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Well, this is fun. The Guardian is reporting that someone finally has given up on the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai has lost faith in the US strategy in Afghanistan and is increasingly looking to Pakistan to end the insurgency, according to those close to Afghanistan's former head of intelligence services.

Amrullah Saleh, who resigned last weekend, believes the president lost confidence some time ago in the ability of Nato forces to defeat the Taliban.

Karzai has lost faith in the nation that has sacrificed so many lives, and wasted so much money and time protecting him. But it's not exactly a surprise. As McClatchy reported, when Saleh and Interior Minister Hanif Atmar were pushed aside, last week:

Saleh and Atmar were both regarded by many Western officials as strong allies in the push to transform the Afghan government into a respected political force that won't have to rely on international forces of more than 100,000 troops to prevent the Taliban from again seizing power.

Their removal could weaken security ties between Karzai's cabinet and the international community, said Thomas Ruttig, a co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, an independent international research organization.

"The sacking of Saleh is a blow for the U.S., which had put a lot of resources into the (Afghan intelligence agency) and apparently had good intelligence cooperation with (it)," Ruttig said.

Karzai is said to be turning to Pakistan and softening his tone against the Taliban. He is said to be not leading the counterinsurgency, even though his leadership was supposed to be a key facet of the latest U.S. escalation strategy. None of this should be a surprise. It's just the latest examples of Karzai showing no respect for the U.S., and the administration that continues to coddle him.

A brief recap:

Add it up, and Karzai's total comes to three ignored warnings about corruption, one stolen election, one budding friendship with someone this administration considers a potential threat, one threatened alliance with the war's supposed enemy, and a general disregard of and disdain for the administration's war strategy. For which he has received from Obama two escalations of the U.S. troops protecting him, and one separate escalation of combat troops.

As Meteor Blades just wrote, America's longest war has no end in sight. Things continue to go badly. Both the Congressional Research Service and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction give no reason to think things will improve. Toward the end of that Guardian article, we find this:

The latest casualties yesterday took Nato's toll to 29 deaths in nine days, according to an AP count. The United States, whose some 94,000 troops vastly outnumber the rest of the allies' contributions in Afghanistan, has lost 17 service members since Sunday.

Hamid Karzai is turning to Pakistan. He continues to show no respect for President Obama or the U.S. effort. The purpose, the end game, and the exit strategy continue to elude.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just like israel and Iran... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is certainley not feared.

    •  Netanyahu and Ahmedinejad are both stubborn fools (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SlowNomad, moonpal

      This is nothing new to them or to the incompetent Karzai.

      Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

      by KingofSpades on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:53:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  End the war in EastAsia! (11+ / 0-)

        Time to end the fossil fools endless quest for oil lands and pipeline routes. Spend 1% of the current waste in Afghanistan on "Stones into Schools" and the people will be much better off than having the occupying army in their land.

        Build a new energy economy where we harvest the power from today's sun rather than the stored energy from millions of years ago- the bible thumpers should not even believe in oil!  It certainly was not created 6,000 years ago, so Tea Baggers like Jindal should just stop their fossil foolishness!

        "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

        by MD patriot on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:56:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, I never said otherwise. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, MD patriot

          Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

          by KingofSpades on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:58:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  top posts are not really replies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            Although this one is, many of the top two or three posts are just comments on the diary.  Glad to hear that you agree on the endless war in EastAsia.

            "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

            by MD patriot on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:03:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  can someone please explain (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MD patriot, dancewater

              who exactly we are fighting in afghanistan?  I mean we have been there for 9 years now and I'd bet the average age of enemy combatants is around 21 so that means they were 12 when we first started so are they from in country? are they local tribes? are they pakistani tribes?

              don't say they are "taliban" that is just a label.  who are they specifically?

              All liberal values can be summed into a single issue: The dismantling of the American Middle Class. Publicly Funded U.S. Politics NOW!!!

              by innereye on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:09:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  people who don't like outsiders (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                farbuska

                Afghans don't particularly like Taliban, but they save most of their distrust for those invaders who are the most foreign to them.

                "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

                by MD patriot on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:55:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Who are "the troops" fighting? (0+ / 0-)

                One heck of a question. Seems to me that they are out patrolling and assaulting and defending against a nicely cultivated myth -- under the heading "insurgenTalibantowelheadhajjis." They fight in the immediate moment and in the sense of shooting to kill, anyone who shoots at them or who looks like they might shoot or are standing around not looking benign and non-"Taliban" enough or who live in a compound or village from which there has been or might be hostile fire or are standing by the roadside when a bomb, often made from US-made munitions that our Bush-League invasion forces and current occupational therapists left lying around or gave to one warlord or another, gets triggered, maiming or killing GIs, members of the Band of Brothers whose attacks, defensive plays and vengeance are the substitute for strategy and tactics any more. And who have even had the temerity to complain that in the reality of our New Networked Battlespace, after the abject failure of the JIEDDO Knights (Joint IED Defeat $70 billion task force) to come up with a technical magic bullet for low-tech asymmetric bombs, they the troops are being used as protoplasmic IED detectors -- and triggers.

                People here just do not like "nuanced" reality -- we the people have to be comfortable that there is this guy who is "the enemy," not some tens of thousands of people in all kinds of groupings for whom family, clan, tribe and maybe even religious affiliations are the markers of their boundaries, and who do what they do just because WE have invaded their space. And so now we bribe them not to attack our convoys, and give Viagra to their warlords and mullahs in the vain hope that will buy their loyalty, and Karzai shits on our heads because he knows the real game and the one our leaders are playing intersect only marginally at points where he and his kind can siphon off more billions of unaudited, unaccounted cash.

                We are STUPID<big dumb oxen wandering around in our Hummers and Buffalos, waiting to be slaughtered.</p>

                "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                by jm214 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:46:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  a tribe in pakistan held council and (0+ / 0-)

                  decided to support the government, in pakistan they still have a working government that can negotiate locally with the tribes.

                  one of the points of the negotiation is that the tribe had to disband its FM radio station.

                  are we fighting a ragtag bunch of tribalists who have been rallied by taliban-leaning warlords interested in protecting their interests via fm radio???

                  All liberal values can be summed into a single issue: The dismantling of the American Middle Class. Publicly Funded U.S. Politics NOW!!!

                  by innereye on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  That's a foolish comment (10+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but it is.  Obama isn't a Roman Emperor to be feared.  The issue is not whether Obama personally scares people, but whether the US has the diplomatic allies, economic strength, moral authority and persuasive skills to hold together coalitions to address these issues.  That's foreign relations 101.  Unfortunately, US economic power is waning and US moral authority was pretty much destroyed by the last Administration.  

      On a related theme, it's kind of silly to see Afghan policy and current affairs solely through the lens of Hamid Karzai.  He's frighteningly incompetent, but he does not constitute the Afghan Government by himself, and increasingly, he isn't even calling the shots. It doesn't matter whether or not he wants Pakistan to negotiate. Everyone wants Pakistan to negotiate, and the bigger issue is who does the talking, what's on the agenda, and whether a solution negotiated by Pakistan is going to be acceptable to powerful politicians other than Karzai.  The Tajik community in particular is very much against the Taliban, are suspicious of negotiations, and are particularly wary of dealing with Pakistan. And they are dominant in the army and security forces right now.  karzai presents a convenient target for left and right in America for different reasons, but focusing on this one clown is not particularly helpful for figuring out a way forward.

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:07:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They didn't fear Bush either… (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nose, moonpal

        …and he walked around with his c**k out for 8 years.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com

        by DemSign on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:23:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with all of that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, ivorybill

        and yet he is still the de facto leader of the Afghan government.

        So, at the end of the day, we have to deal with that reality. And if the de facto leader has effectively given up the fight so to speak then our options are:

        a. Say ok, we're out, good luck.
        b. Have a "Come to Jeebus" talk with Karzai.
        c. Ignore Karzai (effectively undercutting him as leader).

        A is an option because at the end of the day, the answer is going to be a regional one, not an international one IMO.

        B is an option if only to exhaust all avenues to make this work before resorting to A or C.

        C is an option to the extent that perhaps we can hang on in dealing with the competent elements of the government (such as they are) until Karzai is replaced by someone competent. However, C is the least attractive option IMO because there is no guarantee that will happen anytime soon and not sure we want to be continuing to spend our money and blood on a government that is so divided and incompetent.

    •  Karzai makes sense ... (7+ / 0-)

      Karzai is doing what is necessary for political stability and his survival after the US leaves. He needs peace with Pakistan and the Taliban.

      He has lost hope that the Afghan security forces will be strong enough to stand against the Taliban even with American aid.

      He will be disappointed IMHO. Pakistan stands more to gain with the Taliban in power than with Karzai.

      "How's that hopey-changey thing workin' out for ya?" - Sarah Palin

      by Bronxist on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:08:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK then...let's get the hell out of there... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, esquimaux, TomP, Losty, TimmyB

      I have grown tired of that government's "pleasantries" during this whole ordeal. If he has lost faith in our fine military, let him get control of his own damn country for a change.

  •  Man. Bob Shrum is a terrible writer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wom Bat

    If the writing in that article is on par with his political accumen, no wonder he has such a terrible track record.

    "It's 'clean coal' so long as you don't think about all the blood on their hands."

    by electricgrendel on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:51:14 AM PDT

  •  What's the exit strategy? (18+ / 0-)

    We used to ask this question of George Bush in Iraq all the time.  How sad it is that we're not as insistently asking it of Obama in Afghanistan.  Does he think he can kill all the people who hate us there with drones, and his work will be done?  Or does he think he can prop up the Thieu Karzai government till it stands on its own?

    We saw this movie a few decades ago, and we didn't like it then, either.

  •  Pure desperation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME

    Considering that Pakistan's ISI is responsible for the creation  of the Taliban it seems almost incomprehensible that he would turn to Pakistan  as an ally in the fight against the Taliban. Its just that political power is more important than ones nation.

  •  A lot of people (14+ / 0-)

    have no respect for President Obama and make that very clear.  Why, a ton of them even post right here on dailykos, looking to undermine President Obama and demonstrate that he's not respected every single day.  They dismiss opportunities to caution against quagmire and make respectful, helpful critiques of Afghan policy; they'd rather say shit like "Karzai punking Obama" as if the world's problems would be solved by a nasty, bombastic, power-based US President swaggering his way through war, and throwing his weight around.

    Adios.

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:56:16 AM PDT

    •  Lawrence Lewis: well known... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, Robobagpiper

      ... head-of-state, who was installed by our government, and pals around with opium exporters, criminals, Taliban, and other assorted low-life.

      How much do you suppose Lawrence is getting from the State Department on a monthly basis? How many of our brave men and women do you suppose have given their lives so that Lawrence can continue to write front-page content on DK?

      I understand that blackwaterdog was up for a front-page gig, but then Lawrence stole it from her, prompting calls from Markos to clean up his act.

      And he dares suggest that the President's foreign policy in Afghanistan is somewhat LACKING?!?!?

      There are some who might suggest that you and I missed the entire point of Lawrence's post, GN1927. But I don't think so.

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:21:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen (6+ / 0-)

      Top comment. Afghanistan is considerably more complex than this diary suggests. But the diarist's main point seems to be that because Karzai is incompetent, and is negotiating with Pakistan, that Obama needs to dump him and get out in order to preserve his manhood.  It's not that simple.  The Afghan government held discussions with the Taliban in the Seychelles about a month ago, and these negotiations are ongoing.  Karzai's hold on power is weakening and not just from the Taliban - he has little support in the north and northwest, and the various leaders of the former Northern Alliance have a say in all this too.  It is in the US's interest - and frankly in the world's interest - not to have a total collapse and then a renewal of the war between the Taliban and the tribes and leaders that previously constituted the Northern Alliance.  The issue here, which I wished the diarist had discussed, is what are the differences between the US negotiation stragegy with Pakistan, and Karzai's?  Now that Karzai dismissed several ranking Tajiks in government, is he still viewed as credible by the leadership of the army and security forces?  What's the plan if the center fails - if Karzai's base becomes so narrow - and when does the US and UN start negotiating outside the government?

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:24:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why does any of this involve legitimate national (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, JesseCW

        security interests of the United States?

        Why CAN'T the United States just pull out and let the Northern Alliance and the Taliban have their civil war?

        Don't pretend it has anything to do with saving lives.

        Force Tony Hayward to do clean-up duty in the Louisiana marshes in his best suit.

        by Timaeus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:33:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It does have something to do with (0+ / 0-)

          Pakistan and India - there needs to be some sort of outcome in Afghanistan other than a powerful, resurgent Taliban because the Pakistani state itself is weak.  And they have nuclear weapons.  And the bigger, more dangerous conflict could involve Kashmir.

          And, yes, I will pretend that it has to do with saving lives.  A renewed civil war between Taliban and their enemies will kill many, many people.  I don't think this is specifically the US's problem - but after 8 years of the last Administration, we are at a point where the UN has been marginalized and our ability to convince Europe or anyone else to pull their weight is pretty much gone.

          "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

          by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:43:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Taliban are no threat even to a weak (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, esquimaux

            Pakistani state. Though they control a swath of thinly-populated territory, Peshtuns are a tiny minority in Pakistan. There is exactly zero chance they will take over the government or obtain its nukes.

            If they even tried, the Pakistani Army and intelligences services would be quick to remind the Taliban who is puppet and who is master.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:01:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Traditional Pashtun leadership (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fhcec

              is no threat to the Pakistani state.  But I do worry about someone like Mullah Omar, who is not a traditional leader by any extent, and I do worry about a government in Afghanistan that does actively support export of Islamist extremism in the region.  I'm personally in favor of negotiating with the Taliban even without Karzai - but I think the US strategy has to be to split the movement.  The Pakistani government does not need to fear the Pashtuns as an ethnic group.  But they probably don't want anyone supporting violent Islamist movements in the Punjab, and I doubt Pakistan will be any better at controlling Afghanistan than we are.  

              "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

              by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:14:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This same comment that GN makes all the time (8+ / 0-)

        where (s)he makes up some bullshit about what was said, twists it until it is unrecognizable, smears the writer, and claims everyone is picking on poor Obama is a top comment? I've never really participated in top comments, but sounds like I wouldn't have any area of agreement with them if this is what passes for a top comment.

        "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

        by heart of a quince on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:41:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Afghanistan's not complex (6+ / 0-)

        It's about as simple as they come.  You can't win, you can't even break even.  Just get out.

        Cries of complexity usually just mean you're FUBAR and don't want to admit it.

    •  What is said here... (7+ / 0-)

      affects Karzai or others on the international stage?

      I think that is absurd.  If one believes we should be out of there, they have a moral obligation to speak out, no matter how it affects Obama.

      When I say what I mean, it's normal here to be told otherwise. I wish I knew myself as well as those who tell me.

      by citizen53 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:26:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Say that, using the urban vernacular, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      without knowledge of what the terms actually mean.  Appropriation without education can be such an ugh.

      Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

      by conlakappa on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:31:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  he is swaggering his way through war (0+ / 0-)

      and throwing his weight around (well, not with Israel)... plus he picked up a peace prize on the way.

      Why would anyone respect that?  It was ugly when Bush did, and now Obama is doing it too.

  •  Ummmm seems like I heard things like this before (10+ / 0-)

    Vietnam (first the French then us), the Russians in Afghanistan, Iraq, our involvement in Afghanistan.....why are we always the last ones to figure it out?

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:56:20 AM PDT

  •  Softening his tone against the Taliban? (6+ / 0-)

    How do you soften your tone against an organization that just executed murdered a 7 year old boy for being a "spy"?

    My issue with the Afghan War is one of tactics and strategy; I have no issue with the overall goal of wiping out the Taliban.  The Taliban is an abomination and I cheer on anyone who strives for their extinction. The only question to me is finding the best way to achieve this, because we are not doing a very good job right now. Oh, and we are bankrupting ourselves.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:57:10 AM PDT

    •  so you like the endless war in EastAsia? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, esquimaux, JesseCW, Losty, farbuska

      Don't be misled by the latest boogeyman- remember the babies snatched out of incubators by Iraqis?  A total lie, invented by Bush 1 to justify his invasion.

      "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

      by MD patriot on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:58:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True or not ain't really the point, though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska

        The Taliban is pretty damned evil.

        They ain't shit compared to the kindest of the militias in the Congo Basin.

        "They're really evil", while true, isn't why we're there - shit, it wasn't even the nominal reason we invaded.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  why do you repeat this tale? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          farbuska

          Have you read "Stones into Schools"?

          If not, I highly recommend it, "The Taliban" is not some monolithic group, there are many different people with that label.

          And Greg Mortenson was able to build a school in full Black Turban Taliban controlled areas, and they wanted to make sure that he included a playground, because they enjoyed swinging on the swings!

          Agree with you that the "Taliban is evil" is not the reason that we invaded, but also disagree with that monolithic label.  Many of the so-called Taliban are just unemployed youths with nothing better to do, and in their life history they have ALWAYS been at war with various outsiders seeking to occupy their country- the so-called "Evil Taliban" where the US friends just recently!  

          Oh well, the "Daily Hate" on TV is more powerful than any words I could ever offer.

          "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

          by MD patriot on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:06:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wiping out the Taliban (3+ / 0-)

      is not a realistic goal.  Not an achievable goal, IMHO.

      •  Absolutely achievable… (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Losty, farbuska

        …if you're willing to ruthlessly commit genocide against every last male in south east Afghanistan and north west Pakistan.

        Of course, if genocide is ever considered realistic by our country then we deserve to have God smite this nation.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com

        by DemSign on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:31:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Since in many areas "Taliban" equals "Peshtun", (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        or at least the only viable political entity among them, wiping them out would mean total war on an ethnic group. On their own hostile turf.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:31:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The issue is splitting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fhcec

        the pragmatists from the fanatics.  The "Taliban" themselves are a modern phenomena, but the problem has been that the Pashtun tribal leaders have allied with them either because of Pakistani support, fear, or because they can't stand Karzai and distrust the US. The issue is to remove those incentives for traditional Pashtun to ally themselves with the more extremist Taliban leaders.

        "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

        by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:51:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's an organization operating about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, farbuska

      4 miles from my house that has executed pre-teens for snitching.

      But we're not using predator drones to combat them.

      Fuck, I should just shut the hell up before the L.A. County Sherrifs get idea.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:50:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where is there any evidence that "the Taliban" (0+ / 0-)

      is "an organization"? It's bull thinking like that that keeps us idiots investing our suns and daughters and treasure to the tune of trillions in stuff that has no possible real national interest involved.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i could be wrong but did not NATO (0+ / 0-)

    anounced yesterday that they will stick to thier timetable and get out of there to.

  •  Why is Pakistan not going into N.Waziristan? (0+ / 0-)

    Because AQ and the Afghan Taliban are there ie the friendly (and useful) to Pakistan extremists.  

    America is leaving in 2011 no matter the situation.  Obama gave the generals a chance, they all signed off on the plan - it's failing.  They don't get a second chance.  

    However you don't know who to believe - it could all be part of the plan to separate Karzai from America to give him legitimacy in Afghanistan as more than a puppet of America.  Looking at it from the outside, I don't think anybody can know what's really going on.  America cannot and will not cut deals with Omar and the Taliban, but I think it's realized that they cannot break the back of the insurgency in a years time, meaning a deal will have to be cut - so have the rogue Karzai do it rather than having America sign off on a deal with the bastard who protected Bin Laden and AQ.  

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:58:07 AM PDT

  •  asdf (12+ / 0-)

    WE have a 'strategy' in Afghanistan?

    Did I miss a memo?

    I am now officially BOYCOTTING all CLEAN ENERGY SPONSORS - until I am no longer forced to watch their commercials on DailyKOS!!

    by GayIthacan on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like BP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel, BrighidG

    Does anyone take the office of the POTUS seriously any longer? Sure doesn't seem like it sometimes.

  •  Give Karzai what he wants (0+ / 0-)

    and stop helping him, stop protecting him. Let the Taliban have their prize, and then elect a new leader.

  •  How do they figure longer than Vietnam? (5+ / 0-)

    The Vietnam War went on actively for the US from 1954, when we guaranteed Diem that we'd support him, to at least 1973, when all our troops were out.
    19 years!
    Its possible to argue it went on for us untill the ened of it all in 1975. Its also possible to argue the  Vietnam War started for us in the Truman administration, when Harry OKed the first loan to France to regain their former colony.
    I'm not sure why people think the Vietnam War started in 1964, thats probably  just the frst time people started noticing it was going on.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:04:17 AM PDT

  •  Is anyone surprised? Really? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    Nixon and Kissinger cut and ran -- making certain, of course, that the second term was in the bag.  Will history repeat?

  •  He doesn’t want to be held accountable. Bu (0+ / 0-)

    gave him a free pass. He basically did nothing but parade around the world while his country burnt for the years Bush was in Office. He is rumored to be on drugs too.

  •  He's our guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dancewater

    BUThe is the worst foreign policy President ever.

    •  You cannot be serious (5+ / 0-)

      Hope this is snark. I think it will be a very long time before anyone outdoes George W. Bush in the category of "Worst Foreign Policy President Ever." Sheesh.

      •  OK (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dancewater

        Which of Bush's foreign policies has he changed? They are all still in place. Do you think the Iran policy has worked? Turkey and Brazil now align themselves with Iran. ON and On, etc.

        We can no longer have a free press

        •  you want just one? (0+ / 0-)

          he's negotiating nuclear disarmament with russia.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:26:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bush turned Russia and Turkey against us (0+ / 0-)

          Cheney insulted Putin to his face at the 1995 commemoration of the end of WW2 by pissing on the role of the Soviets in defeating Hitler.  Putin got the message: America regards Russia as its satellite.  He went to work to make Russia an independent power again and now we have to live with his success.

          At least now we're back to negotiating nuclear reductions with Russia - only a few years after neocon mouthpieces who probably were speaking for the White House were honest-to-god writing pieces in journals about how we had built up our first-strike capability to the point where we could blackmail both Russia and China.  That's by far the most important thing in the world.  Now what are we going to do when the Blue Dogs in Congress refuse to ratify Obama's treaty?

        •  You have no idea what you're talking about. nt (0+ / 0-)

          nt

      •  name one lasting foreign policy accomplishment.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dancewater

        hint: keyword="lasting"

        He's good at speeches.. and popularity abroad is very high.. especially after said speeches.  But so far it has translated to nothing tangible.

        And if you look at the Palestinian/Israeli situation, North Korea.. all worse than ever.

        His one accomplishment so far has been a weak nuclear summit in which many of the key players refused to participate.  

        His strategy for Iran?  Sit back, wait, and hope.  The new sanctions are laughable.  He would have been better off to forget about new sanctions rather than agree to the embarrassing ones we just signed on to.

        I know it has only been 18 months.. but one of his main goals was to "repair" the US's image around the world.  I just wonder when he's gonna get started.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:41:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama the Ent President (0+ / 0-)

          Let's not be hasty, master Hobbit!

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:57:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dancewater

          Well said, and correct.

          Why do we take this foreign policy crap from Pres. Obama? Where is all the good judgement? You know why we accept it? Because he is our guy. That's not good enough for me, I hope its not good enough for you. If thats your reason then your not a progressive, your just a Presidential Cheerleader

        •  The charge was ... (0+ / 0-)

          Obama is the "Worst Foreign Policy President Ever." If you believe that you are truly one "Skeptical Bastard" with a highly selective memory to boot. Have you forgotten about Bush already? Not saying Obama's forieng policy is the best, but the "worst ever" is a tab hyperbolic. Can we at least agree on that?

          •  Best or Worst or Mediocre.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dancewater

            Those are words that can only be ascribed, I think, after a president's tenure..   By their very nature it would take an historical perspective.

            So.. ok.. I see where you're coming from in defending the "worst" attribution..

            But he better get his ass in gear..  he is sliding quickly into "mediocre" as far as I'm concerned..

            and his handling of the oil spill is earning him any points in the domestic category either!

            But, I'll give him some time...

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  NO (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dancewater

            What are the Presidents Foreign policy accomplishments? How many lives are you willing to lose in Afghanistan? When will we know that we won that war? If it makes you Presidential  Cheerleaders feel better, I will put him tied with Bush.

    •  What's with DKos today? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goObama

      Sorry, but that was an empty comment.  I would rank the worst foreign policy presidents in recent history as Reagan first, and then GW Bush.   Reagan set the stage for:

      Iraq (Supported Saddam)

      Afghanistan (Funded nutcases and then turned his back on the country)

      Africa and Central America (Contra wars, genocide, intimate relations with any dictator no matter how brutal).  

      Nearly every major conflict on this planet can be traced back to Reagan's mishandling of foreign affairs in the 1980s. And you're going to blame Obama for trying to manage these nearly unmanageable situations?  It may be an unpopular position here, but neither Afghanistan nor Iraq are going to be solved by pulling out and washing our hands of both.  I'm not in 100% agreement with the Obama Administration, but I do think he's trying to find a way out.  He's got it about right on Iraq and on Afghanistan he's going to have to switch tactics and negotiate something between former Northern Alliance on the one hand, and pakistan/parts of Taliban on the other.  That may or may not include Hamid Karzai, who is a fool and who just about everyone, including probably Obama, would prefer to see gone.  

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:38:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        miriam, dancewater, Losty

        What has he changed in the Iraq policy? How is he finding a way out of Afghanistan, by sending in 30,000 new troops? His Afghanistan generals said yesterday that things are not going as planned and  hinted that it could push back the time line. Are you kidding me, He has the Iraq thing pretty much right? I can't get over that crazy statement. He has been sucked in deeper and he should have closed down these wars and brought home the young and women.

        Its time for a revolution

        •  two responses (0+ / 0-)

          (1) We are pulling out of Iraq on schedule. We are not getting sucked in deeper. I can tell you from personal experience that US forces are not patrolling in the cities, and that the US military presence is far less than it was even 6 months ago. The US is working hard behind the scenes to push for some equitable division of power as a new government forms, and still has a big role to prevent a war from starting over Kirkuk.  So far, it's working.  It's fragile, but it's working.  I know you won't believe me, but that's cool.  

          (2) Afghanistan is a very different situation. I favor a much more assertive bilateral approach to Pakistan, and would spend a lot more effort on reaching an accommodation with traditional Pashtun leaders, which will eventually mean the end of Karzai.  I suspect that's what's happening, and that's why Karzai is running off to Pakistan - he's unstable and losing power.  Soon enough nobody will be backing him - not the US, not the other powerful actors in government, not the Pakistanis and certainly not the Taliban.  I almost feel that there needs to be negotiation with everyone but Karzai.  

          "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

          by ivorybill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:06:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dancewater

            Ok, you give Bush props for his foreign policy, because the President changed nothing. Karzai is scrambling because he knows what happens when we bring our troops home, whether its July 2011 or July 2015, he is dead. The Taliban will move right back in and we wasted all our young people lives for nothing. You think this war is worth one more life. How many lives are you willing to lose? How will you know when you have won the war in Afghanistan?

  •  Karzai didn't 'punk' Obama. (8+ / 0-)

    The president did it to himself, all by himself, apparently trying to adopt Johnson's famous foreign war strategies while ignoring the same man's effective domestic methods.

    •  If Johnson could not stand up to the MIC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Wom Bat

      what puts Obama in a stronger position?

      The non-existent anti-war movement?
      The much larger and more powerful MIC?
      The ability to fight the war without a draft?
      The lockstep GOP support for endless war?
      The organized RW ready to swiftboat any break with the MIC?
      The highly politicized general staff - willing to openly intervene in politics?
      The massive 30 year campaign to put evangelical traitors in the armed forces?

      I'm really stumped to understand what you think makes it possible for Obama to do better than Johnson?

      I hope he can, but my expectations are otherwise.

  •  I tried but my vote disappeared (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dancewater

    Here are the results from the Congressional Primaries in San Diego County, CA.

    www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/results/transform.htm?paramVal1=fed_congress.xsl

    I want everyone to know that I voted in the Green Primary in the 49th District.
    Go on, find my vote in the Green Primary, CA-49. Find the Green Primary.

    My vote has disappeared. My vote meant nothing.
    So I wanted everyone to know about my voting Green in the 49th District Primary.
    Because my vote disappeared.

    It's not easy being Green, especially in California.

    By the way, have I mentioned today that every Congressional incumbent in California was re-nominated.

  •  I'll say it again.. Get the hell out! (4+ / 0-)

    We are just prolonging the inevitable.. Get. Out. Now.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:12:23 AM PDT

  •  Obama doesn't have to guess whose ass to kick (0+ / 0-)

    or is it kiss?

    I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

    by jhecht on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:12:57 AM PDT

  •  What a surprise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, 3goldens, Apost8

    The lasting question is, how long will the US continue to bankrupt itself and sacrifice its military in this waste?  Still no exit strategy in sight.

    The Aghan war has done more damage to the US than any terrorist could imagine in their wildest dreams.

  •  so what else is new?............. (0+ / 0-)

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:14:39 AM PDT

  •  Well then, isn't it time to come home? (4+ / 0-)

    Groucho Marx sings the new GOP motto: I'm Against It!

    by Jimdotz on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:15:05 AM PDT

  •  Not a surprise to me that Afghanistan is doing (7+ / 0-)

    its "graveyard for empires" thing.

    The surprise for me is how Obama thought that America would be an exception.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:15:35 AM PDT

    •  All these nouveau swells, Dems & Repugs alike, (4+ / 0-)

      The surprise for me is how Obama thought that America would be an exception.

      think America is the exception to every rule, Obama too. And why shouldn't they? It isn't their asses on the line in Afghanistan. Plus continuing the war keeps corporate donations rolling in and McChrystal from going off-reservation again. This mess is indescribably ugly, and now the new guy is splattered head-to-toe with it.

      As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

      by Wom Bat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:47:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But Obama and Gates scored a huge victory against (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, esquimaux, sluggahjells, farbuska

    Japan. They pulled down a "Democratic" prime minister by refusing to re-negotiate a deal over Okinawa. Now, Karzai the puppet costs thousands of lives and billions of money in a losing adventure, whereas Hatoyama costs nothing. But, for Obama and Gates, Karzai is far more important a friend than Hatoyama... They need to set their priority straight.

  •  It seems we have two choices (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, crystal eyes

    Choice 1: Remove Karzai and replace him with someone who isn't a corrupt asshole.

    Choice 2: Get the hell out.

    If we are determined to "win" at some level in Afghanistan, then Choice 1 is required because while we have been busy bailing the water out of the boat, Karzai has been drilling new holes in the hull.

    If we don't have the stomach to replace Karzai, then we need to just get out. Eventually he will be tossed out either by his generals or the Taliban.

    The status quo is a prescription for failure.

  •  Of all the BS Obama shoveled on the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, esquimaux, farbuska, Wom Bat

    campaign trail, Afghanistan is the one promise he needs to keep?  

  •  President Thieu....I mean, Karzai, winning hearts (5+ / 0-)

    and minds across South Viet....I mean, Afghanistan.

    I've seen this movie before. It doesn't end well.

  •  uh oh (0+ / 0-)

    The native informant is turning against his masters!

  •  We should not be there in the first place... (0+ / 0-)

    and too many like to loudly criticize other countries with moral superiority when we have large problems of our own that raises barely a peep.

    When I say what I mean, it's normal here to be told otherwise. I wish I knew myself as well as those who tell me.

    by citizen53 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:21:42 AM PDT

  •  Karzai Learned From Clinton & Obama (5+ / 0-)

    He's just treating them the same way they treat the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Just substitute the word "Taliban" for "Republicans," as follows:

    "Fuck you. I'm your only option. What are you going to do without me? Throw your support to the Taliban?"

    "Labor may well have wasted much more than 10 million and gotten absolutely nothing for it in their support of President Obama." -- ctkeith

    by greenskeeper on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:21:55 AM PDT

  •  I'm afraid this IS Obama's war, just as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam

    BP's "spill" is certainly his, since he had a year to clean up MMS and his close friend Kenny Boy did nothing.  I'm afraid his chances of re-election are slipping faster than me trying to ice skate after 30 years.

    I see traitors, but they don't know they're traitors....

    by hcc in VA on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:23:59 AM PDT

  •  Not that the Soviets are the ideal model... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby

    ...but there's something to be said for what they did, which is to have their unreliable puppet ruler killed and install someone more reliable.  

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

  •  This always was an unwinnable war and (7+ / 0-)

    always will be. Bush's original war on Afghanistan should have been a police action followed by immediate withdrawal, but the neocons had visions of taking over central Asia, and its oil and gas resources, from Soviet domination.

    Obama made a huge political gamble, and he has lost.

    Does he have the courage to admit a mistake and pull out?

    Force Tony Hayward to do clean-up duty in the Louisiana marshes in his best suit.

    by Timaeus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:29:00 AM PDT

  •  First Bush beat back the Taliban, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    then he ignored Afghanistan for, what, about 5 years? And now it looks like Obama might eventually get blamed for losing Afghanistan, even after trying to improve things there.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:37:11 AM PDT

    •  Cheney's no-bid, no oversight corporate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, farbuska, Celtic Pugilist

      buddies made a haul with American tax monies for all of those years of Afghan neglect though!

      To Congress: "GO BIG" or go home

      by mjd in florida on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:09:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush didn't beat anything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty

      He lost the war in Afghanistan when he let Osama cross into Pakistan.  This was one of the most monumental blunders ever committed by a U.S. Commander-in-Chief.  It defeated the entire objective of going to war there in the first place.

      The Taliban weren't really beaten, they just went back into insurgent mode rather than ruling the country.

      The only way to really recover from the not killing Osama blunder was to build up Afghanistan so that the Taliban lost any future support.  But as you say, Dubya ignored the requirements of successful occupation.  

  •  I suppose sending American troops (0+ / 0-)

    to die so this charade of a warbucks enterprise can continue isn't an impeachable offense. But at this point, it should be one.

    As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

    by Wom Bat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:39:05 AM PDT

  •  sounds good to me (0+ / 0-)

    Hopefully we won't have him murdered and just leave instead.

  •  Fits a Common Pattern (0+ / 0-)

    As the presidential elections of 1968 were coming on, the Nixon campaign -- acting on intelligence supplied by war criminal Henry Kissinger -- established back channel links to the Ky-Thieu administration in South Vietnam.  Sabotage the Paris Peace Talks they were told, punk Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats, and when RMN is elected he'll give you a better deal.

    So Thieu-Ky punked LBJ and the Democrats and Nixon was elected.

    I would be astonished if Liz Cheney or some other Cheney-ite have not enlisted Karzai in the campaign of 2012.  Keep it in mind, Karzai is a Republican asset.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:40:54 AM PDT

  •  WANTED: 1 Satrap. Pashto/Darsi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper

    Bilingual prefered.

    Must be experienced in disbursing large sums of patronage, posing for pictures with visiting congressmen, and making empty speeches about "Progress" and "Partnership".

    Pay will be delivered in black tar heroin, or an equal weight of catamites.

    Must stay bought!!!!

    "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

    by JesseCW on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:43:55 AM PDT

  •  like domestic electoral grifters or plants with (0+ / 0-)

    which we are familiar, Karzai sees his incompetence and criminality revealed and like an episode of Space 1999 or Titan Maximum the mercenary puppetry is revealed. There are solutions, with international and regional coalitions / alliances. The failure of Clintonian (both) diplomacy should not deter a US administration from seeking a necessary regional solution that ensures nuclear and insurgent security.

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:45:46 AM PDT

  •  An unpopular regime, an unpopular occupation, a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, 3goldens

    resistance that won't go away, a bloody and expensive military action with no clear end or possibility of success.

    Sure sounds like Vietnam to me.

  •  I have lost it too! (0+ / 0-)

    In my circle of friends, I was the sole voice saying US should not withdraw from Afghanistan and stay to finish the task.
    BUT, if asshole Karzai is going to dick around, then I say it is time to let him sink in his own piss. US should get out of that hellhole. Tighten regulations concerning entry of Pakistani and Afghani nationals (or those traveling to those countries) - just like China did right after 9/11 (no Pakistani passport holder could fly any Chinese aircraft no matter where the origin and destination airports were - could be Singapore to Sydney). But get out of Afghanistan - and let it find its own medieval equilibrium point. Enough!

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:54:44 AM PDT

  •  Why not pay-go for our wars? (6+ / 0-)

    As I've asked over and over, what's wrong with this message to the American people:

    If a cause is worth sending our troops to die for, it's worth paying for out of our pockets. This business of charging future generations for our military adventures has got to stop.

    Ever hear of a War Tax?

    That would quickly make the "oh-so-fiscally responsible" Republicans shut up.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

    It's just the latest examples of Karzai showing no respect for the U.S., and the administration that continues to coddle him.

    Yeah....well...he is prolly learning this trick from the rethugs on this side of the pond, shit on the pres gets you whatever you want.

  •  Your faith in words is peculiar (0+ / 0-)

    The course of the war in Afghanistan is not modified by who says what.

    Karzai giving a speech, using referents neither you nor I understand, does not give any information about the progress or lack thereof of that war.

    Politics and wars are not determined by speeches interpreted vaguely through the MSM mist by people who don't know anything about the situation.

    From all reports by knowledgeable people, the US effort is a fiasco but I have no idea what Karzai was attempting in this speech and neither do you.

  •  Karzai like things the way they were (0+ / 0-)

    Karzai liked things under Bush, actually killing insurgents and al qaeda is bad for business.

    The greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing half of America the GOP gives a damn about them

    by blingbling65 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 07:59:26 AM PDT

  •  It's said that Obama is a quick study. (6+ / 0-)

    A quick study on corporatist appeasement, that is.

    After caving in to...

    1. The Wall Street banksters (preserving too big to fail, laughable derivative reform, blowing off Glass-Steagal type separation between commercial and investment banking)
    1. The medical industrial complex (ditching the public option and any hope of single payer)
    1. The oil barons (repealing the ban on off-shore drilling, pushing cap and trade)

    ...is it any surprise that he's bending over backwards to appease

    1. The military industrial complex by tripling down in Afghanistan and increasing an already bloated Pentagon budget?

    Funny thing, though. These four cornerstones of the establishment are loaded with self-defeating contradictions that just happen to be imploding at this juncture in history. Bad time for Obama to have chosen to be a "moderate" president and not the transformational leader he was elected to be.  

    In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely. -Hunter S. Thompson

  •  Karzi needs to get out of his glass tower (0+ / 0-)

    and do something for his own country.  Why are we trying to run this god awful place?

  •  Let's just announce that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RobLewis

    ...no more can be done in Afghanistan using the Bush strategy of sending armies after extremist asshole goatfuckers.  So we're withdrawing our traditional military from the region so that the Afghans might man up and decide what kind of country they want for themselves.  You can be a part of the World Community, or you can continue to be backwards losers who contribute nothing to the Story of Human Civilization on Earth.

    You can murder each other for Allah as much as you want, if that's the kind of slaughterhouse you want to live in. We're done caring. But keep it local.  We are watching and listening. We have people everywhere.

    The slightest perceived threat will be answered by the sudden appearance of red laser dots, followed by some very capable Special Forces Operators. You won't have much time to get to know them.  

    This is not a surrender. You have not won anything. When something doesn't work, we adapt, and do something different. There's more than one way to squash a cockroach.

    •  Yes. Join America and the (0+ / 0-)

      Enlightened Nations Brigade!  Invade nations on flimsy pretexts and shoot innocent civilians!  Score extra points for handicapping children!  Stop killing each other in Allah's name and do it in the name of Democracy and Freedom!  Dress up daily in your misplaced sense of superiority and lecture the coloreds on the Proper Life!

    •  Our very capable Special Forces (0+ / 0-)

      Keep shooting the wrong people.

      We watch what our robots see, but they don't see the nuances of life as a hostage to competing warlords.  We listen to bribed informants who lie to us in hopes we will kill their neighbors so they can steal their goats.

      Meanwhile, it is the appetite for heroin by us civilized folk that guarantees the warlords will always be better armed than the "people".  So they really have no basis for uniting to overthrow the warlords except Islam.

      In fact, when have a people ever transitioned from warlordism to democracy without a unifying tyranny?  The conditions you're describing sound a lot like China in the 1930s, and you know how they worked that out.

  •  The truth: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    We're not in Afghanistan for the sake of Afghanistan.  We're there to backstop what's going on in Pakistan.  And, while I want to get the hell out of there too, it's a conundrum for me because I think we need to stay until Pakistan gets those tribal areas under enough control and they seem to be making progress right now.  I know it's not practical or wise to invade every country that poses a threat with a full-fledged army, which is why Pres. Obama has upped special forces ops and intelligence activity in places like Somalia and Yemen so that they don't get to the point that AfPak was in prior to 9/11.  And, I believe he does have both an end game and an exit strategy, and we will know it after the end of the year review.  

    "Of the 500 promises [Pres. Obama] made during the campaign, he's kept, or at least made progress on, 400 of them in his first year alone"--Jonathan Alter

    by thoughtful3 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:25:42 AM PDT

    •  Let's give it another Friedman unit (0+ / 0-)

      or three, shall we?

    •  Pakistan created its own problems (0+ / 0-)

      The Pakistani Army is the cause of all treason and tyranny.  But then, it may be the only thing holding together a country so fake that its very name is an English acronym (Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and the Indus Valley spells PAKI).

      The Army created the Taliban and encouraged extremist Islam as part of its Cold War alliance with Saudi Arabia and Ronald Reagan.  So the loss of control in the tribal areas was a result of its own proxies working both sides of the border when they were only supposed to cause misery in Afghanistan.  The Pakistani Taliban wiped out the traditional tribal chieftains - using the betrayal of the region's autonomy at America's behest as an excuse.

      So who will really rule these areas if the very Army that caused the problem wins?  It's like all the other problems in Pakistan - the collapsing economy whose industries are Army-controlled via retired generals, the massive theft of US aid, the Saudi-funded madrassas that allowed the generals to cut back on public schools, and most of all the nukes.

      It's not run like a county, it's run like an Army that lives as a parasite off a country and anyone foolish enough to send aid.  Everything that needed to be bought was replaced by something the Army wanted.  No civilians ever had to learn how to run the country because they knew they'd get overthrown anyway - so better to steal as much as possible first.  And the regionally-biased political parties would lead the country to civil war if they had enough time, so again the Army wins.

      The Pakistani Left?  There was that guy Bhutto the Army beheaded...

  •  Posturing by Karzai (0+ / 0-)
    the US started to look to Pakistan to take a major role in ending the insurgency a long time ago.  After, much of the help was coming from Pakistan through their secret agencies.
  •  Shoulda nuked Tora Bora (0+ / 0-)

    The answer was obvious.  We had little inside the country at the time, Osama had been located.  Nuking Tora Bora would have sent the appropriate message..."Don't Tread on Me."

    I don't expect it to be in the least bit popular here, but doing a timely demonstration of disproportionate power with a relatively small nuke in a remote region would have been the correct level of response to avoid just the sort of messes we've got ourselves into.  It's not like North Korea or Pakistan or Saddam in Iraq would have been eager to tangle with us after that.

    But like I've said, I'm a Teddy Roosevelt style progressive.

    •  That's stupid and childish (0+ / 0-)

      Even if you ignore the immorality, a nuclear weapon, even the smallest, would have killed not only Osama but also our Afghan allies that had him pinned in.  It would be a massive recruiting tool and would accelerate the push by Islamic regimes and al Qaeda sympathizers to get weapons of their own, or get hold of Pakistan's weapons for their own purposes.

      Osama escaped because Rumsfeld refused to send in the troops required, because he was already moving resources for the coming Iraq war.  He left it to the Afghans, many of whom will switch sides if paid off.  No nuclear weapon would have been required.

      •  Not at all, and not immoral (0+ / 0-)

        Not stupid or childish.  What is stupid is to waste many more thousands of lives by using less effective tools.

        Immoral?  What planet do you live on?  War is immoral, but once you are in it, you have to figure out how to win it.

        Truman had it right when he used nukes.  Many of us are here today (U.S. and Japanese) because he did the right thing.  Doesn't make it popular.

  •  Can we end these stupid fucking wars yet? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty, farbuska

    Look, I'm going to be blunt.

    One of the MAIN reasons I voted for Obama is because he said we'd get out of Iraq, and end Gitmo.  

    Neither has happened, or looks like its going to happen any time soon, and he's escalating a failed, idiotic, war in Afghanistan.   We missed the boat on that in 2002 when Bush fucked everything up.   Now we're just wasting lives, money, and time.  

    The United States: A wholly owned subsidiary of British Petroleum.

    by Beelzebud on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:41:15 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like Karzai is a realist, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farbuska

    and we're still suffering under the illusion that our puppets should follow our orders while pretending to be independent.

  •  YES /eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tropical Depression

    "persona non grata" yet again

    by KnotIookin on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:09:17 AM PDT

  •  A neocon could have written this article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farbuska

    Whatever Karzai's sins are, he's a survivor and a realist, which is evidently more than can be said about the US foreign policy establishment.

    Obama's strategy is a recipe for an endless quagmire.  To extract ourselves, a deal is going to have to be made.

    If Karzai can establish himself as an independent figure, there's hope for his future.  Otherwise he's doomed.

  •  The NATION? Singular? (0+ / 0-)

    "Karzai has lost faith in the nation that has sacrificed so many lives, and wasted so much money and time protecting him."

    Emphasis mine. My god that's offensive.  Yep, there sure haven't been any other countries sending troops to Afghanistan, it's been a one country show all along.

  •  This article displays a shocking level (0+ / 0-)

    of ignorance and nativism.  Why does Karzai or any Afghan owe us anything?  Like it or not, Karzai is the president of a semi-sovereign nation and does not have to heed patronizing and hypocritical American warnings about his friendships, administration, or human rights violations.  Karzai is smart to turn to Pakistan, as Pakistan has no choice but to be involved with Afghanistan for, well, ever.  We're going to leave and close our eyes as soon as we've had enough, but Pakistan will continue to border Afghanistan.  Furthermore, why in the name of common sense would Karzai respect Americans or their so-called efforts in his country?  He's rightfully proclaiming, if these our your efforts, take them back home with you.  

  •  End game...how about we just leave (0+ / 0-)

    Afghanistan has been a mess for deacades, Pakistan didn't nuke it or anyone else.

    Let the tribes slaughter themselves over religion all they want. It is obvious that the men in charge there don't want peace, they don't want to learn to accept differing viewpoints on Allah etc so let them stay in their damn Dark Ages. We need the money to fix our own issues, like the Gulf of Oil, education etc. Let them rot for all I care.

    America has been screwing with other countries for too long, kicking out real leaders to install puppet dictators that suit our liking, half of the problems in the Middle East we helped cause. We just need to leave and learn to keep our hands to ourselves.

    Obama is no different, he will try to keep the puppets in line over there and not really give the country a chance to choose it's path. If they want the Taliban that bad, let them have it.

  •  Oh please ... just get out of Afghanistan already (0+ / 0-)

    Total insanity.  A war that lasted longer than Vietnam.  How totally useless.

    "There's no green there, they killed their mother" -- Avatar

    by noofsh on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:54:52 AM PDT

  •  you left out the part (0+ / 0-)

    where Obama gets a Peace Prize for escalating for the second time in Afghanistan.

    Now, Obama has more combat troops outside the country than Bush ever did, more drone attacks than Bush ever did, more overseas bases than Bush ever did, spending more money on the military than Bush ever did, more Special Forces in countries than Bush ever did, and the torture, rendition and secret prisons continue.

    And he got a Peace Prize.

  •  Afghi=TOTAL snafu; is Bush still prez? secretly? (0+ / 0-)

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:57:48 AM PDT

  •  Only your last line is wrong.. (0+ / 0-)

    Purpose: NONE, NONE WHATSOEVER..

    The End Game: GET THE HELL OUT.. NOW..

    Exit Strategy:  GET EVERY ONE ON A PLANE, AND FLY DUE EAST TO THE STATES, OR DUE WEST TO THE STATES.. JUST GET THEM ON A PLANE AND GET THE HELL OUT, NOW!

    So, To Correct your last line,

    The purpose, the end game, and the exit strategy continue to elude.

    this Administration.  

    There ARE people who it doesn't elude, but them, it seems to..

  •  The war was always about Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

    And perhaps always with Pakistan.

    The Pakistani Army indisputably created the Taliban.

    Why?  Because said Army refuses to accept an independent Afghanistan.  It will put whatever regime it can in Kabul, no matter how horrific, that will obey its orders.  It will spend an infinite amount of money and time to keep trying to do this.

    We've never gotten Pakistan to abandon that dogma because the Army is the most powerful institution in the country and its people lack the will to fight it.  Because we let it acquire nuclear weapons, the rest of the world is equally helpless.

    All our plans-du-jour in Afghanistan are ways of working around that reality.  They don't work. We elevated Karzai to drive a wedge between Pashtuns who support the Taliban and those who don't, but the latter seem incapable of governing or cooperating with the many anti-Taliban ethnicities who refuse to be governed by Pashtuns of any stripe.

    So Karzai is going to the source of the problem in Islamabad and switching sides.  There will be a fake negotiation in Kabul to end the war, but the real negotiation will be between Obama, the weak democracy in Pakistan, and the strong Army that points a gun to its head.  Presumably, we will bribe Pakistan to somehow reduce the humiliation of a Taliban seat in a Kabul coalition regime with some window dressing.

    If we get out, then the Northern Alliance will start shooting again, and just like the old days Iran, India and Russia will send it money.  Not a single one of Afghanistan's other neighbors will tolerate the kind of regime that Pakistan's Army demands.

    I just don't know of a way to change that Army or its demands.

  •  This is good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Billdbq

    It is an unadulterated good thing that Karzai is not our lap dog.  Afghanistan needs a govt of Afghans, not American puppets.  

    It's also good that Karzai has no confidence in NATO's ability to win in Afghanistan.  It's good when any nation's leaders are reality-testing effectively.  We tend to lose sight of the value of national reality-testing, because we are a very rich and very powerful country that can indulge the luxury of folly and not pay a terrible and immediate price well beyond our means.  Afghanistan is the opposite of rich and powerful.  It cannot afford any margin of folly.  Even it's very rich and powerful patron does not provide an effective cushion against the high costs of folly, because that patron is limited by its lack of reality-testing, and will only use its vast resources in foolish and counterproductive ways.

    But the good news that would complete the trifecta, and produce the best news out of Afghanistan, would be if we started listening to the president of Afghanistan.  Maybe he knows a thing or two about Afghanistan that we don't.  Not only has he gotten the above two items right, not being our lap dog and not liking our odds of winning, but he is, you know, an actual Afghan.  Not onlly does that give him a leg up on knowing his countrymen, we can also expect that being from a poor and weak country might have gotten him in the habit of the sort of reality-testing that we can't be bothered with.

    The presidency must be destroyed.

    by gtomkins on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 12:26:14 PM PDT

  •  Translated... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Billdbq
    "President Hamid Karzai has lost faith in the US backing of his increasingly upopular and corrupt government and is increasingly looking to Pakistan to prop up his regime as their puppet."

    Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes

    by Daddy Love on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 12:54:19 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, I was with the Prez (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Billdbq

    on this for a while. Now it's pretty much over. Crank up the transports. Let's start moving out. It's one thing to fight for the support of the man in the street, quite another to have lost the support of the "government". Karzai could also man up and ask us to leave. That guy is a weasel of the first order.

    •  State of Iowa to send 3500 Natl Guard Troops (0+ / 0-)

      to Afghanistan this summer.

      Meanwhile, our state is broke; there's no denying that.  Democratic Governor Culver may lose this fall's election largely because of his handling of this recession.

      This spring our state in all of our school districts fired 3500 teachers, custodians, school nurses and administrators.  Dubuque fired 75 teachers.

      Put down your books, and pick up a gun.
      Next stop is Afghanistan.

      Strength through Peace.

      by Billdbq on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 04:47:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm always a little suspicious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Billdbq

    when the war talk starts to center around our clients' ineffectiveness, incompetence, and disloyalty.  As if we would be satisfied if we had in place a more efficient local agent.

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