NEWS & ANALYSIS
Not a Good War, By Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy
in Focus, July 30, 2008
Every war has a story line. World War I was the
war to end all wars. World War II was the
war to defeat fascism. Iraq was sold as a war
to halt weapons of mass destruction; then to overthrow
Saddam Hussein, then to build democracy. In the end
it was a fabrication built on a falsehood and anchored
in a fraud.
But Afghanistan is the good war, aimed
at those who attacked us, in the words
of columnist Frank Rich. It is the war of
necessity, asserts the New York Times, to
roll back the power of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Barack Obama is making the distinction between the
bad war in Iraq and the good war
in Afghanistan a centerpiece of his run for the
presidency. He proposes ending the war in Iraq and
redeploying U.S. military forces in order to
finish the job in Afghanistan. Virtually no
one in the United States or the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) calls for negotiating with the
Taliban. Even the New York Times editorializes that
those who want to talk have deluded themselves.
But the Taliban government did not attack the
United States. Our old ally, Osama bin Laden,
did. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same organization
(if one can really call al-Qaeda an organization),
and no one seems to be listening to the Afghans.
We should be.
The Prince Of Bait-And-Switch, By John Pilger,
ZSpace, July, 24 2008
The US and its allies are dropping record numbers
of bombs on Afghanistan. This is not news. In the
first half of this year, 1,853 bombs were dropped:
more than all the bombs of 2006 and most of 2007.
"The most frequently used bombs," the Air
Force Times reports, "are the 500lb and 2,000lb
satellite-guided . . ." Without this one-sided
onslaught, the resurgence of the Taliban, it is clear,
might not have happened. Even Hamid Karzai, America's
and Britain's puppet, has said so. The presence
and the aggression of foreigners have all but united
a resistance that now includes former warlords once
on the CIA's payroll.
The scandal of this would be headline news, were
it not for what George W Bush's former spokesman
Scott McClellan has called "complicit enablers"
- journalists who serve as little more than official
amplifiers. Having declared Afghanistan a "good
war", the complicit enablers are now anointing
Barack Obama as he tours the bloodfests in Afghanistan
and Iraq. What they never say is that Obama is a
bomber. In the New York Times on 14 July, in an
article spun to appear as if he is ending the war
in Iraq, Obama demanded more war in Afghanistan
and, in effect, an invasion of Pakistan.
U-turn. Obama's stance on Iraq is chillingly consistent,
Sami Ramadani, The Guardian,July 22, 2008
As November's American presidential elections approach,
Barack Obama's message on Iraq is being widely interpreted
as "flip-flopping" and a "retreat"
from a previously unequivocal stance of fully withdrawing
the US occupation forces. This is to misunderstand
Obama, who is not someone who shoots from the hip.
There is much more to his words than cursory reading
to Obama, McCain: No one wins in a war, By Howard
Zinn, Boston.Com, July 17, 2008
BARACK OBAMA and John McCain continue to argue about
war. McCain says to keep the troops in Iraq until
we "win" and supports sending more troops
to Afghanistan. Obama says to withdraw some (not all)
troops from Iraq and send them to fight and "win"
text: Obama's foreign policy speechThe Democratic
presidential candidate's foreign policy address at
the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, BBC,
July 16, 2008
Needles by Burning Haystacks, by Tom Hayden, Huffington
Post, July 14, 2008
In summary, to borrow a popular phrase of the season,
ending one war [Iraq] to start two more [in Afghanistan
and Pakistan] seems to be a dumb idea.
at Risk, by Tom Hayden, Huffington Post, July
Call him slippery or nuanced, Barack Obama's core
position on Iraq has always been more ambiguous than
audacious. Now it is catching up with him as his latest
remarks are questioned by the Republicans, the mainstream
media, and the antiwar movement. He could put his
candidacy at risk if his audacity continues to shrivel.
Tilts Toward Center, Irking Some Activists, by
Susan Davis, The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2008
Barack Obama's support of an overhaul of domestic-spying
laws last week was the latest in a string of statements
suggesting the Democratic presidential candidate is
tacking toward the center to compete with John McCain.
Party Like Its 1932, by Norman Solomon,
AlterNet, April 21, 2008
Obama has the potential to become as great a president
as FDR, while activists have the potential to prompt
change comparable to the New Deal.