The Objectives Some Have For Afghanistan Will Cost Americans — Big Time

-

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

My chat tonight on America’s Afghanistan engagement and General McChrystal’s plea for a new strategy or more troops with Keith Olbermann on Countdown.
Bottom line — Things are not well in Kabul or 1600 Pennsylvania.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

51 comments on “The Objectives Some Have For Afghanistan Will Cost Americans — Big Time

  1. kotzabasis says:

    POA
    Clemons is a realist and he knows deep down in his heart that what I said “a tragic possibility looming,” i.e., assassination, is only too real. It was only in a moment of emotional detachment from reality that he edited my post as in it I neither “advocated” nor “condoned” an assassination, as you stated with the intention to ‘demonize’ what I said. Clemons, however, is wise enough, unlike you, to keep and expend his emotions in the boudoir where they can be lustfully productive and not unwisely, like you, take them and squander them on the snow covered peaks of politics.
    But I understand, you in your political infancy see all kinds of bogeymen attacking you and take cover under the blanket. So now you can add another bogeyman to your attackers, my “stupidly satanic” verse on REALITY since you are too cowardly to face that reality.

    Reply

  2. ... says:

    john waring – thanks for that article.. more people in positions of influence on the usa’s involvement in afgan need to read it…

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    Kotz,
    I even hesitate to call your insane militarism “thoughts”. Amor propre? Spirituality?
    You must be joking. The only nice thing I could possibly say about your mentality, is
    that if America had listened more to people like you, there would be no invasion of
    Iraq and Afghanistan, because America would still be absorbed in the quijotic project
    of hunting down commies in the jungles of Vietnam.
    Please don`t lecture us about reality, Kotz. You`re not a thinker. You`re a nightmare.

    Reply

  4. John Waring says:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175116/ann_jones_us_or_them_in_afghanistan_
    Please read this article by Ann Jones, someone who actually knows something about real Afghans.
    I continue to be just staggered by our lack of knowledge about that culture.
    Only Dan Kervick’s world class ability to write burlesque can do justice to the nuttiness of our policy.
    At the danger of repeating myself, we might as well be on the moon for all the good we are dong there.

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    arthur – i’m not an american, so i can’t answer your question directly, but as a canuck i can say that it sure looks like the sibel edmunds story is very relevant, which would have to mean the main news outlets are doing a very bad job…
    kotz acting insane again…

    Reply

  6. Ajaz says:

    The Generals are saying that without more troops war effort in Afghanistan will be lost. What they cannot visualize is that with more troops, failure will come sooner.. Many military and independent observers admit that 80% of Afghanistan is already lost to Taliban and this, after eight years of military effort!
    Those of us old enough to remember early days of Vietnam war, remember well that troop levels were around 50,000 at first, then 100,000, then 250,000 and still the Generals wanted more, saying that we can only defeat the enemy if we have more troops. President Johnson listened to them and increased troop levels to over 400,000. United Sates still lost the war and to this day, hasty retreat of U.S. troops from Vietnam haunts many a mind.
    Afghanistan is no different, same scenario will be played out again if troops are increased, only more American young men and women will die, more Afghans will be bombed and the resultant hatred against the U.S. will last for another 20 to 30 years. It is time to learn a lesson from history. “Nations who do not learn from past mistakes are bound to repeat them”.
    It is no fault of the Generals that they ask for more troops. This is what they know – have strength to fight the enemy. Generals are no politicians and it is not in their purview to think politically, that is the job of the politicians and the President.
    It is still not too late to achieve a reconciliation in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders have hinted more than once that they are willing to talk. U.S. has the means and the motive to accomplish a reconciliation. What is needed is an immediate ceasefire and a conference of all Afghan players, Northern Alliance, Hazaras, Pashtuns, Taliban and all others. U.S. and NATO should tell them that if you want foreign troops to leave, they have to reconcile and get along with each other.
    Annul the Presidential elections and hold fresh elections after a peace conference so all parties can freely participate and if the people of Afghanistan want an Islamic Government, let them have one, only do not isolate them like before, so they go to bed with terrorists. Bring the new Afghan Government into the fold of international community and let them realize their responsibilities to the international community.
    Afghanistan and its people have suffered a great deal in the super power rivalry. It is time this country was at peace and started rebuilding its infrastructure, an education system and created job opportunities for its young so they don’t follow religious extremists. A Marshall style reconstruction plan for Afghanistan and Western part of Pakistan could change the political landscape of that part of the world and yet, it would cost a great deal less than extending the war.
    President Obama, do not send more troops to Afghanistan. Start a reconciliation process in that country and bring all American troops home from Afghanistan within a year.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It was not Steve Clemons who edited my post it was his temperament of the MOMENT”
    Really? Lets put it to experiment;
    Post something that stupidly satanic again, and lets see if he removes it.

    Reply

  8. kotzabasis says:

    Norheim
    The fact that you had to immediately ‘second’ your first post with a smart Alec comment that included another bete noir of yours, Nadine, speaks volumes about your lack of confidence in your posts, the weakness of your character and, as I said before, lack of amour propre. It’s obvious that Nadine inhibits your intellectually guilty conscience from resting in sleep during the night.
    POA
    It was not Steve Clemons who edited my post it was his temperament of the MOMENT.

    Reply

  9. arthurdecco says:

    This paragraph needs to be shouted, exactly as written, from the rooftops of America, not relegated to the pages of a 2nd tier political blog, fer crissakes! (2nd tier in terms of hits, Steve – I’m not competent to judge TWN’s influence.)
    “If Sibel’s story doesn’t scare the shit out of you, than there’s something wrong with you. Her story, if true, exposes Washington DC as little more than a safe house for traitors, whose least concern is the security of this nation’s citizens. Sibel’s story MUST be investigated fully, thoroughly, and publicly. It MUST be disproved, or we can never again trust in our government until we know the truth. If Obama does not react to this story, to Sibel’s sworn, and now public allegations and accusations, then we KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Obama is merely a figurehead, a false and fraudulent leader of a false and fraudulent democracy with a false and fraudulent body of laws.” posted by POA
    OHMYGAWD!
    How could ANY honest American choose to discuss anything else at this time?
    This is as fine a description of the maggots chewing on the corpse of America as I have ever read!
    But hey! …instead of discussing this elephant in the room let’s get all gushy and gooey wide-eyed about about TAWP DAWG Clinton’s latest corporate infomercial and how difficult it is to get through security. Or gain access…that’s just so much more…
    unimportant.
    Last time I checked TWN was a political blog, not a fanzine. So you can understand my confusion And my anger. (Yes Virgina – we’re allowed to be angry knowing now there is NO Santa Claus.)
    I’ve asked the following question numerous times here and I haven’t received a single response.
    Not one. From Anyone!
    Is there NOT A SINGLE AMERICAN PATRIOT LEFT IN GOVERNMENT WITH THE BALLS TO CRACK SOME HEADS OVER THIS OUTRAGEOUS BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?!?!
    NOT ONE?!?!?!? (And YES, Viginia – we’re all duty-bound to shout about TREASON!)

    Reply

  10. JohnH says:

    Paul Norheim–yes, Katcher posted something on this a week ago. But Katcher speaks with nowhere near the authority of Pilar. There are finally some really authoritative people saying WTF? about Afghanistan in particular and American foreign policy in general.
    I guess asking WTF? is better later than never. It would have been even better if they had woken up and started being vociferous years ago.

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    thanks paul – the headline on that thread threw me off but you are correct…. it is worth repeating pilars contention…

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You know Kotz, if you’re going to talk about spirituality, you should probably do so from something other than the skull faced devil’s grin that your posts bring to mind.
    You should wallow in your celebrity, Kotz, I don’t recall Steve ever editing a post before. It can be your newfound claim to fame; being so fuckin’ rabid that even the tolerance of Steve Clemons was taken to its outermost limit.

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    In any case, examining the thoughts of commenters
    like Kotz and Nadine, I can`t detect any trace of
    lipstick.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Reality has become even nastier recently, partly
    thanks to thoughts by people like you.

    Reply

  15. kotzabasis says:

    Norheim and POA
    Reality is nastier than my thoughts but intellectually, spiritually, and morally you are too craven and chicken-hearted to face it.

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    …,
    TWN`s Ben Katcher dedicated a post to this issue less than one week ago:
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/09/do_terrorists_r/

    Reply

  17. ... says:

    johnh – i am sure the ‘powers’ that be are loath to draw parallels like the ones Paul Pilar is making… just look to steve here at twn as to how most connected media types are dazzled by grand poobah think tank, assemblies, and the like to the point of overlooking critical considerations such as paul pilar outlines… it will take another 10 years of afgan stupidity to get the insights that paul pilar is able to offer at present.. too bad so much stupidity has to be repeated.. the usa can’t seem to help itself when it comes to creating disasters and finding good rationale from intelligent experts on why they have to continue to bang their head against the wall as a nation… it is the fate of those paying attention to have to live thru it consciously, while we hear from experts on the wisdom of staying the course and etc. etc. etc…

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    Paul Pilar, deputy chief of the counterterrorist center at the CIA from 1997 to 1999, has a piece in the Washington Post:
    “Among the many parallels being offered between Afghanistan and the Vietnam War, one of the most disturbing concerns inadequate examination of core assumptions. The Johnson administration was just as meticulous as the Obama administration is being in examining counterinsurgent strategies and the forces required to execute them. But most American discourse about Vietnam in the early and mid-1960s took for granted the key — and flawed — assumptions underlying the whole effort: that a loss of Vietnam would mean that other Asian countries would fall like dominoes to communism, and that a retreat from the commitment to Vietnam would gravely harm U.S. credibility.
    The Obama administration and other participants in the debate about expanding the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan can still avoid comparable error. But this would require not merely invoking Sept. 11 and taking for granted that a haven in Afghanistan would mean the difference between repeating and not repeating that horror. It would instead mean presenting a convincing case about how such a haven would significantly increase the terrorist danger to the United States. That case has not yet been made.”
    “The debate has largely overlooked a more basic question: How important to terrorist groups is any physical haven? More to the point: How much does a haven affect the danger of terrorist attacks against U.S. interests, especially the U.S. homeland? The answer to the second question is: not nearly as much as unstated assumptions underlying the current debate seem to suppose.”
    Exactly. Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist nest didn’t need any foreign safe haven. What was indispensable to McVeigh and Bin Laden was training by the US military. And they got trained, like millions of others, some of whom are not all that stable mentally.

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    nadine doesn’t read… if she did she wouldn’t lie so regularly… i addressed kotz comment of the surge working (not)… for that all nadine can do is make up lies…

    Reply

  20. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Steve..we know you dislike censoring our comments so I trust your judgment when you feel it is necessary…thanks for providing a stimulating forum and giving us freedom of expression 99+44/100th % of the time….

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Why would anyone comment on the “points” contained in a post that seemed to advocate, or at least condone, the assasination of President Obama, Nadine?
    Tell us again how no one is going hungry in Gaza, you ignorant wretch.

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    See, kotz, nobody even addressed your points. Anybody who disagrees with the liberal intelligentsia is a racist fear- and hate-monger. See? That is supposed to end the argument. No argument allowed.
    This is the definition of liberal “tolerance.”

    Reply

  23. ToddinHB says:

    The more I read and hear about our policy (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan, I am reminded of Dirty Harry’s line from “Magnum Force”:
    “A man’s go to know his limitations.”
    Extrapolate from man to nation and that’s why we have to leave this conflict behind. Al Queda doesn’t rise or fall on democracy thriving in this ungovernable country, and unless the other NATO countries are willing to take the lead, then we should leave post haste. If Obama is becoming Lyndon Johnson, then at least accomplish something on the scale of the Civil Rights Act and push healthcare reform through, then bite the bullet and withdraw from Afghanistan.

    Reply

  24. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — this is a story for others to lead on. Not going to do so. best, steve

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Where is Ben Katcher on this Sibel Edmonds story? He seems to post regularly on Turkey.
    Do Steve and Ben just think this story is just going to go away?

    Reply

  26. Kathlee Grasso Andersen says:

    My head hurts…every time I try to listen to explanations by the Adminstration. Congress the Military, of what we’re “trying to do” in Afghanistan, I feel like I’m trapped in the Tower of Babble, listening to the Olympics of babbling…none of it makes sense, given Afghansistan did not attack us…the official version is that a bunch of Saudis did, a bunch that we had previously paid to go to Afghanistan in the first place…why are we in Afghanistan, really?
    Let’s just cut to the chase…we don’t give a flying fuck about Democracy anywhere…we just want a “gov’t” that we can call “legit” to rubber stamp mineral leases with exploitative terms for major corporations.
    How are we doing in Iraq these days???What’s the status of our efforts to “privatize” Iraq’s oil industry and the 70/30 split we want Exxon-Mobile and Shell to get? How many have to die to protect corporations from the awful fate of having to pay a fair price for their raw materials?

    Reply

  27. samuelburke says:

    check this out over at philipweiss mondoweiss.net
    ‘NYT’ left out Kristol’s Israel-firstism (and what about those
    neocon women!)
    by Philip Weiss on September 22, 2009 · 5 comments
    The Times ran a long flattering obit of the late Irving Kristol by a
    neolib, Barry Gewen. Kristol lived a long life, 89 years. Good for
    him. I hear he was charming, too. Here is something Gewen left
    out that I think is important, about Kristol’s transformation in
    the 70s. In 1973, as I’ve reported before, Kristol wrote for the
    Congress Bi-weekly, a publication of the American Jewish
    Congress:
    Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to
    cut the military budget by 30%. And this is to drive a knife in the
    heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big military budgets. But it is
    now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military
    establishment in the United States… American Jews who care
    about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t
    want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that
    military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.
    http://mondoweiss.net/

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve………..
    Once again, Brad Friedman has expressed a willingness, in fact, a desire, to have contact with you over this Sibel Edmonds thing.

    Reply

  29. samuelburke says:

    jeff huber ove at antiwar shines a light on the pentagon.
    “McChrystal has become the point man in the Pentagon mob’s
    unrestricted information-warfare campaign against its
    commander in chief. According to a Sept. 21 Washington Post
    article by Bob Woodward, McChrystal’s 66-page assessment of
    the Afghanistan situation “bluntly states” that “without more
    forces, the eight-year conflict ‘will likely result in failure.’”
    McChrystal assessment states that “failure to gain the initiative
    and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12
    months) – while Afghan security capacity matures – risks an
    outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”
    Defeating insurgencies is never possible. The only folks who
    ever win an insurgency war own a majority share in the local
    gene pool. For us to “succeed” in Afghanistan would require at
    least 10 percent of us to move there permanently – something
    that might just happen, come to think of it, if Obama continues
    to accede to the Pentagon’s demand for escalations.
    And there’s plenty of pressure for him to do so. Petraeus says, “I
    don’t think anyone can guarantee that it will work out even if we
    apply a lot more resources. But it won’t work out if we don’t.”
    That’s a lovely piece of obscuration; we should apply more
    resources, but don’t blame me when it doesn’t work out.
    A Sept. 18 McClatchy piece says that the military is “growing
    impatient with Obama on Afghanistan” and complaining that
    “the Obama administration is sending mixed signals about its
    objectives there and how many troops are needed to achieve
    them.” This information comes from unnamed “officials” and
    “senior officers” in Kabul and Washington, who hint that
    McChrystal might resign if he doesn’t get his way on additional
    troops.
    The McClatchy article reports that “some [unnamed] members of
    McChrystal’s staff” said they “don’t understand why Obama
    called Afghanistan a ‘war of necessity’ but still hasn’t given them
    the resources they need to turn things around quickly.” I bet you
    a shiny new Illinois quarter that these members of McChrystal’s
    staff included his personal public affairs officer, Rear Adm.
    Gregory J. Smith, who is one of the Pentagon’s leading
    propaganda operatives.
    McChrystal reports that the Afghan government is riddled with
    corruption, the same situation that we have in Iraq and the same
    situation we had in Vietnam. “The weakness of state institutions,
    malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption, and
    abuse of power by various officials … have given Afghans little
    reason to support their government,” McChrystal says. Those
    aren’t the kinds of things we can fix.
    During his talk show telethon last Sunday, Obama said, “I’m not
    interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in
    Afghanistan or saving face or … sending a message that
    America is here for the duration.”
    That’s a direct answering shot to the Pentagon’s chief
    propaganda point: that in order to succeed in Afghanistan, we
    must promise the Afghan people to stay there forever and then
    do it. That doesn’t do the Afghan people a whole lot of good –
    they got along just fine before we showed up – but it gives the
    Pentagon a never-ending excuse to exist.
    It might just be that Obama can reverse the insane tide of self-
    destructive militarism that Dwight David Eisenhower warned us
    about during his 1961 farewell speech. “We must guard against
    the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or
    unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” Ike said. “The
    potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and
    will persist.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/huber/2009/09/21/obamas-high-
    noon/

    Reply

  30. samuelburke says:

    the text copied above is from col reese, he tells us how
    succesful an operation iraq has been.
    Text of memo from Col. Timothy R. Reese, Chief, Baghdad
    Operations Command Advisory Team, MND-B, Baghdad, Iraq.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/world/middleeast/
    31advtext.html

    Reply

  31. samuelburke says:

    iraq is a spectacular failure by any metric…
    the number of civilians killed by foreign forces there and in
    afghanistan are enough to bring back the nuremberg trials.
    hitler is a baby in diapers and goebbels would have envied the
    propaganda machines of the western powers.
    “As the old saying goes, “guests, like fish, begin to smell after
    three days.” Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement,
    we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell
    bad to the Iraqi nose. Today the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are
    good enough to keep the Government of Iraq (GOI) from being
    overthrown by the actions of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the
    Baathists, and the Shia violent extremists that might have
    toppled it a year or two ago. Iraq may well collapse into chaos of
    other causes.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/world/middleeast/
    31advtext.html
    “The general lack of progress in essential services and good
    governance is now so broad that it ought to be clear that we no
    longer are moving the Iraqis “forward.” Below is an outline of the
    information on which I base this assessment:
    1. The ineffectiveness and corruption of GOI Ministries is the
    stuff of legend.
    2. The anti-corruption drive is little more than a campaign tool
    for Maliki
    3. The GOI is failing to take rational steps to improve its
    electrical infrastructure and to improve their oil exploration,
    production and exports.
    4. There is no progress towards resolving the Kirkuk situation.
    5. Sunni Reconciliation is at best at a standstill and probably
    going backwards.
    6. Sons of Iraq (SOI) or Sahwa transition to ISF and GOI civil
    service is not happening, and SOI monthly paydays continue to
    fall further behind.
    7. The Kurdish situation continues to fester.
    8. Political violence and intimidation is rampant in the civilian
    community as well as military and legal institutions.
    9. The Vice President received a rather cool reception this past
    weekend and was publicly told that the internal affairs of Iraq
    are none of the US’s business.”

    Reply

  32. ... says:

    i missed what kotz originally said, but this from kotz is so ‘out of line’ it’s bizarre..
    “the Surge turned the losing war in Iraq into victory.”
    poa is right… kotz is insane.. anyone who associates the very large stain on the usa as a win is to not working with a full deck.. i bet kotz thinks the usa won in vietnam as well… bizarre how some folks think..
    the usa seems to have a history of throwing more money at something when it isn’t working… that is a privilege that is fast disappearing and will be a relief when it’s no longer available…

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Never mind Kotz, he is obviously insane. You people haven’t deducted that by now? Gads, just look at his website.
    There are paid shills posting here.
    There are idiots posting here.
    There are racists posting here.
    And then there’s Kotz, who enables us to say, with all honesty, there are maniacs posting here.
    The story of the day, of the week, of the month, of the year, of the decade, is Sibel Edmonds. Her allegations and sworn testimony, rock the very foundations of American foreign policy, and the players who shape that policy.
    There is virtually no arena or policy that can be trusted to be in our best interests when such allegations, assertions, and testimony goes ignored. Just by virtue of their silence on this issue our politicians render themselves suspect, and our Fourth Estate shows itself to be a pawn, a covert arm of a corrupt and unrepresentative government run amok.
    If Sibel’s story doesn’t scare the shit out of you, than theres something wrong with you. Her story, if true, exposes Washington DC as little more than a safe house for traitors, whose least concern is the security of this nation’s citizens. Sibel’s story MUST be investigated fully, thoroughly, and publically. It MUST be disproved, or we can never again trust in our government until we know the truth. If Obama does not react to this story, to Sibel’s sworn, and now public allegations and accusations, then we KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Obama is merely a figurehead, a false and fraudulent leader of a false and fraudulent democracy with a false and fraudulent body of laws.
    Wake up, people.

    Reply

  34. Steve Clemons says:

    Dear Commenters — I had to take the reluctant step of editing one of Kotz’s statement. This blog will not host a discussion of Oswald-like acts. End of subject. I’ll delete any further discussion on that front. I don’t like censoring, but that’s a line TWN will not cross.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  35. JohnH says:

    kotzabasis may be nasty or he may have been reading about what happened to JFK when he challenged the military and the CIA…
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7408

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Re Kotzabasis` Oswald comment:
    Kotz, you`re even more nasty than I thought.

    Reply

  37. JohnH says:

    The stumbling and stammering surrounding the objectives and strategies for Afghanistan is truly mind boggling! Even General McCrystal said that “without a new strategy, the mission should not be resourced!” Has US leadership ever looked more ridiculous?
    As the venerable Yogi Berra once said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”
    You get the impression that America’s foreign prestige bubble is about to break, just like the financial bubble burst the illusion of a god-like finance industry. Right now we’re at the stage where the militarists want more money to prop up a bankrupt foreign policy and maintain the illusion of constructive American power. Mitch McConnell frames it as showing America’s resolve to fight a long war. To McConnell and his backers in the energy security complex, it matters not whether the war has any point or not. Just keep them on the dole and send more money ASAP.
    And when the bubble finally breaks, a lot of dirty laundry will be hung out to dry. Sibel Edmonds only had a small window into what’s going on in Washington.
    But the problem is pervasive. Going all the way back to the military interventions in the Balkans, there has been something suspicious about American foreign policy. This is obvious, since the government could never really account for what it was doing. Oh, there were the official, stated reasons, which most people accepted at face value. But those reasons could not really bear scrutiny, kind of like the reasons a cheating husband gives his wife when he doesn’t come home in the evening. The real reasons for attacking Serbia and Kosovo, occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and threatening Iran have yet to be divulged.
    When the bubble breaks, there will be a lot of criminality regarding government/industry collusion exposed, profiteering in the name of the “public interest” and at the expense of “disposable” foreigners.
    My guess is that this is why people are so desperately trying to keep the bubble inflated, in Eastern Europe, in Central Asia, and elsewhere. When the bubble breaks, there will be a lot of back biting and finger pointing. The Bernie Madoffs of the energy security complex will be exposed along with a lot of others.

    Reply

  38. easy e says:

    10:40AM “Progressive “lapdogs for the lobby””
    Can a more apt discription be coined for Maddow and Olberman???
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agreed. But those are very obvious MSM whores.
    More interesting will be her revelation of the alternate media & blog lapdogs.
    Inquiring minds will be staying tuned…

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Progressive “lapdogs for the lobby””
    Can a more apt discription be coined for Maddow and Olberman???

    Reply

  40. easy e says:

    Interesting comments below responding to Sibel Edmonds interview in American Conservative, and her reply about some of the “progressive” alternate media:
    Commenter SO: “I won’t spend at penny for that rag, but if you have a web link I would love to read what you had to say.
    Commenter RA: “…But, I wouldn’t hold out much hope that the “liberal” media is going to cover your deposition or much of anything else of import to We the People – they’re owned, lock, stock and barrel by Empire’s ideology…”
    Commenter SO: “…I haven’t read the magazine and I’ll take your word that they may have some good writers or efen good articles. I am a progressive and I don’t support conservative efforts. Their ideas have been long ago discredited…”
    SIBEL EDMONDS REPLIED: “…My other point: many of those alt media who present their reporting as ‘progressive’ for ‘progressives’ happen to be the lap dogs for the lobby and certain agenda-driven establishment. Hopefully soon (after this piece, and after my special podcast interview with a former FBI official, I will start name some of these pseudo progressives, and their records…Stay tuned for that one…”
    More here, http://123realchange.blogspot.com/2009/09/exclusive-interview-with-sibel-edmonds.html
    Progressive “lapdogs for the lobby”. Should be revealing…or not.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is the thread, from January of ’08, where Steve takes up the Edmonds issue. Its an interesting read. Notable that Giraldi commented.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/01/sibel_edmonds/
    Thus far this morning, a google search turns up a few lesser MSM entities reporting on Sibel’s allegations, but no majors. It will truly be interesting to see this one go pfffft. They will need a major story to shove it to the backburner, so be prepared.
    If this story goes away without a fuss, you can count this democracy as not dying, but long dead.
    We’re fucked.

    Reply

  42. DonS says:

    Glenn Greenwald writes today about the addiction to continual warfare that has come to characterize current US foreign policy, with obvious domestic spill over:
    “The factions that exert the most dominant influence on our foreign policy have only one principle: a state of permanent warfare is necessary (the public and private military industry embraces that view because wars are what bestow them with purpose, power and profits, and the Foreign Policy Community does so because — as Gelb says — it bestows “political and professional credibility”). In his 1790 Political Observation, James Madison warned: “Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded. . . . No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Can anyone doubt that “continual warfare” is exactly what the U.S. does and, by all appearances, will continue to do for the foreseeable future . . . “
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/09/21/iran/index.html
    Quite clearly, the demonization of the Muslim world as a convenient surrogate for “terrorists” provides and ongoing source of targets, which threatens to radicalize even more populations in a self fulfilling prophecy that feeds into the militaristic thesis of the “long war”, the fiscal and psychological meal tickets for the whole range of “thinkers” stuck in a belligerent interpretation of America.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_War_(21st_century)

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    GIRALDI: And, of course, none of this has been investigated. What do you think the chances are that the Obama administration will try to end this criminal activity?
    EDMONDS: Well, even during Obama’s presidential campaign, I did not buy into his slogan of “change” being promoted by the media and, unfortunately, by the naïve blogosphere. First of all, Obama’s record as a senator, short as it was, spoke clearly. For all those changes that he was promising, he had done nothing. In fact, he had taken the opposite position, whether it was regarding the NSA’s wiretapping or the issue of national-security whistleblowers. We whistleblowers had written to his Senate office. He never responded, even though he was on the relevant committees.
    As soon as Obama became president, he showed us that the State Secrets Privilege was going to continue to be a tool of choice. It’s an arcane executive privilege to cover up wrongdoing—in many cases, criminal activities. And the Obama administration has not only defended using the State Secrets Privilege, it has been trying to take it even further than the previous terrible administration by maintaining that the U.S. government has sovereign immunity. This is Obama’s change: his administration seems to think it doesn’t even have to invoke state secrets as our leaders are emperors who possess this sovereign immunity. This is not the kind of language that anybody in a democracy would use.
    The other thing I noticed is how Chicago, with its culture of political corruption, is central to the new administration. When I saw that Obama’s choice of chief of staff was Rahm Emanuel, knowing his relationship with Mayor Richard Daley and with the Hastert crowd, I knew we were not going to see positive changes. Changes possibly, but changes for the worse. It was no coincidence that the Turkish criminal entity’s operation centered on Chicago.
    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/nov/01/00006/

    Reply

  44. DonS says:

    Kotz, for sheer in-your-face fear and hate mongering, your 8:52 missive is right on a par — well I’m not even going to compare. Sad.
    Obalma’s “war of necessity” comment was unfortunate, because no matter how he tries to relate it to the policy de jour, it will be used against him if he does manage to curtail the worst possible trajectory of the militarists. And probably even if he doesn’t.

    Reply

  45. kotzabasis says:

    Obama, Clemons, the liberal intelligentsia and their crowd of senseless cohorts will be placed in history’s wax museum of perfidy for their betrayal of both General Petraeus and General McChrystal, who demonstrably with their savvy strategy of the Surge turned the losing war in Iraq into victory. If the Obama administration now rejects the McChrystal recommendations and turns to seek advise from other untested experts in the field of counterinsurgency, as Secretary Clinton hinted in her interview with Margaret Warner, and dumps the two glorious generals who demonstrably, repeat, saved America from a humiliating defeat in Mesopotamia and from the ominous and dire dangers that would have risen from such a defeat for the security of America and the West, then nothing will save the Obama administration from the obloquy of historians.
    In this inconceivably daft proposition of the “intelligentry,” to use the term of the British historian, Robert Conquest, for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, it shows itself to be sans political-strategic nous and moral fortitude. And if Obama reneges from his “war of necessity” and ‘stabs’ in the back the commander on the ground, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, that Obama himself appointed, he will be betraying not only his most conspicuously successful counterinsurgency generals, i.e., Petraeus and McChrystal, but also America’s security and vital interests. Ineluctably then Obama will justifiably be a one term president . . .
    [editor's note: I edited this statement for inappropriate content. Steve Clemons]

    Reply

  46. samuelburke says:

    things are not going well in many corners of our constitutional
    republican democracy.
    over at amconmag phil giraldi has an interview with sibel
    edmonds.
    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/nov/01/00006/
    GIRALDI: So the network starts with a person like Grossman in
    the State Department providing information that enables Turkish
    and Israeli intelligence officers to have access to people in
    Congress, who then provide classified information that winds up
    in the foreign embassies?
    EDMONDS: Absolutely. And we also had Pentagon officials doing
    the same thing. We were looking at Richard Perle and Douglas
    Feith. They had a list of individuals in the Pentagon broken down
    by access to certain types of information. Some of them would
    be policy related, some of them would be weapons-technology
    related, some of them would be nuclear-related. Perle and Feith
    would provide the names of those Americans, officials in the
    Pentagon, to Grossman, together with highly sensitive personal
    information: this person is a closet gay; this person has a
    chronic gambling issue; this person is an alcoholic. The files on
    the American targets would contain things like the size of their
    mortgages or whether they were going through divorces. One
    Air Force major I remember was going through a really nasty
    divorce and a child custody fight. They detailed all different
    kinds of vulnerabilities.
    GIRALDI: So they had access to their personnel files and also
    their security files and were illegally accessing this kind of
    information to give to foreign agents who exploited the
    vulnerabilities of these people to recruit them as sources of
    information?
    EDMONDS: Yes. Some of those individuals on the list were also
    working for the RAND Corporation. RAND ended up becoming
    one of the prime targets for these foreign agents.
    GIRALDI: RAND does highly classified research for the U.S.
    government. So they were setting up these people for
    recruitment as agents or as agents of influence?
    EDMONDS: Yes, and the RAND sources would be paid peanuts
    compared to what the information was worth when it was sold if
    it was not immediately useful for Turkey or Israel. They also had
    sources who were working in some midwestern Air Force bases.
    The sources would provide the information on CD’s and DVD’s.
    In one case, for example, a Turkish military attaché got the disc
    and discovered that it was something really important, so he
    offered it to the Pakistani ISI person at the embassy, but the
    price was too high. Then a Turkish contact in Chicago said he
    knew two Saudi businessmen in Detroit who would be very
    interested in this information, and they would pay the price. So
    the Turkish military attaché flew to Detroit with his assistant to
    make the sale.
    GIRALDI: We know Grossman was receiving money for services.
    EDMONDS: Yes. Sometimes he would give money to the people
    who were working with him, identified in phone calls on a first-
    name basis, whether it’s a John or a Joe. He also took care of
    some other people, including his contact at the New York Times.
    Grossman would brag, “We just fax to our people at the New
    York Times. They print it under their names.”

    Reply

  47. Dan Kervick says:

    The last part of Steve’s interview highlighted something that is really starting to bug me about the Afghanistan issue. The Obama administration has fallen into the Bush administration pattern of sowing confusion and undermining trust by telling multiple stories about the purpose of the mission in Afghanistan. For the experts, they tell a more sophisticated story, mainly about Pakistan and the role of Afghanistan in the broader strategic challenge of Pakistan. But for the general public, it is Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda.

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    This isn’t about Gen McChrystal or Gen. McChrystal’s strategy. Both he and his strategy are dispensable and really irrelevant vis a vis further quagmire in Afghanistan. Of course for necons, and those who promote all war all the time it’s important to always assume a robust military component to any decision. USA as the world’s policeman, and nation builder, and enabler of Israel hawks and their destabilizing agenda.
    Unfortunately, the alternatives presented by recent administrations have not reformed the basic US footprint in the world or redirected strategic thinking away from military confrontation, global dominance, and a transitional approach to a post great power world where the US dominates in all spheres.

    Reply

  49. nadine says:

    McChrystal signals he will resign if he doesn’t get more troops. Is that what you want, Steve?:
    WASHINGTON — Six months after it announced its strategy for Afghanistan, the Obama administration is sending mixed signals about its objectives there and how many troops are needed to achieve them.
    The conflicting messages are drawing increasing ire from U.S. commanders in Afghanistan and frustrating military leaders, who’re trying to figure out how to demonstrate that they’re making progress in the 12-18 months that the administration has given them.
    Adding to the frustration, according to officials in Kabul and Washington, are White House and Pentagon directives made over the last six weeks that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, not submit his request for as many as 45,000 additional troops because the administration isn’t ready for it.
    In the last two weeks, top administration leaders have suggested that more American troops will be sent to Afghanistan, and then called that suggestion “premature.” Earlier this month, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “time is not on our side”; on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the public “to take a deep breath.”
    The White House didn’t respond to requests for comment. Officials willing to speak did so only on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
    In Kabul, some members of McChrystal’s staff said they don’t understand why Obama called Afghanistan a “war of necessity” but still hasn’t given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.
    Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he’d stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.
    “Yes, he’ll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far,” a senior official in Kabul said. “He’ll hold his ground. He’s not going to bend to political pressure.”
    On Thursday, Gates danced around the question of when the administration would be ready to receive McChrystal’s request, which was completed in late August. “We’re working through the process by which we want that submitted,” he said.
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/v-print/story/75702.html

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    “My chat tonight on America’s Afghanistan engagement and General McChrystal’s plea for a new strategy or more troops”
    General McChrystal is not pleading for a new strategy OR more troops. General McChrystal is pleading for a new strategy AND more troops, in the starkest possible terms.
    Senator Levin was doing the same misquoting on the airwaves today. Did the memo come from the DNC last night to do damage control of the leaked memo by claiming that McChrystal didn’t say what he obviously DID say? You repeat the party line too obviously. You are losing credibility.
    And here I thought Afghanistan was the “good war”, the “important war”. Oh wait. That was last year, during the campaign. My bad.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *