92 comments

  1. ACCmoderate says:

    Way to go attempting to dump Bush’s quagmire on Obama.

    Care to explain how we can leave Afghanistan without leaving an opening for the Taliban to re-assert itself.

    • Gerald says:

      If wanting to prevent the Taliban from re-asserting itself was a priority of ours, why on earth did we invade Iraq? Also, the Afghanis resisted the Soviets for HOW LONG? (And this was before the rise of global terror networks that have international financing, leadership and membership.) What made us think that we could overcome their resistance in 10 years, let alone 2 or 3? Especially since we basically allowed those guys to waltz right into Pakistan and wait for us to leave? How long would it have taken to build Afghanistan into a nation, economy and culture that was willing and able to keep the Taliban out? And oh yeah, what are we accomplishing by keeping the Taliban out of Afghanistan when they just moved a few miles to Pakistan? And have exported their ideology to Africa and other places?

      It is time to admit that the Afghanistan policy was a failure. Again, even if the Afghanis had the will and the national institutions required to keep the Taliban out, they would have just set up shop someplace else. This is something that conservatives would have acknowledged long ago had it been Clinton, Gore, Obama, or anyone else but some (allegedly) conservative Republican who got us into this mess. And the Iraq War? The Afghanistan mess times ten. The mission should have been to kill or capture as many terrorists as possible, not to build nations that won’t support terror, because the latter is a pipe dream. Remember the good old days when conservatives opposed nation-building? Well, if conservatives are going to join the U.N. socialists on the merits of nation-building, at least build nations that we haven’t carpet-bombed first. Or even better, at least build nations that LIKE and SUPPORT us and ASK FOR and WANT our help, not nations that will kill our soldiers and contractors.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Care to explain why you won’t let Bush’s talking-points die, yet you get upset if any correlation is made between the current administration and the last?

      Anyway, thanks to Jason, for pointing this out.

      • B Balz says:

        Anyone remember the look on POTUS face, immediately after he won the election and the NSA/CIA/Joint Chiefs had a meeting with him? They explained ‘how things really are’ and he looked like he had seen the future, and was visibly shaken.

        There was ‘seamless integration’ between the two Administrations, for the first two years.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          If by ‘seeing the future’, you mean: ‘2 more years of exactly the same thing as the last 7.’, hell, I think we’re all qualified to be fortune tellers.

      • ACCmoderate says:

        @Seenbetrdayz
        I’m not attempting to recycle a Bush talking point, I’m attempting to point out the frank reality that is Afghanistan right now.

        You’ve got a Taliban that has simply moved next door into Pakistan and is content to wait it out until the US finally decides to leave. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government is supporting the Taliban because they have 0 faith that the United States plans on seeing it through to the end and they don’t want to see an increased Indian presence in Afghanistan when the Taliban finally returns to power.

        The only reason that Pakistan is “working” with us is due to their desire not to see an uncontrollable quagmire on their western border. Meanwhile, Karzai is a joke of a leader thats proven to be more corrupt than our own John Oxendine.

        It’s a catch-22. If we leave, the Taliban moves back in and everything in Afghanistan reverts to how it was pre-9/11. If we stay, we continue to risk US lives and drain our treasury.

        We should have never gone into Afghanistan in the first place. Our mission should have been to find al-Qaeda members and deliver the sweet treat of justice.

        However, we can’t argue whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan. The truth is that we’re there now. I respect that Jason thinks we should have already left… he’s allowed to have a separate opinion from me. I happen to have the opposite opinion.

        I’m not upset when a correlation is made between the current administration and the last. I’m upset that the GOP has taken to dumping all fault for Afghanistan in the lap of Barack Obama.

        Like those antique shops say… “you break it, you own it.” If Republicans are going to now vote against Afghanistan funding, I’d like them to at least come out and admit that their initial decision was a mistake and work alongside Democrats to come up with a reasonable time-frame for how we get out of there without letting Afghanistan devolve into chaos.

    • macho says:

      If Bush had never entered Afghanistan, and Obama chose not to enter, then the Taliban would already be fully “asserted.”

      • ACCmoderate says:

        But, if we had targeted al-Qaeda instead of the Taliban, we wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars to teach a bunch of Afghans how to play soldier.

        • B Balz says:

          Moderate Arab: One that ran out of ammo.

          Does anyone see the absolute irony that the pile of rocks AKA Afghanistan brought down one superpower by sucking out its’ last bit o’cash, and is now doing the same with the opposing superpower?

          Some say there is no G’d, others say G’d has no sense of irony/humor. Both are wrong.

  2. HollyJ says:

    Wait a sec! I thought that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney told us that if you dont vote to fund the war you hate America. Why do these guys hate freedom and not support the troops?

  3. John Konop says:

    The truth, our nation building foreign policy not only is a tragic loss of life, we also cannot afford it. I have never been a big Barney Frank especially over ethical issues as well as his lack of oversight over the banking industry. But the below essay by Ron Paul and him should be read by all.

    BY Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Ron Paul
    As members of opposing political parties, we disagree on a number of important issues. But we must not allow honest disagreement over some issues to interfere with our ability to work together when we do agree.

    By far the single most important of these is our current initiative to include substantial reductions in the projected level of American military spending as part of future deficit reduction efforts. For decades, the subject of military expenditures has been glaringly absent from public debate. Yet the Pentagon budget for 2010 is $693 billion — more than all other discretionary spending programs combined. Even subtracting the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military spending still amounts to over 42% of total spending.

    It is irrefutably clear to us that if we do not make substantial cuts in the projected levels of Pentagon spending, we will do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    http://controlcongress.com/deficit-spending/why-we-must-reduce-military-spending#more-9816

    • MSBassSinger says:

      Given the growing threat of China militarily and economically, and the resurgence of a Russian empire with its military threats, it concerns me that we have so focused on nation building in a land that really doesn’t want us to build them in our image that we are unprepared.

      If China decided to take over Taiwan, and to deny passage in certain parts of the Asia-Pacific rim, all they need to do to cripple us is dump our debt on the open market, and halt exports to the US. They already have the technology (thanks to the Clinton administration) to take out a lot of our GPS and military satellites. Consider the impact of that on our economy and our military’s ability to extend itself.

      Sure, it would hurt China’s economy, but their leadership has never cared much about how many everyday Chinese they harm. And Russia would then see an open door to militarily reassert itself in the Russian border nations it once controlled.

      I am not convinced either the Democrats or Republicans really grasp how close to the precipice we are, or how very much like the 1920s-1930s global military threats are.

      • John Konop says:

        MSB,

        A very good point, and with us so economically in debt to China and dependent on their cheap goods how does blowing money on nation building help?

        • MSBassSinger says:

          When I hear so-called conservatives describe free trade as a process whereby we send manufacturing out of the US to other countries where near-slave labor can be used to reduce costs, I cringe.

          First, free trade only makes sense between relatively equivalent economies. In addition, in times of war, the lack of a domestic manufacturing base becomes a national security issue. I wonder how much of the military supplies, including advanced electronics, that would be rapidly consumed in a war defending the seas and/or Taiwan against the Chinese, and Europe against the Russians, are made outside the US and Canada?

          Having a domestic manufacturing base is a national security issue. Turning a blind eye to the use of near-slave labor so our junky purchases can be cheaper is a moral issue.

            • B Balz says:

              Never fear, the French are hear:

              http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/france-declares-war-against-579264.html

              The CIA predicted that the US would share the world stage with China by 2020. They may may been off by a few years, or not.

              There won’t be an invasion of Taiwan, unless the US becomes impotent. Remember, the World fears us because we are Cowboys and not predictable.

              Once China has subs, ICBM’s, and air delivery of nukes, the game will be different. They won’t and don’t want that.

              China was xenophobic and has not ever in 10,000 years been expansionist. That is our Western construct.

              • MSBassSinger says:

                China does have subs and ICBMs – new generation stuff improved with Western technology. Even their air force has been modernized.

                I believe the game is about to change. China expanded into Vietnam, Tibet, India, etc. They want to rule the Asia Pacific with very similar goals to those of Japan in the 1920s and 30s. I agree they are not out for “world domination” by taking over countries, but they do seek to be the top superpower.

                As to China’s history, the Han dynasty in the 1800s was quite expansionist. Since the 1st Opium War of 1839, China has defended itself, but not shown expansionism. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging the other way again.

      • Red Phillips says:

        MSBS, what is it about interventionists that they must always be conjuring up potential threats? As people become less and less fearful of “Islamofascists” crouched in a desert somewhere half-way around the world, then we are told we must fear Russia or China or whoever? But whatever the situation we must always be in a perpetual state of fear. This line of reasoning is not falsifiable. If the feared thing doesn’t happen it is because we prepared for it. But we can’t back down our military posture because if we do WE WILL ALL SURELY DIE!!!! This is a recipe for a perpetual military/security state. Threat assessments must be based on realistic intel, not Chicken Little worst case scenarios.

        That this sort of belligerent fear based foreign and defense policy is inconsistent with any type of limited government conservatism should be obvious. The purpose of the US military is to protect us from invasion and defend our proximate vital national interests, not play globo cop.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          I don’t doubt that there are still a few remnants in Russia and here in the U.S. that think our two countries are still engaged in the Cold War. But, most of us know that era is over, and are looking at a way forward.

          It is economic battle that concerns me. We didn’t defeat the USSR militarily. The main cause of the Soviet collapse was that it could not afford to maintain its empire. But now, the shoe is on the other foot; we’re in a heap of debt to China. Now it is OUR economic system that isn’t looking so great, and certainly not great enough to keep 700+ bases in 130+ countries around the world.

          I can’t imagine a war with China, certainly not with them starting it. Dead people don’t pay off debts, so for China to go to war with us would be devestating economically for both nations (that is assuming that the current conditions aren’t going to ‘do us in’ as it is). It’s in China’s best interest that we continue to trade with them, build our economy—and then give all the fruits of our labor to them, of course, when the bills come due. They have us by the balls, they know it, and all without firing a shot.

      • CadeThacker says:

        Here is the bookend video from the other one:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75ctsv2oPU

        In 1994: “How many dead americans is Sadam worth? In our judgement not very many, and I think we got that right” — Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in 1994, on option of toppling Sadam in during Gulf War I.

        “Quagmire Accomplished”

        History + YouTube = harsh mistress…

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          This is evidence that no one (D’s or R’s, or even I’s or L’s perhaps) is immune to the corrupting side-effects of power. It isn’t enough to get your party’s candidates into office, go home after election day, and sit on the couch for two more years. No! It’s the party’s job to keep those people honest and hold them accountable. The credibility of the entire party weighs heavily on the performance of those few hundred people sent to Washington, and their performance is not always principled, to be sure!

  4. Jack Smith says:

    I don’t see how leaving makes us safer. Those who read between the lines (or sometimes the lines themselves) know we continue to eliminate Al Qaeda figures over the Pakistan border with Predator strikes and commando raids.

    I don’t think anyone seriously believes (do they?) these Al Qaeda types will become peaceful basket weavers if we leave Afghanistan. I am even more amazed by the lotus-eaters who ask “why are we are there”. I suggest those individuals tour ground zero. That attack was launched from Afghanistan. That’s why we are there.

    BTW, those with a really long memory may recall the FBI poster with the hundred-odd names in Al Qaeda’s hierarchy as it existed on 9/11. At last count, 90% or so were killed by American military activity, were imprisoned or have had unexplained fatal “accidents”. I give Bush credit for that.

    Meanwhile, Obama can’t figure out how to try KSM, having spent the 2008 campaign complaining about Guantanamo and how he will have a diplomatic “reset” with Russia, the Islamists, Kim Jong Il, etc. Since then, Russia laughed, the Islamists sent the Christmas bomber and Kim Jong Il torpedoed a ROK frigate. Somehow, I don’t feel safer. Give me back W. The O is dropping the ball.

    • John Konop says:

      Jack Smith,

      What I find ironic how some in the GOP make emotional arguments to maintain the nation building foreign policy yet you do not want to pay the bill. The reality is we cannot afford this policy and it has taken down many countries in the past.

      • ACCmoderate says:

        I find it ironic that these same people were lambasting Democrats for being “un-American” when they chose not to support the huge waste of money that has turned out to be US involvement in Iraq.

        In fact, Broun Jr. was out on the campaign trail in 2006 and 2008 talking about how we needed to be committed to going the distance in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was saying that if we left, we’d be opening the door for terrorists… glad to see that Mr. Broun Jr. is the one willing to hold that door open.

        I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… we shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place. The “War on Terror” and the “Bush Doctrine” were poorly thought out. However, we can’t change the fact that we’re there and we have to understand the real-world consequences that would be involved with our departure from Afghanistan.

        If you want that country to “succeed,” and by that I mean not turn into a chaotic backwater, we’ve got to stick it out in Afghanistan.

        We should never have gotten into the practice of nation building in the first place. But, if we want to prevent another Somalia… smack dab in the Middle East… we better suck it up and get to work.

        • John Konop says:

          Early and often on this issue I pointed out the flaws to a nation building foreign policy as many know on this blog. But the reality is if you support the policy than tell me how we pay for it?

          The reason I am upset at both parties is the lack of fiscal discipline is lost on pandering unrealistic wish list to get votes.

          THE TRUTH like it or not:

          If you go to war someone has to pay for it

          The Middle East countries are tribal groups running territories and forming a strong central government at gun point is illogical. And Iraq only chilled-out when we implemented local control. And it they will have issues but it is the best working model we can hope for.

          Afghanistan is worse than Iraq via lack of natural resources and education.

          Powell doctrine was all about not becoming an occupier and getting in and out quickly. We traded this policy for the Bush/Obama doctrine and how is it working?

          No matter what we do the threat of terrorism will not go away. But an economic meltdown with our current policy was part of Bin Laden goal.

          Is Bin Laden’s Strategy Working?

          http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/is-bin-ladens-s.html

          Like it or not we will bankrupt our country if we do not get out. And Bin Laden will have won and put us at even greater risk!

          • ACCmoderate says:

            It’s the Bush Doctrine… don’t try and tack Obama’s name to it.

            The Obama administration is trying to find a way out without totally destroying the little progress we’ve made over the past 9 years.

            • ACCmoderate says:

              And the Powell Doctrine died a slow death the moment he went before the UNSC and justified the invasion of Iraq.

              The Bush/Cheney Doctrine won out because Powell went spineless.

                • polisavvy says:

                  John, from what I’ve seen, absolutely nothing. Of course, it’s always easier to blame the other guy, isn’t it?

                    • B Balz says:

                      John the only honesty is about the money. Ike warned us, it took almost 60 years, but we are a military corporation.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      You are so right about that, John. Dishonesty is of benefit to no one. What do you think should/will happen?

                    • John Konop says:

                      Polisavvy,

                      I think we should cut deals with local tribal leaders like we did in Iraq and get the hell out. And if we go back in it should be quick strikes and out with a very direct and measurable mission.

                    • John Konop says:

                      We should also make it a mission to do whatever we can to get off foreign oil from rouge countries.

                      If we do another stimulus it should be focused on rail, conservation products and the electronic grid. That would put Americans back to work and lower our trade deficit which would generate more tax revenue and less public assistance. If done right it would help balance the budget.

                      If we took the 60 billion in Afghanistan and invested in getting off Middle East oil could you image how much safer we would be?

                • ACCmoderate says:

                  He’s redoubled efforts in Afghanistan and placed more our focus there instead of on Iraq. He’s placed Petraus in charge of operations (partly because of McChrystal’s Rolling Stone interview). He’s attempted to increase our efforts to find a workable solution so we can get out of there without the house falling down.

                  Essentially, he’s taken the big steaming pile of crap that Bush left behind and tried to make the best of it.

                  I’m curious as to what you think he was supposed to do.

                  If he withdrew troops immediately, he would have been lambasted by Fox News and the GOP for not having the backbone to succeed in Afghanistan.

                  If he set a concrete timetable to withdraw troops, he would have been labeled a coward AND an idiot (see: the debate over whether or not to leave Iraq a few years ago).

                  If he decided to stay, the GOP would accuse him of wasting money on their failed war and his own base would wail and moan about how he’s not hugging enough Afghani children.

                  The dude is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If the opposition party was actually willing to sit down and talk about something with him instead of crossing their arms like a two year old in a temper tantrum, maybe we’d have a workable solution about what we do going forward in Afghanistan.

                  Has Obama done a great job on Afghanistan? No. Has he done a good job on Afghanistan? No. But… he’s at least made a decision on a course of action.

                  The Republicans are starting to sound like John Kerry. They were for the war… before they were against it.

                  • polisavvy says:

                    The damned if you do and damned if you don’t theory could have been said of Bush as well. Both of these guys were placed in very difficult situations. Both did or are doing what they think is/was best. Yes, Obama made a decision on a course of action — the one he thinks best. But, the same can be said that Bush made a decision on a course of action — the one he thought best. See, the damned if you do and damned if you don’t theory applies to both. Apparently this mindset does not know party lines.

                    • ACCmoderate says:

                      Polisavvy,

                      Damned if you do and damned if you don’t is the reality of governing. Not every situation comes with a “right way” of solving a problem.

                      If there was a clear and obvious plan for getting out of Afghanistan… we would have done it already. But, there’s no yellow-brick road out of Kabul and our President (like the CiC before him) has been tasked with finding the best way out.

                      Do I think its the best plan? No, but I think its a good start. Just because I disagree with him doesn’t mean I’m going to shut my mind off to his reasoning.

                      Our country is facing a lot of issues that don’t have these clear-cut answers. Decisions are going to be made that not everyone will agree with. This is a fact of life… not a socialist takeover.

                      There is no right-way or wrong-way. That’s why I get so fed up with the Left and the Right yelling back and forth with each other.

                      I have a hard time believing that one party is wrong on every single issue. Being so staunchly partisan is an affront to both logic and governance. Who knows… if we actually exchanged ideas instead of insults we might get somewhere.

                      I believe that Republicans and Democrats have more in common than they like to let on. So, lets start with the common ground. We’re all Americans. We all love this country. We all just want the chance to make a living, raise a family, and put a roof over our heads.

                      What’s so wrong with that?

                    • polisavvy says:

                      I have always wondered if this day would come and apparently it has — I agree with you. As I said on here a few days ago, I wish that someone would go to D.C. and, to take a line from “The American President” — “just vote your conscience, you chicken sh#t!” All this party crap is ruining this country. I wish people would recognize that.

                      People want to blame Bush or they want to blame Obama. The President(s) are not the only ones who should be blamed for this country’s problems. Congress needs to share in the blame.

                      Parties and party lines are going to end up being the demise of this country if those in power don’t vote their conscience and vote the way their constituents want them to vote. Changes needs to happen and the sooner the better.

                      Good post, by the way.

                    • ACCmoderate says:

                      “Congress needs to share the blame”

                      I agree wholeheartedly. Its amazing that with how low public approval of Congress is, we still re-elect them at a 90% clip.

          • polisavvy says:

            I agree with you. Of course, some are going to say that everything is all Bush’s fault. You know that. At some point, even when there is a change in administration, the new President has to own something, anything. So far this guys has owned nothing.

  5. Why don’t we let some of these European countries take over the Afghanistan task for a little bit? How many troops does Great Britain, France, Spain, etc. have in there? I know I’ve heard that they have some, but just how many compared to how many the US has? Do we always have to have the majority of the firepower?

  6. Red Phillips says:

    I’m sure these three will couch their vote in some way as to take a swipe at Obama, and perhaps endorse a more “Jacksonian” approach to foreign policy. I doubt any of them are on the verge of becoming Ron Paul style non-interventionists. But what is positive is that all the movement on the right on foreign policy is in the non-interventionist direction and away from uber-hawkishness and fear mongering.

  7. Ramblinwreck says:

    I think anyone who believes we should stay in Afghanistan and keep fighting this undeclared war needs to come up with a definition of WINNING. How will we know when we’ve won so we can leave? There is no way to WIN there. Ask any military force that’s tried for the last 2,000 years.

    I would not recommend that any one of my children or grandchildren enlist in the military to be sent to fight Bush’s or Obama’s wars. Attacking the US should have terrible consequence for any country, or entity, attacking us but we must get out of the role of nation building and defending other countries (South Korea, Japan, Germany/Europe) who should be able to defend themselves.

    • polisavvy says:

      I so agree with you. My older son called and told me he was thinking of joining the Air Force. I almost had a stroke. (Thank goodness he was attempting to be funny). I don’t want my sons in this (these) war(s).

      I am very pro-military; however, we really aren’t sure who ALL our enemies are. At least in previous wars we knew who we were fighting against and what we were fighting for. In this (these) war(s), we really have no idea. My heart bleeds and aches for the troops who have died during the last nine years. I don’t want mine broken so I hope my sons don’t join. However, having said that, if either were to join, I’d be proud as hell of them, that’s for sure!

      • bowersville says:

        Google Michael Yon

        Michaelyon-online.com
        or
        Michaelyon.blogspot.com

        I’ve been following Michael’s embed report for years. You’ll find his reports spot on IMHO.

        • polisavvy says:

          Thanks for the information. I’ll check him out. I’m probably going to get upset, aren’t I?

          • bowersville says:

            I’ll put it this way. It was extemely difficult for me to read while my son was serving in Afghanistan, but Michael has reported on such topics as ya’ll are talking about.

            • polisavvy says:

              Bless your heart. Please thank your son for me for his service to his country. I know you are very proud of him!

              • bowersville says:

                and Jace Walden and the many other veterans.

                Proud of them all. Many families & friends support each other during those deployments and support those deployed. “We Care” packages mailed to soldiers mean something to the soldiers and their families. For anyone interested a local veterans organization can assist you with soldier or unit addresses.

                • polisavvy says:

                  My family participated in that last Christmas. It was the most fun going shopping for the soldier. We were going to buy enough for two; however, we got so caught up in the moment that we ended up buying for five. It was one of my favorite memories of Christmas ’09!! I encourage everyone to find out about the “We Care” packages through your veterans organization and do this as a family. It sure is a great thing to do and is certainly a memory builder.

                  Sorry I digressed; however, sometimes things just have to be mentioned that are a tad off topic.

  8. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Ride Sally ride!!! Mustang Sally!!! I’m just amazed that no one has ever connected the dots and done the research. Definitely some embarrassing heads rolling 🙂 no pun intended.

    • I’m assuming your “Mustang Sally” comment here is in regards to Handel… in which case it’s totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. You’re really not presenting a case for Deal… you do realize that, right?

      • polisavvy says:

        David, I don’t consider myself a stupid person; however, I have been trying my very best for days to figure out the whole “Mustang Sally” connection. If you have figured it out, would you please enlighten me? Thanks in advance.

          • polisavvy says:

            Okay. I get it now. Duh!! My question for you is why? Why does anyone enjoy degrading anyone else? I just don’t get it. If they think it will help their candidate perhaps they should rethink it. I ended up voting for Karen because I got sick and tired of all the “abortion” and “anti-gay” talk. There are issues more important than either of those and all people could focus on was those two issues. This type of political strategy can backfire. I hope they realize that.

            • John Konop says:

              Polisavvy,

              My theory is The DEAL GANG wants to talk about anything other than real issues. They keep calling Karen a liberal yet she cut spending while Deal spent our tax money like a drunken sailor. It is sad that in a time of fiscal crisis this is all the DEAL team can talk about.

            • Doug Grammer says:

              Polisavvy,

              Bartsimpsonisdaman is not part of the “Deal crowd.” He is a Gov. Barnes supporter. I don’t know of a single person in the “Deal crowd” who enjoys degrading women. The “Deal crowd” is being defined as the candidate or hired staff. You can’t control what volunteers do in your name other than to condemn it after the fact, if you find out about it.

  9. Romegaguy says:

    Paul Broun votes last week (along with Graves) to allow for the continuation of animal porn and this week he votes against supporting our troops. No wonder he hasnt been sworn in

Comments are closed.