Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama’s Wars

January 7, 2009
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The true measure of a man is what he does with the promises
he makes. During last years presidential race I remained
skeptical about all of the candidates. Heard it, seen it
 before. Would Obama be a further disappointment as well?
His unwavering& uncritical support for Israel and a
willingness to escalate the US military involvement  in
Afghanistan have particularly troubled me. It really sounds
simplistic, but really, war is NOT the answer. In today's
NY Times the columnist  Bob Herbert writes about The Afghan
Quagmire [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06herbert.html?th&emc=th]
and, on the Huffington Post, Tom Hayden offers an even
broader perspective.Will Obama piss of theprogressive/populist/left
base that helped put him in office? I hope not. At the same
time we cannot simply sit back and not be critical of
looming errors in judgment that could derail a much broader
agenda of hope and change.

Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama's Wars
By Tom Hayden
January 6, 2009


On January 21, President Barack Obama will take
personal responsibility for the wars in Afghanistan and
Pakistan launched under President Bush. The Afghan-
Pakistan war is uniquely Democratic in origin, however.
Since John Kerry's 2004 campaign, hawkish Democratic
security and political consultants have asserted that
Afghanistan is a good and necessary war in comparison
with Iraq which they label a diversionary one.

This argument has allowed Democrats to be critical of
the Iraq War without diminishing their standing as
hawks who will employ force to hunt down Al Qaeda. As a
result, the rank-and-file base of the Democratic Party,
and public opinion in general, remains divided and
confused over Afghanistan. As a result, opponents of
the Afghanistan escalation remain at the margins
politically for now, although backed by a healthy
public skepticism given the Iraq experience. (more…)

President Obama’s Foreign Policy: The Change We Really Want?

November 27, 2008
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After nearly 40 years on the left side of the political spectrum I’ve come to expect disappointment and betrayal from the Democratic party. I am a skeptical member of that party. I want to have “hope”  for a better vision of the world my kids will grow up in.. I was impressed by Obama’s campaign and the outpouring of street level support for him. I was impressed with his speech at 5th Third Field. On the other hand John McCain was anathema, definitely not a good choice for President, so I voted for Obama. I did so knowing full well Obama is not the “democratic messiah”
So what do we do now? How does the amorphous movement of people
Maintain influence with the new President? What is the best path for progressives to follow? The article re posted below is one vision, focused on the critical question of what Obama’s foreign policy is going to look like. It’s long, but well worth the time. Expect more on this important debate.
November 26, 2008 By Joanne Landy jlandy@igc.org
Source: New Politics
Joanne Landy’s ZSpace Page

With the election of Barack Obama, millions in the United States and around the world are hoping for relief from the dangerous arrogance and destructiveness of George Bush’s foreign policy. President Obama is expected to take important positive initiatives — like closing Guantanamo and lifting the rule denying international organizations receiving U.S. aid the right to let women know about abortion. When the inevitable right-wing reaction to these initiatives comes, it will be crucial for us in the peace movement to defend them. On some broader questions, there is a chance that with strong continuing popular pressure — from both within and outside the United States — the pre-election hopes of many Obama supporters can be realized on issues such as an end to the war in Iraq or stepping back from Bush’s attempt to install “missile defense” in Poland and the Czech Republic. (more…)

Obama, Ask the Kremlin about Robert Gates

November 25, 2008
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Nearly 16 years ago, during the last transition from a President Bush to a Democrat, Moscow made an extraordinary gesture to Washington: The Kremlin supplied a summary of its intelligence information about secret U.S.-Iranian contacts in the 1980s.

The report was from a national security committee of the Russian Duma to Rep. Lee Hamilton, who had requested what might be in Moscow’s files as part of a task force investigation into whether the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 had interfered with President Jimmy Carter’s bid to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran.

The Russian report arrived late, via the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, showing up on Jan. 11, 1993, but the contents were stunning. The Russians reported that their intelligence revealed that long-rumored meetings between Republicans and Iranians in Europe during Campaign 1980 had indeed occurred. (more…)


May 14, 2008
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Petraeus Testimony Next Week May Signal Iran Attack/By Paul Craig Roberts

April 7, 2008

April 05, 2008

By Paul Craig Roberts

Today (April 5) the London Daily Telegraph reported that “British officials gave warning yesterday that America’s commander in Iraq will declare that Iran is waging war against the US-backed Baghdad government. A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran’s intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian military facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment.” [British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes – Telegraph, By Damien McElroy, April 5, 2008]

The neocon lacky Petraeus has had his script written for him by Cheney, and Petraeus together with neocon warmonger Ryan Crocker, the US governor of the Green Zone in Baghdad, will present Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday with the lies, for which the road has been well paved by neocon propagandists such as Kimberly Kagan, that “the US must recognize that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq.”

Don’t expect Congress to do anything except to egg on the attack. On April 3 the International Herald Tribune reported that senators and representatives have made millions of dollars from their investments in defense companies totaling $196 million. (AP).

Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is already on board with the attack on Iran. The London Telegraph quotes Skelton: “Iran is the bull in the china shop. In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi’ite groups, whether they be political or military.”

All Skelton knows is what the war criminal Bush regime tells him. If Iran really does have all these connections, then it behooves Washington to cease threatening Iran and to make nice with Iran in order to stabilize Iraq and extract the US from the nightmare.

Reporting from Tehran on April 4, Reuters quotes Mohsen Hakim, whose father, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leads the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, an ally of the Maliki US puppet government in Iraq: “Tehran, by using its positive influence on the Iraqi nation, paved the way for the return of peace to Iraq and the new situation is the result of Iran’s efforts.”

Instead of thanking Iran and working with Iran diplomatically to restore stability to Iraq, the Bush regime intends to expand the nightmare with a military attack on Iran. Ryan Crocker was quick to dispute Hakim’s report that Iran had used its influence to end the fighting in Basra.

Crocker alleged that Iran had started the fighting. The absurdity of Crocker’s claim is obvious as even the neocon US media reported that the fighting in Basra was started by the US and Maliki in an effort to clear out the Shi’ite al-Sadr militias. Most experts saw the attack on al-Sadr for what it was: an effort to remove a potential threat to the US supply line from Kuwait in the event of a US attack on Iran.

Crocker alleges that the rockets dropping on the Green Zone during the Basra fighting were made in 2007 in Iran. As should be obvious even to disengaged Americans, if Iran were to arm the Iraqi insurgency, the insurgents would have modern weapons to counter US helicopter gunships and heavy tanks. The insurgents have no such weapons. The neocon lie that Iran is the cause of the Iraqi insurgency is just another Bush regime lie like the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and connections to al Qaeda and the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan attacked the US.

The Bush regime will tell any lie and orchestrate any event in order to “finish the job” in the Middle East.

“Finishing the job” means to destroy the ability of Iraq, Iran, and Syria to provide support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon against Israeli aggression. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Syria might simply give up and become another American client state. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Israel can steal the rest of the West Bank along with the water resources in southern Lebanon. That is what “the war on terror” is really about.

The entire world knows this. Consequently, the US and Israel are essentially isolated. The US can only count on the support that it can bribe and pay for.

At the NATO-Russian summit in Bucharest, Romania, on April 4, Russian President Putin said:

“No one can seriously think that Iran would dare attack the U.S. Instead of pushing Iran into a corner, it would be far more sensible to think together how to help Iran become more predictable and transparent.”

Of course it would, but that is not what the warmonger Bush regime wants.

Perhaps the British government has derailed the plot to attack Iran by leaking in advance to the London Telegraph the disinformation Cheney has prepared for Petraeus and Crocker to deliver to the complicit US Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the other hand, the US puppet media is likely to bury the real story and to trumpet Petraeus claims that Iran has, in effect, already declared war on the US by sending weapons to kill US troops in Iraq.

By next Thursday we will know. from how the Petraeus-Crocker dog and pony show plays in the US Congress and media. whether the Bush Regime will commit yet another war crime by attacking Iran.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.


March 31, 2008
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The war in Iraq continues on into it’s 6th year, and so begins our 4th year of Bannering at the Ball Park.

Please come & join us Monday, April 7, Opening Day for the Dayton Dragons at 5th/3rd Field, on the corner of 1st Street & Patterson in Dayton, from 6:00 to 7:00pm. The game starts at 7:00. We have some signs or bring your own. Rain or shine — last year it was really cold and the year before it poured, so come prepared for the weather.


Monday, April 7, Opening Day 6:00 for 7 PM game

Sunday Home Game dates:
**Note: the Sunday games are at varying times this season
20 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game
4 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game
11 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game
18 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game

1 @ 3:00 for 4 PM game
8 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game
22 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game

6 @ 6:00 for 7 PM game
13 @ 6:00 for 7 PM game
27 @ 6:00 fro 7 PM game

17 @ 6:00 for 7 PM game
31 @ 6:00 for 7 PM game

Sept – Closing Day
1 @ 1:00 for 2 PM game (Labor Day Weekend, Sunday 8/31 game is at 7:00, Monday game is at 2:00. Details of which game we do to follow.)

Opening Day 2007: 3265 US troops killed. Current number: 4,010

Support our troops, bring them home now,
and take care of them when they get here!


March 29, 2008
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We sponsored anti-war billboards like those above in recent months at ten locations in the Dayton area. Our latest will soon be along the eastbound lane of Needmore Road, between Wagoner Ford Road and Old Troy Pike. Anti-war advertisements like this are important and need your support. Please help us continue this effort. Donations can be made by mail to Dayton Peace Action, 1717 Salem Avenue, Dayton, OH 45406. Kindly make checks payable to Dayton Peace Action. Another option is to make a secure donation through PayPal by clicking the “Make a Donation” button below. For questions about donations, which are not tax deductible, email us at donation.


Soldiers Testify at Second Winter Soldier:Veterans from Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Describe Systematic Brutality

March 20, 2008
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By Spencer Ackerman

March 17, 2008The Washington Independent http://www.washingtonindependent.com/view/soldiers-testify-at

Out of context, the picture seemed ordinary, open to interpretation. It showed the butt end of five or six rifles, sloppily stacked in a pile inside an armored vehicle. In context, it documented a cover-up of accidental-or even intentional-shootings of Iraq in on combatants by U.S. Marines in Iraq’s Anbar Province in 2005 and 2006.

At least three Marines who served in Anbar during that period said that their platoons carried “drop weapons”or tools that Iraqis were not permitted to possess to plant on the bodies of Iraqi noncombatant corpses incase of a wrongful killing.

They did so with the approval of their chain of command. “It was encouraged, almost with a wink and anudge, to carry drop weapons and shovels with us,” said Jason Washborn, a Marine corporal who served three tours in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. “In case we accidentally did shoot a civilian, so we could toss weapon on the body to make [him] look like an insurgent. I was told that if [the Iraqis] carried a shovel, or if they dig anywhere, especially near roads], then we could shoot them [on suspicion of planting roadside bombs]. So we actually carried tools in our vehicles.” (more…)

COUNTING THE UNCOUNTABLE:The Human and Economic Costs

March 15, 2008
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Counting the Uncountable


The Human and Economic Costsof 5 Years of War and Occupation in Iraq



Michael McConnell, the American Friends Service Committee’s Great Lakes Regional Executive Director and creator of the national “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit, will present his new program on the Cost of War as part of the Wednesday, March 19th program at Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren, 1717 Salem Avenue, Dayton. This presentation is both powerful and instructive on the true costs of the war in Iraq. The program begins at 7:30pm.

The Human and Economic Costs

The economic cost of the Iraq war is far greater than most people imagine, with more than $1 trillion tax dollars spent in the first five years of the war — which translates to $720 million a day or $500,000 per minute. This figure is based upon the work of Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Business School professor Linda Bilmes. This money should be spent in more effective and humane ways: aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, an eventual Iraqi-led repair and reconstruction, and funding vital needs — such as health care, jobs and education — here in the United States.

Sources: http://www.epsusa.org/StiglitsBilmes10-06.pdf

The Human Cost of War-Iraq

The Iraq war and U.S. occupation has been a catastrophe for Iraqis. The violence has touched every corner of the country, killed hundreds of thousands, and displaced millions. Casualty numbers are difficult to calculate but using statistical methods tested in other conflict zones, a Johns Hopkins study published last year estimated that there have been 655,000 war-related deaths since March 2003. Other estimates put the toll at more than one million. In addition, more than 4.5 million Iraqis have been displaced by war and occupation, making it the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Sources: http://www.opinion.co.uk/Newsroom_details.aspx?NewsId=78 , http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf


The Human Cost of War-U.S.

The cost of the war for U.S. servicepeople and their families has been high indeed. Four thousand U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq, leaving children, parents and spouses behind. But this tells just part of the picture. Iraq veterans who return home must deal with the consequences of physical and emotional wounds for the rest of their lives. The Department of Defense reports that 28,000 servicepeople have been seriously wounded. And according to a CBS news report, 6,256 U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide in 2005 – an average of 17 a day – with veterans overall more than twice as likely to take their own lives as the rest of the general population.

Sources: http://www.icasualties.org; http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/ 2007/11/13/cbsnews_investigates/main3496471.shtml


For more Info: AFSC, 915 Salem Avenue, Dayton, OH 45406 937-278-4225 broberts@afsc.org

Karl Rove & John McCain:Evil Twins???

February 12, 2008
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In this YouTube video presumptive Republican presidential nominee McCain says of Karl Rove:

“Nobody denies he’s one of the smartest political minds in America. I’d be glad to get his advice. I get advice from a lot of people. I’d be happy to have his advice”

This is just another sad example of how McCain is embracing the failed policies of the Bushies.  Fair warning to all who think McCain is  moderate or centrist in his politics. When you accept the endorsement [and the maximum $2300 donation] from Karl Rove you are indeed embracing the Dark Side.

The Huffington Post has an excellent article:

 End of a Romance: Why the Media and Independent Voters Need to Break Up with John McCain


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