Sara Whitman

New and Improved Strategy: End the War

Filed By Sara Whitman | November 28, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Afghanistan, health care reform, iraq, obama's war

Comprehensive new strategy in Afghanistan will be unveiled by the end_the_war.jpgPresident soon.

You know what this will mean? More troops, and the war will now be his. No longer Bush's mistake.

Eight years. How many more? Two? Ten?

I want out. I never wanted in, to be honest. Sure, the night of 9/11, I was mad. Angry. The missile strikes felt righteous, in some way. In a way that a impulsive teen yells at a parent to get something they want.

Doesn't work that way, though.

I'm tired. I'm tired of losing political battles. I'm tired of losing real battles, with real soldiers dying, being wounded, having their lives shattered. For an oil pipeline, because that's the only thing, aside from the opium trade, that is going on in Afghanistan. Let's at least be real about that.

"New" strategy. Just like a health care plan that promises to be all that, and ends up with abortion restrictions tagged on by some nightmare right wingnuts at the last minute. Not to mention, it really isn't universal, it really isn't going to help those who need it the most. New and improved- it never is. It's the same old shit, packaged with a new advertising campaign.

We sit with a majority in both houses, and nothing gets done. All this "working across the aisle" is utter bullshit. I don't remember Bush ever working with Democrats.


We owe billions of dollars in short term debt- money we don't have, mind you- and yet we are still at war. Want to pay for health care, real health care? End the war. Want to pay the debt we owe without madly printing money that will lose value? End the war.

Want to bring thousands of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, home?

End the war.

The mess in that country was there a thousand years ago and will be there a thousand years from now.

If the President is really serious about new and improved? End the war.

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You are sooo correct.

How much more time must pass? The same amount of time that has passed since the Crusades?

Opium, oil pipeline, security subcontractors, supply transport subcontractors, bribes for locals to keep our troops safe, arms manufacturers/dealers, death dealers.

When will it all stop?

I agree... End the WARS (plural).


There are currently four US led wars going on in South Asia in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The US is threatening war on Iran, endangering the fight to overthrow the ayatollahs killer regime.

The war in Iraq began under Bush1 who feared a regionally powerful Iraq. That was Bush’s motive, not ‘independence’ and democracy in Kuwait, traditionally part of Iraq and ruled by a reactionary royal family. After Bush’s first phase, which featured the murder of couple of hundred thousand fleeing Iraqi soldiers in the ‘kill box, Clinton escalated. The war took a violent anti-civilian turn under Clinton, who ordered an embargo on food, medicine and on that killed about half a million Iraqi children. Challenged on the awful consequences Clinton's SecState said the policy was "worth it".

All the major Democrat and Republican candidates promised to continue the war. Obama proposed a phased withdrawal, a slippery way of saying that the US would stay until the oil was conserved. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq is not over and won't be unless the Iraqi oil workers unions and the insurgents are beaten, which is very unlikely. There is no light at the end of that tunnel.

The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, like it's counterpart in Iraq and the zionist effort against Palestine, is a war against civilians. It's so bad that even the Karzi quisling collaborators have complained. Richard Neville, in an article "The Flood of Kabul-Shit

Let’s call it Kabul-shit – the propensity to ignore the years of violence inflicted on Afghanistan and to paint the invaders as heroes. It sometimes seems that the greater the slaughter of civilians, the louder the praise for the mission. This may be due to guilt. Britain’s Gordon Brown: We are in Afghanistan to purge terrorism. Australia’s Kevin Rudd: Our soldiers are building schools. America’s Barack Obama: This is a war of necessity.

The solution is to build the civilian and GI antiwar movements and support the Iraqi Oil Workers Union by building demonstrations to demand the permanent and immediate withdrawal of all US military, mercenary and ‘security’ forces from the region. We want to insist that the Obama administration step back from it’s aim of provoking war with Iran and bankrolling the zionists policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

Bring All the Troops Home Now. No soldier left behind. End the Siege of Gaza. Trillions for Jobs, Pensions, Health Care, Homes, Education and the Environment! Not a Cent for the War Machine or for Bailouts to Wall Street and the Banks.

Kerry W Fleenor | January 20, 2010 11:01 AM

Without violating the terms I can't really think of anything appropriate to say to you. The drivel coming out of your mouth is truly irritating to a Soldier who has served 5 tours to Iraq and 1 to Afghanistan since the War on Terror was forced on us by the terrorist Jihad against Westerners and all other Infidels. Until you are willing to open your eyes and see the world around you without the rose colored glasses the adults amongst us must do it for you. Therefore kindly shut your mouth and stop irritating your peers who have chosen Military Service. You can of course feel free to exercise your 1st Ammendment Rights given to you by the willing sacrifice of many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines just like myself but just remember that your rights extend only until someone else takes offense at them and decides to violate them. I will personally guarantee anyone who decides to do so that I will not step forward and defend you from their righteous anger. With Courteous disdain, Kerry W Fleenor

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 21, 2010 1:57 AM

Too bad if you're irritated. Your 'feelings' are less than trivial compared the ongoing death toll of civilians and GI's being killed to make the world safe for Chevron-Texaco.

I've often wondered about the pathological effects of extended 'service' in the US military doing the dirty work of enforcing the will of US corporations.

During and after the Vietnam and Iraq war we saw diametrically opposed reactions by GI. Marines, sailors and air crews to the genocidal policies of the military brass and their corporate handlers.

On the one side those who enjoyed their work became lifers and returned to civilian life to become cops, professional strike breakers, prison guards and took up similar anti-social 'careers'. They flocked to the dominant right wings of the Democrat and Republican parties.

During the Vietnam war others, at first by the dozens, then the hundreds and thousands and then the tens of thousands became antiwar activists and effectively shattered the fighting potential of the US military. Along with the massive growth of the civilian antiwar movement and the fighting prowess of the Vietnamese patriots the US was definitively defeated.

A similar process will emerge as the oil wars continue but with a big difference. The real opposition in Iraq, the one that has a chance of winning and moving the country to the left is the Oil Workers Union. The current crop of military insurgents composed of former islamists and elements of the former Baathist military are incapable of winning without mass support and in the case of the islamists are almost as reactionary as the US.

Honest soldiers are revolted by the corporatist connections and policies of the US military brass and denounce them like USMC Major General Smedley Butler who was awarded 16 medals, including five for heroism. He was twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Belatedly he recognized his role and was honest enough to admit

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico... safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

Smedley's example was multiplied ten thousand fold by GI's during Vietnam. Even John Kerry got in on the act although he later betrayed his principles for a chance at power because that's what Democrats do. Republicans have no principles to betray.

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Amy McDonald | November 29, 2009 3:28 PM

"Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You,But What You Can Do For Your Country" John F Kennedy

"The original project started in March 1995 when an inaugural memorandum of understanding between the governments of Turkmenistan and Pakistan for a pipeline project was signed. In August 1996, the Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) consortium for construction of a pipeline, led by Unocal was formed. On 27 October 1997, CentGas was incorporated in formal signing ceremonies in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan by several international oil companies along with the Government of Turkmenistan. In January 1998, the Taliban, selecting CentGas over Argentinian competitor Bridas Corporation, signed an agreement that allowed the proposed project to proceed. In June 1998, Russian Gazprom relinquished its 10% stake in the project. Unocal withdrew from the consortium on 8 December 1998.

The new deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.[1] In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of a feasibility study designed by British company Penspen. Since the United States military overthrew the Taliban government, the project has essentially stalled; construction of the Turkmen part was supposed to start in 2006, but the overall feasibility is questionable since the southern part of the Afghan section runs through territory which continues to be under de facto Taliban control.

On 24 April 2008, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan signed a framework agreement to buy natural gas from Turkmenistan.[2]"

From wikipedia.

tell me this isn't about oil... money. money money money. the pipeline exists, and is being built and the only damn reason we are there is to ensure it's completion.

wanna know what I've done for my country? I've been involved in the political process since I was in college many years ago. I've given away over 5 million dollars to help early childhood development programs, built playgrounds, paid for cribs, car seats, provided services for the working poor who don't qualify for govt help and still desperately need help.

I've reached into my OWN pocket because I do believe in what kennedy said.

I actively participate in the community. I coach youth soccer, volunteer at the schools- don't ask me what I've done for my country. I've done a hell of a lot more than wave a flag and sing god bless america.

but I will tell you this- I will not give my country my three sons to waste on some ridiculous battlefield halfway across the world to protect financial interests. I will not support sending anyone's children there. ever.

before you tell me I'm stuck in my ideology, get your own head out of yours.

and don't ever question my love of my country- because I do love America.

Sara, and JFK presided over the Cuban Missile crisis and started us in Vietnam. Are involvement in Afghanistan started a decade or more earlier than your time table. It actually goes back to the cold war and our use of afghan rebels to defeat the Soviet Union (Payback for Vietnam thank you Charlie Wilson). That battlefield halfway across the world is providing you a far more safer enviroment to raise your kids in then if we just cut in run. We're there to protect "here" sorry if that's an inconvenient truth for you. Diplomacy, Shooting the occasional missile, or sending in air strikes doesn't work. You have to have boots on the ground and that means risk of loss of American lives. The President realizes this and is keeping his campaign promise to shift the war to Afghanistan to defeat the terrorist once and for all. You might not think so but I can guarantee you that I don't support war on a whim and I fully understand the cost. As for all those soldiers who've lost their lives in this war it would be a waste to see their lives lost only to allow another terrorist attack that could have been prevented by finishing the job.

Ps What does any of this have to do with lgbt rights?

amyn440 wants to know what wars have to do with GLBT rights.

First, these colonialist adventures drive politics to the right.

Secondly, the antiwar movement is our natural ally and the military brass is our natural enemy.

Third, the propaganda and lies invented to excuse these four wars can, as we've seen, become terminally disorienting.

So disorienting that it's almost guaranteed that a few people will fall for 'stab in the back' theories and believe news reports of innocent German civilians being murdered by Polish (or English, Czech, French, Yugoslav, Belgian, Dutch, Danish, Soviet, Norwegian, Luxembourgian and etc) 'terrorists'. And the Bush-Clinton versions of the same garbage – terrorist threats.

Thankfully that level of total naiveté is rare and polls continue to confirm widespread antiwar sentiment. Josh Gerstein in Politico noted on Nov 26th that:

In his speech to the nation on Tuesday, President Barack Obama must persuade supporters who thought they’d voted for an anti-war president (my emphasis) to back a plan expected to roughly double the number of troops in Afghanistan from when he took office.

Those ‘supporters’ blundered.

amyn440 appears to think that the wars in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the one they're drumming up for Iran have something to do with terrorism. That's mostly wrong. They have nothing to do with terrorism, except for its use by the US and its satellite forces to secure control of oil in the region.
The inexcusable mass murder of civilians on 9-11 came after the Bush abandoned Palestinians to the tender mercies of the zionists and their ethnic cleansing and apartheid and after Clinton callously and contemptuously organized the deaths of half a million Iraqi children.

There were few anti-American terrorists before the Bushes and Clinton began to attack Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and continued giving their puppets in the zionist colonial administration weapons to murder Palestinians. Now there are huge numbers of anti-American terrorists and some of them are in the highly unstable, anti-American armed forces of Pakistan who have their fingers on the firing buttons of nukes.

Here’s a link to an article by the Federation of American Scientists about Pakistan’s nuclear arms:

The world is a very dangerous place because of the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama. It’ll get more dangerous until all US military forces, mercenaries and spy groups are withdrawn from the region and the US renounces its efforts to steal their oil.

Oops, I left this out:

Fourth it diverts funds from important projects like conquering HIV; feeding, providing good housing and good jobs for the huge and growing number of Americans who are unemployed and homeless: providing jobs asylum for refugees from anti-GLBT regimes and starting a program to feed, house and educate American youth tossed on the streets by their christian parents.

I am not safer today. I am more at risk. this war hasn't done anything to protect me. oil interests, yes, but me? my family?


we spend billions on "homeland security" which has resulted in a boon of new socks- because who wants to be caught with a hole in one when you have to put your damn shoes on an xray machine- and ziplock bags.

the dumbest, most ridiculous "security" ever. oh, let's not forget out color coded alert system- quick:what are we today? orange? red? striking pink?

we are not safer today. poor kids, just like in vietnam, are the ones fighting over there.

none of us are safer today. don't kid yourself that this is at all about our safety.

With all the economic hardships being presently faced by individuals here in the United States,
alot of people seriously question the large amount of money being spent on these wars.

Yes, we depend on oil. Yet I remember during the oil shortage in the United States in 1974, individuals were addressing the issue of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. That was thirty-five years ago and very little has been done to achieve this objective.

I'm more surprised that there are even people who still think that there is a point to either of these wars, that either boondoggle is necessary for "America's freedom." I guess when you don't actually have to fight in either of the wars, when Bush wasn't even threatening to raise taxes to pay for them, some people will just think they're fun and inconsequential as video games.

That and some people are making far too much money off the wars for them to stop. If we weren't perpetually at war, how could we justify spending so much money on the Pentagon and defense contractors?

And to whoever who asked what this has to do with LGBT issues: I'm sure we could find lots of ways this is intimately tied with LGBT interests, from the fact that war is inherently homophobic and that money that could be spent on social programing is being diverted to kill people half a world away. But it doesn't really matter, since there's not purity test for posting on this site.

Alex: Don't ask don't tell is hardly homophobic compared to being killed for simply being gay. Do you believe an anti war stance is going to help stop middle easterners from killing gays?
Sara we have had the technology to be energy independent for over 100 years. At the very beginning of horseless carriages, trucks used to make inner city deliverys were electric powered. We had steam powered automobiles. In the fifties Chrysler then Ford and Gm started experimenting with Turbine engines that run on all kinds of different fuels.They'll run on almost anything tequila,perfume,gasoline,diesel,vegetable oil,propane,natural gas,and coal slurry. We have an 800 year supply of coal that can be made into gasoline or diesel fuel but isn't considered viable because we have the double problem of enviromental concerns. Any older precomputerized car can easily be converted to run on propane or natural gas and emissions are greatly reduced.
Bill the military brass are our brothers,sisters,mothers,uncles,nephews,and fathers. Anymore I find more pro-repeal of don't ask don't tell vets than I find for it. Also while you might not like it the fact is without military defense technology we would still be in the stone ages. Also suppose we do what you Sarah, and Alex wish and leave the war and cut defense funding putting large amounts of people out of work how do we recover from that givin how bad the economy all ready is?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | December 1, 2009 8:44 PM

amyn440 tells us that "the military brass are our brothers,sisters,mothers,uncles,nephews,and fathers"

Not in any decent family.

We know the exact time that the last Great Depression ended. It was at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time on Sunday, December 7th, 1941. Since then wars and genocidal colonialist adventures combined with disastrous spending on the military industrial complex have been the only economic factors staving off another depression.

Capitalism is so inherently unstable that even the enormously wasteful war budgets currently fueling four wars; Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the real threat of a fifth in Iran, can't stop what’s beginning to look more like a depression than a recession. Your theory is defunct. The economy is a goner. The wars are unwinnable. Alles kaput.

Your comments raise two important questions? Is it true that in you mind that these wars are more important than ending mass unemployment, mass homelessness, mass poverty and replacing a wrecked health care system? Because that’s how the question is posed. One or the other. Human needs vs. profits for the military industrial complex.

The other question you've already answered. You find the deaths of American GI's, mostly working class folks, and the multiple genocides in Iraq and mass murder of civilians in Afghanistan and Palestine preferable to cutting profits for the looters who run Haliburton, Blackwater USA (now Xe Services) and other Merchants of Death.

The kindest thing I can say about that answer is that it's ugly.

Sara it's a shame that you don't see how equally ugly your answer is. You deny the genocide in Europe during world war 2? Do you deny that gay people are routinely executed in the middle east? Do you think if you lived over there you would have made the five million you say you gave away here or even had the right to control the money? Family kiss them all goodbye! Like it or not that big ugly miltary complex and all those military vets are the reason you just had the right to dis them shame on you Sara. We are at a point in this country where things could get very ugly really quick. Will you still talk crap if your life depends on them saving you from civil insurection? We could very easily head down Hitlers road and ya wanna bet we'll be the first ones to meet a firing squad or the gas chamber? Get real as much as I wish we lived in a picture perfect world I'm smart enough to realize some people need killed.