What Some Folks With Blogs Think

Jeralyn has passed the TalkLeft torch to me on responding for National Journal's blogger poll.

Two questions were presented this week. The first:

Have events of recent weeks made you more encouraged or less encouraged about prospects for bipartisanship this year on major issues that Congress has yet to tackle, such as health care reform and energy legislation?

More . .

The second:

Do you support sending 30,000 additional U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan?

You can see my and other bloggers' answers at the link.

I'll ask you folks the second question in an attached poll.

This is an Open Thread.

< Judge Holds Ted Stevens' Prosecutors in Contempt | Clinton Goes To China >


Do you support sending 30,000 additional U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan?
Yes 24%
No 67%
Other 8%

Votes: 70
Results | Other Polls
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    Impossible Task (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:07:53 AM EST
    To occupy Afghanistan and keep it as an ally. There is no military solution there, imo. THe biggest problem is that too many civilians are getting killed and the population will turn against us.

    THe best chance of gaining strategic alliance with Afghanistan, imo, is to win hearts and minds with aggressive diplomacy, $$$, and including Russia, China and others who also want strategic alliance in the region.

    How can anyone answer the second (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Maryb2004 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:10:50 AM EST
    question unless they know WHY the troops are being sent?  Unlike Iraq, there has never been a real  policy articulated.

    Including "other" in this poll means nothing - anyone taking this question seriously would have to answer other and say they would need more information in order to answer.

    This morning I'm digesting and digesting (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:28:47 PM EST
    and it's a whole lot right now.  The Taliban is a problem, then they made themselves our problem too.  We aren't alone in this either, we have a terrorized populace trying to live in Afghanistan, we are there with NATO, we aren't the only nation who has to deal with the terrorism that the Taliban type of extremist gives roots to. I have my husband likely going. I have an administration in office and a party in power right now that best represents my needs and beliefs better than anything I've had in eight of the longest years I've ever lived AND MARYB is right.  Whatever was said during the campaigning, whatever was signaled or implied, if those over us want this then make the sale!  Make the sale, do not attempt to shove this down our broke a$$ throats like Dubya and Cheney and Rummy!  This is supposed to be a democracy.  Get everyone onboard!  The economy is tanking like a Six Flags rollercoaster.......this is not the same environment we all lived in even 6 months ago.  Make the Sale, get people behind this in a meaningful way or risk destroying even more confidence.  From the looks of the blogging poll the rightwing is very much behind this push and leftwing is not.  If Obama really wants a bipartisan moment in America then make the sale to your peeps man!

    Congress may just be listening (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:31:45 PM EST
    to the U.S. public more closely than the executive branch.  Stimulus bill includes cap on CEO pay.  

    OMG, and they got three Republican (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:33:32 PM EST
    Senators onboard for that?  See, I can love that.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:18:51 AM EST
    I think the objectives are clear and if you have followed the news coming out of Afgahnistan, you can clearly see why the new troops are needed.

    You'll have to convince me of that. (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:31:08 AM EST
    Not that I matter in this decision but I'll be interested to see how you think we can win that one. My nephew is headed there this summer and I'm not looking forward to it.

    Awaiting the imminent (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:34:35 AM EST
    arrival of Military Tracy.

    I am pretty sure she opposes (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:35:30 AM EST
    But do not quote me on that.

    According to my nephew, a career Army man (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:39:11 AM EST
    with four tours in Iraq, the soldiers would rather go to Iraq than Afghanistan if given a choice. It was really hard to tell who the bad guys were in Iraq and even harder in Afghanistan. I'll be interested to read what you think.

    I haven't ever opposed us (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:43:57 AM EST
    making the commitment to Afghanistan that we always needed to make.  I have commented in your writings to that several times.  If things stay on course I will have husband skin in this game too by fall.  I have to admit though at this moment I feel very uncertain about the caliber of folks in charge of this.  Obama is utterly clueless.  Gates is a secretive, manipulative, stabbing you softly in the back blankity blank.  Not the fine ingredients needed for a gourmet meal.  Junk food driven war.

    What do you make of the (none / 0) (#60)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:35:45 PM EST
    Admin's hold-up on sending more troops while they mull over the situation?

    Smart! (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    Not going in guns blazing like some foola$$ idiot cowboy.  Actually asking what stablizes a civilization and then focusing on that as well as providing the security for the civilians that is needed when you have to deal with bloody murderers like the Taliban.

    I don't think Obama can trust Gates (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:44:29 PM EST
    though.  Like the guy can charismatically carry the mission objectives forward.  Gates is a cold war disinformation flunky.  He's an idiot who thinks getting into pissing matches with NATO is important along with focusing on fighting "the drug trade".  Really, fecken idiot all the way around!

    The hold-up may mean (none / 0) (#68)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:50:14 PM EST
    that the Admin is not trusting Gates, but doing its own checking.  Isn't Petraeus involved now in Afghan decisions? Thomas Hicks seemed to indicate on Charlie Rose last night that Petraeus will do some of what he did in Iraq -- take time to find out what and how the Afghans think as basis for making recommendations.  Have you seen the Hicks interview or anything else about his new book --
    The Gamble?  Thanks for your informed comments.

    I haven't seen the Hicks interview (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:10:13 PM EST
    we've spent most of our time this past week discussing what we need to ready for this upcoming deployment.  I will take a look at it today and anything else I can find to better get a grasp of what is happening.  It was something that we noted yesterday though, that it is difficult to understand what is taking place right now.  Very unlike the Bush years when he was only too eager to announce to the rest of us peons and the world that he was going to kick some blah blah blah and he had full confidence in Brownie.  Petraeus does have a role in Afghanistan but can you imagine how tired the man must be?  I don't care how tough and smart you are, there is such a thing as exhaustion.  Doesn't he deserve someone who compliments the energy needed to accomplish this mission instead of some ghostish Sec of Def.  Am I the only one who experiences Gates as "ghostish".

    No, you're not alone in this (none / 0) (#75)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:14:17 PM EST
    although I, for one, don't profess to have the knowledge you do as to Gates' shortcomings.  I do think, however, the delay in action can't hurt.  On the Charlie Rose program, Hicks talks about those who assisted Petraeus and their very interesting backgrounds.  At least one of them was adamantly opposed to the Iraq war at the outset, but decided that since the war had already been going on for years, and going badly, he wanted to help improve its direction (we broke it, we must fix it). I look forward to reading your reactions to the program. I only hope that if & when your family member(s) join others in Afghanistan, the policy, strategy and tactics then pursued have merit and don't put our troops at risk for things that are either meaningless or futile.

    You mean news... (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:54:04 AM EST
    ...like this

    When I read this, I see an awful lot of revenge and blood lust.  The Poles want revenge for the beheading of Piotr Stanczak.  The Pakistani's want revenge for Benazir Bhutto (among other things) and we want revenge for 9-11.

    The objective of eliminating the Taliban might be clear (and worthwhile), but its an ugly, confusing, bloody game to achieve that objective.


    If the objectives are so clear (none / 0) (#19)
    by Maryb2004 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:30:51 AM EST
    then it should have been easy for the person asking the poll question to put additional words in the question.

    Do you support sending 30,000 additional U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan?

    My answer is "Tell me why you are sending them and I'll tell you whether I support it."

    YOU are making your own assumptions and putting them into the question based on your reading of the news coming out of Afghanistan.  In other words ... you are answering "other".   Because the only way you can answer it "yes" is if you support sending in more troops no matter what the reason.


    I am listening (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:33:28 AM EST
    to our President as well.

    I do think the reasons for this are clear and meritorious.

    As I said, this will be a major topic of discussion at this blog now that the stimulus bill has been passed.


    I look forward to the discussion (none / 0) (#25)
    by Maryb2004 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:36:45 AM EST
    I am not per se against sending more troops to Afghanistan.

    I simply point out that this poll question did not tie the decision to anything.  And I don't answer poll questions "yes" or "no" when I'm not absolutely clear what is being asked and that my answer to the specific question is "yes" or "no".  

    And since you blog so much about polls, I thought this line of thought on answering polls would be self-evident to you.


    Thomas Ricks' Gamble (none / 0) (#32)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:59:45 AM EST
    Last night I caught the end of Charlie Rose's interview of Thomas Hicks.  They were discussing Hicks' book, The Gamble on Iraq & Dave Petraeus, and how what worked in Iraq may be tried in Afghanistan.  According to Hicks, in Iraq, Petraeus & co. actually took surveys of detainees & used info as basis for what they did. Just thought Hicks' discussion might be interesting for the upcoming coverage here.

    Petraeus' Surge, According to Ricks,... (none / 0) (#33)
    by santarita on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:17:17 AM EST
    was more of a surge of bribery $$$ going to Sunnis.  The same might work in Afghanistan with the bribery $$$ going to tribal warlords.  Maybe the money spent on the "War on Drugs" can be diverted to Afghan Poppy Eradication and replacement with other profitable cash crops.

    I still don't understand why I need to (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:04:45 PM EST
    be worried about Afghan poppy production. I am more than willing to send education and the means of making changes as long as they keep effing Monsanto and Monsanto clones completely out of the picture.  I'm for doing something before fighting something and the farmers aren't the problem, the Taliban and their brand of Jihad is.

    Timely AP article, including (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:52:38 PM EST
    the thoughts Mullen, head of Joint Chiefs of Staff:


    Oh, and by the way, from henceforth U.S. will stand back and let Afghan forces do the night raids on compounds we suspect harbor Taliban and/or aQ, with resulting anticipated decline of civilian collateral damage.  


    That was an excellent read (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:23:11 PM EST
    Can you imagine Bush or Rumsfeld wanting to talk about how in some cases of going after A-Q, using Special Forces is probably not even your second best option?

    Not sure how Afghan military (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:29:33 PM EST
    would be better able to determine who truly is Taliban or aQ though.  

    It is their country (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:40:48 PM EST
    I can't see how they can't make the best educated decisions there.  As for fewer civilian casualties, I think that would involve the conscience factor and no disrespect to special forces but strong consciences don't fit well in their profile outside of attachment to each other.

    From what I heard last night (none / 0) (#37)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:35:15 AM EST
    $ certainly was certainly part of what was done -- but I think there were many components. What I took away was Petraeus' idea of actually talking to a broad spectrum of Iraqis to gather info as the basis for more effective action. I was, like many here, opposed to the Iraq war from the getgo. That said, it happened, & I'd like to know more.
    BTW, Hicks admitted that situation in Iraq is not set in stone.  

    I Believe ti was Ricks Who Said... (none / 0) (#42)
    by santarita on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:48:04 AM EST
    that the worst in Iraq is yet to come.

    Oh dear! (none / 0) (#45)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:06:48 PM EST
    What the comment related to pending U.S. pullout or draw down?

    As to answering the bipartisanship (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:48:18 AM EST
    question, if I hadn't been reading you I would have been discouraged that our new President was not only unable to attain even a fraction of a dream he had, but that the Republicans are enjoying it so much.  I never did understand though how bipartisanship was going to be helpful in dealing with the issues that matter to me.

    Now, onto Afghanistan, I have such mixed feelings answering the question yes or no and can't for the life of me justify it after the last week we have had in this house. We walked over five miles together yesterday discussing the fact that DOD is bringing down heavy and extreme pressure for as many soldiers to be ready to deploy and commit to deploying as possible, and how the family is going to navigate this.  I can't do Iraq again and at the level that my husband is at and where he is at right now not being attached to a deployable unit, he is in a position to choose deploying to Afghanistan and DOD to say alrighty then.  Sometimes they decide to slot soldiers in elsewhere where they are needed at the last minute, but currently it is looking like one member of the household is Afghanistan bound.  In the pit of my stomach though the aching I feel is the Gates factor. Gates was never the best man for Obama's jobs.  I'm going to be very unpatriotic and say that I hope that I don't end up losing my beloved on the road to discovering that Gates needs to go.

    Terrible. (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:13:07 PM EST
    Election Board Ruling (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:48:38 AM EST
    I know this isn't scientific, but it still gives (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:52:51 AM EST
    me hope. The online edition of my newspaper has an article about the stimulus bill. The comments in newspapers seem to attract the worst of the wingers. I am shocked that about three of every four comments to this article is supportive of Obama and calling out the deficit fear mongers for their hypocrisy. This is a huge change from what I normally see there.

    Maybe all these local people losing their jobs is making people pay attention now.

    Ah....David Plouffe (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:07:15 PM EST
    Got himself a little embarrassed this week.....


    For two years, he was the brains behind the Obama political juggernaut, quietly engineering what he recently boasted was perhaps the biggest political upset in history.

    But in the weeks since he's come out from behind the curtain to tell how he pulled it off, David Plouffe has found it's not always easy to be the man in the spotlight.

    Just Thursday, Plouffe drew fire from reporters over his insistence that a speech at a Georgetown University symposium be kept off the record.

    The flap came on the heels of a Monday speech that caused potentially more serious headaches for Team Obama -- not because the speech was closed to the press, which it was, but because of where it was given: Azerbaijan.

    A group with close ties to the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation, which has been criticized for human rights abuses and authoritarian leanings, paid Plouffe $50,000 to speak and also arranged for him to meet with top government officials.

    That rankled stateside backers of Armenia, who emerged as an influential pro-Obama political bloc, and set off a war of words between them and their bitter rivals in the Azerbaijani-American community.

    Nobody ever wins wars in Afghanistan. (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:11:42 PM EST
    I doubt 30,000 extra troops is enough to do diddly squat.

    Michael Steele was wrong (none / 0) (#1)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:04:11 AM EST
    See, government creating 30,000 new jobs, just like that!

    An my (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:22:51 AM EST
    oh my don't we look good!

    I suppose I could have asked the first (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:07:19 AM EST
    question but the answer seems obvious to me and we have discussed it so much here that I thought the second question, on an issue I will be ramping up discussion of here in the next weeks, was the more interesting.

    Good. (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:01:34 AM EST
    Or maybe not so good. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:30:49 AM EST
    Note to self:  read first, then comment.

    We been (none / 0) (#4)
    by SOS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:35:15 AM EST
    _ _ _ _ _ ed

    Can we invade Pakistan at the same time? (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:38:21 AM EST
    (Even if we could, it's not clear to me how we could stabilize the situation).

    The idea is not to stabilize (none / 0) (#7)
    by SOS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:49:57 AM EST
    the MIC wouldn't stay in business if their was peace. You need a bogeyman to make money in the war racket.

    Summers (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:44:48 AM EST
    the slump will probably continue "for some time."

    No Larry ya don't say.

    Eye on the prize (none / 0) (#8)
    by Saul on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:58:36 AM EST
    I voted for Obama.  I know the Republicans are probably taking a big risk on how they voted but you do not win the white house or congress back by agreeing with the democrats or by  making the democrats who are in control of both successful.  It's harder to  throw the bums out if they are successful.

    The republicans job is to make sure Obama is not successful in order to starting winning seats in congress back.  The sooner Obama looses control of the 60 member majority the sooner the republicans will start to make a difference on Obama's legislative agenda.   If it were not for the 3 republicans that moved over this bill would have been dead.   IMO I would not declare this as a major victory for Obama.  He squeaked by by a hair and this is considered the most important piece of legislation on Obama list.

    With the shellacking the three republicans got from their party for crossing over on senate on the stimulus bill, I doubt if these 3 will cross over again in any future Obama legislation, unless they know they will not be running again.

    If Obama gets out of Iraq but only to stay in Afghanistan with additional troops then IMO he has accomplished nothing with his change mandate.  What we want is no more deaths of American soldiers. Afghanistan is a grave yard for empires that have tried to conquer it.  I would not go there with troops just monitor and use air power when necessary.

    We're BROKE! How can we even consider (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by suzieg on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:53:06 AM EST
    escalating the war in Afghanistan? Paul Craig Roberts makes this very same point on: http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts02092009.html


    "One would think that the experience with the "cakewalk" in Iraq would make the US hesitant to attempt to occupy Afghanistan, an undertaking that would require the US to occupy parts of Pakistan.  The US was hard pressed to maintain 150,000 troops in Iraq.  Where is Obama going to get another half million soldiers to add to the 150,000 to pacify Afghanistan?

    One answer is the rapidly growing massive US unemployment.  Americans will sign up to go kill abroad rather than be homeless and hungry at home.  

    But this solves only half of the problem.  Where does the money come from to support an army in the field of 650,000, an army 4.3 times larger than US forces in Iraq, a war that has cost us $3 trillion in out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs.  This money would have to be raised in addition to the $3 trillion US budget deficit that is the result of Bush's financial sector bailout, Obama's stimulus package, and the rapidly failing economy."  


    "The unreality in which he US government operates is beyond belief.  A  bankrupt government  that cannot pay its bills without printing money is rushing headlong into wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.  According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis, the cost to the US taxpayers of sending a single soldier to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq is $775,000 per year!  

    Obama's war in Afghanistan is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.  After seven years of conflict, there is still no defined mission or endgame scenario for US forces in Afghanistan.  When asked about the mission, a US military official told NBC News, "Frankly, we don't have one."  NBC reports: "they're working on it."  

    Speaking to House Democrats on February 5, President Obama admitted that the US government does not know what its mission is in Afghanistan and that to avoid "mission creep without clear parameters," the US "needs a clear mission."

    How would you like to be sent to a war, the point of which no one knows, including the commander-in-chief who sent you to kill or be killed?  How, fellow taxpayers, do you like paying the enormous cost of sending soldiers on an undefined mission while the economy collapses?"


    Possible funny business (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:04:48 AM EST
    involving Roland Burris:

    Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother solicited U.S. Sen. Roland Burris for up to $10,000 in campaign cash before Blagojevich named Burris to the coveted post -- something Burris initially failed to disclose under oath before an Illinois House impeachment panel, records and interviews show.

    Ugh (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:19:13 AM EST
    Exactly (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:28:33 AM EST
    Good quote: (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:33:12 AM EST
    "I don't know if Mr. Burris was purposely being evasive during the committee or had selected memory issues."

    OT, but isn't the part (none / 0) (#15)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:23:06 AM EST
    that would have involved Burris be whether or not he actually paid it? The "ask" is on the former Gov; the "answer" is on Burris. If he didn't buy the position, isn't he okay?

    Two points (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:25:43 AM EST

    First, for the seocnd time, Burris has had to "correct" his sworn testimony about Blago.

    Second, whether Burris agreed to solicit donations from OTHER people is also an issue.

    At this point, Burris is beyond tainted.

    But we are stuck for now. I assume he will probably not run in 2010 at this point.


    Afghan-Pakistan Military Involvement (none / 0) (#34)
    by santarita on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:19:57 AM EST
    It's hard to talk about Afghanistan without talking about Pakistan.  They are intertwined, with a nuclear Pakistan being more of a threat than Afghanistan.  I read somewhere the the new reality is to focus less on Hamid Kharzai and more on the tribal warlords.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:30:18 AM EST
    Reporting from Washington -- A senior U.S. lawmaker [Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)] said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an air base in that country, a revelation likely to embarrass the Pakistani government and complicate its counter-terrorism collaboration with the United States.


    The basing of the pilotless aircraft in Pakistan suggests a much deeper relationship with the United States on counter-terrorism matters than has been publicly acknowledged. Such an arrangement would be at odds with protests lodged by officials in Islamabad, the capital, and could inflame anti-American sentiment in the country.


    Many counter-terrorism experts have assumed that the aircraft take off from U.S. military installations in Afghanistan and are remotely piloted from locations in the United States. Experts said the disclosure could create political problems for the government in Islamabad, which is considered relatively weak.

    The attacks are extremely unpopular in Pakistan, in part because of the high number of civilian casualties inflicted in dozens of strikes.


    The Pakistani government regularly lodges diplomatic protests against the strikes as a violation of its sovereignty, and officials said the subject was raised with Richard C. Holbrooke, a newly appointed U.S. envoy to the region, who completed his first visit to the country Thursday.

    But a former CIA official familiar with the Predator operations said Pakistan's government secretly approves of the flights because of the growing militant threat.

    LA Times via War & Piece

    And if the people in Pakistan are unhappy about this, imagine how unhappy the people are in Afghanistan.

    Why do you suppose Senator Feinstein (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:34:19 AM EST
    revealed this information?

    From The Link (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    At a hearing, Feinstein expressed surprise over Pakistani opposition to the campaign of Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against Islamic extremist targets along Pakistan's northwestern border.

    "As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base," she said.

    Which she probably already knew. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:46:41 AM EST
    Why blow the Pakistani government's cover at this particular time?

    Well (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    She is asking the Pakistan government to start earning the billions in aid we give them each year. Rabble rousing the people is not a suitable way of showing the money is well spent.

    Let me guess (none / 0) (#41)
    by SOS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:47:24 AM EST
    her husband holds 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors in the United States so they need the business. My next guess is she's using it to to distract attention away from her recent attempt to try to sneak a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill which could could kill net neutrality.

    I don't believe it. She is Chair of (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:14:58 PM EST
    Senate Intelligence Committee and frequently explains her votes on issues "I care about" by stating she knows stuff even other Senators don't know.

    Since the Army and Marines... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:01:53 PM EST
    ...absolutely hate each other and cannot, for anything, cooperate, it is a fool's errand to send more of them to Afghanistan.  BTD may think it meritorious, but I would suggest he send his own kids there first.  There is NO military solution to that problem, at all, ever, period, UNLESS we plan on being more brutal than the Taliban and AQ.  We do that, I'm sure we could conquer the country and all in it.  Though then we'd have to stay as a hated enemy.

    Anyone who thinks Afghanistan is ours to solve or even help solve is sadly mistaken.  Sadly.

    And here's the test, BTD, are you willing to send your own children there?  Plain and simple.  Send your girls to fight there.  

    Since when do the Army and the Marines (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:08:44 PM EST
    absolutely hate each other......Sheesh, God, someone give me a break.  Don't swim after eating or you'll get a cramp and drown, if you go outside with wet hair you will catch your death, the Army and the Marines absolutely hate each other.

    They are too young (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:26:24 PM EST
    But if they were of age, I would not object to my girls doing their duty in this endeavor.

    This is not the Iraq Debacle.


    Sad To Hear (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    Although it certainly shows that you have tremendous integrity. Even if it is hypothetical, to back your support for war with the lives of your most cherished ones is as about sincere as you can get, imo. Kudos to you for that.

    Happy Birthday, Oregon (none / 0) (#58)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:34:25 PM EST
    Today is the 150th anniversary of Oregon statehood. Cake for everybody!

    Deployment is about this picture (none / 0) (#64)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:44:25 PM EST
    Well that chit needs to stop now (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:32:23 PM EST
    Stop deploying the effing National Guard into this Barack!!!!!  They didn't sign up for this chit!  They signed up for different chit!  They signed up for home chit!  I'm tired of seeing this chit!  I have a different life and much different compensation and a much different support system and a much different atmosphere of education about deploying and my husband has been trained 24/7 to fight and stay alive in BAD SITUATIONS!  This National Guard stuff must stop right now damn it! It's shameful!

    yes MT (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 04:45:19 PM EST
    1,000 troops for one year in Iraq.

    Among this guard unit from MN is a band....regular marching band type for ceremonies etc., but also within that several other bands, like a rock unit, country unit, jazz etc to play for the troops entertainment....that's good.

    First time deployment for the musicians.


    It's not really Afghanistan. It's Afg-Pak. (none / 0) (#66)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:44:45 PM EST
    The war has really moved on to the Pak border.  I think there will be no win there.  I think John Kerry was right.  It's a policing and an intelligence mission, not military.