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Why Does the War Go On?

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Posted on Jun 23, 2011
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

By Eugene Robinson

Some heard a declaration of victory, others an admission of defeat. The many contradictions in President Obama’s speech about Afghanistan Wednesday night were perhaps intended to obscure the bottom line: Tens of thousands of American troops will remain for at least three more years, some of them will be maimed or killed, and Obama offered no good reason why.

The only debate within the administration, it appears, was whether to bring home the troops far too slowly or not at all. Obama decided on the too-slowly option.

A year from now, we will have withdrawn the more than 30,000 “surge” troops Obama ordered into combat 18 months ago. But this means nearly 70,000 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan—about double the number deployed there when Obama took office. A “process of transition,” in which Afghans take responsibility for the country’s security while Americans come home, is supposed to be complete in 2014. But it sounds as if some sort considerable deployment will remain in a “support” role.

In other words, there will be three more years of war followed by a long-term presence of unspecified magnitude.

Why? After a decade of war, what can we possibly gain by slogging ahead?

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In the speech, Obama gave a host of reasons to consider our mission in Afghanistan accomplished. Al-Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead. The Taliban has been ousted from power. The capacity of the freely elected, U.S.-backed Afghan government to fight the war—and perhaps, someday, to keep the peace—has grown by leaps and bounds.

“The goal that we seek is achievable,” Obama said, “and can be expressed simply: no safe-haven from which al-Qaeda or its affiliates can launch attacks against our homeland or our allies.”

By that standard, we’ve succeeded. The troops can come home tomorrow—all of them.

If, on the other hand, the goal is to leave behind a country that can never be used as a terrorist base, then success is impossible. No such airtight guarantee could be made about Canada, let alone Afghanistan. Have the president and his generals forgotten that much of the planning for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks took place in Germany?

“We won’t try to make Afghanistan a perfect place,” Obama said. That sounds reasonable—until you realize that the imperfect Afghanistan of 2014 will surely look like the imperfect Afghanistan of today.

Three years from now, the Afghan government will still be thoroughly corrupt. The Taliban will still have considerable support, based on ethnicity and kinship, in the Pashtun heartland. Distrust of central authority will still be a defining national characteristic.

We have already done all that is within our power to eliminate the terrorist threat that Afghanistan once posed. It is not within our power to impose lasting peace and prosperity. Obama acknowledged that this can only be achieved through a political settlement. But only Afghans can make—and keep—such a deal.

In essence, we are using military means to pursue political ends that lie beyond our reach. Obama should realize that this makes no earthly sense.

Perhaps the most disheartening thing about Obama’s speech was the absence of fresh thinking, or even clear thinking. It was hard to tell whether he was sticking with his counterinsurgency strategy or switching to a counterterrorism approach—or, perhaps, doing a little of both. There was no evidence he had considered the possibility that the war is being perpetuated not by rational pursuit of our national interests, but by its own inertia.

Nor was there any indication that he had thought through the mellifluous passages designed to put the war into a broader foreign policy context. We cannot “retreat from our responsibility” but also cannot be “overextended,” and therefore we must “chart a more centered course.” We must be “as pragmatic as we are passionate, as strategic as we are resolute.” If you have any idea what this means, please let me know.

Obama did say that when military intervention is called for, it should be international rather than unilateral. As an example, he cited Libya, where NATO is nominally in charge. He must have missed the speech by his outgoing defense secretary, Robert Gates, who warned that NATO is devolving into a toothless joke.

The president was crystal clear on just one point: For now, the war goes on.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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By DaveZx3, June 29, 2011 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Never ending war is the primary evidence that democracy, or any other form of truly representative government, does not exist anywhere in the world.

If the common folk had a say, whether they were of the right or of the left, (or just deceived to support the right or the left) there would never be a war, ever.  To the common man, right and left ideology, is not worth dieing over. 

The true enemy is not right or left, but the global elite, (who are above right and left).  And even more so the even higher elite who actually rule them and call all the shots.  Not some of the shots—ALL OF THE SHOTS.

There will never be peace until they are rooted out, their systems are disabled and they are imprisoned.
But there hardly even seems to an effort for that to happen.

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By Cliff Carson, June 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

The war goes on because those that profit from death and destruction want it to go on.  War is a wonderful business for them.

Wars have adverse consequences for the common man and for Nations especially those whose only sin was to have resources that are lusted for by the powerful.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103x296222

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By JDmysticDJ, June 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

When confronted by conflicting moral imperatives, cognitive dissonance and indecision can result. How easy it would be to be a myopic moron like the satirized “Brainy” who would be able to avoid the hard decisions, or an ideological moron who is not concerned with moral conflictions, only ideology. No hard decision is necessary for the ideological moron; the decision is made by ideology, in spite of that ideology’s clearly evident historical and present horrific follies.

The most recent horrific ideological mistakes made by Brzezinski, Carter, Reagan, Poindexter, Casey, Charlie Wilson, George H.W., Clinton, Albright and all the rest, were only a continuation of previous horrific ideological mistakes. Those mistakes were easily made; all it took was an adherence to horrifically stupid national-centric ideology.

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By Reader, June 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please sign Bernie Sander’s petition to President Obama,

http://sanders.senate.gov/

that the poor and middle class have suffered enough. It’s time for “shared sacrifice.”

More here, with a video of Bernie’s hour and a half speech on this debt reduction deal:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Also tell President Obama not to cave to the rich at the White House website:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Over 30,000 so far have signed, at the time of this posting. Add your voice!

SIGN THE PETITION AMERICA!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inXC_lab-34

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By Cliff Carson, June 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Hopefully KatStevens you would be correct but those who choose to accept obvious lies could always find some reason to spin it such that what seems the truth is noting like the facts.

Witness these illegal wars initiated by the United States.  Did you notice that today some lapdog organization of the UN has issued a warrant against Qaddafi of murder and crimes against humanity?  While I don’t know whether that is true or not in this conflict in Libya, I do know that the United States and other favored Nations of the World could do the same thing to much greater excess than Qaddafi has done and never have to worry of being accused of murder or crimes against Humanity.   

Regarding this elusive thing called truth.  The Reverend Ed Young Sr., in one of his sermons said “the truth is very narrow”.  I agree with this observation given in that excellent Sermon but I would want to go further and state that the truth is so narrow that it is absolute, i. e. there is no deviation away from this absolute, otherwise it is no longer the truth.

The oft repeated statement that “Truth is in the eye of the Beholder” is nothing but spin.  Human beings can derive different opinions from each witnessing the same event, but the truth, whether either of those observers agree or a thousand like them agree, or don’t agree, remains unchanged.  The truth is the exact event that happened and nothing else whatsoever.

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By katsteevns, June 27, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

@ SteveL

Yes, and if they had a draft that included everyone of age, the wars would stop in a minute. The poor fight the rich man’s wars while the rest look the other way paying only lip service to our fallen soldiers as they scam their stock portfolios.

To let this happen illegal war after illegal war illustrates beyond a doubt the character of those who run the show….Hen Pecked.

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By RedwoodGuy, June 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

@Dave Zx3—
Right. We are a nation of fearful pissants, I agree. There has been a concerted propaganda campaign of fear to make that happen. And, it has worked. What’s the infamous catch phrase?—-“whatever it takes….just keep us safe!”

Yes, and it happens to take torture, and suspension of habeas, and renditions, and wiretaps, and feeling up grandma at the airport, nude pictures of your kids in the x-ray machine, killing peasants out of a helicopter for sport, and the list of horrors grows daily. Fear works.

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By SteveL, June 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Historically kings and dictators raised taxes to pay for the expenses when they
went to war.  If we had the good sense to do this we would have a lot fewer wars

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By Markus, June 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

QUESTION

HOW IS IT THAT WHEN RUSSIA PULLED OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NO ONE ACCUSED
RUSSIA OF BEING SPINELESS OR CHICKEN HEARTED?  TO WHAT POINT DID THEIR
ECONOMY OR CITIZENS REALIZE THAT IT WAS FRUITLESS,  WHO MADE THE
JUDGEMENT CALL TO PULL OUT?  WHERE WAS THEIR ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT
BEFORE, DURING AND NOW?  MAYBE WE CAN LEARN FROM IT!  VERY DOUBTFUL.

IN 1960 GARY POWERS FLEW HIS FINAL U-2 FLIGHT WHICH LEFT FROM A BASE IN
PAKISTAN.  DON’T EXPECT WERE LEAVING TOO SOON IF EVER..

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By christian96, June 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

DaveZx3—-How about the words “dawn” and “dusk?”
I agree with you on the use of “offense” in the
Dept. of Offense.  I knew it once I typed it. However, once the people saw the positive behavior
associated with Dept. of Offense they would tend
to look upon it in a new light.  I like Dept. of
Peace Corps to replace Dept. of Defense but it’s
mission would have to be changed to accomodate
soldiers replacing their weapons with plowshares.
The compensation and benefits would remain as they
were in the Dept. of Defense.  Hopefully, when other
nations saw the positive goals being accomplished
by the Dept. of Peace Corps they would do the same.

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By DaveZx3, June 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

felicity,

You are absolutely right, old, ingrained theories are very, very slow to die.  And the geocentric theory was definitely one that hung around for much too long. 

Another one that is teetering is Big Bang Theory.  But that is one that the mainstream will protect and defend to the bitter end.  But for all practical purposes, solid science has proven false all the main theories of Big Bang.  Of course the establishment denies this, but don’t they always?  To the bitter end.  They have to, they have too much invested. 

The pace that science is at today, I think a lot of what we think is fact or solid theory in cosmology will go down.  We are just getting better information from direct observation through better telescopes and equipment, plus all the probes and satellites that have been launched.  And it just keeps getting better and better.  Don’t be surprised to see major changes soon, which have been brewing for years.

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By Tex Shelters, June 26, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You missed one option Mr. Robinson:

Many of us have stopped listening to President Obama and his excuses and justifications for war. 

Peace,
Tex Shelters

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By felicity, June 26, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3 - A couple of things - Not so sure that there
are not still those who think we live in a geocentric
universe - a belief that was in vogue for 1200 years,
after all. 

The Department of Defense was, as late ago as WWII,
called the War Department - one of the original to
1787, Interior, State and Attorney-General being the
other three - you’d think constitutional fanatics
would pick up on this.  (If I remember correctly
‘War’ went out during the Korean War since we wanted
everyone to believe that Korea wasn’t a ‘real’ war,
it was a “police action.”)  And the beat goes on….

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By DaveZx3, June 26, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

By christian96, June 26 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

“First of all, the sun doesn’t rise in the east.
The earth revolves toward the sun in the morning
and away from the sun in the evening.  Here it is
2011 and people are still using the words “sunrise”
and “sunset.”  Ignorance still flourishes.”
—————————————————————————

What would you propose we call the “sunrise”?
EOASCAOSIAM?  (Acronym for “earth orbit around sun causes appearance of sun in the morning”)

Somehow I think that “sunrise” is more of a convenience than an example of ignorance. 

Not to rain on your great suggestion of “Dept of Offense”, but I think most people view the the Defense Dept. as pretty offensive already. Not to mention the fact that unwarranted aggression against others is a good definiton of offense.

Offense is a terrible word unless you are watching the Superbowl.

—————————————————————————-
By RedwoodGuy, June 26 at 7:18 am

“The odds of being killed by a terrorists of any stripe have to be compared RATIONALLY to the odds of being killed by menaces such as:”
-Heart disease
-Cancer
-Diabetes
-Alzheimers
-Car accidents

—————————————————————————-

The dollars spent on trying to avoid dieing by the above list of menaces is as outrageous as the amounts spent by the Defense Dept to “protect: us. 

The point is that avoiding dieing is at the top, or very near it anyway, of most people’s to do list.  The institution of fear creates the need for government and high priced consumer products which will enhance or extend life. 

It may be subtle, but fear is what drives most everything.  And don’t try to relate statistics when it comes to being in an airplane when it blows up.  The fear of this event overshadows all inferences of the probability of it happening. 

Most of what goes on in this website is based on fear.  Fear of Republicans getting elected.  Fear of Sarah Palin.  Fear, fear, fear.  Everything is fear.

Statitics mean absolutely nothing to extremely fearful people.  Of course if the people were not fearful, they could never be in the state of bondage that they find themselves in.  The opposite of fear is courage, which is not in evidence in most writings here.

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By Cliff Carson, June 26, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Thanks felicity for the info.

As to the odds of a Meteorite striking earth, you might be interested in reading about the visit of Apophis in 2027,2029, and 2036.

Recently Russian Scientists recalculated the odds of Apophis hitting Earth in its 2036 pass at 1 in 400.

This is a very high risk since if Apophis does hit earth, it is large enough to possibly be a life extinguishing event, kind of like what ended the dinosaur reign.

Your mention of priorities is on target.

If you look up Apophis be sure to check the yearly visits, I may or may not be right on the years.  That’s just how I remember it.

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By Cliff Carson, June 26, 2011 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, permit me to introduce you to Joseph Stiglitz, an economist .  He has received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences .  He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.  He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which are tied to the Bank of International Transfers.

The World Bank ( IMF ) is owned and controlled by the Rothschild Family and 30 to 40 of the wealthiest people in the world. For over 150 years they have planned to take the world over through money. The former chief economist of the World Bank, Joe Stiglitz, was fired for being critical of the unethical and immoral conduct of the World Bank, IMF, etc. He pointed out to top executives that every country the IMF/World Bank got involved in ended up with a crashed economy, a destroyed government, and sometimes in flames with riots. 

Before Joe Stiglitz was fired he took a large stack of secret documents out of the World Bank. These secret documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reveal that the IMF required nations receiving loans to sign secret agreements in which they agreed to sell off their key National assets - water, electric, gas, etc., and in which they agreed to take economic steps which are really devastating to the nation involved and finally in which they pay off the Nations politicians billions of dollars to Swiss bank accounts to do this transfer of the countries fixed assets.

If those nations do not agree to these steps they are cut-off from all international borrowing. Today if a Nation can’t borrow money in the international marketplace, they can not survive economically, and this affects the people, corporations, and the Country.

If that does not work they conspire to overthrow the government using clandestine forces to plant lies about the soon to be former government and/or even rewrite history.


Lafayette, I call this International Financial arrangement - a “Cabal bent on World dominance” .  For further edification you might read some of Stiglitz’s writings , let me suggest “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”.

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By felicity, June 26, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy - Actually, a study done in ‘04 or ‘05
placed the odds of you and yours getting killed in a
terrorist attack as being less than you and yours
getting killed by a meteorite. 

So, should we be constructing a nation-wide security
system to shoot down meteors plummeting towards earth -
given that it’s possible?  Makes more sense than
fighting a war in countries whose people have no
intention of launching a terrorist attack against the
US.

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By RedwoodGuy, June 26, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette
“This FFI and the Cartels that we talk about is Conspiracy Bunk that is unsustainable and unprovable.”

We have to be very careful when discounting conspiracies. Most people assume the common meaning of conspiracy - an agreement between two or more parties to commit a crime. This doesn’t account for a much more common and more powerful “kind” of conspiracy - the conspiracy of common interests.

Capitalist bankers don’t have to sit in a smoke filled room to hatch plans. Their common interests will drive that plan as though by an invisible force. Interests in common such as controlling governments through their currencies, creates a set of choices and consequences which are acted upon by those with this interest. The net effect, is that it appears to be a conventional conspiracy of the smoke-filled room variety.

Be careful discounting this effect.

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By christian96, June 26, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

First of all, the sun doesn’t rise in the east.
The earth revolves toward the sun in the morning
and away from the sun in the evening.  Here it is
2011 and people are still using the words “sunrise”
and “sunset.”  Ignorance still flourishes.  Secondly,
the Dept. of Defense should be called the Dept. of
Offense.  As the Dept. of Offense the same soldiers
could lay down their arms and start using plows to
help people around the world learn to efficiently
produce food and other goods and services.  Our well
trained scientists could help the Arab people learn
to make the desert blossom with fruits and vegetables.  A system which currently exists in
Israel.  In fact, as a good will jesture the
scientists should be Israeli.  Give the Arab people
the idea that the people of Israel want to help them.
They currently believe that Israel wants to kill them.  What about the Arab religious beliefs?  Once
they grow fat, watch some movies, television, and
ball games, they will forget about God.  They will
be just like America is now. However, America can
change.  Changing the Dept. of Defense to the Dept.
of Offense where we actually help other people around
the world will switch our cognitions from food and
selfishness to service to others.  What about the
rich people?  They can provide most of the money
to make the Dept. of Offense flourish.  Once they
realize that people will look up to them for their
efforts they will quit worrying about somebody taking
their money.

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By Cliff Carson, June 26, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Thank you RayLan

Lafayette asked me to Google Basle II.
 
Although I am familiar with Basel II, I did as he asked.  Lafayette, you should do the same, but don’t stop at a highly complex wordy explanation of what Basel II is ( World Bank Regulation ) continue on to see why the title Basel II.  If you do that you will find that your statement:

“This FFI and the Cartels that we talk about is Conspiracy Bunk that is unsustainable and unprovable. There have no direct or indirect evidence of its existence.”

reveals either one of two things about you.  (1) You haven’t read enough about the World Financial Banking System or (2) You know everything there is to know about this system and therefore for some reason you want to divert away from the source problem since you would know that the World Financial System is a real live raging monster that meets every descriptive word I wrote about it.

Not knowing which is the truth, I present you with two or three tidbits to ruminate on.

Basel , Basle - which is it?  Now isn’t Basle the name of the Street where the World Bank Organization is located in Basel, Switzerland?  And isn’t Basel II the second of a set of Accords published as regulations that the Worlds Banking system is supposed to follow?  I bring this up to remind you that you said ” no direct or indirect evidence of its existence”.

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) was established in 1930, to see that the WWI reparations dumped on Germany were paid.  The Bank for International Settlements is now an international organization which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.

The following description was made by Caroll Quigley (“Tragedy and Hope” - Look him up) concerning this organization that you claim is non existent.


“The Power of financial capitalism had a far reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.
This system was to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences.
The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks, which were themselves private corporations.
Each central bank sought to dominate its government by its ability to control treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence co-operative politicians by subsequent rewards in the business world.”

This Lafayette is why I ask you to think again on what you have said.

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By Bob Jackson, June 26, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If he doesn’t like al-Qa’eda, why is he fighting for it in Libya, and supporting its efforts in Iran? Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ayman al-Zawahiri both fought for Clinton in Bosnia. While Oric’s tally of Serbs around Srebrenica was rather greater than the 9/11 toll, he got four years, and was released to a hero’s welcome by NATO’s own court. Something is very wrong with this picture.

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By Hulk2008, June 26, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Simple formula: 

Defeat = Even 1 more casualty.

Victory = Getting out before another casualty.

What fool ever said we should try to turn Afghanistan into a democracy?  In that place, self-governing means letting the mullahs take charge.

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By RedwoodGuy, June 26, 2011 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette
“Let’s not get simplistically blind to the menace possible. “

Well, indeed let’s not be blind. Let’s rationally examine the menace, along with all such menaces, and act appropriately. Shall we?

First, what exactly are the odds of this Al Qaeda menace killing anyone? That’s the point isn’t it? You said yourself, they were trying to “blow something up.” The odds of being killed by a terrorists of any stripe have to be compared RATIONALLY to the odds of being killed by menaces such as:
-Heart disease
-Cancer
-Diabetes
-Alzheimers
-Car accidents
-And a host of very long menaces yet to follow.

What any rational person will discover is clear. The odds of being killed by a terror menace are about one billionth of the odds of being felled by the common menaces listed above. Dead is dead my friend. There’s no extra points awarded for being killed by a non-terrorist menace.

This irrational obsession with a gang called Al Qaeda diverts attention from what is actually killing people by the thousands every day.

When faced with a multitude of threats it is essential to prioritize resources in accordance with risk. What we have done is invert the risk statistics to where were are pouring the largest amount of resource against the SMALLEST risk.

People reading this column aren’t going to be killed by a terror bomb. They are going to die of all the high probability risks that we already know of.

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By DaveZx3, June 26, 2011 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Sorry, seriously.  I was on the wrong thread.  That link was supposed to be posted elsewhere, seriously.  Sorry again.  Not applicable to this thread.

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By RayLan, June 26, 2011 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette
“The capitalist system dates back, by most historical sources, to the Merchant Capitalism of the Middle Ages. So it suits mankind just fine, like the rising of the sun in the East.”

You’re promoting historical fictions

The rise of the mercantile bourgeoisie was hardly the so-called free market capitalism that exists now. They did business in the context of feudal serfdom and a monarchy. A monarchic government is what ‘suited mankind just fine’ if by mankind you mean the ruling class, being the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
Capitalism as we know it did not really begin until the invention of the corporation.
The concept of a free individual agent with ‘equal’ rights was required to implement Adam Smith’s economic system driven by greed. The problem is that without the public sector’s regulation to prevent corporate greed from undermining the ‘equality’ of a democracy - we turn into a coporate totalitarianism- that is what exists now.

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By DaveZx3, June 26, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Here, I pretested this link, so I guarantee it to work.  It is an open letter signed by scientists regarding the problems and perversions in the science of the big bang.  Published in the New Scientist 2004.   

http://www.chronos.msu.ru/discussions/an_open_letter.html

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By Lafayette, June 26, 2011 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

BLAH BLAH BLAH

CC: Now Lafayette do you not agree that we need to replace the current system?  Remember our current Monetary System is run by Foreign Financial Institutions, our Federal Reserve and our Central Banks are majority owned by these Foreign Cartels and they absolutely set our monetary policy.  And the rest of the Worlds Monetary Policy for that matter.

No, we don’t need to replace it. We need to improve it.

The capitalist system dates back, by most historical sources, to the Merchant Capitalism of the Middle Ages. So it suits mankind just fine, like the rising of the sun in the East.

The last time a craftsman made a well-argued proposal to change the system (by having the state own all property, which, in the Agricultural Age generated most wealth) it took a century to prove the proposition’s theoretical fallacy. What a great waste of time, n’est-ce pas?

A DARWINIAN ECONOMY

Where Capitalism does not suit us is in America, which has not known how to master its excesses, is that the wealth generated is shared abysmally unfairly. This happens out of the benighted notion of the Rabid Right that “Free Markets” were preordained by God and so most of the spoils should go to a minority group of “select people”. What they mean is that market should be unregulated and the profits go to the winners - which economists call a Darwinian Economy.

Meaning this: We can correct Income Inequity in the US like they do in Europe, which institutes heavy marginal taxation at the upper levels of total compensation and redistributes the revenues by means of Public Services. I.e. milking the Capitalist Cash-cow and redistributing downwards by means of Public Services. [Namely, as two prominent examples, a truly universal Public Health System as well as very low-cost Tertiary Education to produce a skilled workforce.)

ABOUT THE WORLD MONETARY SYSTEM

This FFI and the Cartels that we talk about is Conspiracy Bunk that is unsustainable and unprovable. There have no direct or indirect evidence of its existence. There is, however, a valid argument for tighter international control of mechanism. (To wit, the Basle2 proposal. Google it.)

What does exist are aggregated Sovereign Funds (namely Gulf Oil states and China) that own a lot of dollar-denominated T-Notes, which inordinately influences US Monetary Policy. Americans have been binging on cheap credit for about three decades - buying non-American produced goods/services, thus the need of debt to finance the consumption. Then bitching mightily that “we’ve been victimized by those awful people who run BigBusiness and shipped our jobs off-shore!”

Americans got what they deserved. There is no BigKahuna up there deciding who gets what and at which price. The market mechanism itself decides its parameters. You may think that makes a victim of you, but that is decidedly your problem.

ABOUT WAR EXPENDITURES

And yet, none of this speaks of the cost of the war. Which displaces expenditures that could be better employed elsewhere - for instance Infrastructure Projects that create jobs.

Still, when the “cost of the Afghanistan War” is accounted for, it is about 60% in salaried costs. Just because those Yanks are being pulled back to America does not mean they cost, abracadabra, nothing to the Federal Government. Unless you fire them all and, Bingo!, up goes the cost of Unemployment Insurance. 

So, in fact, there is little cost savings in bringing them back that is of any great consequence. Which is neither the argument for keeping them there.

MY POINT

I’ve not yet seen one cogent argument against the war effort that takes into account the serious menace posed. We perhaps have been lulled by the disappearance of bin Laden? That is a foolish mistake.

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By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., June 26, 2011 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, June 26 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
By Lafayette, June 25 at 9:56 pm
“The cost of the war? That’s an altogether different
subject, but one I am prepared to debate. Any
takers?”
————————————————————————————
I’ll bite on that one.

So, my solution to our current problems would be:  1. 
Start a few more wars. Establish some new enemies. 
2.  Print a few more trillion dollars a month.  3. 
Encourage spending as fast as possible.  More credit
cards, more sales, more malls.  4.  Make a lot of war
memorials and churches. 
==============================
1. Check; in the process…
2. Check; already done…
3. Check; consumers must be fed…
4. And check; R’s & D’s taking care of that…

Clear as a bell; carry on…;)

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By DaveZx3, June 26, 2011 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

By Lafayette, June 25 at 9:56 pm

“The cost of the war? That’s an altogether different subject, but one I am prepared to debate. Any takers?”
————————————————————————————

I’ll bite on that one. 

If by “cost” you mean the expenditure of money, then I say war costs nothing.  Money only circulates, it is not consumed. 

The only reason we are not all billionaires, is that we cannot circulate the money fast enough.  It is the circulation of money which makes people rich, without regard for how much money is actually in existence, theoretically. 

If there was only one dollar in existence, but it was physically able to circulate through every citizens hand one million times a year, we would each earn a minimum of one million dollars a year. 

Of course, conventional models would require us each to produce goods or services valued at one million dollars a year to justify each and every transaction in which that dollar circulated through our hands. 

But government solves the problem of production in two ways; 1.  Laws that justify one way transactions, ie: money circulates through the hands of those who do not produce anything,  and   2.  The fiat systems which print new money whenever there seems to be a shortage or decreased circulation. 

Now, that solves the problem of the monetary cost of war.  In summary, print a lot of money and circulate it as fast as possible, ie: through the hands of the MIC, Defense, etc and all their employees, contractors, families, local supermarkets, etc, etc, etc,  Just keep it flowing, and everyone gets rich, rich, rich. 

Of course you do not need a war, really.  Just print the money and give it away.  (Good way to reward your friends for campaign donations) This qualitative easing, as they like to call it, (because giving money to your friends is tacky) will do the same thing, as long as it circulates, very, very fast.  As many transactions as possible.  Spend, spend, spend.  The only people who defeat the system are those who put their money in their mattresses and don’t spend it.  Put it in the bank, but not your mattress. 

Of course there is one little problem with this model:  As it gets to the point where no one produces anything, just everyone gets rich from the circulation of cash, money becomes valueless, because there is nothing worthwhile left to spend it on.  No one produced anything to buy. 

So there does need to be an adequate level of stuff produced to buy.  Some unlucky people have to go into factories and actually work.  But I think that is why we are building up China, to be our lackies of production.  So, I think we are all set there, except for teaching the English language to the illegal immigrants so we can ask them which aisle the toilet paper is in.

NOW, if by cost of war, you mean personal cost, destruction and death of property and persons, the property part is not a problem, because rich people, which we all are now, can afford to replace anything. 

But the death of people could be problematic unless we can convince the combatants that death is a reward, which the Muslim community is more successful at than the western nations are at this time.  There needs to a renewal of religion in the West.  People need to know they go to heaven when they get shot. 

But, at least we’re not getting drafted.  People are actually volunteering, so why feel bad when people volunteer to die for the cause of making us all rich?  They are certainly heroes, and deserve elaborate memorials.

So, my solution to our current problems would be:  1.  Start a few more wars. Establish some new enemies.  2.  Print a few more trillion dollars a month.  3.  Encourage spending as fast as possible.  More credit cards, more sales, more malls.  4.  Make a lot of war memorials and churches. 

Actually, I think we really have a good handle on things.

Any other questions?

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By Cliff Carson, June 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

Now, Now, LaFayette

At best you misread what I wrote.  At worst, your excuses and implied justification for continuing what is dragging down this Nation just doesn’t make sense.

This Country is perilously close to becoming a Kleptocracy and you know it.

First, re-read what I wrote.  The bullets are what was presented in the link furnished by “Not one More”.  You must have not read the link before your pores opened and the sweat flowed.  If you pay attention and read the link you will notice that what I wrote was in answer to the bullets from the link.

Here is what you ascribed to me as having said: “CC: We need to shut down the current system and impose a new world order.”

In my answer to the bullet I did say we need to shut down the Financial System but I did not say
“We need to shut down the current system and impose a new world order”.  The following is the bullet from the link:

“•  We need to shut down the current system and impose a New World order.”

Here is what I wrote ( be sure to re-read it and also go read the link and you will see that this is absolutely how it was presented - a far cry from what you said I wrote), what follows is my reply to the Link:
 
“That is likely to be true, changing the current system absolutely won’t happen without an application of upward force.  What we currently have, needs to be shut down, but not necessarily by establishing a New World Order, but the current Financial Structure will have to be replaced.”

Now Lafayette do you not agree that we need to replace the current system?  Remember our current Monetary System is run by Foreign Financial Institutions, our Federal Reserve and our Central Banks are majority owned by these Foreign Cartels and they absolutely set our monetary policy.  And the rest of the Worlds Monetary Policy for that matter.

Are you saying this is not correct?

Anyway, we need to break away from that Financial imprisonment - do you not agree? 

You will notice if you read again, that what I said is that we need to shut down our current Financial Structure BUT NOT BY ESTABLISHING A NEW WORLD ORDER.

And yet the New World Order is most of the problem in the United States.  They purchase our elected Government for their profit taking.

Now Lafayette, you know this.  And our country is not coming back to the common people until that Financial Structure is changed, and you know that.

As to disruption, our country is currently disrupted, and surely you know that.

It is true that severe disruption will occur if we replace those criminal elements that suck our National Blood in true Vampire fashion.  The disruption will occur because the current World Order won’t want to give up their rape and pillage of the common man that they are now accustomed to.

Lafayette, get on the moral and ethical pathway to Government and try to no longer indignantly proclaim that we cannot give up the Status Quo.

We need change while we can still demand and get it.  Once we go over the precipice it is too late to start trying to find something to grab to stop our fall.

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By RayLan, June 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

#Lafayette
“Yet again, naive notion.”
Right you are in touch with reality - touting stupid immoral warmonging - the emergence of terrorists from any nation including the US is not a notion - it’s a provablbe fact.

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By christian96, June 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

It will keep the military/industrial industry thriving for three more years. By then Washington
will find somewhere else to send troops.  Obama
didn’t make the decision.  His advisors did.  Just
who are his advisors?  Will the advice help Obama
in November 2012?  Time will tell.

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By Lafayette, June 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

CC: We need to shut down the current system and impose a new world order.

Bollocks to this asinine and dangerous notion.

In your simplistic view of the world you have no idea of how much harm the above will do.

Yes, we can evolve into a different system, but suddenly shutting one down to start another is tantamount to “armed revolution” and will cause irreparable damage across the nation.

Our “system”, for instance, of the delivery of food to supermarkets is extremely fragile. As a nation, we do not even have enough stocks to last more than two weeks for the 365 million people that we are.

Americans are not the hardy stock of yore. We are no longer pioneers and the slightest fracture in our elaborate National Distribution System and a great, great many people are going to suffer badly.

Have you no idea whatsoever of the panic that would incur and the disarray that would ensue? It would be Katrina-like on a national scale.

And we’re going to do that to impose a New World Order? That’s just plain loony.

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By Lafayette, June 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

RL: Any nation, any town, any neighborhood can be a safe haven for a fanatical mind.

Yet again, naive notion.

It takes more circumstance than just “any nation, any town, any neighborhood”. The essential elements for a “safe haven” (from terrorist control) are not about to make Peoria or Paris or even Istanbul such a place.

But Kabul, yes. Islamabad, yes. Because that is where the damn thugs live.

Bin Laden was living in a town for five years that contained the Pakistani Army’s equivalent of West Point and which houses all sort of senior military officers. That he could do so without the slightest problem does not astonish and worry you?

Let’s not get simplistically blind to the menace possible. It is real. And, wow!, will you (plural) start the Bitching-in-a-blog when a bomb explodes, planted by al Qaeda, killing hundreds in some Homeland Town close to you.

MY POINT

The terrorists have failed three times in causing damage in some American town in the past 5 years. That means only one thing: Sooner or later they will succeed. Count on it.

Because they’ve got more balls than we do. They are WILLING to die as martyrs to their cause. Are you?

Nope - you want out whatever the consequences. OK, then prepare yourselves for the consequences.

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By Lafayette, June 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

TITILLATION

JDM: The Taliban are firmly entrenched in Pakistan and the Pakistanis have been engaged in fighting the Taliban in Pakistan in order to maintain the current Pakistani governmental authority.

Naive error on your part.

Read up on the Pakistan’s Security Agency, that has been funding the Taliban in Afghanistan. They also have close links with the Pakistani Taliban.

That agency is a state within a state and could foment a rebellion in Pakistan that menaces the Army’s control over the atomic weapons stock.

Thinking that we can walk away from the Mess over there with no afterthought whatsoever is fraught with possibly grave consequences. Of course, if we want to stick our heads in the ground like an ostrich, then ... well, they’ll just hit us in the backside.

Those of your kind, JDM, are still living in 1968 and have a Vietnam Vision of the world - because you cannot see beyond the three-mile limit. You are, by your naiveness, a danger to internal security of the nation.

MY POINT

We should stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes for the Afghan Army to assure control of the country by an elected government. (The present one being as rotten as the LeadHead Administration that founded it.) The Afghan Army is nowhere near that capability today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

And, as I said, our people there are all volunteers - quite unlike Vietnam. Some of our guys ‘n girls just like the titillation of fighting wars. Not you, not me ... but some.

So, I ask, just what is your beef? The cost of the war? That’s an altogether different subject, but one I am prepared to debate. Any takers?

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By JDmysticDJ, June 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

By Not One More!, June 25 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” - Eugene Debs

“I’d rather vote against what I don’t want and not get it than waste my vote, and get what I don’t want.” JDmysticDJ

Debs was great; he devoted his life to the welfare of working people and opposing the abuses of industrialists. Debs spent time in prison for being “Civilly Disobedient.” He lived in a time of gross economic injustice, corruption, and political chaos. One might say that Democrats and union activists in Wisconsin and other states are carrying on in the Debs tradition.

This thread about ending the war is not the place for a dissertation about Debs and the period of history that culminated with the First World War, resulting in a fear and hatred of Anarchists, on the part of most, and eventually the Great Depression. Even a brief synopsis would require in depth knowledge and many pages of expounding. Manifest Destiny, The Spanish American War, Pershing in Mexico, The Roaring Twenties, Prohibition, “The Great Gatsby” Faulkner, Jon Dos Passos, and such, blah, blah, blah.

I’ll settle for making my point, I prefer incremental progress, to incremental, or rapid, digress.

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By NewDeal, June 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The truth - what is our largest exporter?  Things that explode…our industrialize military complex.  Without wars, unemployment will be at double digits.
Just follow the money and you’ll learn the truth.  Therefore, we need wars to keep our economic engine going.

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By Cliff Carson, June 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Excellent Not one More

•  If we educate people, they will make the correct choices.
The Education must be honest, no spin, simply the truth, this will only help the people to make the “right choice”.  The right choice needs to be truthful, moral, and ethical.
•  Technology will always be able to fix anything that is damaged or destroyed, including the environment.
Not always, sometimes, possible most of the time, a damaged life might not be fixable. 
•  We need to shut down the current system and impose a new world order.
That is likely to be true, changing the current system absolutely won’t happen without an application of upward force.  What we currently have needs to be shut down but not necessarily by establishing a New World Order but the current Financial Structure will have to be replaced.
•  It makes no difference to me what happens, because my religion will take care of me in the afterlife.
Only if there is just one Religion and the true only would be saved.  And the true
Religion will not necessarily save the believers because they might not be living it.
•  We can make a change by working within the system.
I think that is still possible although getting less likely daily.
•  We need to start living in a sustainable life style.
That would help the World
•  Everything is okay, there are no major problems.
The Ostrich Mentality.  Frequently spoken by Republicans when they are in power.
•  We need to act as responsible stewards of the planet.
This would be a supportive derivative of the Prime Directive of Mankind.  We need to leave the world as a better place for our offspring than we found it.
•  There are plenty of natural resources, and we will never run out no matter how quickly we use it.
Corporate Double Speak.  All things materialistic have limits.

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By RayLan, June 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

The wheels of political dissemblance (Bullshit) turn most vigorously when it comes to war - the vested interest of the corporatocracy. The excuses that US military presence is a)counter-terrorist b) essential for keeping Afghanistan from being a ‘safe haven’
close all possibilites of a withdrawal. Terrorism is a strategy that infects minds - not geographies . Any nation, any town, any neighborhood can be a safe haven for a fanatical mind. This has been the case with Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber and so many other psychotics with a suicidal dedication to their warped world view.  The Pakistanis are not reassured or pacified by US military presence - terrorist animosities are more aggravated than assuaged by US occupations.
This kind of preventative paranoia is costly and speculative while the homeland is broke and jobless .

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By Not One More!, June 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Some people mentioned civil disobedience. I think the bigger issue is dis-civil obedience (being obedient to a structure that is acting is a dis-civil manner.

I write about it here:
http://www.wordsareimportant.com/dis-civil.htm

Every time you vote for a democrat or republican, you are supporting a dis-civil process.

I encourage people to vote, and if one day the ‘winning’ candidate only gets 40% of the vote, that might send to message, at least to the people that the ‘elected’ person does not have the mandate of the people.

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By Not One More!, June 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

To anybody who is surprised when an elected democrat member (whether president, congressman etc) acts like a republican, I have a bridge I want to sell you. I could have sold a lot of bridges the last 20 years.

First we had Gore, with his VP pick Lieberman. What, there’s a problem with that?

Then we had Kerry, who said we will hunt down a kill Bin Laden, and didn’t even have the gall to remember the essence of his own Vietnam speech (I guess he was posturing even back then).

Now we have Obama in what should have been another non-starter based on his previous voting record. Of course, the only other ‘viable’ contender was Hillary. And people still don’t realize that the democratic party doesn’t represent them? It is surprising how people are still fooled by the belief that the democrats want to help them, even if they can’t vote that way (because, you know, they just can’t).

This war will not end while we allow the corporate elite to dictate our domestic and foreign policy which benefits their interests no matter at who’s or what expense (and for your information, it is not in your interests or your family, or community, country, or planet). It seems there is no amount of maiming and death of others that would deter them from their pursuit of the almighty dollar.

I have to say that I voted for Nader all three times, and while I have concern that our country is on this downward free fall to oblivion, I don’t regret voting third party. And please don’t start with how Nader is responsible for all this, it’s been rationally disproved many times on this and other sites.

We the voters, who voted time and time again for the same group of 535 senators, congresspeople, presidents are responsible.

Unrepentant Nader Supporter and supporter of third parties everywhere.

http://www.NotOneMore.US - Take the Pledge for Peace, stop voting for candidates that refuse to publicly state that the wars were wrong in the first place, and it is equally wrong to continue them. There is no justification (other then the billions and trillions made by the defense industry at the expense of all the people being maimed and dead).

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” - Eugene Debs

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By JDmysticDJ, June 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

RE: Lafayette, June 25 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

The application of counter spin is necessary to impede your centrifugal dervish like spin.

Your prognostication is that if we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will take power in Afghanistan and the Pakistanis will then give the Taliban a nuclear weapon which the crazed demonic Taliban will use to wreak vengeance on we infidels, is that correct? So, if you are correct in this prognostication, we are locked into Afghanistan until there is absolute assurance that the Taliban will not take power once again and be given a nuclear weapon by the Pakistanis enabling them to attack us with a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb, correct?

The Taliban are firmly entrenched in Pakistan and the Pakistanis have been engaged in fighting the Taliban in Pakistan in order to maintain the current Pakistani governmental authority. It’s clear that the current government in Pakistan, those who possess the nuclear weapons of interest here, consider the Taliban to be a threat to their government i.e. Pakistan, but you believe there is a threat that the current government of Pakistan will gift the Taliban with a nuclear weapon if they come to power in Afghanistan once again, and that the once again rulers of Afghanistan will take advantage of Pakistani largesse allowing them to clandestinely nuke us, thereby allowing them to be free from fear of retribution, is that your contention?

It’s enough to frighten a person right out of his or her freaking mind, and out of your freaking mind you are.

In order to guarantee absolute safety and alleviate (read engender) fear we will need to control that area of the world with an iron fist.  It’s a methodology that has been practiced by empires for centuries, unsuccessfully.

The best method of promoting safety and any semblance of peace and tranquility is for us to extricate ourselves from that area of the world where we are unwanted, determinedly, and violently, unwanted.

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By Cliff Carson, June 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Spooky-43

You have written exactly what I have been saying and writing for years.

It is the International Rulers of the World who are responsible for buying our Government

And I think you may be right about how to correct it.  I have been trying to get people to shun the Republican and Democrat Party forever, i. e. send those two Parties to the dust bin of history.

Unfortunately everyone who reads that says they are all for it if we do the Party they don’t belong to.

I have been proclaiming at the top of my voice that Party Loyalty is the demise of America.

America can unite, but the question is will they turn away from Party Politics and unite in a common cause.

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By Spooky-43, June 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

By DavidByron, June 24 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

“These wars go on because they financially benefit the people prosecute them.  The financially benefit the thugs (soldiers) that do the killing for money”
———————————————————————————

Obviously you know nothing of soldiers, because if you did, you would not make such a hair-brained statement as that. 

In a recent poll, almost 90% of FOX NEWS viewers did not support the continued wars in AFghan. Iraq and now Libya.  There is virtually no support for war anymore, even amongst soldiers.   

The point is tht the wars continue because they serve the purposes of very, very high level global elites to whom Obama, and many others must answer to.  You all know that, you just hate to confront it. 

You think elections are the answer but the people in charge of the world do not run for office.  They are above it, way above it.  And they are prepared for massive demonstrations when the system totally fails due to a continous string of calamities of every sort, financial, war, climate, unrest, famine, etc.  They have the power to control these issues and use them to their advantage. 

For America to get back on track and to be able to resist these powerful but subtle attacks by international principalities, it will require unity.  Not new parties or rioting in the street.  It will take a unified citizenry, like there was in the American Revolution.  Nothing else will do it. 

Is America capable of uniting again?  Probably not, because there is general ignorance about the exact cause of the problems.  By design, I might add. It is all so coincidental and convenient.

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By rancone, June 25, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

“Hillary Clinton went to the Senate to make the case for why Obama’s strategy is the right approach to winning the war.” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

winning the war - how about ending the US terror on Taliban aka Pashtuns on both sides of the Af/Pak border

Arm the other Afghans an let it go - they have lived in mutual civil war for a millennium - let it go.

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By jr., June 25, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

http://rt.com/news/afghanistan-taliban-us-violence?  For the people??

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By rancone, June 25, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

OK my take.
If Pakistan falls to Al Q IF then we own the nukes - if not India first. A failed nation does not have nukes.

One half of our Federal Taxes not including payroll takes for medicare and social security go for defense,mic, related costs. That is 1 T of 2T of the Total 3.5T, the other 1.5T is the payroll taxes.

If a third party cannot mount serious candidates for the House or Senate what makes anyone think a third party has any chance of a Presidential run. (Do not give me Lincoln - another time another place).

End the wars, start a viable third party - never allow a R to have a vote or a victory.

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By Lafayette, June 25, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

SPIN-CONTROL

After a decade of war, what can we possibly gain by slogging ahead?

It may have escaped you but just below that country called Afghanistan lies another called Pakistan, both sharing a common border that is highly porous. (Just ask anyone who belongs to al Qaeda ...)

Now, ordinarily, why should anyone care what becomes of those two god-forsaken places?  The fact of the matter is that, contrary to our very fondest desires, the Pakistanis have developed a fully functional atomic bomb.

And the strategy goes that if Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, then the tail (Pakistan) that was wagging the tiger (Afghanistan) might well fall into the wrong hands as well. (This scenario has no small probability of happening, given that the Pakistani government is weak-kneed.)

Of course, we could walk away from it all saying “we got bin Laden!” and nation-building is none of our business over there. But, what if, in our absence the Taliban take control of Afghanistan and then Pakistan as well?

As PotUS, pray tell, how would YOU explain to the American people that you screwed things up so badly that al Qaeda got its hands on an atomic bomb or enough spent-plutonium to build a “dirty A-bomb”? 

I’d really like to see your explanation ... it’s bound to break new ground in the art of Spin-control.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 25, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

By gerard, June 24 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

“’Why Does the War Go On?’

Obviously, because not enough people are ready to organize to stop it.”

***********************************************************

Obviously, gerard is correct with this comment. Although the American people favor ending these wars by a few percentage points, polling data over the last six months shows the American people consider the wars to be a low priority in terms of importance. The percentage of the American people who rank these wars as the highest priority has varied from 12%, at most, to a more consistent 3-7%. In terms of importance to the American people these wars lag far behind other issues such as: The Economy, Jobs, The Deficit, and Government Spending. The American people seem to be unable to connect the dots regarding these wars and the costs of these wars in terms of the economy and human suffering.

Political activism of all kinds, including, non-violent protest AND non-violent civil disobedience will be necessary in order for the American people to gain a better understanding of the costs of Imperial aspirations.

As disagreeable as it is to some, because of urgency, well organized, and well regulated non-violent civil disobedience will be beneficial in order to garner support for more acceptable non-violent protest, and activism. If the issue of these wars is deemed to lack importance, the importance of these wars of Empire should be brought to light by all available means

It appears that a new bipartisanship has developed, not the kind of bipartisanship Obama has been advocating, but, for whatever reason, there is now a bipartisan consensus in favor of demanding that Obama receive Congressional approval for continued involvement in Libya, but there is no consensus regarding our continued occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, for ceasing our military strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, or for promoting more legal and sensible National Security policies, or for discontinuing our imperial foreign entanglements.

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By locust, June 25, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why does the war go on?”

The victory condition is unachievable and defeat is unmentionable. That’s why.

We need to stop ignoring Public Law 107-40. This insane law declared war against enemies to be named later, and it stated that the goal for the US military was ‘preventing future terrorism’ (a logical absurdity for a military goal, when you think about it).
Bush named al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and Obama named al-Qaeda ‘affiliates’, so that’s whom the US of A is at war with.

Calling for the withdrawal of troops from a battlefield (in this case, Afghanistan) does nothing to address the fact that the US is stuck in ‘war’ mode, and will be until all future terrorism by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and their affiliates (affiliates - who dat?) is forever prevented.

Public Law 107-40 has us trapped. It declared an insane war that cannot be won.
Unless this law is overturned, the insanity will continue until the inevitable catastrophe.

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By Cliff Carson, June 25, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

From Eugene Robinson’s article.

“The president was crystal clear on just one point: For now, the war goes on.”

I think Obama could have been more than Crystal Clear, he could have been honest and said:

This war, the War on Terror, was designed to be a strawman as the need for continuous war.  It is designed to reward the few at the expense of the many.

See our Corporations, need new profit streams to increase their power and wealth.  They need these two things to evermore run their engine of Empire which of course is the Goal of Empire.

My fellow citizens, you could help by simply accepting the inevitable, the end game is to enslave you as beast of burden, to feed this empire.

Don’t you want to see your Master profit?  Remember your Master will share with you those profits.  What could be a greater profit than protection from your enemies whom we will identify? 

Doesn’t the good shepherd guard his flock, harvesting only those of you who must be sacrificed, for the overall good of the Master?

Don’t you believe in “What is good for the Master is good for you?”

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By felicity, June 25, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

To echo Lafayette and gerard - The preamble does not
provide specific limitations on government but it does
say that we the people are to establish justice and
promote the general welfare.

We, the people.  Got it?

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By Alan MacDonald, June 25, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

David, thank you very much for your enhanced clarification and detail of the global corporate/financial/militarist Empire’s SOP of using financial power first, and the military muscle only as the back-up when countries refuse the “offer they can’t refuse”.

I loved your analogy to the mob, “The militaries of America and NATO nations are the Luca Brasi rarely needed that stands menacingly behind the banker dons, when they make offers that can’t be refused.”

Yes, exactly David.

As you note the softer financial-thugs come first, and the “jackals” (as John Perkins calls them) or “gangsters for Wall Street” (as Smedley Butler called them nearly a century ago) are akin to the CIA, JSOP, and F-16s today.

Thanks you also, David, for clarifying that Barnett’s pitching was more focused on the sophisticated “financial” ruling-elite of the Empire, than on the military muscle of the same global Empire.

Your revelation of the Cantor Fitzgerald issue makes perfect sense, since Barnett’s sophisticated pitch-style certainly better fits the financial con-men of this Empire than the militarist enforcers among the power-elite segments of the Empire.

Thanks again, David.

Best,
Alan

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By David J. Cyr, June 25, 2011 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Alan MacDonald:

“This series of increasing wars is easily understood if one reads Thomas Barnett’s 2006 war strategy plan and Naval War College book, “The Pentagon’s New Map”, in which he promulgates the strategy for the global Empire (called the “Old Core”—- US, UK, Israel, Europe) to start and prosecute a series of aggressive military actions…”
____________________

To be more accurate, the map that Barnett prepared for the Pentagon indicated the nations within his “Non-Inintegrating Gap” (those considered politically unstable and/or resistant to domination by the global economy) that could be invaded and occupied (with an expectation of impunity) **IF** they continued to not integrate themselves into the “Functioning Core” (those nations participating in the global economy of international markets).

Finance is the preferred and primarily used weapon of mass domination that the neoliberal global Market-State uses. The militaries of America and NATO nations are the Luca Brasi rarely needed that stands menacingly behind the banker dons, when they make offers that can’t be refused.

It’s important to understand that Barnett’s map and power-point presentation was prepared for use in global domination coordinating conferences that were held not at the Pentagon, nor the War College, but rather at the offices of the giant bond trading company Cantor Fitzgerald (a fact mentioned several times in Barnett’s book). High ranking Pentagon officials and officials from the C.I.A. and many other secret agencies had to regularly schlep up to New York City where the real power was, and still is, for those global neoliberal policy coordinating conferences during Clinton’s administration, and continuing seamlessly into Bush’s… until the morning of 9/11 ruined their day.

Incidentally, since those meetings held to coordinate military and intelligence agency support of global market economic domination of nations were held at Cantor Fitzgerald’s office, on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center, that building was clearly being used as a war command and control center, something generally considered to be a legitimate military target. Note how they callously placed their command and control target among millions of unsuspecting human shields.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Alan MacDonald, June 25, 2011 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

But the hope is that the hidden Empire’s disguise is finally breaking down—- even Obama’s own words reveal that the mask of hidden Empire is slipping:

Toward the end of his speech tonight, Obama obviously felt the need to pathetically claim, “We stand not for empire”—which is clearly an admission that he feels a need to emphasize and, without the slightest proof, reinforce this ridiculous claim that the US is not acting as a global Empire.

As Shakespeare famously wrote of the human nature of the guilty “(S)he protesteth too much”.

So tonight, the ever smooth Obama, seems clearly to be protesting too much about an issue that a fast increasing number of Americans beyond Chomsky, Bacevich, Berman, Parenti, Kolko, Chalmers Johnson, Korten, Hedges, Harvey, Hardt, Wolin, Zinn, et al have known for years.  That our former country is now the seminal part of a disguised global corporate/financial/militarist Empire, which hides behind the facade of its bought and paid for Two-Party “Vichy” sham of democratic government.

Which means that today even the faux-Emperor himself seems to know that he has no clothes on, and that the global Empire that he fronts for is today becoming very naked to very many people here and abroad.

So, tonight’s speech by faux-Emperor/president, Obama, was very good news for all of us who know that our former and now captive country “stands precisely for Empire”—although “we” certainly do not!

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Liberty & democracy
over
violent
empire

New America People’s Party 2012

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By Alan MacDonald, June 25, 2011 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

Regarding the swath of wars throughout the Middle East and beyond:

The Congress is either too ‘stuck on stupid’ to understand, or too complicit in this disguised global Empire that now controls the US.

This series of increasing  wars is easily understood if one reads Thomas Barnett’s 2006 war strategy plan and Naval War College book, “The Pentagon’s New Map”, in which he promulgates the strategy for the global Empire (called the “Old Core”—- US, UK, Israel, Europe) to start and prosecute a series of aggressive military actions across the entire swath from Mauritania to the boarders of China and India, in order to control the natural resources (predominantly oil) of the Middle East and to dominate the geopolitical structure of this entire global sector of what he calls the “Gap” countries.

The highly CIA-connected “journalist” Bob Woodward has cynically alluded to this well understood and deadly war strategy, and the seminal, but hidden, driver of this strategy, which may very likely cause a third World War is the global corporate/financial/militarist Empire which has now taken full control of our former country by hiding behind the facade of the Empire’s modernized version of a Nazi-like TWO-Party ‘Vichy’ sham of democratic government—- of which these dolt or complicit Congressmen and Senators (and the mainstream-media) are just ‘fronting for’.

Global Empire must be understood by the American people soon, or it will quickly become painfully apparent to all.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Liberty & democracy
over
violent
empire

New America People’s Party 2012 (the last chance)

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By Bones, June 25, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did anyone who voted for O in 2008 think he would have twice as many troops in Afghanistan as Bush, six years later? 

Of course candidate Bush-lite was running around the nation saying war is peace, either.  So we can’t blame the voters for being hoodwinked and bamboozled by Wall Streets’ puppet, although after decades of corporate Republicans and Democrats, there should be no surprise about their corrupt policies that benefit the top few percent of the wealthiest evils persons or should we call them personhoods?.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, June 25, 2011 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

PUTTING MEAT ON THE BONES (OF CONTENTION)

Yuck: I wonder if a period of non-violent civil disobedience is necessary before a third party can truly emerge and gain foothold.

Proclaiming-in-a-Park is not Civil Disobedience. It is simply your basic Right as defined in “Freedom of Speech”.

Civil Disobedience is when you break local laws with either misdemeanor or delinquency or worse. If the authorities refuse to give a permit for the demonstration, then it is they who are breaking the law. Of course, only a court can decide that.

ABOUT DISORDER

And no, Civil Disobedience that is destructive will be repulsive to the very citizens you are trying to recruit to a cause. You must win their hearts and minds, which is done by promoting peacefully cogent ideas and notions.

Yes, French skinheads add a great deal of destruction as a side show, which upsets everybody since that was not the purpose of the demonstration. Worse yet, it takes the media focus off the demonstration and puts it upon the disobedience.

In fact, the best way to sabotage just such a demonstration is to hire skinheads to give a sideshow of public mayhem. I would not overlook this menace given the Rabidness of the Right at present.

AND FINALLY

There is no Third Way without an Agenda or Manifesto. For that to happen, a demo announcement may be necessary but is rarely sufficient. One must hang meat on the bones before the idea will “walk” (succeed).

Or it just remains a skeleton of an idea ... which attracts permanently no one.

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By Bill, June 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of Mr. Robinson’s stronger columns.

It paints a bleak but clear representation of Obama’s failure/weakness/emptiness in addressing the
profound issues this nations faces.

I have been asking for quite awhile now, ‘yes we can’?  Obama keeps telling me ‘no we can’t.’ 

His administration is not about real change nor about the
implementation of a strong rallying unifying vision for change.  It is about a lame attempt to stay in power. 

His action program seemingly consists of a series of occasional confused directionless faking of the slight tapping of the brakes while our nations builds up astonishing momentum in its downhill race to an oligarchic dictatorship and it complimentary vapid culture of empty meaningless moral bankrupting and
widespread idiocracy.

Obamas’ words are empty.  His actions are weak and substanceless.  He is owned by global corporate money, wall street and banking money.

This is who we are.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Yuckster

October2011.org

Sign up. I already am. See ya there.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Yuckster

First

New Progressive Alliance.
newprogs.org
Using the electoral system as Civil Disobedience. As well as a platform to build a real alternative to the two party system

Second

October 6 2011

Washington DC
Freedom Park

Creating our very own Tahrir Square.

It is already in the works..

Check them both out my friend

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By Yuckster, June 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Michael Cavlan RN: I agree.  A third party is needed.  I’m a bit more cynical than you I’m guessing, but I agree in concept.  I wonder if a period of non-violent civil disobedience is necessary before a third party can truly emerge and gain foothold.  What do you think?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Rancone

I was at the Netroots Nation event in Minneapolis. While there I met a local “peace person” in the Spiritual Progressives organization.

She expressed just a little anger and could not understand why so many people there were so angry at Obama.

I smiled sweetly and said “Dear, you are free to support any war criminal president you want.” Then walked away.

The look of anger on her face at that was priceless.

So to you and any others.

You are free to support any corporate corrupted, complicit war criminal party that you want.
You have a choice of two of them.

//:-)>————

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By rancone, June 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24 at 4:17
You are correct in part - it is a BPDS
But before I do something counter productive I am hoping for a path to a changed future - a realistic path.
We need a third party - an effort that takes some planning, some commitment - but it could be done.
It used to be the draft that motivated the young - maybe when the horror of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is understood it will be a catalyst - maybe it will be something else - but I am hoping a third party can get underway without going back to complete R irrationality.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

rancone, June 24 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

@Michael Cavlan RN,
“THEN leave the Democratic Party. ” Yes after the 2012 elections. This is bad but the current alternative, The R’s , is extraordinarily worse.
Work toward the NPA in 2014 when a serious and meaningful effort can be mounted.
find several Senate seat which can be supported and a dozen congressional seats - a third party could take roots in 2014.

Way way to much to risk in 2012.

Where did I hear this?

Oh yeah. 2010, 2008, 2006,2004, 2002, 2000, 1996, 1994
1992, etc etc etc

An alternative to the one money party system is here.

Or continue to suffer from BPDS. Battered Progressive Democrat Syndrome.

You know. Oh baby, you can’t leave me.

After all, what will you do? You can’t make it on your own.
Here baby. Here is some meaningless fluff masquerading as progressive change.

Really baby. Next time I beat you, I will drive the car myself to where ever you want to go.

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By Yuckster, June 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

To answer your question, “Why?”.  The answer is the same for any other politician who goes against the public consensus, and also against any rational reason.  The short answer: “Lobbyists”.  The slightly longer answer: The military industrial complex has made gazillions in the war business for the last 2 (or is it 3, or 4) decades of war mongering by the US. Obama needs money for his 2012 reelection campaign. The military industrial complex has their gazillions to put into political campaigns.  Military industrial complex lobbyists visit Obama and strike a deal.  The deal is: “we will give you gazillions of dollars of your 2012 campaign, in exchange, you give us 3+ more years of war so we can make a gazillion more dollars from wars”.  Deal done. End of story.  The circle is complete.

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By gerard, June 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

“Why Does the War Go On?”

Obviously, because not enough people are ready to organize to stop it.

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By rancone, June 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

@Michael Cavlan RN,
“THEN leave the Democratic Party. ” Yes after the 2012 elections. This is bad but the current alternative, The R’s , is extraordinarily worse.
Work toward the NPA in 2014 when a serious and meaningful effort can be mounted.
find several Senate seat which can be supported and a dozen congressional seats - a third party could take roots in 2014.

Way way to much to risk in 2012.

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

center of mass

Well I say OF COURSE

But NPA are much moe direct about what they are saying.

They say that real progressives who stay in the pro-war corporate Dems should attend caucus and then state uncommitted in the presidential race. As an electoral act of civil disobedience.

THEN leave the Democratic Party.

New Progressive Alliance
newprogs.org

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By BProgress, June 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Is Eugene Robinson the most naive dolt on the planet? What is with all these
questions? There are 3 reasons why we’re in Afghanistan

1) MIC profits
2) Mineral Wealth
3) Pipeline connecting East Asia to Europe and India

These of course being the same 3 reasons we entered the country in the first
place.

My favorite part of Obama’s speech was the first two sentences;

“Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our
shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden
and his al-Qaida network in Afghanistan”

Starting off a speech with a LIE is a good way to lose your audience. Apparently
the Oilybomber didn’t get the FBI memo that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were
PLANNED in GERMANY and FINANCED thru the UAE.
(http://www.justice.gov/ag/moussaouiindictment.htm)

I wonder if we’ll ever see a day when these lying, two-faced genocidal terrorists
(aka the U.S. Government) will see their day in court.

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By norry, June 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

On a side issue, people give obama credit for these and other policies but he does not write his own speeches nor create policies .He plays golf and hangs out at diners for photo shoots.
Clinton,Reagan,Yogi Bear,Obama. Absolutely no difference. The “beat goes on” no matter who it is.
All presidents since JFK have been castrated in the political sence.
A revolution would be good !

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LetIdB's avatar

By LetIdB, June 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

It has taken over 10 years to prove the obvious: we can no more “win” in Afghanistan or prevent “terrorism” (something we have used since Hiroshima) than we can eliminate flatulence.

As long as we Americans zombie-speak terms like “victory,” “defeat” and “freedom” in a war with shadow patriots who hate us because of our hobnail boots, we will continue ignorantly to Viet Nam ourselves to extinction.

Tragically, it is not our president or our representatives who are inflicting Afghanistan on us, it is us!  When someone tells us he is going to kill innocent human beings and use our children for that purpose for years and years, and we remain docile, yup, we the people are the enablers.  Otherwise, we would be in the streets yelling for his impeachment! IMPEACHMENT!!

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By CenterOfMass, June 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

@Michael Cavlan: “Start by joining the Dems and become an ‘uncommitted’ to the endorsement process.”

You mean leaving the Dems?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

BPDS

Battered Progressive Democrat Syndrome.

Stop being abused by the pro-war, corporate corrupted Democratic Party/Republican Party sham pseudo democracy.

New Progressive Alliance

newprogs.org

Join and volunteer. Start by joining the Dems and become an “uncommitted” to the endorsement process. If you can stand it. Just for starters. Join and volunteer With NPA.

Join people who will do more than wring their hands and cry “why did he/they beat me again?”

Or stop complaining.

Kind of harsh but then well perhaps this is what it will take.

Oh and David Cyr. I will not go with tthe Dems and make them appear “legitimate and democratic” because I w know they are not.

Read the NPA idea of running against Obillion, knowing that the system is stacked and that Obillion (or more like the money that owns him) will buy the nomination.

Watch where they then say “nope, we will not play ball. We will support anyone outside of the corporate duopoly who runs against him.

If these folks were Dem/Obama pseudo opposition like say PDA I would not have anything to do with them.

They get it.

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By rancone, June 24, 2011 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

@ Jim Yell, June 24 at 6:35 am
“We need to disassemble our two party system and allow new parties to organize.” I Concur. A method of doing this is to vote straight D in 2012. This will bust the R’s thus allowing a third party - hopefully a Progressive Party.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Obama’s speech was full of doublespeak and unexplained generalities.
Negotiating can be done without 100,000 troops on the ground. But, just as in
Iraq, we can’t leave DEFENSE CONTRACTORS there without SECURITY.  Thus, we
are paying our troops to guard the contractors building schools, roads.
buildings—things we can’t afford in our own country.  Of course, this wasn’t
discussed.

Then the administration makes sure that we—the stupid public—knows that
he went against the advice of his military advisers.  Funny how they find a
microphone to dutifully testify that they advised against—what?  Bringing 5000
troops home in the fall?  Did any of them testify that there is a clause which
promises the withdrawal plans are off if someone sneezes in Afghanistan?

I haven’t felt this irate since George Bush was in office.

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weylguy's avatar

By weylguy, June 24, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

I believe the reason we’re “slogging on” with these wars is because they’re so profitable. Imagine the bigger mess our economy would be in if Raytheon, General Dynamics, Xe (Blackwater) and others had no buyer for their weapons systems. They’d have to lay off tens of thousands, pushing the unemployment rate through the roof.

The reason they can get away with it has to do with the fact that Americans are easily frightened. Sure, they trust in God and all that, but deep down they’re scared out of their wits. Better to spend trillions on complicated, world-wide weapon systems and troops than risk exposure to a handful of extremists armed with box cutters and handmade explosives.

I see no real change until America is in economic ruin, with Americans fighting in the streets over scraps of food. Even then they will not be introspective as to how they got there.

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By balkas, June 24, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

robinson:
“American troops will remain for at least three more years, some of
them will be maimed or killed, and Obama offered no good reason
why.”

maybe this time u.s—oops, obama did not give reasons why u.s
troops wld stay 3 more yrs in afgh’n. [expect u.s or u.s/nato to never
leave afgh’n]

but u.s had in the past resonated solely with reasons for all of its
aggressions; a causative factor [or factors, casus belli] is never ever
posited; mainly because there never ever were any.

a valid question wld have been to ask why u.s/nato cldn’t stay [wage
war, raids, battles, etc.] in n. korea? or why u.s cldn’t stay in vietnam
after ‘75?

it cldn’t stay in n. korea because of a threat of N-war. and, of course,
china was involved in the aggression by West against korea.

and the reason for

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By Leonor Wenger, June 24, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is everybody so afraid to spell out the truth?  The great General Petraeus has failed in his mission and President Obama has failed with him.  Petraeus had previously failed in Iraq and nobody called him out on that so it’s too much to expect that anybody will talk about Afghanistan. His real mission is to always hold the carrot of possible progress or total catastrophe in front of the American peoople…And President Obama is aiding and abetting the military in their extortion.

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By balkas, June 24, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

robinson:
“Tens of thousands of American troops will remain for at least three more years,
some of them will be maimed or killed, and Obama offered no good reason why.”

no, not this time. but u.s resonates with reasons for all of its numerous
aggressions; waged, i assert, in order to capture the planet and to utterly destroy
all vestiges of socialism or equality/justice.

those are good reasons; however never, explicitly posited by u.s. why wld it? and
let the cat out of the bag?

a valid question to have been asked, wld have been: why u.s/nato cld not stay in
korea [i never split korea in two] after ‘52.

i do not think i need to expound the reasons why nato had or thought it had to
leave korea. but one reason one may posit: a possible N-war if nato continued its
aggression against korea.

and that’s the only language u.s and world supremacists understand: probable or
possible own injury or damage at home.

but if they want to grab a piece of land or install a puppet govt anywhere in the
world—and while doing it, not a single american in america get’s even injured let
alone killed [as iraq, pashtunstan, palestina proves] why not keep on trucking?

soldiers get killed, huh? ok, what about it? did u not hear u.s—oops, cheney, give
a perfect explanation for it? tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

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By felicity, June 24, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

A few people have suggested that Obama’s decision is
based on the possibility of another 9/11 happening
(on Obama’s watch) then Republicans faulting Obama
for pulling out all the troops from Afghanistan
(should he have done that) and then the Democrats
being blamed (it’s an old mantra) that Democrats are
bad on security whereas Republicans are pros at it
(baseless, of course) and then the demise of the
Democratic Party on the political scene for three
decades out.

In a nutshell, Obama’s Afghanistan stay is to, in the
end, save the Democratic Party.  Far-fetched?  Not in
today’s whackadoodle political scene.

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, June 24, 2011 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

This comment applies rather to the article itself:

“Perhaps the most disheartening thing about Obama’s speech was the absence of fresh thinking, or even clear thinking.”

These wars go on because they financially benefit the people prosecute them.  The financially benefit the thugs (soldiers) that do the killing for money, and they financially benefit the corporations that receive all the trillions of dollars spent on them.

quote:
“We have already done all that is within our power to eliminate the terrorist threat that Afghanistan once posed”

Almost the exact opposite is true.  The US has done an awful lot to make Afghanistan a terrorist threat.  It has smashed the country’s economy, created endless war, trained and armed terrorists to fight its enemies, and then turned its former allies into enemies.  This may be intentional.  Its always useful for a police state to have pet enemies it can use to justify crack downs.

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By litlpeep, June 24, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Mr. Robinson, for your attempt to speak power.  One suggestion: Consider amending this sentence: “Distrust of central authority will still be a defining national characteristic.”  Amend it by beginning it with “Absolute.” and thank Mr. Obama for helping us Americans remember the basis for having a healthy government is radical distrust of any government.  Thank Mr. Obama for fueling the Afghan corruption while enabling the US corruption industry.  Both of these industries appear to be gifts from God offered to help us all to regain our respect and appreciation for the immeasurable value of having a radical mistrust of governments.

So, of course it makes no sense “using military means to pursue political ends that lie beyond our reach.”  However, Mr. Obama has little or no political ambition.  His ambition is for power, and his deployments of power clearly indicate they are all strategically aimed to first, keep him in power, and, second, shower the world’s least responsible investors with unrestrained quantities of more fuel for their most vulgar activities.

It is understatement to say, “The president was crystal clear on just one point: For now, the war goes on.”  Like Governors Walker and Perry and others, Obama happily enables our filthy wealthy to wage multifaceted war on the nation’s least powerful 95% of the population.

His flaunting of the war powers act, as others have done before him, is only a small detail of the larger picture.  The damage he does while blaming “Congress” (no pack of angels, to be sure), is so far reaching it may require historians decades to take its measures.

It is and has been since before he was elected (yes, I voted for him, knowing he would be terribly like Bill Clinton) increasingly more difficult to see the daylight between this administration and the most recent previous seven administrations.

It is truly unfortunate for the nation that the entire Republican Party abandoned its whole intelligentsia.  But, of course, that took three or four decades.

It is also unfortunate for the nation that we citizens are no outraged into dramatic non-violent civil disobedience over the bipartisan legal machinery that effectively prohibits the rise of any national parliamentarian culture, much less a promising third party.

As things now are, we either submit to the bipartisan shenanigans while building a trust amongst our neighbors for re-invigorating local political sensibility, or simply surrender to whatever thugs next come along.

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By Steve, June 24, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After several Anglo-Afgan Wars, the Russians, the Soviets, now the US…. Why is repeating the same mistakes over and over the best we can do?

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By Jim Yell, June 24, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is increasingly clear that Obama misrepresented (aka lied) about his beliefs when he was candidate Obama. He can not progress because he is so structured that he is always looking for a way to compromise, which only works as a goal when the other side is also looking for compromise. If he wasn’t practising “the oystrich school of reality”, he would have known from the begining that hard ball was the only way to deal with the opposition. But, of course, the real question is “What opposition”? Can it be opposition if the other side actually represents the direction Obama is going?

We need to disassemble our two party system and allow new parties to organize. This is the only hope of breaking the corrupt system which has both parties conspiring together with international corporations to defeat Democracy. Otherwise all is lost.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, June 24, 2011 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

What’s so hard for people to understand? Afghanistan is an energy crossroads. Pipelines to bring gas south to the Indian Ocean must be developed in Afghanistan. The US must be involved strategically in those energy issues. As always, it’s about energy.

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By TDoff, June 24, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

It’s hard to keep track of all the ‘Wars’ we have going on, but at least in Afghanistan we have now officially declared an ‘Eternal War on Peace’, so we know where we stand and what our future will be.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, June 24, 2011 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Eugene Robinson asks, “Why does the war go on?”

For the short answer, read this:

The “Principles” of Liberal Voters

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, June 24, 2011 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

More hand-wringing?

“The president was crystal clear” before he was President, Mr. Robinson:

“I’ve learned an immense amount from Dr. Brzezinski…”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/the-gas-must-flow/

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., June 24, 2011 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

Oh dear, here we go again: It’s about lithium, copper,
gold (yellow & black), precious gems, rare earths,
iron, gas, strategic position (China/India), empire,
and just plain paranoia.
We’re never going to leave that treasure trove for
another power to exploit; it’s all about resources and
“they that get’s the most wins”...simple really…

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 24, 2011 at 2:50 am Link to this comment

Sign at the entrance of the cave:

‘Alexander slept here.’

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By ardee, June 24, 2011 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

Why ask Why?

The troops will begin coming home just before the Nov. 2014 election. Doesn’t that plainly show Obama’s reasons?

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