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There are many reasons I continue to want us out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  

Some will respond to this diary with "War is hell."  

A NYTimes story  this week about the alleged coverup of the killing of Afghan women by our Special Forces reinforces that.

Our policy there has produced failure and worse, continuing with President Obama's changes.

Progressives should be taking weekly action to help end our occupations there and elsewhere.  

I still cannot forget what happened in our name in Iraq at Abu Ghraib prison. The torture, rape, sodomy by our soldiers and contractors --its so bizarre, so horrible.

But this week a New York Times story contains info that must rank right up there with some of the most horrid actions ever reported on, if true:
New York Times:  U.S. Admits Role in Killing of Afghan Women

KABUL, Afghanistan — After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.

The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the nature of their deaths.

Dug out the fucking bullets.

Sorry, Mr. President, this war is wrong. And not just because of this isolated atrocity, but the huge continuing waste and contractor welfare, tripling of soldier and civilian deaths, and poor results:

The U.S.'s Expanding Military Empire Tom Engelhardt: U..S. War-Fighting Numbers to Knock Your Socks Off

SNIP
When it comes to that slo-mo drawdown, all the numbers turn out to be staggering.  They are also a reminder of just how the Pentagon has been fighting its wars in these last years -- like a compulsive shopper without a 12-step recovery program in sight.  Whether it’s 3.1 million items of equipment, or 3 million, 2.8 million, or 1.5 million, whether 341 "facilities" (not including perhaps ten mega-bases which will still be operating in 2011 with tens of thousands of American soldiers, civilians, and private contractors working and living on them), or more than 350  forward operating facilities, or 290  bases are to be shut down, the numbers from Iraq are simply out of this world.

Those sorts of figures define the U.S. military in the Bush era -- and now Obama's -- as the most materiel-profligate war-making machine ever.  Where armies once had baggage trains and camp followers, our camp followers now help plant our military in foreign soil, build its housing and defenses, and then supply it with vast quantities of food, water, fuel, and god knows what else.  In this way, our troops carry not just packs on their backs, but a total, transplantable society right down to the PXs, massage parlors, food courts, and miniature golf courses.  At Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan, there was until recently a "boardwalk" that typically included a "Burger King, a Subway sandwich shop, three cafes, several general stores, a Cold Mountain Creamery, [and an] Oakley sunglasses outlet."  Atypically enough, however, a TGI Friday’s, which had just joined the line-up, was recently ordered shut down along with some of the other stores by Afghan war commander General Stanley McChrystal as inimical to the war effort.  SNIP


Action Option:

Progressive Democrats of America expands the Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign to include Brown Bag Lunch Vigils. Snip
By being outside of our representatives’ offices on a monthly basis, BBLVs become a reminder to the community—and our representatives—that these wars and our taxes’ going to these wars continue without an end in sight. snip

The inside part of the strategy starts with sending a directed version of the monthly letters to a BBLV’s representative and senators, stating the purpose of the vigils and what each BBLV hopes to accomplish with and through them. This monthly contact consistently sends a reaffirmed message to the representative and senators that lays down the gauntlet as our challenge to them to sign on to legislation to stop funding wars and set firm dates for complete withdrawal.

Link provides steps.

What steps will you or are you taking to bring our troops and contractors home?

###

UPDATE: I have been asked to clarify the "Obama Fail" shortcut in title. I agree with Alan Grayson:

   Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) decried the Afghanistan strategy being currently pursued by the Obama administration as "fundamentally wrong" during a press conference Tuesday.

   "[The strategy is] based on the premise that our country knows what’s best for other people, it’s based upon the premise that we have to send troops to the other side of the world because that’s the only way to protect ourselves. Those propositions are simply wrong," said Grayson.

   Grayson made his statement moments after taking the House floor to urge his fellow Congressmen to oppose troop escalations.

   Grayson cast the notion of sending 100,000 servicemen and women 8,000 miles away to protect the U.S. as absurd.

   "Why don’t we protect our borders? Why don’t we work with other countries to try to crack down on the terrorists that the bedevil us all. Why is it that we have to occupy another country? This is an 18th century strategy being employed against a 14th century enemy," said Grayson.

   Grayson added that the war is costing too much, in both money and in lives.
SNIP

UPDATE 2:  Urgent action today being called for:

Call Congress Today, Vote NO on 33 BILLION more dollars being wasted in Afghanistan; Our States are Bankrupt, fund them instead (call Mon. through Fri.)

Over 500,000 US Soldiers seek VA Treatment; WikiLeaks Video "U.S. Military slaying two News Staff and other innocents; "It’s the OIL, Stupid (or the pipeline routes); Obama is WRONG, Vote NO on the added 33 BILLION he wants for added fighting in Afghanistan (and Pakistan); Alert your Members of Congress, call them, numbers here.
By 25outof25centralasia

Originally posted to divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and some fools claim (9+ / 0-)

    we are there to 'protect the women' and 'make sure the girls go to school'.  

    What a load of shit.

    WaPo had an article today where they claim the US troops are going after the Taliban and leaving the poppy crops alone in Helmand Province.  What they failed to note is that our troops are doing this to protect the investments of the members of the Karzai government.

    I wonder how many pregnant women and children and other non-combatants will be killed by our bombs and bullets (and the aftereffects) before we stop this massive evil.

    War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

    by dancewater on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:18:50 AM PDT

  •  Not saying any of this is right (8+ / 0-)

    But, just for reference, the incident in question happened in 2007, well before Obama was in office.  It had already been covered up, and likely forgotten well before he or any of his people took office.  

    Not to say its being handled well now, just that it didn't start with him or his policies.  Cleaning up a mess is usually alot more of a pain if its been sitting in the dark with mold growing for awhile than doing it right in the first place.

  •  Obama needs to be held accountable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, nippersdad

    whatever "being held accountable" maens anymore.  We tried to hold GWB accountable - and it led to nothing.  The RW won't care about this and there are too many faux war protestors on our side as well as Obamapologists....

    Nothing will happen.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:23:40 AM PDT

    •  DID YOU FORGET (0+ / 0-)

      GWB STARTED IT ALL AND YOU WERE PROBABLY ONE OF THE STUPOS THAT WAS CHEERING BUT LESS YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FORGET OBAMA DID NOT START IT HE IS JUST THE CLEAN UP MAN

    •  Thanks for commenting. I tend to beleive (3+ / 0-)

      that nothing will happen if we do not make it happen. I like the PDA idea of working weekly for change. You?

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:26:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure I agree entirely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctexrep

      Is President Obama accountable for everything that happened under the Bush administration?  This happened on W's watch.  

      Let's see how President Obama responds before we pass judgment.  WikiLeaks got this from military folks on the QT.  I guarantee you that this is the kind of thing our military would not share with ANYONE.  You lie and obfuscate about things like this as it is embarrassing and damning.  

      My bet is that they are looking at this closely and discussing it with Pentagon officials to make sure they understand the context of the video before commenting.  

      Don't get me wrong.  It's terrible, sad, and fuels an unending anger in anyone with an ounce of compassion.  However, let's place blame where it's due and let's criticize the current president for this if nothing good comes out of this administration in response to what transpired.  Until then, let cooler heads prevail...

      Peace.

      "Now if people got problems and they got problems with people oh yeah I know what it is to be there." - DW

      by ScantronPresident on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:41:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This particular incident happened two months ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nippersdad, JesseCW

        not on "W's watch".

        We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire... Chalmers Johnson

        by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:55:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Under the Geneva Conventions, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScantronPresident, JesseCW, ctexrep

        if he does not work to investigate, to publicize the infractions and then bring the perps to justice, he becomes as guilty as those he defends from prosecution. I, for one, will have no pity for the man if he is brought up on charges at the Hague. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, and I do not believe him to be ignorant of the law.

        A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

        by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:04:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I understand your point (5+ / 0-)

        but Obama wanted to be President.  He's no dumbell - he knew what he was getting himself into - maby not every detail - but the two wars he certainly knew a great deal about.  He campaigned to restore our moral authority - he campaigned to the rule of law.

        He is now the President - I know he didn't create a lot of the mess and he needs time to clean things up - but is that what he's doing?

        IMHO, Candidate Obama (and me) are either naive and that the real world requires heavy handed, covert, cover-up actions and he has decided to continue on from his predecessor or it was a campagn promise (aka lie) never intended to be carried out.

        I really liked what I heard but I don't really like what I'm seeing.

        President O, as a leader, has to assume responsibility - he was appointed, he campainged becasue he wanted the job....and now he has it.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:06:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ScantronPresident, you are mistaken. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScantronPresident, JesseCW

        Let's see how President Obama responds before we pass judgment.  WikiLeaks got this from military folks on the QT.

        This is not the wikileaks reported incident.  See link in diary.

        See link to CBS on the 'lo-mo drawdown'. See also my comment below on huge expansions still going on. We have been seeing how Obama responds. Now its time to let him know other actions are needed.

        www.yesweSTILLcan.org

        by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:19:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops, sorry, see you have caught this. nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ScantronPresident, JesseCW

          www.yesweSTILLcan.org

          by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:21:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, JesseCW, PhilJD

          ScantronPresident really screwed it up this time!  ;-)  

          In a cowardly reply to all of the people pointing out what a dumbass ScantronPresident is for his asinine, non-relevant comment, SP determined that the best course of action was to blame a lack of caffeine for his thoughtless outburst.  Slinking to the corner, he determined that he will apologize to every single person on the Inter-tubez for his silly mistake and maybe even hug a teabagger to balance out his Karma... wait a minute... that didn't come out right.... The hugging teabaggers bit... (Teabagger jokes never get old, he thought!)  Now, he sits a broken, disheveled wreck of a human being distraught that he wrote something demonstrably false on the Internet and falsely attempting to console himself by believing that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't the first person to make such an error.  Sadly, he reached the opposite conclusion and is now under the close watch of those who care about him...

          Have a nice day, DivineOrder - and always check your tabs to make sure you're on the story/diary you think you are.  Important safety tip, kids!  

          Much love,

          ScantronPresident

          "Now if people got problems and they got problems with people oh yeah I know what it is to be there." - DW

          by ScantronPresident on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:32:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  WHEN DID YOU DECIDE (0+ / 0-)

    THAT THIS WAR WAS WRONG EVERYONE WAS SO GUNGHO FOR BOTH THESE WARS UNTIL BUSH GOT OUT OF OFFICE NOW THEY SEEM TO FORGET WHO STARTED THEM AND LEFT THE MESS FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO CLEAN UP AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE HOPING HE WOULD FAIL RIGHT OUT THE GATE AND NOW THEY HAVE TO FIGURE ANOTHER WAY TO BLAME HIM

  •  Largest logistical effort by the U.S. since the (10+ / 0-)

    start of WWII.  That's the MIC we have now.  I think even Eisenhaeur would be amazed at how it's progressed and basically taken over our society.  It sure can't be ended with the common people playing their parts of republicans and democrats arguing with each other.    

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:24:28 AM PDT

    •  Its a gold rush for contractors in Afghanistan: (5+ / 0-)

      NYT published Reuters today
      NATO Airbase Turns Into Boomtown In Afghan Desert By REUTERS Published: April 8, 2010

      SNIP
      As the U.S. military sends in an additional 30,000 troops to quash a resurgent Taliban, the NATO airbase in the south is frantically expanding like a gold rush town.

      Thousands of new container housing units have gone up, bulldozers are readying the ground for new warehouses and a patch of land outside is being cleared of mines to add space.SNIP

      Good news about mine clearing.

      Who believes that US is not planning permanent bases there? I

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Karzai himself said we're there for permanent (3+ / 0-)

        bases.

        "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

        by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:10:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  McCain called for them. Tom Hayden (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, JesseCW

          opined about Pentagon plans in LA Times recently:

          he 'Long War' quagmire The doctrine, which posits an 80-year or so war against insurgents in the Middle East to South Asia, needs more scrutiny. Opinion March 28, 2010|By Tom Hayden

          Without public debate and without congressional hearings, a segment of the Pentagon and fellow travelers have embraced a doctrine known as the Long War, which projects an "arc of instability" caused by insurgent groups from Europe to South Asia that will last between 50 and 80 years. According to one of its architects, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are just "small wars in the midst of a big one."
          Advertisement

          Consider the audacity of such an idea. An 80-year undeclared war would entangle 20 future presidential terms stretching far into the future of voters not yet born. The American death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan now approaches 5,000, with the number of wounded a multiple many times greater. Including the American dead from 9/11, that's 8,000 dead so far in the first decade of the Long War. And if the American armed forces are stretched thin today, try to conceive of seven more decades of combat.

          The costs are unimaginable too. According to economists Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, Iraq alone will be a $3-trillion war. Those costs, and the other deficit spending of recent years, yield "virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors," according to a New York Times budget analysis in February. Continued deficit financing for the Long War will rob today's younger generation of resources for their future. Snip

          www.yesweSTILLcan.org

          by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:32:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So you're pissed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    that we try to make deployments a little more comfortable for the troops?

    That's an odd concern.

    In this way, our troops carry not just packs on their backs, but a total, transplantable society right down to the PXs, massage parlors, food courts, and miniature golf courses.  At Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan, there was until recently a "boardwalk" that typically included a "Burger King, a Subway sandwich shop, three cafes, several general stores, a Cold Mountain Creamery, [and an] Oakley sunglasses outlet."

    •  /snark, right? nt (0+ / 0-)

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's not fucking snark. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, tjcj

        This piece of shit diary should be snark, though.  I'm sure Obama loves dealing with this shit.  He's just gotta love dealing with this pissant, violent, rack-and-a-hard place region of the world.  It's not like he's got other problems that need attention.

        Do any of you naive idealists think that everything will just be ok and that YOUR security will be enhanced by leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan (and their nuclear weapons) to the America-hating (as proven on 9/11) Taliban and their radical Islamist allies?

        Are you really that fucking ignorant?

        Still think I'm peddling snark?

        It's better on top.

        by PeakRaider on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:31:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay I understand your anger, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn, divineorder, JesseCW

          and see your point about making the troops more comfortable during deployment. But, I think a more concerted effort should be made by the administration to eliminate stuff like this

          ...

          * Believe it or not, according to a recent report by the Pentagon inspector general, private contractor KBR, holding a $38 billion contract to provide the U.S. military with “a range of logistic services,” has cost Washington $21 million in “waste” on truck maintenance alone by billing for 12 hours of work when, on average, its employees were actually putting in 1.3 hours.

          from Engelhardt's article.

          You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

          by rexymeteorite on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the administration (0+ / 0-)

            is bringing action to bear against Haliburton/KBR for Fraud.    They are not ignoring it.

            I don't know that they have foresworn single source, no bid contracts, but that's the next place.  

        •  Do you really think the only fucking thing (7+ / 0-)

          everyone else thinks about is our own fucking safety???  Are you really that fucking ignorant?  Some people actually care about whether this country has the right to be imposing itself on other countries; we actually care about whether this country has the slightest integrity and morality anymore; we actually care about all the millions of people over there who are being devastated by our war while this country makes sure we don't have to suffer at all - and that our troops get to stay as Americanized as possible.  Of course the troops lives  shouldn't be any worse than necessary while there - but that doesn't mean it has to be set up to pretend they're back here in the States.  So maybe get off your high horse and engage in a conversation if you're interested in the subject rather than doing all your shouting.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:41:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How do you get I am pissed? Is linking to (5+ / 0-)

          a description of spending what you are going on? I am not pissed, am somewhat sickened, and am working for change in US Policy. You?

          You also write:

          Do any of you naive idealists think that everything will just be ok and that YOUR security will be enhanced by leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan (and their nuclear weapons) to the America-hating (as proven on 9/11) Taliban and their radical Islamist allies?

          Yes. I absolutely believe that. What's happening now is creating more security problems for us, not less. We need to be focusing more on security and other needs at home:

          It's not like he's got other problems that need attention.

          www.yesweSTILLcan.org

          by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:42:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lemme guess, you voted for Bush twice, right? (0+ / 0-)

          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

          by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:08:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Is a pissant part of the world so defined because (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weasel, divineorder

          it's populated by "pissants", or because of some other reason?

          Satrap Wanted. Lawless Central Asian region needs firm hand. Compensation paid in Opium, or an equal weight in Catamites. Must stay bought!

          by JesseCW on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:43:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that we should separate the wrong or bad thinking that deploys troops from the amenities created when the troops have been committed to long term deployment overseas.

        It doesn't make it ok to be in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even slightly more acceptable, if the troops are housed in pup tents and eat only MRE's for a year or more at a time.

        The money spent on troop comfort and morale isn't the waste in this military adventure.  Its the adventure itself.

        •  Making them live in pup tents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn, JesseCW

          does, however, make it more likely that they are not there permanently. I think that is the point. One does not invade a country, build the world's largest bases and embassies and then claim that this is in any way meant to be temporary.

          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

          by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:10:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that assumes (0+ / 0-)

            the tail is waving the dog.   If we make life miserable beyond compare for the troops deployed, the political decisions deploying them will change?   That's the best we can do?  Our politicians and MIC prefer endless war, but if we make the troops, generally volunteers for economic reasons, they can find no other employment opportunities, the fatcats living off the war machine will have second thoughts?

            That's not the moral high ground.

            •  When was war meant to be fun, or even (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder, JesseCW

              an acceptable lifestyle for those engaged in it? War is, by definition, not meant to be permanent. When you accept that argument, you have bought into the raison D'etre of the very fatcats you so deplore. This is an argument they would make in order to extend the intolerable. If we were not spending half our budget on wars, maybe we could incent other industries with the money we are already raising and, thereby, give employment to those who are otherwise destined for cannon fodder in our society.

              A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

              by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:21:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I never said it was supposed to be fun (0+ / 0-)

                but I also disavow that it should be punishment.

                And I do believe that military service itself should not be treated as an "unacceptable lifestyle".   While I don't believe in unending war, I am not a pacifist, I don't believe armed response is always wrong.

                But even more particularly, with a volunteer army based on social and economic inequalities so that the poorest and minorities bear the brunt of service, I see no purpose in claiming that these people don't deserve familiar food choices, entertainment and comfortable and clean living and sanitation facilities.  Attacking the weakest and least capable individuals because you can't get to the real criminals is unacceptable to me.  I see no reason to punish a symptom because I can't get to the root cause.  In fact, it detracts from attempting to get to the root cause.

                •  I think you have totally missed my point. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  divineorder, JesseCW

                  When you are building cities to support a professional standing army during an occupation, you are not talking about the sort of wars that Americans commonly support. I agree that the least economically viable among us should not be treated badly, however, to create a professional class of cannon fodder should never have been incented in the first place, and actions like these will do nothing to prevent it from becoming a norm.

                  I'm not talking about punishing a symptom, but recognizing the existence of a disease.

                  A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                  by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:44:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  which I had already (0+ / 0-)

                    acknowledged, so your point was?   Where did I need informing again?

                    •  Deemphasizing the permanent (0+ / 0-)

                      nature of our MIC will only happen when it starts to be defunded. I'm not a pacifist either, but one needn't be to see that making imperialism an implicit part of our society changes it in insidious ways. Ask a grunt during WWII on Guadalcanal if they thought a McDonalds type installation on hamburger ridge (or where ever) was a good idea and they would stare at you, just before you were sent behind the lines with a diagnosis of shell shock.

                      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                      by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:32:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  so our military (0+ / 0-)

                        is held permanently to the standards by which troops were treated in WWII?   Does that mean no body armor, no night scopes, no fully automatic weapons, modern communication, etc.?   Or just their personal comfort?

                        •  Are you being deliberately obtuse? (0+ / 0-)

                          None of the grunts on Guadalcanal ever would have wanted a culture, an industry of war like the one that is presently being supported with your rationales.

                          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                          by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:45:34 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  the industry of war (0+ / 0-)

                            is a separate issue from what troops who are not actively engaged in battle have in the way of amenities.  Troops that were stationed in WWII at more permanent bases or behind the lines were provided with amenities.  Having things from home has always been an important consideration.  If they could have had more, I am sure they would have enjoyed having the local diner and blue plate specials.

                            Its also something to consider that in some places, US troops aren't particularly compatible with local customs (and again the argument "should we be in such places" is different than what troops get once somebody decides to put them in those places) so they can't and shouldn't be going to local establishments.  Which makes it incumbent on the military to provide all needs away from local populations.

                          •  The question is not whether or not (0+ / 0-)

                            the troops should eat potatoes they themselves have peeled in a quasi-temporary encampment, but whether or not McDonald's should be in a position to make a profit off of the troops eating their potatoes, with the odds being that millions will be served in the future, by design.

                            That war is now an industry, as you yourself have pointed out, is what is at issue here. That the troops cannot frequent the Rick's American Cafe' in Baghdad is not the same thing as providing a city full of Rick's American Cafe's because war is now a permanent American industry of choice in a given region. This is not so much about the comfort level of the troops so much as it is about the comfort level of the citizenry (who pays for them) being amenable to paying for it the rest of their lives to suit a few warmongers who can never get enough. Imperialism is a mindset, and one that we seem well on our way toward fully accepting.

                            A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                            by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 01:37:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Objecting to 100 dollar six packs of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          Coke isn't really about wanting our troops to somehow suffer.

          Satrap Wanted. Lawless Central Asian region needs firm hand. Compensation paid in Opium, or an equal weight in Catamites. Must stay bought!

          by JesseCW on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:46:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that wasn't the point (0+ / 0-)

            that was originally made.   Nor was it the thrust of the comment I responded to, plus I have already pointed out that the fraud is the subject of legal action.  

            Pretty much, the comments started out pretty anti- decent living standards for troops, not about the fraud.

            •  Never a comment here that was anti decent living (0+ / 0-)

              standards for troops. Prove it.

              www.yesweSTILLcan.org

              by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:23:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  when Peak Raider (0+ / 0-)

                complained about the quoted language that was critical of the living standards by allowing PX, Burger Kings and Subways, and asked what was wrong with decent living standards, you questioned if it was snark.

                You thought someone who thought homelike food and other  stores on a base was ok was snark.  If you think a comment supporting troop amenties is snark, maybe you aren't anti-decent living standards just anti-support for decent living standards.

                Nippersdad's first comment certainly wasn't support.

                •  Keep on trying to slant this to be anti troop, (0+ / 0-)

                  but so far you are not being very successful.

                  Look back at the diary. The part about fast food was in the quoted block about spending.

                  No where no how are any remarks made about anti decent living standards by me so I thought for sure he must be kidding.

                  Yes, Nipperdad's comment was very much clarifying and in support.

                  www.yesweSTILLcan.org

                  by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 12:02:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you think (0+ / 0-)

                    Nippersdad's statement that he wanted to discourage the 'lifetyle' choice and it shouldn't be 'fun' and that the troops in WWII would think I had shell shock were supportive of our troops?

                    I don't mind full fledged real disagreement, but this isn't it.   PeakRaider's first comment pointed out specifically what he found distasteful he quoted the language from the quote in the diary, it was clearly not related to fraud, but the idea that a boardwalk with stores and food places like in America were wrong.  But he never said you made the comment personally, but he questioned the idea behind the quoted language.  You made the snark comment.  Walk it back however you like, but the line of comments was anything but supportful of PeakRaider's criticism which was merely in support of troop comforts.

                    I made it clear I separated absolutely and completely the idea of shouldn't be at war, didn't belong in Afghanistan versus troop comforts in my very first comment.  Since then I have been accused of supporting the MIC and funding wars and everything but the simple statement that I felt attacking troop amenities missed the real problem.  And I've had a group of people telling me how wrong I am ever since.  Well, I stand by my original premise, I haven't walked anything back and don't give a rip if you and anyone else here think its snark, not supposed to be fun, troops don't deserve Americanized food overseas (another comment made by someone in this thread) or whatever because you oppose the war.  

                    •  No, Peak Raider's comment was not (0+ / 0-)

                      merely in support of troop comfort.

                      You say people who disagree with you are

                      ..attacking troop amenities..

                      when they simply do not agree.

                      Again, you are trying to slant towards 'support the troops' meme when you do that.

                      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

                      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 02:01:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I still say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, VClib

    Afghanistan was the "right" war. They gave safe harbor to those responsible for 9/11. That is an act of war, and we as a nation MUST respond forcefully to acts of violence, and MUST show there are consequences to attacking the US. That's basic national defense.

    That said, Afghanistan was bollixed up badly for seven long years prior to Obama's takeover. This coverup is an example of the same.

    Obama's intentions in Afghanistan are right; my concern is that Bush screwed the pooch so badly that Obama can't fix it.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:28:24 AM PDT

    •  Obama's intentions, like his speeches, (4+ / 0-)

      are being greeted with more than a little skepticism these days.

      You do not make the case for Afghanistan being teh 'right war.'

      That is an act of war, and we as a nation MUST respond forcefully to acts of violence, and MUST show there are consequences to attacking the US. That's basic national defense.

      Responding forcefully can mean using law enforcement and going after specific criminals. What we have done there includes a two violent approach, killing innocent civilians and helping extremists with there recruiting.

      How can we bring this to a close and focus our spending on real security?

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:33:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It can mean law enforcement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnB47

        but the Taliban were heads of a foreign state. Law enforcement can't touch them. That is historically and according to current international law a legitimate cause for war.

        We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

        by raptavio on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:40:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit. The Taliban were the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, JesseCW

          warlord's beards and enforcers. Karzai's recent statements only serve to underscore the validity of that statement.

          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

          by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:12:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Only Pakistan recognized them as heads (0+ / 0-)

          of a Soveriegn State.

          Satrap Wanted. Lawless Central Asian region needs firm hand. Compensation paid in Opium, or an equal weight in Catamites. Must stay bought!

          by JesseCW on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A distinction without a difference. (0+ / 0-)

            At least for these purposes.

            We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

            by raptavio on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:12:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They weren't a recognized government (0+ / 0-)

              and so such status could not restrict how we reacted to them.

              The entire crux of the argument advanced in the comment I responded to was that they were the Sovereign Government.

              So, no, it's not a distinction without a difference.

              Satrap Wanted. Lawless Central Asian region needs firm hand. Compensation paid in Opium, or an equal weight in Catamites. Must stay bought!

              by JesseCW on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 12:00:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Pandora got out of the box, all hell broke loose (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think raptivio was pointing to recent events but to the initial invasion and occupation.
        I too want us out of Afghanistan asap, but ragging on the President only helps those who want to keep putting the resources of this country into the military industrial complex.

        •  How so? Please provide link. (0+ / 0-)

          only helps those who want to keep putting the resources of this country into the military industrial complex.

          YOu say

          I too want us out of Afghanistan asap, but ragging on the President

          Please, would appreciate hearing from you ways you are working or you see that we can work to insure a rapid withdrawal? Thanks.

          www.yesweSTILLcan.org

          by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:47:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmmm (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn, divineorder, JesseCW

          ragging on the President only helps those who want to keep putting the resources of this country into the military industrial complex.

          Like Obama? That makes no sense. How is ragging on him going to make him spend even more on a MIC that vast majorities of his own Party rank and file despise?

          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

          by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:14:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why question the President? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nippersdad

            Record defense spending and huge expansion in Afghanistan, leaving behind 50,000 troops in Iraq a possibility, etc:

            As Iraq Threatens to Come Apart, U.S. Problems in Afghanistan Mount

            www.yesweSTILLcan.org

            by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 10:15:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is what the man wants! (0+ / 0-)

              At this point the anti-war faction of the Democratic Party needs to just recognize that Obama is a fully fledged flag officer of the MIC, and likes it that way. Funny that now Republicans in Congress are now unanimous that the wars were a mistake, but Obama still thinks there is some good in them. How long before the Republican Party flanks the Democrats as the populist Party?

              We are seeing signs of it now. Obama spends much more time "looking forward" he is going to miss it when the Republicans impeach him for shit that they started.

              A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

              by nippersdad on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:42:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Right war - Wrong war (4+ / 0-)

      It's still an illegal war.

      We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire... Chalmers Johnson

      by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:38:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It certainly is not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeLancer

        The Afghan conflict was justified by international law.

        We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

        by raptavio on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:41:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Af-Pak War is illegal (4+ / 0-)

          as was the Iraq war.

          In 1945, in the wake of two wars that claimed millions of lives, the nations of the world created the United Nations system to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." The UN Charter is based on the principles of international peace and security as well as the protection of human rights. But the United States, one of the founding members of the UN, has often flouted the commands of the charter, which is part of US law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

          Although the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was as illegal as the invasion of Iraq, many Americans saw it as a justifiable response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The cover of Time magazine called it "The Right War." Obama campaigned on ending the Iraq war but escalating the war in Afghanistan. But a majority of Americans now oppose that war as well.

          The UN Charter provides that all member states must settle their international disputes by peaceful means, and no nation can use military force except in self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council. After the 9/11 attacks, the council passed two resolutions, neither of which authorized the use of military force in Afghanistan.

          Source more info here

          People are easily mislead.

          We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire... Chalmers Johnson

          by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:07:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In fact, Obama Admin propaganda (3+ / 0-)

            continues to make it hard for folks to know what's what. See this post:

            How Americans are propagandized about Afghanistan By Glenn Greenwald

            www.yesweSTILLcan.org

            by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:09:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Afghanistan - (0+ / 0-)

            at least the Taliban government - was not a recognized member nation of the UN and as such that rule did not apply. In fact, the UN passed resolutions supporting the Taliban's overthrow, indicating it rejected the authority of the Taliban.

            This was also a case of the inherent right of self-defense under Chapter 51.

            As it happens, there was very little international outrage at the action. NATO invoked its Article 5, calling the attack an attack on all member nations. You can call this a case of being "mislead" [sic] but the fact remains that the legal justification for the invasion of Afghanistan was sound.

            Of course if you want to just say I'm misled, that's fine. But that's not communicating; it's rehearsing your own prejudices.

            We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

            by raptavio on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:26:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It' s anything but an illegal war. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeLancer

        By every measure -- U.S. law, international law, just war theory -- it is a legal war.

        •  It's not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nippersdad

          We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire... Chalmers Johnson

          by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:12:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  repeating the same thing (0+ / 0-)

            does not make it truer.

            •  Source upthread. Yours? nt (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              truong son traveler, JesseCW

              www.yesweSTILLcan.org

              by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:36:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Defensive War is legal (0+ / 0-)

                under International law. The Taliban government provided support and protection for the Al Qaeda at the time of them launching attacks on US. The Taliban government was the government of Afghanistan. Protecting a group that in effect declared war on US means that the government of Afghanistan declared war on US unless they turned Al Qaeda leadership over to US immediately and without any conditions.

                Since they did not, Taliban's removal fell well within defensive war's parameters. To argue otherwise is to just argue against all wars which of course has nothing to do with legality of such actions.

                •  From Marjorie Cohn (0+ / 0-)

                  at the link provided above. There is much more information if you care to look.

                  The following paragraph is from Wikipedia:

                  Marjorie Cohn is Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She has given testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties concerning the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" and their legal status.

                  "Operation Enduring Freedom" was not legitimate self-defense under the charter because the 9/11 attacks were crimes against humanity, not "armed attacks" by another country. Afghanistan did not attack the United States. In fact, 15 of the 19 hijackers hailed from Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, there was not an imminent threat of an armed attack on the United States after 9/11, or President Bush would not have waited three weeks before initiating his October 2001 bombing campaign. The necessity for self-defense must be "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." This classic principle of self-defense in international law has been affirmed by the Nuremberg Tribunal and the UN General Assembly.

                  Bush's justification for attacking Afghanistan was that it was harboring Osama bin Laden and training terrorists, even though bin Laden did not claim responsibility for the 9/11 attacks until 2004. After Bush demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden to the United States, the Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan said his government wanted proof that bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks before deciding whether to extradite him, according to the Washington Post. That proof was not forthcoming, the Taliban did not deliver bin Laden, and Bush began bombing Afghanistan.

                  Bush’s rationale for attacking Afghanistan was spurious. Iranians could have made the same argument to attack the United States after they overthrew the vicious Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and the U.S. gave him safe haven. If the new Iranian government had demanded that the U.S. turn over the Shah and we refused, would it have been lawful for Iran to invade the United States? Of course not.

                  When he announced his troop "surge" in Afghanistan, Obama invoked the 9/11 attacks. By continuing and escalating Bush’s war in Afghanistan, Obama, too, is violating the UN Charter. In his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama declared that he has the "right" to wage wars "unilaterally." The unilateral use of military force, however, is illegal unless undertaken in self-defense.

                  What in "international law" is the basis of your viewpoint?

                  We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire... Chalmers Johnson

                  by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 05:46:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  No linK? Just yelling louder? You got (0+ / 0-)

          nothing otherwise.

          www.yesweSTILLcan.org

          by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:35:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Might you be a little more clear about, or add (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    to, the "Obama Fail" part of your title?

    •  Thanks, yes. The President was clear in the (4+ / 0-)

      campaign that he would refocus on Afghanistan, and has done so. I consider the Administration's efforts, though perhaps different in focus than those under Bushco, to be failing to creating more security here at home.

      Dem Rep Alan Grayson goes further :

      Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) decried the Afghanistan strategy being currently pursued by the Obama administration as "fundamentally wrong" during a press conference Tuesday.

      "[The strategy is] based on the premise that our country knows what’s best for other people, it’s based upon the premise that we have to send troops to the other side of the world because that’s the only way to protect ourselves. Those propositions are simply wrong," said Grayson.

      Grayson made his statement moments after taking the House floor to urge his fellow Congressmen to oppose troop escalations.

      Grayson cast the notion of sending 100,000 servicemen and women 8,000 miles away to protect the U.S. as absurd.

      "Why don’t we protect our borders? Why don’t we work with other countries to try to crack down on the terrorists that the bedevil us all. Why is it that we have to occupy another country? This is an 18th century strategy being employed against a 14th century enemy," said Grayson.

      Grayson added that the war is costing too much, in both money and in lives.

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:55:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama fail? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FreeLancer

    Quite a stretch there, ducky.

    Look, if you're against all military action, okay.  Just say so.  Realists can then write you off as a ideologue.  But don't do the stupid thing, saying that a President's policy is flawed because humans act human during war.

    I missed the part where it's U.S. policy to cover up killings by digging bullets out of bodies.  Maybe you can point me to that?

    •   Realists? Hahahahahaha. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      See Alan Grayson in update for reality based assessment of Obama Admin's policy.

      But don't do the stupid thing, saying that a President's policy is flawed because humans act human during war.

      I missed the part where it's U.S. policy to cover up killings by digging bullets out of bodies.  Maybe you can point me to that?

      You missed it because its not there.

      Perhaps you should go back and read the diary instead of stirring shit and spewing idiotic generalities,with no links  to back them up? Red State much?

      Otherwise, it makes you appear to be just an Administration apologist lying about the diary with little 'real' to add to the discussion

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:43:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what you consider "acting human"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      Digging bullets out of bodies and trying to blame to families of ones victims is "acting human"?

      Satrap Wanted. Lawless Central Asian region needs firm hand. Compensation paid in Opium, or an equal weight in Catamites. Must stay bought!

      by JesseCW on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:50:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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