Taliban Says It Will Fight Harder, More Americans Will Die

The Taliban has reacted strongly to President Obama's pledge of more troops for Afghanistan. From one of its commanders:

"Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan and that means more Americans will die. With just a handful of resources we can cause them even more casualties and deaths."

Where's the exit strategy? We will have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan after the additions. Obama says we will begin withdrawal in 2011. That's too nebulous. When will we be finished?

Where's the clarity? Training Afghan troops to turn the war over to them didn't work too well in Iraq. How will sending more troops strengthen Afghan institutions or create a sustainable economy?

David Sirota asks, Is this hope or change? This is Obama's war now. He owns it. [More...]

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) issued a statement today praising Obama's strategy to end the war, yet ending it with:
“Before I agree to support funding the President’s increased troop levels in the 2011 budget, I will closely examine the efficacy of his plan to ensure that it is stabilizing Afghanistan, and preparing the country to defend itself.”
Rep. Tammy Baldwin:
“In 2001, I voted to authorize the use of force to bring to justice those responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I believe our current actions in Afghanistan and President Obama’s proposal for moving forward bear little resemblance to that original, narrowly-focused mission.

I cannot endorse a military surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s time for our troops to come home.”

Dennis Kucinich:

The community I represent in Cleveland, Ohio, is suffering from massive unemployment, record home foreclosures, and small business failures. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. The middle class is gravely threatened. What is happening in Cleveland is occurring nationwide. Yet, Wall Street received over $13 trillion in bailouts, with untold millions for high salaries and bonuses, while Main Street loses its power through unemployment, reduced wages and benefits and little or no access to credit or investment capital. There is something fundamentally wrong with our economy which borrowing more money to spend on war cannot and will not cure. Perhaps nation building should begin at home.

An escalation of the war in Afghanistan at a time of such economic dislocation and hardship raises questions about America's priorities and whether or not we are losing our way as we attempt to stride aside the globe as some Colossus.

Full text of Obama's speech is here.
< PA-Sen: Specter Opposes Afghanistan Escalation, Sestak Supports | Off to Key West and Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    J, did you really think their response (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:53:44 PM EST
    would be squeals of fear and white waving flags?  Their whole ideology feeds on smack talk, faces glowing gold when die for the one true faith while they crank out the latest Osama smack talk tape.

    Trouble is... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:22:02 PM EST
    ...ANYone would answer like that, good people and bad alike, if their country were occupied by an unwanted foreign power.

    Exactly. And Obama did his (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by dk on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:30:02 PM EST
    fair share of "smack talk" last night too, I might add.  

    Then they should learn (2.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:26:32 PM EST
    to not harbor terrorists.

    The average (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:47:07 PM EST
    Afghani citizen harbors terrorists?  Riiight.

    The average German (none / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:11:18 AM EST
    didn't run Death Camps or invade France- maybe we should have resisited our imperial impulse to interfere in European Affairs.

    You aren't really trying to compare WWII (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:25:28 PM EST
    with Afghanistan, are you?

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:48:36 PM EST
    the average Serb didn't kill any Kosovars.

    Except when harboring terrorists on the Right side (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Ellie on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:17:30 PM EST
    Still waiting for a militant surge to smoke out Rudolph's terrorist helpers. But then, he only blew up clinics that provided reproductive and sexual health services, gay night-clubs, and terrorized other innocent civilians to get the race "war" going again -- which apparently continues to be a positive, flag-waving, family values stand among Real Folks.

    How did Eric Rudolph survive? By Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor, June 04, 2003

    (from Murphy, NC) ... For months, maybe years, the fugitive hid near a small valley of brick houses and trailers, leading a life so reclusive he was nearly invisible - though neighbors suggest it wasn't just the chipmunks stealing all that squash from their gardens.

    "In retrospect, it doesn't bother me," says Mary Pickens, who lives nearby. "He hadn't ever hurt anyone around here."

    Since Mr. Rudolph's capture by a rookie cop on Saturday, this mountain town is coming to grips with the ghost in its midst, wondering how the alleged terrorist went undetected - and whether he was helped by some of their own.

    Rudolph, painted by some as a modern Daniel Boone, apparently needed them. While evading a dogged five-year manhunt, he clung to the fringes of society in a neat ridge-top camp only 200 yards from two strip malls and the high school - and a half-mile from Murphy's blue-marble courthouse. In winter, he could likely see the town from his camp; in summer, he could have heard the roar of trucks on the Appalachian Highway.

    Instead of retreating into the deep mountains or urban anonymity, he stayed in a "comfort zone" at the edge of society. Experts say that choice shows Rudolph's limits as a survivalist [... and ...] a need to stay close to a network of conspirators. ... [Bleccch]

    Then let's bomb Washingon State (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:52:18 PM EST
    where a lot of people, it turns out, were harboring the terrorist who murdered four Tacoma cops.  Heck, let's bomb the whole West Coast for it, and take out the coast of Canada, too.

    Wait until I can get my family (none / 0) (#27)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:10:06 PM EST
    out of here for a vacation....I'd hate to get caught in the crossfire.

    so jim, (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:52:33 PM EST
    Then they should learn to not harbor terrorists.

    are you proposing we attack saudi arabia next? that is, after all, where the bulk of the 9/11 criminals came from.

    yeah, most afghans dislike the taliban (hey, who wouldn't?), yet did nothing to stop them from taking over, once the soviet union pulled out. of course, the fact that we helped provide modern arms (think: g. h. w. bush) to them didn't at all help matters.

    in reality, the taliban need do nothing, merely wait for us to leave. they live there, we don't. in almost 9 years, the afghan people/government have yet to get their collective acts together, they aren't going to suddenly do it essentially overnite.

    once we're gone, the taliban (far more organized and disciplined than the afghan gov't/military) will just march right back in and take over again. we'll have come full circle.

    i think we should send the bill to former pres. bush, and the republican party. cash only.  


    What can I tell you? (2.00 / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:39:25 AM EST
    Life is unfair. Harbor terrorists that attack a world power with a Republican president and you are likely to get a response.

    My advice would be to wait until there is a Democrat in power.

    The real problem is that nation building works only when you destroy enough of the political, cultural, material and political infrastructure to allow a fresh start. See Japan and Germany after WWII.

    The other real problem is that we don't like killing people and destroying things until we are really, really, really provoked.

    Stay tuned for Act II in this on going saga of, "The War Between the West and Muslim Radicals."


    Encourage and fund terrorists (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:14:00 PM EST
    for the purposes of Cold War political grandstanding in the late seventies, and there's a chance the aforementioned fanatics will turn on you or your allies later on down the road.

    Because life isnt fair.


    But (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:35:56 AM EST
    We allow Bush and Cheney to live in this country and many consider them to be terrorists.

    Yes (2.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:42:01 AM EST
    I think you know my point.

    And I see that BDS and CDS never goes away.


    Why should it? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:59:58 AM EST
    They are horrible, horrible human beings who should pay for all the destructin they have wrought and the lives they have ruined.

    No derangement here - they are (especially Cheney) evil incarnate.


    I hope you don't run out of your meds (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:30:38 PM EST
    you bought the wrong premise (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:31:50 PM EST
    They danced in the streets in Kabul when the US deposed the Taliban.  The Taliban imposed a Saudi brand of colonial sharia Islamic law.  The Taliban is not Afghanistan (or Pakistan, for that matter).  

    Nope (none / 0) (#8)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:41:45 PM EST
    This is the Taliban. They're not popular in Afghanistan. A recent survey done by Oxfam in Afghanistan showed that of the recent periods (Soviet occupation, civil war, Taliban rule, post-2001), Taliban rule was picked as the worst period. Post-2001 was picked as the best period.

    The people in Afghanistan want peace. There are definitely those who don't like having foreign troops there (having drones hit civilians clearly doesn't help), but it is definitely not a case of a hostile population versus an occupying army.


    Obama to me (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Spamlet on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:38:42 PM EST
    is an amalgam of JFK's glamour, George H. W. Bush's vacuity, Jimmy Carter's ineptness, and Richard Nixon's secretiveness and duplicity--unappealing even before any consideration of his decisons to continue George W. Bush's wars and policies.

    Anyone come up with plan yet (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:31:41 PM EST
    for how we get a candidate with intelligence, vision and high principals who can still, at the same time, be enough "all things etc" necessary to raise the 500 mil in camapaign funds?

    Not going to happen. No how, no way. And quit fantasizing about a Clinton or Clintons that never existed.


    just read, as posted by a friend of the author: (none / 0) (#32)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:23:16 PM EST
    Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his Web site at www.commonwonders.com

    Read it for yourselves; I could not do it justice.  It is a most powerful 'letter.'


    jumped the gun! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:33:16 PM EST

    By Robert C. Koehler

    For release 12/3/09

    And unlike the person who posted it on another site, I do not have permission to reprint it.


    wow (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:21:19 AM EST
    that is depressing.  because its true.

    Obama To Me, Too (none / 0) (#57)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:22:19 PM EST
    Your personality profile of Obama is right on. I am still waiting f0r a Democratic President to get elected.

    Obama looked as though he needed an Energizer Bunny on his teleprompter as he drilled on about 9/11, terrorists, and that we must send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and oh, yeah, we'll bring 'em right back.

    This was a shallow attempt to convince us of the necessity and end goals leading to closure[?], and simply failed to convince me of anything other than this was following Bush/Cheney reasoning and poor strategy.

    Obama seemed tired and this listless speech lacked visceral connection on the human level.
    This was not the passionate,fiery, and committed Obama we saw on the stump.

    So we're left with this tragic ramp up of men and treasure that is random and vague and holds no possiblity of success.

    Here we go again.


    In July of 2008 ... (5.00 / 8) (#13)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:00:49 PM EST

    ...during the presidential campaign Obama wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times.

    As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan.

    In April 2008, shortly before Obama wrote his op-ed, there were 32,000.

    When Obama wrote his op-ed piece there was not anyone in the country that believed that he was proposing that he would more than triple the force size in Afghanistan to over 100,000 troops.  A couple brigades was what he said.

    Two brigades is 5,000 to 8,000 troops


    Obama: "We Did Not Ask for This Fight"
    Bush: "We Did Not Seek This Conflict"

    Obama: "New Attacks are Being Plotted as I Speak"
    Bush: "At This Moment ... Terrorists are Planning New Attacks"

    Obama: "Our Cause is Just, Our Resolve Unwavering"
    Bush: "Our Cause is Just, Our Coalition [is] Determined"

    Obama: "This Is No Idle Danger, No Hypothetical Threat"
    Bush: "The Enemies of Freedom Are Not Idle"

    Obama: "We Have No Interest in Occupying Your Country"
    Bush: "I Wouldn't Be Happy if I Were Occupied Either"

    Nearly a year earlier, Aug 1, 2007 (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    He spelled out his plan for Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm pretty sure he was vocal about his plans during some of the debates, too.

    We've Been Snookered (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:32:12 PM EST
    Obviously we were told about hope and change, and then we were able to add all the qualities we wanted to believe existed. So we painted a picture called, "Hope and Change".

    We were shell shocked from Bush/Cheney rule and were happy to buy that dream.

    But Obama is timid, unoriginal, devious, and is still running for office.  Where are the core values?  His dithering is part of the neutral positions he courts, as he  thinks  this is part of his bi-partisan scenario.

    Since I voted for Obama I can't but help feeling I've been robbed.


    Don't feel too bad (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:55:07 AM EST
    he was a damn good salesman. One of the best.

    But a salesman is all he is. Too bad he doesn't have a better product.


    How are we going to pay for this expansion? (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by caseyOR on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:03:35 PM EST
    Heck, how are we paying for all the war expenses even before this surge? We have serious and pressing domestic needs right now. Needs that I rank a lot higher than attempting the impossible task of turning Afghanistan into a functioning nation-state.

    We have an official unemployment rate that exceeds 10% and an actual rate that is close to 20%. Our infrastructure is falling down around our ears. People are hungry. People are losing their homes. Our schools are failing to educate our children. We are a nation in crisis. We need to focus all of our resources on fixing our country.

    How much money has already been wasted in Iraq? And really, what do we have to show for it? A totally corrupt government that will crash and burn in civil war the minute the U.S.A. leaves. And Iraq had an actual functioning social structure when we went in. Afghanistan has nothing that comes close to a functioning national social structure.

    Seriously, how can we do this?

    unfortunately, we do it (5.00 / 7) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:14:18 PM EST
    by taking money from health care, education and things that would directly benefit the American people. Same as we've been doing.

    actually jeralyn, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:56:05 PM EST
    we do it mostly by borrowing. hence, the huge budget deficits and exponentionally increasing national debt.

    But now, when faced with the idea of new taxes, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by DFLer on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:12:20 AM EST
    the response is that in order to eliminate deficit spending, instead of new taxes, we should cut (domestic) spending. That's the current spin going around DC.

    As in:

    So we've got to take the fiscal situation seriously, but, number one, national security comes first.

    Number two, we've got to look at cutting spending in other parts of the budget before we even talk about raising taxes.

    -Evan Bayh, via Glenn G

    It's the "Let 'em eat cake" (none / 0) (#63)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:46:27 PM EST

    "How are we (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:16:38 PM EST
    going to pay for this expansion?"

    I know,
    Let's ask the Talibans; They've figured out how to do more damage with an 89 cent box-cutter than we do with 500 billion buckeroos.


    We borrow from the future (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:54:33 PM EST
    which was another lesson we learned from hiding the costs of the Viet Nam War.  I remember that recession (and read Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest on this).

    But of course, Afghanistan is not Viet Nam, so let's all forget that lesson again.  


    How are we going to pay for anything? (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Manuel on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:13:15 PM EST
    Including the jobs programs and economic stimulus we need?  

    Pay For Afghanistan? (none / 0) (#62)
    by norris morris on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:36:36 PM EST
    We have no idea how Obama intends to pay for this, and at whose expense.

    We cannot continue to print money or we're headed for failed nation status ourselves.

    Mr. Vagueness did not tell us exactly how in these dreadfully hard up times he intends to find the billions a week this will cost. Including Contractors.

    This is clearly a tragic miscalculation and I cannot imagine what will be cut in order to pay for this folly.


    Darn (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:38:34 PM EST
    I was hoping they'd say that they won't fight as hard.  Now I guess we're screwed.

    Heh (3.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:55:39 PM EST
    No HCR cash till Iraq has Universal Health Care .. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Ellie on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:30:24 PM EST
    ... as guaranteed in the Iraqi Constitution that most of the perma-warmongers not only support but vow to see put in place no matter the cost. It's basically the same gang that's decrying the domestic version based on cost.

    Oh, and the concern that some of it might splash onto the wrong sort of people. (Plus that whole Socialist / Hell in a Hot Pink Handbag panic.)


    Whoops ... meant to add my No. 24 ... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Ellie on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:13:30 PM EST
    To Jeralyn's #15.

    (Must have scrolled too far when banging my head against the keyboard.)

    Carry on Heh'ing and Phhht'ing.


    Where Obama stands (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by NealB on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:46:42 PM EST
    I thought the link was going to take me (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:59:11 PM EST
    Worth a thousand words ... mostly the kind that (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ellie on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:25:24 PM EST
    ... are also prohibited due to NSFW software restrictions.

    The shot depicts Obama's stand perfectly.


    the threat of unemployment is more (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by The Last Whimzy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:04:45 PM EST
    imminent than a terrorist strike.

    success won't solve one problem in america.

    failure will only compound.

    i mean it was a very well thought out and well delivered speech (only damn, still looking down his nose, can't give up that affectation can he?),... ok....  great.

    to be brutishly blunt, (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by cpinva on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:09:17 AM EST
    all of pres. obama's blathering to the contrary, iraq, afghanistan and vietnam are all exactly the same, and all 3 outcomes will be exactly the same.

    don't be at all stunned if, next year, based on the general's "analysis", obama needs to up the ante in afghanistan by another oh, 50k troops. the following year, it will be another 50 or 100k, just to get the job done right. should the economy start to turn around, and employment increase, that could present some very real problems: where will the troops come from?

    but aside from that, afghanistan and iraq are rat holes, siphoning the national blood and treasure, while providing nothing of substance in return.

    anyone who really and truly thinks otherwise, should run, not walk, to the nearest medical facility, and quickly check themselves into the psychiatric ward, for they are crazier than dr. strangelove.

    WSWS: Obama backtracks on withdrawal date (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Andreas on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:10:06 AM EST
    The July, 2011 date for beginning a withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan, announced by President Obama in his speech to West Point military cadets Tuesday night, is neither irreversible nor even a deadline, top US national security officials said Wednesday.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before Senate and House committees throughout the day, defending Obama's decision to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan.

    Gates revealed that some of these new troops would arrive in Afghanistan before Christmas, and that most would be in place in time to join in the spring fighting after the winter snows melt in Afghanistan's rugged mountain regions.

    During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday morning, every Republican senator and most Democrats voiced support for the escalation of the war, but several of the Republicans pressed the trio of witnesses on Obama's one-sentence reference to July, 2011 as the beginning of a drawdown of US forces.

    In response, Gates, Clinton and Mullen each made statements effectively declaring the July, 2011 deadline meaningless, and emphasizing that the Obama administration was committed to a long-term military presence in Central Asia.

    As congressional hearings begin
    Obama administration backtracks on Afghanistan withdrawal date

    By Patrick Martin, 3 December 2009

    It looks like we are doomed to repeat (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Matt v on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:03:16 AM EST
    History. Has anyone wondered how many future bin Ladens with access to state of the art military ordinance we will be creating with this latest step-up in training of Afghan troops?

     I'm afraid that once withdrawal operations get under way, many of these troops will almost surely abandon the regime du jour. As desertions proceed, deserters will return to the tribes from which they came, taking with them as much advanced armament as they can -- tribes, it should be said, that have, more often than not, opposing interests, and of which not a small number are known to harbor sympathies indistinguishable from Taliban Fundamentalism.

    Isn't Al-Q (none / 0) (#64)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:49:50 PM EST
    training in Africa?

    How do you know when you're finished? (4.00 / 3) (#6)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:37:56 PM EST
    I know that there are points at which wars need to be evaluated, and then setting goals is good to avoid endless commitment.

    But it's pretty much impossible to know when you're "finished".

    Also, a surge combined with training locals and a different strategy did actually work in Iraq. We don't like to admit it, since it was Bush, and the war was based on lies. But it did work.

    It is of course true that a civilian effort is very important. Some sort of civilian and economic base must be laid. Obama did mention an increased civilian effort. I don't know the details. I hope it's good.

    Lastly, like already mentioned above: what did you think the Taliban were going to say?

    If you have 50 years (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by dissenter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:43:56 PM EST
    You can't compare Iraq to Afghanistan. We aren't at USAID levels of development over there. We are at peace corp levels and that is what people don't understand. Literacy is under 10%. There are few natural resources. The land has been destroyed by war and decades long drought. There is no infrastructure. Finally, there is not much will from the Afghans themselves to change things.

    Sure (none / 0) (#11)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:49:36 PM EST
    I was reacting to Jeralyn's assertion that training troops didn't work in Iraq.

    But in fact it did work in Iraq. Eventually.

    Other than that, I don't want to compare Iraq and Afghanistan. They are different wars.


    of course it did, (none / 0) (#42)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:59:36 PM EST
    But in fact it did work in Iraq. Eventually.

    that's how come we were able to finally withdraw all of our troops and civilian contractors from iraq.

    oh, wait, we haven't. never mind!


    If you were a cancer suregon (1.00 / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:42:39 PM EST
    you wouldn't remove a tumor because its absence might cause a problem 10 years from now?

    Living is about doing things that need to be done now with the best view of the future. You never found a Soviet style dictator that you thought we should oppose and you never found a ruler that supported us that you supported.

    That was and is the basic building block of the Left's foreign policy and Obama is laying as many bricks as fast as he can.

    When you say "Us" (none / 0) (#70)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:01:02 PM EST
    are you talking about people who think the way you do, or the actual United States of America -- "with the best view to the future"?

    The Left is part of this country too, as much as you may hide behind the flag, the Bible and YOUR kind of "big government". You and the rest of the teabaggers dont have permnant ownership of this country and it's destiny.

    That was and is a fact of the democracy that you obviously abhor and would like to sell off at auction prices.


    I understand that the Left (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:47:55 PM EST
    is part of the country. And based on the latest surveys that part is becoming smaller.

    But you know, some on the Left aren't bad. It is just ones such as you who have attacked everything I have said, falsely accused me of racism, etc., etc. that I do not like.

    I trust that is plain enough.


    Glen Greenwald (none / 0) (#3)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:27:35 PM EST
    Had an interesting post on Obama's speech in today's entry. While we're no longer claiming that we're there to further democracy or freedom for the Afghanis, the alternative is disturbing.

    We've currently got 70,000 troops in Afghan? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:46:17 PM EST
    How long have they been there? Practically no news on conflict in Afghanistan for years.

    How many are still in Iraq???

    35,000 there on Obama's inauguration day (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:53:36 PM EST
    but then he sent another 30,000 plus in February and March.  He didn't make a big speech about it, so it was pretty much missed and given a bye about media.  (Still, he did give his rationale then, which is pretty interesting reading now. . . .)

    In addition to 100,000 or so troops there soon, we already have 75,000 nonmilitary in support roles -- so those will have to be increased, too, to support so many more troops.  

    In sum, the total by Christmas will be about 200,000, I bet.


    Somehow I think (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:12:19 PM EST
    his feigned opposition to the Iraq invasion was nothing more than a pol talking to a specific group who needed to hear that position.

    Possible, but I believe Obama probably (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:17:07 PM EST
    said it and meant it, even though we lack the historical record of it.  I think he has been fairly clear for a while on why he sees the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as different.

    (That is, I can think that he's wrong and still not doubt that this is what he thinks.)


    TPM (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:12:55 AM EST
    has a breakdown on contractors in Afg.

    The latest figure on DOD contractors in the country is a whopping 104,100, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command tells TPM. That number, which is expected to grow, is already greater than the 98,000 U.S. troops that will be in the country after the new deployments.

    Third Country Nationals 16,400
    Local/Host Nation 78,400
    US Citizens 9,300
    Total 104,100

    An Ever-Expanding Everest of BS (none / 0) (#16)
    by kidneystones on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:22:58 PM EST
    Juking the Stats:

    In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pledged that U.S. allies would "send at least 5,000 more soldiers to this operation, and probably a few thousand on top of that."...
    But European military officials acknowledged that the figure of 5,000 extra troops included many forces that are either already in Afghanistan or were previously scheduled to begin arriving in 2010.

    The TL style standards prevent me from giving full force to my reaction to the mountain of lies but my first reaction starts with an 'f' and ends 'gently'. The last thing we need is more spin. The lies are what got us into this mess and now we're facing the un-palatable prospect of asking those opposed to the war to ignore the escalation because the troops really are coming out and at the same time asking those committed to a long-term winning strategy (yes, beating the Taliban and displacing them in large parts of Afghanistan) to ignore the promise to bring the troops home.

    Somebody is getting took. It's long past time to end the bs. In or out. No rational person believes the US and Nato can turn Afghanistan around in 24 months.

    Anybody heard the reaction from other NATO countries, besides Britain? Cause so far it seems like the call for more troops from other nations is being roundly ignored.

    Well, the faithful Aussies are not with us (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:25:06 PM EST
    on this one.  A current column says it pretty well, if in Aussie-speak.  (And these are the remotely comprehensible parts!  Try humming that great anti-war song Waltzing Matilda while reading this, and it may aid comprehension.:-)

    We're sending some wallopers and possibly a couple of council labourers to teach Johnny Afghan how to turn a five minute smoko into a couple of week's stress leave topped off with a few RDO's and a bit of time-in-lieu. . . .

    The ADF does have the ability to do a lot more in Afghanistan. But neither Canberra nor the electorate have the will. And . . . 1400 blokes, most of them non-combatants, are all we can stump up. . . .

    It means nothing. Obama is well past the point where he can be satisfied with tokenism from his allies. He's in it for real and we're not. Europe's not. Nobody but the US and the poor old Afghans themselves are.

    Given that, wouldn't it be better to just pull the plug and let them get on with it, without having to go through the time wasting charade of duchessing a couple of dozen pretenders and passengers and so called allies?

    Man (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:44:58 PM EST
    Obama's speech is getting slaughtered all over the world. I just read where the German newspaper did a real hatchet job on it. No wonder all of his minions are trying to walk back the speech today.

    Keeping Your Own Head (none / 0) (#54)
    by melpol on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:59:00 AM EST
    A literal interpretation of the Koran can be dangerous if followed by violence. It is wrong to behead an Infidel or Kafir even if they do not submit to the will of Allah. Violent extremists must face the fact that others have a right to follow their own will.

    The Left shrinking (none / 0) (#77)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 03:03:56 PM EST
    and conservatives becoming more numerous is a Fox - AM talk radio meme repeated ad nauseum by "Doctor Savage" and Beck -- which is more than enough reason in itself to be suspicious of its basis in fact..

    Is your name Rush/Sean/Glenn etc Jim?