Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 18, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

On Climate, Business as Usual




The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Obama’s Surge in Afghanistan Hardly a Surprise

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

Posted on Dec 3, 2009
White House / Lawrence Jackson

The cadets at West Point get their orders from the president as he announces an expansion of the war in Afghanistan. Expand this image.

By William Pfaff

There was much disappointment on Tuesday night about Barack Obama’s decision to widen the war in Afghanistan, but there can have been no real surprise. This was not a detached decision on foreign or military policy. It was a matter of domestic politics.

Mr. Obama was elected to the presidency after making a promise that he would fight the “right war” in Afghanistan while shutting down the “wrong war” in Iraq. Once elected, he could scarcely say that he had made a mistake and discovered that they were both the wrong wars, and he was shutting them both down. There is in any case no reason to think that he had reached such a conclusion.

No doubt it was on the recommendations of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Central Command Commander Gen. David Petraeus that he named Gen. Stanley McChrystal to the Afghanistan command and sent him to Kabul to assess the situation. Immediately upon the general’s return, his report was leaked, quoting him as saying that he required another 40,000 troops—or else he could not guarantee victory. (He said the day after Mr. Obama’s speech on Dec. 1 that the promised reinforcement would be “sufficient.”)

The newly elected president, wholly lacking military experience, preoccupied by the world economic crisis and his plans for health reform, found himself exactly where the dominant faction in the Pentagon, which enjoys the support of a neo-conservatism risen from its tomb, had wanted to place him.

For them, Afghanistan is not only the war at hand but offers an opportunity for retroactive vindication with respect to the Vietnam War. Many in the military and among civilian commentators believe that the Vietnam defeat resulted from a “stab in the back” by the press and television of the 1960s-1970s, a frightened Congress, and by the Nixon administration, which negotiated a cease-fire agreement with Hanoi at the moment when, in these critics’ view, an American victory had become possible. Their formula, scarcely a novelty, was (and is) to shock the enemy with a “surge” of new forces, and then to clear the region of guerrillas, and hold it with local forces against the insurgents’ return.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Today, the principal proponents of this view, Gens. Petraeus and McChrystal, and the Australian Pentagon theorist, David Kilcullen, are the military men of the hour. Buoyed by the thus-far successful surge in Iraq, and the apparent gain for America of a permanent strategic base in that country, they are now ready to deliver a military victory that would create a pacified and reconstructed Afghanistan, and—why not?—a reformed Pakistan.

That they can do so is, in this writer’s view, open to doubt. But they now have been given their chance.

What they perhaps do not fully appreciate is that by giving them all that they have asked for, the president has caused them in turn to deliver themselves into his hands. They have to succeed.

But suppose the military campaign does not go well? Suppose that U.S. troops do not begin coming home from Afghanistan in 2011?

Suppose that Gen. McChrystal finds it necessary in 2010 or 2011 to ask for reinforcements?

Suppose—and this is the most ominous possibility—the war has caused crisis or political collapse in Pakistan? Suppose that India has become involved, as quite possibly could happen, bringing a regional crisis?

During the last 10 months, Barack Obama has been in roughly the position Lyndon Johnson found himself in following the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963. Johnson had a huge agenda of social reforms, including his civil-rights legislation, with which he intended to assure himself a place in history alongside that of Franklin Roosevelt.

He feared that if he refused combat intervention in Vietnam, as a country politician from Texas, vulgar and populist in instincts, he would be savaged for his foreign-policy “cowardice” and lack of sophistication by the “Harvard crowd” who dominated the foreign-policy establishment. This fear was justified. He was told that he had to save the nation’s honor. The staff he had inherited from Kennedy finally convinced him that he had to send new troops to Vietnam and escalate the war. The outcome is known.

Johnson, disheartened, in 1968 declined to run for reelection. He died of a heart attack in 1973. Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, and further escalated the war, invading Cambodia. The outcome of that is well known too.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


New and Improved Comments

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

By liecatcher, December 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

TO melpol, December 8 at 6:37 pm

HEY melpol: Do you really think the MILITARY

INDUSTRIAL CONSPIRACY would allow anyone to

participate who would not produce a profit for the

CABAL, or get in the way of its drug operations?

Report this

By melpol, December 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

An honest leader is hard to find in Afghanistan. Karzai cannot be trusted with
American money, he will only share it with a few supporters. It would be best if
missionaries were sent into the hills and valleys to distribute the money. They
would have a good chance of converting violent extremists to a more peaceful
religion.

Report this

By FRTothus, December 8, 2009 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Must we wait for another member of the monied-elite to betray his class, fight the Roman Senate, to take the lead, slaves that we are?  Religion has taught us well how to pray, how to look for strong others who will lead the way. What a fool is the mass of man!  Engels was correct, as was Marx.  We are allowing corporations to rule us.  There is only one way to stop it and no one dare mention it.  (Hint: It has to do with the Money.)

“Government of man by man is slavery…
[Man’s] Laws are Cobwebs for the Rich, and Chains of Steel for the Poor, fishing nets in the hands of government…”
(Prouhdon)

Report this

By Mike, December 6, 2009 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think everyone here is overthinking this - it’s mainly about the 2010 elections.  The Democrats do not want to give the Republicans the Democrats-are-weak and won’t-defend-America sound-bite argument. 

The electorate gets all its information from TV and bases their choice between two candidates on emotions and impressions so such a Republican “message” would probably resonate.

It’s the same decision LBJ made on Vietnam.

Report this

By john crandell, December 6, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

If Mayhill Fowler’s latest report on Huff-Post is valid, that the intention stated by Obama to begin removing troops in July of 2011 is pure bull, then we have only one thing: the spirit of Richard Nixon and the hideousness of Henry Kissinger once again reside in the Oval Office.

Tonight, OBush gave praise to five Americans, Kennedy Center honorees in the East Room. Oh, if only Springsteen had stood up, called Obama on his perfidy and then walked out of the place.
HEY BOSS! Go see Neil Young, have a good talk and get your bearings back.

And as to the Kennedys, when will at least one of them speak out. The most essential thrust of EMK’s Senate career has been trounced and gutted, yet we hear only quiet from the family. They, as well as the entire progessive side of the Democratic Party, well, it is now quite apparent that all of us fell for one slick shell game.

Report this

By SusanSunflower, December 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

I’m sorry—there were so many suggestions that he might do the right, smart thing over the deliberative interval that, yes, it was a surprise that he disappointed his democratic followers—from congress down the individual voter—so utterly and completely.

This bullshit about how naive, stupid, out of touch people are to be shocked is just that. The situation in Afghanistan has changed, in a bad way, since Obama’s campaign pledge to aggressively pursue this war, most critically the Afghan election.

Rubbing peoples’ noses in Obama’s perfidy is not helpful except in identifying columnists who enjoy that kind of thing.

I never liked or supported Obama, though I did reluctantly vote for him (the polls seemed oddly out uncertain). I feel rather angry that Team Obama is so thoroughly disappointing so many new-to-politics supporters. It’s shameful, truly.

Report this
Clash's avatar

By Clash, December 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Many Years ago the Republic chose to to abolish the citizen military by accomplishing this with economic conscription, and contracting mercenary forces. The emperor’s have stolen the power to make war from the corrupted branches of government meant to control the when and where, should the republic need to go to war. To quote the latest boy emperor “one needs to have some skin in the game”.

To now act surprised that the government only feigns concern in regards to popular consent is ridiculous.

The crusade is far from over. If it was stopped, how would the security elite make a living? With no jobs and a failing economy were would these people work? So you see Berry is creating a market place and jobs for those who other wise would be unemployed(saving job’s). Not to mention he has and never will have the stones to bring peace to the fascist police state we now find as our home.

Report this

By surfnow, December 6, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Buoyed by the thus-far successful surge in Iraq, and the apparent gain for America of a permanent strategic base in that country,

Excuse me ?  What planet are you from Mr Pfaff?  The Iraq War was a success?

Report this

By melpol, December 6, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Rape in Afghanistan must be stopped. Millions of women are forced to have sex
with violent extremists. Sexual predators must be painfully castrated. The job of
arresting and castrating those that forcefully penetrate a women’s private parts is
dangerous, many violent extremists are heavily armed. A rape hotline has to be
established where SWAT teams will rescue ladies in distress.  A women’s right to
choose her sexual partner has to be rigidly enforced.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 6, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

In Washington, you need political power to accomplish anything.  How much political power does the progressive left have today?

After years of following Outraged’s strategy, its clear that the Democrats have no fear of the left.  The left has zero political power, and isn’t even allowed in the room to voice its opinion.  Certainly, withdrawal from Af-pak was given about the same level of serious discussion as single-payer was given in the Obama health care debate.

My proposal below is a plan for the anti-war movement to develop the political power necessary to end the war.  The anti-war movement must put politicians into the position where continuing and expanding these wars becomes a threat to their political survival.  If the anti-war movement can’t do that, then they’ll continue to be shut out of the discussions and the wars will continue.

The anti-war movement must develop and display political power.  You do that by influencing the outcome of elections.  And sending a bunch of pro-war Democrats home is a small price to pay.  Does it really make a difference to you if the politicians continuing and expanding these wars have (D) after their name instead of (R)?

By now, its become obvious that a blind support of Democrats is not a strategy to end these wars.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 6, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Outraged ... please put forward a plan to do what you suggest.

I ask, because I’ve been hearing the same line of bull from Democrats since at least 1996.  That the thing to do is to somehow take a Democratic Party that’s become a clone of the Republican party and change it.  I’ve watched activists within the Democratic party try to do this over and over again.

How’s that working out so far?  Is this era of Democratic rule a golden age for progressive policies? Or, does Democratic rule look a lot like Republican rule?

What we are seeing now is the result of a decade of activists trying the strategy you suggest.

So, since you are attacking one proposal to try to change the course we are on, please provide your own detailed proposal on how you intend to keep following this same failed strategy and somehow get different results.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 6, 2009 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

Re: Samson

Your comment: “The idea is to cause Democrats to lose.  And, if possible, to cause enough Democrats to lose that they lose their majority in the House.  To do this openly and deliberately as the angry left claiming retribution on Democrats who lied to them to get power.”

LOL.  WHY… and excuse me for laughing, WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THAT?! Should we simply reside ourselves to be gluttons for punishment?  That is “off the wall” and the DUMBEST-ASSED thing anyone could ever do!

No, no, and no.  A better “strategy” (if you could call this IN YOUR FACE, outright blantant reality “on the ground” a strategy… would be to cast off any in the Dem Party, who… well… might not be as truthful as they ought).  To assert that The American People should diss their BEST BET YET, would be suicide and outrightly stupid.

Who’s side are you on…. Nevermind, I just answered my own question.

Report this

By liecatcher, December 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s Surge in Afghanistan Hardly a Surprise
Posted on Dec 3, 2009
By William Pfaff

Everything Bush 3 does is predictable.

And just like Gen. David Petraeus , continues to
betray us.

Folks this is Obamageddon, & like every POTUS before
him, follows orders or faces assassination.

It’s all about enslaving the world in a web of debt.
Government Sachs finances both sides of all wars, so
it’s no surprise that America is in a debtor’s abyss
from which there is no escape.

The bonus in Afghanistan is control of the drug
supply, and the oil in Iraq.

Report this

By samosamo, December 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

No surprise here from our magical president because at first I thought it a
good idea of breaking the good old white boy strangle hold on the presidency
but it just goes to prove that race is not a factor in screwing over the voters in
america and this is what decided me NOT to vote for the charlatan when the
year 2008 was real close or already here and I was able to see o on tv on 2
separate occasions when he pledged the government’s full support of
corporate america and on the other time pledging that same support to the
american izraeli public affairs committee and THAT was when I knew I could
never support or vote for another republican or democrat and will vote 3rd
party or independent from now on if I don’t decide to quit voting.

Another part to this and it has to do with blue dogs, joe liarberman and others
who like to pose as something that they are not just to sneak their people into
positions that would keep the worst of the worse in power and you see it so
vividly obvious particularly since the 2006 mid-term election that supposedly
was the take over of congress by the dems, who even then with traitors such as
pelosi taking impeachment off the table even with proof of documented criminality by w AND dick,  right off the bat let the people know that their votes were negated.

Maybe there will be another chance to change the congress next year and
the presidency in 2012 but it will take a very big effort of scrutiny of the polls
because these people will do what they can to keep their control of the three
branches of government AND the military.

And it will be very important to do to the msm what is now being talked or whispered about in washington and that is to break up the ‘too big to fail/to big to exist’ banks and another will HAVE to be very rigid restrictions on that wild and free criminal enterprise of bribing elected and appointed officials, lobbying, if in deed totally criminalize AND abolish it altogether.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 5, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Example of what you might find if you look at that list of races in the post below.

Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) represents the Columbus OH area. The Hot races page says she won in a tight race and got a lot of Obama coat-tail votes from Ohio State students.  Any lack of turnout there makes her vulnerable.

She makes a statement against the Iraq war.  But, on Afghanistan, despite her anti-war talk, here’s what she says ....

“Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Columbus

Afghanistan should be a central front against terrorism since those that wish to do us harm have based their efforts in that part of the world. The resurgence of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters is due in large part to the failures of the previous administration to focus on those that attacked us on 9/11.

President Obama has made it clear that there is a new strategy in Afghanistan focused on counter-insurgency. We must be sure that our brave men and women fighting terrorists have every resource they need to be successful. This is the most dangerous area in the world for our troops, and ensuring their safety and success is central to our mission.”

That’s from her web congressional web page.

So, does it look like she might be vulnerable to pressure from the anti-war movement?  She’s dependent on a large turnout of Ohio State students to win.  What effect would an independent anti-war candidate organizing around that campus have on this race?  My guess is that just the appearance of such a campaign in any strength at all means that Ms. Kilroy is retiring from Congress.

Bet that list in the link below is full of juicy targets like that.  Places where we can apply pressure to put the Democrat into a position where they have to actively oppose these wars in order to stay in power.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 5, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Take a look at this list.  Are any of these close ‘hot’ house races near you?  Could you start to help to organize independent anti-war campaigns in these districts?

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2009/House/house_races.html

Signs of strong independent anti-war campaigns starting to organize in these closest districts would most certainly get the Democrats attention.

The antiwar movement needs to put the Democrats into the position where the only way the Democrats can hold power is if they end the wars.

Report this
Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

There’s a way to end this war, if people are willing to work at it.

The anti-war movement needs to quickly build campaigns in the 50 or so closest House seats held by Democrats.

The idea is to cause Democrats to lose.  And, if possible, to cause enough Democrats to lose that they lose their majority in the House.  To do this openly and deliberately as the angry left claiming retribution on Democrats who lied to them to get power.

Democrats need the votes of the left and especially the anti-war voters in order to win over the Republicans.  Look around at the margin of victory of close Democrat wins, then ask yourself, could we take that many votes away from the Democrat with a strong anti-war candidate in the race?

The beauty of this is that if done well, it can have an effect long before the next election.  Picture the Democratic leadership meeting in DC next summer, and they are reviewing projections for the next election.  When they see that they are facing a large defeat and are going to lose their House majority. When they see that this is because of strong anti-war campaigns in the close races.  That’s when the Democrats will come to the anti-war movement and say ‘what do you want?’  That’s when these wars will end.

Remember, the Democrats believe in one thing and one thing only. That is that Democrats should hold power. My belief is that they’ll do anything to hold onto power.  Thus, the antiwar movement needs to put the Democrats into the position where the only way the Democrats can hold power is if they end the wars.

We can force these wars to end, and we can force that to happen before the next election.

What we need is an active and engaged anti-war movement that directly challenges the Democrats politically in every close race.

And if we can’t end the wars in 2010, then we can certainly make Obama realize that he’ll be a one term President without the anti-war vote.

Don’t wait for anyone to do this for you. The so-called ‘leaders’ of the anti-war movement and of the Green party are almost certainly bought off by the Democrats to avoid just such a challenge.  You need to look around your area, find a close race that fits this strategy, then start to organize your own anti-war political campaign to challenge that Democrat.

No one is going to do it for you.  The TV set will not just provide you with a real anti-war candidate.  Everyone needs to just start at the bottom with organizing these political campaigns.

Report this

By glider, December 5, 2009 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

sorry for posting problem,

Muscleboy,
>>We did not get what we voted for, period.  It was a massive deception<<

Muscleboy’s post is right on for anyone with a reasonable memory not intent on making excuses for Obama regardless of the facts. 

That anyone would now be buying into the deceit that Obama is going to end the war in 18 months indicates they are not paying attention at all.  While his intention is to impart this notion to the left it is not what his forked tongue speaks based on an analysis of his words verse his actions.  Obama is roughly tripling the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan since taking office.  This together with the deployment in Iraq is about what the current MIC can handle.  Obama is essentially maxing out our capacity.  A promise to “begin” to withdrawl troops in 18 months, with the qualifier of “based on conditions on the ground” is entirely consistent with a commitment to stay the course indefinitely.  Obama is saying he will only withdraw to the extent that will allow us to maintain our puppet government in Kabul.  That he is a gutsy leader deserving a nobel peace prize is a complete f***in joke.

Report this

By glider, December 5, 2009 at 1:31 am Link to this comment

Muscleboy,
>>We did not get what we voted for, period.  It was a massive deception<<

Muscleboy’s post is right on for anyone with a reasonable memory not intent on making excuses for Obama regardless of the facts. 

That anyone would now be buying into the deceit that Obama is going to end the war in 18 months indicates they are not paying attention at all.  While his intention is to impart this notion to the left it is not what his forked tongue is speaks based on an analysis of his words verse his actions.  Obama is basically tripling the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan since taking office.  This together with the deployment in Iraq is roughly what are current MIC can handle.  Obama is essentially maxing out our MIC capacity.  A promise to “begin” to withdrawl troops in 18 months, with the qualifier of “based on conditions on the ground” is entirely consist

Report this

By Muscleboy, December 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

Wrong! Obama said a few things like that during the election in a sea of things that supported things like providing massive assistance to the people and taking the high ground with diplomacy.  He promised to CHANGE bush’s ways and WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ELECTED WITHOUT THIS MASSIVE DOUBLESPEAK. OBAMA WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ELECTED IF ANY ONE OF THE MANY “BUSH CONTINUED” THINGS HAD BEEN EVEN WHISPERED ABOUT. 99.9999 percent of his deception was against war what few words he said in favor of military ways people assumed were an attempt to quiet so-called conservative critcs.

He said he would even meet with Pashtun peoples, he put down Bush’s ways even decrying use of drones and he’s done nothing but increase the use of these terrorist weapons. He’s been even more extreme than bush on many issues. 

Obama continues to keep open Guantanamo… didn’t need funding to move a couple hundred people from the mainland from Cuba to the mainland of the USA.  It’s all scam.  Torture continues, rendition continues, in so many ways Bush continues.

Obama LIED TO US!  He deceived us and continues to deceive us.  People actually think he supports real reform in health care even though he’s done nothing in any substantive way to support real reform.  He has gotten in it’s way at every turn having his own executive branch put out reports against Pelosi’s bill at the same time he came out supporting the only Senate bill that had no government plan. 

We did not get what we voted for, period.  It was a massive deception.

Report this

By scotttpot, December 4, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

I watched the President debate himself on Afghanistan , arguing that is important
for U.S. and global security to defeat Al-Qaeda. Then he argued it has to be
accomplished in 18 months and have reasonable costs. Makes me wonder how
important his “good war” is .My guess is that he will determine that conditions on
the ground call for more troops in 18 months. Bait and Switch.Permanent War for
Permanent Peace. It is easy to meet recruitment goals with 20% unemployment.
  Al-Qaeda has not killed an American in America in Eight Years ,yet to listen to
President Obama , 9/11 happened last year and we are under constant attacks.
He campaigned on changing the Permanent War Mentality and now he*s embraced
that very mentality. That*s the Surprise.

Report this

By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, December 4, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comparing US aggressions against korea,vietnam,with afgh’n, and iraq wld yield knowledge only if all salient facts that pertain are studied.

In koreas, chinese and russians were involved. In vietnam, russians were militarily helping vietnamese.
The two wars were waged for prevalence of socialism and reunifications of lands that were dismembered by western warlords.

US aggressions against afgh’n was not about destroying socialism. US intent there may be to actually keep the evil empire together, at least de jure.
Iraq, had been s’mwhat socialist. Baathists, they tell me, treated their people well. Not, of course, those who wanted to destroy yet another evil empire that cld be held together only by murder and political oppression.
But then what evil empire can be held together by nonviolent means? Even US had a war for own reunification!

So, socialism in iraq had been one cause for US aggression agaisnt it.
Another cause had been that baathists were enemy of ‘jews’ as well.

Afgh’n and iraq are left on their own. No evil empire with wmd seem to be involved in the nato ‘business’ there.
So, whatever conclusions one draws from nato war against korea and US war against vietnam, doesn’t help much to elucidate us what the clazy plutocrats and warlords are after and why they are after it in afpak-iraq! tnx

Report this

By IchliebeSie, December 4, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Many in the military and among civilian commentators believe that the Vietnam defeat resulted from a “stab in the back” by the press and television of the 1960s-1970s, a frightened Congress, and by the Nixon administration, which negotiated a cease-fire agreement with Hanoi at the moment when, in these critics’ view, an American victory had become possible.”

This is obviously a misunderstanding.  Overall, I think Americans are fine with the USA going to war, so long as the USA does not dilly-dally about it.  In general, Americans were fine with going to Vietnam…AT FIRST.  Likewise with Afghanistan.  The truth is, most members of USA society does not like it when the USA military takes its time and tiptoes around in a foreign nation for years and years.  If the USA military cannot defeat a perceived enemy quickly, with one swift stroke, then they simply are not good at warfare and should abandon the business. 

It’s pathetic that the USA was able to defeat Germany and Japan simultaneously is LESS time than their excursions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  At the start of WW2, Germany defeated Poland in roughly two weeks.  Why?  Because they did it quickly; compared to the USA, one of few countries in the world who is technically able to obliterate any nation from the face of the earth if it so chooses.  For the USA military to kill civilians slowly (the USA could have at least made it so that the civilians would suffer less - but chose not to), work with corrupt governments that the USA are supposedly liberating the people from (That is false I know - but they could have at least made that argument more convincing), unable to decide or tell who is friend from foe in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq, not to mention all the billions of dollars it will cost the USA for this small reinforcement when the USA needs it the most for the sake of its own people is truly sad and is a mismanagement of priorities.

Again, the USA should get out of the war business because it is clear that they are not good at it.  Besides, if the USA was really serious about finishing what they started, they would have sent 300,000 troops instead of 30,000.  The USA could have nuked Afghanistan too.  At least their extinction would have been quick and the Afghans would not have had to suffer.  The USA might as well withdraw from Afghanistan.  This “troop surge” is too little too late.

Report this
thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, December 4, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

“As has happened often in only the recent past, all that needs to happen is for security to be told to stand down.”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/the-protection-racket/

Report this

By gordonwilson, December 4, 2009 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My only surprise (and perhaps I’m slow) is that the far right is correct. We are governed by ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government).

Report this

By MvGuy, December 4, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

I wuz gonna express my disappointment with the escalation but after the comment by FRTothus which is so correct and comprehensive that I feel almost humbled…. Yes he hit this one right out of the universe…..

Report this

By montanawildhack, December 4, 2009 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

Here’s a figure for ya… 43 cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Gov’t is borrowed…. And the big player financing our fiscal insanity is China…

So ,as I see it, there are two players on the world stage that have the power to control our destiny in Iraq and Afghanistan—Israel and China…  Israel and the neo-cons are the forces at present dictating our perpertual wars in both those countries…  But the Chinese can out trump Israel simply by saying they will refuse to keep financing our wars..  Since the Congress and our current Uncle Tom President will keep kow-towing to Israel, our only hope for ending the wars lies with the Chinese….

Report this
LostHills's avatar

By LostHills, December 3, 2009 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

Whether anyone was “surprised” or not is irrelevant. I personally doubt that the
majority of Obama voters visualized this moment as they were exiting the voting
booth. Regardless of that, it’s a wrong and even criminal decision. Hold this
misleader to one term and vote out all democrat and republican war supporters.
Form local anti-war groups, join national anti-war groups and start organizing a
nation wide strike against the war.

Report this

By FRTothus, December 3, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Only those broadly ignorant of European history (or at minimum, have not read “The Prince”), could be surprised. My mistake is thinking that columnists are literate, I suppose.  Pushing onward, does this not represent the same cooperative “opposition” which so conveniently leaves aside any examination of ends?  Is this not the very edge of allowable thought, conforming to the larger presumptions and privaleges EVERY King, State, Country, Empire of any power has, through every age, has insisted were its good intentions, its own defense, its “mission”?  Are these not the same lies that the Roman Senate told?  The same presumption of nobility, the smugness of aristocracy and the disdain for the “lower orders” is as it’s been for thousands of years. Sure, we can go back to Vietnam, there are plenty of examples of the kow-towing Liberal Press, which, then as now (as ever) never questioned the State’s ends, and as it was then, the so-called Doves amd the Liberal Press adhered to the same “safe” limits (doubtless for continued ad revenue/corporate sponsorship): thus is censorship, under ostensible freedom, obtained!: quite an accomplishment, these self-imposed limits, the undisclosed acceptance of the larger narrative of the US as a lumbering, good-natured giant, wandering the globe trying (and sometimes failing) to do good.  Such deliberate ignorance of events, the laziness evident in not stripping away the flowery speaches and the showmanship of the predictable gallant speaches, the given reasons (however spurious or irrelevant), do not veer from, but establish a very clear and distinct pattern of behaviour.  When applied to people, we call this pattern a pathology.  We call them psychopaths and sociopaths, and we know not to trust what they say.  We know that they will lie, but we bombarded with messages of our own inadequecy, things to be afraid of, and not to trust ourselves or our hopes, but to binge on our worst fears.  This is a horrible, violent thing for a government to do to its people, and a shameful thing for a columnist to do to readers.

Obama is no FDR.  FDR is still hated by the upper class.  He was a traitor to his class, and they will never forgive him for that.  Obama is not from the upper class, but he sure would like to be.  Surrounded by ruthless men, Obama does not have the backing to make any change in the system of organized graft, and would be assassinated if he did, and my guess is, that “fact” has been made crystal clear to him. As has happened often in only the recent past, all that needs to happen is for security to be told to stand down. Obama, as does every man, values his own life and that of his family.

“The Soviet Union and something called communism per se had not been the object of Washington’s global attacks. There had never been an International Communist Conspiracy. The enemy was, and remains, any government or movement, or even individual, that stands in the way of the expansion of the American Empire; by whatever name the US gives to the enemy - communist, rogue state, drug trafficker, terrorist.”
(William Blum, Killing Hope)

“The U.S. record of war crimes has been, from the nineteenth century to the present, a largely invisible one with no government, no political leaders, no military officials, no lower-level operatives held accountable for criminal actions. A culture of militarism has saturated the public sphere, including academia, endowing all U.S. interventions abroad with a patina of patriotic goodness and democratic sensibilities beyond genuine interrogation. Anyone challenging this mythology is quickly marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist or simply a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion.”
(Carl Boggs)

Report this

By glider, December 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

No, it certainly is not surprising.  Obama since entering office has consistently keep his promises to his Corporate funders, and has consistently stabbed his progressive grass roots supporters in the back.  However, I would have preferred him to have lied about his support for expanding this war rather than lying about how he would approach fixing healhcare, fixing the economy, and restoring our standing in the world.

Report this
Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, December 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

“No real surprise”——that’s three words I never thought I’d see!  And the suspense was killing too! What a charade by Obama, but we all knew he had no choice.  And the politics of his speech was well thought out——they’re good!

Report this
Newsletter

sign up to get updates


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

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

Like Truthdig on Facebook