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  •  I get so mad when people say the soldiers in Iraq (27+ / 0-)

    or Afghanistan are fighting for my freedom. NO. No, they aren't. They are fighting so corporations can reap billions in profits. Their deaths are for nothing - and that is a tragedy of epic proportion. WE are sending the flower of our youth (not to mention some older folks) to die so Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, etc. can become very, very rich. They are dying so that the neo-cons can strangle our system and finish it off by privatizing everything.
    They are dying for money, not freedom, not democracy. If that were true, women in Afghanistan would be more free (they're not). If that were true, the infrastructure of both countries would be a shining example of American can-do (it's not).
    I bite my tongue every time I read an obit in the paper and the family talks about their son's death making me freer. Frankly, it doesn't, it hasn't. Perpetuating this war will make us all less free. It will continue to drain lives and treasure. And it will continue the policies of BushCo, much of which has to do with spying on Americans, the dissolution of Habeus Corpus and Posse Comititus.
    Our government has committed murder on an epic scale.
    No, my dear fellow Americans, as hard as it is to say, our soldiers are not dying for your freedom or mine.
    Let's not forget what the original invasion plan was named...
    Operation Iraqi Liberaation -- O.I.L.

    "In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

    by MA Liberal on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:29:32 PM PDT

    •  To be completely fair... (13+ / 0-)

      ...I tend to think that with competent civilian leadership, the soldiers in Afghanistan really would be fighting for our freedom rather than so that BushCo's good friends can reap billions in profits. Of course, with competent civilian leadership, someone might have read a memo about al-Qaeda's plans, 9/11 might have been prevented, and we might never have gone to war there in the first place.

      •  That fight ended when we kicked out the Taliban (7+ / 0-)

        Then the focus changed from terrorism (we basically gave up on Bin Laden) to nation building.  Definitely not about U.S. national security any more.  Arguably more about securing U.S. investment in the region.

        We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

        by CA Libertarian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I respectfully disagree on a certain point. (6+ / 0-)

        I agree that the civilian leadership should be competent. Beyond that, I disagree that the Invasion of Afghanistan would have been a "just war". Even if Gore was in charge, the war would have still been about geopolitics and power projection.

        But to be fair, perhaps Gore would have actually tried to catch bin Laden. It would be even better if he tried to do so without launching a full-scale invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in my honest opinion.

        I don't trust the military or civilian leadership to do the right thing when it comes to foreign policy.

        •  It was clearly just to go after Bin Laden... (2+ / 0-)

          ...and to take out his camps.

          But I agree with you - it was unnecessary to transform this effort into a full-scale occupation.  Broader objectives in Afghanistan could have been achieved by simply strangling the Taliban financially - through its former supporters, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Pakistan (which at the time we had pretty much by the balls as they all had culpability for 9/11).

          And that would have put the Afghan people in a good position to self-determine their future.

          We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

          by CA Libertarian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:11:20 PM PDT

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          •  Thanks for understanding! (2+ / 0-)

            Isn't possible for just the CIA or Special Forces to handle al-Qaeda? Since it's technically a criminal organization, couldn't Interpol and the RICO Act have been used as well rather than military action?

            I concur with you about handling the Taliban. Our country should have never invaded Afghanistan and try to "fix" it. While the Taliban were/are despicable, it's not our nation's business or place to meddle in another nation's affairs.

            Anyhow, I can tell you're a real libertarian! :)

            •  3,000 dead Americans is a bit more... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Movac

              ...than a law enforcement issue.

              If there's one case I agree where military force is justified - and as you correctly note, as a Libertarian, there ain't many - it's when we've been directly attacked and threatened with further attacks.

              I'm not sure that Special Forces on its own was up to the job of taking out all of Al Qaeda's capabilities in Afghanistan.  Indeed, as I recall, the Army Rangers made an emergency request for additional forces when they were afraid that Al Qaeda leadership may have escaped their control.  That request was - extraordinarily - denied.

              At any rate, once we had neutralized the direct threat of followup attack by Al Qaeda, I would have conducted aggressive diplomatic/economic action to demonstrate our displeasure with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan for having supported the terrorists - demanding change.  Obviously, we've missed that window which had been afforded to us by the universal sympathy we enjoyed post 9/11 now, and it's odd to note that the biggest arms deals being pushed by Bush now are to these very countries.

              We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

              by CA Libertarian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:29:48 PM PDT

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              •  I don't believe they actually wanted change (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MA Liberal, The Movac, CA Libertarian

                got to have a boogie man to keep wars (and profits) going.......

                And I don't believe it is "odd" that they are making major arms deals to SA, UAE, Pakistan - all part of the plan, as far as I can tell.  We are our future enemies to keep the wars going on constantly...... without war, no reason for all this military spending, therefore no profits.

                By the way, the reason bin Laden's group, and the Afghan warlords were able to get the Russians to leave was the fact that they had surface-to-air missiles to take out the helicopters.  

                So far, that has not happened in Iraq - so far, no one is selling them such weapons.

                So far.

                (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

                by dancewater on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:34:37 PM PDT

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              •  One caveat I have... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CA Libertarian

                I see your point about 9/11, but I noticed that you do acknowledge that Special Forces alone could have been sufficient. Not only was Bush disinterested in actually stopping al-Qaeda, he used 9/11 as an excuse to launch an unnecessary military invasion.

                To clarify once more, I'm not against stopping al-Qaeda. It's how our country does it that concerns me. Al-Qaeda isn't a nation but a malevolent NGO. Invading a whole country is impractical, wasteful and idiotic... obviously.

                I concur with you about stern diplomacy and economic action being used on the Taliban's allies. It's too late for that now of course, like you said.

                •  Al Qaeda (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wader, The Movac

                  Al Qaeda is actually far more dangerous than an NGO.

                  It's a movement.

                  Recall that the organization Zarqawi built in Iraq was disembodied at first, then only when it was established proclaimed itself to be an Al Qaeda franchise.

                  This is extraordinarily bad.  This is why bad U.S. diplomacy and poorly chosen military action is so dangerous.  Because it has already proven to be capable of inciting the growth of brand new Al Qaeda organizations in new countries.  For that matter, I would be shocked if there weren't a number in this country who would like to build a U.S. franchise.

                  Fortunately, the solution to most of these problems is to end the stupidity.  It will take time for the rest of the world to catch up with the U.S. behaving reasonably.  Perhaps a generation.  Until then, we will continue to have to watch our backs.

                  Re/special forces, again I'm really not sure either way.  One thing I am sure of though is that Bush has not shown a serious interest in listening to his military commanders about force requirements.

                  We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

                  by CA Libertarian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:48:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I see what you mean. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CA Libertarian

                    Al-Qaeda is definitely a movement, but it seems to function like an NGO. My original point still stands and I'll update it: a movement isn't a nation. I know you understand this though.

                    The sooner our country stops being the world police and global babysitter, then true healing can begin.

          •  if Americans in power (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MA Liberal

            cared about the Afghanis, then they would not have let the place completely fall apart after the Russians left.  But they did.... showing their true colors.  

            I am not so sure that bin Laden was the reason to go into Afghanistan - if he was, why did they quit looking for him?

            (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

            by dancewater on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:30:45 PM PDT

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            •  Oh, we delegated that to the Saudis (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, MA Liberal, dancewater

              And to the UAE and Pakistan.  Who carefully and thoughtfully guided Afghanistan into becoming a Wahhabist paradise, just as you'd expect as just as the Bushes love.

              The other motivation to go into Afghanistan was to pick up on an old pipeline project that Unocal had had to abandon when Clinton imposed sanctions on the Taliban.

              Bush had restarted negotiations with the Taliban in the beginning of his administration, with talks continuing through August 2001.  That may explain some of the reticence of the administration against acting on intelligence about Al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan before 9/11.

              Now, as to not going after Bin Laden, well obviously if we actually took him out he'd stop being a threat, and then we'd have to think of somebody else to make you afraid of while we steal all the money from the treasury.

              We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

              by CA Libertarian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:37:06 PM PDT

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          •  Actually, Afghanistan had a lot to do with oil (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader, The Movac

            and gas too. Both Russia and the US have coveted that country so there can be an oil/gas pipeline to deliver oil and gas:

            The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP or TAPI) is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road. The Afghan government is expected to receive 8% of the project's revenue.

            Unocal negotiated with the Taliban for it, as did Bush - who gave them $40 million in 2001 to play ball. Enron was also in it as they needed the gas to fire up a new plant they had built in India. Without the gas, t couldn't run.
            How convenient that 9/11 cam along...

            "In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

            by MA Liberal on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:52:43 PM PDT

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    •  The most despicable and cynical crime of the Bush (13+ / 0-)

      administration has been to use our military, in effect, as unwitting, underpaid, overused, and later neglected and abandoned, mercenaries for Big Oil.
      They haven't been dying for our freedom, they've been dying so that the likes of Exxon could get their hands on the Iraqi oil fields.

      We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

      by Lepanto on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:34:53 PM PDT

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    •  Exactly. :) (5+ / 0-)

      Personally, I don't think our country has ever genuinely fought for freedom, democracy or national security. I lump WWII in with that description by the way. It's always been about geopolitics and power projection.

      Our country puts too much faith, money and resources in the military. We need to downsize the military, cut its funding, close down all of our overseas military bases, and stop finding excuses for military intervention against other countries.

      Recently I've come to the humble acceptance that the troops aren't pure evil, because I felt that way for a long time. This is despite the fact that my own dad is a former Marine! I no longer resent the troops. However, I will never accept troops who behave like that one Marine who raped and murdered that 15 year old Iraqi girl. No amount of patriotic drivel can make me unconditionally exonerate individual troops from committing war crimes and atrocities on that level.

      However, if they are truly remorseful and work to change things for the better then I can forgive them. A good example would be Ron Kovic IMHO.

      It's one thing to respect and appreciate the troops, but just like anyone else we need to hold them individually accountable for their deeds. If that one Marine was a civilian, I would still hate his guts. There's no good reason for committing evil deeds like that.

      Overall I'm tired of militarism, foreign interventionism, and hero worship.

      We need peace and progress.

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