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Thread: 30,000 more troops set to go to Afghanistan

  1. #46
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    A POV we don't get to hear very often:


    A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan

    If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people's pain.


    After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new US strategy for Afghanistan. His speech may be long awaited, but few are expecting any surprise: it seems clear he will herald a major escalation of the war. In doing so he will be making something worse than a mistake. It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.

    I have said before that by installing warlords and drug traffickers in power in Kabul, the US and Nato have pushed us from the frying pan to the fire. Now Obama is pouring fuel on these flames, and this week's announcement of upwards of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will have tragic consequences.

    Already this year we have seen the impact of an increase in troops occupying Afghanistan: more violence, and more civilian deaths. My people, the poor of Afghanistan who have known only war and the domination of fundamentalism, are today squashed between two enemies: the US/Nato occupation forces on one hand and warlords and the Taliban on the other.

    While we want the withdrawal of one enemy, we don't believe it is a matter of choosing between two evils. There is an alternative: the democratic-minded parties and intellectuals are our hope for the future of Afghanistan.

    It will not be easy, but if we have a little bit of peace we will be better able to fight our own internal enemies – Afghans know what to do with our destiny. We are not a backward people, and we are capable of fighting for democracy, human and women's rights in Afghanistan. In fact the only way these values will be achieved is if we struggle for them and win them ourselves.

    After eight years of war, the situation is as bad as ever for ordinary Afghans, and women in particular. The reality is that only the drug traffickers and warlords have been helped under this corrupt and illegitimate Karzai government. Karzai's promises of reform are laughable. His own vice-president is the notorious warlord Fahim, whom Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch describes as "one of the most notorious warlords in the country, with the blood of many Afghans on his hands".

    Transparency International reports that this regime is the second most corrupt in the world. The UN Development Programme reports Afghanistan is second last – 181st out of 182 countries – in terms of human development. That is why we no longer want this kind of "help" from the west.

    Like many around the world, I am wondering what kind of "peace" prize can be awarded to a leader who continues the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and starts a new war in Pakistan, all while supporting Israel?

    Throughout my recent tour of the US, I had the chance to meet many military families and veterans who are working to put an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They understand that it is not a case of a "bad war" and a "good war" – there is no difference, war is war.

    Members of Iraq Veterans Against War even accompanied me to meet members of Congress in Washington DC. Together we tried to explain the terrible human cost of this war, in terms of Afghan, US and Nato lives. Unfortunately, only a few representatives really offered their support to our struggle for peace.

    While the government was not responsive, the people of the US did offer me their support. And polls confirm that the US public wants peace, not an escalated war. Many also want Obama to hold Bush and his administration to account for war crimes. Everywhere I spoke, people responded strongly when I said that if Obama really wanted peace he would first of all try to prosecute Bush and have him tried before the international criminal court. Replacing Bush's man in the Pentagon, Robert Gates, would have been a good start – but Obama chose not to.

    Unfortunately, the UK government shamefully follows the path of the US in Afghanistan. Even though opinion polls show that more than 70% of the population is against the war, Gordon Brown has announced the deployment of more UK troops. It is sad that more taxpayers' money will be wasted on this war, while Britain's poor continue to suffer from a lack of basic services.

    The UK government has also tried to silence dissent, for instance by arresting Joe Glenton, a British soldier who has refused to return to Afghanistan. I had a chance to meet Glenton when I was in London last summer, and together we spoke out against the war. My message to him is that, in times of great injustice, it is sometimes better to go to jail than be part of committing war crimes.

    Facing a difficult choice, Glenton made a courageous decision, while Obama and Brown have chosen to follow the Bush administration. Instead of hope and change, in foreign policy Obama is delivering more of the same. But I still have hope because, as our history teaches, the people of Afghanistan will never accept occupation.

    A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan | Malalai Joya | Comment is free | The Guardian



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  2. #47
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    yeah, but who cares what Afghanis or Iraqis think, it's not about them
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  3. #48
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    F*ck Grimm!

  4. #49
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Skeptical Dems resign themselves to Obama war plan
    WASHINGTON A deeply skeptical Congress on Wednesday resigned itself to President Barack Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan war, even as the president's chief military and diplomatic advisers sought to cool any expectations that the war would end in two years.
    Leading Democrats said they had serious misgivings about the deployment of 30,000 more troops but would not try to block it or the $30 billion it will cost. Republicans said they support the force increase even as they doubted Obama's July 2011 deadline to start bringing troops home.
    The response was the best Obama could have hoped for from a Congress sharply divided on the war.
    "It's not likely that there would be any circumstances where the president would lose this battle this year" with lawmakers, said Rep. John Murtha, a vocal war critic who oversees military spending.
    In House and Senate hearings on Wednesday, Obama's advisers insisted the stakes were great. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said losing the war "would have severe consequences for the United States and the world," and warned of a deadly "symbiotic" relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaida terrorists.
    The testimony was aimed at building support among war-weary lawmakers for Obama's dramatic expansion of the Afghanistan war. By the end of next summer, the president plans to increase to 100,000 the number of U.S. troops there, marking the largest expansion of the war since it began eight years ago.
    Much of the congressional questioning focused on the July 2011 date when the surge would begin to ebb.
    Gates, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton all sought to stress that the 18-month timeline would not constrain the military or encourage the Taliban.
    The U.S. military will still have primary responsibility for fighting in Afghanistan for that period and perhaps far beyond. The Pentagon will use Obama's expansion of the U.S. fighting force to range farther and deeper into Taliban territory.
    All the while, U.S. soldiers and Marines will prepare Afghan forces to take over more peaceful real estate ahead of the expected departure of some U.S. forces on the schedule Obama outlined in his speech Tuesday night.
    With voter support of the war on the decline, Democrats sought assurances that Obama's target date to begin withdrawing troops was firm and that the focus would remain on training local security forces.
    "It seems to me that the large influx of U.S. combat troops will put more U.S. Marines on street corners in Afghan villages, with too few Afghan partners alongside them," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    Gates suggested the July 2011 withdrawal date was both firm and flexible, frustrating lawmakers who said that wasn't possible.
    When pressed, Gates said the beginning of drawing down troops would not necessarily be based on conditions in Afghanistan and that the president was committed to begin pulling at least some troops out by the target date.
    At the same time, the president will have the authority to change gears after the Defense Department conducts a formal assessment in December 2010.
    "We're not just going to throw these guys in the swimming pool and walk away," Gates said of the Afghan security force.
    Republicans objected to the setting of a hard deadline for withdrawing troops and said Obama must be willing to delay the start of a pullout if security deteriorates.

    "We don't want to sound an uncertain trumpet to our friends in the region," said John McCain, the Senate panel's top Republican and Obama's opponent in last year's presidential race.
    Gates said the July 2011 date was chosen because it would give the Marines two years to complete a security push in Helmand province that began last July.
    Added Clinton: "I do not believe we have locked ourselves into leaving. But what we have done ... is to signal very clearly to all audiences that the United States is not interested in occupying Afghanistan."
    As part of a full-court press by the White House to make the case for Obama's new strategy, Gates, Clinton and Mullen argued for the troop increase. But they also were careful with their words so as not to aggravate divisions on the issue.
    Clinton and Gates cast the war as serious but not hopeless. Mullen said the Taliban had regained ground in Afghanistan gaining "dominant influence" in 11 of 34 provinces but could be defeated with enough resources and time.
    "While there are no guarantees in war, I expect that we will make significant headway in the next 18-24 months," he said.
    Gates told lawmakers that the situation is far less dire than the violent chaos that gripped Iraq in 2006. Still, he said, "This will take more patience, perseverance and sacrifice by the United States and our allies."
    The buildup also will put more strain on troops by giving them less time than hoped for at home.
    Mullen said supplying the extra forces for Afghanistan while there are still so many troops in Iraq will mean putting off for a couple of years the goal of lengthening the time they rest and retrain at home between tours of duty a period the military calls "dwell time." The Army had been moving toward giving two years of dwell time between each one-year tour.
    After meeting Wednesday with Karzai, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal called Karzai's reaction to the new U.S. strategy "really positive. The president was very upbeat, very resolute this morning."
    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he expected the allies to bolster the American buildup with more than 5,000 additional troops.
    Skeptical Dems resign themselves to Obama war plan

  5. #50
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    maybe if people had spines they'd actually say "fuck no"
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  6. #51
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    What is this spine thing you speak of?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    What is this spine thing you speak of?
    If the Dems had one they wouldn't be able to shove their heads up their own asses.

  8. #53
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Well, it IS politics, it's all about trying to maintain and cover all you bases with as many constituents as possible to maintain and hold power. Yes it would be nice if people acted solely on principles and what's best for American lives, but sadly that's not what politics is all about, never has been, neeeever will be.

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