• Mike says, "Check and see what that did to the mood of the country." And while you're at it check and see what Obama's BFFs, Andy Stern and Bill Avery were doing for our country.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:01 p.m.

  • Legion357
    I am unable to post on the blog you posted on because of comment limitations(I guess) but I never let a challenge of substance go unanswered.

    Legion said “Good grief...

    Rewind to the 60's, the draft, Kent state,military industrial complex, cost, corruption...
    Same old McGovern/Democratic talking points. Some things never change. Suzy, yourself and Mike have brought up 3 out of the 4 lately, and you rag on independents and conservatives, accusing them of using Fox News / Rush Limbaugh talking points.
    IMO, you two, by yourselves, have drug the most outrageous late 60's democratic party talking points ever made out of past history, tried to polish them up, and present them as something ne
    I brought out those points out in a personal response to waywardwind, when he asked me why I thought a draft would have prevented “the war of choice”…. I'm not that old that I would have to pull out the old McGovern/ Democratic talking points… I could have pointed to the recent demonstrations on the college campuses in California, just because tuition went up 32% imagine if a draft came up for a vote..Too far of a stretch,OK, I can remember Chris Matthew’s college tours during the last campaign when he asked for a show of hands of students signing up to go to Iraq; about three was the maximum; whether it was Duke University, Iowa State , Alabama or Georgetown.

    Friday night, Bill Moyers of PBS showed the LBJ tapes that were recorded in the run-up to the escalation of the Vietnam War… It was very familiar to what is happening today. In an election year, Richard Nixon and Goldwater wanted LBJ to quit dithering and send all the troops that the generals wanted to escalate the war.. All the Democrats were completely opposed….After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, LBJ asked congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin War Resolution Act, It passed easily, with bipartisan support, giving the president authority to use his discretion to retaliate…. Support for the resolution came after two alleged subsequent attacks on our warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.. It was later revealed that our other two gunships were not actually attacked… The unclassified document showed that what they thought they saw; were merely radar shadows.

    How does all this tie in? We must learn from our mistakes, Vietnam had 10 government regimes in twenty months, so they were not a legitimate partner but the biggest point I was trying to make…On July 28, 1965 LBJ increased the amount of troops committed to Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000 but most importantly about that time, he raised the draft quota from 17,000 a month to 35,000 month… Check and see what that did to the mood of the country.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:52 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:46 p.m.

  • here are a few facts about afganistan that most people don't know. Throughout history only one person won there, alexander the great, since then afganistan has never been under any type of control. This is due largely to its rugged landscape and nomadic culture. To control a people who have no central form of government is an exercise of folly. The british tried and failed. The ottomans tried and failed. The russians tried and failed and so will we because the afgans have no loyalty to any form of government except their tribal leaders, who rule by blood rite. We should learn from history and do what we have to do to rid the region of as many taliban and find and kill ossama bin laden then pull out and let the afgans go back to being nomadic sheep herders like they have been for ever. All they want is to be left alone to live their lives in nomadic bliss. The only way to quote WIN is to put enough boots on the ground to take control of the areas that the terrorist now occupy by surrounding that entire region and then destroying them. the practice of going in and then pulling back to a base over and over again won't work we should have learned that lesson from viet nam. The day we quit taking ground and holding it was the day we quit winning wars. Once we figure that out then maybe we can destroy our enemies and bring our troops home. If this means telling the pakistanies to do the job or we will then so be it. As far as iran goes if we don't control them isreal will. But if that happens we will be involved in a war against 1.5 billion islamic fanatics or will have to let isreal be destroyed. Isreal has nukes and they will use them to survive!!!! On the issue of President Obama taking this long to make up his mind shows how clueless he is in world affairs. while he dithers young americans are being killed and wounded every day. He needs to either support our troops or resign if he can't. Now is not the time to be timid in world affairs because it is sending the wrong message to iran and north korea. He needs to prove that he has the guts to make the hard choice or get out of the way so someone with more backbone can. This delay just proves how unprepared he was to be the president. He has never in his life had to make a real tough choice, heck he voted present in the state and federal offices he occupied most of the time. Well thats not an option now so either take a stand or sit down and get out of the way.

    November 17, 2009 at 8:05 a.m.

  • Rollingstone

    I think the proper name for this war should be the Afghan/ Pakistan War because they're intertwined. It continues to be a war of necessity but that doesn't automatically call for an enormous American presence.IMO... According to Seymour Hersh, the nukes in Pakistan are not in danger of falling into the hands of extremist because of the fail safe procedures we have installed with the prior administrations permission…We have given the present government the cover of deniability. Our relationship with India prevents Pakistan from giving us full cooperation; then again India thinks we show too much partiality to Pakistan… And the beat goes on.

    “Drill baby drill” is an oil company business decision not a government one…I agree with ridding our dependence on oil but the world is going to electric cars.

    November 14, 2009 at 2:45 p.m.

  • I'm just trying to understand where we are going with this war. It seems like everyone agrees we can't win in Afghanstan in a reasonable amount of time and money. In addition Afghanstan is a failed state and will never be worth the effort.

    You say even if we "win" there the trouble makers will find some other place to set up camp and continue as if nothing happened. So is this or is it not a war of necessity?

    I think the key to this is Pakistan. It is their responsibility to subdue the Taliban, we can help, but if they do not, then the game seems to me to be over. Their nukes will be a problem but if Iran gets a nuke then crazies will be armed with this weapon anyway. As I said this is going to get ugly and we better have our s*it together and our fist clenched.

    In the meantime why don't we increase the tax on gasoline and diesel and maybe get rid of a lot of other taxes and reduce our dependence on oil and oh yeah, start drilling here.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:52 p.m.

  • So, are you admitting McCain was right? Or just that you were wrong?

    November 13, 2009 at 4:39 p.m.

  • Rollinstone
    That Sept. 22, 2009 LA Times article you cited mentioned Iran twice, once then as evidence of factions of Pakistani and Iranian spy services that are supporting insurgent groups that carry out attacks on coalition troops… That may be true but this same General McChrystal fabricated the report he issued on Pat Tillman's death…. He told 60 minutes that he did not read his final report..Look it up.

    McChrystal went on to single out Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency as well as the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as contributing to the external forces working to undermine U.S. interests and destabilize the government in Kabul….{The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has about 125,000 troops and is separate from the standard Iranian army.}

    November 13, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

  • Rollinstone
    I'm not claiming to know everything there is to know about what's going on in Afghanistan but at times, the military has a tendency to exaggerate, to get its way… There is more than one newspaper article. I referenced the leaks that were put out, prior to Vietnam and how they are similar to the ones that were put out prior to General McCrystal’s request for more troops but I do know the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni… Left wing, right wing, Democrat Republican should not matter in matters of war, I'm still reeling over the fact that the New York Times and Washington Post fell for the propaganda put out by Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney in the lead up to the Iraq war.

    Candidate Obama called the war in Afghanistan the “good war” and as president called it “a war of necessity.”I imagine he was sincere…. How else would a Commander In Chief describe a theater in which Americans are dying in? The military and General Petraeus and McCrystal have never used the word “WIN”, when talking about Afghanistan, in fact they have over emphasize words like “the best solution. “Everyone knows that winning and Afghanistan is not possible without a 20 year commitment, zillions of dollars, and a lot of manpower. The president did ask General McCrystal for his assessment, and to his credit the general cited the previous administration’s neglect as being the main reason we are in this predicament right now.

    I am willing to wait until the president comes back from Asia before making my mind up. ..Not that it matters.

    November 13, 2009 at 3 p.m.

  • Oops! Here is the web site.

    November 13, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.

  • And Mike, here is another right wing website claiming Iran is aiding the Taliban - actually it's the military claiming this and the news agency reporting it. I would assume they would know more about the situation there then I do and maybe even more than you do.

    When Obama called this a war of "necessity" he set himself up for failure. The military responded accordingly and ask for more troops to win this "necessary war." Now Obama says, naw I was just kidding????

    November 13, 2009 at 2:29 p.m.

  • exresident

    Of course I do not have any evidence of Iran’s nuclear bomb ambition but they do have a civilian nuclear program that can be enriched to make a bomb…. We do know that the Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have a nuclear bomb ambition, so it would not be too much of a stretch to assume that Iran thinks the same way..Not enough to warrant an air strike..… How do we know that? We have provided foreign aid and stepped in and situations to let them know United States will be there for them(treaties)… The bomb gives a certain feeling of indomitability e.g. North Korea

    November 13, 2009 at 11:24 a.m.

  • exresident

    The general in the CBS story admitted that the evidence was thin but at the same time I have no reason to believe that a black market in America, Iraq or Iran, checks Id, when they sell their weapons, so it will not surprise me that weapons made in Iran find their way into Afghanistan or Iraq.

    The point is, during the first invasion of Afghanistan, Iran was looking out for its own interests because they did not want Al Qaeda in their backyard…. That's the key; we have a common enemy that we might use as a bargaining chip to dissuade Iran’s nuclear bomb ambition.

    November 13, 2009 at 10:54 a.m.

  • That is well known that Iran was meddling in Afghanistan but they were not helping the 100 or so, Al Qaeda fighters…. The fight in Afghanistan is in the southern and eastern region so Iran will not be as much of a threat as the people that do not want us occupying their country.

    November 13, 2009 at 10:31 a.m.

  • I referenced my remarks from this right wing website -

    November 13, 2009 at 10:21 a.m.

  • Rollingstone, you are repeating John McCain’s mistake..Al Qaeda (Sunni) hates the Shiites (Iran)

    This is the incident I was talking about.
    “We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back,’’ Mr. McCain said at the news conference. Asked about that statement, Mr. McCain said: “Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

    It was not until he got a whispered correction from Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who was traveling with Mr. McCain on the trip, which is a Congressional delegation, that Mr. McCain corrected himself.

    The supply situation is downright disgraceful.
    We are supplying the Taliban the funds for their war against us… We pay civilian contractors to truck our supplies through various Taliban checkpoints… The civilian contractors bribe the Taliban in order to get the supplies through… We should at least cut out the middleman and save some money.

    “Our main weapon is air power we are going to need it before this is over.”

    Our only mission is to try to persuade the Taliban and the remaining Afghans not to let Al Qaeda set up training camps in their country… How will indiscriminate bombing do that?

    November 13, 2009 at 10:19 a.m.

  • Reyrey
    Your words ring true because only one half of 1% (that's including family and friends) have a direct relationship with Afghanistan or Iraq.

    We cannot leave in an abrupt fashion because of the devastation it would cause but as Defense Secretary, Robert Gates said yesterday” We need to know when off -ramps are.”… The era of open-ended wars is over. (I hope)

    November 13, 2009 at 10:03 a.m.

  • The Afghan War has changed from when we easily routed the Taliban and Al Qeada with a few Special Forces soldiers and help from the Northern Alliance. They have reemerged better organized and equipped. They are now being supplied by Iran and may even have refuge there.

    So the war is a lot more complicated now and it has the potential to become much larger. In addition getting supplies into Afghanistan is very difficult and becomes more so as more troops are sent there.

    Iran would like nothing better than to see us bogged down in a protracted war of attrition in Afghanistan. The situation is made more serious with a nuclear armed Iran. Once they get the uranium refined which I believe they have already done the bomb is fairly simple to build.

    Our main weapon is air power we are going to need it before this is over.

    November 13, 2009 at 9:53 a.m.

  • blue_marble
    President Obama has never been comfortable with the idea of sending troops just because of a commanding general’s request. There is that face-off prior to and after the election between General Petraeus and Barack Obama…. New Yorkers, Seymour Hersh said that this president is taking full command of the situation. Last night MSNBC's Rachel Maddow guest, Gordon Goldstein (author of Lessons in Disaster) told of similarities between the actions of JFK and President Obama, when it came to dealing with a war. The author said that a commanding general leaked information to the press that stated that the United States would need to send a certain amount of troops to Vietnam..JFK (as an anonymous high-level source) leaked a contradictory report that said that we should not escalate that war by sending more troops….JFK sent General Max Taylor to Vietnam to survey the situation for him much like the latest report coming in from Ambassador Eikenberry. There are rumors of President' Hamid Karzai's mental stability.

    As for his decision to delay.
    1. Events are changing everyday
    2. He should take his time because our options are not that great.
    3. He must inform our allies before he announces it to the American people.
    4. The high unemployment numbers will do more harm, than his decision on Afghanistan.
    5. He is currently on an Asian trip, so he will not announce a strategy until he comes back

    November 13, 2009 at 9:53 a.m.

  • Legion357
    We know that they are about 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan because that's what our intelligence tells us… During an interview, General Petraeus acknowledged that… Simple way to tell the Taliban from Al Qaeda… Al Qaeda is more of a secular group hijacking Islam to promote their cause in worldwide terrorism, and the Taliban are more of a fundamentalist religious group trying to inflict their will on one particular country, Afghanistan.

    The initial reaction after 9/11 was not to make a wasteland out of Afghanistan… The initial reaction was a CIA led invasion with only about 300 Special Forces because we relied heavily on the Northern Alliance and our allies to turn the country back over to the people of Afghanistan.. We destroyed the training camps and about 75% of Al Qaeda until we decided to take a detour to Iraq. We had the cooperation of our willing allies (even Iran) the interpreters and other resources to make a difference… That is water under the bridge.

    November 13, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.

  • Here is my take on this. We go in and kick their ass but we dont have enough troops to hold the land just taken. Option one, get more troops to control the land or leave a small group and have this group get kill because there is not enough of them to defend the land. Option two, get out. Now, which one do you think is more likely going to happen? We are not leaving in the next few years, wishful thinking if you think that is going to happen. Now, to a general that is sitting in a nice protected building, not a biggie. To the soldier in that little outpost, it is a big deal to have as much support as possible. So, when you talk about sending or not sending, think about the soldier and not the politician.

    November 12, 2009 at 10:34 p.m.

  • Mike did I miss something along the way? "This war is tied with the American Revolution as our second longest war,next to the 11 year Vietnam War". I don't recall the US ever issuing a declaration of war against either Iraq or Afghanistan or Vietnam for that matter.

    November 12, 2009 at 7:55 p.m.

  • Well Bm, the next election campaign started on inauguration day don't you know.

    November 12, 2009 at 6:52 p.m.

  • It has now been announced this evening that Obama will not announce anthing related to Afghanistan until after Thanksgiving.

    First it was not to be announced got it the house voted on the medical bill. Now he is not going to say any thing until uh uh wait uh wait any one want to make a bet it strings out as long as the medical care bill is in the senate.

    Making anytype of decision could be the sitting democrats in jepordy (sp?) in there districts. He does not want to risk loosing any seats in his party. All these delays are nothing more than political jocking instead of real cerebral decision making.

    November 12, 2009 at 6:35 p.m.

  • "It is said that there are about 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan "

    Do tell? How does whoever that says that actually know? A Afghan census perhaps?

    How exactly does anyone know whether a fighter is simple a Taliban fighter or a Al Qaeda fighter? By the difference in the uniforms they wear?

    Anyway, Afghanistan has always been a tribal country,if you can call it a country, area fits better, always will be.

    I don't know if that can ever be changed.
    I do know that after the Soviet attempt to change the country failed, the tribal warlords somehow allowed the Taliban to gain control of Afghanistan, and the Taliban did support, or allow Al Qaeda to run training bases and plan their terrorist attacks.

    Perhaps the initial reaction after 9/11 was right...make a wasteland out of the whole country and be done with it.

    November 12, 2009 at 6:29 p.m.

  • Afghanistan is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world but some senators are calling for a “Surge” in Afghanistan… Comparing Iraq to Afghanistan’s is ridiculous….. The increase in troops was not the only reason the Surge worked in Iraq.

    These are some of the other reasons:

    1. Al Qaeda became like a bad brother-in-law to the Sunni, so we made a deal with the Sunni in Iraq not to kill American soldiers, six months before the Surge.
    2. The ethnic cleansing of Baghdad by the Shia.
    3. The concrete barriers in Baghdad, manned by our military, separated the Shia from the Sunni
    4. The sheer exhaustion of continuing car bombings, roadside bombs, and being without electricity and a normal life.

    BTW there are only 117,000 troops in Iraq, I said it was 130,000 in a recent posting.

    It is said that there are about 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan

    November 12, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.

  • Mike...Calling whatever is happening in Kabul a "government" is being way generous. You're right about their being in the 15th century and I seriously doubt they'll ever progress to the 16th.

    November 12, 2009 at 5:05 p.m.

  • What exactly makes our puppet regime in Kabul the "rightful owners" of Afghanistan?”

    That's a good question but I guess I should have clarified that sentence by saying; we are not the rightful owners and never will be…. Afghanistan is still in the 15th-century and the Taliban controls 80% of the country, so winning the hearts and minds (counterinsurgency) is next to impossible.

    November 12, 2009 at 4:16 p.m.

  • It is well-known that the “Surge” was supposed to be cover for political reconciliation… This has not happened… When the “Status of Forces Agreement” goes into full force in 2011, and we are required to pull the remaining 130,000 troops, the country might go back into a state of chaos… The “Surge” allowed our troops to move out of the larger cities where we were becoming targets but it did quell the violence, temporarily but success can only be measured after we leave.….

    November 12, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.

  • Johnny, Mike is beyond all belief when it comes to defending the indefensible. There is no action, no matter how egregiously wrong, by the great B. Hussein that he cannot spin favorably. The website, must have been created with him in mind.

    November 12, 2009 at 3:40 p.m.

  • What do you mean by this:
    "the surge in Iraq and its temporary success"

    Seems to me the surge has resulted in a relatively lasting success in regards to the marked reduction to the scope and scale of the insurgency. Note: I avoided the use of permanent as nothing political in nature is such. It seems to me you may be taking the other extreme in the use of "temporary". But that would be a nebulous use of temporary in the context of well extended periods, not in the more common usage to mean "fleeting".

    Then again, it is likely just another stone you toss because of who ordered the surge. I'm sure if your messiah had pulled that trigger, you're term would be "a lasting peace".

    BTW, have you seen the burning Obama thing in China? Pretty disturbing.

    November 12, 2009 at 3:04 p.m.