You pull a few troops out of Iraq and you expect the Arab World to play nicey-nicey?Obama asks Arab states to do more in peace effort
Bomb the world.
You're a little late.
by: Dark WraithLast week, President Obama declared the official end of combat operations in Iraq.
by: Foiled GoilCongress has passed additional supplemental funding for the Afghanistan war:
The House prepared Tuesday to send President Barack Obama a major war-funding increase of $33 billion to pay for his troop surge in Afghanistan, unmoved by the leaking of classified military documents that portray a military effort struggling between 2004 and 2009 against a strengthening insurgency.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave final approval to a nearly $59 billion emergency spending bill, the bulk of which would go toward the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan.
Specifically, the bill includes almost $33 billion for Afghanistan, along with over $5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, almost $3 billion for Haiti relief programs and $68 million for the oil disaster response in the Gulf of Mexico.
It now goes to the president for his signature.
by: Foiled GoilA massive info dump at WikiLeaks shines more light on Bush's other war:
This week is going to be all about Afghanistan. That's thanks to Wikileaks, an online depository for the kinds of documents that are not, under any circumstances, supposed to be publicly disclosed, much less posted on the Internet. Today the site has published some 92,000 U.S. classified government documents chronicling five years of the war in Afghanistan. As The New York Times puts it, they are, "a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year." [snip]
Wikileaks multiplied the impact of the release -- perhaps by an incalculable amount -- by disclosing the documents weeks ago to three of the biggest western news institutions: The New York Times, The Guardian in London, and Der Spiegel in Germany. Each news outlet has taken a different tack and used varying judgments as to what to publish and what to censor.
As the documents spread, more revelations, patterns, and possibly even more disclosures will follow. Certainly there will be talk of this journalistic moment’s likeness to the publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
A lot of sensitive information about the war in Afghanistan has been leaked thru Wikileaks, and the Guardian has set up a site to examine it. The New York Times and Der Spiegel were also recipients of the classified information and are doing their own articles. There is plenty of disturbing stuff. One thing that is disturbing is the Taliban's incredible indifference to protecting innocent civilian life.
One of the best investigative journalists who has been reporting on America's wars is Seymour Hersh. Hersh has been ahead of the pack -- revealing hard-to-believe atrocities far before the political marketplace was often ready or willing to accept his reporting.
The extraordinary posting on WikiLeaks of more than 92,000 classified documents on America's military activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan confirms Hersh's claims of battlefield executions and death squads.
U.S. officials have condemned the release of thousands of secret military and intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan by the website Wikileaks.
The more than 91,000 documents, released Sunday, reveal new details about the war in Afghanistan, including the close relationship of the Pakistani military with Afghan insurgents. They also describe numerous accounts of brutality, corruption, extortion and kidnapping committed by members of the Afghan police force.
The documents were written by soldiers and intelligence officers, Wikileaks said.
Shocking in scope if not in content, the leak of 91,000 classified U.S. records on the Afghanistan war by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks.org is one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in military history.
The documents cover much of what the public already knows about the troubled nine-year conflict: U.S. spec-ops forces have targeted militants without trial, Afghans have been killed by accident, and U.S. officials have been infuriated by alleged Pakistani intelligence cooperation with the very insurgent groups bent on killing Americans.
WikiLeaks posted the documents Sunday. The New York Times, London's Guardian newspaper and the German weekly Der Spiegel were given early access to the records.
The release was instantly condemned by U.S. and Pakistani officials as both potentially harmful and irrelevant.
White House national security adviser Gen. Jim Jones said the release "put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk." In a statement, he then took pains to point out that the documents describe a period from January 2004 to December 2009, mostly during the administration of President George W. Bush. And, Jones added, before President Obama announced a new strategy.
I don't know if Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has ever met Daniel Ellsberg or not, but with this statement -- which stands in stark contrast to the condemnatory comments from the White House about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs -- Kerry shows he has a respect for Pentagon Papers moments. . .
"However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America's policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent."
by: Father TymeFrom Firedoglake:
by: Foiled GoilGeneral Resigns After Controversial Statements About Obama
The announcement followed a short meeting between McChrystal and the president. Obama summoned McChrystal to Washington after learning of a Rolling Stone profile in which the general trash-talked the president, his national security team and war strategy rival Vice President Joseph Biden.
White House Press Conference:
President Obama Replaces McChrystal With Petraeus (Video)
The President speaks on General Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and General David Petraeus agreeing to take over that role.
U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001.
by: Foiled GoilStop spending our national treasure and the blood of our troops. Bring our troops home. Just get out. Now.
The United States will not be in Afghanistan eight years from now, the White House said on Wednesday, as President Barack Obama prepared to explain to Americans next week why he is expanding the war effort.
After months of deliberation and fending off Republican charges that he was dithering on Afghanistan while violence there surged, Obama will address the nation on Tuesday on the way forward in the costly and unpopular eight-year war.
He is expected to announce he is sending about 30,000 more troops as part of a new counterinsurgency strategy that will place greater emphasis on accelerating the training of Afghan security forces so that U.S. soldiers can eventually withdraw.
It appears highly unlikely Obama will offer a specific troop withdrawal timetable, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president would stress that the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan was not open-ended.
"We are in year nine of our efforts in Afghanistan. We are not going to be there another eight or nine years," Gibbs told reporters. "Our time there will be limited and that is important for people to understand," he said.
He said Obama would use his prime-time televised speech to stress the "sheer cost" of the war, explain to Americans why their military was still in Afghanistan, and press Afghan President Hamid Karzai to improve governance after being re-elected in a fraud-tainted vote in August.
"The American people are going to want to know why we are here, they are going to want to know what our interests are," Gibbs said.
The White House has estimated it will cost $1 million per year for each additional soldier sent to Afghanistan. With the U.S. deficit hitting $1.4 trillion and fueling Americans' concerns about high government spending, sending more troops to Afghanistan could be a politically risky move for Obama.
As president prepares to address the nation, officials given marching orders
After months of debate, President Barack Obama will spell out a costly Afghanistan war expansion to a skeptical public Tuesday night, coupling an infusion of as many as 35,000 more troops with a vow that there will be no endless U.S. commitment. His first orders have already been made: at least one group of Marines who will be in place by Christmas.
Obama plans troop increase for Afghanistan
Nov. 30: Msnbc analyst Richard Wolffe discusses some of the details released from President Barack Obama’s troop deployment decision in Afghanistan. [ 7:44 ]
GOP stands by war hypocrisy
Nov. 30: Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter talks about the contrast between reality and how the GOP perceives the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. [ 3:54 ]
Olbermann on Afghanistan: Get out now
Nov. 30: In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann argues that in the face political and financial opportunism, not to mention outright lies about the war in Afghanistan, and the stark historical warning represented by Vietnam, President Obama should make the change he promised during his campaign and pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. [ 9:15 ]
Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) insisted on Sunday that, had it not been for the Bush administration's failure to catch Osama bin Laden in 2001, there likely would be no debate about sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Addressing a new Senate Foreign Relations Committee report claiming bin Laden was nearly captured by U.S. forces at Tora Bora, Levin argued that had the capture taken place, "there would be a good chance we would not have forces or need to have forces [in Afghanistan]."
"This has been kind of well known for some time," Levin added. "We took our eye off the ball instead of moving in on him at Tora Bora, the previous administration decided to move its forces to Iraq. It was a mistake then. I think this report of the Foreign Relations committee just sort of reinforces that."
TORA BORA REVISITED: HOW WE FAILED TO GET BIN LADEN AND WHY IT MATTERS TODAY
A Report To Members OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE
The policy debate in Washington is currently focused on two topics: a possible escalation of the war in Afghanistan and health care legislation. Both a troop escalation and health care reform carry significant price tags — roughly $100 billion and $80-$100 billion a year respectively. (It should be noted that health care reform, unlike a troop surge, would cut the deficit.)
When it comes to these two debates, hawkish senators have laid out their priorities. They are more than willing to fund a risky troop surge that is increasingly opposed by both Americans and Afghans, yet remain stalwart opponents of health care reform that could save the lives of the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they lack access to health care. [snip]
As the number of Americans on food stamps rises to an all-time high, the unemployment rate hits double-digits, and Americans continue to perish due to lack of health coverage, how can these senators justify draining funding from crucial domestic programs to pay for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan?
by: Foiled GoilBig Eddie gets down on Bush's Afghanistan War.
Op-Ed: Obama, finish the job! [ 4:50 ]
Nov. 24: Msnbc’s Ed Schultz and a panel debate how President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan decision will impact the country and the war.
Full segment [ 14:33 ]
by: Dark WraithIn a recent comment, Big Brass Blog contributing writer Debra offered the following information from an article at Raw Story:
Two senior Republican senators say the United States, and not Israel, should attack Iran if military action becomes "necessary."
They also say a simple strike at the country's nuclear capability wouldn't be enough the US would have to launch an "all-or-nothing" war against Iran with the aim of crippling the country's military capabilities.
"I think an Israeli attack on Iran is a nightmare for the world, because it will rally the Arab world around Iran and they're not aligned now. It's too much pressure to put on Israel," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News' Chris Wallace.
He continued: "Military action should be the last resort anyone looks at, and I would rather our allies and us take military action if it's necessary."
But Graham doesn't think an attack should be limited to airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. "If we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities. We should destroy their ability to make conventional war. They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float," said Graham.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, agrees.
"The problem with military action also is that you're probably not going to be able to stop the production of uranium by just a simple airstrike," Chambliss said on Fox News Sunday."Lindsey's right. It's an all or nothing deal. And is it worth that at this point in time, when we know they have the capability? We can slow them down, but a full-out military strike is what it would take," said Chambliss.
by: astraeaWhat we call the beginning is often the end
point 4) Our judgments of friend and foe, alike, reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.
By D. Graham Burnett and Jeff Dolven, from “Irony in the National Defense.” Last winter, Lockheed Martin Corporation approached Princeton University with a request for research initiatives. In April, Burnett, an historian of science, and Dolven, a professor of English, submitted the proposal, the cost of which they estimated to be $750,000; Princeton declined to forward it to Lockheed.
Admittedly the most speculative dimension of this project is the preliminary investigation into modes of weaponized irony. Superpower-level political entities (e.g., Roman Empire, George W. Bush, large corporations, etc.) have tended to look on irony as a “weapon of the weak” and thus adopted a primarily defensive posture in the face of ironic assault. But a historically sensitive consideration of major strategic realignments suggests that many critical inflection points in geopolitics (e.g., Second Punic War, American Revolution, etc.) have involved the tactical redeployment of “guerrilla” techniques and tools by regional hegemons. There is reason to think that irony, properly concentrated and effectively mobilized, might well become a very powerful armament on the “battlefield of the future,” serving as a nonlethal—or even lethal—sidearm in the hands of human fighters in an information-intensive projection of awesome force. Without further fundamental research into the neurological and psychological basis of irony, it is difficult to say for certain how such systems might work, but the general mechanism is clear enough: irony manifestly involves a sudden and profound “doubling” of the inner life of the human subject. The ironizer no longer maintains an integrated and holistic perspective on the topic at hand but rather experiences something like a small tear in the consciousness, whereby the overt and covert meanings of a given text or expression are sundered. We do not now know just how far this tear could be opened—and we do not understand what the possible vital consequences might be. Even under the current lay or primitive deployments of irony, we see instances of disorientation, anger, and sometimes even despair. There is thus reason to hope that the irony of the future, suitably tuned, refined, and charged, might be mobilized to ” the enemy or possibly kill outright. This would be an extreme form of the sort of “speech act” theorized by the English philosopher (and, significantly, Strategic Intelligence Service officer in MI-6) J. L. Austin. Excitingly, such systems could be understood as the tangible culmination of a 2,500-year humanistic Western project of making words matter.
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