Thursday, December 3, 2009
Part Three: Obama: Our Newest War President, Just Another Fraud & Hypocrite
MORE ARTICLES ON OBAMA'S WARS
Again: "We reap what we sow and chickens come home to roost."
"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" -Mark Twain
Obama's Af-Pak is as Whack as Bush's Iraq
By Glen Ford
[I received this from Information Clearing House: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24107.htm Please also see source at:
“More occupation means less occupation.”
December 03, 2009 " BAR" Dec. 02, 2009 -- Barack Obama’s oratorical skills have turned on him, revealing, as George Bush’s low-grade delivery never could, the perfect incoherence of the current American imperial project in South Asia. Bush’s verbal eccentricities served to muddy his entire message, leaving the observer wondering what was more ridiculous, the speechmaker or the speech. There is no such confusion when Obama is on the mic. His flawless delivery of superbly structured sentences provides no distractions, requiring the brain to examine the content – the policy in question – on its actual merits. The conclusion comes quickly: the U.S. imperial enterprise in Afghanistan and Pakistan is doomed, as well as evil.
The president’s speech to West Point cadets was a stream of non sequiturs so devoid of logic as to cast doubt on the sanity of the authors. “[T]hese additional American and international troops,” said the president, “will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.”
Obama claims that, the faster an additional 30,000 Americans pour into Afghanistan, the quicker will come the time when they will leave. More occupation means less occupation, you see? This breakneck intensification of the U.S. occupation is necessary, Obama explains, because “We have no interest in occupying your country.”
“The U.S. imperial enterprise in Afghanistan and Pakistan is doomed, as well as evil.”
If the Americans were truly interested in occupying Afghanistan, the logic goes, they would slow down and stretch out the process over many years, rather than mount an 18-month surge of Taliban-hunting. The Afghans are advised to hold still – the pulsating surge will be over before they know it.
At present, of course, the Americans have assumed all “responsibility” for Afghanistan – so much so that President Hamid Karzai only learned about Obama’s plans earlier on Tuesday during a one-hour tele-briefing. This is consistent with Obama’s detailed plans for Afghan liberation, under U.S. tutelage. The president is as wedded to high stakes testing of occupied peoples as he is for American public school children. “This effort must be based on performance. The days of providing a blank check are over,” said the Occupier-in-Chief. He continued:
“And going forward, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. We will support Afghan Ministries, Governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and deliver for the people. We expect those who are ineffective or corrupt to be held accountable.”
Such rigorous oversight of their country’s affairs should keep Afghan minds off the fact that they have been fighting to remain independent of foreign rule for centuries, if not millennia. If Obama is right, Afghans might also be distracted from dwelling on the question of who their “Ministries, Governors, and local leaders” are answerable to – the Afghan people or the Americans?
“Obama advises Afghans to be patient and trusting regarding their sovereignty.”
Although President Obama is anxious to bring U.S. troop levels above 100,000 as quickly as possible, he advises Afghans to be patient and trusting regarding their sovereignty. “It will be clear to the Afghan government, and, more importantly, to the Afghan people, that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country." That is, it will become clear in the fullness of time, but hopefully no later than 18 months after the planned surge begins. If all goes well, the Taliban will be dead or nearly so, and the non-Taliban Afghans will be prepared to begin assuming “responsibility for their own country.” If not, then the Americans will be forced to continue as occupiers – reluctantly, of course, since, as the whole world and the more intelligent class of Afghans know, the Americans “have no interest in occupying your country” – unless they have to. [Yes, Of Course!]
Should the Afghans become confused about American intentions, they might consult with their Pakistani neighbors, for whom President Obama also has plans.
“[We] have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe-haven for terrorists whose location is known, and whose intentions are clear,” the president declared. “America is also providing substantial resources to support Pakistan's democracy and development. We are the largest international supporter for those Pakistanis displaced by the fighting.”
Obama did not mention that it was the Americans that coerced and bribed the Pakistani military into launching the attacks that displaced over a million people in the Swat region and hundreds of thousands more in border areas. How nice of them to join in humanitarian assistance to the homeless.
The Pakistanis, like the Afghans, were assured the Americans will not abandon them to their own, independent devices. Said Obama: “And going forward, the Pakistani people must know: America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan's security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.”
Some Pakistanis might consider that a threat. According to polling by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, only 16 percent of Pakistanis held a favorable view of the United States in 2009. Actually, that’s a point or two higher than U.S. popularity in Occupied Palestine (15 percent) and Turkey (14 percent), the only other Muslim countries on the Pew list.
Not to worry. Obama knows things that escape the rest of us. For example, the fact that “we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim World - one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict, and that promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity.”
Which means, we can expect those polling numbers to start going up, soon.
“Only 16 percent of Pakistanis held a favorable view of the United States in 2009.”
When Obama isn’t launching bold initiatives and “new beginnings,” he’s busy taking care of U.S. imperial business as usual. Obama is most proud that the U.S. spends more on its military than all the rest of the nations of the planet, combined.
“[T]he United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades,” he told the cadets, “a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, markets open, billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress, and advancing frontiers of human liberty.” Others might not view the rise of U.S. hegemony in such a positive light. But they are wrong, said the president. “For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation's resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours.”
In Obama’s worldview, it’s the thought that counts. Americans don’t seek world domination; it just comes to them. “We do not seek to occupy other nations,” they leave us no choice. If it were not for American concern for the welfare of all the world’s people, the U.S. would not maintain 780 military bases in other people's countries.
Obama has certainly matured as an American-style statesman in his nine and a half months in office. As a TV Native American might say, “Black man in white house speak like forked tongued white man.” Only better.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
"Whenever a people... entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.": A Framer
The Poverty Draft
Do military recruiters disproportionately target communities of color and the poor?
by Jorge Mariscal
Bleak U.S. job market boosts military recruitment
Tue, Oct 13 2009
"Curtis Gilroy, a senior Pentagon official, said a 10 percent increase in the national unemployment rate generally translates into a 4 percent to 6 percent 'improvement in high-quality Army enlistments.'"
Is President Obama’s Surge A Trap?
By Cynthia McKinney
December 03, 2009 "Global Research" December 2, 2009 -- :
President Obama announced both his decision to add 30,000 U.S. troops to the mire in Afghanistan and his desire to see other countries and N.A.T.O. match his surge. Thanks to U.S. taxpayers, mercenaries will continue to be a part of the foreign presence in Afghanistan. The Republicans support the President’s move and are expected to reward President Obama with the bulk of their Congressional votes to pass his plan.
However, there is deep disquiet today within the ranks of the President’s own base in the Democratic Party, with independents, and with middle-of-the-roaders called “swing” voters. In unprecedented numbers, voters in the United States of all previous political persuasions went to the polls and invested their dreams and, most importantly, their votes in the “hope” and “change” promised by the Obama campaign. But in light of the President’s defense of Bush Administration war crimes and torture in U.S. courts, the transfer of trillions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to the wealthy banking elite, continued spying on environmental and peace activists as well as support for the extension of the Patriot Act, and removal of Medicare-for-all (single payer) as a central feature of proposed health care reform, Obama voters are rethinking their support.
Already, according to a Daily Koss report written by Steve Singiser: “Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will ‘definitely not vote’ in 2010 than are Republicans.” By contrast, Republicans are happy today. Almost giddy with glee as far as I can see. Warmonger John McCain and most Republicans will make sure the President gets what he wants. And in 2012, they will abandon their support of this President and support the candidate that comes from their base.
War-weary voters in this country are committed to peace. They reject the notion, as put forward by Vice President Dick Cheney that “the American way of life” is something worth fighting for when that means that war becomes an energy policy.
Tragically, the major unstated U.S. interest in the region that the President has bought into is the unacceptability of a proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (I-P-I) pipeline at a time when our country is saber-rattling against and threatening Iran with more sanctions. Earlier this year, Iran and Pakistan decided to move forward with their pipeline even if India decides to drop out. Ironically, I-P-I is also known as the “peace pipeline.”
The alternative pipeline route, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (T-A-P-I), is supported by Washington because it denies an important economic benefit to Iran. Sadly, nowhere in the President’s remarks did he mention the pipeline on which construction is slated to begin in 2010.
U.S. policy is not only guided by pipeline politics. There is also the consideration of chessboard geo-positioning necessary to contain Russia, China, and ensure U.S. empire—for those inclined to traditional Cold Warrior “containment” thinking. Apparently, behind what some are calling a “shadow war in Muslim lands,” are targeted assassination teams that have wreaked tri-border havoc in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Fortunately, this time around, I’m convinced that U.S. voters will vote for peace. President Obama has now ensured this outcome. Imagine, John McCain and Joe Lieberman have just been made very happy by the President’s choice while that same choice leaves swing voters, independents, and some Democrats who enthusiastically supported Obama’s campaign looking for somewhere else to go.
© Copyright Cynthia McKinney, Global Research, 2009
President Obama's Secret:
Only 100 al Qaeda Now in Afghanistan
With New Surge, One Thousand U.S. Soldiers and $300 Million for Every One al Qaeda Fighter
By RICHARD ESPOSITO, MATTHEW COLE and BRIAN ROSS
December 03, 2009 "ABC News" - Dec. 2, 2009 — As he justified sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at a cost of $30 billion a year, President Barack Obama's description Tuesday of the al Qaeda "cancer" in that country left out one key fact: U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABCNews.com the approximate estimate of 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan reflects the conclusion of American intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. The relatively small number was part of the intelligence passed on to the White House as President Obama conducted his deliberations.
President Obama made only a vague reference to the size of the al Qaeda presence in his speech at West Point, when he said, "al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same number as before 9/11, but they retain their safe havens along the border."
A spokesperson at the White House's National Security Council, Chris Hensman, said he could not comment on intelligence matters.
Obama's National Security Adviser, Gen. James Jones, put the number at "fewer than a hundred" in an October interview with CNN.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., referred to the number at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October, saying "intelligence says about a hundred al Qaeda in Afghanistan."
As the President acknowledged, al Qaeda now operates from Pakistan where U.S. troops are prohibited from operating. "We're in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country," he said.
Intelligence officials estimate there are several hundred al Qaeda fighters just across the border in Pakistan.
An Obama administration official said the additional troops were needed in Afghanistan to "sandwich" al Qaeda between Pakistan and Afghanistan and prevent them from re-establishing a safe haven in Afghanistan.
"Pakistan has been stepping up its efforts," the official said.
"So the real question is will Pakistan do enough," said former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.
"What if they take all the money we given them but don't really follow through? What the strategy then?" said Clarke.
With 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at an estimated yearly cost of $30 billion, it means that for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S. will commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year.
al Qaeda's Ideological Influence
Other counter-terror analysts say the actual number of al Qaeda in Afghanistan is less important than their ability to train others in the Taliban and have ideological influence.
"A hundred 'no foolin' al Qaeda operatives operating in a safe haven can do a hell of a lot of damage," said one former intelligence official with significant past experience in the region.
At a Senate hearing, the former CIA Pakistan station chief, Bob Grenier, testified al Qaeda had already been defeated in Afghanistan.
"So in terms of 'in Afghanistan,'" asked Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., "they have been disrupted and dismantled and defeated. They're not in Afghanistan, correct?"
"That's true," replied Grenier.
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures
Bipartisan Group of Legislators Opposes Increasing Troops in Afghanistan
Thursday 03 December 2009
by: Mary Susan Littlepage, t r u t h o u t | Report
A bipartisan group of legislators wrote a letter to President Barack Obama to oppose his call to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan. The group consists of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.).
Feingold, McGovern and Jones said they think that Congress should debate and vote on an increase in troops for the eight-year war in Afghanistan. The bipartisan group also opposes the increase because the three men said they think it could undermine the United States' ability to address the global threat posed by al Qaeda, and they expressed concern for the loss in lives and resources from the war, as well as concern that the war creates many mental health troubles such as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among many soldiers.
In the letter, the members wrote,"Congress should vote on whether to continue an armed nation-building campaign in Afghanistan that has already cost the lives of over eight hundred brave American men and women and hundreds of billions of dollars."
When President Obama gave his presidential address on Tuesday night, he said that we owe our people and troops a complete review of the war in Afghanistan and that it is a vital necessity to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, starting in early 2010, to target the insurgency and secure key population centers. "I do not make this decision lightly," Obama said.
Obama estimated that $30 billion would be spent this year on the war in Afghanistan, and he said the security of not only Americans but also people in Afghanistan and Pakistan is at stake. He said he aims for the troops to disrupt and dismantle al Qaeda and to deny al Qaeda a safe haven for violent extremism in Afghanistan. Obama also said he aims to start sending troops home after 18 months and hopes for a "responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan."
Feingold, McGovern and Jones wrote the president, "We appreciate your thoughtful deliberation on this topic and commend you for saying when you will begin to reduce our large-scale military presence in Afghanistan.†But we cannot support your decision to prolong and expand a risky and unsustainable strategy in the region.
"While we support ongoing civilian engagement in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts in the region, we do not believe more American lives should be risked to support an illegitimate, corrupt government fighting what is largely a civil war."
Obama said that extra troops in Afghanistan would increase the United States' ability to train competent Afghan security forces and to partner with them so that more Afghanis can get into the fight and so that the troops will help create the conditions for the US to transfer responsibility to the people in Afghanistan.
The three congressmen said that sending more troops to Afghanistan is "unlikely to help, and could hurt, our efforts to address al Qaeda's safe haven in Pakistan." Also, they said al Qaeda and its affiliates are also located in Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and other places around the world." Rather than investing so many of our resources in Afghanistan, we should pursue a comprehensive, global counterterrorism strategy," they said.
Feingold, McGovern and Jones expressed doubt that the US military objectives that the Obama administration has identified may not be achievable and that a troop buildup could be counterproductive. "There is a serious danger that the ongoing, large-scale US military presence will continue to provoke greater militancy in the region and further destabilize both Afghanistan and nuclear-armed Pakistan," they said. "The pursuit of unrealistic nation-building goals is making it harder to isolate members of al Qaeda from those who do not have an international terrorist agenda."
The group of congressmen also expressed concern for the strain that sending extra troops to Afghanistan would put on people in the military and their communities.
"In spite of the military's best efforts, suicide and post-traumatic stress rates continue to soar," they said. "The ability of individual service members and their units to rest, recuperate, retrain and re-equip themselves for redeployment is stretched beyond its limits. Finally, our ability to care for the wounded is severely over-burdened."
Also, Feingold, McGovern and Jones said they are really concerned about the cost of sending more troops. "At a time when our country faces record deficits, and many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, it simply does not make sense to spend tens of billions of dollars to escalate our military involvement in Afghanistan," they said.
They asked Obama to reconsider his decision and urged him not to send any extra troops to Afghanistan "until Congress has enacted appropriations to pay for the cost of such an increase, and that you propose reductions in spending to pay for the cost of any military operations in Afghanistan."
Such an important decision shouldn't be made without the support of the American people and their representatives in Congress, they said."History has shown that our national security is often best served when the political branches work together to form a consensus on major strategic decisions," they said. "Congress should vote on whether to continue an armed nation-building campaign in Afghanistan that has already cost the lives of over eight hundred brave American men and women and hundreds of billions of dollars."