Tag: Escalation

Afghanistan Transparent

Paul Jay of The Real News interviews F. William Engdahl, economist and author of the best selling book “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” who explains US Geopolitical objectives in Afghanistan, in terms clear and simple enough even for US mainstream network television audiences – which is probably why you never see him on television.

Based in Germany, Engdahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s, and is a regular contributor to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine, and Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland.

Real News Network – December 9, 2009 – 14 min 35 sec

Why is the USA in Afghanistan?

Engdahl: Key objective is a permanent military presence in Asia

“We Are Not Talking Exit Strategy”

The dissembling has already begun. HuffPo reports this morning on Clinton and Gates talking with David Gregory on Meet The Press this morning:

Clinton, Gates Walk Back On Obama’s “Locked In” Afghan Withdrawal

Don’t be confused by President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan. Despite the president’s word on Tuesday that a surge of US and international troops in Afghanistan would “allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011,” that date is not a “drop dead deadline”–at least according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates recorded an interview this week with NBC’s David Gregory on Meet The Press. Set to air Sunday morning, both Obama advisers will walk back on Obama’s withdrawal language. While the president did say during his speech that conditions on the ground would be considered before a transition, Clinton and Gates seem to go a step further:

HILLARY CLINTON: We’re not talking about an exit strategy or a drop dead deadline. What we’re talking about is an assessment that in January 2011, we can begin a transition. A transition to hand off — responsibility to the Afghan forces.

ROBERT GATES: We’re not talking about an abrupt withdrawal. We’re talking about something that will take place over a period of time. Our commanders think that these additional forces, and one of the reasons for the President’s decision to try and accelerate their deployment is– is the view that this extended surge has the opportunity to make significant gains in terms of reversing the momentum of the Taliban, denying them control of Afghan territory, and degrading their capabilities.




Sign the Petition to Congress here!


And, David Swanson, reminds us “It’s Not the President’s Decision!”

The U.S. Constitution leaves the decision to wage war to Congress, and Congress can enforce its decision not to wage war by refusing to fund it.  Blocking a funding bill for wars requires the House of Representatives alone, and both Democrats and Republicans in the House are rapidly joining us in saying No to war funding.

It’s time to finally get serious, to lobby, to protest, to sit in, to nonviolently disrupt and resist in local district offices until enough Representatives commit to voting No on any bill to fund more war.

Here’s a link to a rapidly-changing whip list in the form of a google document that you can embed* on your own website:

Public Opposes Wars, Will Our Representatives?

Please call your representatives and find out they will vote on funding the wars, urge them not to, etc. and post responses from them in the above site beneath the chart.  The chart is regularly updated.  This is a great way to keep a running to “track” of our representatives

*unfortunately, it’s not possible to embed the link here


Support over 100 outstanding, leading peace activists in their “Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally,” on December 12, 2009, at the White House, by going to Ends the Wars Org and signing the letter to the President.  It’s easy, send them an e-mail and ask that your name and state be included.




Tell President Obama: No More Troops for Afghanistan!   – AND –

Demand a Congressional Debate on Troop Escalation

And to think that there are a couple of bills in Congress, that ask for taxing the American people for these wars??

“Our Resources Are Limited”

Just two days after announcing the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama held a jobs summit:

With unemployment levels above 10 percent, Obama said “We cannot hang back and hope for the best.”

But, mindful of growing anxiety about federal deficits, Obama also tempered his upbeat talk with an acknowledgment that government resources could only go so far and that it is primarily up to the private sector to create large numbers of new jobs.

He said while he’s “open to every demonstrably good idea … we also though have to face the fact that our resources are limited.”

Beyond the question of why a Democratic president is giving lip service to deficit hawks at a moment that screams for more Keynesian stimulus, the real question is this: why is it that we have to endure nearly a year of grueling political games just to get a weak, watered down health care bill that we have been told, all along, has to be deficit-neutral, yet no one bats an eye at throwing tens of billions more each year into wars?

A couple weeks ago, CBS News reported:

‘But Obama always said he would send more troops to Afghanistan’

Yes he did.

In July of 2008 during the presidential campaign Obama wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times.

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan.

While this disappointed many of his supporters, it was widely regarded among progressives as a hat tip to the conservadems, and not really in character with his true anti-war persona.

Be that as it may, many are now defending Obama’s latest troop escalation declaring that he always promised us that he would increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

Let’s put an end to that assertion.

Nationwide protests this week against Afghanistan escalation (UPDATE)

It’s about time for a substantial anti-war movement to start in this country – and with Obama probably announcing an escalation of 34,000 troops to Afghanistan (in addition to the 20,000 he already sent), there is no better time than now.  A leading anti-war organization, World Can’t Wait, is holding protests around the nation.

Throughout next week, there will be protests in (this list will probably include more cities by the time the protests start – and you can always organize a protest yourself!):

Protest the Troop Buildup on an Intersection Near Your Home

I just got in from protesting the war during rush hour. I live by a busy intersection, so I can just walk out and get a fairly good audience with the people driving to work. I stood on the sidewalk right next to the road from 7:30 to 9:00 with a big sign that had a peace sign on one side and “The war is not worth it” on the other. I plan to do it again at quitting time today. And then I am going to do the morning and afternoon rush hours ever day until Obama makes his announcement next week. We the citizens can help set the frame for Obama’s announcement. We should demonstrate resistance before he has even said anything, so the backlash will be even greater when he tells us he’s sending more troops.

So I hope others will join me and make up a sign, very legible from a distance, and protest where they live. You don’t need a big group to protest. A single sign can remind people of the war. All you need is a big audience. High-traffic intersections are excellent. So please, for the Iraqis and Afghans, make a sign and protest. If you wait around for the big organized protests, you will have waited too long. This is something you have to do on your own. Protesting with a small group of friends is fun too.

And if you’re already doing it, keep up the good work!

Frontline: Obama’s War

PBS Frontline:

In Obama’s War, veteran correspondent Martin Smith travels across Afghanistan and Pakistan to see first-hand how the president’s new strategy is taking shape, delivering vivid, on-the-ground reporting from this eight-year-old war’s many fronts. Through interviews with top generals, diplomats and government officials, Smith also reports the internal debates over President Obama’s grand attempt to combat terrorism at its roots.

“What we found on the ground was a huge exercise in nation building,” says Smith. “The concept’s become a bit of a dirty word, but that’s what this is. We started with the goal of eliminating Al Qaeda, and now we’ve wound up with the immense task of re-engineering two nations.”

In Obama’s War, veteran correspondent Martin Smith travels across Afghanistan and Pakistan to see first-hand how the president’s new strategy is taking shape, delivering vivid, on-the-ground reporting from this eight-year-old war’s many fronts. Through interviews with top generals, diplomats and government officials, Smith also reports the internal debates over President Obama’s grand attempt to combat terrorism at its roots.

This is a 25 minute preview of the full program that was apparently scheduled to air October 13, and was scheduled to be available for online viewing here, but perhaps there has been a delay in that, as I do not see any video online there. CORRECTION: It is there but may only be viewable with IE, as I cannot see it there using FireFox 3.

Gen. David Petraeus and envoy Richard Holbrooke

Last night the News Hour carried a report and the discussion with Petraeus and Holbrooke.

This is the site page link where you’ll find the transcript as well as the links for audio and video.

This link will give you their Video Player to watch from here.

There is No win in this now debacle. One thing about warfare these last couple of decades, outside of the bloviated power hawks talking tough to each other as others are sent to do the actual fighting, is every invasion turns to Guerilla Insurgency. It’s lost as soon as the Bombs start dropping, the Missiles Destroy, the Military Invades, ‘Hearts and Minds’ turn to Hate as their countries are destroyed but more important as their Loved Ones and Friends and Fellow Citizens are Blown To Bits or Cut Down by the Bullets Sprayed, than add in the arrests of Innocents, the Blackhole Worldwide Prisons and most of all Torture, Innocents become Enemies Real Fast, Real Fast! They either fight back or support those who do! It becomes an extreme uphill battle to win back a majority of those ‘Hearts and Minds’!!

Just ask yourself “What would you do if you were them?”!

Just think how many here felt after 9/11 and how that was used to kill and destroy many times over since!

Afghanistan stopped being about 9/11, in their eyes and the worlds eyes and minds as soon as the drums started beating towards Iraq. Security and money Stopped coming in to Stabilizes after the Taliban were removed and al Qaeda were forced to run, It Became The Quagmire That Exists Today and has expanded into Pakistan thus Inflaming the whole region even more!

Can stability be brought back, it’s possible, but the Hate will be Deeply Embedded, especially in the children growing up in the destruction and death, the ones that survive, and will linger for their decades of life!!

The only way a Guerilla Insurgency ends is on their time Not The Occupiers, but it than can be inflamed when policy is perceived  to be against those common folks, and they’ve got the fighting experience!!!!!!!

Just an added note, the Escalation, not ‘surge’, did not bring down the death and destruction in Iraq, the Iraqi people, sects, did. And that situation is a match just waiting to relight at anytime, the world can only dampen that match so it doesn’t until the Iraqi’s decide. We destroyed that Pandora’s Box, it’s up to us to try and help rebuild a new one but only if they want the help, and ours is shit in that country, others will fill the void!!  

Let’s Look At The ‘surge’

I wasn’t planning on posting anything today, have too much to do and other thoughts on my mind.

But yesterday I watched, as many have seen by now, someone who should have a much better understanding, above that of its citizens, what this country’s policies are and their implementation.

McClatchy  has a couple of reports  that hit on a couple of the Points of the ‘surge’:

Cheney’s Plan to Bomb Iran

Oh for crap’s sakes. I assume since it’s a day old, most everyone has seen this article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh but I’m just seeing it today.

Note: All emphasis below mine. All curse words (mine also) removed before publishing

It begins:

In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.” He then concluded, to applause, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.”

I am too discouraged for words.