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  •  Marcy, you're running for office? (2+ / 0-)
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    jfromga, HiKa

    And you don't educate yourself about the issues better than this?

    Hummmm......

    Let's look at this one little bit which you accept at face value...

    The real reason Obama needs to since 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan after 8 years of war has nothing to do with broad-base popular opposition to our occupation. If you think that you must be confused.

    Actually the (non-Taliban) Afghans approve of "foreign forces" helping them repel the Taliban.

    The US is seen quite favorably among Afghans.  They want us to leave eventually, but not now.  Right now they want our help to increase their security.

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Now, I have no idea what the diarist is going on  about with the Gulf of Tonkin stuff.  Perhaps he belongs to the tinfoil hat club.

    Obama made the point that Afghanistan is unlike Vietnam.  We were attacked from Afghanistan and we weren't attacked from Vietnam.  Point made.

    15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

    by BobTrips on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 10:31:57 PM PST

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    •  attacked from Afghanistan? or Saudi Arabia? or? (1+ / 0-)
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      notcaesar

      As I recall, not only is Osama Bin Laden a Saudi, but so were almost all the 911 hijackers and their financial backers. True they received substantial support and a territorial base from the Taliban. But the Holy Warriors also received their original impetus and huge support & training from the United States, as we all know, when the CIA cooked up the idea of an Islamic crusade against the Russians in Afghanistan.

      So the arguments used to make war on Afghanistan in fact (and this not a joke) apply no less to Saudi Arabia or the United States itself. The need to "take out" the Taliban is no more compelling than the need to "take out" the most reactionary elements of the Saudi elite, and the covert government at home. If only one is removed, the others will remain malignancies festering away, unleashing new horrors in the future.

      •  Regardless of nationality... (0+ / 0-)

        bin Laden claimed responsibility and is held responsible for 9/11

        bin Laden was physically in Afghanistan and the Taliban-Afghan government protected him.

        When we invaded Afghanistan bin Laden escaped during the Battle of Tora Bora.  That has just been confirmed by Kerry's recent report.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:32:47 PM PST

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        •  There are of course various reports (0+ / 0-)

          that Osama was offered up to the Bush administration by the Taliban before 9/11 -- and even after.

          Bombing a country like Afghanistan to chase down, unsuccessfully as it turned out, Osama bin Laden remains an act as open to a charge of criminality as refusing to turn him over.

          "All day long I felt like smashing my face in a clear glass window, but instead I went out and smashed up a phone booth round the corner." --Yoko Ono

          by notcaesar on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:01:29 AM PST

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    •  Thanks for the links (0+ / 0-)

      They were interesting and informative.

      However, I found your characterization of them somewhat misleading, and certainly they don't seem to address anything that Marcy Winograd stated.

      Some of the polls certainly reflect favorably upon some aspects of the foreign presence -- in one survey 62% of Afghans have a favorable opinion of the U.S., although in another survey only 19% think that the U.S. has a good relationship with Afghanistan -- but it's hardly a "blank check" to foreign occupation, to employ a popular phrase.

      From the first link:

      What we know is that the majority of people in Afghanistan (77%) want an end to the airstrikes that have killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Afghan civilians. We also know that the majority of Afghans (64%) want a negotiated end to the conflict, and are willing to accept the creation of a coalition government including the Taliban leadership.

      We also know that a majority of Afghans oppose the Obama surge that is increasing the number of foreign troops in the country. 73% of Afghans think that US-led forces in the country should either be decreased in number (44%) or 'kept at the current level' (29%). Only 18% of Afghans favour an increase.

      Meanwhile, 21% want an immediate withdrawal, and a total of 51% want withdrawal within two years.  The Taliban itself had proposed earlier this year a withdrawal within 18 months.  And although 27% of Afghans blame the Taliban for the violence in the country, the U.S.-led forces are not far behind at 21%.

      What relevance this all has to the Vietnam comparison is lost on me.  Certainly it was claimed throughout the Vietnam War that we were there because the South Vietnamese wanted us there and I don't doubt there were polls to support such a statement.  I'm not sure that anybody has claimed that the majority of Afghans in 2001 wanted the U.S. to invade the country.

      Your comment also fails to suggest why U.S. forces are being increased from 68,000 to 98,000 -- a more than 40% increase -- if not in fact because of some kind of effective opposition, broad-based or otherwise.  And to say we were "attacked from Afghanistan" conjures up all sorts of possibilities, only some of which fit the facts, facts which a number of us, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee, never saw as justification for waging war against this already ravaged country.  

      "All day long I felt like smashing my face in a clear glass window, but instead I went out and smashed up a phone booth round the corner." --Yoko Ono

      by notcaesar on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:38:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some more data... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        Do you think Afghanistan is moving in the right direction or the wrong direction?

        Right Direction 62%  
        Wrong Direction 24%

        --
        How is your family’s economic situation compared to five years ago?

        Much/Somewhat Better  63%
        Much/Somewhat Worse  17%

        --
        Is Afghanistan more stable today than it was one year ago?

        More Stable  35%
        Less Stable 43%
        Same 13%

        --
        In the next year, do you think the economy in Afghanistan will get better, get worse or stay the same?

        Get Better  54%
        Get Worse  14%

        --
        What are the two most important problems facing Afghanistan today?

        Security is clearly number one.  56%

        Jobs and economic issues come in second. 35%

        Foreign forces were listed as the most important problem by only 3% of the people polled.

        --
        Do you have more personal freedom during or after Taliban rule?

        After 78%
        During 6%

        --
        Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following groups, organizations, or countries?

        US
        Favorable 62%
        Unfavorable 34%

        Taliban
        Favorable 19%
        Unfavorable 67%

        --

        Now, President Obama was making the case that Afghanistan is not like Vietnam.  

        What relevance this all has to the Vietnam comparison is lost on me.

        The diarist was disagreeing.  And Marcy supported his argument.

        I brought some data to the discussion that, I think, shows some of the difference between the two situations.

        YMMV.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:48:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One begins with an A the other with a V (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          notcaesar

          There are many, many differences between Afghanistan and Vietnam. Is that your point? Then you have no point! If they weren't similar, Obama would never had mention Vietnam in the first place.

          •  Whatever Clay... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety

            If it helps you sleep better at night to believe that Afghanistan is just like Vietnam, believe away.

            And if you don't understand what Obama was doing when he pointed out why one can't predict the outcome of the Afghanistan effort based on what happened in Vietnam, well, that's your problem....

            15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

            by BobTrips on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:05:29 PM PST

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        •  I confess you've perplexed me (0+ / 0-)

          You cite quite a sampling of numbers from the polls on Afghanistan public opinion.  You then note that this shows the difference between the situations in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

          Huh?  You don't even attempt to provide information about Vietnam, leaving any argument that there is a difference in the two situations altogether impossible.  Did South Vietnamese in, say, 1970 think that their situation was getting better or worse, and what did polls indicate (if there were any) about public sentiment there with regard to either the war or the U.S.?  And how did such views comport with the reality that prevailed in the situation?

          And how does any of that relate to the role the U.S. took upon itself, in either Vietnam or Afghanistan?

          "All day long I felt like smashing my face in a clear glass window, but instead I went out and smashed up a phone booth round the corner." --Yoko Ono

          by notcaesar on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:51:36 PM PST

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    •  Taking off my tinfoil hat long enough to reply (0+ / 0-)

      The "Gulf of Tonkin stuff" was precisely that LBJ did claim the "we" [U.S. Forces] were attacked from Vietnam.

      "The US is seen quite favorably among Afghans." Of course you can speak for the Afghan people as a whole. According to the military everybody we fight is "Taliban", so we are to believe that in this country that has a long history of opposing occupation and with many warlords and armed groups, that only the Taliban are fighting us. This sounds very reminisce of Vietnam were "If they were dead they were automatically VC." Even babies were confirmed VC. How many "Taliban" children have we killed in Afghanistan?

      "Obama made the point that Afghanistan is unlike Vietnam." He also could have spun out his speech a little longer explaining how Afghanistan was unlike WWII, Korea, Columbia, Somali, & Iraq. Why didn't he? He doth protest too much, methinks.

      •  Can you find Waldo? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        The "Gulf of Tonkin stuff" was precisely that LBJ did claim the "we" [U.S. Forces] were attacked from Vietnam.

        And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan.

        Here's a hint:

        Look carefully behind the difference between "U.S. Forces" and "American people".

        --

        Did Obama protest too much?

        I don't think so.  I think he cut the legs out from under the direct comparison between Afghanistan and Vietnam which was one of the attacks being used against his decision.

        There was not need to point out the differences between Afghanistan and the other conflicts you list.

        --

        I don't speak for, or attempt to speak for, the people of Afghanistan.  I did offer two surveys which measured what the Afghan people feel about being governed by the Taliban vs. having foreign forces in their country on a time limited basis.

        Obviously the Taliban don't want us there.  They want to take back over and impose their fundamentalist beliefs on everyone else.  The remainder of the population does not want them back in power.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:59:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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