An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore on Afghanistan

by on November 30, 2009 · 48 comments

in Civil Rights, Organizing, Peace Movement, Veterans, War and Peace, World News

US troops Afghan

US troops set out on a patrol in Paktika province, Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border. Photograph: David Furst/AFP/Getty Images

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new “war president”? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. “You’re fired!,” said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea — “Let’s invade Afghanistan!” Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

Hamid Karzai afghanistan

There’s a reason they don’t call Afghanistan the “Garden State” (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan’s nickname is the “Graveyard of Empires.” If you don’t believe it, give the British a call. I’d have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev’s number though. It’s + 41 22 789 1662. I’m sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you’re about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the “war president.” Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

US troops funeral

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can “end the war”) will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout “tea bag!”

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can’t take it anymore. We can’t take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of “landslide victory” don’t you understand?

Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, “No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either.”

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son.

We’re counting on you.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. There’s still time to have your voice heard. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email the President.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shawn Conrad November 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I am ready for a big “Yes we can”, but agree that more troops deployed means disenchantment of the United States political system for me.

It sure makes me want to vote for myself in upcoming elections.

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avatar Gary Ghirardi November 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Very silent here so far.

I have to say that I think that Michael Moore’s appeal to President Obama is correct to a degree that Obama should hear from his base on war escalation but it Moore does not articulate what the reason we are there for it is as as if war is an end in itself. Are we needing to be spoken to like children? We are there for strategic reasons for power and the regional control of oil! What is it going to take to admit this? Can Obama go against the entire project of years of investments militarily to ensure our control of these objectives? Not likely and likely we will here about a troop increase with the rhetoric of staged pullouts once objectives have been met. I am not surprised by any of this turn of events and neither should the rest of you.

What makes me much sadder is the flip flop by the Obama administration on the Honduran situation and the support for a fake election and the tacit support of a right-wing government that used repression and intimidation in an election that was under public boycott. http://www.borev.net/2009/11/liveblogging_the_pretend_elect.html

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avatar Shawn Conrad November 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Gary,

Welcome to politics. I heard the 2012 President will be able to cure cancer with his kisses.

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avatar Gary Ghirardi November 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Funny Shawn. If you decide to run for president under the flag of the Jolly Roger make sure what your political platform will be. If you are a privateer for justice change the black for green, a populist to red. If you want to proceed with more honesty than we have seen in the last 230 years along similar lines that our governments have pursued, you are the first president to fly the correct flag?

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avatar Shawn Conrad November 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Gary,

Here is my platform:

1) Free money for everyone
2) Free healthcare for everyone
3) Free everything for everyone
4) General perfection of human life
5) Rich people give money away to even out the class system
6) Cure AIDS / Cancer

Let’s get those vote rolling in. It is going to be great.

If there is anything else anyone wants or dislikes please let me know as I support and rebuke the same things.

Then, when I make you all slaves I am going to have a “more tears button” inserted on all of your chins for when my nuts bump it.

Conrad for Perfect Life 2012
(Burger King Platform) – Have it your way.

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avatar Dave Sparling November 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Michael Moore has a big soap box, it is a shame he does not do what Obama can not dare do. Expose the true criminals behind the phony war on terror. Try to convince more Americans that never at any time was the country going to be destroyed by a rag tag bunch of CIA operatives. What has happened was planned years ago. Even if the people are dumb enough to believe the government story of 9/11/01, no human in their right mind would say bombing and killing innocent Afghan women and children was the INTELLIGENT method of picking up the people the government claims was responsible for 9/11/01. Common sense should tell you the truth that there was some other reason for the invasion. Intelligent humans must keep hammering the truth every way possible. I am going to send this to Mike. Doubt he will answer. It will also go out on every venue I have on the www.

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avatar Danny Morales December 1, 2009 at 10:08 am

To paraphrase outta “Putney Swope”, So what is the TRUTH Davie O?

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avatar Dave Sparling December 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

The truth is NOT what the government claims. We need a new investigation of 9/11/01, otherwise the real criminals are going to get away with their plan.

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avatar Danny Morales December 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Dave-I just finished going over the comments to this post again. Seems like the Zen method of, “It is not this, nor that, nor some other thing…” til we reach a point where Shawn Conrad is sitting like Buddah in a padded cell and everything that issues forth from his being makes complete sense! Who was it that said “Truth is the first casualty of war”? And by casualty I mean dead as in stone cold dead! The later post about the Great Game gives us all some good insight into what is called american interests but if your looking for the truth about 9/11 you are barking up that same tree that has its roots sunk deep into the graves of JFK and Dag Hammarskjold…ya dig?!

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avatar Dave Sparling December 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Oh yes I dig. I read all 27 Vols. of the Warren whitewash. I know the condition of Jack Ruby’s mothers teeth in 1938. I am proud to be a old tin foil hat dude. I believe in the merchant banker theory and have no problem believing all world leaders, elected or puppet, dictators, religious leaders, answer to a higher power, and it ain’t no crazy old fart in the sky. What Obama is doing in the Afghan crusade is just more proof of that theory.

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avatar Monty Kroopkin November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I just sent President Obama my own open letter, via the White House email system.

Here it is:

Mr. President,

I have just read Michael Moore’s open letter to you, published at a local community blog, The OB Rag. The letter in full is at [ url ]

I will be writing to Moore to say pretty much what I will now say to you. I hope you actually read it, and don’t just get some statistical report from your staff on how my letter to you is counted in the pile of all the other letters.

As much as I understand and sympathize with all the people who voted for you out of desperation to stop the Bush style drift toward dictatorship and barbarism, I could not bring myself to vote for you. I voted for former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and the platform of the Green Party.

I did not believe you would break with the imperialist policies and practices of your party. Even if you ordered the end of our illegal invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, I would not believe for one second that you would end the deadly grip of the “military-industrial complex” that is killing our society and our planet.

I fully expect you to follow down the sad path of tragic historic figures like Alexander Kerensky. Remember him? You know, the guy that headed the Russian government for a short while between the time the Tsar gave up his throne and the time Lenin got the job? Remember how he decided to keep Russia in World War I, despite the very obvious fact it was not supported by the Russian people and it was bankrupting the country?

Maybe you do remember that he escaped Russia after the October 1917 Revolution, and ended up teaching at Stanford University. Maybe when our country finally really does collapse politically, economically and militarily, maybe you can live out your old age in comfort, teaching at some university in Russia.

Meanwhile, I am NOT expecting you to do the right thing. I expect you to wage more war and to thereby make a bad economy worse and to destroy the progressive base of support for your party and thereby clear the way for the new homegrown “tea party” fascist movement to come to power in America.

Moore is right to say you are acting as though you represent the militarists, the “tea party” fascists and the Big Banksters instead of the people who elected you. Moore is wrong to think that you and the Democratic Party are part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.

I challenge you to publicly address the concerns I’ve expressed here. But I won’t be holding my breath waiting for that. I’ll be out in the streets protesting YOUR ILLEGAL WAR, along with millions of others.

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

MOnty,

I hope you bore the President less than you did me. You need to truncate my brother.

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avatar Cloudy December 1, 2009 at 9:05 am

I think that the comparison of Obama to Kerensky is ridiculous. It is not that I do not see good reason for progressives to criticize Obama vociferously, and to embrace the left “angry populism” that is in such disfavor these days quite frankly, but this comparison mangles the history of the present beyond recognition.

Russia in 1917 was an economically underdeveloped nation that was utterly collapsing due to its inability to maintain itself against the leading military power in the world at the time, Germany. The Bolsheviks, as the price of coming to power, had to negotiate away a HUGE portion of the nation in the short-lived treaty of Brest-Litovsk; only the victory of the allies on the Western front spared Russia, and then the Soviet Union after 1924, from remaining a hobbled nation well beyond that period.

The US, by contrast, is still the largest and most “post-industrialized” of the major countries of the world. Militarily we are the single superpower, and will remain so for at least another generation. The state of our economy, while sluggish, is NOTHING like that of Russia crumbling under the pressures of WWI. What is in danger in the US is NOT the power of the state or the quite stable ruling class, but the survival of ourselves as a REPUBLIC, genuinely, which has already been eviscerated to a significant degree underground and continues to be so, blather about a progressive new dawn notwithstanding.

The main danger to the system in terms of power comes from the fanatical and quite massive base of the right. The left is disorganized, and seems unwilling/unable to insist upon authenticity to even garner a reasonable portion of what the results of the 2008 elections would fairly portend. Obama gives signs more and more of being a phony progressive, another Clinton under the banner of a politics of change and hope, with more rhetoric than substance about transparency, universality, egalitarianism, compassion, and resolute opposition to torture and the suppression of dissent. In this he resonates with much at the astroturf roots level of US politics.

I still have hope, not that Obama will refrain from escalating US involvement in Afghanistan (as he said in the campaign), but that he will somehow change course at some point in his administration to a more progressive direction domestically, but that is a hope and NOT an expectation, let alone a prediction.
Comparing Obama to Kerensky and the US today to Russia in 1917 is so over-the-top silly that it can only be counterproductive, in my arrogant opinion

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avatar bodysurferbob December 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

cloudy – nicely put – i don’t agree with all of it, but it rings some nice bells. where have you been?

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avatar Monty Kroopkin December 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Cloudy,

Thanks. I would go as far as to agree that it may APPEAR “ridiculous”. And it will continue to appear that way, as long as the current economic depression and gradual military and political decline of the American Empire does not cross a clear line into the zone of that vast collapse that I spoke of. But Chalmers Johnson, and others, have been making studied and clear warnings about just how close to that vast collapse we are getting.

I compare Obama to Kerensky precisely because it is more dire than comparing him to LBJ or JFK. You think the American Empire will avoid sudden collapse and last at least “another generation”. What if you are wrong?

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avatar jettyboy November 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

All this is A BAILOUT with unlimited tarp money for the Pentagon. I reminds me of a great quote from a song by the Who.
“meet the new boss, SAME as the old boss”

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avatar Frank Gormlie November 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Why does the Pentagon need to be bailed out? Just because it has spent over $3 Trillion on these wars, the great majority by your old boss, George W Bush. This is the moment of the crystallization for the disenchanted progressive. It’s way more complicated that a quote from an old song. We can protest Obama’s surge at the same time support him on health care and on other issues. He told us he needs the pressure from the grass-roots in order for him to make change. This is way different from what your old boss was saying.

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avatar jettyboy December 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I don’t see it as some complicated battle that only intellectuals and disenchanted progressives need to struggle with, if it quacks like a duck…

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avatar Frank Gormlie December 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Gee, Jettyboy, I just wrote a 3 part series on this very issue. I’m sorry if I can’t sum it all up like you can (“same as the old boss”, “quacks like a duck”).

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avatar story November 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm

It is safe to say that will not be any real change in this country. Nor will there be any change in the direction US foreign policy heads, that is, without fundamental change to the way we elect our representatives.

I see a country in denial. The propaganda has convinced nearly everyone that the US is what it says it’s about—freedom, democracy, a melting pot, blah blah blah… buncha BS! The USA is an empire that is collapsing fast. The people of this country voted for change yet, no surprise, we ain’t gettin’ none!

No surprise, because US elections are not funded by ‘we, the people’. Until we have publicly funded elections in the US, there will not be any of the significant change that we need so badly. All the issues before us—war in Afghan & Iraq, global warming, increasing poverty, homelessness, health care, unemployment, infrastructure decay….(add your pet issue)…NONE will be solved as long as we continue to play politics as usual by allowing our corporate overlords to fund the electoral process.

I see only one real great issue of our times–reforming the electoral system. Until that changes, I’ll wager for more the same.

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avatar annagrace November 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Story- you are so right about the need for electoral reform. It remains the 800 pound gorilla in the middle of the room. It is not going away any time soon….

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avatar story December 1, 2009 at 12:01 am

i believe that MOST citizens of the US are in favor sweeping reform of the electoral process. It is up to us to do it. I’ve been racking my head for decades on just how that will be done.

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avatar Frank Gormlie November 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Monty, so Obama is not part of the solution, and you wish he would retire in Russia. Good going – you and the Tea Partyists agree on something, at least.

There are differences. When we protested Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, we even called him the ‘worst president in history’ , called for his impeachment, called him out for his lying to us and Congress. Obama has not done these. He never said he would end the war in Afghanistan. He didn’t lie to the people, he didn’t invade a country that didn’t invade us. And for you – and others – to diss him this early in his administration – even calling for his retirement – does seriously play into the game plan of the militarists and corporatists.

It is a difference of substance. And of style. We can protest and demonstrate against Obama and his Afghan policies without demonizing him, without questioning his legitimacy, and without jeopardizing the liberal elements of the rest of his administration. We gave up on George W ever listening to us on anything. We have not and cannot do that now. We protest so Obama can hear us.

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avatar Monty Kroopkin December 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Of course, nowhere did I say I “wish he would retire in Russia.”

I essentially said that if his militarism is the straw that breaks the proverbial camels back, and the American Empire crumbles, he might be lucky like Kerensky and live long and in comfort teaching at some university (like Kerensky). It was an ironic touch to suggest it might be in Russia, whereas Kerensky got to do it in America.

The Tea Partyists think Obama is their foe. I think history is going to show that he gave away the store to them. His escalation of the war is going to fracture the progressive community for years to come. We can only hope that the ultra Right continues to tear into itself, and Tea Party candidates demonize Republican candidates, etc., for the next several congressional elections. Maybe that will buy us enough time to organize a rational alternative to the corporate corruption of the major parties.

But it ain’t looking good.

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avatar Frank Gormlie December 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Here’s your quote: “…maybe you can live out your old age in comfort, teaching at some university in Russia.” You don’t see how this ‘tude’ fits in with the reactionaries calling him “socialist,” “marxist”, “czar” – and I’ve seen signs at demos that say “go back to Russia” ?

It’s not clear whether you are talking about a third party or organizing alternatives to the “corporate corruption” of the Democratic Party. The latter does fit into a strategy of organizing a “united front” to counter the reactionary, racist, and fascist movement afoot in this country.

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avatar Monty Kroopkin December 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Oh hell, Russia is more capitalist now than socialist. But I have no intention of harmonizing with the ultra-rights and their insane list of labels (which, include complete opposite categories and end up having zero coherent content).

So, changing my reference to Russia as a location for Obama’s future EMPLOYMENT (not “retirement”) WOULD be a GOOD EDIT. Trouble is, just about any other country one might substitute for Russia, is going to present its own problems. The Tea Baggers think Canada is communist, right?

As for organizing a rational alternative to the current corporate corruption, I am not a “correct line” purist. I think the best attitude is more like the opposite of that, at this point in history. I mean that I think that the deepening global crisis of ecology and economy calls for new efforts to find new forms of broader “left” and general human unity. If we cannot agree on general worldview and social theory, perhaps we can move forward on a basis of multiple unified groupings on specific issues, while understanding and expecting that we will have very different unified groupings on other issues (and a lot of actual oppositions within and across these groupings). A single “united front” may demand too much prior agreement and take too long to form.

I do not believe it is possible to counter the reactionary, racist and fascist movement afoot in this (and other) countries, without clarity and a lot more public education about the relationship this movement has to capitalism and imperialism.

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avatar Molly December 1, 2009 at 11:30 pm

We live in this country. Once fascism takes hold, it cannot be destroyed from within. We also can’t do it without organization and coalitions with progressives in all the parties.

Having no job and no health care can make for a certain clarity and we may not have time for all the intellectuals to fine tune their understanding of the times.

If you don’t like the term ‘united front’ use ‘broad front’ – sounds better, more European.

The Obama campaign in ’08 represented a broad front. All the tiny left parties should have made him their candidate for president.

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avatar Molly December 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Frank – who cares about united fronts, anyways. They’re not important, plus they smack of the old days, the old left. Neither Monty nor you are part of the old left, so why use its worn-out terminology and implied strategy? Hell, just as some say, build a third party – ignoring for a moment Americans have been trying to do that in the recent era since the Sixties – and wait for the American people to come flocking to your door. It’s really very simple, not difficult to understand. It’s as simple as saying ‘same as the old boss’ – so what’s keeping you from doing it?

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avatar Molly November 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Hmmm, I see. Part of the problem is/was the ambiguity of the left and progressive forces in this country around Afghanistan from the start. Who didn’t want Osama bin laden caught 8 years ago? Raise your hand! And for the last good part of a decade, we did focus on Iraq.

What’s Obama’s over-all gameplan? The media is saying he will be discussing an exit strategy. Hmmm. Let’s protest but also listen to what he says.

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avatar Dave Sparling November 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Until enough Americans understand that the war on terror is a phony as the war on drugs, not much is going to change. I know this is very hard for the average person to even want to dare think could happen in this country, but it did and we need to all face it.

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avatar OB Joe November 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm

So many wars, I can’t keep track of ’em all. There’s the War on Terror, the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs – don’t forget that you kefir-sipping liberals (to quote our local mad max) … I’m sure there’s more.

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avatar annagrace December 1, 2009 at 12:09 am

…War on Crime. War on Poverty. Would have been nice if we could have stuck with the “War to end all wars.”

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avatar story December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm

are we able to claim victory to any of ’em? Or are they just activities?

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avatar Gary Ghirardi December 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

[Venezuela] I agree with Story; until we demand our elected representatives to adopt a policy of publically funded elections, we will have no voice in the government. If that means mounting aggressive campaigns against incumbent politicians, then that is part of the equation. We need a call to the U.S. voters for a campaign “ENOUGH” and when the corporations and militarists try to sink the campaign, then to mount campaigns against their products and against the Pentagon and Security agencies in the light of day. There is no guarantee that this will free us from these corruptions but it may lead to the establishment of a viable third party movement that can embrace the interests of the majority of the voters.

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I had no idea Venezuela was a state.

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avatar WB3 December 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

Reactions .. Reactions. My question is .. to what ? Can we first hear this plan BEFORE we start reacting. BTW, the Russian failure in Afghanistan wasn’t simply because they were in Afghanistan. It was because the mujahadeen were receiving backing from the US, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. It’s not some mystical elephant graveyard whereby armies cross a magic border and drown in silicone based death. Before we all start the death nolls of the current presidency, let’s try: taking a deep breathe, listening to the new rationale for troops in Afghanistan, processing it, and THEN you can react. Mr. Moore included.

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avatar Jordan Richards December 1, 2009 at 9:02 am

I can’t believe Moore asserted that the “worst possible thing” about the troop increase will be to “destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in [Obama]. With just one speech tomorrow [Obama] will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of [his] campaign into disillusioned cynics.” That’s the worst thing? Increased cynicism? A recognition of the reality that our most powerful politician is, well, a politician? What about all the troops who are going to die as a result of the continuation of this war? Isn’t that much worse than liberal disenchantment with their messiah? Do liberals really consider Obama-mania to be the highest morality?

Maybe it’s time liberals stop looking at Obama as something ethereal and finally see him for who he is: a unique hybrid of leftist academic and Chicago-style politician. In short, a human being, one who has come to believe in and revere his own myth, one who genuinely thinks that his (vapid) words count more than his actions and results.

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avatar Gabemill December 1, 2009 at 9:03 am

Reviling Obama at this juncture is a province the right relishes in. During Bush’s reign, questioning a war president was un-American and unpatriotic. I assume you’ve changed your mind on this tact.
I will also assume you were equally indignant when the rethugs virtually abandoned Afghanistan in favor of pursuing the mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and thereby, creating the mess we now endure? What care did they show for the welfare of our troops when sending them into combat with sub standard armor? What concern do they continue to show when attempting to vote down the New GI Bill?
Obama is faced with an extremely difficult decision. Rather than rashly rush to judgment, as his predecessor did, he has taken time to absorb all points of view from Eikenberry to McChrystal. We elected this man to lead, maybe we should allow him that privilege.­.. before condemning him in advance.

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avatar IngSoc December 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

I concur with Cloudy re the comparison to Kerensky on all points. In addition, I would add that referencing Kerensky is a bad idea in that you are making a reference to a foreign figure, and particularly one who is not very widely known. Open letters are meant to be read by the general public, although they are nominally “addressed” to some party, being more in the form of a petition than normal correspondence. As such, I believe there are certain forms that ought to be observed about them, one of which is that they should be written for the public to which they are being delivered with its particular history in mind. The better comparison in this instance I think would be to LBJ. Furthermore, as important as it is to be able to knowledgeably discuss the history of the Russian Revolution, focusing on precedents that are more immediate and more significant in shaping our present particular situation gives us a theory which is far more relevant to that situation.

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avatar Monty Kroopkin December 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm

IngSoc,

I am not addressing a “general public” audience. I am addressing progressives who want to be “nice” to a guy who is ordering the deaths of how many so far and how many more (for what? for oil and empire!) before those of us who insist on remaining honest can stop him?

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avatar Molly December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm

MK – “those of us who insist on remaining honest” – wow! what a diss to the rest of us – I guess your implication is that those who disagree with you are not “remaining honest”. Your self-righteousness is showing. Your lack of appreciation for the framework we’re in right now is showing. But hey, that’s okay – this blog is for your rants.

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avatar OB Joe December 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm

…and for your rants, as well, Molly. Molly and Monty – maybe you guys cancel each other out in the great blog in the sky.

I think the later at night it is when you leave your comment, the more screwed up it is or could be. A wise friend tried to warn me and my friends about emails (and comments for that matter). “You can’t take them back,” he cautioned. Once they’re sent (or posted) they’re out there and it’s too late to take them back or edit them – unless you’re Shawn Conrad.

Just remember Molly, the most important things in life are invisible (like relationships) so once Monty’s comments are in black and white, they’re no longer that important to get all riled up about.

And just remember Monty, just because people disagree with you, doesn’t mean you’re right. Plus the opposite isn’t true – just because people agree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Sing us a song. I told you …..

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avatar Molly December 1, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Monty – help! OB Joe has lost it!

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

It irks me that we still have to pay for oil after all the nice bullets and bombs we give those people.

I am ready for a 51st state and so is America! Expand the borders!

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avatar justmy2cents December 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm

The very worst time to be born in History is 18 years after a war with 12% not working…at least dodging lead pays ….

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avatar justmy2cents December 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm

correction : 18 years before a war STARTS !! my bad.

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avatar Ashley St.Claire December 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm

“The Surge”

December 6, 2009 by politicalsnapshots.wordpress.com

“The Surge”

The war in Afghanistan is also a continuation and expansion of the corporate welfare policy of the Bush administration, which interestingly is not only wholly accepted by President Obama, but is raised to a higher level (surge). The more private contractors sent to Afghanistan, the better for the bottom line (surge) (profit). The more the merrier. Bush or Obama, as always, the interest of the corporate elite is paramount.

The decrease in violence in Iraq was not a result of President Bush’s strategy of sending 30,000 more troops to Iraq (surge), that President Obama is so desperately trying to duplicate, but it was mainly a result of the U.S. government’s payment of about $10 a day to about 70,000 Sunni insurgents.

During his speech to the nation explaining his reasons for the Afghanistan “surge”, the president said:

“So, no, I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. … In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. And this danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region.”

I thought I was listening to President Bush. Word for word the same message, but, a different messenger, one who is more articulate. He also used Bush’s tactic of scaring the American public, the danger to America “is no idle danger, no hypothetical threat”. The only thing missing from his speech was that, he didn’t use the threat level colors. It is too early in his presidency; we might still see him use the threat levels in the future.

The president’s troop” surge” in the Afghanistan war has made his Conservative Republican friends temporarily happy, but members of his own political party and the American citizens at large are not supportive of his so-called “surge”. While America is facing a massive unemployment, millions of citizens without health insurance, the country burdened with cumbersome and chocking growing debt, to say the least, the president’s choice of the Afghanistan “surge” at this particular moment, seems to be unwise.

Professor Mekonen Haddis.

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avatar IRA Rules January 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

Thank you so much, there aren’t enough posts on this… or at least i cant find them. I am turning into such a blog nut, I just cant get enough and this is such an important topic… i’ll be sure to write something about your site

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