Tag: Afghanistan

What the Mayor of One Community Hard Hit by War Spending Is Doing About It

Matt Ryan, the mayor of Binghamton, New York, is sick and tired of watching people in local communities “squabble over crumbs,” as he puts it, while so much local money pours into the Pentagon’s coffers and into America’s wars. He’s so sick and tired of it, in fact, that, urged on by local residents, he’s decided to do something about it.

We Can’t Afford Afghanistan

PETER G. COHEN: While Moody’s is saying that the U.S. could lose its gold-plated AAA credit rating if the budget deficit is not reduced, President Obama is requesting $33,000,000,000 FY 2010 supplemental to fund the troop buildup in Afghanistan. This is in addition to the war-funding budget for 2011 of $159,300,000,000.

Congressman Obey’s Path to Peace

DAVID SWANSON: Congressman David Obey (D., Wis.) is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He’s in charge of spending our money. For years he spent it on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without any resistance. Until last October, Obey maintained that spending hundreds of billions of our dollars on wars was something he just had no choice about.

War in a Box

NORMAN SOLOMON: The event on the House floor on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, was monumental — the first major congressional debate about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan…

Dollars for Death, Pennies for Life

NORMAN SOLOMON: When the U.S. military began a major offensive in southern Afghanistan over the Presidents’ Day weekend, the killing of children and other civilians was predictable. Lofty rhetoric aside, such deaths come with the territory of war and occupation.

New Afghan War Cost Analysis

JO COMERFORD: The president’s $30 billion figure for getting those 30,000-plus new surge troops into Afghanistan is going to prove a “through-the-basement estimate.” As for the dates for getting them in and beginning to get them out? Well, it’s grain-of-salt time there, too. According to Steven Mufson and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, some of the fuel storage facilities being built to support the surge troops won’t even be completed by the time the first of them are scheduled to leave the country, 18 months from now.

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: Thus far, most of the supporters and opponents of escalating the U.S. war in Afghanistan have focused on whether or not it is possible to secure a military victory in that conflict. But they neglect to consider that, in war, even a winner can be a loser.

Opium, Rape and the American Way in Afghanistan

CHRIS HEDGES: The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban. The moral lines we draw between us and our adversaries are fictional. The uplifting narratives used to justify the war in Afghanistan are pathetic attempts to redeem acts of senseless brutality.

OPW, Allies Meet with Congressman Kurt Schrader

PETER BERGEL: On November 9, a delegation organized by Oregon PeaceWorks met with Oregon’s 5th District congressional representative Kurt Schrader. On the agenda were the wars in the Middle East, global warming and health care. The meeting included representatives from OPW, Veterans for Peace, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Fellowship of Reconciliation and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Starting Another Year of War in Afghanistan

NORMAN SOLOMON: October 2009 began with the New York Times reporting that “the president, vice president and an array of cabinet secretaries, intelligence chiefs, generals, diplomats and advisers gathered in a windowless basement room of the White House for three hours on Wednesday to chart a new course in Afghanistan.”

Moving Beyond War in Afghanistan

WINSLOW MYERS: The challenge of helping Afghanistan while also serving U.S. security goals includes four aspects: first, U.S. fear of more terrorist attacks mounted from the region, second, fear that other powers, such as Russia or Iran, could assume undue influence, third, the potential use of the territory as a route to move resources such as oil and natural gas, and fourth, U.S. unwillingness to admit that the application of power may not part of the solution at all.

Army Prisoners Isolated, Denied Right to Legal Counsel

DAHR JAMAIL: Afghanistan war resister Travis Bishop has been held largely “incommunicado” in the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis, Washington. Bishop, who is being held by the military as a “prisoner of conscience,” according to Amnesty International, was transported to Fort Lewis on September 9 to serve a 12-month sentence in the Regional Correctional Facility. He had refused orders to deploy to Afghanistan based on his religious beliefs, and had filed for Conscientious Objector (CO) status.

The Afghanistan Gap: Press vs. Public

NORMAN SOLOMON: This month, a lot of media stories have compared President Johnson’s war in Vietnam and President Obama’s war in Afghanistan. The comparisons are often valid, but a key parallel rarely gets mentioned the media’s insistent support for the war even after most of the public has turned against it.

Recovering to Death

TOM H. HASTINGS: If stimulus packages for corporate sinkholes are good enough for the American taxpayer, why can’t we find $5.4 billion to create minimum wage jobs, with full health care benefits, for the 216,000 Americans who lost their jobs in August? Coincidentally, $5.4 billion is the amount the Pentagon will spend next year on unmanned vehicles, such as the Predator, which is killing so many civilians in Pakistan and turning our friends into our sworn enemies.

NPP Tallies Cost of War Through September 2009

Congress has appropriated another $84.8 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the remainder of the 2009 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama on June 24, 2009, allocates $45.5 billion for war-related actions in Iraq and $39.4 billion to Afghanistan[1] [2].

Response to DeFazio on the Supplemental

REBECCA GRIFFIN: Here in Oregon, it’s instructive to look at Rep. Peter DeFazio’s letter to his constituents explaining his decision to vote in favor of more than $90 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. DeFazio is reliably progressive on foreign policy, and is likely to be an ally if we can address the concerns he and other members of Congress have about Afghanistan policy.

Response to Senator Merkley

PETER BERGEL: I am deeply distressed to see no mention at all of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor any explanation as to why you supported the supplemental request for still more war funding.

Profile in Courage: Afghanistan’s Malalai Joya

HELAY SAFI: A brave young woman came in the political scenario of Afghanistan. Her speeches about peoples’ basic rights were broadcasted throughout the country. Her passion about helping people and standing for truth was very courageous. Her name was Malalai Joya. Joya was one of the candidates for the National Assembly. She grew up during the Soviet-Afghan war. She was well aware of the problems the country was experiencing at the time.

Afghanistan: Where Empires Go to Die

TOM ENGELHARDT: Excerpt: “…had they not been so blinded by triumphalism, Bush’s people really wouldn’t have needed to know much to avoid catastrophe. This wasn’t atomic science or brain surgery. They needn’t have been experts on Central Asia, or mastered Pashto or Dari, or recalled the history of the anti-Soviet War that had ended barely a decade earlier, or even read the prophetic November 2001 essay in Foreign Affairs magazine, “Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires,” by former CIA station chief in Pakistan Milton Bearden, which concluded: “The United States must proceed with caution — or end up on the ash heap of Afghan history.”