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By Kenneth J. Theisen  (Original at worldcantwait.org)

Speech reminiscent of Bush

On Monday, August 17th, President Obama made a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention in Phoenix, Arizona. (For transcript see: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/...  In many ways it was reminiscent of similar speeches made by former president George W. Bush.  At the beginning of his remarks Obama made it clear that he will do his best to preserve and expand the U.S. Empire when he stated, "I am honored and humbled to stand before you as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military the world has ever known."

He then went on to praise the military veterans for their actions in past U.S. wars in Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, and the Middle East. He linked their past to the actions of the U.S. war machine today in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and more than 100 other countries where the U.S. currently deploys military forces to defend its empire. He stated, "Today, the story of your service is carried on by a new generation -- dedicated, courageous men and women who I have the privilege to lead and meet every day."

But he did not praise the veterans and current members of the U.S. war machine simply to boost his support among these groups.  Obama was at this convention to rally the military and the U.S. nation to support his current and expanding efforts to preserve the imperialist empire which he heads.

He was explicit about his reasons for making this speech. Obama expounded, "To all those who have served America -- our forces, your families, our veterans -- you have done your duty. You have fulfilled your responsibilities. And now a grateful nation must fulfill ours. And that is what I want to talk about today."

Rally around the flag for "your security"

Obama wishes to rally the entire country around the American flag so that he can not only succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in other areas where the U.S. Empire’s hegemony may be challenged.  He could not be much clearer when he stated, "But let us never forget we are a country of more than 300 million Americans. Less than 1 percent wears the uniform. And that 1 percent -- our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen -- have borne the overwhelming burden of our security. In fact, perhaps never in American history have so few protected so many."
"So the responsibility for our security must not be theirs alone. That is why I have made it a priority to enlist all elements of our national power in defense of our national security...As President, my greatest responsibility is the security and safety of the American people. As I've said before, that is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, it's the last thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night. And I will not hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests."

Obama wants us to believe that the interests of the American people and the American empire are one and the same.  He wants us to support the imperialist wars that he took over on January 20th this year.  Bush did the same during his tenure in office.  After 9/11 we were told repeatedly that "our" security demanded that we rally behind "our" president.  In the interest of "national security" we were told that war, torture, massive surveillance, and other war crimes and crimes against humanity were in "our" interest.  But these were lies under Bush and they are still lies under Obama.  The vast majority of people in the U.S. have no interest in preserving or extending the U.S. imperialist empire at the expense of the people of the world.

A smarter war commander?

Obama pretends to be different than Bush when it comes to his role as Commander-in-Chief.  He attempts to distinguish himself by pledging to be a smarter war commander than Bush. In the speech he claims, "And that's why I have made this pledge to our armed forces: I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary. And when I do, it will be based on good intelligence and guided by a sound strategy. I will give you a clear mission, defined goals, and the equipment and support you need to get the job done."  But what is a necessity for the U.S. Empire is not in the best interests of the people.

Increasing the size of the war machine

Obama bragged in his speech about increasing the size of the U.S. war machine. "We need to keep our military the best-trained, the best-led, the best-equipped fighting force in the world. And that's why, even with our current economic challenges, my budget increases defense spending....And that's why we've increased the size of the Army and the Marine Corps two years ahead of schedule and have approved another temporary increase in the Army."

But what interest do the masses of people have in seeing the U.S. military expanded?  The U.S. already spends more on it military than the entire rest of the world combined.  It has more than 700 bases all over the world in some 130 countries. It has thousands of nuclear warheads, enough to destroy the world many times.  It controls all the world’s oceans with a fleet that can "project power" virtually anywhere.  But the U.S. ruling class still argues it needs to expand the military capabilities of its war machine.  It maintains that the military is "stretched." It is currently involved in two major wars and from the ruling class point of view it needs more resources to continue to maintain and expand U.S. hegemony.  But we need to ask what is in our interest? Does the ruling class need more resources to carry the war of terror into Iran, North Korea, Syria or other nations?  Does it need more to achieve its goals in Afghanistan?

Escalation in Afghanistan

As he promised in his presidential campaign that he would escalate the war in Afghanistan, Obama told the VFW audience how he is accomplishing this. "We will equip our forces with the assets and technologies they need to fight and win. So my budget funds more of the Army helicopters, crews, and pilots urgently needed in Afghanistan; the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that gives our troops the advantage; the special operations forces that can deploy on a moment's notice..."  According to Obama we are supposed to support the fact that the war in Afghanistan will now be expanded under his leadership.

Extending war of terror into Pakistan

Obama, in his speech, also defends his expansion of the U.S. war of terror into Pakistan. He states "...that al Qaeda and its allies had moved their base from the remote, tribal areas -- to the remote, tribal areas of Pakistan."  Obama does not say so in his speech, but since taking office he has increased the number of missile strikes into Pakistan, killing many civilians. Pakistan has also erupted into open civil war in the tribal areas and even near the capital. During the Bush regime over $10 billion in U.S. military aid was provided to Pakistan. Obama supports increasing military aid to the Pakistani military so that it can further assist the U.S. war machine in the war of terror.  In the VFW speech Obama explains, "And our new strategy has a clear mission and defined goals: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies."

War of necessity?  

Obama makes clear that the Afghanistan war will be a long one. He explains, "This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is a -- this is fundamental to the defense of our people."  By raising the "fear card "Obama is taking a cue from the Bush regime.  

Bush used fear to justify his initial invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and then the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Obama now uses it to escalate the war in Afghanistan and to expand it into Pakistan. We are supposed to go along with this. To protect "Americans" we are supposed to allow our government to kill others.  Over a million Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis have already died since 9/11 as a direct result of that excuse. Millions more have become refugees and suffered unimagined abuses.  Thousands have been tortured and tens of thousands incarcerated in hellholes run by the U.S. and it allies.  How many more will die and be abused if we continue to be suckers that believe this "fear" excuse?

War for building the future or bringing death and destruction?

But Obama wants us to forget the suffering that has followed in the wake of the U.S. Empire’s wars.  He expects us to believe that the war of terror actually is part of a brighter future for the people of the countries invaded by the U.S.  He claims, "And at every step of the way, we will assess our efforts to defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and to help the Afghan and Pakistani people build the future that they seek." (To see what the U.S. State Department says about human rights abuses in Afghanistan under the U.S., see http://www.worldcantwait.net/...

But despite what the U.S. propaganda machine claims, U.S. wars only spread death and destruction in the countries invaded. Only a fool would believe otherwise. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have proved this and slick claims by Obama will not change reality.

Maintaining America’s military dominance is not in our interest
While Obama asserts he is interested in the future of the Afghan and Pakistani people he is really concerned about the future of the U.S. military and it ability to protect the Empire.  He states this in his speech. "We must prepare our forces for the missions of tomorrow...our defense review is taking a top-to-bottom look at our priorities and posture, questioning conventional wisdom, rethinking old dogmas and challenging the status quo. We're asking hard questions about the forces we need and the weapons we buy. And when we're finished, we'll have a new blueprint for the 21st-century military that we need...No matter the mission, we must maintain America's military dominance."  Obama admits this is his real role as commander-in-chief.  He will serve and protect the empire.

But did most people that voted for Obama vote for maintaining America's military dominance?  And why do we need to support military dominance?  Whose interest is served?  Does it make us safer to have the U.S. military dominate the world? I would argue that it only makes more enemies and people who may resort to terrorism out of frustration with the way the U.S. imperialism treats the people of the world. But even if it did make us safer as individuals, is it acceptable to kill and abuse millions to save ourselves?  Are American lives more valuable that those of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians, and other non-Americans?

Also do you really believe that the imperialist ruling class really cares about American lives?  While that may be the rationale that we are fed by the likes of Obama and the other leaders of the ruling class, it is not the real reason they want military dominance.  They wish to preserve their system.  That is why they maintain their military forces. The same system that kills and abuses people around the world, keeps one fifth of the U.S. population in poverty and tens of millions of Americans from getting decent medical care.  It keeps millions of immigrants in fear of deportation and exploits their labor.  It enforces a system of racism against tens of millions more. These are only a few of the daily abuse that this system of imperialism enforces and we are expected to believe that the America's military dominance is in our interests. I do not think so, what about you?

Originally posted to ken17762003 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm gonna give Obama a big fat (14+ / 0-)

    HELL YEAH!!!

    On that one.  I have no interest in not being a military superpower.

    You'd be a lot cooler if you were from Minnesota!!!

    by mim5677 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:52:39 AM PDT

    •  I know. It doesnt' (6+ / 1-)

      seem that relative weakness HELPS countries.

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:55:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The search to become omnipotent (4+ / 0-)

        has often weakened, if not actually destroyed empires, though. Russia, England, Germany, Japan...Rome, Macedonian Greece....Egypt. All have suffered from this view at one point or another, where are they now? There is a middle ground, you know.

        •  And it is hurting us today. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lysias, Simplify, EthrDemon, nippersdad

          Supporters of military power don't know the ignore the costs of our military, the opportunities we give up to maintain it, the damage it does to our civil liberties and how it makes us a target for the rest of the world.

          I recommend The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free by Chris Preble.  Chris is a former Navy officer, Gulf War I vet and Director of Foreign Policy Studies at Cato.  He's good people.

          Results count for more than intentions do.

          by VA Classical Liberal on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:43:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The opportunity cost of spending twice what the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lysias

            rest of the world does just so that we can say we have a big, big phallus is appalling. Take the difference between what is necessary to actually defend ourselves and what we presently spend to drop bombs on the third world with impunity and we could solve many of the problems that brought us there in the first place, permanently.

            •  Agree, but one correction. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lysias

              We don't spend 2X the rest of the world.  Our spending is around 1X the rest of the world's, depending on how much we've appropriated for off-budget operations in a given year.  Roughly speaking, we account for 1/2 of all military spending world wide.

              If we're getting our money's worth, we should be able to whip the entire rest of the world in a fair fight.  If we're getting any kind of economy of scale, we should be able to throw the Martians and Venusians in and still come out of top.

              Cut our Dept. of Defense down to just what is needed to defend us and we could pay off the entire national debt in less than 20 years.  Probably much less, since an enormous amount of money which now goes to military make-work programs would be diverted to productive enterprises.

              Results count for more than intentions do.

              by VA Classical Liberal on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:20:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I admit, the figures I see have me totally (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lysias

                confused, their sheer magnitude is enough to stop rational thought in its' tracks. You are probably spot on. War on drugs, war on terror, war on Venutians (that was funny!); it is just endless. If we actually had the number of enemies we are told we have, we must be pretty ugly specimens.

                If we were to spend half the time listening to the concerns of others that we do extolling our American Exceptionalism, a lot more could get done than endless funding of a MIC could ever hope to achieve.

    •  Congratulations on being an imperialist supporter (1+ / 3-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias
      Hidden by:
      kefauver, high bitrate, Judgment at Nuremberg

      It is people like you who support the U.S. war machine. You should be proud of yourself. I am sure Bush and Obama are.

      •  .... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm going to hold back.  I usually like to blast the "you people" crowd out of the water like a Russian submarine, but it seems that you got the message.

        Despite your best effort to pin me down after reading two sentences of my opinion.....you failed.  

        It may be people like me that gladly support the U.S. war machine that at one point in time or another have allowed you to waste bandwidth or breath.  

        I must remind you that it is also people like me that understand that the solution to a problem is not always to do the opposite.  

        Ignoring the truth is as dangerous as any bomb.  

        Would you be alive or have the freedom that you have without the benefit of the U.S. war machine?

        You'd be a lot cooler if you were from Minnesota!!!

        by mim5677 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:30:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Leaps and bounds (12+ / 0-)

    "So the responsibility for our security must not be theirs alone. That is why I have made it a priority to enlist all elements of our national power in defense of our national security...As President, my greatest responsibility is the security and safety of the American people. As I've said before, that is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, it's the last thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night. And I will not hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests."

    Obama wants us to believe that the interests of the American people and the American empire are one and the same.

    I don't make the same leap to the "Empire" as you do from that quote.

    The entire diary is full of it.

    Reptiles (a/k/a republicans) have no "empathy"

    by Judgment at Nuremberg on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

  •  When Darth Obama shoots the death star ray (13+ / 0-)

    at Tehran and zaps Luke Ahminejadwalker, your journey to the dark side will be complete, my young apprentice.

    Sarah Palin is attacking the Death Star Panel from her Rebel Snow Machine.

    by Bobs Telecaster on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:54:47 AM PDT

  •  Arthur Silber wonders where you've been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, nippersdad

    Writing on May 15:

    ...to continue to believe that Barack Obama represents any kind of "improvement" over the abomination of George W. Bush is not an innocent error. To persist in delusions of this kind requires that one intentionally and deliberately blind oneself to evidence that assaults us every day.

    ...

    We can now see unequivocally and in full, bloody daylight the nature of the "change" that Obama has brought to the operations of Empire. Obama will alter nothing in those operations, except to expand them and make them still more murderous. But because Obama has been heralded as the exponent of "hope" and "change," and because the majority of Americans exhibit an endless capacity for crediting the most meaningless of slogans, many people will continue to struggle to convince themselves that somehow things might have been worse had he not been elected. How could they have been "worse" for the 140 dead Afghanis, 95 of whom were children? Are murders ordered by a Democratic president not as final as those ordered by a Republican president? And this does not even consider the murder campaign now underway in Pakistan at the instigation of the Obama administration. Obama has repeatedly made clear that he's just getting started. Throughout the interminable campaign, Obama never hid what he stood for. To the contrary, he stated his plans for more and more war repeatedly, and in detail. If you failed to grasp this fact, it can only be because you did not want to grasp it.

    ...

    Barack Obama is the perfect front man for the continuation of Empire -- for more murder, more slaughter, more brutality and, yes, more torture.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com...

  •  Jesus fucking.....here we go again. (25+ / 0-)

    LOL! Obama is Hitler from the nutcase right, Obama is Bush from the nutcase left.

    As if ANY American president left right or center would actually go out and say 'i want America to have a weak and largely impotent military...because its in our national interest.'

    Frickin FDR made us a superpower. JFK told us we'd bear any burden to remain one. But you don't compare Obama to them...oh no...he must be Bush. Not even George H.W. Bush...but the absolutely incompetent Bush the younger.

    Jeez.

    "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:58:08 AM PDT

  •  what a bunch of fact free bullshit... (21+ / 0-)

    who would have thought that:

    "I am honored and humbled to stand before you as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military the world has ever known."

    really means

    [I] will do [my] best to preserve and expand the U.S. Empire

    fuck off.

    Of course you'd say that...you have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter!

    by gooners on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:59:21 AM PDT

  •  You know (10+ / 0-)

    with just a little work this would make some great snark. As it is, it's intellectually offensive.

    "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant." -- Barack Obama

    by liberalis on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:02:25 AM PDT

  •  That sure doesn't fit w/ my recollection: (11+ / 0-)

    Bush used fear to justify his initial invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001

    The country was chomping at the bit to invade Afghanistan. (88% supported invasion)

    We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

    by burrow owl on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:05:36 AM PDT

  •  Get real. (7+ / 0-)

    You really expect President Obama to dismantle our global military supremacy? Do you realize how fucked we'd be politically if he did that? And by the way, how the hell could even begin to think about that, knowing damn well at least 90% of Congress would fight him tooth and nail? He'd instantly sabotage his own presidency and become a powerless lame duck overnight.

    I'm all for defense budget cuts. Big ones, too. We could cut the defense budget in half and still maintain supremacy. The president has made substantial cuts (scratching the surface, I know, but it's a good start and consider the outcry from Congress already), killed the use of the militaristic "War on Terror" name, and brought the Iraq and Afghanistan budgets into the actual defense budget so there's more accountability on defense spending. If you don't see this as a major policy shift (and in only ~6 months!), then you're blind.

  •  I don't agree with everything... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, shaharazade, nippersdad

    ...the diarist say, but overall, yes, I think Obama has got it wrong, just as, say, Gorbachev couldn't see his way out of the USSR Empire until it effectively collapsed.

    Selfishly, we can't afford the cost of our military ambitions any more.

    Yes, we "broke" Iraq and Bush left Afghanistan as a lose/lose situation for Obama, so I really feel sorry for him, but what's required is thinking outside the box.

    It might be fair to say that even if Obama agreed to do a 180 degree turnaround, it's likely that politically, it would destroy him. So I'm not blaming him too much either.

    But most of the posters above are wrong, I think, in their assessment of this diary. We are shoveling our way into a catastrophic collapse, and Obama is holding the shovel.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:08:34 AM PDT

  •  Better title: Diarist Channels... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, joe from Lowell, Escamillo

    ...teh stoopid?
    ...Ron Paul?
    ...Ralph Nader?

    Other suggestions?

  •  To anyone who doubts Obama said this about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    military dominance, here it is on the White House Web site:

    We're adopting new concepts -- because the full spectrum of challenges demands a full range of military capabilities -- both the conventional and the unconventional, the ability to defeat both an armored division and the lone suicide bomber; the intercontinental ballistic missile and the improvised explosive device; 18th-century-style piracy and 21st-century cyber threats. No matter the mission, we must maintain America's military dominance.

    "Full-spectrum dominance", by the way, is a catch phrase of military doctrine from the Bush years.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:09:14 AM PDT

    •  Why is "full-spectrum dominance" wrong? (4+ / 0-)

      Because some folks from the Bush admin used the phrase?

      Are you instead suggesting we should have systematic weakenesses in our control of the battlespace?

      There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

      by zhimbo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a hubristic concept, one that Chalmers (0+ / 0-)

        Johnson has denounced at length.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:18:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see that William Engdahl has now also done a (0+ / 0-)

          book on the subject, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, one that I think I am going to have to buy and read:

          Product Description

          For the faction controlling the Pentagon, the military industry, and the oil industry, the Cold War never ended. They engineered an incredible plan to grab total control of the planet, of land, sea, air, space, outer space and cyberspace. Continuing 'below the radar,' they created a global network of military bases and conflicts to advance the long-term goal of Full Spectrum Dominance. Methods included control of propaganda, use of NGOs for regime change, Color Revolutions to advance NATO eastwards, and a vast array of psychological and economic warfare techniques. They even used 'save the gorilla' organizations in Africa to secretly run arms in to create wars for raw materials. It was all part of a Revolution in Military Affairs, as they termed it. The events of September 11, 2001 would allow an American President to declare a worldwide War on Terror, on an enemy who was everywhere, and nowhere. 9/11 justified the Patriot Act, the very act that destroyed Americans' Constitutional freedoms in the name of security. This book gives a disturbing look at the strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance, at what is behind a strategy that could lead us into a horrific nuclear war in the very near future, and at the very least, to a world at continuous war.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:34:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And in Obama's address to the Naval Academy (0+ / 0-)

      graduates on May 22, REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
      AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY COMMENCEMENT
      , we see the same two phrases:

      For history teaches us that the nations that grow comfortable with the old ways and complacent in the face of new threats, those nations do not long endure. And in the 21st century, we do not have the luxury of deciding which challenges to prepare for and which to ignore. We must overcome the full spectrum of threats -- the conventional and the unconventional; the nation-state and the terrorist network; the spread of deadly technologies and the spread of hateful ideologies; 18th century-style piracy and 21st century cyber threats.

      ...

      We'll also ensure you can meet the missions of today, which is why we've halted reductions in Navy personnel and increased the size of the Marine Corps. And we will ensure you can meet the missions of tomorrow, which is why we're investing in the capabilities and technologies of tomorrow -- the littoral combat ships, the most advanced submarines and fighter aircraft -- so that you have what you need to succeed. In short, we will maintain America's military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen. (Applause.)

      In that speech, at least the two phrases were not used in the same paragraph.  But in the VFW speech they were.  That's signaling something.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this snark? (13+ / 0-)

    Here are the first few "scary" Obama quotes:

    "I am honored and humbled to stand before you as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military the world has ever known."

    "Today, the story of your service is carried on by a new generation -- dedicated, courageous men and women who I have the privilege to lead and meet every day."

    "To all those who have served America -- our forces, your families, our veterans -- you have done your duty. You have fulfilled your responsibilities. And now a grateful nation must fulfill ours. And that is what I want to talk about today."

    The horror! The horror!

    There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

    by zhimbo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:09:48 AM PDT

  •  I don't think military dominance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, lysias, nippersdad

    is in any ones interests. I did not vote for endless war, he did not run on endless war. He talked ending the war, diplomacy, sanity and not fear, he talked of adversaries not enemies. Security is not served by killing and abusing for profit and power, and geopolitical dominance. I think we have a choice that is either we are a democratic nation or a corporate Empire. We seem to be on the road that all empires use as a rationale for aggression and barbarism. We will encounter the same fate, the rest of the world does not just roll over when they are faced with a empire determined to take over the world, and be the biggest bad ass. We are not fighting and killing for protection, our military is Olivers Army and it only brings misery not security to us and the rest of the world.    

    I sure as hell did not vote for this neocon wetdream, the one that tortures kills and destroys and calls it nation building. I'm sadly not surprised at the comments that advocate kicking butt and killing for world dominance. How is this different then the crazed neocons?  Who are the terrorists who are the insurgents? Anyone that opposes this nasty ass concept of military and economic dominance and calls it security, necessary and some how divine. Manifest destiny the dark side of America. Here we go again.      

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:15:47 AM PDT

    •  No the terrorists (2+ / 0-)

      are the Taliban that throw acid on young girls faces for attending school.

      You want to side with them...feel free..but not me.

      •  Hawk. Do you know anything about the (0+ / 0-)

        Afghan people prior to the Russian invasion? Before the United States funded the warlords who trained the Taliban? Did you know that Bin Laden was hiding in caves built by the CIA? We have as much of a responsibility for all of the acid thrown in those children's faces as the Russians do insofar as we recruited, trained and equipped the acid throwers in the first place. The warlords are still there and using the Taliban to achieve their objectives. Our hands are not clean.

        Your false choices condemn your argument. And, BTW, I never got an answer from when you jumped me yesterday on monetization of the debt. Still waiting.

        •  The U.S. initially supported the Taliban (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lysias, shaharazade

          The U.S. provided billions of dollars in support of the Islamic fundamentalists when they opposed the Soviet Union. The U.S. also cut a deal with Saudi Arabia to match the U.S. contributions. Osama bin Laden then helped fund and organize the mujahadeen on behalf of the U.S. and Saudis. When the Soviets withdrew, the various factions funded by the U.S. began the Afghan civil war. The U.S. supported the reactionary Taliban in the hope that they could unite the country so that the U.S. could then better exploit it.  Today the Obama regime supports the warlords who oppose the Taliban. But at the same time it is bribing various local Taliban leaders to support the U.S.  Read the 2008 State Department report to see how the U.S. supported government is still violating human rights, particlarly those of women.

          •  I agree with a caveat: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade

            Today the Obama regime supports the warlords who oppose the Taliban.

            The warlords are a feudal governmental system unto themselves and have used the Taliban as enforcers for years. This is why the "Taliban government" prior to the U.S. invasion was so weak, they never actually governed anything, merely kept the populace subjected for economic exploitation by the warlords, economically. Tehy are a cheap enforcement mechanism; who needs to pay a corrupt police force when you have crazies who will do it for free?

            The "Afghan government" can honestly be said to be more of a city council of Kabul; they got nothin'. If you want to actually govern Afghanistan, you will have to take out the warlords. Nothing will change as long as we continue to use them as our proxies and lend a blind eye to their overt seditious activities.

        •  I know all about (0+ / 0-)

          our involvement with Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
          Unfortunately, that matters little to the little girls who's faces were disfigured that I saw in a CNN piece last week.

          I know it is a complex situation. And depending on who you talk to, it is either time to pack up and go home or not.
          Just bailing out on NATO and leaving them there to try to finish the job seems wrong,also.
          Pakistan is now pushing hard against the taliban after we demanded it, and now we bail?

          Obama inherited these wars,he did not start them.
          There is no magic formula to ending them carefully.

          •  Kudos, that was very gracious of you. (0+ / 0-)

            You are right, it does matter little to those girls. However, human nature being what it is, the bombing of civilian centers in tribal areas by Obama will not serve to let anyone forget that we are at the center of all of the problems wrought upon that poor country for the past twenty years. The little girls are just another testament in the average Afghan's view of how America treats third world muslim countries just to make a point.

            We brought NATO in and the "coalition of the extorted" would be more than happy were we to allow them to leave. There are other far more effective ways to rebuild a ravaged nation than to bomb it even further into dust and set sociopaths up as its' leaders. There is no magic formula for winning, but there damn sure is a proven method of staying there for the next fifty years...and then leaving just as we did the last time. Who does that actually help? Certainly not those little girls or their families and certainly not us.

      •  We are not there because of (0+ / 0-)

        the Taliban's treatment of women. Our puppet Karsai, in August in a bid to get more fundamentalist votes passed legislation that makes it legal to deny food to wives who withhold sex. We are there for geopolitical dominance. Afghanistan is not called the graveyard of Empires for nothing. It is the silk road the connections of pipelines the gateway to the east. Added to this is the fact that is is a goldmine for the military industrial industry.

        How does killing and torturing people, installing a UNICOL exec, unleashing Blackwater, expanding Bagram  and destroying their land help women? Especially when we do deals with their oppressors.  There are other ways to help the women in Afghanistan this is a bad argument. Saudi Arabia oppresses women, yet they are our allies. All over the world there are cultures, religions and regimes that abuse women's rights, even our own fundamentalist's seek to deny women's rights. We are not there to help women or even the Afghanistan people.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/...      

        "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

        by shaharazade on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:57:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You Get What You Asked For (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loquatrix

    I recall a certain Left shouting that Obama should be more like Bush - so there you have it.

  •  It's like watching Sean Hannity's (4+ / 0-)

    "liberal translations." Take any sentence and just make shit up about what he's saying.

  •  What's the action item of this diary? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, Treg, citicenx, Jampacked

    Nothing?  Just Chomskyist grandstanding?  I thought so.

    Nothing to see here.

  •  ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberalis, kefauver, joe from Lowell

    Free Mumia!!!

    -7.12, -7.54 / "Health care reform will never take place until Rahm Emanuel is strangled with the entrails of Frank Luntz." - Diderot

    by Big Tex on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30:50 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for proving the wingnuts don't have... (4+ / 0-)

    a monopoly on crazy. I was beginning to doubt my fellow lefties. Obama is all about killing babies for sport and canoodling with our 'ruling class' overlords. I think your politics are a bit out of date and perhaps you've played that Matrix cd a few times too many.

  •  Be careful what you ask for! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure there are some countries like Russia, China, Iran, and, oh, say North Korea? who would gladly pick up the slack/burden should the U.S feel too pressured maintaining dominance.  Who would you want?  I'm sure you would want Kim Jong IL's military to take over the world, right?  I could understand your argument if not for the fact that this is the reality we must accept in this world.  

  •  Obama echoes Bush... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, high bitrate

    and Clinton, and Bush, and Reagan, and Carter, and Ford, and Nixon, and Johnson, and Kennedy, and Eisenhower, and Truman.

    Because Lord knows, George W. Bush was the first president ever to support a strong military.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:49:26 AM PDT

  •  Talk about twisting words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex
  •  Feingold's response to VFW speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Big Tex

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    "I applaud President Obama for addressing our veterans and service members today during this time of incredible strain on our troops.  President Obama rightly acknowledged the need to redouble our commitment to caring for service members, veterans and their families.  He has asked for a historic increase in resources to care for veterans and I strongly support this effort.

    "But what our troops most need now is relief from repeated deployments to war zones.  We should not further delay our redeployment from Iraq.  And while I am pleased the president recognizes the importance of denying Al Qaeda a safe haven in Pakistan, I remain concerned that the continued expansion of our military operations in Afghanistan will push militants into Pakistan, further aggravating the extremism that has spread to more and more parts of that country. This escalation has already significantly increased U.S. casualties.

    "Finally, I am pleased that President Obama stated he will veto any defense bill filled with pork the Pentagon didn't even request.  The legislation I have introduced with Senator John McCain would help eliminate congressional earmarks from future defense and other spending bills.  By reducing wasteful spending, we can focus precious resources on providing the capabilities needed by our troops on the battlefield today."



    Medical Marijuana is Healthcare. does YOUR bill cover it?

    by ben masel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:03:52 AM PDT

  •  As a progressive voter I want (3+ / 0-)

    President Obama to maintain our military dominance.

    Defense from foreign attack is arguably the most important role of national government and I strongly applaud his work to maintain and improve our military posture.

    Do those who govern us abuse our power? Sure. Does that abuse mean we should abandon military power? Hell no.

    It means that we as voters should attempt to elect presidents who do not view the use of military power as part of their everyday foreign policy took kit.

    I trust that President Obama will wind down our mis-adventure in Iraq; negotiate well I hope the many land mines confronting our legitimate foreign policy interests in Afghanistan; avoid ginning up unwise and expensive future military expeditions; and, at the end of his term, leave us a military more powerful and dangerous to our enemies than when he took office.  

    Ilegitami non carborundum.

    by kevinpolk9 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:21:15 AM PDT

  •  This VFW address is also the address in which (0+ / 0-)

    Obama said:

    As I said when I announced this strategy, there will be more difficult days ahead. The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't just happen overnight and we won't defeat it overnight. This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:34:13 PM PDT

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