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03:31 PM on 05/06/2012
As "Ike" Eisenhower, the five-star General of the Army that he was, succinctly observed ... the institution that he named "the military-industrial complex" has never actually "ended" one single war it ever engaged in since World War II. Korea is not ended; Vietnam is not ended; Afghanistan and Iraq will never end. There will =always= be a "vital" need for another billion-dollar bomber; another hundred million dollar drone weapon system (including drones to help domestic police forces combat the Al-Quaeda operatives that are SURELY(!) popping out from underneath every manhole cover.

"War for War's own sake." Trillions upon trillions of dollars' worth ... where those "trillions of dollars" are to come from, who really cares: they're in OUR pockets, and to a lesser extent in the pockets of every government official who played an oh-so willing part.
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03:49 PM on 05/06/2012
Yep. We're toast. The takeover came from the inside, not from any external enemy. We have lost America to the MIC-liban .
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Cynthia Rays
peace in the valley seeker
05:03 PM on 05/06/2012
Very true. We justify the wars saying we are going to "fix" a problem and it will be done. We don't have to worry about it anymore, then 20 years later it pops up as a troubled spot and we act surprised. We don't seem to plan ahead what the consequences of our actions will be.
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02:27 PM on 05/06/2012
Afghanistan is a house you can't beat. You can double down in hopes of breaking even, but the longer you play-- the more you're gonna lose. Eventually you'll run out of money and are forced to walk away. The house always wins.
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02:24 PM on 05/06/2012
something i would like explained: how do you plan to justify leaving the national security of the US in the hands of a state that is nominal, corrupt and not the source of regional nationalism?

something i dont understand: why has it taken 10 years and 100,000 troops to kill or capture a list of 400 terrorists?

something i am concerned about: if Afghanistan was at war and conscription was an option it wouldnt take 10 years to accomplish the task, so why are you asking me to stomach this narrative?
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01:47 PM on 05/06/2012
Obama's so -called "policy" in Afghanistan is a bunch of baloney for which America is suffering. I hope that this latest agreement holding us hostage until "at least" 2024 is thrown out by Congress, as it deserves to be. While I have no use for Romney, Obama can whistle for my vote in November unless he stops the nation building nonsense in Afghanistan.
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BigWetTears
Feeling Your Pain as the Oceans Rise
01:19 PM on 05/06/2012
Don't we have some really BIG Bombs? . . why? . . glass is useful . .
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
10:36 AM on 05/06/2012
Italics mine.

Cameron (and Obama) ...dare not tell the truth while troops are in the battlefield (and) talk(s) of leaving "when Afghan forces can defend themselves"...or "when the streets of London (and Washington D.C.) are safe", which is never.

The foreign secretary...forgets the warning of Chatham, father of his hero, Pitt, against a nation betraying itself "by its own credulity, through...false hope, false pride and promised advantages of the most romantic and improbable nature".


...nuclear terror...allowed democracies to grant their leaders extraordinary power to "push buttons"...to declare "one-man wars" without customary deliberation. ...presidents (and prime ministers) abused it. Nixon assert(ed)...a crime, "when the president does it, is not a crime".Cheney and Bush could bring kidnap, detention, assassination and torture within the discretion of "commander in chief". If domestic politics required it, the president would find and wage war. Cheney made eight trips to the CIA's headquarters demand(ing) it prove a link between Iraq and 9/11. When evidence of (an) Iraq(i) WMD was not forthcoming, Cheney–like Blair–asserted "There is no doubt Saddam Hussein now has (WMDs)."

... (re: ) Weimar Germany. People knew what was happening but dared not say. ...courts, habeas corpus, civil liberty, freedom of speech, fearless intelligence – fell down before "national security" ...Politics ceased to lubrica(te) democracy and became...its poison.

There comes a point in any conflict...where sheer exhaustion on the ground draws feuding participants to some accommodation. In Afghanistan, continued occupation and killing merely delays (it)."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/08/afghanistan-catastrophe-chilcot
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
ekim gnitlon
12:14 PM on 05/06/2012
You simply fail to mention that Pakistan is an unstable government with nuclear weapons. As long as this is the case the United States will not leave until the Afghanis stop threatening Pakistan. We need to know that Pakistan our ally will remain strong. The US does not wish those weapons to fall into the wrong hands. We feel we need to continue rebuilding these nation-states in order to thwart any Pakistani coup d'etat. The President has said that even after our combat troops leave we will continue to train Afghanis to quell unrest. We want this region to be stable. This is our policy and no one is being deceptive about it as you have intimated. Yes we could be there forever. We will not get exhausted we will remain vigilant.

Bush and Cheney tried to create a nuclear rogue state. REALITY CHECK! Pakistan could fall into the wrong hands and really become a rogue nuclear state. I want Peace as much as you do but in this case, unlike Iraq, I believe our efforts are necessary.

Your first paragraph and last paragraph are tied together. Your interceding historical examples are loosely relevant. I would like it if you made your argument for peace more cogent.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
12:42 PM on 05/06/2012
You don't get it do you. As unstable as Pakistan may have been, we've made that instability worse with our occupation of Afghanistan. Left to the likes of you, we'd have to occupy Afghanistan forever. You apologists never learn.
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jerryengelbach
Working class heritage
01:26 PM on 05/06/2012
A small American presence in Afghanistan will not be effective at anything.

The Afghan government is already mired in corruption and will only worsen.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan and a stable government will do nothing to prevent Pakistan from falling into the wrong hands.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
10:32 AM on 05/06/2012
"The bigger question over the president's speech is not that some U.S. forces are to stay in Afghanistan -- U.S. forces have remained in other hot spots for decades and played a useful role -- but centers on the purpose and scale of the ongoing commitment. Mr. Obama put forward two rationales. The first is that absent this effort, "al-Qaeda could establish itself once more" inside the country."

No one is killing our troops in Germany and Japan and even in South Korea. It's not al-Quaeda that's a problem; there aren't enough of them left to have a good size dinner party. The Taliban haven't gone away. They'll be there and be there for the next 10 years and after that and those troops Obama leaves behind will have to defend themselves every day no matter what role they play and no no matter what new label they're given. (Just today CNN reports another American soldier killed). We've tried training Afghan troops for 10 years and to attempt to train them over and over when you have to watch your back at the same time is a reckless and very costly effort that shouldn't even be attempted. We can trust Afghan troops as far as we can trust Kharzai and his family of thieves, who have stolen our blood money from us. This pact is an abomination but don't worry, republicans will fund it and democrats will give us their empathy and then vote to fund it as well. 

"...eventually we'll retreat to Kabul. ...build(ing) a Baghdad-style "green zone" of fortifications and blast walls. The city will become a western client statelet of stunning venality, floating on an ocean of corruption-fueling dollars. It will last as long as liberal (and conservative – my addition)  interventionists care to enjoy a lethal cocktail of incoming mortars and outgoing pie in the sky.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/08/afghanistan-catastrophe-chilcot
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Matt Hotz
10:23 AM on 05/06/2012
We are not in Afghanistan to continue to root out those who hate are ways. We are only there to secure the theft of Afghani precious minerals and to insure those rights stay on our side of the fence.
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09:51 AM on 05/06/2012
Politics..if the whole truth is uncomfortable make up half truths. If the whole strategy is untenable make up half strategies. If you don't know what to do....take both sides. ....
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09:47 AM on 05/06/2012
Time to shift attention from wars to home. “I’ll do for you what I did for them”, Obama says.

Afghans and Iraqis cheer, Americans quake.

Our president surely didn’t endear himself to the country he’s fleeing when he proffered this explanation for the dog-eating PR disaster this week:

“I told Karzai that I’d once eaten an Afghan and he totally got the wrong idea.”
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
11:02 AM on 05/06/2012
Fleeing? We're not going anywhere. This war was lost the very first day an American soldier stepped foot in Kabul anyway.
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11:15 AM on 05/06/2012
True; Afghanistan was a lost cause from the beginning, including the last 3 1/2 years. However, it is also true we are fleeing. Another humorless lib....
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Nic the wonder puppy
When life throws lemons, throw them back
09:47 AM on 05/06/2012
and lots more money
keep the printing presses running
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Kurt Mundt
Interesting world we live in, eh?
05:09 AM on 05/06/2012
Money talks, especially loudly in the MIC's hands. We're in over a hundred countires now, what's one more - other than a waste of dollars in short supply, apparently.
07:16 AM on 05/06/2012
Pleased to report dollars not in short supply. "Helicopter Ben' printing many more at every opportunity.
04:51 AM on 05/06/2012
There should be a wall between the government/military and businesses/people who benefit financially from war (financial services firms have buy side/sell side walls). And we should throw people in jail who cross that wall, for good. Problem solved and the troops come home, to be returned to action when it is in the vital national interest only.
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03:46 AM on 05/06/2012
The primary reason that we are there is because of inertia.

We didn't use our troops to kick the Taliban out of power, so why do we have to use our troops to keep them out of power?
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02:49 AM on 05/06/2012
It reminds me of how Vietnam wound down. Job gets handed to a army that really wants no part of it and will bug out at the first opportunity, (if not join the other side) American's leave, leaving a small "counter insurgency" group, now we just have to wait for the over running of compounds, add a few helicopters with people dangling from them and we're done.
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LoneTree
Liberty is more precious than safety.
04:10 AM on 05/06/2012
"... now we just have to wait..." - - - Bring a sandwich, and be ready to keep waiting.
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Kurt Mundt
Interesting world we live in, eh?
05:12 AM on 05/06/2012
since I've got clothes and shoes made in Vietnam, I guess it worked out...I didn't plan on buying them, but try to find anything reasonably priced made in the USA.