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02:23 PM on 10/24/2009
Of course some American commentators tend to arrogantly percieve NATO and Europe as American colonial instrument and protectorate, respectively. And maybe to considerable extent this is true.
But I don't see any problem of NATO devising some policies which do not receive explicit pre- approval of the American President.
Perhaps this would wake current U.S. administration from the inexcusable stupor re.Afghanistan.
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OneTop
Uh, is that a beer hall?
02:22 PM on 10/24/2009
The corporations own the Congress and as such get to pick and choose amongst themselves which legislation is passed. All of which is designed by and for their benefit, exclusive of the effect on the American people.

The military budget and the never ending wars are very good for business -- those same corporations who own the Congress. Thus, it should be no surprise that the tail is wagging the dog.
02:37 PM on 10/24/2009
There's no question that corporations own American government. Not just Congress. But i do understand your attempt to shield current White House on Obama deification grounds.
But most multi-nationals are not interested in war.
Quite the contrary,global commerce requires unimpeded trade routes and stable governments friendly to capitalism.
In fact most multi-nationals would love nothing more than stable but pliable governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Think about it...
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OneTop
Uh, is that a beer hall?
02:49 PM on 10/24/2009
I could give a rat's butt about Obama, but nice try.

Afghanistan and or Iraq are not commercial centers. The companies that are operating there are using the military to protect corporate interests. In point of fact, many are in Iraq for the first time as they were not previously allowed under the regime of SH. They have made billions off of failed reconstruction projects as well as providing mercenary armies.

Take the time to add up the military budgets as well as the war budgets and the number is to say the least, significant. Those dollars, excluding armed forces wages, go to companies that provide war related services and goods.

War is good for business.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
lafayette2009
Revolutionary Leader
03:18 PM on 10/24/2009
I agree with you and if you look at the contracts a corporation like Halliburton has received since 2003, the vast majority of which have been no-bids, it is obscene.

What is even more obscene is that most of the $billions are unaccounted for and not included in any Bush budget.

As I have posted elsewhere, Corporations are both running and ruining the country and, as long as we have the situation we do, especially with the Senate, I don't see it changing any time soon, irrespective of who is in the Oval Office.

Since January 2009 when Obama was sworn in, we have 28,000 more troops in Afghanistan than we had when Cheney/Bush left and have killed more Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan in that time than in the previous 6-years under C/B.

So, while we wait for the "big" decision from Obama, let's not forget that he has stepped things up in that region.

Having been there, one major consideration I have now is that if we sent another 40,000 in, do we have the logistical support and how much time do they have to be effective before the winter sets in. After mid-December, it can go down hill quickly there, particularly in the mountainous regions.

Just some thoughts when talking about sending up to 40,000 troops into a region that is one of the most backward in the region and has a cruel terrain.
02:21 PM on 10/24/2009
Naturally, when an administration goes to great pains--again and again--to say that all options are on the table (except for ending our involvement in Afghanistan, of course) and that no decision has yet been made, it means precisely the opposite. I say go ahead, Mr. President, and cast your lot with General McChrystal in the most unambiguous manner possible. Dragging us deeper into the muck of Afghanistan, along with your failure to take a stand in favor of substantive health care reform, will show the American people how misplaced your priorities really are.
02:17 PM on 10/24/2009
The war in Afghanistan is unnecessary and not winnable. Afghanis who are defending their country are not our enemy or a danger to America.The surge didn*t work in Iraq and that was a country with an educated populace and oil revenue. Perfect for a democracy we were told. Iraq is still in a low-grade civil war,with daily bombings that go unreported by the MSM.
Why don*t we try to 'win' in America first: Jobs,health care,education and crime are problems we need to solve here.We can*t even build consensus in the U.S. on the best way to attend our problems yet imagine we can affect change in Afghanistan,Iraq,or Pakistan? Imperial hubris comes to mind.
President Obama has made the political calculation that leaving Iraq and Afghanistan would be ruinous to the Dems. Kudos to the media for painting America into a deadly corner.
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alex61
02:28 PM on 10/24/2009
The surge did help-a lot. Iraq at least has a chance to finally settle down as a genuine democracy.
Obama himself said that Afghanistan, the good war, the right war, the just war, the real war, etc., is the "must win" war.

I guess your guy Obama has disappointed you. Making campaign promises (serving Kool-Aid) is one thing, delivering on those foolish promises once you are president is something else. Mature voters understand that and don't allow themselves to get carried away. Less disappointment that way.
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alex61
03:11 PM on 10/24/2009
"Afghanis who are defending their own country are not our enemies and are not a danger to America." are you referring to the Taliban? They most certainly are our enemies, and they are a danger to America. They qualify on all ounts by virtue of their support of the 9/11 attacks. Short memory.
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horhay
Res ipsa loquitur
10:53 PM on 10/24/2009
The Taliban is as much an enemy and a danger to America as the religious right can often be within our own country. They both espouse the same heavy handed fanaticism & puritanism. I seem to remember Jerry Falwell & Pat Robertson claiming the 9/11 attacks were punishment for liberal agendas, like gay rights, feminism, birth control freedom, racial & religious equality, etc. They sounded just like jihadists.

Zealotry is a real danger to America, whether it's the Taliban or fundamentalist Christians. But the Taliban didn't attack us, Al Qaida did. Some preachers said we were sinners that had it coming, where they supporting the attacks, too?
02:06 PM on 10/24/2009
The previous Administration had the neo-cons scheming a new world order. Now we have White House fixer Rahm Emanuel taking over the role?

Do we actually need a President?
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alex61
02:22 PM on 10/24/2009
It seems that the neo-libs are no better.
outnow
Ban the bomb
02:01 PM on 10/24/2009
"The die is cast,"said Caesar as he crossed the Rubicon and marched his troops on Rome, violating his oath. But in Obama's case, these are the same guys he appointed so are the disagreements real? Likewise with bankers, he appoints Bernanke, Geithner and Summers and the disagrees with them. No, they are all marching across the Rubicon together. We have three major forts in Afghanistan. We aren't leaving apparently. NATO will commit some troops and we will be sending more troops. Why did Obama keep Gates on. The answer is to effectuate the policies, not to change the poilicies.

Health reform - well you can see what is happening on that front, too. Baucus' major campaign contributors are health insurance companies.
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alex61
02:38 PM on 10/24/2009
It generally takes 15 to 20 years to defeat an insurgency. It's not like a regular war for obvious reasons. Remember, we beat Saddam's million-man army is a very brief time with minimal casualties because it was a "traditional" war. Afghanistan is not like that.

Nobody wanted this. Bush had no idea 9/11 was coming. He did what he felt was right. We had the duty to go after al Qaida and the Taliban after 9/11 just as we did Japan after Pearl Harbor.

The idea in Afghanistan is to keep the country from being run by a religious dictatorship (Taliban) that would once again give sanctuary to al Qaida. That is the only reason we are there. I have no idea how this is going to work out. Obama wanted to be Commander-In-Chief, so now he has to lead. Be careful what you wish for!
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Mogamboguru
I am a liar. Don't believe me.
03:06 PM on 10/24/2009
Complete nonsense.

America has no reason to stay in Afghanistan whatsoever.

The war started on false premises and lies - and drags on ever since.

Whatever reason you may give to stay in Afghanistan is only a fig-leaf, to avoid having to accept, that America once again was defeated by a rag-tag army.

No politician in America dares stating the obvious: "We lost in Afghanistan. Therefore, we go out."

And soldiers as well as people keep dying in Afghanistan, because Americas politicians don'r have the guts to admit, what the whole world knows already.
02:01 PM on 10/24/2009
Where did Harry Truman say the buck stops????
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Mogamboguru
I am a liar. Don't believe me.
02:59 PM on 10/24/2009
George W. Bush
06:50 PM on 10/24/2009
That's where Obama says the buck stops...
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Mogamboguru
I am a liar. Don't believe me.
01:59 PM on 10/24/2009
This is really a hot topic, which is gaining far too little attention in the USA - namely the probability, that there is actually a humongous fight for supremacy between the Government and the Pentagon going on: About who finally IS the decider in matters of war and peace in America.

Comparing the USA wit some other Empires over the course of human history, one could assume, that the USA have been for several years, and still are on the brink of becoming a military dictatorship.

In fact, if an agency of a state can demand any financial funding it wants, and can demand any increase in financial fundig it wants, and can decide in any case to spend this money on whatever it likes all by itself without any serious oversight by the government - then this agency has, in fact, the government in it's pocket.

Yes, you read it here first: I consider the USA to be a state on the brink of becoming a military dictatorship.

And I truly admire and support every effort of the Obama-administration, to push back the military appetite for power and avoid the final military take-over of all matters in the USA, to keep - or, at least: make again - the USA a civilized (like in "civil") nation.
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Kassandra
Libera Nos a Malo
01:39 PM on 10/24/2009
I was afraid of this. I figured the military might well take over just as the corporations have.

Now everybody's so impoverished by the sacking of America that their only viable career opportunity is to go fight in some desert somewhere for oil.