14 November, 2009

Afghanistan GET OUT NOW - US SLAVE to situation not master

Interesting article...

apart from the war-crime of attacking a soverign country and
killing by remote control their civilians..

ALL FOR GEOPOLITICS and AIRBASES and Pipeline Dreams...

Afghanistan Tipping Point

by Ed Flaherty

It appears the U.S. is at a true tipping point in its Afghanistan war policy. President Obama, after eight meetings with his "war council" (why can’t they call those things peace councils?), has reportedly rejected all four options presented to him, each of which called for an increase in troops. Reports indicate that the President is insisting on an option that details how and when we can militarily exit Afghanistan. That brings a sigh of relief, but that relief is only momentary. After eight years of increasing Afghan, American, and Nato deaths, after eight years of ever-increasing insurgency strength, after eight years of ballooning corruption and deteriorating living conditions, how and when to exit are very valid and difficult questions.

War is easy to start, very difficult to end. The U.S. cannot "wash its hands" of Afghanistan, and no scenario for its future is certain or pretty. And leaving Afghanistan without the capture of Osama bin Laden is and should be offensive to many, myself included. The one thing certain, in my opinion, is that we are irretrievably cast in the role of foreign military invaders (like Alexander, the Turks, the Mongols, the British, and the Russians), and that no progress can be made unless and until we undertake a military withdrawal. If President Obama begins taking steps toward a military withdrawal, he will face immense pressure from large elements of the military, from almost all Republicans, and from many within his own party.

I take the liberty of sprinkling some facts, and some opinions and statements from others, not to titillate abstract discussion but to prod readers into learning more AND taking action by calling the President, Sens. Grassley and Harkin, and members of the House, PROMPTLY.

Unemployment in Afghanistan is 40%.

The Kharzai government and the provincial governments are corrupt, and they won’t become prettier by imitating the U.S. presence. Blackwater (now Xe) provides security for U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan, including Sec. Of State Clinton.

The most recent CNN poll (Nov 1) reveals that 58% of the U.S. public is against any military expansion in Afghanistan.

90% of all U.S. expenditures in Afghanistan are for military operations. 10% for development.

Over 90% of all Afghans who wound up in Guantanamo, were captured by other Afghanis for ransom money provided by the U.S. The captors often wound up on the "enemy" side.

Daniel Ellsberg, in a recent interview with the Real News Network [Ellsberg: from Vietnam to Afghanistan] said the counterinsurgency doctrine recited by Gen. McChrystal is the same pacification doctrine he helped author more than 40 years ago. He says none of the militrary advisers believe 40,000 additional troops would be sufficient. It would take 600,000 to one million, and the end result would not be success. Ironically, shortly after Ellsberg's interviews, the story of Matthew Hoh surfaced. Hoh, a former Marine Corps captain with Iraq combat experience, resigned in September as the senior U.S. State Dept. official in Zabul province, Afghanistan.

He said, "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end." The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, retired general Karl Eikenberry, tried to persuade Hoh to stay, to no avail. It reportedly is now the Eikenberry cables to President Obama, urging no troop increases that factored into the President’s decision on Wednesday to reject the four war-expansion options.

General Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Nov. 4 that emergency funding would likely be needed for Iraq and Afghanistan on top of the $130 billion already budgeted for FY 2010.

Estimates of the emergency request are in the $50 billion range. According to the National Priorities Project, Iowa’s share of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars' direct expenditures has been $6.9 billion. Roughly a billion dollars per year, with no end in sight, if expansion in Afghanistan sucks up any decrease from Iraq operations, another intricately related subject. We did not pay much critical attention to Afghanistan because we all wanted to get bin Laden, and because the Iraq war was such a debacle. We now risk letting up on efforts to close up the Iraq war because our attention is drawn to the stench of the Afghanistan debacle.

So, Iowa spending about $1 billion per year on the direct cost of the wars is about double the shortfall we predict in Iowa’s budget this fiscal year. And what a relief it would be if the Oct. 21 announcement that 3,500 Iowa National Guard members will go to Afghanistan next year, could be rescinded. The Iowa City Press Citizen’s Veteran’s Day "Our View" editorial was right on in saying "we call upon our leaders to ensure we are only sending them to fights worth fighting..."

Ray McGovern, ex-army intelligence officer & CIA analyst, writing for truthout.org on Nov 1, writes "would you believe there is no current National Intelligence Estimate {NIE} on Afghanistan? Rather, Generals Petraeus and McChrystal are running the show..." McGovern goes on to quote Rudyard Kipling on the epitaphs of those "who tried to hustle the East." He also, on Nov 4 at Commondreams, quotes the pre-eminent cold-war diplomat & academic, George Kennan, who in 1965 said, "If we can find nothing better to do than embark upon a further open-ended increase in the level of our commitment simply because the alternatives seem humiliating and frustrating, one will have to ask whether we have not become enslaved to the dynamics of a single unmanageable situation â€" to the point where we have lost much of the power of initiative and control over our own policy, not just locally but on a world scale."

Another better-known McGovern, George, the WWII bomber pilot, when asked on Nov 7 what advice he would give President Obama responded, "I would urge him to get out of Afghanistan." Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy, on October 1 at Commondreams.org said, "U.S. media and politics are now awash in talk about getting smarter and shrewder in Afghanistan. The idea of setting a country right while raging war is a popular Washington fantasy;"

William Polk in the Oct 19, 2009 issue of "Nation" asks, " Does our presence lead toward a sustainable result after our withdrawal? Can the occupation be maintained without turning a large part of the Afghan population and others against us? And can we afford it? I think the answer to all three is no."

Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin on Oct 19: " A troop buildup would very likely end up driving more extremists across the border into Pakistan, futher destabilizing that nuclear-armed country. And the Taliban and other exremists could exploit a larger troop presence for propaganda purposes â€" recruiting a host of new militants by claiming that the US is planning to permanently occupy Afghanistan."

Enough rambling. Check out Dahr Jamail, Mikhail Gorbachev, Chris Hedges, Joe Volk, Robert Scheer, etc. ad infinitum. We have been digging this hole for eight years, and the only way we’ll get out of it is first to stop digging it deeper. Advise the White House to kill the military expansion options and begin plans to come home. Tell Congress no more dollars for expanded war. Talk to friends and neighbors and enemies, and come up with your own action plan ideas. Grassley ph. 202 224-3944. Harkin 202 224-3254. White House 202 456-1111. U.S. House â€" you know ‘em by heart.

Ed Flaherty is a member of Veterans for Peace and Johnson County Democrats Central Committee and other suspect groups. Ed is a retired banker.

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, November 14, 2009

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