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« Michael Winship: A Jane Goodall Thanksgiving | Main | Art & Healing »

Michael Winship: The Afghan Ambush

(Photo by Robin Holland)

Below is an article by JOURNAL senior writer Michael Winship. We welcome your comments below.

"The Afghan Ambush"
By Michael Winship

The decision has been made. The months of meetings and briefings are over. Tuesday night, the President made it official: 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Along with Friday’s announcement of an additional 7,000 from our NATO allies, after all those weeks of debate and consultation, the result’s pretty much exactly what our commander over there, General Stanley McChrystal, asked for in the first place.

As they used to say in the old war movies, we’re in it now, up to our necks. More than ever, this is Obama’s War. The mess he inherited from the previous administration is now his mess. And while many Republicans may don their helmets, rattle their empty rusty scabbards and shout that escalation is the only way to go, their temporary declarations of support are just that – temporary. Pats on the back are simply their way of finding the proper place to stick the knife.

Last week's Gallup Poll showed that while 65 percent of Republicans support sending all the troops McChrystal wants, only 17 percent of Obama's own Democrats do; 57 percent want a troop reduction. In other words, ignoring the entreaties of a majority in his own party Obama is going to war cheered on by the opposition that will do everything in its power next fall to bring him and his fellow Democrats down.

Friday’s NEW YORK TIMES reported, “President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan over the objections of fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill is straining a relationship already struggling under the weight of an administration agenda that some Democratic lawmakers fear is placing them in a politically vulnerable position.”

Next year’s midterm elections could be a disaster for the Democrats. That’s what happened to Lyndon Johnson. After winning by the largest plurality ever in 1964, bringing with him huge majorities in the House and Senate, in 1965 he escalated the Vietnam War. The next year, Democrats lost 50 seats in Congress.

That’s just one of the possible effects of this fateful decision, one that could scuttle Obama’s campaign promises of social and other reforms just as surely as the Vietnam War did President Johnson’s. Guns and butter, LBJ said; for a time he thought we could pay for both. We could not.

Money that could be spent generating jobs, improving education, fighting global warming and world hunger is poured into this bottomless chasm of war. Some estimates put the ultimate cost of occupying Afghanistan at a trillion dollars. Add that figure to the mind-numbing numbers we’ve already spent on the occupation of Iraq. It keeps mounting even as our cities and states are running out of cash, unemployment benefits are drying up, and we’re trying to figure out how to pay for health care reform – which some politicians are suggesting we back burner so that we can “focus” on the war in Afghanistan.

Yet nothing is certain about our objectives there. The original goal of capturing Osama bin Laden was lost long ago, and so scattered now are our motives and so shaky our rationale that, prior to President Obama’s speech, the Pentagon was asking the public to Twitter what “points and/or issues” they thought the President should highlight.

Nor is there any real evidence that the administration is serious about the 18-month timetable for withdrawal that the President announced in his West Point address. As THE NEW REPUBLIC’s Michael Crowley wrote, “The pledge is a largely empty one: In a conference call, White House officials made it amply clear that the extent and pace of any drawdown would be based on conditions on the ground. Theoretically, Obama's promise tonight could entail withdrawing 100 troops in July 2011 and pulling out the rest ten years later. Much as the White House wants to deny it, what we've got here is an open-ended commitment.”

Our own military says Osama bin Laden’s true believers have been reduced to a relative few, chased across the border into Pakistan or scattered as far as Yemen and Somalia. As for the Taliban, there seems to be a growing belief among many generals that at least certain factions can be bought off, much as the support of certain Sunni insurgents was paid for in Iraq, fueling the so-called “surge” that’s increasingly mythologized as victory. But what part of “take the money and run” does the Pentagon not understand?

And when it comes to training the Afghan police and army, and continuing to support the corrupt and dysfunctional government of Hamid Karzai – such a wager has all the makings of the sucker bet to end all sucker bets. Toss into that pot disputatious warlords fueled by self-interest, the opium trade and hostility toward any outside occupier, and the already slim odds fade to mathematical improbability.

You’ve made your decision, Mr. President, and good luck with it. But turn back as fast as you can. It’s an ambush.


Please note that the views and opinions expressed by Michael Winship are not necessarily the views and opinions held by Bill Moyers or BILL MOYERS JOURNAL.


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Comments

"Where there is no vision the people perish." FDR-March 1933

Our group got together for a Christmas break discussion and reached the consensus that our government and the institutions that operate it lack that critical vision FDR sought, and that there is no hope of recovering this system. Power concentration remains sufficent to somnabulize and quiesse the populace.Most agreed predictions for the new year (and coming decade):
1. More contractors and troops and trouble in more places (Yemen, Korea and so on) monopolize tax revenues.
2. Creeping cost of living (especially fuel and food) eclipses entitlement outlays while there is no safety net for the falling.
3. Global warming reaction of U.S. amounts to speculation in offsets. No "green" jobs besides outlays for nuclear and centralized electrical grid infrastructure.
4. More false flagged state terrorism to maintain social control. (Nuclear event highly likely)
5. More mind-numbing digital sadist blockbusters at the theaters and in media. More nostalgia. More mood elevators (The US already consumes half the world's antidepressants.).
6. Internet ever more exploitive (and exploitative), toxic and stupifying. All employments ever more predatory and alienating.


Note: Obama's speech about 90% of a loaf will go down in history beside Marie Antoinette's cake and Nero's bread and circuses.

7. Because weather and corporate capitalism are rapidly undermining food security.

Conclusion: 18 months ago Gladdie Victrola explained how blogging is useless because of internal contradictions of anonymous Internet activity. (We recommend economic resistance, simplification, noncooperation and civil disobedience in the immediate community. Abandon the credit system. Expand your definition of art to the polis.) Except for isolated cases we have not seen concerned people mobilized effectively for a good honest cause, and then in drips and drabs. All outlets are now toll roads (Gladiola calls them troll roads.). Apparently elderly Bill is abandoning the causes too. For these reasons and others you have definitely read the last of Figgers members.

"Good night (Vonnegut named it "Mother Night".) and good luck (American ingenuity now seems incapable of manufacturing its own luck.), echoed Murrow...

Figgersinstitute@yahoo.com
Goodbye moderators and WNET staffers. Thanks for your help. Goodbye snow-covered Winship. Consult the archives silently.

Final post
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Final post
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Gone

captcha- Finkle feedback

Too bad the regular pontificators scribble their holier than thou judgements on this blog to kick the "little guys" around.
Posted by Anna D.

DCE: You are a regular pontificator. You pontificate about the evils of religion. Why the ax to grind?
We all fall short when it comes to righteousness. Being human comes with a lot of heavy baggage. Be kind to yourself and you will find it easier to be kind to others.
You would never qualify as a little "Guy". (:-)>

The common theme with Moyers Journal is that he takes on the "big guys".

Too bad the regular pontificators scribble their holier than thou judgements on this blog to kick the "little guys" around.

Bill,
you are bad ass !

Bill,
How cool are you ?
You are the best !

Cough Cough, My throat is dry.

AnnaD.

I feel what my friend D.C. Eddy is trying to tell you in a polite manner in the greater words of Pogo's owner "KICK ROCKS" then...

Scream to the sky.

and then...

Come and say HI!

XOXOXOX

DEFINITELY not true in the real world, DC, and that's why WAR continues...
Posted by: Anna D

Strange comment coming from a person totally disconnected from reality.

Wars are also a disconnect from reality. The only thing that wars accomplish is death and destruction.
The only activity that provides life and that abundant is Cooperation, Efficiency, Justice, Wisdom Courage, Temperance and Equity.
In the famous words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy and they are us."

Anna D.
How sad too bad. You are a hopeless case. May the world find peace despite people's carnal nature.

"....because we depend on each other to survive not to mention that our freedom depends on social skills and an efficient society...."

DEFINITELY not true in the real world, DC, and that's why WAR continues...

Come to the SHINDIG next Year.

Your Right Hand Man...

Ash

Since everyone and anyone can call themselves "american" these days, what's the point of calling yourself corrupt, dysfunctional, arrogant and greedy?
Posted by: Anna D

DCE
While it is true that we are all dealing with our carnal nature; it is also true that we have the capacity to understand the need to overcome the carnal nature and do what is right and good because we depend on each other to survive not to mention that our freedom depends on social skills and an efficient society.
We can create hell or heaven on earth depending on our priorities and our values.
I am sorry to hear that you hit your head when you fell off of the wagon.
You just made the grievous error of asking the question that you answered yourself.

Di wrote, in part, "And after so much studying I've concluded it is the US that is corrupt and dysfunctional."

You have got to be kiddin' me, "Di"...

"Perverse arrogance and bloated greed" finds expression in every "nation" and in every "race" and in every epoch of world history!

Blacks sold blacks into slavery and are the one "race" on earth today practicing ruthless genocide on each other - talk about totalitarian regimes that make it real easy to place somebody on their "hate" list, just call them an infidel - scheesh.

North and south amercan natives hated each other and got pretty darn "savage" about it. Quite the genetic strain of S&M - no wonder why they like the jesus-on-a-stick "religion" being sold to them...

China and Japan went at it last century (and MANY times before that) in a way that gives anyone willing to study it a real insight into the status "human being" has for them.

India has an entrenched "caste" system and no one outside of that region really understands what the difference is between Pakistani and India, and frankly, we don't care about the reasons for hating each other that those two come up with - too weird and definitely not common sense "human" - all made up metaphysical stuff...

So don't go there, Di.

The "white meat" of the world contributing to the hodge podge of "arrogance and greed" may be accused of once too often breaking a SANE "prime directive" philosophy, but they always end up on the sidelines watching the self-destruction other nations manage to inflict on themselves by COVETING what "white man" came up with and created BY THEMSELVES, for themselves.

Wait until the trouble makers who always show up as the self-proclaimed "money men" start sucking out the moveable feast outside the USA...

Since everyone and anyone can call themselves "american" these days, what's the point of calling yourself corrupt, dysfunctional, arrogant and greedy?

Mr. Winship,
While all you say is true, your perspective is American and political. I am both Am and political, but first I am human. Having endured Bush-Cheney, I read and analyzed as much as I could. I especially remember Bill Moyer's show when he had 2 constitutional scholars who said if they were not impeached we'd have the next president with unprecedented power. We are stuck. And after so much studying I've concluded it is the US that is corrupt and dysfunctional. This is our historic pattern since the illegal invasion and terrorism committed on this entire continent, including the genocide, etc. We don't learn from our history because we don't want to. It is our way to disrespect, bully, torture and kill while simultaneously using God's name in vain. I am human first, and therefore feel sad that we are tax-paying suckers and slaves; soldiers exploited as well, and mostly I cry for the innocents, children, elderly, men, and pregnant woman and families that are torn apart, maimed, and slaughtered with not even a hint of somber reflection and humility on our part, rather perverse arrogance and bloated greed.

Anna D.
You are getting sleepy. Close your eyes and imagine that you are calm and collected...
O' ya! I was not going to do that.
Good post. It is very comprehensive. I knew you could do it.
Mission accomplished. (:-)>
Best wishes for a pleasant holiday season.
Dave

DCEDDY wrote, in part, "I think you have a lot of potential unfortunately, your laser focus on the issues is so scrambled I have no idea what side of the issue you are on."

Aha - there's the GAME revealing itself - "...what side of the issue...."

Thank you for the compliment - I am not on any "side" - IMMUNE to the schtick of "divide and conquer"...that must make you nervous, huh?

Along with not asking to be "counseled" by you, I also do not recall applying for some kind of "job" where your two cents is NEEDED as to my "potential" quotient...what hubris!

Back to LASER issue:

I have absolutely NO ACCESS to any data about how many Afghan people came under the USSR buzzsaw - but SOMEONE at CNN on a bloviator show coughed up the numbers about 1 million killed and 5 million displaced....so take it up with the propaganda machine - I, too, was wondering about the regurgitation of those specific "factoids" about the big bad bear of USSR and their superior-depleted genetic pool with weapons of destruction and what they were REALLY doing in Afghanistan...

So it's back to SPECULATION and considering that PRE-EMPTIVE wars are NEVER

NEVER

about anything other than the booty...

well, then...

Seems to me like whatever Afhgans are still left in Afhganistan after all these years of an ENDLESS parade of mercenaries kicking up dust in their villages...

the Afghans must have a very different "profile" as nationalists and maybe the peurile psychobabblers of psych ops are INCOMPETANT to comprehend a "culture" wrought out of the fires of "war"...tough metal, no?

Anna D.
I am a counselor along with a lot of other things but I am not trying to psycho what ever you said anyone. I think you have a lot of potential unfortunately, your laser focus on the issues is so scrambled I have no idea what side of the issue you are on. Your babble speak is a distraction from what you have to say. You might want to try Klingonese. It is much more to the point. You could invest in a good book on Ocham's Razor.
Apparently; the Afghans are still there which makes your numbers suspect. What is your point?

What qualifies you to psychobabblize me, DCEDDY?

Are you a shrink? Did I come to you for help?

I have provided alternative approaches to ALL the problems up for discussion...here's one more re: Afghanistan - supposedly USSR killed off one million natives and turned 5 million into "refugees"...so who the hell is still left...?! "Counter-insurgency"...? WHO would that be...?

When I CHOOSE to directly converse with YOU is when I stop the laser focus on the issue - which means this is the last time I will converse directly with YOU about issues as important as WAR.

Psychobabble 101

...ala computer-generated psych ops buzzology cut and pasted as a smelly red herring on a MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX propaganda topic, like duh..."Anna D.
I think the Venus versus Mars thing is undermining our effort to understand each other...
I am trying to provide practical solutions to important issues and you are trying to deconstruct my posts with emotional antinomies that complicate the issues.
I would appreciate it if you would provide better solutions that will resolve the issues.
I do agree that I should avoid ambiguous generalities.
However, Reality is always real by definition and money is not "magic"; it is a means to an end that is to provide the efficient exchange of goods and services.
Try not to be guilty of transferring attributes to me that you are exhibiting.

Posted by: D. C. Eddy"

Anna D.
I think the Venus versus Mars thing is undermining our effort to understand each other...
I am trying to provide practical solutions to important issues and you are trying to deconstruct my posts with emotional antinomies that complicate the issues.
I would appreciate it if you would provide better solutions that will resolve the issues.
I do agree that I should avoid ambiguous generalities.
However, Reality is always real by definition and money is not "magic"; it is a means to an end that is to provide the efficient exchange of goods and services.
Try not to be guilty of transferring attributes to me that you are exhibiting.

Yes, I do feel goofy for having a conversation with the typical computer-generated talking points, but what the heck :-) It still serves as a contrast to a REAL person and an agenda-soaked "personalizer".

Here's the BORING attempt at "personal destruction"

D.C.Eddy begins, "Anna D.
I think it is more like seperate the wheat from the shaft..."

AD - Okay, so you missed the irony when I reversed them on purpose - no biggie - I never expected you to want to get it...

DCE - "This nation and the economy are suffering from anemia already..."

AD - Wall Street is betting enough "consumers" will die from the anemia - they "BET" (insurance scheme) on it to the tune of 600 trillion for THEM THEM THEM.


DCE, "Without sufficient funds our economy will collapse."

AD - I see you share the belief in the "fetish" aspect of "money" - without the "magic" in the system, reality is not real.

DCE, "Why do you want to destroy our nation?"

AD - There you go again with the "we" and "our"...keep telling you I do NOT know what "our nation" are you talking about?! Who is the "nation"? Are you from the Navajo Nation who sent their skywalkers to built the Twin Towers? Are you talking about the "Gay Nation"? The "Latino Nation"? The Lalaland Nation...? Israel? Saudi Arabia? There ONVIOUSLY is not a "nation" that can pretend to be all of the above...there's the "elite" and everyone else - who are STUPID. Someone should write a book about a "nation" in the past that achieved and maintained "eempire" status through the psycho logical tactic of constantly calling the people "too stupid"....

DCE, "The demand side of economics has to support the government, the supply side of economics and the filthy rich."

AD - Huh?! In which alternate, sci-fi, virtual reality?

DCE, "It takes a lot of money to support a huge population with hi-tech systems."

AD - 300 million people is NOT a "huge population" and a washing machine is not high tech.

DCE - "It takes dynamic economics to support a progressive society. That means projecting economics to the future. The future never comes because when the future comes it is the present not the future."

AD - There's no metaphysical woo woo in regards to "time" - there's a past, a present and a future...with their own space on the continuum. Free will gets time and sapce in which to operate.

DCE, "Without dynamic economics in the present, we will all shrivel up and die."

AD - Someone already printed up 600 trillion against a "future" that is never going to happen - how is that not "dynamic" enough for you?

Anna D.
I think it is more like seperate the wheat from the shaft...
This nation and the economy are suffering from anemia already...
Without sufficient funds our economy will collapse. Why do you want to destroy our nation?
The demand side of economics has to support the government, the supply side of economics and the filthy rich.
It takes a lot of money to support a huge population with hi-tech systems.
It takes dynamic economics to support a progressive society. That means projecting economics to the future. The future never comes because when the future comes it is the present not the future. Without dynamic economics in the present, we will all shrivel up and die.

Billy Bob,

The aircraft which landed on the river Hudson did so because it met certain criteria. The aircraft involved in 911 didn't and couldn't nor did years of military training allow NORAD aircraft to be otherwise occupied unless the powers that be wanted it that way.

Jack Martin wrote, in part, "Have you been eating chaffee breaf for Hannukuh?"

Uh, what is "chaffee breaf" and why are people eating it only during Hannukuh?

Jack, I preseented the two dictionary definitions because it seemed LOGICAL to me that the word "tare" evolved in the spoken language at the bakery to mean something that combinied the two definitions - modern harvesting gathers up the wheat and the weeds, and each bundle is weighed before the farmer is paid, so "tare" is what they called it at the bakery...that's all...add the new USE of the word to the dictionary (heck, they added "unfriend" :))

Add in pharmaceuticals into the municiple water supplies - never mind oil and battery acids...we're all getting intact molecules pee'd out by all the "depressed" people...

Agree that social engineering by megalomaniacs was an utter failure....especailly because it DID throw out the wheat and kept the chaff.

Get on the scale, Anna. Look down. It that your tare weight or your chaff? If anyone acts professorial on here or pontificates...
Now look in the mirror.
Have you been eating chaffee breaf for Hannukuh?

(Written in the spirit of sibling rivalry (not riflery))

My purpose was not to belabor a fine philological point but to suggest how the categories of good and bad, useful and harmful are relativistic. Chaff may make good medicine. Roy Wagner of the University of Virginia made the crippling minset of modern culture clear in his book "The Birth of Culture" though he borrowed a little without credit from Greg Bateson. Most primative cultures harness contradictions in order to adapt while ours subverts them to delay corrections.
Anna would not have to innoculate herself weekly on fast food chicken if there were general access to wholesome food. And the water.... did y'all see the new report that most municipal water has sewage and pollutants? Our infrastructure is a goner and President Obedient is funding more runways. That guy could make Jello pudding in a shoebox: butter on a string!

Jack, the "teacher" shares with us, "Tares are bundles of cut grain grass that are carried to the threshing where the wheat seed is winnowed from its encasing chaff, and then it must be ground. The tares are good too, for roofing straw, or for weaving primitive textiles. Today we use straw to shelter our grass seeds in toxic lawns. They carpeted the cobbles with straw so that ailing artist Verde would not be disturbed by commerce. Can you see that happening today?"

Nope about Verde...

But about "tare", I checked BOTH dictionaries - the big honking Oxford from England and the American Heritage

and

tare (1), n. - The common vetch, Vicia sativa. 2. Any of several weedy plants that grow in grain fields. 3. Plural. Noxious elements, likened to weeds growing among wheat. By allusion to Matthew 13:25: "his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat"

and then there's

tare (2), n. 1. abbr. "t" - the weight of a container or wrapper that is deducted from the gross weight to obtain net weight, 2. A deduction from gross weight made to allow for the weight of a container. 3. Chemistry. A counterbalance, especially an empty vessel used to counterbalance the weight of a similar container.

I guess, Jack, that you might have to officially submit your definition of "tare" to the dictionary committee for inclusion, huh?

Jack Martin,
Thanks for the correction...
Despite the spelling error and the value of tares; metaphorically, we need to get the chaff out of the wheat. The corruption and incompetence is destroying our economy and our security. We are on the verge of social disintegration and that will be no picnic.

David: It's "wheat from the chaff". Tares are bundles of cut grain grass that are carried to the threshing where the wheat seed is winnowed from its encasing chaff, and then it must be ground. The tares are good too, for roofing straw, or for weaving primitive textiles. Today we use straw to shelter our grass seeds in toxic lawns. They carpeted the cobbles with straw so that ailing artist Verde would not be disturbed by commerce. Can you see that happening today?

Agricultural symbolism in a religious text is a fragile and volatile proposition necessitating great care. Who is it depriving the hungry of their daily bread? I laughed when you said God couldn't break the rules. He's kind of like Obama isn't He?

Anna D.
Personally, I think the Christians who voted for Bush the second time sold their soul to the devil for a false sense of security.
However...
When it comes to drugs, there is no connection between "religion" and drug Lords
because "Religion" is a general term and "Drug Lords" is a specific group of people.
There is a problem with some aspects of some religions that want people to be sheep to the slaughter and their religion becomes an opiate.
There is also a lot of confusion between what is a religion and what is a philosophy. Some religions are based on human concepts not the inspiration of a universal spirit. "Religion" has become a meaningless term.
As for me; I believe that there is a creative entity who makes a functional reality possible and has a direct influence on the outcome of reality. I believe that what I write is influenced by that entity. I Believe that Christ is a physical representation of that entity as both Man and God. I also believe that "God" is limited by his own laws that regulate the universe and that this earth is a piece of work in progress.
It might be handy to blame God for all of our problems but realistically; we are the source of those problems. We are an imperfect creation. Yet even then it is an amazing experience. Maybe some day we will get it right. Hopefully, that day will be before we become extinct. Our present course is one of self-destruct.

IF

and that is a BIG IF

considering that I STILL can't explain the STUPIDITY of selling YOUR weapons to others...

IF, indeed, the Heroin Lords are 50 miles away from the "capital"

and "nukes"...

then China, India, and Russia should be in the "fight" also, no?

But I, like EVERYONE else who have nothing but smoke up the arse in the way of avatar, virtual reality "Intelligence"

do not know if it was "considered" what USA LABOR will "feel"

if drug lords use the "weapon" we, supposedly, refused to use on them...

I, for one, will be teed off like a tribble who has been tazored...

"...Uh, duh, doh, "we" don't know how lightening works..."

But we can split atoms...?

What's WRONG with this "science" picture...?

PROVE, D.C. Eddy that "religion" is NOT uder the rule of drug lords...I will even be happy to SHARE all the DATA I have that it IS - beginning with the use of extacy (Navy invented chemical) in programming the "evangelical" movement...they did not stop with Patty Hearst, did they?

Anna D.
Yes in deed; it is all about separating the tares from the wheat.
This can only be done with systems that work efficiently and sort things out correctly with people's lives a first priority. We are us and we need to survive just like every other living being.
Self-defeat and self-destruct is the way of extinction.
Eat, drink and be merry after making the world a safe place to live.

DCEddy wrote, in part, "Anna D.
What is with thee?
I have a problem with the corruption of language and too many meanings for the same word."

Okay, I did not get that view from you from this cyber conversation...

my battle with the hounds of hell released by the censors of The Urantia Book began in 1991

and I very recently had an epiphany that awakened the WILD, force-of-nature 15 year old in me who Grandpa loved enough to spend 3 months educating about the fruits of iniquity so that I NEVER planted those seeds,

and realized that I am on my own this time around in my ruminations about "just war"...and that that is exactly as it MUST be - a free-will choice...

I still find what others ruminate about to be nourishing and was grateful that in January 2008 I wrote down something that would nurture me even more in December 2009:

"The language is so florid, so imbued with the writer's sense of self-importance, I can only wonder if it actually conveys any idea worthy of my consideration."

Tha answer is that is DOES NOT "convey any idea worthy of my consideration"...

nor does it behoove YOU, D.C. or anyone else to believe it is worth ANY consideration by anyone.

Been, literally, pounding the table that RELIGION be taken OUT of the hands of "state"...

Since it should be CLEAR to all normal minded people in every race culture and religion that INIQUITORS have been using "churches" the way sadists use Las Vegas off-strip bars to do achieve the same ends - CENSOR the true, beautiful and good with dante-inferno type dances...

So, "we" are going to knock RELIGION out of their hands

(yes, "force" will be applied)

AND "art" is next for a FORCEFUL "surge"...

"Culture" has more tenacles than an octopus and the "tension" between psychos and sociopaths danced every day to keep the NORMALS from living is

NO MATCH - force per force - mano et mano...for the arsenal CULTURE has at it's disposal...it was funny to read about Stanislaw writing down the REASONS for the Poles getting into it with the Teutonic Knights...whoever in the war profit biz that cut off that Polish soldier's head recently in order to get the Poles to commit more troops to Afghanistan did NOT do their psycho-logical homework properly - or should I say rather that they INTERPRETED the historical record all wrong?

The "hounds" are going down, that part is for sure - finally raised an army for that very important cultural tenacle "war" against CENSORSHIP....the "cat fight" part of it should be REALLY entertaining - I, too, can shoot an animal from a hovering helicopter, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you're a man

who is to help ME raise children IMMUNE to psycho "handlers" and the gossiping sociopaths who channel dead people...

18 years of planting good "seeds"...they can't even find all that "fruit"...time to tare the weeds....

Anna D.
What is with thee?
I have a problem with the corruption of language and too many meanings for the same word. I like when what is written says what it means and means what it says. I do not like language that can be easily misunderstood. I also like writing that has applied Ocham's Razor to avoid to many meaningless words.
When it comes to the word sadist what is most sadist is when people have no problem with torturing children if they think they can get the information they want. This is especially true when the children more than likely have no information to offer.
What is sick to the max is people who think they are patriots when they are causing the destruction of their nation.

Sorry, I posted my comments on the wrong story!

I am 61 and have known Howard Zinn nearly all of my adult life although he has not known me except in present day via email. I was a student at Boston Univ. in the late 60's and had the occasion to be involved in student protests and to have been fortunate to hear lectures of Prof. Zinn at that time protesting the Vietnam War.

I adored him and still do. I have read much of his People's History and his views of our government surely shed new light on some egregious, nefarious and destructive to human life our government in our name has perpetrated. He opened up a world of thought to me which remained unknown to me certainly within the structure of a public school system which never told the flip side of the story. History nearly always is written by the victors and at that time the US in my mind was victorious (and good) in everything it did. So many told me that fact.

After hitting the steps of Boston Univ. in the late 60's, hearing Howard Zinn, Murry Levin, Edgar Bottome and others I swiftly did an about cerebral face certainly about US history.

Still during the many years I have had to think about events age brings a jaded cynicism as to just how much will change and how much can I do to affect it within my lifetime. I begin to question who is correct in their world view the left or the right or is it really somewhere in between.

I would love to have asked Prof. Zinn if he really thought the basic nature of man is non violent. Does he really think no matter how non violent a society we could be there would not be another nation state somewhere at some time who would want to do us in. Negotiations with such a state would be fruitless and that if we did not strike first another country would.

Obama said that the United States has underwritten, like an insurance policy, the security of the world. Professor Zinn surely does not believe that. I suspect he believes the opposite. I would have liked Mr. Moyers to have levied some tougher questions for Mr. Zinn the kind of questions we who call ourselves progressives have to fight when confronting the opposition every time we express an opinion.

Mr. Moyers came close when he talked about Palin as a populist and Prof. Zinn said yes she had elements but she was militaristic. I would have loved Bill to have followed up on that. I would like to know from Professor Zinn how threatening the populist tea bag movement, who loves Sarah Palin, is to the other populists of my ilk who would lock horns with Palin's populism if it came to that extreme.

How much civil disobedience is possible and how much will be tolerated and what if during it we meet up with various gun loving, god fearing gay loathing populists who do not like our message?

There is a split in this country as I see it. Both the left AND the right hate what Washington is about and yet the left and the right hate each other possibly even more than they hate the nature of Washington DC itself.

D.C. Eddy wrote, in part, "You (iniquitous) can't even trust the dictionary these days. Words change their meanings at a rapid rate."

That's another sign of dementia - making stuff up.

Since my 2 year pocket journal and calendar is ending, I was reviewing it and came across this ditty I wrote down - did not reference it for myself, so I can't give credit but it I find it the best comeback to your insistence on "changing meanings"...maybe in the saved draft feature of "free" emails...? But then that puts YOU in the same cesspool of "handlers" as the ones on the cell phone giving orders to teenagers in Mumbai to kill...in case anyone is listening OUR meaning is not the same as what is in the dictionary...?

Here's the critique jotted down:

A recent memo forwarded - "...promises an attempt to map the handoffs and all processes in a combined swim lanes uber-process at an upcoming meaning...."

As a writer and a person who cares alot about the English language, I shudder when I run across phrases like this. The language is so florid, so imbued with the writer's sense of self-importance, I can only wonder if it actaully conveys any idea worthy of my consideration."

end quote

It took me YEARS to figure out WHY the selling of weapons to "friends"

(no quicker way to turn them into a foe than to arm them with your stuff)

was done the FIRST time on a massive scale - the Winchesters sent to Russia to transfer the wealth of the "elite" to the "people".

I thought it was because the info that peasants were to OWN the land they labored on was in the works under Czar Nicolai...

But with all the "self-help" psycho babble, I realized that it was an OTHER-than-"animal" business enterprise.

So here's from my dictionary, printed in 1981:

sadism - n. - 1. Psychology. The association of sexual satisfaction with the infliction of pain on others. 2. Broadly, delight in cruelty. (After Comte Donatien de Sade, who expounded principles of anarchic sexual violence).

Pre-emptive wars, especially when for no other REAL reason other than to get off, sexually, on the cruelty, is hardly "leadership".

Please note I am not saying that Obambi is a sadist, but it's obvious he doesn't have the POWER to find a way to peace. He would have the POWER if he BELIEVED in the POWER of the people (remember that catchy hippie phrase?), but it's all a Dilbert cartoon enterprise - everyone else is supplying the words in "feeds" to PSYCHO "handlers" of the USA PEOPLE - breath in - lie out.

What's a "sadist" these days, DCEDDY? A job at a Las Vegas micro-marketing, specialized night club?

Yes, Michael, another ambush of the American people by the oligarchy. Obama can't "turn back" because others are steering. He's just a rubber head glued on top the remote controlled car. You mean you were taken in, Michael, when they "put words in his mouth." Such magic works well on the savage mind. (Yo' I-phone smarter than you?)

The way I heard it, DCE, was that the centipede "delegated".

Anna D.
I am who i am and i ain't who i ain't and i definately am not Santa Claus.
I think what i think and i hope for the best despite the many contradictions.
You (iniquitous) can't even trust the dictionary these days. Words change their meanings at a rapid rate.
There is the story about the centiped who was running down a ditch when a spider asked him how he coordinated all of those legs. The centiped thought about it and never ran again.
D.C.E. (:-)>

Anna D.
Yes Mam! Slam Bang! It is all about deviant coping. Hate is love, war is peace and lies are the truth. It is the ignoring of reality and living in a soap balloon that will burst at a moments notice.
D.C.E.

David F. posted; Your concerns are valid. Confucius once said: “Sometime a delicious spicy chicken is actually a foul fowl in disguise.”

It is obvious that we have lost our moral compass. We are killing innocent people with no good intent. The end result will be a world torn appart by meaningless objectives.
We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and let the Arabs do their own nation building. The 911 disaster is proof that they do not want or need our meddling in their affairs. We need to de-corrupt our own government and stabilize our economy so that we can get on with our lives. The present incompetence is undermining our hopes and multiplying our fears. We need to call back the war machine and put it to work rebuilding our own nation before it collapses.

Posted by: D. C. Eddy

Who is this "we", Batman?

When convenient for loading on the bs, "we" the people have "POWER"

And then "we" don't have the "POWER"

IT CANNOT BE BOTH.

This latest nonsense of being able to "live" suspended between two "opposites" in some mythical zone of "tension" is the biggest and stupidest load of philosophical hooey yet - and I believe "we" all thought we had heard it all already...

NO ONE recovers from LIVING an iniquitous LIFE. NO ONE.

When generals start talking as if channeling the same box of fantasy as Greespam always channeled, then I'd say that's the "sign" that some other "we" other than the iniquitous "we" needs to print up our own symbols for LIFE MAINTENANCE.

What is beiing sold as high-faluting problem solving techniques hits my ear as REAL ORGANIC signs of dementia taking hold.

The constant USE of language to rationalize INIQUITY is NOT a NORMAL use of language. And because the TRUTH of that is so evident to the "silent majority" "we", insanity being sold as "genius" is merely a further piece of DATA confirmiing the diagnosis.

Crazy people CREATE problems that are so UNNATURAL, that, of course, the language has to become just as contorted and metaphysical as their "creation".

If "they" don't have the POWER to find a way to peace, they "they" don't have POWER.

Simple.

Apparently even the best intentionated "White House" occupant in turn, can't control and/or dominate the powerful "arms industries" and their lobbyists. What a disappointment with president Obama

Posted by: John Friedrich
"When will we ever learn?"

We would have "learn", when the people demand to place ALL the issues on a ballot.
When every one is and should be able "express their will, their hearts, and their souls!"
through a REFERENDUM.
To achieve this, the Constitution should be amended to empower the people.
As long as the people are not empower, the status quo will continue.
Rampage, corruption, tyranny, dictatorship, confiscation, lies, wars,
oppressions etc. by dysfunctional government will continue.
When the power of the oligarchy is striped and placed in the hands of the people,
only then we can say, "YES WE HAVE LEARN!"

It is obvious that we have lost our moral compass. We are killing innocent people with no good intent. The end result will be a world torn appart by meaningless objectives.
We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and let the Arabs do their own nation building. The 911 disaster is proof that they do not want or need our meddling in their affairs. We need to de-corrupt our own government and stabilize our economy so that we can get on with our lives. The present incompetence is undermining our hopes and multiplying our fears. We need to call back the war machine and put it to work rebuilding our own nation before it collapses.

Well said, Michael Winship. The Afghanistan war is not change we can believe in, any more than the Wall Street bailout.

This latest decision is tragic, really, but it is not a surprise. Obama campaigned on shifting from Iraq to Afganistan, and was given a pass by a public hungry for the overall change he represented. The questions that should have been asked during the campaign and since include whether sending an occupying force is part of the solution, or part of the problem. If we imagine for a moment the situation being reversed, that we were invaded for whatever purported reason, the answer to that question becomes obvious.

When will we ever learn?

Spending 300 of the 400 billion dollar defense budget on training, health care, the environment, alternative energy, high speed rail,ect. all these become affordable if you could take the money away from the imperial military machine. The public is just not interested in eliminating the Pentagon and the CIA. Fear tactics work !

Where is there a discussion of alternatives to continuing the war in Afghanistan? Without the war, our unemployment rate would rise to well over 15%, maybe as much as 20%. How could Obama possibly tell us that we must continue to fight in order to support the economy? All those people who make the tanks, for millions of dollare, that find the land mines that we also make, would be on our unemployment roles. Is it possible that by extending the time for one and one-half years, we just might get the economy back on track enough that we could economically find a way to employ all those out of work because of peace. How could Obama in good conscience announce that we must continue this war in order to uphold the economy of the nation? What is our alternative? How could we emplement that alternative?

737 military bases 234 golf courses run by the Pentagon Over 380,000 troops not counting military contractors. Imperial American forces promoting the Empire are far more dangerous than the Taliban. If the Taliban did not exist the Pentagon would need to invent them to justify the outrageous spending by the Industrial military.

D.Kay 12-6 6:07pm Anyone in the military knows a 747 can not crash land on the Hudson River & all on board survive. So?

Oil & nuclear weapons security will keep US there for decades & how can that work without military might?

Right or wrong is mute. We can not survive with both needs above not being met.

Respectfully,
Billy Bob Florida

A stable, Al Qaeda free Afghanistan is very desirable and could be vital for Afghani women. However, a stable Pakistan is absolutely essential. If we leave Afghanistan now, there is almost no hope of stabilizing Pakistan.

If we don't stabilize both Afghanistan & Pakistan together, we're going to be in some very deep sh*t if the Taliban & crazies take over the region. Then the situation will be exponentially worse -- and could even involve renegade Nukes in the hands of terrorists, or an India-Pakistan nuclear war.

President Obama probably feels the same. We have to work with Karzai which may spell failure, but we've got to try now, or resign ourselves to enormously more dangerous problems later.

The sad part of this Afghanistan escapade is there are some people who actually think it has something to with defense or finding Osama Bin Laden. This of course is due to the awful media coverage of everything to do with the military. Anybody who has served in the military must know that 911 was an inside job, it couldn't be anything else, just too many aircraft from Norad absent without leave, too many buildings falling down in freefall time and too many aircraft doing impossible maneuvers, flight 77 for instance was at 230 Feet above ground 3 seconds before recorded impact. That aircraft would have simply broken into peices before it got to the Pentagon.

The only Way the win a war is to end it, and anything else is a terrible loss.

=
MJA

nuclear weapons in terrorist hands potential & OIL needs will keep US in that region well past President Apology's term or terms.

So, is it the Liberal Lunnies proposition that all military return to USA land & the Navy, Air force & National Guard will stop evil doers at our borders & that REAL weapons of mass destruction be ignored, as ceasing overt actions from USA will mean the terriorist will go away?

We MUST prevent nuclear weapons from being used!!!

We MUST have OIL for some decades!!!

How can that be assured with out military might???

Respectfully,

Billy Bob Florida
Hon. disch USAF in the 60's

It is not unpatriotic to dispute President Obama's decision to escalate the war in Afganistan. Oliver Stone's words while taken from his fiction writings involved memories of war from being directly involved as a fighting warrior. It is very sad to see the dynamic young man I helped to elect become a puppet of the warhawks. We can only hope congress will stand up and defend our country by not funding this horrific troop increase. Not one more life should be wasted on this corporate venture for profit.

Bill Moyers, while I admire you as the most courageous and competent reporter in the craft, I must object to your use of fictive film to reinforce your point of view in your program with Oliver Stone.
Think about it: every word of every one of the films is fiction. Not one frame gets to the screen by the accident of reality. Every frame is carefully calculated to create some specific response in the breasts of those who see it. It is an admirable art, but too many view it as reality, or governed by the ethical rules of reality-based documentary. It is neither. I'm sorry to say I was appalled to see you advance that blurring of the line between fact and fiction.

Regards,

Bob Simmons
Bellingham, WA

PS: As editor of Newsday, you were on a panel who selected me for a CBS News Fellowship at Columbia University in 1969. It changed my life. Thank you again.

My father was a skinny 20 year old Marine Raider when he landed on Bougainville in 1943. On Guam the next year, his unit was on the far right at a place called Hill40 when the banzai charge came the first night. Next morning, 390 Japanese dead were counted on his company's front. Although he has gone on to live a "normal" life -successful career, 50 year marriage, 3 kids, there was always something odd, missing in our house. It took me 30 years to link it to something he had told me more than once. "In the Marines" he said,"they told us, don't make friends. It's easier that way." We kids learned all about distance, too. I wasn't even born, but thank you, WWII.

Our fiscal vulnerability may be a blessing in disguise if we have to start pulling out of our over 200 military installations around the world. We're still in Germany - Hitlers gone but not us. We're still raping little girls in (to the rage of the locals) Okinawa.

Obama doubtless trapped by politics, Republican jingoism, Military-Industrial oligarchic plutocrats, the venal whores of congress and his own "war-of-necessity verbiage. To die for such shallowness, in an 18 month time-frame, is an irony too sick to contemplate. The remaining family should get triple compensation - and that will be insufficient. Obama's instinct I believe was to pull out immediately. If so it's a tragedy he didn't steel himself to that belief - 2nd term be damned (which it may have assured).

Until we wake up and realize war is big money we will always do just as the established government says. we have the right to say NO, NO MORE !!!We are about to go through another war inheirated by the new guy. Just like Johnson Obama is doing the totally wrong thing. Until this government learns the cost of sending troops to do the business of other nations we are always going to be the biggest losers. We do not have an endless supply of young Americans to spend. We need to take care of those on the ground here at home before we cause the cost to be such as no one wants to enlist in a nation's military who does not value them when they are done there and come home to little or nothing left for them here.

Mr. Moyers, A truly great interview this evening with Oliver Stone- but nothing covered about the threat to America from terrorists getting control of the extensive nuclear arsenal in Pakistan or even the plutonium from all those bombs. Just how hard is it to defuse a nuclear site and dispose its waste? How many nuclear bombs are left world wide and how many do we need?

Bill:

Until the wicked underbelly of beast is uncovered, the Oiligarch Bankster Illuminati criminals who orchestrate our lives to suit their perverse ambitions; you will look like a petty coward betraying your country to the average red blooded American.

As long as they can continue to pretend that 9/11 was not orchestrated by Dick Cheney to gain authorization to plunder the world with our military, they will succeed and the sheeple will keep their heads down eating the grass. Everything wrong with our country can be traced back into the lap of these demons. Shine the light directly on them while we still can. Show their fingerprints on the weapons of their crimes. If Barack Bush suffers from the fallout so be it, he has to choose sides too. So far, he has been on their side, not on the side of the people.

Charles Michael Couch

i watched bill moyers and oliver stone. absolutely the most wonderful explanation of the attraction and tragedy of war i have ever seen. and a view which in a small way, i shared

If you really want to know what this war is about, google for the IPI and TAPI pipelines. When you've got your brain around all that, you'll realise that the Taliban will enjoy just the right amount of funding to make sure that Afghanistan remains unstable for as long as it takes to get IPI built.

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