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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s war’

Joan Brunwasser | OpEdNews | February 16, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg is definitely a name out of our national past. Baby Boomers immediately conjure up images of the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers. For the younger set, or those whose recollections have faded, there’s a brand new documentary about Ellsberg and his historic actions. The Most Dangerous Man in America opened in theaters across the country this past weekend and is guaranteed to bring you up to speed. In it, whistleblower and activist Ellsberg is both star and narrator. Welcome to OpEdNews, Dan. If you don’t mind, we’ll come back to the documentary later. I’d like to hear your take on current events. We are now officially one year into this new administration. Are we on the way to achieving the change that the voters were so eager for?

No.

On Afghanistan, there is change: for the worse, much worse.

Not just a tripling of the American troop presence, though that’s bad enough. I believe that’s just the start of an open-ended, indefinitely prolonged fighting occupation.

Some of my friends and a large part of the public, perhaps most, believe that he’s committed himself to put a ceiling on the American troop presence of about 100,000. They realize that his officials quickly backed away from his talk in December of beginning to withdraw then, but they think he won’t go above the level reached by this “one-time” deployment (which will be closer to 40,000 than his announced 30,000).

I believe that’s mistaken. I expect that no later than his 18-24-month “deadline” and probably much earlier than that, General McChrystal will be asking for a lot more troops. And I now expect Obama to give them to him (if and when troops become available from Iraq, and perhaps elsewhere as necessary).

A president who didn’t say “No” to this recent request–the best chance he’ll ever have to do so, when he could still blame a hopeless situation on the last eight years under his predecessor and “reluctantly” name a date for total withdrawal–will find it even harder to do after wasting more lives in coming months. The odds are very high, I believe, that Obama’s War will last as long as he’s in the White House–whether four or eight years–and beyond.

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Afghanistan: Heads You Lose, Tails You Lose

Immanuel Wallerstein, Agence Global, November 1, 2009

The war in Afghanistan is a war in which whatever the United States does now, or that President Obama does now, both the United States and Obama will lose. The country and its president are in a situation of perfect lockjaw.

Consider the basic situation. The Afghan government in Kabul has no legitimacy with the majority of the Afghan people. It also has no army worthy of the name. It also has no financial base. There is almost no military or personal security anywhere. It is faced with a guerilla opposition, the Taliban, who control half the country and who have grown steadily stronger since the Taliban government was overthrown by a foreign (largely United States) invasion in 2002. The New York Times reports that the Taliban “are running a sophisticated financial network to pay for their insurgent operations,” which American officials are struggling, unsuccessfully, to cut off.

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