Archive for the ‘Generals/Military Statements’ Category

Ambassador Eikenberry’s memos analyzed by Ray McGovern; March 20 March on Washington to End the War(s), Join Now

January 28, 2010

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The release of two cables sent by U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry reveal how our course in Afghanistan is wrong, sending more troops is the wrong thing to do. Ray McGovern posts the following story covering the two memos and how things work in the CIA and White House relations on when a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is needed and how none was done prior to the troop increase announced by President Obama. Ray Mcgovern’s whole article is printed here for your viewing. Your opinions in the comment section below, please.

General Petraeus and US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry (former Lt. General, for two years (2005-2007) commander of all U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan

Published on Thursday, January 28, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

President Put Politics First on Afghanistan
by Ray McGovern

Nothing highlights President Obama’s abject surrender to Gen. David Petraeus on the “way forward” in Afghanistan than two cables U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent to Washington on Nov. 6 and 9, 2009, the texts of which were released Tuesday by the New York Times.

No longer is it possible to suggest that Obama was totally deprived of wise counsel on Afghanistan; Eikenberry got it largely right. Sadly, the inevitable conclusion is that, although Obama is not as dumb as his predecessor, he is no less willing to sacrifice thousands of lives for political gain.

Ambassador Eikenberry, a retired Army Lt. General who served three years in Afghanistan over the course of two separate tours of duty, was responsible during 2002-2003 for rebuilding Afghan security forces. He then served 18 months (2005-2007) as commander of all U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan.

Straight Talk

In the cable he sent to Washington on Nov. 6, he explains why, “I cannot support [the Defense Department’s] recommendation for an immediate Presidential decision to deploy another 40,000 here.” His reasons include:

~Afghan President Hamid Karzai is not “an adequate strategic partner.” His government has “little to no political will or capacity to carry out basic tasks of governance. … It strains credulity to expect Karzai to change fundamentally this late in his life and in our relationship.”

~Karzai and many of his advisers “are only too happy to see us invest further. They assume we covet their territory for a never ending ‘war on terror’ and for military bases to use against surrounding powers.”

[Comment: I wonder where Karzai ever got that idea about military bases-perhaps because we are building them? I’ll bet Karzai also assumes continuing U.S. interest in the projected oil/natural gas pipeline from the extraordinarily rich deposits in the Caspian Sea area and Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea, bypassing both Russia and the Strait of Hormuz. ]

~”The proposed troop increase will bring vastly increased costs and an indefinite, large-scale U.S. military role.”

~”We overestimate the ability of Afghan security forces to take over…by 2013. … and underestimate how long it will take to restore or establish civilian government.”

~”More troops won’t end the insurgency as long as Pakistan sanctuaries remain…and Pakistan views its strategic interests as best served by a weak neighbor.”

~”There is also the deeper concern about dependency. … Rather than reducing Afghan dependence, sending more troops, therefore, is likely to deepen it, at least in the short term. That would further delay our goal of shifting the combat burden to the Afghans.”

More Straight Talk

Eikenberry is even more direct in his cable of Nov. 9, taking strong issue with “a proposed counterinsurgency strategy that relies on a large, all-or-nothing increase in U.S. troops,” and warning of the risk that “we will become more deeply engaged here with no way to extricate ourselves…” Condemning Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recommendations with faint praise, Ambassador Eikenberry describes them as “logical and compelling within his [McChrystal’s] narrow mandate to define the needs for a military counterinsurgency campaign within Afghanistan.”

“Unaddressed variables,” says Eikenberry, “include Pakistan sanctuaries, weak Afghan leadership and governance, NATO civilian-military integration, and our national will to bear the human and fiscal costs over many years.” He complains that the troop increase proposal “sets aside” these variables, even though “each has the potential to block us from achieving our strategic goals, regardless of the number of additional troops we may send.”

The ambassador also notes that it is hardly a safe assumption that Karzai and his new team will ever be “committed to lead the counterinsurgency mission we are defining for them,” noting that Karzai “explicitly rejected” McChrystal’s counterinsurgency proposal when first briefed on it in detail.

Eikenberry does not stop there. Rather, he bluntly warns-in vain, it turned out-against a premature decision regarding a troop increase, arguing “there is no option but to widen the scope of our analysis and to consider alternatives beyond a strictly military counterinsurgency effort within Afghanistan.” He adds:

~”We have not yet conducted a comprehensive, interdisciplinary analysis of all our strategic options. Nor have we brought all the real-world variables to bear in testing the proposed counterinsurgency plan.”

~”This strategic re-examination could either include or lead to high-level U.S. talks with the Afghans, the Pakistanis, the Saudis and other important regional players-including possibly Iran. …”

Extraordinary. Here is the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan bemoaning the fact that, as the President approaches his decision on a large troop increase, there has still been no comprehensive analysis of the wider issues that remain “unaddressed” in McChrystal’s proposal.

NIEs

Taking an objective look at a complex national security problem is precisely the job for which President Harry Truman created the CIA, giving its director the task of drafting what became known as National Intelligence Estimates-a process in which all agencies of the intelligence community can take part.

That no estimate has been prepared on Afghanistan/Pakistan and the “unaddressed variables” is an indictment of President Obama and his deference to the military. The President and other misguided Democrats are hell bent on preventing the bemedaled Petraeus, a likely Republican candidate for president in 2012, from painting them soft on terrorism. Letting Petraeus run the policy, while avoiding any critical intelligence analysis, is Obama’s safe-and cowardly-way out.

During my tenure at CIA (from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush), I cannot think of an occasion on which a President chose to forgo a National Intelligence Estimate before making a key decision on foreign policy. However, in early 2002, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney set a new kind of precedent when they ordered CIA Director George Tenet NOT to prepare an NIE on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, out of fear that an honest estimate would make it immensely more difficult to attack Iraq.

That did not change until September 2002, when Sen. Bob Graham, then-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned the White House that, absent an NIE, he would do all he could to prevent a vote on war with Iraq. That’s when a totally dishonest NIE was woven out of whole cloth (or, in the words of subsequent Intelligence Committee chair, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, fashioned from “created” intelligence) to hype a threat from non-existent Iraqi WMD.

After that debacle, new leadership was given to the NIE process in the person of Tom Fingar who had run the intelligence unit at the State Department. It was Fingar who insisted on a bottom-up review of intelligence on Iran’s nuclear plans, which resulted in an NIE that helped prevent Bush and Cheney from attacking Iran-or encouraging Israel to do so.

That NIE, issued in November 2007, assessed “with high confidence” that Iran had stopped working on the nuclear weapons part of its nuclear program in late 2003, directly contradicting claims of Bush and Cheney at the time.

Of equal importance, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior military had no appetite to take on Iran (or to acquiesce in Israel’s doing so) and insisted that the key judgments of that NIE be made public.

This time, on Afghanistan, it’s different. Army generals Petraeus and McChrystal apparently persuaded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, that they knew what they’re doing and didn’t need any intelligence analysts reaching troublesome conclusions.

What’s the Rush?

From his vantage point in Kabul, Eikenberry seems impervious to Dick Cheney’s charges that the President is “dithering.” The first two (of three) subheadings in Eikenberry’s second cable are: “We Have Time” and “Why We Must Take the Time.” He finishes with an appeal to “widen the scope of our analysis.”

Eikenberry is all but demanding a National Intelligence Estimate, but stops short so as not to cross the President or rub salt in the wounds that the ambassador’s cables have opened in Petraeus and McChrystal.

Instead of requesting an NIE, Ambassador Eikenberry suggests that the White House appoint “a panel of civilian and military experts to examine the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy and the full range of options.” The list of issues he says this panel “should examine” reads very much like what the intelligence community calls “Terms of Reference” for an NIE. (As a CIA analyst and manger I contributed to many NIEs and chaired some myself.)

When the White House gave Eikenberry short shrift, he should have resigned, rather than support the misbegotten strategy Obama chose.

Leakophobia

Part of Obama’s motivation in not ordering the customary NIE was to avoid any chance that its conclusions might leak, according to a source with good access. Assuming that intelligence community estimators have not regressed to the Bush/Cheney days of cooking estimates to order, such a leak would certainly have made it more difficult for the President to render unflinching support to Petraeus and McChrystal.

Pity Obama. It is hard to believe he could be so naive to the ways of Washington and so dismissive of the possibility that there could still be some courageous patriots among the senior officials dismayed at his remarkable retreat from the “transparency” he promised.

The New York Times reports, “An American official provided a copy of the cables to The Times after a reporter requested them.” Well, good for that patriotic truth-teller. And good, as well, for the New York Times for publishing the cables. I am permitting myself to hope that still more truth-tellers will emerge from the woodwork, and even that The Times might begin to play the kind of key role it did 40 years ago, once it finally brought itself to concede that Vietnam was a fool’s errand.

NODIS

It may be that one needs to have worked at senior levels on the “inside” to understand the twinge that I felt after downloading the NODIS cables made available by The Times. NODIS cables on my desk at home!

As the cover sheet indicates, “NODIS” means no dissemination beyond the named “addressee and, if not expressly precluded, by those officials under his authority whom he considers to have a clear-cut ‘need to know.'” (Emphasis added. It is not entirely clear, but I assume that exceptions can now be made for the current Secretary of State and other senior officials of her gender.)

In my day we had to go to the CIA Director’s office, sign for, and read NODIS cables right there. No doubt there are similar controls today. So, in this case the whistleblower took considerable risk in taking it upon him/herself to make “transparency” real, not just Obaman rhetoric.

The irony? If, as I have been told, the President put the kibosh on preparation of an NIE for fear it would leak, we now have an even more instructive kind of leak. Thanks to The Times and its courageous source, we now know not only that President Obama elected to forgo an honest NIE, but that he did so in the face of very strong urging from Ambassador Eikenberry to “widen the scope” of analysis, and not simply kowtow to the Army brass.

I imagine that in years to come, Eikenberry will proudly show his cables to his grandchildren. Or maybe he won’t, out of fear that one of them might ask why he didn’t have the guts to quit and let the rest of the country know what he really thought of this latest March of Folly.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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“March on Washington on March 20, End the War(s)” was first Posted on January 2, 2010. It is being Re-Posted today because we all must participate on March 20. Read all you can and organize locally if you can’t get to Washington on March 20. Come the week before as there will be events of protest leading up to the day of the march. Please pass this Post link along to your friends.

Show your support on March 20. A day for Peace…..

The time has come for your personal action to End the War(s). The date to show how you feel is March 20, 2010. There will be a March on Washington, led by the ANSWER Coalition. Spread the word. There will be a lot of news on this in the upcoming months. Organize your local town for action on March 20. Show the world WE CARE. Take action now. Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

We marched when Bush was President, now let's march when Obama increases troops. Come March 20 to Washington, DC and demand the End to the War(s)

A.N.S.W.E.R. The anti-war movement responds to President Obama’s speech Statement from the ANSWER Coalition Rhetoric and Reality: Masking War Escalation as a Withdrawal Plan

Endorse the March 20 National March on Washington Click Here.

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, there will be a mass National March & Rally in D.C. We will march together to say “No Colonial-type Wars and Occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine!” We will march together to say “No War Against Iran!” We will march together to say “No War for Empire Anywhere!” Instead of war, we will demand funds so that every person can have a job, free and universal health care, decent schools, and affordable housing. A day of action and outreach in Washington, D.C., will take place on Friday, March 19, preceding the Saturday march. There will be coinciding mass marches on March 20 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Cindy Sheehan and a coalition of groups has announced a new initiative set to begin in March 2010 called Peace of the Action, ( Click Here for More) an integral part of which will be a camp that will be set up beginning March 13.

    This camp will be a staging area for people coming to DC to take part in anti-war activities. Join Peace of the Action, Click Here. Our demand is simple: Troops out of the Middle East, which includes drones, permanent bases, contractors and torture/detention facilities. We will begin Peace of the Action on March 13th when we gather in Washington, DC to erect Camp OUT NOW on the lawn of the Washington Monument, directly across the street from the White House and our actions will begin on March 22nd.

    We need individuals who realize that time is running short for us to truly affect change through commitment and dedication to humanity through the end to the U.S. Empire (and its subsidiaries). March 20 is the seventh anniversary of the criminal war of aggression launched by Bush and Cheney against Iraq. One million or more Iraqis have died. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops have lost their lives or been maimed, and continue to suffer a whole host of enduring problems from this terrible war. This is the time for united action. The slogans on banners may differ, but all those who carry them should be marching shoulder to shoulder.

The initiators and endorsers of the March 20 National March on Washington (preceded by the March 19 Day of Action and Outreach in D.C.) include: the ANSWER Coalition; Muslim American Society Freedom; National Council of Arab Americans; Cynthia McKinney; Malik Rahim, co-founder of Common Ground Collective; Ramsey Clark; Cindy Sheehan; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK; Debra Sweet, Director, World Can’t Wait; Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace; Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild; Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the 4th of July”; Juan Jose Gutierrez, Director, Latino Movement USA; Col. Ann Wright (ret.); March Forward!; Partnership for Civil Justice; Palestinian American Women Association; MANA – Muslim Alliance in North America; Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines; Alliance for Global Justice; Claudia de la Cruz, Pastor, Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas-UCC; Phil Portluck, Social Justice Ministry, Covenant Baptist Church, D.C.; Blase & Theresa Bonpane, Office of the Americas; Coalition for Peace and Democracy in Honduras; Comite Pro-Democracia en Mexico; Frente Unido de los Pueblos Americanos; Comites de Base FMLN, Los Angeles; Free Palestine Alliance; GABRIELA Network; Justice for Filipino American Veterans; KmB Pro-People Youth; Students Fight Back; Jim Lafferty, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild – LA Chapter; LEF Foundation; National Coalition to Free the Angola 3; Community Futures Collective; Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival; Companeros del Barrio; Barrio Unido for Full and Unconditional Amnesty; Michael Berg; Action Center for Justice – Charlotte, NC; Bay Area United Against War; Casa las Américas; Community Organizing Center, Columbus, Ohio; CT-SAW (Connecticut Students Against the War) ; Delaware Valley Veterans for America; Hawai’i Solidarity Committee; Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination; Texans for Peace; and many more.

Endorse the March 20 National March on Washington Click Here. Send this Post link to your friends: Thank YOU.

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War causes death and serious injuries. The United States troops hurt or dead is over 70,000. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? End the War(s) NOW.

Read the story here: Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 72,548 From Voters For Peace By Michael Munk

End the War(s): U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now, AFP photo

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Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group “Peace of the Action” put your name on the line.]

Get your bumpersticker, support Military Famlies Speak Out

You can order bumperstickers at this link.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

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Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan President to fight charges, but weak politically; Turks screw Kurds banning them from government for life; 70,000 U.S. casualties, Enough is Enough

December 20, 2009

Pakistan Supreme Court orders the investigation of President Asif Ali Zardari’s purchase his “home” in London, more trouble ahead for a very weak Pakistani President.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari vows to fight charges; support at all-time low by Pakistani citizens

From Times of India:

    LONDON: Troubles for Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari are getting bigger by the day, as the supreme court has now asked the concerned authorities to investigate as to how he purchased the 365-acre home counties estate in the UK worth £4 million. It is worth mentioning here that Zardari had purchased the mock Tudor Rockwood Park in the 1990s , which was soon termed as “Surrey Mahal” by the then opposition leaders.

    Zardari is alleged to have spent more than £300,000 on renovations of the 20-room mansion, including building his own private polo field and an exact copy of the local village pub, the Telegraph reported on Friday. The apex court has ordered officials to ask the Swiss government to reopen an investigation into whether the property was bought with laundered money.

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The Turkish Government has forced the Kurdistan Issue by banning the Kurdish Democratic Society Party from their government and has banned many of the DCP members from participating in government for life. This will cause great rebellion within the Kurdish community throughout the area outside of Turkey also. Over 40,000,000 Kurds do not have a homeland of their own. This might be the final straw that broke the camel’s back. See our Leyla Zana story here.

Kurdish American Community protests Banning of the Democratic Society Party-DTP in Turkey
KurdishMedia.com

Los Angeles, CA, Dec 22 –To protest the Turkish crackdown on the Democratic Society Party-DTP, an elected political party in Turkey, members of the Kurdish Community will hold a demonstration in front of the Turkish consulate between the hours of 1:00 – 3:00 P.M. to denounce the recent Turkish Constitutional Court ruling of DTP closure, followed by arbitrary arrests and banning of DTP officials and members.

A Turkish Constitutional Court ruling has ordered the closure of the Democratic Society Party, DTP—a Kurdish party in the Turkish parliament in 14 years. The closure has outraged Kurdish Community as an intimidating and repressive military atmosphere prevails in Kurdish areas in Eastern Turkey. DTP party members and officials are being targeted and banned from political life. Mr. Ahmet Türk, the co-chair of the DTP, who met President Barack Obama during his official state visit to Turkey on April 6, 2009, and Aysel Tugluk, DTP Member of Parliament, are among those banned from political participation for five years. Despite parliamentary immunity and authority, both are now facing the threat of being imprisoned as five of their colleagues -Selim Sadak, Ahmet Türk, Leyla Zana, Mehmet Hatip Dicle and Orhan Dogan – who have been sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment merely because they have asserted their Kurdish identity. In violation of all civil and constitutional laws and rights, the Turkish State Treasury will confiscate DTP’s assets. Read the rest here.

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War causes death and serious injuries. The United States troops hurt or dead is over 70,000. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? End the War(s) NOW.

Read the story here: Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 72,548 From Voters For Peace By Michael Munk

* * *
Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group “Peace of the Action” put your name on the line.]

Get your bumpersticker, support Military Famlies Speak Out

You can order bumperstickers at this link.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

Predator and Reaper U.S. Assassination Drones are “Hacked”; 72,000 US Casualties so far, when is Enough Enough?; Pakistan Economy Down 25% this year

December 18, 2009

Drones (Unmanned Aircraft) are here to stay. Over 35% of all U.S. military aircraft will be Drones in the future. A $29 dollar purchase allows for any computer to see what the Drone is seeing. The computer system has been compromised. What’s next? A PowerPoint Laser Pen brings down a Drone? Here’s some information on the U.S. Drone fleet, which is to grow to 165 Drones in the near future, and increase from there.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is maker of the Predator Drone and many other products. View their UAV (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle) here. andfor more information, go to DefenseTech here. Pentagon to spend $65 Billion to upgrade technology systems.

Predator B (YMQ-9A) General Atomics Photo

Where's my home? After a U.S. Predator Hellifire missile attack in Afghanistan

Grim Reaper, 4 Hellfire Missiles, 2 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missiles and 2 GBU laser guided bombs

War causes death and serious injuries. The United States troops hurt or dead is over 70,000. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? End the War(s) NOW.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 72,548
From Voters For Peace By Michael Munk

    US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 21 combat casualties in the week ending December 15, 2009 as the official total since the 2003 invasion jumped to at least 72,548. The toal includes 35,080 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as “hostile” causes and more than 37,458 (as of Dec. 5) dead and medically evacuated from “non-hostile” causes.

    The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as “Iraq casualties” the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions – were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, ICC names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq and are not counted by the Pentagon.**

    US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,373 as of Dec 15) but rarely mentioning the 31,603 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they cover for the Pentagon by ignoring the 36,562* (as of Dec 2)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,373 reported deaths include 896 (up three) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 197 suicides through Dec 5.***

    ** The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
    ** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
    *** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

    Read more from Michael Munk at: http://www.michaelmunk.com

War Good For the Pakistan Economy? How about government officials ready to be charged?
KARACHI: Foreign investment has fallen since the beginning of the current fiscal year, and collective decline in the first five months was by 25 per cent over last year. Pakistan is on the verge of total collapse. Has the forced attack of its own people caused the dam to break? Would you invest in Pakistan today? Looks like the world financial institutions are saying “NO”. Also, in today’s NY Times, “Pakistan Ministers Are Called Before the Courts”, gives a good overview of the existing problem that could destroy the existing Zardari Government.

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Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group “Peace of the Action” put your name on the line.]

Get your bumpersticker, support Military Famlies Speak Out

You can order bumperstickers at this link.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

Scott Ritter: “Our Murderers in the Sky”

December 16, 2009

Today, we are Posting IN FULL Scott Ritter’s viewpoint on the Afghanistan War. This may be the most focused assessment of what is wrong with a SURGE and for the use of U.S. Assassination Drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The conclusion is for you to decide. Here are the facts as presented by Scott Ritter. We have been Posting stories about the use of U.S. Assassination Drones from the early days of this blog. Ritter sums it all up towards the end of the article. The use of Drones must stop.

Our Murderers in the Sky By Scott Ritter Posted at Truthdig.com Scott Ritter was a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He is the author of “Target Iran” (Nation Books, 2007).

War is hell, as the saying goes. Murder, on the other hand, is a crime. In this age of the “long war” pitting the United States against the forces of global terror, it is critical that the American people be able to distinguish between the two. The legitimate application of military power to a problem that manifests itself, directly or indirectly, as a threat to the legitimate national security interests of the United States, while horrible in terms of its consequences, is not only defensible but mandatory.

The true test of a society and its leaders is the extent to which every effort is made to both properly define a problem as one worthy of military intervention and then exhaust every option other than the use of force. It is true that President Barack Obama inherited the war in Afghanistan from his predecessor and therefore cannot be held accountable for that which transpired beyond his ability to influence. But the president’s recent decision to “surge” 30,000 additional U.S. military troops into Afghanistan transfers ownership of the Afghan conflict to him and him alone. It is in this light that his decision must be ultimately judged.

In many ways, Obama’s presentation before the Long Gray Line at West Point, in which he explained his decision to conduct the Afghanistan surge, represented an insult to the collective intelligence of the American people. The most egregious contradiction in his speech was the notion that the people of Afghanistan, who, throughout their history, have resisted central authority whether emanating from Kabul or imposed by outside invaders, would somehow be compelled to embrace this new American plan.

At its heart, the strategy requires a fiercely independent people to swear fealty to a man, Hamid Karzai, whose tenure as Afghanistan’s president has been marred by inefficiencies and corruption (even Obama was forced to acknowledge the fraudulent nature of the recent election which secured Karzai’s second term in office). Trying to reverse centuries of adherence to local authority and tribal loyalty with the promise of effective central government would represent a monumental challenge for the most efficient and honest of Afghan leaders. That we are attempting to do so behind the person of Karzai represents the height of folly.

For any military-based solution to have a chance of succeeding, we would need to deploy into Afghanistan an army of social scientists capable of navigating the complex reality of intertribal and interethnic relationships. They would require not only astute diplomatic skills that would enable them to bring together Hazara Shiite and Pashtun Sunni, or Uzbek and Tadjik, or any other combination of the myriad of peoples who make up the populace of Afghanistan, but also an understanding of multiple native languages and dialects. But the reality is we are instead dispatching 20-year-old boys from Poughkeepsie whose skill set, perfected during several months of predeployment training, is more conducive to firing three rounds center mass into a human body.
The nation-building or “civilian strategy” envisioned by President Obama, impossibly ambitious even under the most ideal conditions, simply cannot be achieved with the resources at hand, whether in 18 months or 18 years. That he has chosen to place at risk the lives of even more American troops, and by extension the citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the pursuit of such unattainable ambition is inexcusable.

The American military is unmatched in its ability to wage war. If the problem of Afghanistan was able to be defined in military terms alone, then perhaps Obama’s surge would provide the basis of a solution. But the Afghan problem has never been a military problem. The United States has, from the very beginning of its Afghanistan misadventure, sought to define the mission within the overall context of a “war on terror.” But the real mission revolves more around bringing to justice the perpetrators of mass murder and building international consensus to help prevent another such crime than it does any variation of closing with and destroying an enemy through firepower, maneuver and shock effect, which is the traditional core of any military operation.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, created problems best dealt with through diplomacy, law enforcement and intelligence. That the United States chose to define it instead as an act of war means that we have never assembled the tool set necessary to solve the Afghan problem, which explains a recent admission by U.S. military officers that, after eight years of war, America was at “square one” in Afghanistan.

Obama’s characterization of the threat faced by the United States and its allies in the expanded Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) theater of operations is as misleading as it is inaccurate. There is no singular, homogeneous enemy to be confronted by a surging U.S. military. The notion that the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida fighters operating in both countries are part of an overarching Islamic fundamentalist movement seeking to export violence to the shores of America is fundamentally wrong. While the president may in fact have seen intelligence information (of undetermined veracity) that shows that some individuals or groups operating in the Af-Pak area of operations have in fact plotted such attacks, to characterize these players and their actions as representing a majority (or even significant minority) opinion among the thousands of fighters opposing the United States and its allies is just plain wrong. Yet, having accepted the definition of the Af-Pak problem in military terms, Obama had no choice but to accede to the solutions put forward by such charismatic military leaders as Gen. David Petraeus (the commander of U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM) and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

It is not just that generals such as Petraeus and McChrystal dominate the public face of military leadership in America today. The real problem is that the organization they represent, CENTCOM, dominates the entire U.S. military—and, by extension, the U.S. military-industrial-congressional complex—as no other unified command has done in U.S. history. Even at the height of the Vietnam War, the demands of the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV) on the U.S. military establishment had competition from U.S. European Command, U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Pacific Command, because of the Cold War. Today, the only show in town is CENTCOM, given that its theater of operations encompasses the principal zones of operation in the “war on terror.”

The requirements of CENTCOM drive nearly every aspect of the U.S. military today, including training, procurement and operations. Even strategic nuclear forces have had their work impacted by the need of CENTCOM to strike deep underground targets associated with Iran’s nuclear program. Given the inherently militarized nature of the “war on terror,” CENTCOM has supplanted the Department of State as the “face” of America in terms of official interaction between the United States and the nations of an area of operations ranging from Africa to Pakistan.

CENTCOM therefore dominates issues such as economic assistance and other nation-to-nation interaction not normally associated with military operations. The combined military-diplomatic-economic activity associated with the work of CENTCOM provides it with unmatched leverage at home and abroad. While not intended as a direct result of the “war on terror,” CENTCOM has morphed into a virtual nation-state, operating largely independent of traditional checks and balances associated with the functioning of unified military commands.

Despite the command’s unprecedented power and influence, it would not have been all that difficult for Obama to stand up to the pressures brought to bear by CENTCOM in regard to Afghanistan. He is, after all, the commander in chief. The fact is, Obama opted out of any serious opposition to the plan for the most base of reasons—politics. Any serious effort on the part of Obama to meaningfully contest the CENTCOM-backed surge in Afghanistan would have triggered a contentious political struggle with both the military and Congress at a time when the president is pushing for passage of health care reform, the centerpiece of his domestic policy agenda. The reality is that, yet again, American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are being sacrificed for the political advantage of an American politician. This was a charge that was all-too-popular during the administration of George W. Bush. That such an accusation can so readily be applied to Barack Obama, after only a year in office, underscores the magnitude of the failure of leadership and imagination he has exhibited when it comes to the Af-Pak surge.

This lack of imagination was most evident in how the president sought to justify the Af-Pak surge. “This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al-Qaida,” he said in his West Point speech. In addition to his gross oversimplification of the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and its relationship with al-Qaida, Obama felt compelled to press the same fear-induced 9/11 buttons that were the trademark of his predecessor. “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.”

The continued focus on hunting down Osama bin Laden further underscores the lack of sophistication of his strategy. It is likely that bin Laden was not the central force behind the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, contrary to popular opinion. That honor goes to Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s Egyptian associate whose radical Islamic fundamentalist credentials trump even those of his better-known Saudi Arabian partner, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida operations chief currently in U.S. custody awaiting trial in New York.

That bin Laden was complicit in the 9/11 attacks, and should be held to account for his crimes, is not a question. But the notion that by somehow “getting” bin Laden the United States would break the back of al-Qaida today is absurd. People should start thinking about the day after bin Laden dies. Al-Qaida cells will continue to function as they did the day before bin Laden died. The biggest measurable change will be the level of popular support for al-Qaida worldwide—it will skyrocket as bin Laden’s myth and demise inspire many thousands to join in a global jihad against the West and encourage fundamentalist Muslims from state and nonstate players alike to contribute countless more millions of dollars to underwriting this effort. There can be no greater boost to bin Laden’s cause than America’s continued singular focus on bringing him in, “dead or alive.” The exclusive militarization of the ongoing “hunt” for bin Laden plays directly into the Saudi terrorist’s game plan.

Revenge is not a defensible motive for a nation like the United States. Justice is. De-linking our hunt for bin Laden from the failed (and flawed) vehicle of the “war on terror” would be a wise move, but one that sadly is not going to happen in the foreseeable future if the rhetoric of Obama at West Point serves as a guide. And, in a nation that continues to be gripped (and manipulated) by the horrors of 9/11, it remains to be seen whether the concept of justice, as defined by American law, ideals and values, can ever be applied to the perpetrators of that crime. The trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will serve as a litmus test in this regard. Given America’s track record to date in handling the alleged 9/11 mastermind (the water-boarding of Mohammed 183 times continues to boggle the mind), it is hard to anticipate his exposure to the American legal system as anything but a kangaroo court.

The “war on terror” has shredded the concept of the rule of law, at least as applied by the United States within the context of this struggle. While Obama has made moves to fix some of the symptoms of the flawed policies of his predecessor, the underlying foundation of American arrogance and exceptionalism from which such policies emerged remains unchanged. There is no more telling example of this than the current program of targeted assassination taking place under the guise of armed unmanned aerial drones (also known as remotely piloted vehicles, or RPVs) operating in the Af-Pak theater of operations.

All pretense of either Afghan or Pakistani sovereignty disappears when these drones take to the air. Ostensibly used for intelligence gathering and lethal direct-action operations against so-called high-value targets (i.e., senior al-Qaida or Taliban leadership), RPV missions have become increasingly popular within the U.S. military and intelligence communities as a risk-free means of bringing maximum harm, in highly discriminatory fashion, to the enemy. Expansion of the United States’ RPV effort in Af-Pak has become a central part of the surge ordered by Obama, complementing the 30,000 combat troops he has ordered deployed to the region. But exactly who is targeted by these RPV operations? While the U.S. military and intelligence community maintains that every effort is made to positively identify a target as hostile before the decision to fire a missile or drop a bomb is made, the criteria for making this call are often left in the hands of personnel ill-equipped to make it.

In the ideal world, one would see the fusion of real-time imagery, real-time communications intercept and human sources on the ground before making such a call. But in reality this “perfect storm” of intelligence intersection rarely occurs. In its stead, one is left with fragmentary pieces of data that are cobbled together by personnel far removed from the point of actual conflict whose motivations are geared more toward action than discretion. Often, the most critical piece of intelligence comes from a human source who is using the U.S. military as a means of settling a local score more than furthering the struggle against terror. The end result is dead people on the ground whose demise has little, if any, impact on the “war on terror,” other than motivating even more people to rise up and struggle against the American occupiers and their Afghan or Pakistani cohorts.

Supporters of the RPV program claim that these strikes have killed over 800 “bad guys,” with a loss of only about 20 or so civilians whose proximity to the targets made them suspect in any case. Detractors flip these figures around, noting that only a score or more kills of “high-value targets” can be confirmed, and that the vast majority of those who have died or have been wounded in these attacks were civilians. In a conflict that is being waged in villages and towns in regions traditionally prone to intense independence and religious fundamentalism, distinguishing good from bad can be a daunting task. Given the U.S. track record, under which tribal gatherings and family functions such as weddings have been frequently misidentified as “hostile” gatherings and thus attacked with tragic results, one is inclined to doubt the official casualty figures associated with the RPV strikes.

Rather than furthering the U.S. cause in the “war on terror,” the RPV program, which President Obama seeks to expand in the Af-Pak theater, in reality represents a force-enhancement tool for the Taliban. Its indiscriminate application of death and destruction serves as a recruitment vehicle, with scores of new jihadists rising up to replace each individual who might have been killed by a missile attack. Like the surge that it is designed to complement, the expanded RPV program plays into the hands of those whom America is ostensibly targeting. While the U.S. military, aided by a fawning press, may seek to disguise the reality of the RPV program through catchy slogans such as “warheads through foreheads,” in reality it is murder by another name. And when murder represents the centerpiece of any national effort, yet alone one that aspires to win the “hearts and minds” of the targeted population, it is doomed to fail.

U.S. Assassination Predator Drone's range of view, and expanding with each new generation

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Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group “Peace of the Action” put your name on the line.]

Get your bumpersticker, support Military Famlies Speak Out

You can order bumperstickers at this link.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

President Barack Obama becomes President George W. Bush: It’s Oil, my friend; Malalai Joya speaks out

December 1, 2009

….Tonight, President Barack Obama will stand before us at West Point, the place where we train our future Army leaders, and tell us why he will send more Americans to die for the cause in Afghanistan (and Iraq, and possibly Pakistan) and why he is escalating The Long War. He will tell us how it is in our National Security interests to have many people die while achieving our goal (and tonight, he’ll tell us the Latest goal), the newest reason to be there. It is possible that President Obama learned nothing standing on the tarmac in the early morning hours to greet our returning brave soldiers remains. Or the Nobel Peace Prize he is to receive in a few weeks may have kept him from adding 80,000 soldiers, who knows?

President Obama at Dover Air Force Base salutes the dignified transfer of one of our fallen soldiers returning from Afghanistan, AFP Photo Saul LOEB

The Real Reason We are There: OIL and GAS, and their Pipelines

Today’s NY Times article: Oil Companies Look to the Future in Iraq. This story comes out on the same day President Obama escalates the war in Central Asia. Read the story.

From our Posts on Oil Stories of the past:

“New Great Game”: Eurasia and Pipelineistan. Question: Why are we in Iraq, Afghanistan, and supporting Pakistan Military’s war? TO CONTROL THE WORLD’S OIL SUPPLY
Pablo Escobar spells out great history in his post at Tom Dispatch, read it here.

Charlie Wilson speaks out; Afghan Peace Festival; Troop Morale (No More Troops); Pipelinestan is the reason; End the War. Scroll down for the Pipelinestan Story and Maps of the Oil and Pipeline Routes.

Blood and Oil in Central Asia From Voters for Peace, good outline of history.

So, President Obama, you will be disappointing your far left base tonight, and letting all the American people down by carrying on The Long War. If George W. Bush were still in office today and he did what you are going to announce tonight, there would be many people in the streets protesting the escalation and calls for his Impeachment would be heard. By sending more troops (which you have all ready done since taking office), you are now an accomplice and co-conspirator to the War Crimes having been committed by the United States over the past 9 years in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan. What Hope and Change do you want to tell us about next week?

Malalai Joya writes in The Guardian: A Troop Surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan. Read our Post about Malalai Joya here.

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Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy:
Take Action Now ! !

Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.”

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

The Day Hope and Change Died: Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 29, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, will go down in history as the day the promise of Hope and Change by America’s first African-American President, Barack Hussein Obama, died.

Since President Obama took office in January, there have been many issues that needed attention and many of the President’s actions were similar to the George W. Bush policies, some even expanded on them. Some issues that were promised to be cancelled have yet to be cancelled.

The anticipation of the “speech” by President Obama on Tuesday has been taken away by leaks to the press, and even the President’s own ‘pre-speech roundup’ by saying “It’s my intention to finish the job,” Obama said Tuesday in the East Room of the White House at at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “I feel very confident when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there and how we’ll achieve our goals, they’ll be supportive.”

President Obama has all ready sent more troops to Afghanistan during his Presidency. Now he owns the war(s). George W. and Dick Cheney set up the next president to carry out their war plans, and President Obama has been given the torch and is moving ahead AS PLANNED by George and Dick.

It has been leaked that 9,000 Marines will be sent immediately after President Obama’s Afghanistan War Speech on Dec. 1. This is not a decision you make in one day. There have been plans in play for some time in order to send 9,000 troops (and up to 40,000 more troops NOW): where they are going; what they are going to do. The NINE meetings with President Obama’s War Council discussed what? Did they just stall the announcement to get between Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, a time when we are focused on family and celebration?

If you send ONE soldier to the war zone, how much does it cost to keep that one there for one year? How hard is it to get that ONE soldier out of the war zone? How much support equipment have to be removed? Getting in is very easy, getting out is close to impossible. Tell me, how many troops have been REMOVED from Iraq since January 20? How many are still there? What news do we get about Iraq? Just move on to Afghanistan, then prop up the Pakistan Government and give them more weapons to fight the “taliban” in Pakistan, and people forget Iraq, and even are forgetting Afghanistan. The fight is now on the Pakistan side of the border with Afghanistan.

Forget Health Care of any meaning. Forget Climate Change policies. The United States of America is now a War Country, that is where the U.S. resources are going. There’s nothing left for any other problems. How much does the War Spending cost your congressional district (if you live in the U.S.)? Find out at the National Priorities Project (click here). Only YOU can stop this. There has been a financial collapse in the United States and throughout the world that will take a decade to overcome, and will be impossible to overcome unless the War(s) are ended. By adding troops, the light at the end of the tunnel has gotten farther away.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel Gets Farther Away with More Troops being Sent to War in Afghanistan

The American Population was motivated to put their dreams and aspirations into the young Presidential candidate promising ‘Hope and Change’. When you kill a dream, the soul dies. This speech demarks the end of the dream. It’s a repeat of Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the War in Viet Nam, it ended his “Great Society”. When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?

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On Monday Morning, call President Obama:
Take Action Now: It is not too late !
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: Stop the South Waziristan War and don’t attack Quetta, End the War(s).

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

President Obama leaks his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan

November 24, 2009

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT DECEMBER 1, ON TELEVISION: PRESIDENT OBAMA TO LAY OUT THE PLAN HOW MORE TROOPS WILL BRING AN END TO THE WAR. FUZZY PLANNING?

Hope and Change becomes more and more of the same
“It’s my intention to finish the job,” Obama said Tuesday in the East Room of the White House at at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “I feel very confident when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there and how we’ll achieve our goals, they’ll be supportive.”

This is our message to you, Mr. President.

Photo Denice Rehse Watson http://www.barewitness.org

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Take Action Now: It is not too late !
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: Stop the South Waziristan War and don’t attack Quetta, End the War(s).

How much does the War Spending cost your congressional district (if you live in the U.S.)? Find out at the National Priorities Project (click here). Only YOU can stop this.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

Daniel Ellsberg and Matthew Hoh discuss “Get out of Afghanistan Now”; Malalai Joya’s new book “A Woman Among Warlords” read now; CIA Chief Leon Panetta in Islamabad, why?

November 20, 2009

Dainel Ellsberg and Matthew Hoh brought to you by Brave New Conversations. Please listen to their conversation about our involvement in Afghanistan, and why we need to get out now. Please send this to all your mailing list.

Thank you Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films. Join their cause and help get the truth out.

To further understand the Pastun society that Matthew Hoh refers to, read Thomas Johnson and M. Chris Mason’s work entitled ” No Sign Until the Burst of Fire”, Understanding the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier”. It is a MUST READ to see how futile our efforts are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Malalai Joya’s story will be on our Blog every day for the next month. Please buy her book and visit her site.. Read her San Jose Mercury Opinion: “U.S. is doing no good in Afghanistan” here.
On Saturday, Nov. 7, Malalai Joya was at a gathering at San Jose State University in California to promote her book “A Woman Among Warlords” and to gather support for her people in Afghanistan. Malalai is a very brave woman to take on her own government and also the U.S. government, the occupiers of her country.

DSCN1610

Malalai Joya signing her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, a JB photo

Our story on Malalai Joya can be seen here. Buy a copy of her book, “A Woman Among Warlords” here, or at your favorite bookstore. A great Holiday gift idea. The subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice”. Visit Malalai’s website here for more information on how you can help.

CIA Chief Leon Panetta in Islamabad

CIA Chief Leon Panetta in Islamabad, talking with Prime Minister Gilani, more drone attacks? More payoffs for capturing high ranking fighters?  Getting out?

  • ISLAMABAD: CIA chief Leon Panetta on Friday held talks in Pakistan and found agreement on intelligence cooperation as President Barack Obama nears a decision on troop deployments to Afghanistan, Islamabad said. Panetta held talks with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Washington’s policy review in Afghanistan, said the premier’s office in a brief statement. Earlier on Friday, a US missile attack killed eight people, including foreign militants, in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border, the second such attack in two days, Pakistani security officials said. The US military does not, as a rule, confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region. Last Sunday, a US newspaper reported that the CIA provides hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, including payments for the capture or killing of wanted militants.
  • [Ed. Note: Leon, tell President Zardari that we’re leaving, but we will give them 5 Billion a year to keep up the fight. Get out now, dear friend, Leon Panetta, tell President Obama “It’s not worth it”. We are propping up a Failed State and Zardari only has support in the Teens, under 20% approval rating. Stop the killing of innocents.]

    * * *
    Take Action Now:
    Pass our link to your friends right now. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill “To prohibit any increase in the number of members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan.” Bill # H.R.3699. Do it now please. Then call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s).We will demonstrate in 100 cities if President Obama sends ANY troops to Central Asia ! Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

    Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. Tell them you will march in 100 cities if President Obama sends ANY troops to Central Asia. Tell them to support Barbara Lee’s bill HR 3699. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War(s) Now.

    “Why We Must Leave Afghanistan”, The Independent On Sunday; Malalai Joya’s new book “A Woman Among Warlords” buy one; Daniel Ellsberg Interview (replay)

    November 10, 2009

    Leading article: Why we must leave Afghanistan an Opinion from The Independent On Sunday [New poll in England shows 75% of citizens want all troops out within one year]

      One by one over the past eight years, the arguments for the continued presence of Nato troops in Afghanistan have fallen away. The last one, which held us back until now from calling for withdrawal, was the need to police the Afghan election in August. That election process is now over: last week the president’s main opponent pulled out, and Hamid Karzai was formally re-elected. That is not a happy outcome. For British soldiers to be deployed in support of a president whose position is bolstered by ballot-rigging tips the balance of our view from reluctant backing for the mission in Afghanistan to regretful opposition.

      The Independent on Sunday is proud of Britain’s armed forces, and has led the way in demanding that the Government honour – on behalf of the British people – its side of the military covenant, to provide troops with the equipment that they need and the support that they and their families deserve. On this Remembrance Sunday, we reassert our belief that our forces are entitled, above all, to clear and believable war aims.

      …Ultimately, we should make a British decision in the British interest. And that decision should be to wind down combat operations over a period – say, by Remembrance Sunday next year – and to restrict the mission to training the Afghan army and police force. Special forces operations should continue, especially on the Pakistan border, to disrupt any attempt by al-Qa’ida to return. But beyond that it is time to act on the observation of David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, that there can be no military solution in Afghanistan.

      It is time, on this solemn day on which we remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for our freedom and security, for a change in policy. It is time to say that this war is ill conceived, unwinnable and counterproductive. It is time to start planning a phased withdrawal of British troops. Read the full Opinion here.

    Malalai Joya’s story will be at the end of this Post every day. Please buy her book and visit her site.
    On Saturday, Nov. 7, Malalai Joya was at a gathering at San Jose State University in California to promote her book “A Woman Among Warlords” and to gather support for her people in Afghanistan. Malalai is a very brave woman to take on her own government and also the U.S. government, the occupiers of her country.

    DSCN1610

    Malalai Joya signing her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, a JB photo

    Our story on Malalai Joya can be seen here. Buy a copy of her book, “A Woman Among Warlords” here, or at your favorite bookstore. A great Holiday gift idea. The subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice”. Visit Malalai’s website here for more information on how you can help.

    Our story showing Daniel Ellsberg’s interview is being replayed here as it is important for all to view.
    Daniel Ellsberg: “No Victory in Afghanistan. Just take the Pentagon Papers and use the word Afghanistan instead of Vietnam, and you have the same thing.” Ellsberg points out that it will take about 600,000 to 700,000 troop increase (Afghan Military and U.S. and NATO troops) to have an effective counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Ellsberg says that the only reason that we are stil there is the Pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan. [See our Pipelinestan stories here.] Ellsberg believes that President Obama will cave in to the McCrystal request of 40,000 troops because he will not want the Military to revolt against him. He picked these military leaders, gave them the task of coming up with a “plan”, and now that they did, Pres. Obama is stuck with adding more troops. This will only lead to more deaths on all sides.

    [Ed. Note: Please pass this on to all your friends. It is a “MUST SEE”, and see if you can get it up the chain of command to your military friends and government official friends. Send a copy to your members of Congress and U.S. Senators. Demand that they listen to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who is responsible for the Vietnam War ending with the release of the Pentagon Papers]

    Final thought: There are people in the know that have information like the Pentagon Papers. Please step forward and End the War(s) NOW. Your country will be grateful.

    * * *
    Take Action Now: Pass our link to your friends right now. Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

    Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War(s) Now.

    Daniel Ellsberg Video “No Victory in Afghanistan and Pres. Obama will send more troops”

    November 6, 2009

    Daniel Ellsberg: “No Victory in Afghanistan. Just take the Pentagon Papers and use the word Afghanistan instead of Vietnam, and you have the same thing.” Ellsberg points out that it will take about 600,000 to 700,000 troop increase (Afghan Military and U.S. and NATO troops) to have an effective counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Ellsberg says that the only reason that we are stil there is the Pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan. [See our Pipelinestan stories here.] Ellsberg believes that President Obama will cave in to the McCrystal request of 40,000 troops because he will not want the Military to revolt against him. He picked these military leaders, gave them the task of coming up with a “plan”, and now that they did, Pres. Obama is stuck with adding more troops. This will only lead to more deaths on all sides.

    [Ed. Note: Please pass this on to all your friends. It is a “MUST SEE”, and see if you can get it up the chain of command to your military friends and government official friends. Send a copy to your members of Congress and U.S. Senators. Demand that they listen to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who is responsible for the Vietnam War ending with the release of the Pentagon Papers]

    Final thought: There are people in the know that have information like the Pentagon Papers. Please step forward and End the War(s) NOW. Your country will be grateful.

    * * *
    Take Action Now: Pass our link to your friends right now. Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

    Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War(s) Now.