to try to force the Congress to OK Dubai World as the keeper of about nine ports on the east coast.  Some democratic politicians made hay out of it and it was defeated and brushed under the rug.

George W’s father George H. W. was deeply involved in such matters as the Iran Contra deal which, in turn, was tied to the cocaine smuggling in California.

I think George W. was trying to take care of his relatives. He’d set them up in a drug smuggling biz, and no one would ever get to them.  The Dubai World, which was soon to go bankrupt, would then have enough cash to pay off their 60 billion in upcoming debt.

Maybe Shenonymous , know the inside track.

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By RobertJM3, December 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer and a great many serious, humane people fail to realize there is a
two-fold purpose to the war in Afghanistan, namely, 1. to control opium poppy
production for the CIA which has been in the drug business since Viet Nam, and
2. to insure the construction of a Unocal pipeline aimed at supplying India and

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By daniel e rowell, December 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Also still puzzeled why so many of the so-called
progressive movement were so fooled by the
Damnocratic Party. They have been pulling this same
trick for years and years.

We had them on the ropes after the 2000 and 2004
elections when they saw that the Nader facter could
determine the outcome!!!! The vote for Obama was no
more than a FEEL GOOD vote for the conscience.
Anyone that has followed policy just since Clinton
years should have been able to see the fraud well
before the general election. That is the very reason
the Dems went out of their way to make a black or
female their nominee. To get the phoony feel good vote

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By Go Right Young Man, December 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment


Changing the subject and repeating your views is not furthering your ability to convey your understanding of history here. 

Have I displayed your views correctly?  It was not 190 countries of the United Nations, a decade before Colin Powell’s presentation to the Security Counsel, that imposed sanctions on Iraq?  It was solely the evil United States that did this?

It was not Hussein that spent tens of billions on himself and failed to feed and care for his own people?  It was the United States that did this horrible thing to millions of human beings?

There are not dozens of U.N. resolutions, signed by over a 100 nations, outlining exactly why sanctions were imposed on Iraq?  It’s all a huge and unexplainable lie by the evil U.S.?


Simply making claims never makes them correct, Doc.  Once in a while a position must be upheld by tangible facts.  I hold tangible facts to present.  What is you have to offer?  Your unbending and repeated opinions?

Do I understand what you’ve written, or no?

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By california dreamer, December 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

It is clear that the will of the people has no influence on the foreign or economic policy of this country.  Obama is worst than most because he seemed to want to be a leader of the people.  Now it’s clear he is just a figurehead for those who have longed ruled policies and politics in this country.  What to do?  Seems the only option short of open, armed revolt would be to put forward a people’s candidate who would start running now for 2012.  That candidate would reflect current majority opinion:  out of Afganistan, help for the unemployed and the underwater homeowner.  Taxes on the rich elite and universal health care.  If we had someone to rally behind, then the powers that be would be more likely to listen to us.

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By daniel e rowell, December 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who even listens to Obama’s speeches anymore?
He is so full of it.  Why couldn’t everyone see this
from before the Iowa caucas still puzzeles me.

He sounds like george bush with complete sentences.

his policies like bush with complete sentences

his attitude like bush with complete sentences

gets his money like bush with complete sentences

lies like bush with complete sentences

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Go To The Right Young Man assumes way too much. When the United States was Saddam Hussein’s friend in the Middle East, like when he provided oil to the United States despite the OPEC embargo, he could do no wrong when all along he was a brutal despotic ruler that the United States embraced until he went rogue. How ridiculous for anyone to think I was ever a fan of Saddam Hussein… but Donald Rumsfeld surely was, when he went to Baghdad and prostrated himself before the mighty one, are ally in the war against Iran.
The United Nations vote was what? Based upon erroneous information, spoon fed by Secretary of State, Colin Powell. with all that gibberish about “weapons of mass destruction” which was revealed to be what it was: nonsensical gibberish.
Believe your narrative if you choose, who am I (according to your self loathing fame) to question your superior wisdom?

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Hey Garth, Iam sorry that my opinion on political matters has caused you to denounce me. That is okay too. Your criticism is as self indulgent as your complaints about myself and Shenonymous (whom, by the way, I may disagree with, but have ultimate respect for).
For my self indulgent self, politics is but a sideshow. If you want to know what I am ultimately concerned with (because I am old enough to know that being an advocate for global peace, is most certainly out of fashion) check out:

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By Go Right Young Man, December 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment


If you look closely you’ll not find a single word I’ve written that can be construed as advocating war.  You simply assumed a great deal.  And, if you look even closer, it was actually you who failed to present a fact and resorted to an unprovoked attack on “the poster” simply due to not liking his point of view.  And I am the childish one?  Curious thinking, to say the least.


Let me see if I understand your positions and you can correct me where I’m wrong.

1. It wasn’t the 190 member countries of the United Nations that imposed sanctions on Iraq.  It was solely the evil United States.  It wasn’t the will of the often opposed nations of China, Russia and the the U.S. that agreed to impose sanctions on Iraq for Saddam’s egregious behavior.  It was solely the United States and three evil and lying U.S. Presidents?

There’s not a clearly established record of United Nations resolutions outlining exactly why sanctions were imposed by over one hundred nations of the world.  It was all the accumulative lies of the evil U.S. President, Bill Clinton?

2. It wasn’t Saddam Hussein who spent tens of billions of on himself, his family and his multiple $100 million palaces across the country and neglected to feed and care for the Iraqi people.  No. It was the evil United States that did all that?

3. It wasn’t Saddam Hussein who used the Iraqi State run newspapers, operated by one of his Son’s, who called for “All good Arab Brothers to attack U.S. interests around the world”.  It was actually the United States that surreptitiously placed an entire page of words in Iraqi newspapers and attributed them to Saddam?

4. It wasn’t Saddam Hussein who openly paid $35,000 to the families of every successful homicide bomber from the West Bank and Gaza.  It was a false flag operation run right out if the CIA?

5. Poor Saddam.  Another of the numerous innocent and hapless victims of the evil, greedy and selfish United States.

Do I understand your positions correctly?

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By john crandell, December 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Dear ‘Ol Lefty’ Purple Girl,
  you and a lot of Republicans are sounding much the same today….
  you talk about reality; i can tell you a little bit about the reality of a war zone that i once saw - a war which i’ve studied ever since.
  you blather, in the shadow of amazing insights by Rob Scheer: insights which go in one eye and out the other and for obvious reasons, do not catch hold within your cranium.
  you apologize, inherently, naively.

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By Blackspeare, December 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment


You make a good point about 9/11 being a crime and not an act of war.  The question is who committed the crime, the 19 hijackers or those who failed to stop them?!

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By NABNYC, December 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

When Obama started out his speech with the 9/11 drama, reciting the Bush-Cheney mantra, holding forth inside a military institution, I figured it was all bad news.  Indeed it was.

He got it wrong from the beginning.  “The United States” was not “attacked” on 9/11.  Instead, 19 very bad men, mostly from Saudi Arabia, home of the Bush family sugar-daddies, hijacked four airplanes.  It was a crime, not a war. 

No tanks crossed our borders, no bombs were dropped onto neighborhoods by bomber pilots, no troops marched into our city centers.  Our nation was not attacked by another nation.  There instead was a very brutal crime committed within our borders.  That’s a big difference. 

When the mafia gunned down our citizens in the streets, did the U.S. invade Sicily?  Or better still the Vatican?  When Mexican warlords send drug runners and armed criminals across the border to kill border guards and kill our citizens who live on the border, does the U.S. invade Mexico?  No.  Because we know that these are crimes committed by criminal gangs.  Even if the host country of a gang does not or cannot stop them, we do not murder the citizens of the host country by dropping bombs on them or sending in our troops.

And we should never have invaded Afghanistan because a few criminals from Saudi Arabia were hiding out inside that country.  The entire war is illegitimate. 

Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that our real purpose in being there has nothing to do with al Queda or the Taliban.  It has to do with the fact that Cheney and Bush’s corporate sponsors, the U.S. and western oil corporations, want to run pipelines across Afghanistan to steal oil and gas from neighboring countries.  But Afghanistan has refused that request.  So the U.S. declared war to occupy the country and bomb it into submission. 

Obama’s protests at the end of his speech that the U.S. has never sought to occupy other countries or steal their resources was pathetic.  It was also a lie.  Apparently Obama has not yet had the opportunity to read Open Veins of Latin America, the book given to him by Hugo Chavez. 

I don’t think Obama is a crazed war-monger like Bush and Cheney.  I do think his primary allegiance is to the Democratic party’s continued control of the government, and their lock on bribes and kick-backs from U.S. corporations.  He will not end the war regardless of the fruitless pursuit of it, because the Democrats do not want to go back to being considered the party of losers when it comes to their willingness to commit genocide against other countries so U.S. corporations can steal the resources. 

It may be that Obama has decided his own fate and ours.  How long can we continue to fund wars of aggression against other nations when our own economy has been destroyed. When our nation collapses from the inside out, when we are cut off from credit because we cannot pay our bills, will the people finally stand up against wars and for democracy?  Or will they more likely turn towards fascism?  History provides little comfort.

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By Blackspeare, December 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment


Your assessment is correct——it is not a military operation as much as political maneuvering.  The idea is to train the Afghan forces to oppose the Taliban/al Qaeda in the population centers and to pay the warlords in the rural areas to throw out the Taliban/al Qaeda.  As we say downtown, money talks nobody walks and those with the deepest pockets will win the day.

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By berniem, December 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Hey! I voted for the guy too. It didn’t take long, however,(telecom spying, no investigation of bush, cheney,et al ,reversals on health care reform, release of torture photos, continued secrecy, ad nauseaum)before I realized that Obushma is really a Trojan Horse wheeled up to the gates of sanity by the Corporate/Military/Plutocratic cabal to keep us temporaily placated, confused, and questioning the validity of OUR values and patriotism. I voted for Nader rather than Gore back then because I didn’t trust him and the thought of Lieberman a “heart beat” away was terrifying. Truth be told, I think Gore has done more for mankind as a private citizen than he may have as figurehead(president). Maybe Obama( if he REALLY ever wanted to make a difference)should have worked from Main St. rather than Pennsylvania Ave. since it appears that this address is nothing more than an alley off Wall St. As of this moment I will never again vote for anyone from either faction of the corrupt party that continues to rule and destroy this nation.

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By Eric L. Prentis, December 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

President Obama, a real tool on Afghanistan.

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By starfish, December 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

I’ll be honest: I do not know what the right course is for us in Afghanistan. Clearly, I do not have access to all the intelligence an American president has. He gets daily input from his military people, from the diplomatic people, from international groups working in Afghanistan, and from our many, many intelligence agencies. So, I think we can assume he is kept up to date on the situation; what he does with all that information depends on his own ability and wisdom.

Having said that though, it seems to me that telling the Taliban we will be leaving in 2011 is a sure signal to them that all they have to do is bide their time and wait us out. While our soldiers will be fighting life and death battles with whatever group over there, the Taliban leaders will merely go over the border into Pakistan and wait ... wait ... for us to leave ... at which point they will roll back into Afghanistan and take over again. When the Taliban takes over again (as even Obama acknowledges they surely will ... he wants to “partner” with them), they will begin imposing their harsh rule on all the Afghan people but especially anyone who cooperated with us while we were there. The Afghan people know this and the Taliban know this, so Afghan people will be very reluctant to risk their lives to help us, now, when they know (as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west) that they will be punished by the Taliban for cooperating with the Americans.

The mission in Afghanistan is not a military mission; it can’t be, not with the small number of military we are willing to put there. The mission in Afghanistan is to teach the Afghan military how to protect their own country from the Taliban and from anyone else who chooses to invade their land. If the Afghan military hasn’t been able to organize themselves into a credible fighting force in the past 100 years, what makes us think that two years of training by our military is going to change their cultural attitudes?  They are a tribal people and many cannot even read, even many in their military cannot read. It’s going to take more than showing them how to fight at the platoon level. And, how can you teach someone to pilot a jet fighter when he cannot even read?

The changes that need to occur in Afghanistan before they will be willing and able to stand up to the Taliban or any other foreign invaders will take generations to effect.  Since we don’t plan to invest that sort of energy in changing Afghanistan traditionally, culturally and educationally, we might as well bring our troops home now and spare them the deaths that will occur between now and 2011.

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By Danny, December 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can anyone still be confused about why we are there?  Afghanistan is a narco-state WITH a U.S. military presence.  Iran-contra writ large.  If you doubt it, watch ‘American Drug War’ where there is video of the CIA chief admitting that they brought cocaine into the United States to fund arms for the Iran-contra conflict.  The very same cocaine that ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross turned into crack and set loose a plague on our country.  This time it is opiates.

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By Blackspeare, December 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

How do tell a Taliban from an al Qaeda?

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By radson, December 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Watching the Obama speech last night ,I don’t know if you argumentative guys and gals noticed as the camera was spying the crowd ,there was lo and behold a Cadet that was asleep in his chair,well you know
what, he sure as hell didn’t miss much! and also President Obama returned to the usual rhetorical benchmark of Sept.11 as the mover and shaker of our times ,yet nobody in office dares to raise the question Why.

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment


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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

re: Shenonymous

“My guts tells me we should just stay and take care of the militant Taliban…” Dec 2, 1:59 pm

Was that guts? or just giblets?

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By NYCartist, December 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

purplegirl, H. Clinton said the civilian workers will be embedded with the military.  (Source:Pacifica coverage of the House hearings on WBAI right now, in interviews with Media Benjamin, Norman Solomon (one of the show’s commentators Note: I support the “undo the coup” movement at WBAI, the NYC station of Pacifica see
How do you define “authentic lefty”?  Am curious.

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By OldUncleDave, December 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Al-Taliquedaban is to the US as Emmanuel Goldstein is to Oceania.  We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Re: Go Right Young Man

As usual, the poster who can not address the actual questions put forward, resorts to claims of self loathing. The use of such cheap psychological tricks have no bearing on the actual questions raised. But that is okay. The poster wishes to assume what Professor Andrew Bacevich calls “the preferred narrative”, one that has been barked and re-barked by every U.S. President since Harry Truman. You know that old saying: “fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart.”
I know it is difficult for war advocates to understand, but there is nothing passive about those who are actually advocate for world peace. Google up the name Jeanette Rankin, if you wish to understand.

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

You must be addlepated thebeerdoctor and have stolen my argument about the
weezers.  M’thinks you are not only a thief but are the delusioned one and since
all opinions are equivalent in value, mine is as equally submissable as yours.  I
happen to think you are wrong and more absurd than mine.  Please show where
I used the weeze.  It is your bosom buddie Peetawonkus that liberally uses the
inclusive we.  Perhaps you read selectively and miss those facts.  I did use the
we as a comic counterresponse to the we of Rae’s post Dec 2 at 11:12 am and I
did note it was a ‘gut’ feeling and qualified it with the statement about hating
war.  Are you such the half-brain that you can only read half a comment? 
Yeah.  Do read the rest of my post to find even one more ‘‘we” on this forum or
any other.  Yeah, you do have a penchant to gun for me I know this from past
forums.  It’s all right, your pomposity always causes you to choke.  I can only
guess you are a shill for al Qaeda in a leftist goatskin.  My opinion.  My just a
little left of center positions always gets to the rabid leftists makes them kind
of crazy (or the goatskined shills for militant Islalmists).  It is nothing new for

In what way, prole, is there evidence that the US is imperialist?  What country
has America absorbed as part of its own borders?  Even Iraq is being prepared
for self-rule as chaotic Afghanistan will be as well.  Where in the world does
the United States take resources without the permission of the government of
that nation?  Unlike Islamists such as in Africa, the United States takes none! 
Focus on the word ‘take.’  Also who would you have rather to have advised
Obama on the campaign in Afghanistan?  Picking up the pieces of Iraq is a
done deal and that war was not the initiation of this Democratic president but
who has inherited the need for a rational exit so that the American lives
expended there, and the millions of Iraqi lives wasted are not in vain. 
Unfortunately, and I feel it keenly, those lives American and Iraqi, will always
have been in vain since it was an unnecessary war.  That is not a Rightist
perspective, it is my centrist liberal’s view. 

Nothing is ever as simple as some want it to be and that is due to egotism and
a lack of insight into the complexity of this world.  If Afghanistan fell into civil
war, which is what all indications are that would happen if western troops
withdrew, perhaps that would not be a bad thing.  Unless you believe those
deaths would be more acceptable than those if the west were involved. 

While there is no way to know which path would leave less dead and maimed,
the American reason regardless of the esoteric India theory, is to seek out and
destroy al Qaeda.  And I do not doubt for a minute there are militant Islamists
on this forum and other TD forums that will say and do anything to subvert
that resolve.  So carry on O Followers of al Qaeda.

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By Blackspeare, December 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Why is everybody so upset——what were they expecting?  It’s a matter of prestige and power.  From all appearances it looks like Bush’s “surge” worked in Iraq at least for the near term.  Obama had no choice in Afghanistan——he could not cut and run——it’s a matter of prestige and he always said Afghanistan was the real thing.  However, it may not be so easy as Iraq.  Iraq, compared to Afghanistan, is an advanced civilization.  Afghanistan, outside of the major population centers and there aren’t many, is a cruel barbaric world controlled by a plethora of ruthless warlords.  Maybe Bush and his advisors knew this and switch to the war in Iraq before being mired in Afghanistan.  It will be interesting to see whether Obama, et al can attain a modicum of success in Afghanistan——it won’t be easy.  Afghans are noted for their butchery——not only do they kill their enemies, but also their wives, kids, parents, and all their goats and sheep!

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By Purple Girl, December 2, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

So this is now a Democrats War- what damn Team do you bat for??
so you want to lay Afghanistan on Carter? WTF!
Ahh Carter didn’t send in covert operative and private funding to help build the Fledgling ‘Afghani freedom Fighters’ we now call AQ! It was not a democrat who used the real citizens of Afghanistan as whore to play their Cold War games, then left them to sleep in the mess.
Clinton was not stupid enough to put boots on the ground after ‘93- he had apparently read a history book or two.
“Obama’s War” is Bullshit- It is still Cheney’s and will forever Be Cheneys! that SOB and his war profiteering underlings used theirold stomping grounds (and friends?) to create a ‘foot in the door’ to the Middle east and all those who failed to be subserviant to the Oil Royals and their Western Oil corps.
As a Life Long Lefty, a real one which seems to be a rarity these days, I was thrilled to hear Obama is working towards a Civilian Corp to help in the Rebuilding, esp in Ag!
Heres a Lil’ Hint for those of you living in Gilded and Ivory Towers- Americans need a Damn Job and if it pays, we’ll go! and are you willing to send over unarmed civilians to a hostile, choatic region. Yes I would like a Soldier covering my ass as I help dig a community well, reseed acreage with a food product instead of Poppies.
You know why the Far right, nor the Far left never win elections- because they are both devoid of Logic and detached from reality.
Buck Up or shut Up! Bitchings free because it’s useless and valueless.

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By 9circlesofhell, December 2, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Escalation is not an answer to failed policy and strategy ... it simply won’t work
and, aside from more bodies, more destruction, and more debt to future
generations of America ... Obama and his team came up with zeros last night.

After three months of deliberation, is this the best our leaders could summon? 
Are we the people expected to believe that 30,000 more American soldiers is
the only solution coming from the best and brightest?  For that matter,
whoever is sitting in the bowels of our government making these decisions -
are they our best and brightest?

Last night was simply a more eloquent verse of the same old mantra, more of
this and more of that (wink, wink ... sustain the war).  Put another L is the
Win/Loss column ... more flag-draped coffins, more disfigured, dysfunctional,
and distressed soldiers coming home to once-a-year parades, more dollars
given to a nation (the graveyard of empires) that cannot define success on its
own terms let alone through the semantics of western democracies, more debt
to a nation drowning in debt. 

Where’s the logic, where’s the plain talk, where’s the reasonable intent?  All
that has been missing for eight previous years and it’s missing from last night’s
speech going forward.

It would be wonderfully refreshing to begin to see a movement from within our
own nation where our soldiers simply say “no thanks” that’s not a so-called
war worth fighting for.  That would be the trump card, that would be the only
statement that turns all this around, that would be the beginning of the exit up
and out of the rabbit hole.

Leave Afghanistan -and Iraq- now!

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By elroy, December 2, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s clear that the MIC/Israel lobby simply picked Obama for his rhetorical skills.  A mere figurehead, Obama apparently does whatever the dirtbag Generals order him to do (remember, their fraudulent absentee ballots carried out the coup in 2000).  The American military, which exposes its own troops to depleted uranium munitions and treats vets like trash, is the main enemy of America.  Generals seem to love playing Roman proconsuls and drug warlords.  Their loyalty seems to be to their own profits (from the MIC and drugs (see Vietnam)) and Israel.

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By scotttpot, December 2, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Fifteen Saudi Arabians that were based in Europe attacked us on 9/11 and we
blame, attack, occupy, and escalate a war in Afghanistan? There has not been an
attack on America by Al-Qaeda in Eight Years.There are Mc Donalds, Starbucks,
and Citibanks all over the world , yet no attacks on these American interests. What is this paranoid fear of al-Qaeda based on ? My guess is Al_Qaeda is as real as the weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Since Go Right Young Man quotes President Obama’s speech, where he states: “We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions—from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank—that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.”
That, my fellow poster, is a fairy tale lie. First, the United Nations, founded by the U.S. and then conveniently ignored whenever it takes actions our government does not like… such as the resolutions made about Israel. Second, NATO is a by-product of the Cold War that was kept out of mothballs when General Wes Clark started using those bombers in the Bosnia-Serbia war. Third, the World Bank represents not security or freedom for this world’s peoples, but is rather a willing facilitator in establishing international corporate capitalism by enslaving entire nations with insurmountable debt.
The worse myth of all is believing that the United States government believes in establishing freedom. People from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Chile, Honduras, Iran, Iraq and Guatemala will tell you different.
President Obama invoking FDR is just another example of rhetorical stagecraft.

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By ChaoticGood, December 2, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Have we missed the obvious 800 Gorilla in the room.  Don’t we know by now that the real reason for the action in Afganistan is not publicly stated because Americans would never go for it.  Instead we are given seemingly irrelevant assertions and fabrications.
We are in Afganistan because of India.
Plain and simple.  We are there to “help” Pakistan and report to India on its actions.  We are there to help avert World War III.  All the wargames point to Kashmir as the starting point for nuclear war.  We need forward bases in Afganistan so we can “help” Pakistan avoid war with India.

This is just too obvious to be seen clearly, I guess.
Didn’t the first State Dinner in the Obama Whitehouse given for India give us a clue?

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By Go Right Young Man, December 2, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Yes beerdoctor. Blame America First and sooth your self loathing.

You dislike who you have become, fail to look inward, and blame the United States for your lot in life.

What a crock!

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Thanks to Peetwonkus for pointing out the absurdity of the Shenonymous position. Why is it that advocates for war, always say “we” and what “we” must do by staying the course (whatever that is) always refers to their fellow citizens being called to sacrifice their lives?
How callous do you have to be, in order to be called a Hawk?

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By Go Right Young Man, December 2, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, December 2 at 2:10 pm

I would appreciate you proving me wrong.  As far as I can tell my telling of recent history is spot on.

The United States is the only nation, in all of human history, that would completely destroy an enemy only to turn around and build them back up again, leaving them to their own autonomy.  That’s evidence enough of a great nation!

Below is my favorite parts from the speech last evening.  The president’s sober and honest assessment of history runs completely counter to what most here believe in but, he’s right and most here, in my opinion, are quite wrong.


“Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service and sacrifice of our grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs. We have spilled American blood in many countries on multiple continents. We have spent our revenue to help others rebuild from rubble and develop their own economies. We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions - from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank - that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.

We have not always been thanked for these efforts, and we have at times made mistakes. But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades - a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, markets open, billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress, and advancing frontiers of human liberty.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours. What we have fought for - and what we continue to fight for - is a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and access opportunity.

As a country, we are not as young - and perhaps not as innocent - as we were when Roosevelt was President. Yet we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom. Now we must summon all of our might and moral suasion to meet the challenges of a new age.”

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, do you always jump to conclusions.  What? can’t you stand it when
there is a different view?  Right wing?  Bull crap right in your face.  But I’m not a
yea-saying xombie like you obviously.  Go ahead and bet your wad.  Your
simpleton solution, which isn’t really expressed, just implied, and is an
opinionated criticism of others, is a useless crock.  Maybe GRYM does exaggerate
but you have not shown where he lies, you just accuse.  You are like those who
used to dunk the witches in Salem.  Pointing fingers and drowning is your most
exciting pastime?  Or maybe you prefer to watch heads sliced off with a
guillotine?  Yeah, I know that kind of rabble.

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By prole, December 2, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

“It is already a 30-year war begun by one Democratic president, and thanks to”…the amorality of the Cutthroat-in-Chief…”the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose.” Once again, Scheer is alibiing for his ‘great black hope’ Obama. To call it “political opportunism” is a complete cop-out. Bloodsucker Barack gives opportunism a bad name. To say that “Obama is speaking falsely” is just soft pedaling the fact that the man is a serial liar and in the process of becoming a serial killer by design in Afghanistan just like he is in Iraq and by proxy in Palestine and Columbia and elsewhere. So think back then thirty years Bob, you didn’t learn your lesson then about Democratic presidents, you still urged everyone to vote for another bellicose bamboozler like Barack? Are you trying to tell us you didn’t do your due diligence during the campaign, that you didn’t know Zbigniew Brzezinski and Richard Holbrooke and friends were advising the Obama machine?! And you want to get all huffy in righteous indignation when another Democratic president continues the carnage with all the bipartisan bloodlust of a Bush-wacker or a Ray-gun?!! How do you “handle that absurdity”?!!! “’It’s important to recall why America and our allies’” are escalating “a war in Afghanistan in the first place.” It looks like some of oleaginous Obama’s opportunism has rubbed off on you. Or maybe it’s vice-versa. In any case Bob, you got your president, you got your war, and “we” can thank people like you for putting the bugger in office. “So here we go again, selling firewater to the natives and calling it salvation”…and Scheer belatedly and self-righteously inveighing ambiguously over it with all the crass opportunism of his fork-tongued Great Black Father in Washington. Maybe it will be of some consolation to the natives this time around to know that their villages are being enfiladed by a black president and a female Sec. of State. America may have been re-branded but the same old brand of imperial depredation is still in the saddle. And there’s poor little Bobby Scheer, just born yesterday, who never could have guessed what was coming all along. Maybe Scheer should be on the plane to Oslo with his hero, peacefaker Obama – Scheer deserves a special Nobel prize in opportunism himself.

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By Peetawonkus, December 2, 2009 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Yeah, why don’t we “stay the course?” That worked so well after you righties lied us into a war with Iraq that cost 5000 American lives and bankrupted the country. Where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction? Oh, I know. They must be in Afghanistan now. So the Right Wing solution to “Security” is war, war, and more war. And all financed on the back of debt run up to the Chinese. How much am I bet you’re one of the same howlers who say we can’t afford a National Health Care Program in this country? But you can always dig up a dollar for a bullet, can’t you?

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

LostHills, how do we know A.N.S.W.E.R. isn’t funded by the al Qaeda with their
billions of Iran and Taliban-supported drug money dollars?  I’m suspicious of
everything, even Obama!  Except that there is terra firma when I step into
WalMart!  Now there is where reality resides.  Is there any argument with that?

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By thebeerdoctor, December 2, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

You have to love the childish justification of danger put forward by Go Right Young Man. Like Virginia in her need for a real Santa Claus, the poster quotes all of the attacks against U.S. interests as the ultimate justification for this bloody war. A mention of President Clinton and his warnings about Saddam Hussein; that now dead former despot, once a United States ally and CIA contractor, who went rogue when his despotic regime ran into a financial ditch over the falling price of a barrel of oil. Never mind that the U.S. led sanctions caused the deaths of over half a million children during President Clinton’s reign… I wonder if Saddam was so dangerous to the American people, what in the world was Bill Clinton to the citizens of Iraq? Our former fat ass President actually justified this atrocity by claiming that Saddam should have given his people money. But what else can you expect to hear from this despicable rascal?
I also wonder if Go Right Young Man has ever considered that the entire Al-Qaeda operation is simply a vicious blow back for all of the meddling we have done around the world? The myth that Afghanistan must be collectively punished for the 9/11 attack represents a complete breakdown of humanity. Comparisons to the massacre in Rome committed by Germany, or the allies bombing of the city of Dresden are not out of place. The fact Osama bin Laden has never been captured could very well be that he no longer exists, but demonizing his idiotic persona is just too valuable a tool for propaganda purposes to ever be dismissed.
So yes all of the President were liars. Liars with the intent of keeping the wheel of constant war forever rolling.

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By Peetawonkus, December 2, 2009 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man
“It’s the U.S. that’s full of truly dangerous people.”

In your entire post of lies, nonsense, distortion and just plain standing recent history on its head, that statement you made is the only thing you got right. And
you are proof of your own words.

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By Shenonymous, December 2, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Without logical purpose, Mr. Sheer?  Blurring the actions of the current
president into the presidential mush of 30 years is certainly food for pompous
editorializing journalism.  Isn’t it comforting to read all the groupthink yea

Two right wings? Well shall we at least let’s keep the eagle flying?  A dead
wingless eagle won’t do any good at all.  Well, the progressives could cook it
for an ersatz post-Thanksgiving dinner!

The US of A is a Fascist Plutocracy.  No it’s not.  Just because you say so
doesn’t make it so.  BTW:  How do you personally oppose causes?
So is it the consensus of the virulent Obama critics that the US should connect
the dots do a sharp right sort of south face and turn all of its military resources
towards Pakistan?

It is neither founded nor unfounded to think al Qaeda wouldn’t hook up with
the Taliban again if the Western forces retreat.  Since they did in the past is
just enough evidence there is a good chance they would again.

Since neither Israel nor China would ever become vocal in the decision to
escalate or not escalate the war-like action in Afghanistan, the two ways
suggested to stop the wars in Iraq (which is for all tense and purposes stopped)
and Afghanistan is rather moot.  Obama was right in that the US is not
imperialist contrary to popular ultra-Leftist propaganda.

Hank from Nebraska, where are these events planned and how does one find
out about them?  Is there an organized effort and a website for those who
might be interested in participating?

My gut tells me we should just STAY and take care of the militant Taliban and
al Qaeda safe havens once and for all.  And I hate war!  Now how is that for a
disconnect?  Well I guess I’d be for invading Italy too inasmuch as the mafia
and its brotherhood all over the world are part of the drug trade that keeps al
Qaeda in machine sewn clothes (uh, weapons).

garth’s reverse psychology is probably the best perspective given on this
forum.  I guess our future depends on who has the best and most effective PR

Isn’t it curious there are no such talented society-penetrating Orwells emerging
in our society with all the fascism going on, on both the right and the left?  No
one around with literary writing skills to capture the imagination of the throngs
of pseudo-intellectuals?  even with all the tons of pulp being written and
incessantly hawked on all the talk shows?  A real mystery.

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