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David Guyatt
03-27-2009, 11:19 AM
He is good at jaw jaw but he is better at war war:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7967002.stm

US seeks new Afghanistan direction
By Adam Brookes
BBC News, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45602000/jpg/_45602229_marine_getty226b.jpg

As the planes line up to take off at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, there is an air of calm which belies the level of activity.

The unit based here, the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, will deploy to Afghanistan in a few weeks' time. Their helicopters will be loaded onto enormous cargo planes, some onto ships, and transplanted to Kandahar.

The soldiers of the 82nd CAB fly the army's lethal Apache gunships; but they also move casualties out of combat in Blackhawk helicopters and ship ammunition, water and troops in the workhorse Chinook aircraft. They support combat troops, providing fire and mobility. In military argot, they are "enablers".

And their deployment to southern Afghanistan tells us a deal about the conflict: that it is in the south - in Kandahar and Helmand - where the US military sees the greatest insurgent threat, and the greatest need for troops and mobility. The 116 helicopters of the 82nd CAB will, they hope, greatly extend Nato's reach.

Troop build-up

They will be part of a substantial build-up of troops in the south. As part of Nato operations, they will come under the command of a Dutch general. And we found a sense among the 82nd that they are in for a bloody year.

"We're putting the squeeze on the bad guys," said Chief Warrant Officer Bert Shober.

"When we do that they tend to react, and so we will see soldiers injured or worse."

“ As the "Global War on Terror" fades from our lexicon, Mr Obama may set out a unifying idea to replace it ”
The violence in Afghanistan tends to increase through the spring and into the summer as the weather warms and formerly icebound roads become passable. It is CWO Shober's fourth deployment to a combat zone since 2001.

The commanding officer of the unit is Col Paul Bricker. His helicopters, he says, are the "coin of the realm" in Afghanistan, the only way to move fast enough across the rugged terrain.

But he insists it is not capturing terrain in the traditional sense he is interested in.

"The people are the prize," he says. "The people are the decisive terrain."

And much depends on the deployment of these "enablers", US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said: pilots, medics, engineers, mechanics, linguists, administrators, intelligence officers - all of these, and more, must be found and deployed if the military effort in Afghanistan is to be reinvigorated.

And that is President Obama's aim.

Renewed strategy

President Obama, we are told, has for some days now been reading the review of Afghan strategy that he commissioned earlier this year.

Some version of that document is expected to make its way into a speech on Friday. Expect America's foreign policy "principals" - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser James Jones and others - to flank Mr Obama as he announces it.

Some of the broad outlines of a renewed strategy for the Afghan war are already clear:

The war will continue. The US will intensify its military effort for some time to come, and it will encourage Nato allies to do the same. The aim: to provide security within which an enhanced civilian and reconstruction effort can take root
There will be an overhaul of the Afghan effort - and a much greater emphasis on coordination and cooperation between countries and agencies
The president will argue that what happens inside Pakistan is central to the Afghan theatre. His strategy will try to draw together Afghanistan policy and Pakistan policy into a coherent whole
Afghan security forces will, one day, take over security operations and allow foreign forces to draw down
Other, non-Nato countries like China and Russia will be asked to support the effort, or at least not oppose it.
But we might expect President Obama to tell us more than just how the US intends to proceed in Afghanistan.

What, after seven years of operations, is the United States trying to achieve, and why?

As the "Global War on Terror" fades from our lexicon, Mr Obama may set out a unifying idea to replace it.

Another surge?

Many in Washington feel that strategy has, for seven years, been catastrophically absent, and each agency of government has blithely continued on its course without any reference to others.

Karin von Hippel at foreign policy think-tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) writes: "There has been no clarity as to how much US assistance has been directed at each country, what the overall strategy for each country is, nor what it is for the region as a whole."

One security source said that this will be the moment when Mr Obama "takes ownership" of the war.

Until now he has been able to "hide behind his strategy review". Not any more.

Officers at the Pentagon tell me they expect the total number of US and Nato troops deployed to hit 90,000 by the end of the summer. Not as big a commitment as Iraq, for sure, but still a very substantial commitment.

So is this a "surge"?

Military officers tell me "no". A surge, they say, implies a temporary increase in effort, followed by a winding down, as we have seen in Iraq.

But Mr Obama's vision for Afghanistan implies an increase in commitment to be sustained indefinitely, an important distinction.

Formulating the Pakistan element of the strategy has been the hardest part, I am told.

The Taleban and other insurgent groups, and al-Qaeda, continue to use Pakistani territory for their bases.

Until these sanctuaries are eliminated, and the recruiting of radicals curtailed, there would seem to be little hope for long-term stability in Afghanistan.

But how can the United States and its allies, like Britain, achieve this?

The US has few levers of power it can manipulate to change the security landscape in Pakistan, say security sources in Washington.

Without the wholehearted commitment of the Pakistani government and military, and a shared view of the problem, implementing a strategy to eliminate radicalism in Pakistan will be very difficult.

"Our best options are limited," says one. "How do we persuade the Pakistanis to own the fight?"

Magda Hassan
03-27-2009, 11:40 AM
The Center for American Progress has positioned itself as a "progressive" Washington think tank, especially suited to channel new thinking and expertise into the Obama administration. It therefore is deeply disappointing that CAP has issued a call for a ten-year war in Afghanistan (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/sustainable_afghanistan.html), including an immediate military escalation, just as President Obama prepares to unveil his Afghanistan/Pakistan policies to the American public and NATO this week.
It is likely that Obama will follow most of CAP's strategic advice, assuming the think tank to be the progressive wing of what's possible within the Beltway.
That means a long counter-insurgency war ahead, with everything from massive incarcerations and detention to Predator strikes that amass increasing civilian casualties. CAP begins by calling on the president to meet the request of his commander in Afghanistan for another 15,000 troops in addition to the 17,000 Obama already has committed, which would bring the near-term US total to 70,000. To pay for these additional troops, CAP proposes redirecting $25 billion annually from combat in Iraq to Afghanistan. In addition, CAP favors up to $5 billion annually for diplomatic and economic assistance, also from a redirection of Iraq spending.
Even assuming the economic assistance reaches villages instead of corrupt middlemen, CAP's primary emphasis is a military one, sending larger numbers of American troops on a counterinsurgency mission in southern and eastern Afghanistan, as well as the outskirts of Kabul. Make no mistake, the American mission will be to fight, kill and capture, and, is intended to leave NATO allies in secondary training roles. The CAP proposal (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/sustainable_afghanistan.html) seems to flesh out the Obama strategy already described in a New York Times January 28 headline, "Aides Say Obama's Afghan Aims Elevate War Over Development." The CAP report calculates that in FY 2009, "the ration of funding for military forces versus non-military international engagement is 18 to 1."
There is no exit strategy contemplated in the CAP proposal, although the president apparently is been asking for one behind the scenes. Nor is there any projected cap on future escalation The CAP timeline, front-loaded with military force, is as fanciful about Afghanistan/Pakistan as the neo-conservatives were towards Iraq in the Nineties:


In the next 18 months, a combat/counterinsurgency push to prevent Afghanistan from being a "safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups with a global reach"; prevent the destabilization of Pakistan by creating "a stable civilian government committed to working toward the elimination of terrorist safe havens" there.
In three to five years, create a "viable Afghan economy", curb the poppy trade, promote democracy and human rights, and resolve regional tensions.
In ten years, build an Afghan state that can defend itself, and "prepare for full military withdrawal."

As a practical matter, all that is certain is that there will be blood. When the problem is a nail, reach for the hammer. But military occupation, particularly a surge of US troops into the Pashtun region in southern Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the surest way to inflame nationalist resistance and greater support for the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai said last December that "the coalition went around Afghan villages, burst into people's homes and has been committing extraditional killings in our country." A United Nations investigator made the same point in 2008, accusing the CIA and Special Forces "of conducting nighttime raids and killing civilians in Afghanistan with impunity." Pakistan's prime minister said the same years that "if America wants to see itself clean of terrorists, we also want that our villages and towns should not be bombed." As a January 2009 report by the Carnegie Endowment concluded, "the only meaningful way to halt the insurgency's momentum is to start withdrawing troops. The presence of foreign troops is the most important element driving the resurgence of the Taliban."
CAP takes no notice of the torture and detention without human rights protections at Kabul's Bagram prison, now undergoing massive expansion. Obama's team already says his anti-torture executive order does not cover the hundreds detained in Afghanistan, so it is likely that the American forces will launch a massive "preventive incarceration" campaign in the months ahead. CAP's silence on this matter is especially disturbing since the think tank expressed deep concern over the same policies in Iraq.
Many Americans are confused, but it is not necessary to have a West Point or Ivy League degree to understand the heart of the matter. Whether it is the street of LA or the alleys of Kabul, law-and-order always comes first along with promises of jobs and development "later", a later that gradually becomes never. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the levels of suffering are among the most extreme in the world, and from suffering, from having nothing to live for, comes the will to die for a cause.
United Nations recent development data places Afghanistan 173rd out of 178 countries; Pakistan is 136th. According to such estimates, about sixty percent of children in the Pashtun areas are "moderately" or "severely" stunted. In Afghanistan as a whole, such children will be spared miserable lives because the country has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. No more need be said.
As to the threat from al Qaeda, it is understandable that the president would define himself as an aggressive commander-in-chief. But he must wonder if our killing so many civilians and stunting so many children won't result in yet another generation dying to hate us. He must wonder if he is squandering the good will of the world, including the Muslim world, by sending more Americans to kill and die in a quagmire. He must recognize that he is putting his eight-year presidency on the line.
He must wonder too, as he approaches his meetings in Europe, why NATO is occupying countries so far from its base in the mainly-white Western world. It is hard to avoid the hint that the white man's burden is falling on the shoulders of our first African-American president. The only solution to the Afghanistan/Pakistan quagmires has to be a regional one, as argued forcefully by Tariq Ali in his recent book, as well as by Barnett Rubin and Ahmed Rashid, but NATO is the stranger in the neighborhood. CAP recognizes this critical problem, as does Hillary Clinton who will meet the regional players at the Hague next week. The problem is that NATO, burdened with imperial assumptions, would like China, Russia, and the Central Asian Republics constituting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to be satellite parties to the Western occupation of Afghanistan/Pakistan. But the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, while having serious stakes in quelling instability in the region, calls on the US and NATO to go home.
Can the burden be sustained politically and economically for ten years more? Already Canada and the Netherlands have set timelines for withdrawing their forces, assigned now to the most violent regions of southern Afghanistan. Germany may be the next to balk. And with the American economy in shambles, can anyone envision a war whose costs will exceed one trillion dollars a decade from now? Only the neo-conservatives, if Iraq is any example, which makes it tragic that CAP has aligned itself with their strategy of the "long war."


(http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/133612&title=Why%20Is%20a%20Progressive%20Think%20Tank%20 Telling%20Obama%20to%20Escalate%20the%20War%20in%2 0Afghanistan?&topic=politics)


Tom Hayden was a leader of the student, civil rights, peace and environmental movements of the 1960s. He served 18 years in the California legislature, where he chaired labor, higher education and natural resources committees. He is the author of ten books, including "Street Wars" (New Press, 2004). He is a professor at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics last fall.

Mark Stapleton
03-28-2009, 07:22 PM
He's signed his political epitaph. Very disappointing.

Syd Walker's piece on Obama's disastrous decision is pretty good.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/03/28/obama-flunks-his-bay-of-pigs-test/

He's being pushed into war with Pakistan--by you know who.

Myra Bronstein
03-28-2009, 07:48 PM
He's signed his political epitaph. Very disappointing.

Syd Walker's piece on Obama's disastrous decision is pretty good.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/03/28/obama-flunks-his-bay-of-pigs-test/

He's being pushed into war with Pakistan--by you know who.

I don't even understand why Obama gets the benefit of the doubt. So many writers, like the one in this article, talk like he is merely listening to bad advisors when in fact Obama is part of the machine. He knows exactly what he is doing and who he is doing it for.

As Molly Ivins might say--he's dancing with the guys what brung 'im.

Peter Lemkin
03-28-2009, 08:04 PM
And by one poll I just looked at 65% of dense Americans still rate him favorably....and see him with rose-colored glasss and tinkerbell waving her wand at him. Between a new war [or an old pointless one put on steroids] and the economic China Syndrome, Obama is toast [and guilty of lying to get into office - but don't they all - don't they all].....but how long will the American Sheeple :girl: take to realize it......as always - not until its too late, I fear. :slug: The Oligarchy were just playing bad-cop / good-cop with us. Now we have the 'good-cop'.....but still fronting for the Gang in the Beltway/Boardroom Hood.

Myra Bronstein
03-28-2009, 08:33 PM
...The Oligarchy were just playing bad-cop / good-cop with us. Now we have the 'good-cop'.....but still fronting for the Gang in the Beltway/Boardroom Hood.

That is a perfect description of the American "two party" system Peter. Nicely said.

Mark Stapleton
03-29-2009, 05:40 PM
He's signed his political epitaph. Very disappointing.

Syd Walker's piece on Obama's disastrous decision is pretty good.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/03/28/obama-flunks-his-bay-of-pigs-test/

He's being pushed into war with Pakistan--by you know who.

I don't even understand why Obama gets the benefit of the doubt. So many writers, like the one in this article, talk like he is merely listening to bad advisors when in fact Obama is part of the machine. He knows exactly what he is doing and who he is doing it for.

As Molly Ivins might say--he's dancing with the guys what brung 'im.

mmm......no I disagree, Myra.

Obama inherited more problems than any incoming POTUS in recent memory. He isn't Superman.

Problem is, the system has overwhelmed him. He's tightly bound when it comes to foreign policy. If he wanted to change course, he would face a barrage of opposition from the media, the MIC, the Israel Lobby and most of the Congress. The failed system is the major problem here, not the man who has inherited the poisoned chalice, imo.

I can't see why so many writers give the Zionist Lobby a free pass. By pushing America into expensive, unwinnable wars against invented foes, Israel behaves more like America's worst enemy than a so-called ally. Clearly, Pakistan is next on America's, or should I say Israel's, list.

When will America exorcise this genocidal parasite called Israel and finally determine its own future?

Can anyone here see that Russia, China, Europe and the rest of the world are over it and desperately need both the parasite and its host to show some sanity and stop committing the world to these endless wars against enemies of their own fucking creation?

Far better to focus rage on that rather than on Obama. There'll be weak leaders aplenty until the system changes. A far stronger POTUS once said those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. The psychosis of Zionism is making peaceful revolution impossible in America and elsewhere. Kennedy's words will come back to haunt us all.

Myra Bronstein
03-29-2009, 05:59 PM
He's signed his political epitaph. Very disappointing.

Syd Walker's piece on Obama's disastrous decision is pretty good.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/03/28/obama-flunks-his-bay-of-pigs-test/

He's being pushed into war with Pakistan--by you know who.

I don't even understand why Obama gets the benefit of the doubt. So many writers, like the one in this article, talk like he is merely listening to bad advisors when in fact Obama is part of the machine. He knows exactly what he is doing and who he is doing it for.

As Molly Ivins might say--he's dancing with the guys what brung 'im.

mmm......no I disagree, Myra.

Obama inherited more problems than any incoming POTUS in recent memory. He isn't Superman.

Problem is, the system has overwhelmed him. He's tightly bound when it comes to foreign policy. If he wanted to change course, he would face a barrage of opposition from the media, the MIC, the Israel Lobby and most of the Congress. The failed system is the major problem here, not the man who has inherited the poisoned chalice, imo.

I can't see why so many writers give the Zionist Lobby a free pass. By pushing America into expensive, unwinnable wars against invented foes, Israel behaves more like America's worst enemy than a so-called ally. Clearly, Pakistan is next on America's, or should I say Israel's, list.

When will America exorcise this genocidal parasite called Israel and finally determine its own future?

Can anyone here see that Russia, China, Europe and the rest of the world are over it and desperately need both the parasite and its host to show some sanity and stop committing the world to these endless wars against enemies of their own fucking creation?

Far better to focus rage on that rather than on Obama. There'll be weak leaders aplenty until the system changes. A far stronger POTUS once said those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. The psychosis of Zionism is making peaceful revolution impossible in America and elsewhere. Kennedy's words will come back to haunt us all.

Mmm......no I disagree with your disagreement, Mark. If Obama is so well-meaning how come his cabinet is filled with the very Wall Street insiders who are behind the discredited policies that created the mess?

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/11/25/naomi_klein_robert_kuttner_and_michael

"... AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to begin right now with Naomi Klein. Your response to these appointments and what they signify? If you could begin with Larry Summers, the former Clinton Treasury Secretary.

NAOMI KLEIN: Hi, Amy. It’s good to be with you. Well, I have to say it’s a profound disappointment. And it really does represent a very safe choice, but let’s remember that Barack Obama won this election saying that taking the status quo, that staying with the same policies that have been governing the country for the recent past, was actually a very dangerous course. And I think, in many ways, we are paying the price of the—frankly, the intellectual dishonesty of the progressive liberal left during the Bush years, because Obama said again and again during the campaign that the crisis on Wall Street represented the culmination of an ideology of deregulation and laissez-faire, trickle-down economics that had guided the country for the past eight years.

And the truth is, as we all know, Amy, that it wasn’t just eight years during which those policies guided US economic policy. They certainly guided them under Reagan, and they certainly guided them under Clinton. And that’s where Larry Summers comes in, because Larry Summers was the last Treasury Secretary under Clinton. And he, along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin, were really the key architects of the policies of deregulation that created the crisis that we are living now. And those key policies, as you know, are the killing of Glass-Steagall that allowed a series of very large bank mergers that created these institutions that are too big and too intermingled to fail, we’re told again and again; the deliberate decision to keep the derivatives out of the reach of financial regulators—that was also a Summers decision; and also allowing the banks to carry these extraordinary levels of debt, thirty-three-to-one in the case of Bear Stearns.

Now, you know, in my book, I—in The Shock Doctrine, I start a chapter with a quote from Larry Summers. The context in which he said this, it was 1992, and it was when he was making World Bank economic policy as it related to Russia in the midst of a financial crisis. What he said, and this is why I quoted him, because it really shows the extent to which he is truly an ideologue, truly a follower of the very ideology—not just a follower, but a propagator of the very ideology that Obama ran his campaign against. And here’s the quote. This is Larry Summers in 1992: “Spread the truth. The laws of economics are like the laws of engineering. One set of laws works everywhere.” And then he laid out those laws a little bit later. He referred to the three “ations,” and those were privatization, stabilization and liberalization. So he has been preaching the doctrine. He is by no means sort of an innocent bystander. He is a dyed-in-the-wool privatizer, free trader.

And he, along with Tim Geithner, his deputy, played key roles during very important economic crises in other countries, in Russia, during the Asian financial crisis, during the Mexican peso crisis. And when these countries were suffering a profound economic crisis created by deregulation, they preached more deregulation, more privatization and—this is key—they preached economic austerity to disastrous results. So I think this is really troubling. And, you know, one thing that Obama said is that Larry Summers set the terms of the debate for this financial crisis, and that, once again, is very worrying, because if Barack Obama thinks that these are the only terms, the parameters of the debate, then they’re very, very narrow.
...
AMY GOODMAN: But let me ask you something, Bob. William Greider had an interesting piece in The Nation. He said, “On Monday, Geithner was busy executing the government’s massive rescue of Citicorp--the very banking behemoth that Geithner and Summers helped to create back in the Clinton years, along with Federal Reserve [chairman] Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin, Clinton’s economics guru. Now Rubin is himself a Citicorp executive and his bank is now being saved by his old protégé (Geithner) with the taxpayers’ money. […]

“Geithner has been a central player in the deal-making, from Bear Stearns to AIG to Citi. The strategy has not only failed, it has arguably made things worse as savvy market players saw through the contradictions and rushed out to dump more bank stocks.”
And ultimately, Mark Ames, also in The Nation, writes ,“Summers was one of the key architects of our financial crisis--hiring him to fix the economy makes as much sense as appointing Paul Wolfowitz to oversee the Iraq withdrawal.”

Your response, Bob Kuttner?

ROBERT KUTTNER: I basically agree.
...
NAOMI KLEIN: ...
But the key issue—and this is where we need to, I think, concentrate our energies, because it isn’t just—you know, we all want to be optimistic, but I think part of what got us into this situation where we’re seeing these very disappointing appointments has been the fact that we have not been honest about the legacy of the Clinton years. So much misinformation was spread during the election campaign, because it was a nice message to present the ’90s as these wonder years in contrast to the Bush years. And that is exactly what created a situation where you could have a Summers being presented as the wise man instead of going down with Alan Greenspan. You know, when Alan Greenspan’s reputation was raked over the coals, it should have been Rubin and Summers alongside him. And I think we have nobody to blame, really, but ourselves for that failure. So, essentially, that was an electoral strategy, and it was an electoral strategy that relied on intellectual dishonesty.

And now, I think, to continue to make excuses for Obama is a real mistake, because he’s not running for election anymore. He’s already won, so there’s no reason to be pandering in this way."

Mark Stapleton
03-29-2009, 06:10 PM
I don't get it.

Myra Bronstein
03-29-2009, 07:44 PM
I don't get it.

Finally we agree on something. ;)

Peter Lemkin
03-29-2009, 08:58 PM
Mark, He's not your President anyway. He's our President and Problem-In-Residence. Just wait and you'll see......this is Clinton-redux cum Bush-light. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Tosh Plumlee
03-29-2009, 09:08 PM
I see it as He did not have much choice... Any one who took on this can of worms and tucked it into his belt of being the President of the United States is damned if he does and damned if he dosen't. Weather anyone knows it are not, or cares to admit it.., there are things in the night creeping through our backdoors that are about to take us out one by one. The picture is not clear by any means. However, when it happens to you then let us see how you piss and moan then.

Mark Stapleton
03-30-2009, 01:06 AM
Mark, He's not your President anyway. He's our President and Problem-In-Residence. Just wait and you'll see......this is Clinton-redux cum Bush-light. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

When it comes to geopolitics he's my President as well, since Australia slavishly follows America while it chases shadows in the Middle East and beyond.

Mark Stapleton
03-30-2009, 01:34 AM
I don't get it.

Finally we agree on something. ;)

I see.

I see you're in denial about Israel, that is. At least you and President Obama have something in common there.

When America destroys itself fighting imaginary enemies for its master, I think Israel will write the same epitaph for America as the one they've written for the Palestinians--"destroyed through poor leadership". Then they'll walk away in search of a new host.

Magda Hassan
03-30-2009, 01:48 AM
Mark, He's not your President anyway. He's our President and Problem-In-Residence. Just wait and you'll see......this is Clinton-redux cum Bush-light. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

When it comes to geopolitics he's my President as well, since Australia slavishly follows America while it chases shadows in the Middle East and beyond.
Not just that, when Australia tried to regain a semblance of soveriegnty in the 1970's and dared to question the US role here the CIA put one of their plans into action. It wasn't like Chile but we still lost our government.

Myra Bronstein
03-30-2009, 02:47 AM
I don't get it.

Finally we agree on something. ;)

I see.

I see you're in denial about Israel, that is. At least you and President Obama have something in common there.

When America destroys itself fighting imaginary enemies for its master, I think Israel will write the same epitaph for America as the one they've written for the Palestinians--"destroyed through poor leadership". Then they'll walk away in search of a new host.

Oh keep your haughty assumptions to yourself, about Israel that is. I've been plenty critical about them, but I'm capable of seeing factors in addition to Israel and I'm starting to wonder if you are. I simply think that it's been obvious for a long time that Obama is knowingly advancing the insider/Wall Street/corporate/bankers' agenda. He is not a naive idealist being manipulated by others and I don't know how anyone can continue to see him as such. His policies aren't even that different from Bush's. He's just a better packaged product.

Myra Bronstein
03-30-2009, 02:48 AM
Mark, He's not your President anyway. He's our President and Problem-In-Residence. Just wait and you'll see......this is Clinton-redux cum Bush-light. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

When it comes to geopolitics he's my President as well, since Australia slavishly follows America while it chases shadows in the Middle East and beyond.
Not just that, when Australia tried to regain a semblance of soveriegnty in the 1970's and dared to question the US role here the CIA put one of their plans into action. It wasn't like Chile but we still lost our government.

Do you think Australia ever regained their autonomy from the US after the Dismissal Maggie?

Mark Stapleton
03-30-2009, 02:58 AM
Mark, He's not your President anyway. He's our President and Problem-In-Residence. Just wait and you'll see......this is Clinton-redux cum Bush-light. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

When it comes to geopolitics he's my President as well, since Australia slavishly follows America while it chases shadows in the Middle East and beyond.
Not just that, when Australia tried to regain a semblance of soveriegnty in the 1970's and dared to question the US role here the CIA put one of their plans into action. It wasn't like Chile but we still lost our government.

Do you think Australia ever regained their autonomy from the US after the Dismissal Maggie?

No, we're still bought and paid for apologists for Zionism. :adore:

Mark Stapleton
03-30-2009, 03:10 AM
Oh keep your haughty assumptions to yourself, about Israel that is.


Hey, that's exactly what the mainstream media says.

However, since the subject matter of this thread concerns Obama becoming another war President, I can't comply with your request.

Not that I disagree with you about the bankers.

The major issue of this thread--as I see it--is this: What the hell is America supposed to achieve by being in Afghanistan? What are they fighting? Terrorism, hatred, bigotry? What?

Magda Hassan
03-30-2009, 04:07 AM
Do you think Australia ever regained their autonomy from the US after the Dismissal Maggie?
No way.
But we have been such a good little doormat. The outlook of the ruling class in Australia pretty much conforms with the out look of the ruling class in the US. So in that regard is unsurprising.

I was not in the military during those events but according to my former comrades in arms who were on duty at that time and in Canberra they were on the highest alert short of an actual outbreak of war. It was expected that the 'people would revolt' and take to the streets at the actions of the Govenor General Kerr who dismissed the government and installed Fraser by decree. The sentiment to do 'something' was certainly there and thousands of people were gathered outside the parliament in Canberra and in a very black mood. But also on the steps of the parliament was one Bob Hawke then leader of the peak Trade Union body. He calmed down the situation so that there was a nice smooth transition of power back to the people who should have it. After the Fraser government was defeated 8 years later. Bob was rewarded with the Prime Ministership. He was a 'good friend of Israel' and a 'good friend of the United Sates'. A Rhodes Scholar whose father was a poor preacher in the boondocks but he retired a multimillionaire and yet is still thought of by some as the little Aussie battler's friend because he could talk the talk. but his walk was quite different. It was his government which dismantled much of the regulations and social infrastucture. Floating the AU$, privitzing government businesses, deregulating foreign investments in Australia, restricted union activities, in other words the race to the bottom. After him was another Labor man and more of the same. Then came John Howard. He was the incompetent Treasurer in the former Fraser government and a mean spirited quiet bigot of a man with a heart of lead. He was Bush's ideological soul mate. Every Australian 'leader' has begged the US to please take them on the killing missions. It was all the way with LBJ for Vietnam even if no one even knew where it was on the map in those days. Hawke insisted we be taken along for Gulf War 1. John Howard wanted to offer our military to bomb and invade Yugoslavia until Clinton reminded him that Australia is not part of NATO but then he lucked in with 911 and the aftermath in Iraq and Afghanistan and was asked by his good freind G. WW3 Bush to come and play along with Poland and Samoa. Oh, and the UK. Now Obama wants us to stay and play in Afghanistan and we probably will as we've never ever said NO. We even recognised that illegal criminal narco-state Camp Bondsteel and there was absolutely no reason to do so and every reason not to do so if looking at our interests in complying with international law.

And at present we have the embarrassing Mark Regev, an Australian, as the public face of the Israeli death machine attempting to defend the indefensible in the wanton massacre of civilians. And a very weak response from our new government on the recent bloodbath in Gaza.

The US always threaten not to share their intelligence with us if there is a slightest possibility of an independent though from our government. But 1) they don't share it all anyway 2) a fair bit of that intelligence is gathered from US bases here and 3) their intelligence looks like a bunch of BS anyway given how incompetent the intelligence agencies seem to be there.

Peter Lemkin
03-30-2009, 10:05 AM
Do you think Australia ever regained their autonomy from the US after the Dismissal Maggie?
No way.
But we have been such a good little doormat. The outlook of the ruling class in Australia pretty much conforms with the out look of the ruling class in the US. So in that regard is unsurprising.

I was not in the military during those events but according to my former comrades in arms who were on duty at that time and in Canberra they were on the highest alert short of an actual outbreak of war. It was expected that the 'people would revolt' and take to the streets at the actions of the Govenor General Kerr who dismissed the government and installed Fraser by decree. The sentiment to do 'something' was certainly there and thousands of people were gathered outside the parliament in Canberra and in a very black mood. But also on the steps of the parliament was one Bob Hawke then leader of the peak Trade Union body. He calmed down the situation so that there was a nice smooth transition of power back to the people who should have it. After the Fraser government was defeated 8 years later. Bob was rewarded with the Prime Ministership. He was a 'good friend of Israel' and a 'good friend of the United Sates'. A Rhodes Scholar whose father was a poor preacher in the boondocks but he retired a multimillionaire and yet is still thought of by some as the little Aussie battler's friend because he could talk the talk. but his walk was quite different. It was his government which dismantled much of the regulations and social infrastucture. Floating the AU$, privitzing government businesses, deregulating foreign investments in Australia, restricted union activities, in other words the race to the bottom. After him was another Labor man and more of the same. Then came John Howard. He was the incompetent Treasurer in the former Fraser government and a mean spirited quiet bigot of a man with a heart of lead. He was Bush's ideological soul mate. Every Australian 'leader' has begged the US to please take them on the killing missions. It was all the way with LBJ for Vietnam even if no one even knew where it was on the map in those days. Hawke insisted we be taken along for Gulf War 1. John Howard wanted to offer our military to bomb and invade Yugoslavia until Clinton reminded him that Australia is not part of NATO but then he lucked in with 911 and the aftermath in Iraq and Afghanistan and was asked by his good freind G. WW3 Bush to come and play along with Poland and Samoa. Oh, and the UK. Now Obama wants us to stay and play in Afghanistan and we probably will as we've never ever said NO. We even recognised that illegal criminal narco-state Camp Bondsteel and there was absolutely no reason to do so and every reason not to do so if looking at our interests in complying with international law.

And at present we have the embarrassing Mark Regev, an Australian, as the public face of the Israeli death machine attempting to defend the indefensible in the wanton massacre of civilians. And a very weak response from our new government on the recent bloodbath in Gaza.

The US always threaten not to share their intelligence with us if there is a slightest possibility of an independent though from our government. But 1) they don't share it all anyway 2) a fair bit of that intelligence is gathered from US bases here and 3) their intelligence looks like a bunch of BS anyway given how incompetent the intelligence agencies seem to be there.

Don't complain...we haven't messed around with the outback, have we?! :bootyshake:

Magda Hassan
03-30-2009, 10:24 AM
Actually we have quite a few in the out back and quite a few in the cities too.

http://www.anti-bases.org/images/AustraliaUSAbases.gif

Peter Lemkin
03-30-2009, 10:55 AM
Actually we have quite a few in the out back and quite a few in the cities too.

http://www.anti-bases.org/images/AustraliaUSAbases.gif

'Gotta covered'.....doesn't it make you feel secure and cozy? Anyway, you down-under speak the Master Race's language, if in a rather odd dialect. Cheer-up, America is Occupied, as well. :bird: :bird:

Mark Stapleton
03-30-2009, 01:06 PM
The sentiment to do 'something' was certainly there and thousands of people were gathered outside the parliament in Canberra and in a very black mood. But also on the steps of the parliament was one Bob Hawke then leader of the peak Trade Union body. He calmed down the situation so that there was a nice smooth transition of power back to the people who should have it.


Norman Gunston was also there :top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9hZ7kjgFh4

Myra Bronstein
03-31-2009, 03:08 AM
The sentiment to do 'something' was certainly there and thousands of people were gathered outside the parliament in Canberra and in a very black mood. But also on the steps of the parliament was one Bob Hawke then leader of the peak Trade Union body. He calmed down the situation so that there was a nice smooth transition of power back to the people who should have it.


Norman Gunston was also there :top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9hZ7kjgFh4

Oh good god!
Way to make an unfunny situation even unfunnier.

Magda Hassan
03-31-2009, 05:12 AM
Norman Gunston was also there :top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9hZ7kjgFh4
Good lord, I'd quite forgotten about that Mark. :hmmmm: I shall try to forget again. LOL

Mark Stapleton
03-31-2009, 08:28 AM
The sentiment to do 'something' was certainly there and thousands of people were gathered outside the parliament in Canberra and in a very black mood. But also on the steps of the parliament was one Bob Hawke then leader of the peak Trade Union body. He calmed down the situation so that there was a nice smooth transition of power back to the people who should have it.


Norman Gunston was also there :top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9hZ7kjgFh4

Oh good god!
Way to make an unfunny situation even unfunnier.

Yeah. It wasn't really the right time and place for Norman's brand of humour.

Funny though.

Dawn Meredith
06-14-2009, 06:42 PM
It just gets worse. Obama is turning into LBJ. Probably always was. I hope the "no" votes hang tough. I called my Congressman last week.

By Ryan Grim
Huffington Post

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

"We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. She wouldn't say who is issuing the threats, and the White House didn't immediately return a call. [UPDATE: White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says Woolsey's charge is not true.]

Woolsey said she herself had not been pressured because the White House and leadership know she's a firm no vote. But she had heard from other members about the White House pressure.

"Nancy's working with it. It's going to be a very close vote," Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Penn.), a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday. "We don't have any Republican leeway, so far we have no Republican going to vote for it."

"We'll pass it, but it'll be a close vote. Every vote will count," Murtha said.

Woolsey and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) are both ardent opponents of the war and no friends of the IMF, which is in line for a $100 billion extension of credit in the same bill. Both pointed out that the Democratic leadership didn't bring the bill up for a vote on Friday, indicating they weren't confident they had the votes.

"It says something that this hasn't been brought up yet," Kucinich said. "I will tell you there's a good number of members holding solid. That's why this thing hasn't passed yet."

Kucinich said he's whipping the 51 Democrats who previously voted against the war funding and also whipping Democrats who have voted against the IMF in the past. He said that tremendous pressure was being exerted on the folks leaning against it.

"This is politics, you know, there's a lot of pressure put on members," he said. "But from what I can see, people are concerned that when they go back home, they're going to have to explain why they voted for the war if their constituency' s opposed to it. People who have consistently opposed the war are going to have difficulty explaining why they switched."


"There are a lot of progressives who don't like the IMF," said Woolsey. Kucinich is making the case to colleagues that the IMF loan is merely a backdoor bailout of European banks.

Woolsey, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she held a meeting earlier this week among Democrats opposing the package but is not actively whipping against it.

The GOP is also objecting to the inclusion of IMF money in the war bill. Kucinich recalled that the last time progressive Democrats joined with Republicans to defeat a Democratic agenda item came in 1999, when 26 Democrats sided with Republicans to block President Clinton's continuing bombing of Serbia.

"Republicans had their own agenda," recalled Kucinich.

The White House may be forced to drop the IMF provision and fight for it another day, but it's a top administration priority.

"That may happen," said Kucinich. "But as long as it's in there, it's a force that's moving in the direction of defeat of the bill."