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No matter how you ask it, by approximately a 2-1 margin Americans think continuing the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea.

Keep our troops there?

Pew Research Center. April 4-15, 2012.

"Do you think the U.S. should keep military troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized, or do you think the U.S. should remove troops as soon as possible?"

  Stay: 32%
  Remove troops ASAP: 60%

Worth it?
ABC News/Washington Post Poll. April 5-8, 2012.

"All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, or not?"

 Worth fighting: 30%
 Not worth fighting: 60%

Favor the war?
CNN/ORC Poll. March 24-25, 2012.

"Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan?"

  Favor: 25%
  Oppose: 72%

Let's face it. 25% is the same percentage of people who think the President wasn't born in the United States. 25% is about as bad as a poll can get unless all the crazies act on a sudden urge to emigrate to Somalia.

Not only is the war unpopular, but it keeps getting more unpopular.

In the middle of 2010, 53% of Americans thought that we should stay until the situation stabilized.  By the middle of 2011, 39% thought so, and now it's down to 32%.

In the middle of 2009, 51% thought the war was worth fighting. By the middle of 2010, 44% thought that, and in June of 2011 43% did. Now its 30%.

In May of 2009, 50% favored the war. By mid-2010 that had dropped to 40%, and by mid-2011, 36%.  Now as we see it's down to twenty-five percent.

Not only is the war unpopular, but by at least one measure it is even more unpopular than the Vietnam War was during its last stages:

USA Today / CNN / Gallup poll, January 1973:

"In view of the developments since we entered the fighting in Vietnam, do you think the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam?"

  Yes, a mistake: 60%
  No, not a mistake: 29%

It's not the same language, but only 25% say they now favor the Afghan war, and this seems like a comparable question.  (In 1971, two similar polls measured "No, not a mistake" at 28% and 31%, again not as unfavorable as the Afghan result).

Photobucket

What saves this administration from any criticism of the war?

  • Republicans aren't offering any plausible alternative;
  • Relatively speaking, unlike Vietnam, almost no Americans are dying over there -- we're just burning money;
  • as Sunday's Doonesbury cartoon eloquently illustrated, lots of people barely know we're still over there;
  • And even if they do, no one particularly gives a damn any more, perceiving the futility of attempts to change policy.

86% of Americans think the economy is a "very important" issue, while 46% think the same about Afghanistan. Even among that 46%, no one could honestly tell you what we are still fighting for, what our goals are, or what difference it might make if we left now instead of years hence.

Yet we've watched our government spend more than a trillion dollars and will watch them spend hundreds of billions more in a quest as futile and far less noble than Don Quixote's.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, SFKossacks, and Progressive Policy Zone.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The reasons there's no criticism . . . (20+ / 0-)

    are:

     (1) The Republicans agree we should be fighting useless, losing wars all over the world.

    (2) Both the Pentagon and big defense contractors are profiting from all the useless war spending.

    (3) If one wishes to be counted among the Very Serious People in either the U.S. foreign policy establishment or the MSM, one has to be in favor of continuing the war.

    (4) (related to #3) Here in America, only weaklings and hippies are in favor of stupid, idealistic things like peace.

    (5) Finally, and perhaps most important, not one child of the 1% has died or ever will die in this war.  

    Did I miss any?

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:58:25 PM PDT

    •  It's an interesting question as to why 3) seems (9+ / 0-)

      to be so true.

      •  General Electric owns MSNBC. (7+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

        Don't tithe to the Catholic Church. Cut out the middle man and give directly to the Republican National Committee.

        by Scott Wooledge on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:13:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  1- is incorrect (9+ / 0-)

        Both Dems and Thugs think we need to fight useless wars. Both parties continue to fund them.
        Obama has expanded them in to even more countries.
        Tired of the blame just going to the thugs. Both parties own stocks in defense companie and they have gotten very rich with their insider tradings.
        Stop giving the Dems a pass.

        OBAMA'S GUIDING PRINCIPLES: HOLD NO ONE ACCOUNTABLE. LOOK FORWARD.

        by snoopydawg on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:45:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The question to which I responded . . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, elwior, JesseCW

          was why Obama wasn't getting more criticism about this war.  My comment needs to be read in that context.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:15:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Scott Wooledge, jpmassar

            and have read some articles how under Bush, the libs were up in arms, but have shut up under Obama.
            IMO, his actions are as bad or even worse. Never thought I would write that after his campaign.
            But he said one thing and then did complete opposite on just about everything. 2 things he didn't lie about was extending the 'good' war (bullshit) and going in to Pakistan.
            Other then that, we have lost even more freedoms under him, more trade agreements, more bases, wars, no prosecutions of war crimes which make him complacent in them.
            I could go on and on, but why bother.
            Some people might think he is still playing chess.

            OBAMA'S GUIDING PRINCIPLES: HOLD NO ONE ACCOUNTABLE. LOOK FORWARD.

            by snoopydawg on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 01:07:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Consider John's words: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, FogCityJohn
          The Republicans agree we should be fighting useless, losing wars all over the world.
          "Agree" acknowledges the Democrats have owned the Afghanistan war since assuming control of Congress in 2006.

          It's been funded and continued by the Ds since then, although they certainly have had the power to pull the purse strings on it. And has since 2008 it has been the foreign policy of a Democratic administration.

          You're right on not giving the Ds a pass on their complicity with a whole portfolio of "caving" to Republicans.

          Don't tithe to the Catholic Church. Cut out the middle man and give directly to the Republican National Committee.

          by Scott Wooledge on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:05:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  6. The people who'd normally be loud... (13+ / 0-)

      are Democrats and a Democratic administration is continuing the war. In an election year it's considered "bad form" to criticize your own candidate.

      •  You've not been reading here then. (7+ / 0-)

        It's considered treason, being a Republican (???), trolling, ideological lunacy, un-pragmatism, ... "bad form" would be almost a complement.


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:46:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You dare to malign the adults in the room? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, jpmassar, JesseCW

          Not only is this war debate telling, I've been in "conversations" with moderates recently who

          1) attacked Elizabeth Warren's assertion that no one ever got rich on his own.

          2) attacked Climate Change science and the "assumed" urgency of the situation.

          Not only left me wondering where the hell I was but how we could possibly address the Class and Climate Wars when a significant body of people on "our" side stand in the way.

          A moderate is a radical in need of reality therapy.

          by Words In Action on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:40:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And it's a bitter indictment of this (10+ / 0-)

        supposedly progressive site that so many of us censor ourselves for the sake of electoral advantage.

        I dare anyone here to deny that, had McCain won the election, Daily Kos would be a front and center player in organizing mass protests against this immoral, pointless, wasteful, security degrading misadventure.

        •  Very interesting point. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, Shahryar
          I dare anyone here to deny that, had McCain won the election, Daily Kos would be a front and center player in organizing mass protests against this immoral, pointless, wasteful, security degrading misadventure.
          Makes one wonder if it would have been better in the long run for McCain to have won, since no doubt the outrage factor that swept Obama into office would have grown, potentially into an actually effective force to deal with the Class and Climate Wars...

          With Obama in office, the moderates on "our" side have stuck their heads in the sand, assuming that everything that can be done has been or is being done...

          A moderate is a radical in need of reality therapy.

          by Words In Action on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:43:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  which leads to an interesting question (0+ / 0-)

            what is the best way to get the Democratic Party to return to supporting Democratic ideals?

            If President Obama wins in November (and I think he will) we will have four more years of moving to the right. We can try to comfort ourselves by saying "2016...we'll get our candidate then".

            But, realistically, all the candidates who have a chance at winning the nomination that year will have to say that Obama's 2 terms were the greatest. It won't be possible to get a nominee who says we lost our way. They'll have to praise Obama, who will still be President as they run.

            If they don't praise him and promise to continue his path then they'll be seen as criticizing the sitting Democratic President, which will turn off a lot of ...um..centrists in the party.

            So an Obama win this year means no left leaning nominee until at least 2020.

            I suppose I shouldn't concern myself with this. The Repubs are feeling the same kind of thing. They want Mussolini but are getting Romney. If you buy into the idea that it's all rigged then there's no point in the exercise. We'll always get two versions of what we don't want, one a "D" and the other an "R".

    •  profits? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, elwior, Lawrence

      On #2, I don’t see how the Pentagon profits from anything.  Everyone who works in the Pentagon gets paid the same regardless of whether they’re at war or not.  If you’re in theatre you get combat pay, but that’s hardly profiting.  I don’t know any member of the military who’s happy to leave their family to go to a war zone and get shot at.  

      At some point someone’s going to have to explain just how much defense contractors are making from the Afghan war.  I suspect it’s relatively little.  It’s not like we’re losing expensive tanks and planes in combat that need to be continually replaced.  In this war we fire bullets and get the occasional Humvee destroyed.  That’s not a lot of capital expenditure, and therefore not much purchasing from defense contractors.  The cost would, I imagine, be mostly in logistics, trying to ship enough soldiers and supplies into a very remote part of the world.  You got some data?  

      •  I think you're right. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        The money is in the logistical support and supplies.  Maybe some tech contracts doing R&D for drones etc.

      •  Somehow our aerospace and defense . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, elwior, JesseCW

        industries managed to make record profits in 2010, if this report is to be believed.  Maybe logistics is more profitable than you thought.

        As for the Pentagon, it profits from having a larger budget due to this needless war.  No matter what their salaries are, the brass like expanding their bureaucratic turf.  

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:14:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Had to prepare for war again Iran. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, JesseCW, FogCityJohn

          And North Korea.  Simultaneously.

        •  aerospace (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar

          That report includes commercial airplane sales and lots of other non-defense sales.  It’s not all military, and it's probably not even mostly military.  Also, it shows revenues for the industry are flat while profits are up, which means companies got more productive at what they were making, not that they were selling more than before.  And I don’t see any logistics companies in that list, so no, apparently it’s not as profitable as you think it is.  I really just don’t see defense contractors having much stake in this particular war, and not nearly enough for them to be somehow stifling criticism of the war, if that was your actual point.

          As for the Pentagon, I don’t know how many brass you know, but I’ve never met any who were happy about getting sent to the desert for a couple years.  Having a bigger budget just means having more work to do.  That’s hardly what I’d call “profit”.  I suppose there might be some excitement about being involved in combat operations, but the Pentagon is far more risk-averse than you think it is.  Once again, I don’t see this as damping criticism of the war.

          •  The brass get sent to the desert? (0+ / 0-)

            That's funny.  I thought that the guys with the most lapel pins spent their time over in Arlington while the lower ranking folks did the actual fighting.

            On the larger point, if you haven't managed to notice the reluctance of politicians to criticize the Pentagon or to call for serious reductions in defense spending, then I don't know what I can do for you.  The Pentagon is no different from any other bureaucracy.  It defends its turf.  

            As for what portion of aerospace/defense industry sales go to DoD, it appears to be quite substantial, at least if this report (pdf) is correct.  Furthermore, according to this paper (pdf), procurement funding more than doubled from FY2011 to FY 2010, and all branches of the service used that additional funding to modernize their forces by purchasing new equipment.  The supplemental appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan certainly provided at least some of that funding.  And this article points out that defense contractors have prospered over the past decade:

            You'll find very few in the Pentagon shedding a tear for the contractors. The military industrial complex has had a field day since 2001. The pumped up defense budgets, coupled with the additional $120 billion a year in spending for the wars, have been a boon for the defense industry. Profits at the big five U.S.-based defense contractors -- Lockheed Martin (LMT), Boeing (BA), Northrop Grumman (NOC), General Dynamics (GD) and Raytheon (RTN) -- grew from $6.7 billion in 2001 to $24.8 billion in 2010. Profits grew twice as fast as revenue.

            And it's not just the pure-play defense contractors who cleaned up. Large conglomerates, like General Electric (GE), foreign defense firms, like BAE systems, and large construction firms, like KBR (KBR), also saw their profits jump significantly during that time thanks to all the defense spending.  
            (Emphasis added)

            So far you haven't provided any links.  Do you have contrary information?

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sky Net - I think you are right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, mightymouse

        The big challenge and cost of the war in Afghanistan is the logistics. It costs a fortune to bring in everything particularly gas and aviation fuel. Regarding capital equipment the terrain, weather and sand do take a toll on the APCs and Humvees. However, you are right this isn't a war with tank battles and we are the only side with planes and helicopters. The ordinance does include certain types of missiles and rockets fired from planes and helicopters and artillery and mortar shells. Some of these are expensive because of the guidance systems, which improve accuracy.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:03:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  War profiteering (4+ / 0-)
        At some point someone’s going to have to explain just how much defense contractors are making from the Afghan war.  I suspect it’s relatively little.
        I suspect you're wrong.

        Boeing from2006:

        The unit, which makes F18 fighters and C-17 cargo jets, has been helped by spending to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The defense division's backlog at the end of last quarter was $74.2 billion, down 5 percent from the second quarter.
        A longer and more official summary can be found here:, with interesting information such as:
        Since FY2004, the rise in procurement costs has been dramatic – a seven-fold increase from $7.2
        billion in FY2004 to $61.5 billion in FY2008, the peak year, accounting for $54.3 billion or close
        to half of the total increase in war costs in that period. The peak year reflects a congressional
        decision to spend $16.8 billion to buy what was then anticipated to be the full requirement for
        Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, a heavy truck with a V-shaped hull found to
        increase soldier survivability against roadside bombs or Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
        Nothing wrong, of course, in investing to protect our troops once there, but $61.5 billion in war-related procurement alone would seem to indicate that there are profits being made and disincentives among power brokers to stop the war.

        An interesting anecdotal example well worth a read:

        The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders

        which details how 2 20-something stoners got into the business. It starts out:

        Reading the e-mail back in Miami Beach, David Packouz breathed a sigh of relief. The shipment was part of a $300 million contract that Packouz and his partner, Efraim Diveroli, had won from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.
        and includes passages such as:
        Packouz and Diveroli had picked the perfect moment to get into the arms business. To fight simultaneous wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration had decided to outsource virtually every facet of America's military operations, from building and staffing Army bases to hiring mercenaries to provide security for diplomats abroad. After Bush took office, private military contracts soared from $145 billion in 2001 to $390 billion in 2008. Federal contracting rules were routinely ignored or skirted, and military-industrial giants like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin cashed in as war profiteering went from war crime to business model. Why shouldn't a couple of inexperienced newcomers like Packouz and Diveroli get in on the action? After all, the two friends were after the same thing as everyone else in the arms business — lots and lots and lots of money.
        •  $$ (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, mightymouse, jpmassar

          There definitely seems to be a lot of money floating around.  Someday I would like to see a breakdown of just where it's going exactly.  The info you present includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, of course, and according to the CRS report only 35% of the military spending was on Afghanistan.  The level of violence was always lower in Afghanistan, though the logistics challenges are greater.  I'd also note the paragraph on Boeing was the last paragraph in a long Bloomberg article.  It certainly didn't seem so important to Boeing's overall financial health that year.  The PWC report that FogCityJohn posted up only had one reference to Afghanistan, too, and didn't seem too concerned about the wars winding down.

          The larger question is whether all this money has some effect on military decisions.  I'm quite sure there are lots of questionable procurement decisions out there as politicians and contractors have common interests, but I just don't believe that President Obama and his national security team give a whit about Boeing when they're making decisions on Afghanistan and whether to stay or go.  I've never seen any evidence that they do.

      •  When people talk about The Pentagon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, FogCityJohn

        we're not talking about anyone who is actually going to get their ass shot at.

        We're talking about people who want plush consultant jobs after they put in their 20.

        Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

        by JesseCW on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:30:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You Missed This One... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, Shahryar, mightymouse

      During the Primaries Barack Obama embraced Afghanistan as the "Good War" as opposed to the war that Hillary voted for as a Senator.  Now the crows have come home to roost and POTUS can't get out of the quicksand that he stepped in 4 years ago.

    •  The 1% don't give a shit if their children (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar

      have to die to maintain their power.

      See Also : Feudalism

      Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

      by JesseCW on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:26:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  today's news on our soldiers posing (10+ / 0-)

    with Afghan insurgent body parts should be a wake up call - diplomacy,schools, roads and bridges build better good will than Soldiers and Drone Strikes.

    "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" Henry David Thoreau http://www.praer.org/

    by wade norris on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:09:26 PM PDT

  •  Wouldn't it be nice if we live in (21+ / 0-)

    a representational democracy where we had leaders that were accountable to the people?

    Maybe the military can start building one here?

    Don't tithe to the Catholic Church. Cut out the middle man and give directly to the Republican National Committee.

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:10:32 PM PDT

  •  And look, the results of another poll (17+ / 0-)

    just came to my attention:

    Photobucket

    Don't tithe to the Catholic Church. Cut out the middle man and give directly to the Republican National Committee.

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:20:21 PM PDT

  •  You must not be a leftist (8+ / 0-)

    because our leftist President likes this war, and you don't.

    "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

    by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:22:29 PM PDT

  •  Not the only thing we're burning (8+ / 0-)
    Relatively speaking, unlike Vietnam, almost no Americans are dying over there -- we're just burning money
    Burning PLENTY of Afghans though. Oh well, at least they're dying in a kinder, gentler way than they were under Bush.

    "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

    by ratmach on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:25:40 PM PDT

    •  They may not be dying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, jpmassar

      but there have at least been 40,000.00 that are maimed for life and will be disabled for life and that is just those with physical injuries, no one knows how many have been psychologically injured.  And just like Viet Nam those guys will be ignored and not received the help they truly need.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:34:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember writing a few years ago asking why (15+ / 0-)

    we can't leave now instead of in a year.  Then it kept on going and the fact of the matter is this administration is openly seeking to stay over two more years (end of 2014) then changing to a different sort of occupation evidently CIA and State Dept driven.  Even those among us that study and analyze the news about Afghanistan and foreign affairs still come up with varying reasons for why we're still there.  There's the company line relative to the war on terror, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  There's the TAPI pipeline, which interestingly after much denial from Obama supporters is back in the news particularly from Hillary and Panetta.  That means access to Turkmenistan and military containment of Russia of which bases in Afghanistan are very helpful.  In the end it seems to be about global power for the western elite which includes the control of resources and the access to resources and the containment of any foes.  Same as it ever was.   It will be interesting to see Obama's stance on this during the general with Romney.  I don't see him in anyway appeasing the antiwar left with his rhetoric.  

    •  There is no antiwar left to appease. (5+ / 0-)

      Of any consequence, anyway.

      •  I threw in "left" to stay with the flow although (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mama jo, jpmassar, elwior, allenjo

        I don't like the left/right labels much.  But there are plenty of people opposed to U.S. imperialism, right, left and center and Obama is going to try and walk the fine line of a Democratic President.  It'll work with his diehards but more and more are seeing thru the bullshit.  I'm hoping "antiwar" becomes more prevalent as the year goes on and people hear from Obama what his plans are.

        •  A trillion here, a trillion there...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          Let's hope antiwar becomes more than a slogan and actually becomes a powerful movement to end this war.

          While much of the talk in Washington centers on taxes, Social Security and Medicare, far less attention is being paid to the growing cost of the U.S. wars overseas.

          A new report from Brown University has estimated the true cost of the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will end up costing approximately $4 trillion, far more than the Bush or Obama administrations have acknowledged.

          The authors of the study reveal that because the war has been financed almost entirely by borrowing, $185 billion in interest has already been paid on war spending, and another $1 trillion could accrue in interest alone through 2020.

          http://www.democracynow.org/...

          Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

          by allenjo on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:31:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no antiwar left, but a large antiwar center. (5+ / 0-)

        At least by the looks of these polls. The war is one policy where I just don't get President Obama. He was against the war before he was elected and almost all of the people who are at all likely to vote for him are against the war. It should be an easy decision to choose peace when it appears to be this popular.

        I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, as only one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by Bob the old soldier on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's so 20th century. We don't give a shit about (8+ / 0-)

      resources anymore. Didn't you see? The banking industry got filthy rich with gambling schemes that were "too complex" to understand, while everyone else got poor. It had nothing to do with goods, resources, or services. Just made up bullshit.

      War is the perfect "complex" scheme where money just disappears down the rabbit hole. If anyone really gave a shit about the pipelines, you would think they would be up and running already. I mean it has been ten years now. In fact, I'll bet the money was paid to build the pipelines. Yet they still don't exist.

      Money.Laundered.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:46:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Austerity, Corruption in Business & Government, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, BigAlinWashSt, zaka1, elwior

      The War Formerly Known as On Terror...

      Not one of these three things will be mentioned by either candidate or the media throughout the entire campaign. Maybe at some town hall, one of the pre-screened people might pull a fast one and bring something real up, but outside of that we'll hear nothing, nada, zip on those three issues.


      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:58:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I note that absolutely none of the assholes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, jpmassar

      who bought the "it's not about the pipeline" spin has retracted.

      I mean here, not MSM talking heads.  One would be a fool to expect it from them.

      Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

      by JesseCW on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:38:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Trillions of dollars later, (8+ / 0-)

    thousands of our sons and daughters lives lost,
    many more thousands of their sons and daughters lives lost...

    It is Way past time for us to admit:  Mistake...
    and get out of there.

    I'm sure there are a lot of considerations that we're not
    privy to ... blahblahblah.  In the end I'm left with this:

    No wonder they hate us.  I'd hate us, too.

  •  ?So...? What does popular opinion have to do with (7+ / 0-)

    political decisions in the US? Like most of today's democracies, we almost never have democratic outcomes. And never when it's about war and economics.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:43:55 PM PDT

    •  So true, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, mightymouse, Jim P

      the people don't get to tell congress or senate what we can afford as far as healthcare goes, they tell is what we can afford and we will be punished financially if we can afford it.  The people don't get to make decisions about the tremendous debt we are going into for the wars.  The people don't get to decision about their own family planning or birth control, the government tell you what you can and can't do.

      The people didn't want to bail out the banks, but we were ignored and they did it anyway.  But, then come to find it wasn't just the banks, but the whole freaking world we were helping bail out.  But, don't worry the people will tighten their belts.

      The people wanted the wealthy to pay a fair tax rate and the corporations too, but forget that we wouldn't want to upset the wealthy.  

      The people are getting to a tipping point and the policiticans have their heads up their beloved behinds.  

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NYT reporter PatrickTyler... (6+ / 0-)

    ...wrote on Feb 17, 2003 that the world now had 2 superpowers -- the USA and world public opinion.  This was after the huge demonstrations against war in Iraq which brought millions into the streets world wide to say "No" to W's mis-adventure.  

    But the First Super Power managed to ignore the second, went on to wage it's illegal war, and delivered a devastating blow to world public opinion, the peace movement, and subsequently all effective dissent, differing opinions and resistance.  

    It is a sad spectacle to see that today the First Super Power is doing the same with OWS.  The First Super Power will tolerate no rivals, no alternate opinions.  The First Super Power continues to implement its police state in case the second power tries again to gain position and strength and demand its rights.  A very sad spectacle.

    Patrick Tyler's piece is here.

    "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    by dharmasyd on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:50:58 PM PDT

  •  The war in Afghanistan is un-winnable (5+ / 0-)

    has anyone watched "Restrepo"?

    That film gives you a pretty clear idea about the intractable situation on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. 30 years ago it was the Russians in a similar battle.

    History repeats itself yet again.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:21:15 PM PDT

    •  I have not (0+ / 0-)

      read it, but we were stuck in Vietnam like.  The graveyard of empires... being born in England... empires do not work .
      Having said that, I would love for someone from England to write an essay regarding the Queen.  I was at the coronation, dad took mum and I, standing in the rain for 30 hours and my dad had no time for royalty, but he took mum and I and after all of the years, I realize the Queen runs England and not the PM's.  As much as I love her and will stay up all night to watch the Queen, it has taken me all of these t years to realize, she is the power behind the throne.  And I dont like it.  Look at Pippa... the power she showed off in Paris, disgusting.  I think I want to see the end of the royal family.

  •  America's tolerance for war is about 4 years. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, zaka1, Lawrence

    After that they grow weary.  Even in world war 2.  

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:54:53 PM PDT

    •  WWII was over in less than four years for the US. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thestructureguy, zaka1
      •  Yes and it was approaching the fourth year (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, Lawrence, mightymouse

        and there was many rumbling's that the war should be winding down.   The losses in the Pacific were horrid. After Iwo Jima the papers were starting to question the war.  Interesting reading.

        Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

        by thestructureguy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:35:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, the prospect of "having" to invade Japan (0+ / 0-)

          itself was not an appealing one.

          But did anyone just consider just leaving them isolated on their home islands until they starved?  Probably only "crazy people".

          •  Or....negotiating a peace settlement (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jpmassar

            leaving Japan with only her home islands???

            Yeah.  People did.  Harry wasn't havin' it.

            Woulda looked weak in front of Uncle Joe.  

            Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

            by JesseCW on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:43:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Anything but an unconditional surrender wasn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jpmassar

              acceptable. The whole militaristic government and culture had to be removed.  

              Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

              by thestructureguy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:34:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No matter how many women and children (0+ / 0-)

                we had to Bar-B-Q.

                Because, after all, with no oil or iron to speak of, Japan really would have posed a serious threat once confined to the Home Islands - but not subjected to idiotic punative economic measures as we did to Germany post WWI.

                Just because we murdered half a million innocents rather than seek peace (the firebombing was no different) doesn't mean it was necessary.  

                Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

                by JesseCW on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 04:33:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not crazy people but certainly a small number. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jpmassar

            The bigger culprits were the small number of crazy people in Japan that refused to unconditionally surrender. I think they have more to answer to humanity for than the US. Historians will argue forever on whether the US should have taken a different course to end the war.  Arguments and facts that bolster both sides of the question.

            Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

            by thestructureguy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:30:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Are they even voting on whether (3+ / 0-)

    to continue the war or not?  But, then again, congress never voted to go to war with Afghanistan in the first place, it was just an expansion of the Iraq war.

    Use to be that every year the budget to continue war came up for vote, haven't heard about any vote to continue the war or about expansion funding.  Just raising the debt ceiling and adding to bigger deficits which I'm not sure the middle and lower class can pay off all by themselves without the wealthy and the corporations which the military keeps ports save for doesn't pitch in by paying some damn taxes fairly.

    My brother has been in Iraq the first Gulf War, my ex-husband was a Viet Nam veteran, my Uncle a second WWII veteran, and my Grandfather a WWI veteran.  I've had a whole life time of war in my fifty plus years, whereas someone like Mitt Romney family has never been touched by war.  How many Republicans and Democrats in Congress and Senate have family involved in the wars?  

    The whole point is they are using the military over and over again until they are either killed, maimed, or have such severe PTSD that they will always be scarred and then they aren't treating our guys appropriately.

    The whole point, for me, is why should the middle class and lower classes that are being constantly screwed in this country be fighting for the wealthy that does want to pay taxes, or don't have their own family involved in fighting.  Moreover, why should Congress and Senate that doesn't have family involved in this war be the ones who vote and a voice to send our families into the line of fire.  How about the people get a vote?

     

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:56:18 PM PDT

    •  Afghanistan came first, not Iraq. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, elwior, JesseCW

      They did vote to go to war in Afghanistan, back in 2001.
      Barbara Lee was the only vote against it, IIRC.

    •  The more screwed you are, the easier it is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, mightymouse

      for someone to hire you to play soldier.

      •  This is exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, Sean X, mightymouse

        what upsets me.  It is the poor and middle class and young unemployed that is being used by the corporations, congress and senate to continue wars we've been at for eleven years, with no end or goal in sight.  Remember how when Bush was in office they kept changing what the goal was to pull out of war, there was never an end point.

        This country is such a mess, and it really gets to me.  Literally everything is upside down.  So many of us didn't get better or increased wages in order to pay bigger wages to those on the top.  The whole trickle down theory has been one big lie, the spigot where life use to flow freely and there were choices has all but stop to a trickle.  I don't see how things can continue at this pace, like I said above it is getting out of hand for the average person and people are reaching their tipping points, period.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:27:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like you should be occupying... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zaka1

          You just have to learn to use fouler language:

          Literally everything is upside down. -> Shit is fucked up and stuff.

          I don't see how things can continue at this pace... people are reaching their tipping points -> The system has got to die, hella, hella Occupy.

          •  If I wasn't on disability (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sean X, jpmassar

            I would be occupying, but if I get arrested or even hit in the head it could be potential fatal for me.  My skull now is being held together with titanium and screws and my balance sucks, I couldn't even run away, I'd fall, LOL.  And if you get arrested your state or federal support gets cut off.

            I support the OWS movement, because things are just too wrong to keep on going like they are.  I don't think the system is working for the majority of people and it is getting to the point where voting for someone because your scared shit-less of the other candidate is not a fair choice.  Sorry, that is how I feel.

            Just read someplace else that drones are going to be used in Yemen and that the FCC is going to allow Wall Street to trade derivatives again.  Hot damn we are so fucked as a country, more war, more Wall Street corruption all with the blessing of our lame ass leaders.  

            I'm sorry, I saw a friend of mine tonight who is working in retail since the 2008 crash, he has no family, and no health insurance because he can't afford it on his pay and he has MS.  It kills me to see what he goes through to bring home enough money to pay for rent and some food.  

            And the whole thing about the HCR that gets to me, I understand that prices are suppose to be lower, but there are still few who can afford the price of health insurance, even if people will get assistance with health insurance it is still going to have to come from somewhere, but where is that money going to come from?  And you know with all the low paying, part-time jobs people are getting to support themselves the majority of people are going to need help with health care insurance subsidies.

            Here is what gets me, I have a friend who is wonderful but she worked for the government for half of her working life and she gets a $90,000.00 a year pension and I worked in the private sector for forty some years before getting sick and have no pension and made a middle income under $48,000.00 all my retirement savings were wiped out first by paying off student loans and second by having a pre-existing slapped on me and going into medical debt.  I love my friend but why should I as a taxpayer be paying taxes to give someone else a king's salary for a pension while they want to take my SS and Medicare away?  It just makes my head swim.

            I think a lot of our tax dollars are also going to pay big government pensions and that isn't fair when it is rare for anyone in the private sector to have a pension and only be stuck with a 401K that is robbed at least four times before you retire on what Wall Street hasn't stole from you.

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:03:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  and the funny thing is, we "won" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, elwior, mightymouse

    We ousted the Taliban, we "got" bin Laden. In the process we poisoned the situation so the Taliban will take over if we ever leave.

    But after bin Laden got killed we could have said we'd obtained our objectives and gotten out.

    The longer we stay the more obvious it becomes that the supposed reasons for going in are not the real reasons. Various posts in this diary nail the truth.

    So...uh....therefore I urge all of you to donate to and vote for President Obama because if he isn't re-elected the Republicans will do bad things....?

  •  Wait, there's still so much yet to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar

    in Afghanistan. Sure we've pissed on dead Afghans, burned Korans, shot their children in their sleep, and yukked it up with dead Afghan body parts...
    But think of how many other nifty tricks bored or stressed US  soldiers can do in two more years! The possibilities (tho too graphic to mention here) are limitless!!!
     If we're going to have these people hate us, let's do a proper job so they hate us for a long long long time.

    The people demand the fall of this regime ...

    by fourthcornerman on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:30:33 AM PDT

  •  A military invasion and endless occupation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar

    of a war torn country. It was so war torn, "it had no good targets" according to War Lord Rumsfeld.

    Why was it invaded?  9/11, the Taliban? but they've been out of power for years, Al qaeda? it's moved to Pakistan, Osama bin Laden? he's dead.

    Bring them home.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:26:45 AM PDT

  •  worse yet, rather than offer an alternative (0+ / 0-)

    too many GOoPers actively support war. Any war. Every war.

    Although I doubt she could find Afghanistan in an atlas, even with an alphabetical index, Sarah continues to rail on Obama as being too weak, too inept and too willing to leave afghanistan.

    Most Tea Buggerers also favor staying and view IraqNam as a horrible decision. How dare we leave their country to their own people, making their own choices, political, social, economic, etc?

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 05:43:27 AM PDT

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