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War in Afghanistan: 10 years later: wwlp.com

War in Afghanistan: 10 years later

Longest running war in U.S. history

Updated: Friday, 07 Oct 2011, 11:58 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Oct 2011, 11:27 PM EDT

    Heidi Voight

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Friday marked ten years since the day U.S. boots hit Afghan soil.

It's a war that some say we can't win. But it's the same war that others say we can't quit.

A rocket attack in Eastern Afghanistan Friday was a stark reminder of the danger for American troops there, after ten years of war.

As the fighting rages on, the question remains- are we safer now because of it?

"That's hard to say," answered Westfield resident Kevin Mullen. "I mean, if we didn't do anything I think we'd be worse off. I mean you've got to try to keep these people at bay that are trying to hurt us."

Springfield resident David Murray thinks the nation is more secure today because of the war. "I do, and I also think we should stay the course because we don't want to let down our guard on anything that's happened. Especially after 9/11."

Nearly 1,800 American service members have been killed since the first shots of Operation Enduring Freedom were fired. More than 14,000 have been wounded. As for monetary costs, $450 billion dollars and climbing... some of the reasons nearly 60% of Americans say it's time to cut our losses, according to a Quinnipiac Poll.

"I actually think it's time for us to leave," said Lorelei Phillips of Agawam. "I think we've done as much good as we can possibly can do over there and I think it's time for us to come home."


That local teevee  newscast rocks.... Wonder what they are saying on the national news? Heh.

Did you catch that?  

1800 US soldiers DEAD, thousands wounded, no count on the Afghani civilian losses because, well, they are brown people, and hell we have football, we have drones, we have a kickass President who is not afraid order the  killing of US citizens who fuck up, and you see, we have to keep ourselves number 1 safe and by 2014 the HIR will be fully kicking ass, the rich fucks who fund campaigns will be happy, and then we can maybe win elections and keep our economy strong for at least a few...

Today in DC hundreds marched to call for an end to the failed occupations.... that have been going on for TEN FUCKING YEARS.

But hey, here at DailyKos, we have Cain in Florida, Perry in Texas, Romney on the moon, and other miscellaneous Republican dicks to write about on the front page... You see,  we just don't get the clicks we need when we write about these inconvenient Obama wars.....

Sorry, I'm done, now lets get back to talking  about Dem races and slamming Republican assholes, shall we?

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Occupy Together

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Comment Preferences

  •  We ARE Occupying Together...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, blueoasis, Bulldawg

    Nothing about the OccupyWallStreet movement sucks.  Iraq & Afghanistan are another matter entirely.  

    And....yes a 10 year anniversary in Afghanistan & 8 years in Iraq is horrific.  We need to remain on the street as we have the last 3 weeks, force political change & end both wars.

  •  Please quit using the victims of a war (0+ / 0-)

    as a pawn for you demanding better blog coverage.

    It is disgusting and disrespectful.

    I totally appreciate where you are coming from and the focus that needs to be given towards the lives of human beings that have been lost during this horrible travesty but your using the loss of lives as a propganda tool is as disgusting as that other politcal party using them as a propoganda tool.

  •  I don't believe enough are marching or protesting (6+ / 0-)

    to end the Afghanistan war or the War on Terror authorized by the AUMF in 2001.  Many are protesting for different reasons and most reasons different from that such as Wall St, Big Banks, etc.  I know what the October2011.org D.C. protest says in the main, but what the individual protestors are there for is another thing.  The D.C. protest also has a number of other demands as the OWS protest does.  
    I really am surprised at it because of the totality of militarism, the money, the killing, the refugees, the complete devastation of generations of people.  Ya, we suck.  

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 10:16:20 PM PDT

    •  Alan Grayson on the costs (8+ / 0-)
      Yesterday, the Commission on Wartime Contracting released its final report.

      The Commission reported that between $31 billion and $62 billion of the tax money spent on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been wasted.  It also said that between $10 billion and $19 billion of what contractors billed and received was fraudulent.  In fact, $360 million of our tax dollars went straight to . . . the Taliban.

      Wow.  Who could have imagined that?

      Well . . . me.

      When I saw that the Bush Administration was doing nothing about fraud in Iraq, I revived a law going back to the Civil War that allowed whistleblowers to bring lawsuits in the name of the U.S. Government.  I filed case after case, which were promptly greeted by the Bush Administration with gag orders – gag orders that they kept in place for years.  They didn’t want any more bad news coming out of Iraq.

      So I went on CNN, spoke to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and told America whatever I could say without violating those gag orders.  And when the Bush Administration finally let one case out from under those gag orders – and declined to prosecute it – I took that case to trial, and won a $14 million judgment.  It was the third-largest judgment for whistleblowers in the 143-year history of that law.

      Those contractors built bases without hooking up the plumbing.  A general testified that when he went there, he felt like throwing up.

      The Wall Street Journal reported in a front-page article that I was “waging a one-man war against contractor fraud in Iraq.”  The national organization Taxpayers Against Fraud named me “Lawyer of the Year.”  And people started to think, “what is going on over there?”

      In Congress, I spoke out against the wars, and I voted against the wars.  I wrote and introduced The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353.  My bill pointed out that you could:

          Require the Pentagon to fund the wars from its own budget of over $500 billion, not supplemental appropriations;
          Take all the money that would save and eliminate taxes on everyone’s first $35,000 of income, $70,000 for married couples; and
          Still have over $10 billion a year left over, to cut the federal deficit.

      OpenCongress’s unscientific poll showed 91% in favor of HR 5353.

      After I left Congress in January, I took up the work against contractor fraud in Iraq again.  And I won an $8.7 million settlement from DynCorp and the Sandi Group.  The defendants paid our attorney’s fees last Friday.

      Here’s some simple arithmetic.  We’ve budgeted $159.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, through next month.  (The true cost is much more, but let’s leave that aside.)  That’s:

      $159,300,000,000.00.

      You could take all that money and create 5,310,000 jobs here in America paying $30,000 a year, rebuilding our bridges, our roads, our schools, instead of the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That would immediately lower the unemployment rate from 9 percent to 5.5 percent, and get money flowing in our communities again.

      Now, that’s a job program.  I’ll put that up against whatever President Obama proposes next week.

      The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed more than 8,000 Americans, and who-knows-how-many Iraqis and Afghans.  War has destroyed our economy, just as the war in Afghanistan destroyed the Soviet economy.  According to the calculations of Nobel Prize-winner Professor Joseph Stiglitz, the war in Iraq alone has cost us around 8% of our $50 trillion national net worth, all of the wealth that America built up over two centuries.  Over $13,000 for every single American, young and old.

      We’ve taken our inheritance, and dumped it into a wood chipper.

      My father served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  He told me once that one of the most common questions that men of his generation heard was, “what did you do in the war?”  Maybe our children will ask us, “what did you do against the war?”

      That’s a question I can answer.

      Courage,

      Alan Grayson

  •  What terrifies the Village... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty, blueoasis, marina

    The fact is dawning on more and more Americans that it's all of a piece. The same 1% profits from endless war, the rape of the environment,  and the disinheriting of generations of Americans by a cold blooded, corrupt investment class.

    The Village can't come to grips with the fact thqt this isn't politics as usual, that their little shopping mall of single issues and half measures will no longer suffice.

    It's the system. It's the 1% and those who whore for them.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam - Washington isn't broken -- it's fixed.

    by chuckvw on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 10:50:19 PM PDT

  •  Another example of some draining principles: (0+ / 0-)

    1. Movement Conservatism is a national security threat, because it's often not just painfully wrong in it's assumptions about how everything works, it's likely to be so wrong as to produce unimaginably catastrophic results that boggle the minds of even its fiercest critics. Looking at the Bush administration and it's behind the scenes agendas and plans, it is very likely that the Iraq would have happened at some point during the Bush years with or without 9/11. Looking at Afghanistan, everything the Right and the Hawks have said about how things would turn out have turned out to be almost completely wrong longterm. We are essentially babysitting a growing narcostate, corrupt to its core, instead of rebuilding American roads and bridges.

    2. Failure to question, confront, and roll back Movement Conservatism by non-Movement Conservatives is not just enabling Movement Conservatism, but helping it to double down in both it's overreach and the damage from that overreach. Iraq and Afghanistan, like our economy, are victims not just of the Right being so very wrong, but they are also victims of a longterm refusal to fight the Right and reject the Right's worldview completely when it's somebody else's turn to control the reigns of government. Democratic administration, Republican administration. Republican Congress, Democratic Congress. Hawkishness as a baseline and jumping off point for policy is the order of the day. You get shock doctrine conservatism from the GOP, and controlled hawkery, like a morphine drip of moderated bad policy, from Democratic hawks. It shouldn't take five to ten years to slowly wrap-up wars that were based on lies and bad assumptions because the kind of people who dreamed them up in the first place say that this must be so.

    3. On top of everything, to add insult to injury to the nation and our best interests, the Democratic Party simply doesn't benefit from trying to innoculate itself from attacks that it is "soft" on x, y, and z by adopting RW policy and putting RW people in positions to power during Democratic oversight and control of the State, or 'pulling the bandaid off slowly', meaning continuing a failed policy over a long enough period of time so that people always acting in bad faith during non-Republican administrations get the best of both worlds of having the same old same old in place, but get to wail and scream about how "unsafe" the nation is at the same time.

    The Democratic Party, be it with a Congressional majority, a Democratic President, or both, get the worst of both worlds by not breaking the conservative/hawkish stranglehold when they can. YOu don't get any longterm value or benefit out of kissing David Patreus' ring, or putting a Republican in charge of the Pentagon. You don't help the Iraqis or Afghanis by treating them like incompetent children despite being some of the oldest civilizations on Earth either. All you do in bolster the idea that the Right and the Hawks are always right, and non-Republicans and non-hawks are always suspect on defense and foreign policy. The GOP has established the baseline for what is possible, and holds onto it during non-Republican periods of oversight, and the Democrats get no credit for it while simultaniously helping the GOP and the Village re-enforce the toxic meme that Democrats are weak on Defense, so, they need to kowtow to hawkery and conservatism on national security.  

    The Right has thinktanks all over this nation who are planning wars for ideological reasons and paying people millions of dollars to find a way to spin those conflicts as being in the best interest of the American people. They have law firms designing Voter ID laws to deny non-conservative voters the right to vote. They have larded up the courts with Movement Conservative activists whose sole mission is to find ways to use the law to grease the skids for conservatism and put up roadblocks to non-conservative ideas and policies.

    In America, there is apparently no greater sin that calling a liar a liar, and telling the American people the truth, and there is no greater virtue than being able to lie and fail endlessly without consideration or fear of any reprecussions or consequences.

    This isn't an accident.

    This is what you get when the Democratic Party isn't making an ideological argument againt Movement Conservatism, and doesn't fundamentally challenge the bad ideas and false assumptions that help hawkery be our foreign policy baseline.

    The Koch Brothers, those "great patriots", those "America lovin'" bastions of Right-minded Rightwing thinking, apparently did big business illegally with Iran while underwriting a messaging machine that is constanting harping how we need to "isolate, or attack" regimes like Irans to keep the world safe.

    This happens... because they have no fear they will get hurt by doing this.

    As much as this is a sign of how corrupt and vile conservatism is, it's also an indictment on the Democratic Party status quo and the practice of giving the Democrats a pass under the guise of not wanting to help the Right. Nothing helps the Right like a spineless Moderating Movement Conservative Policy Implimentation traffic cop of a Democratic Party. Better to fight and lose a battle than to establish deferring to Rightwing baselines in any area as a default position.

  •  We don't suck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo

    Our war twins, Bush and Obama suck.

    "Look, my administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks," - Obama cutting off the bankers re their rationalization of bonuses.

    by dov12348 on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 12:12:06 AM PDT

    •  Remember back in Jan of 2009 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      when we only had around 30,000 troops in Afghanistan?

      Around 100,000 now, and perhaps as many as 120,000 or even 140,000 private contractors.

      Even as Obama was talking about the earliest troop withdrawals, he sent another 2000 troops.

      Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

      by allenjo on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:14:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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