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An entire Afghan army unit attacking American troops...........1 out of 5 combat deaths are insider attacks.

Two days after the U.S. military resumed joint operations with Afghan security forces last week following a spate of “insider attacks,” a platoon of American soldiers stopped at an Afghan army checkpoint in a volatile eastern province.

The Americans had a cordial conversation and cracked a few jokes with their Afghan comrades during the Saturday afternoon patrol in Wardak province. The Afghans offered the Americans tea. Then, according to a U.S. military official, an Afghan soldier, without warning or provocation, raised his weapon and opened fire — mortally wounding the senior American on the patrol.

In a war in which insider attacks have become commonplace, what happened next made the incident extraordinary, the American official said. Another Afghan soldier at the checkpoint opened fire on the Americans, killing a U.S. civilian contractor and wounding two other American soldiers. Soon, Afghan soldiers and possibly insurgents began firing at the Americans from several directions.
The War in Afghanistan, America's longest war has now entered its 12th year.
Did you hear this on the morning talk shows? Did you even hear the Afghan war mentioned?

Bill Moyers - Honoring a Fallen Soldier’s Plea...........
“Why are we killing kids that don’t need to die?”

That’s the question Florida Congressman Bill Young was moved to ask after reading a letter written to him by Matthew Sitton, a young soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in August. In this powerful broadcast essay, Bill talks about the congressman’s surprising change in perspective, the soldier who inspired him, and how that question needs to be posed to the two men now vying to be our Commander-in-Chief.

Defense hawk wants out of Afghanistan: '

One of the strongest defense hawks in Congress says the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan amid increasing signs that even Republican proponents of the war believe it's no longer worth the cost. Young's comments reflect the growing weariness with a conflict that has dragged on for more than a decade, with polls showing more than 60 percent of Americans opposing the war and military fights drawing little of the public's attention. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney didn't even mention the troops or the war in his convention acceptance speech last month, a striking omission for a GOP candidate.
Congressman Young says many in congress feel the same way he does, but they "tend not to want to go public."

Here are the 15 in congress who have already gone public....We must build on these brave voices of 15 members of congress.

    It is the fault of congress, who continue to fund a war without end, a war that just needs a little more time, a few more years, a few more billion of dollars.  "Bring them home! Now!

68,000 American troops remain, with over 113,000 US paid private contractors.

Who will be the next to die? Who will be the last to die? And in what year or what decade?

Was that the talk on the morning talk shows? Did you hear the war even mentioned this morning?

It took nine years of fighting in Afghanistan before 1,000 US troops were killed. But the second 1,000 US troop deaths have come in the past two years. Last month in the Afghanistan war, America reached the grim 2,000-US-troops-killed-in-action milestone. On Saturday, two more US troops were killed by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Though the work of US troops has become increasingly deadly, many analysts warn that it has not been increasingly effective.
The VA operates 131 cemeteries, 152 hospitals....How much longer can this go on?

The Real Costs of the Wars........in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as our military actions in Pakistan.

The Dead

6051 U.S. service members
2,300 U.S. contractors
9,922 Iraqi security forces
8,756 Afghan security forces
3,520 Pakistani security forces
1,192 Other allied troops
11,700 Afghan civilians
125,000 Iraqi civilians
35,600 Pakistanis (civilians and insurgents)
10,000 Afghan insurgents
10,000 Members of Saddam Hussein’s army
168 Journalists
266 Humanitarian workers

Total:  224,475 lives lost

The Wounded

99,065 U.S. soldiers
51,031 U.S. contractors
29,766 Iraq security forces
26,268 Afghan security forces
12,332 Other allied troops
17,544 Afghan civilians
109,558 Iraqi civilians
19,819 Pakistani civilians

Total: 365,383 wounded

The Displaced

3,315,000 Afghan civilians
3,500,000 Iraqi civilians
1,000,000 Pakistani civilians

Total: 7,815,000 refugees and internally displaced people

Costs to the American Taxpayer

$1.3 trillion in Congressional War Appropriations to the Pentagon — the official budget for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

$3.7-4.4 trillion estimated total costs to American taxpayers. This includes the official Pentagon budget (above), veterans’ medical and disability costs, homeland security expenses, war-related international aid and the Pentagon’s projected expenditures to 2020.

$1 trillion more in interest payments through 2020 on money the U.S. borrowed for war.

2:06 PM PT: What happened to this country? This abyss we have falling into, silently accepting our longest war - the  Afghanistan War, billions upon billions spent and a nation remains mostly silent. What would it take to get you out in the streets protesting this war? So much loss of lives and at a cost of 2 billions dollars a week. Can you sit back silently, and if so, for how much longer? There are some voices in congress now speaking out. Will you contact your representatives and tell them it is time to end this war?

Originally posted to allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War, The Amateur Left, and Team DFH.

Poll

What I am willing to do to stop this war and any new wars of aggression

18%3 votes
12%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
43%7 votes
6%1 votes
6%1 votes
12%2 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  But it's a GOOD war... (11+ / 0-)

    We know that because... uh...

    Oh yeah, the Taliban is evil.

    So therefore we need to stay there.  Forever.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:28:18 AM PDT

  •  U.S. military is outrageously expensive (13+ / 0-)

    from TomDispatch

       

    The U.S. military is outrageously expensive and yet poorly tailored to the actual threats to U.S. national security: Candidates from both parties pledge to protect the Pentagon from cuts, or even, in the case of the Romney team, to increase the already staggering military budget. But in a country desperate for infrastructure, education, and other funding, funneling endless resources to the Pentagon actually weakens “national security.” Defense spending is already mind-numbingly large: if all U.S. military and security spending were its own country, it would have the 19th largest economy in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Switzerland.
    Whether you’re counting aircraft carriers, weapons systems, or total destructive power, it’s absurdly overmatched against the armed forces of the rest of the world, individually or in combination. A couple of years ago, then-Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates gave a speech in which he detailed that overmatch. A highlight: “The U.S. operates 11 large carriers, all nuclear powered. In terms of size and striking power, no other country has even one comparable ship.” China recently acquired one carrier that won’t be fully functional for some time, if ever -- while many elected officials in this country would gladly build a twelfth.
      But you’ll hear none of this in the presidential debates. Perhaps the candidates will mention that obsolete, ineffective, and wildly expensive weapons systems could be cut, but that’s a no-brainer. The problem is: it wouldn’t put a real dent in national defense spending.  Currently almost one-fifth of every dollar spent by the federal government goes to the military

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:30:30 AM PDT

    •  Get active, like these hundreds who protested (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo

      San Diego

      Hundreds protest for end to war in Afghanistan
      Great diary, allenjo !  Thanks so much.

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:11:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was part of the protests in San Diego (0+ / 0-)

        against the Iraq war.

        Now I am in Florida, no protests here, little mention of the war, just lots of stickers on cars, Support Our Troops.

        I never knew what that really meant and even less so now, when our troops are being killed by the Afghans they train, which leads me to feel strongly that the only way to support our troops is get them out of Afghanistan.

        If any lasting good was to be accomplished by increasing troop levels from 32,700 when Obama took office, to the high of 101,000 we would be feeling the success now and be planning the complete withdrawal of our troops and the mercs. Now it is just a senseless policy to continue on hoping for what, a miracle, to turn the war around?

        I just heard on this morning's news that the Red Cross has said the outlook is bleak for Afghanistan war.

        Outgoing Red Cross head in Kabul has bleak outlook

        The outgoing head of the Red Cross delegation in Afghanistan says civilians are in greater danger with less hope for peace than when he arrived on his job seven years ago.

        Reto Stocker says he's "filled with concern" as he leaves the job he's had since 2005 because suffering and hardship have increased among ordinary Afghans while their "hope for the future has been steadily declining."

        Stocker said in a statement Monday that the proliferation of local armed groups has left civilians "caught between not just one but multiple front lines." But he says the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross has made some progress by persuading warring parties to hear some its concerns about the war that began when the U.S. invaded on Oct. 7, 2001.

        Read more: http://www.dailybulletin.com/...

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

        by allenjo on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:37:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When A Soldier Makes It Home (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, corvo, aliasalias

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:35:48 AM PDT

  •  They are dying so Democrats can 'look tough.' (10+ / 0-)

    They are dying for optics and spin.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:37:27 AM PDT

  •  Isn't it time as a nation, that we make our voices (5+ / 0-)

    heard so that those in congress against furthering this war, who don't want to go public  find their voices?

    http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:41:38 AM PDT

  •  The cost of glorification of the past. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, Garrett, gooderservice, adrianrf

    We like to feel good about great victories of the past ( D-day and Guadalcanal), and valorize heroes (Eisenhower and MacArthur).  We think that if we are just good enough we can reduplicate their greatness.  It is very hard to look back and admit, while their accomplishments were good and we are glad for them, they were very lucky, and things could easily have gone the other way.  We are in a bad situation in Afghanistan, and no amount of intelligence, hard work, or bravery can make it right.  It is too hard for us to admit this about our present or our past.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:01:13 AM PDT

    •  We are in a bad situation in Afghanistan (4+ / 0-)
      We are in a bad situation in Afghanistan, and no amount of intelligence, hard work, or bravery can make it right.
      There is only one right way to go.......Out! Now!

      How do you deal with the  insanity of fighting on, after 11 years, with conditions getting so much worse, a US soldier dying each day, and  borrowing 2 billion a week?

      Paying for 68,000 troops and over 113,000 private contractors, as our country implodes....

      There is no win, there is no "smart diplomacy", there is only leaving, and leaving now.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly since it seems that very few (5+ / 0-)

        have any skin in the game, don't have loved ones or know anyone serving in Afghanistan.  And the media has made it out of sight out of mind. Hell botched referee calls, and Big Bird now matters more than the fact we got people getting killed in a war that no longer has justification. And even on the "progressive" blogs anyone who brings up the war and the effects on all who are suffering(including the civilians) are scorned as purity trolls calling for rainbow unicorns.
        This is sad state of this country.  

        One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

        by Mr Stagger Lee on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:58:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is sad state of this country (4+ / 0-)

          I was talking with a friend about the insanity of those, our military brass and the WH, who set policy, and the war enablers in congress, who never come up short for funding wars, and saying I just can not understand the silence of citizens, the media, those in congress, that the USA is starting its 12 year of war.

          He said, I try not to worry about something I have no control over.

          He was not alive during the Vietnam war, was against the Iraq war though never marched in the streets to protest it like many of us.

          And yes, This is the sad state of this country.

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:05:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Support our troops! Get out there and shop (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allenjo, BigAlinWashSt, corvo

          till you drop.

          Sadly, this is not snark....

  •  I like the 'Bring them Home' video (5+ / 0-)

    Delaro is my Rep. I'll have to send her a thank you note.

    Alas the Leadership of the two parties are puppets to the MIC. Disgusting.

    "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." - Morpheus

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:04:22 AM PDT

    •  I have the "Gus is for Us" Bilikaris (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CitizenOfEarth, corvo, aliasalias

      who hasn't come out....yet.

      And Bill Nelson who seems to not have much interest in the war based on my calls to his office.

      But still we all need to let them know how we feel, to help them step up against the insane choice to continue on with this seemingly endless war, and stop the war funding, and demand a withdrawal plan from the WH.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone mentioned that one of the debates (7+ / 0-)

    is going to be a foreign policy debate.  Between the lies about Iran and the bullshit timelines about Afghanistan, it should be something to behold.
    War crimes prosecutions have to be part of the equation if any of this military empire madness is going to stop.  The problem is the elite truly believe the same thing Obama believes, that the US is the only indispensable superpower on earth and must dictate what happens on this planet by the use of military and economic force and threat.
    It bothers me when I see Senators like this invoke a "what about the children" mantra when they ignore the children that are getting killed and starved elsewhere.  Right now, the sanctions on Iran, an act of war by the US and NATO, are starting to cause the same problems in Iran that the 90's sanctions did in Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of half a million children.  Where's the outcry about that from the Senator?  
    Or does the question, "don't need to die", mean that there are some that do and some that don't?

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:05:14 AM PDT

    •  I only watched one talk show this morning and (5+ / 0-)

      there was no mention of the anniversary of the war, not any mention of entering the 12th year of war, actually the point is there was no mention of the war at all.

      And sadly for a nation grown war weary, there may not be any mention of America's longest war in the foreign policy debate, but we all need to take action, keep on our reps, and work towards bringing our troops home now.

      Ignoring the war does not make it go away.

      This is the biggest problem with this country's foreign policy.........

      The problem is the elite truly believe the same thing Obama believes, that the US is the only indispensable superpower on earth and must dictate what happens on this planet by the use of military and economic force and threat.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  WarMongers are all the same. They all use (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, allenjo

      an identical playbook to try to hide their outright thirst for the blood of the young.

      If you don't support them in their desire to massacre, you love The Taliban/Gaddaffi/Saddam/Castro/Ho Chi Min.

      They always trot out some privileged Ex-Pat who also wants to see their countrymen killed.  The beautiful thing about the American brand of diversity is that whether you want to bomb Tripoli, Tehran, or Baghdad, you can always find someone born there who will say "Go Ahead!!!".

      They always pretend to "regret the necessity".  They always tell you that this time is different....although they can never put together a cogent argument to defend that assertion.

      "How dare you call someone a warmonger just because he's paid to sell war?"

      by JesseCW on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:01:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would Americans care if it were just private (4+ / 0-)

    contractors being killed?

    68,000 American troops remain, with over 113,000 US paid private contractors.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/...
    Dead Contractors: The Un-Examined Effect of Surrogates on the Public’s Casualty Sensitivity
    April 2012

     Abstract:    
    Once the nation commits to engage in heavy, sustained military action abroad, particularly including the deployment of ground forces, political support is scrupulously observed and dissected. One of the most graphic factors influencing that support is the number of military soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice on the nation’s behalf. In the modern era, most studies suggest that the public considers the potential and actual casualties in U.S. wars to be an important factor, and an inverse relationship exists between the number of military deaths and public support. Economists have dubbed this the "casualty sensitivity" effect.

    This article asserts that this stark and monolithic metric requires re-examination in light of a little-known phenomenon: on the modern battlefield, contractor personnel are dying at rates similar to - and at times in excess of - soldiers. The increased risk to contractors’ health and well-being logically follows the expanded role of contractors in modern governance and defense. For the most part, this "substitution" has taken place outside of the cognizance of the public and, potentially, Congress. This article explains the phenomenon, identifies some of the challenges and complexities associated with quantifying and qualifying the real price of combat in a modern outsourced military, and encourages greater transparency so that the public can more meaningfully participate in "the great American experiment."

    http://papers.ssrn.com/...
    Contractors and the Ultimate Sacrifice
    September 1, 2010

     Abstract:    
    This brief article quantifies how, in Iraq and Afghanistan, contractor personnel increasingly have made the ultimate sacrifice alongside, or in lieu of, service members. The enormity of the contractor sacrifice gives pause - more than 2,000 contractors have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what is more striking is that contractors are bearing an increasing proportion of the annual death toll. In the first half of 2010, more contractors died in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting the war effort than members of the U.S. military waging these wars.

    •  Outsourcing war (5+ / 0-)

      We have more mercs dying than soldiers, and of course, have more mercs in Afghanistan than soldiers,

      Modern warfare, where we have to pay those who want the big bucks to go fight because we do not have enough troops in our volunteer military.

      As we wait for General Allen's November report on troop strength and the WH withdrawal plan, all we have is the hope that the war will end.

      We have no withdrawal plan, we do not know if mercs will be increased to make up for the troops leaving.

      All we have right now is hope.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I care about our bankrupt, ruinous foreign policy; (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, allenjo, JesseCW

      I care about the honorable US and EU forces we maim and slaughter by the hundreds to prosecute that bankrupt & ruinous policy;

      I care about the civilian foreign nationals we slaughter by the hundreds of thousands on the basis of that bankrupt & ruinous policy;

      I care about the continued domestic impoverishment we willfully subject our poorest and most vulnerable citizens to, because we keep our military money-hose pointed at our bankrupt & ruinous policy;

      but I signally do not care about the deaths and injuries of mercenaries.

      signing up and fighting as a mercenary is a dishonorable act, period.

      it is an individual choice to willingly and complicitly enable deceitful and corrupt governance, by voluntarily becoming the tool of a war-profiteering killers-for-hire service.

      mercenaries are being used by the US Government purely to conceal the human and fiscal costs of its bankrupt & ruinous policy from its citizens.

      why? simply and purely because that government fears its citizenry would revolt if the true costs were made transparent to them.

      that's why every single mercenary is spitting on the US Constitution, and in the faces of every US citizen.

      "Turning this country around [will] take years of siege warfare against deeply entrenched interests, defending a deeply dysfunctional political system." -PK

      by adrianrf on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:53:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I care about the people at the receiving end (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, JesseCW

        The point of the article is that one of the only things that stops these wars is when troop casualties become excessive. If no US troops die due to "over-the-horizon" warfare of foreign nationals are being killed American wars can go on in perpetuity.

        One of the reasons the Afghanistan war has lasted so long is that there have not been massive troop losses as occurred in the latter part of the Vietnam War.

        Look around. The Afghan War has been forgotten for the most part. Just a blurb in the MSM now and then about a few deaths. Americans care more about Dancing With the Stars than they do about the war.

        America's wars since WWII have turned US forces into unwitting mercenaries because these wars are being fought solely for the MIC.

         

      •  If a nation does not have enough volunteers to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Claudius Bombarnac

        fight a war, perhaps it is a war not worth fighting...
        I forgot who said that, but very true.

        The fact that we have 113000 merc and 68000 troops should tell us something about that.

        mercenaries are being used by the US Government purely to conceal the human and fiscal costs of its bankrupt & ruinous policy from its citizens.

        why? simply and purely because that government fears its citizenry would revolt if the true costs were made transparent to them.

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

        by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:44:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't give two shits about the death of Merc's. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      I don't cheer when anyone dies.  It's not a good thing.  I wish they'd made better choices than becoming guns for hire.

      But I have never lot a minutes sleep grieving for any of them.

      I sure as hell care about the civilians they murder, though.  I care more about the dead kids than I do about dead GI's, to be honest.  

      "How dare you call someone a warmonger just because he's paid to sell war?"

      by JesseCW on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:03:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's a catch-22 here -- (8+ / 0-)

    If it's a good war in the eyes of the faithful because the guy who's Commander-In-Chief has a (D) next to his name, then will its current supporters end their support for the war when the next Commander-In-Chief has an (R) next to his name?

    Is that the upside of the Romney Presidency?

    "Wars not make one great" -- Yoda

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:08:27 AM PDT

  •  But America likes war - especially if there's (6+ / 0-)

    a Democrat in the White House. Then it's for a good cause.

  •  This is what we are fighting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, allenjo, adrianrf

    From Foreign Policy

    Trust Fall

    This is the concluding paragraph...

    The United States and Afghans can still win -- together -- by forging deep relationships in the face of this crisis, restoring a shared vision that defeats the enemy's plans to divide us, and creatively overcoming the challenge of navigating a complex cross-cultural environment. But some major adjustments are needed, and they are the imperative to salvage the mission. There is no time to lose.
    Win?  Shared vision? Mission?

    Read the whole thing.  It does a better job than I explaining the "thought process" of the MIC and those in the Admin and DOD that continue to support and promote this nonsense.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:17:06 AM PDT

    •  left with more questions than answers (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EdMass, BigAlinWashSt, corvo, aliasalias

      from your link, Ed

      and would be all too happy for us to believe. ??????? That boggles the mind, though I do agree with their comment about We are
      left with more questions than answers

      Eleven years into the U.S. war in Afghanistan, both Americans and Afghans seem to be left with more questions than answers. In just the past few weeks, the joint war effort has seen a steady drumbeat of setbacks: A disastrous insurgent attack on the heavily fortified Camp Bastion in Helmand cost the lives of two Marines and over $180 million in damage. Eight civilian Afghan women were killed in an airstrike on an insurgent position in Logar province. Twelve people, mostly foreign aid workers, were killed on Sept. 18 by a female suicide bomber in Kabul. And the last fortnight saw four more "green-on-blue" attacks, including the Sept. 30 clash in which both Americans and Afghans were killed, bringing the total to 53 coalition lives lost this year at the hands of their supposed allies.
      In the aftermath of such events, many onlookers have taken an understandably grim view -- concluding either that the United States has outstayed its welcome and this is a signal for it to leave (faster), or that the cultural divide is simply so large that an ultimate breakdown in relations is inevitable.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:10:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet Panetta, while asking for gratitude from (6+ / 0-)

        Afghanistan, says, "Look, we have made progress in Afghanistan because there are men and women in uniform who have been willing to fight and die for Afghanistan's sovereignty,"

        They've made progress and our military is fighting and dieing for Afghanistan's sovereignty.  Ya right.  

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:26:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess Panetta is not "Mad as Hell" like (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, corvo, aliasalias

          General Allen.

          A country we can never begin to understand, and as someone commented who works there, Afghans are difficult to help.

          Impossible I would say,  if the Afghans we are training  keep killing the foreign soldiers there training them.

          They've made progress and our military is fighting and dieing for Afghanistan's sovereignty.  Ya right.  
          I have to go find Country Joe's - What are we fighting for?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:01:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Come'n Wall St, there's plenty of money to be made (4+ / 0-)

          What are we fighting for?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:03:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  New York Times, December 2001 (6+ / 0-)
    The United States-led military campaign that began on Oct. 7 has succeeded in eradicating most of the Taliban and Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, but it has returned to power nearly all of the same warlords who had misruled the country in the days before the Taliban.

    Afghan Warlords and Bandits Are Back in Business

    Still very true. Except for that "has succeeded in eradicating most of the Taliban" part.
  •  gunned down by the very forces he was training (5+ / 0-)

    was training.

    Our troops are not even safe in their bases....

    a run-in he had with an Afghan trainee while on guard duty...

        "The guy turned around and said to Greg, 'We don't want you here. We don't need you here..'" his dad said...

        About a month later, Greg phoned his father again.

        "He told me if I have to stay here until November... I'm not going to come home."

        Greg also asked his father to prepare to tell his mother and his two younger brothers that he'd be killed.

        "I don't understand," his father said. "Out in the field?'

    "No, in our base," Greg replied.

    4 NATO troops killed in 'insider' attack in Afghanistan

    On August 10, 2012, Greg Buckley Jr. was gunned down by the very forces he had been training, just days after learning that he was to head home early.

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:29:58 AM PDT

  •  How much longer, indeed? (6+ / 0-)

    Before Americans get sick and tired of yet of another open-ended and pointless war foisted on us by hawkish politicians and their funders in the "defense" industry?  

    Objectives have to be crystal-clear. That's the first thing our involvement in Vietnam should have taught us, but evidently didn't.

    Speaking of which. I am in the middle of a book feminist reporter Susan Faludi wrote after her best-seller "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women." It's called, "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Male," about how--never mind the threatening encroachment of feminism--traditional social structures have let men down since WWII. She looks at employment, and the relentless disappearance of good-paying jobs in recent decades. The worlds of self-help and religion are examined, and so is the Vietnam War. Carefully. I'd never read in-depth about the My Lai Massacre before, and I was horrified.

    This is what happens when armed forces are out-of-control and ill-focused. Civilians and other innocents die, gruesomely.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:43:34 AM PDT

    •  Objectives have to be crystal-clear. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, karmsy, corvo, aliasalias
      How much longer, indeed?

      Before Americans get sick and tired of yet of another open-ended and pointless war foisted on us by hawkish politicians and their funders in the "defense" industry?  

      Objectives have to be crystal-clear.

      Does anyone know what we are fighting for now?

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:14:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  umm...no n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, karmsy

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:17:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The 1% of course. That's why we always fight. (6+ / 0-)

        For the corporations and the banks and the military industrial complex and for those that want to rule the world.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:22:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, the opening I've been looking for! (5+ / 0-)

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:25:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I read that Dick Cheney was down in congress (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy, BigAlinWashSt, corvo, aliasalias

          recently with his Repub. buddies trying to come up with a plan for stopping any cuts for Pentagon expenses.

          As an aside, BigAL, a question,

          don't presidents and vice-presidents  usually leave DC area when they are out of government, so as not to look to be interfering with the present administration?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:29:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting point. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allenjo, corvo, aliasalias

            And Dickie Cheney is another example of a RW big-wheel who'd do best to hide his face totally, and hide from the cameras, because there are so many people around of all political persuasions, who absolutely, positively hate his guts. He's a polarizing figure. He's as toxic as Sheldon Adelson, although he isn't a money man, per se--just a machinator in DC. (Not that that's any less destructive.)

            Nationally, I've watched the RW takeover and crackdown ever since the 1980s. I've noticed many changes. One thing I keep being aware of is that the current band of RW criminals, the crew that came to prominence during the presidency of GW Bush, is so widely unattractive and unlikeable.

            Ollie North, who oversaw the diversion of profits from the U.S. sale of arms to Iran, to RW terrorists in Nicaragua back during the Reagan administration, was God and Country. He was a criminal, sure enough, but he was a Patriot. You had to love the guy, right? His handlers sold him to middle America this way.

            Since then, what keep coming out of the establishment woodwork, are ugly rat-like men the likes of Tom DeLay, who is so ugly to such a wide swath of America that he can't even enable comments on his blog. And Karl Rove, who is every kind of ugly, and  many others whose rat-like and mercenary tendencies can't be rehabilitated for the public.

            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

            by karmsy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:02:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They used to, but now the oligarchy is one big (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allenjo, corvo, aliasalias

            happy family, out in the open and in our face.

            "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:22:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm getting that feeling (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allenjo, BigAlinWashSt, aliasalias

          that we're talking to ourselves again....;-(

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:38:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am reading, and I agree with what you write. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, allenjo, aliasalias

    Far too long, far too many dead, far too little reason for being there. The troops and the mercenaries all need to be out of there now.
    Talk about decline of an empire. The 1% like Cheney (of Halliburton and KBR) are only in this to suck every little last bit out of the U.S. for themselves.
    Joseph Heller had it right. Sometimes fiction can tell a deeper truth.
    And Andrew Bacevich speaks the truth now too.
    We're out here. Not clear how much more time it will take for people to say enough is enough. But thanks for keeping the topic alive.

  •  We don't want your fuckin' war, (5+ / 0-)

    Country Joe.....

    One, two, three, four,
    We don't want your fuckin' war,
    A, B, C, D,
    Get someone else, hey don't get me,
    Left, right, left, right,
    You know the whole damn thing puts me uptight.

    I done my duty and I fought my fight
    And I thought I knew I was doing right,
    But that's all over, I'm free at last,
    An' if they want any more, they can kiss my ass.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:14:46 PM PDT

  •  The US can leave Afghanistan as soon as there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, corvo, aliasalias

    is a trained force in place. I figure another five to ten years should do it.

    •  as they desert at will without penalty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, aliasalias

      1 out 7 that we paid all those billions to train, desert, just walking off their posts, when they please,  it may be too optimistic.

      Cost just to train the Afghans now around 11 billion a year.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:43:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not been a complete waste. The Afghan (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, aliasalias, JesseCW

        government has supplied thousands of newly trained recruits to protect the hundreds of Chinese engineers and managers that are entering the country to work on the newly acquired oil and mineral rights.

        The Chinese have now started to send Afghans to China for military training in response to the US pull-out.

        Neither China nor the Afghan government will reimburse the US for training and protection.

        While the US fills coffins, China fills coffers.

  •  veterans filed more than 1.3 million claims (5+ / 0-)

    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/...

        The Department of Veterans Affairs has grown into a behemoth with more than 270,000 employees who maintain 131 cemeteries, operate 152 hospitals and disburse benefits to more than four million veterans.

       Last year, veterans filed more than 1.3 million claims, double the number in 2001.

        The Department of Veterans Affairs added nearly 4,000 new workers since 2008, but the agency has completed less than 80 percent of its inventory.

        The Department of Veterans Affairs completed one million claims for the third consecutive year.

        The average claim takes eight months to process — two months longer than a decade ago.

        890,000 pension and compensation claims are currently pending.

        By 2013, the department’s major benefit programs are projected to cost about $76 billion, triple the amount in 2001.

        By 2022, those costs are projected to rise nearly 70 percent to about $130 billion.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:19:14 PM PDT

  •  The Military Suicide Epidemic, One a day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, WakeUpNeo

    The Military Suicide Epidemic

    One a day — that’s the current rate of suicide for members of our military. It’s also the headline on the cover of last week’s Time magazine. In their article, reporters Mark Thompson and Nancy Gibbs tell the stories.....

    http://billmoyers.com/...

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:19:52 PM PDT

  •  The 2013 budget for the AFghanistan occupation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, aliasalias, JesseCW

    is 90 billion, not counting the money from opium and illegal weapons sales.   The budget for 2014 will be about the same.  That certainly isn't all the cost for the occupation.  Intelligence costs, VA costs, State Dept costs, etc., push the total per year to 120-150 billion in pure monetary costs for taxpayers.  Now they're going to push austerity measures on the taxpayers that will amount to less than what's being spent per year on this occupation.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:20:07 PM PDT

    •  Costs to the American Taxpayer (4+ / 0-)

      Costs to the American Taxpayer

      $1.3 trillion in Congressional War Appropriations to the Pentagon — the official budget for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      $3.7-4.4 trillion estimated total costs to American taxpayers. This includes the official Pentagon budget (above), veterans’ medical and disability costs, homeland security expenses, war-related international aid and the Pentagon’s projected expenditures to 2020.

      $1 trillion more in interest payments through 2020 on money the U.S. borrowed for war.

      Social, Political and Environmental Cost

      Hundreds of thousands of people have been detained in the ten years since 9/11; the unjust treatment some endured has led to mistrust towards the United States across the entire region. Here in the U.S., Muslims endure racial profiling, hate crimes and workplace discrimination.

      The so-called military-industrial complex has been bolstered by increased military spending, with hundreds of billions of dollars going to private companies. One company, Lockheed Martin, received $29 billion in Pentagon contracts in 2008 alone — more than the Environmental Protection Agency ($7.5 billion), the Department of Labor ($11.4 billion) or the Department of Transportation ($15.5 billion).

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:30:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember when they hike the retirement age, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo

      that this is what they spent the money on.

      Remember who "they" are.

      Every Politicians who voted to fund this.

      "How dare you call someone a warmonger just because he's paid to sell war?"

      by JesseCW on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:15:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Helping Service Members and Their Families (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, aliasalias, WakeUpNeo

    Really Support our Troops, why not start with

    Visit an Injured Soldier

    In an interview with NPR, Captain Nate Rawlings mentioned that there are “thousands of veterans of the current operations and of other wars who do not have families or many visitors.”

    He recommends stopping by the local VA hospital and asking if there is a veteran who hasn’t received any visitors and visiting with him or her.

    http://billmoyers.com/...

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:22:35 PM PDT

  •  Changing Our Military Mindset (4+ / 0-)

    Bill Moyers and Bacevich explore the futility of “endless” wars and the rhetoric of American exceptionalism.

    Nine years after Baghdad erupted in “shock and awe,” we’re once again hearing in America the drumbeat for war in the Middle East. Now, the bull’s-eye is on Iran. But what we need more than a simple change of target is a complete change in perspective, says Andrew Bacevich, a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran-turned-scholar who’s become one of the most perceptive observers of America’s changing role in the world.

    This week, on an all-new Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers and Bacevich explore the futility of “endless” wars, and provide a reality check on the rhetoric of American exceptionalism.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:27:34 PM PDT

    •  The "Real" costs of war........ (3+ / 0-)

      Most discussion about the“costs of war” focuses on two numbers: dollars spent and American troops who gave their lives. A decade into the war on terror, those official costs are over a trillion dollars and more than 6,000 dead. But as overwhelming as those numbers are, they don’t tell the full story.

      The Dead

      6051 U.S. service members
      2,300 U.S. contractors
      9,922 Iraqi security forces
      8,756 Afghan security forces
      3,520 Pakistani security forces
      1,192 Other allied troops
      11,700 Afghan civilians
      125,000 Iraqi civilians
      35,600 Pakistanis (civilians and insurgents)
      10,000 Afghan insurgents
      10,000 Members of Saddam Hussein’s army
      168 Journalists
      266 Humanitarian workers

      Total:  224,475 lives lost

      The Wounded

      99,065 U.S. soldiers
      51,031 U.S. contractors
      29,766 Iraq security forces
      26,268 Afghan security forces
      12,332 Other allied troops
      17,544 Afghan civilians
      109,558 Iraqi civilians
      19,819 Pakistani civilians

      Total: 365,383 wounded

      The Displaced

      3,315,000 Afghan civilians
      3,500,000 Iraqi civilians
      1,000,000 Pakistani civilians

      Total: 7,815,000 refugees and internally displaced people

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:35:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How long can wars go on? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, aliasalias

    "The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear: Keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real...."

    General Douglas MacArthur - 15 May 1952

  •  Thanks, allenjo (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry I missed this earlier.  We had a medical emergency and I am at the hospital.

    Thanks for writing about this.

    The silence is astounding.


    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs that voices
    Never share and no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence

    "Fools", said I, "You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you"
    But my words, like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:17:49 PM PDT

    •  How is KBO, joanne? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, priceman

      I am sad to hear the complications, and hoping he is better now?

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some improvement today (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        priceman, allenjo

        but now some backsliding tonight - another fever spike. Not quite as high as the one last night.  They kept him in ICU for another night tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow we will have some answers from the bloodwork -- cultures that they ran.  Whatever this is it is pretty tough to beat.  If the cultures come back and were successful tests, they should be able to figure out specifically what organism it is and they can hopefully target it with a more specific antibiotic.

        Thanks for the well wishes.  Hopefully he will feel well enough to check in to the What's Happenin' diary tomorrow morning.  I should be at the hospital by the time it publishes or soon after. I plan to go over there early in the morning so that I can catch the doctor visits.  We do have internet access there.  Anyway, I hope the fever doesn't spike again through the night and that he is able to get some rest. He has  not gotten much sleep in the past two nights.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:41:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you joanne for letting us know (0+ / 0-)

          My thoughts and prayers to KBO and you.

          I hope this morning finds him him feeling better, joanne.

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:10:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  These war diaries that too quickly scroll away (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, joanneleon

      are "echoing in the wells of silence."

      "Fools", said I, "You do not know, Silence like a cancer grows

      But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:38:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OMG I second what allenjo said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo, joanneleon

      Please let us know when you can, joanneleon.

      KBO is in my thoughts.

      ‎"Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin / Check out The Obvious Report

      by priceman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:36:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republished to Group W. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, priceman

    I guess that the word Mercenary has been defined by trety authors to exclude those hired by nation states. Tht being the case, can't we at least call them hired guns, contractor is such a deceptive term.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:27:44 PM PDT

    •  contractor is such a deceptive term. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      agree.

      As is "Department of Defense" as well as "Operation Enduring Freedom", enhydra.

      Department of Defense name should be changed back to Department of War, because we certainly do not know any longer just what we are defending after all these years, in Afghanistan.

      Except of course the continuation of an Enduring war.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:21:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, allenjo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, Claudius Bombarnac

    I tweeted it and it seems to be catching on there, too.

    ‎"Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin / Check out The Obvious Report

    by priceman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:38:04 PM PDT

    •  thanks, priceman. Finding a way to break thru (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      priceman, Claudius Bombarnac

      the silence is a challenge.

      All we can do is to try to influence one voice at a time until  hopefully, the time comes when all those voices  become a roar.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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