Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Democratic Underground A Plus for Obama Afghanistan?

What IS US presence in Afghanistan all about?

That question was posed before Barack Obama was elected President when Obama included the potential during remarks while on the campaign trail to the White House.

The question is posed, now that President Obama made his decision and committed more troops in Afghanistan until, 18 months from now.

The question wiill continue to be posed by any number of thinking people throughout the oops can't say occupation, right? Can't say illegal war, right? Can't say impeachement process, right?

Let's see what happened over at Democratic Underground on the questions over Afghanistan. OK.

Net the Truth Online

Afghanistan: Obama Drops The Other Shoe

Michael Brenner
Senior Fellow, the Center for Transatlantic Relations
Posted: November 30, 2009 11:12 AM

The sham Afghanistan strategic review is now revealed for the empty exercise it always was. Escalation was inescapable, for Obama's staunch promotion of a 'necessary war' precluded a serious reappraisal of stakes and risks. Reversing himself would have demanded the kind of courage that is wholly foreign to him. So we are left with an open-ended commitment to an unwinnable war. That outcome speaks volumes about the failings of Obama as a leader as much as his impaired judgment.

The entire process reeks with dishonesty -- a double dishonesty. The White House deceived the country in advertising a root and branch critical analysis of the reasons for our engagement in Afghanistan that never took place. Also, the White House deceived itself in making believe that endless discussions over variations of the same strategy addressed core issues. All of the participants shared the same key assumptions that never have been questioned.


Obama’s War Speech:
An Unconvincing Flop

by Justin Raimondo, December 02, 2009

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After 92 days of waiting for the Word from on high, the nation received its marching orders from our commander-in-chief – and it was a flop of major proportions. As his West Point audience looked on disdainfully – applauding only twice, and then tepidly – President Obama tried to make the case that his escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is really just a prelude to withdrawal. But is it?

"It is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. … As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda … Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban – a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere."

Those who were hoping for some real change in our rhetoric, if not our foreign policy, with Obama in the White House are no doubt sorely disappointed right now, because George W. Bush could just as easily have spoken these very same words – and, indeed, he did utter endless variations on this identical theme when justifying our actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the truth of the matter is that there are barely one-hundred al-Qaeda fighters in the whole of Afghanistan – so what are we doing there?

And just in case you were wondering how we are fighting a war without congressional authorization, Obama brings up the legacy of his predecessor, which he stands by without reservation:

"Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them – an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 – the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America , our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network, and to protect our common security."

We’re good, we’re legal, this war is legitimate – but is it? There’s no al-Qaeda of any consequence in Afghanistan – so, I ask again, what are we doing there? Nowhere does Obama effectively answer this question, and that is the underlying weakness of this, his worst ever speech. We also get a bit of revisionist history – the kind that isn’t an improvement over the mainstream variety:

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