WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan

Posted by: polymerase

WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 12:47 PM

Is that possible? I think so. When the Pentagon Papers broke no one thought it would end the war in Vietnam but it sure did. WikiLeaks might do the same here.

Eugene Robinson, Op-Ed at the Washington Post says:

Quote:
The tens of thousands of classified military documents posted on the Internet Sunday confirm what critics of the war in Afghanistan already knew or suspected: We are wading deeper into a long-running, morally ambiguous conflict that has virtually no chance of ending well.


It's that last part that has to sink into Obama's head. "This war has virtually no chance of ending well." I would delete the "virtually" and replace it with "absolutely".

Escalating the war will be Obama's biggest mistake in his first term. It will likely be the reason why it will be his last term. It's a real shame since he has made huge contributions to pushing the US into being a true leader of nations. Obama, by any measure, has had the most successful first term of any modern era presidency. A real shame that he is going to be taken down by his predecessors mistakes.

Obama can still recoup. He has the time. He needs to do two things. Get out of Afghanistan now, this minute, admit the buildup was a mistake. He also needs to start slashing the military budget without hurting the economy. We cannot keep spending in the range of 280 billion dollars each year on something so fruitless. We pay for half of the military spending of the entire world. This is how the Roman Empire went down the tubes. The only way to keep us from being next down the tubes is to start acting sensibly.

Stop invading countries and killing people to wipe out terrorism. It does not work. It only makes more and more terrorists. Terrorists who have a real good reason for wanting us dead.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 01:39 PM

Well, *so far* there hasn't been anything really earth-shattering revealed in the papers -- perhaps something will be as people go deeper into the collection. But Mr. Robinson is right: these don't tell anything we didn't already know ...

Perhaps the mere fact that the papers are out and represent concrete examples of what we already know will have a galvanizing effect, though, so there's hope in that at least ...

I'm all for getting out of Afghanistan but I'm not sure just completely pulling up stakes and getting out of dodge is a practical answer at this point -- I would have liked to see the administration go with Biden's plan when they had a chance. At this point, though, it's a matter of choosing the least-worst way to leave ...
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 01:57 PM

We've known all along that friendly fire and killing civilians has occurred but having it all catalogued and described by the Pentagon could be a watershed moment. The Pentagon Papers really did not have any blockbusters either but only described how cynically that Johnson and Nixon lied about what we were doing in Vietnam.

Biden's plan was certainly a better one that Obama's. These wikileaks can be copy and pasted now and might give him enough of a wedge to ignore the chicken hawks and get out.
Posted by: DLC

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 02:26 PM

One comparison I heard a couple of weeks ago...

think of the war on Drugs . . . similar in that the end is relatively unachievable ... like the War on Poverty. . . and this is a War on Terrorism... these things will always exist in the world... and no matter how many we kill there will always be more who hate the US. As many rise as fast as we eliminate others. You can never totally eliminate drugs, poverty, or terrorism... might as well try to exterminate all the roaches in the world.

With this in mind , we fight the war on drugs not by invading Columbia or Mexico, but at the borders and in the cities ... invasion and occupation are not the answers, especially when it comes to terrorism.. Yes we lost ~3000 on 9-11, but how many are we losing in Iraq and Afghanistan and what is the cost !!?? It's like substituting one tragedy for another bigger one.

my 2.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: DLC
these things will always exist in the world... and no matter how many we kill there will always be more who hate the US. As many rise as fast as we eliminate others.


Whack-a-Mole.

About as productive.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 04:07 PM

Those are some of the wackiest comparisons I have heard. Does not compute.

War on Drugs: should not exist. Drugs should be regulated and taxed. The war disappears, Columbia and Mexico can have their countries back.

War on Poverty: We should be relentless. Find poverty and stamp it out wherever it is found.

War on Terror: stop making terrorists. Stop invading countries, stop spending so much money on bombs and drones.

They are all completely achievable. The war on drugs we could achieve a victory in weeks. Make drugs legal, tax them and regulate them. Criminal element suddenly is out of a job. End of the story.

The other two are a little tougher but completely achievable. We have to understand that the population explosion has to be handled by education. That kills poverty. This is actually working.

The war on terror will take longer but only because the United States has an industry which creates 280 billion dollars worth of war. That industry has a lobby. Eisenhower warned us of that lobby. We break that lobby, stop invading and killing people and terrorists will stop finding reasons why they should kill us. End of story.

So really none of your comparisons work. Winning a war in Afghanistan is a sure bet to non ending. The others can be ended very simply.
Posted by: garyW

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 04:32 PM

You are so right. Nice post.

Obama could call for an end to the Afghan War next year as he has already planned a phased draw-down of troops. But I fear it's mostly political. Wikilinks will give the GOP something to attack Obama on right now, so his decision might be made easier by calling their bluff.


Posted by: MacBozo

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 04:49 PM

We lost any momentum/positive outcome when GW's ADD kicked in and he started shouting, "WMD! WMD! WMD!" I hope the right never gets the chance to rewrite history to their advantage.
Posted by: DLC

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 05:14 PM

Maybe I should have been a little more clear...
I don't think you can truly achieve any 100% ...

yes make drugs legal, but then you have addiction to deal with... is that truly a "win" ?
I think there are many drugs that should be sold OTC and taxed to death, but are you going to sell crack and heroin ? acid ? I don't think that'll be as successful as you think. Just like booze, older teens will give them to younger teens. Do we want that ? create a drug addict you create poverty and ignorance.

poverty, how do you stamp it out ? give them $ and subsistence and you make them dependent... oh you can offer training and that's the way to go, but what will they do? manufacturing ? accountants, lawyers, ? plumbers, carpenters ? we have 10%+ unemployment now. We've (GOP) has sold away many middle class jobs in this country.
I'm not saying not to try - reduce it as much as you can, but you'll never eliminate it totally, unless you could change human behavior. Some will always be lazy and take the easy way out... many don't have the skills for even beginning college work.

Terrorism... we'll we know that one and I think we're on the same page.

I don't think we're that far off on the others however, I realize that if we could reduce them to 10% their current levels - it'd be a great victory.
Posted by: ChrisN

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 06:41 PM

What you are saying mostly makes sense. You sound like a libertarian. LOL Sorry. That just strikes me as funny to say about you.

Anyways, TPTB (the powers that be - including both parties, btw) in charge seem to disagree with this approach. Too much at stake with the political and financial infrastructure that is their power base for them to risk it. At least in their minds.

Chris
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 07:27 PM

Originally Posted By: ChrisN
What you are saying mostly makes sense. You sound like a libertarian. LOL Sorry. That just strikes me as funny to say about you.
Chris

With what I just wrote I do not doubt your confusion. Libertarians have a lot of good ideas but the basis of their good ideas is wrong in my opinion. Having listened to Libertarians here and at old MacCentral I lean towards the speech of Libertarian but when it comes down to the rubber hitting the road I am completely unwilling to throw out the government we have or to pare it down.

I do want drugs to be legal. It just makes too much sense. The money we spend to fill half our prisons with drug offenders is a part. Destroying Columbia, Mexico, supplying the Taliban with money in Afghanistan another. Heroin and cocaine should be regulated and legal. Add it all up and the crime and death of the war we are having is ridiculous.

But really I am not something radical. I believe in a constitutional democracy that was formed with the union of the first 13 states. Electing politicians using intelligence and a populace that is smart and driven by truth is the way to go. I want those politicians to tax me in an intelligent way. I have been getting Bush tax breaks for the past 8 years and it makes me sick.

So I am libertarian oriented who like taxes and politicians. Both do good. For the most part I am Noam Chomsky. He hasn't come up with an argument in thirty years that ultimately I cannot more than agree with. It just takes me a little more time than Noam.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 07:38 PM

Originally Posted By: DLC
but are you going to sell crack and heroin ? acid ? I don't think that'll be as successful as you think. Just like booze, older teens will give them to younger teens. Do we want that ? create a drug addict you create poverty and ignorance.


Look at the whole picture. Do you want what we have now where no laws mean anything to those teenagers? That the only way to make money is to be outside the law? Drug addicts do not create poverty and ignorance. Ignorance creates poverty and drugs.

Educate, regulate, take control like gin and cigarettes. Tax, regulate and educate. Given heroin, cigarettes, cocaine, LSD and gin there is one that I would outlaw or tax and regulate so heavily that it would be used by only the very very stupid. That would be cigarettes. It is the only one that very definitely kills you.

Or go ahead and keep filling out prisons with drug arrests. Keep killing people with drive bys driven by drug turf. Keep ruining whole nations like Mexico and Columbia and Afghanistan.

I eloped 20 years ago in San Diego, then had a party in Tijuana and down the coast. I can't do that on our 20th anniversary because we might get shot. Why? Because the war on drugs in the United States is more than useless.
Posted by: ChrisN

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 10:29 PM

I agree to a certain extent on the concept of eliminating the black market. Not too sure how regulating, processing and distributing the harder drugs, like coke, heroin, meth and some of the newer designer drugs could work. If it was just weed the decision should be pretty easy. Agreed it is not good we have so many drug offenders in prison there is not enough room for the more violent ones.

Libertarians also used to hold more hope for me. I wouldn't mind less government, but doing away with most layers of government would probably not work out too well at this stage of the game. Chaos comes to mind.

Chris
Posted by: carp

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/26/10 11:35 PM

[censored] by cowing down to an determined enemy <-- thats is well up to you, so please fly up there and turn yourself in so Al-Queda could make a spectacle of you. I myself would rather fight to the end if needed and I hope it does not come to that. However I will fight and you can turn tail and run like a chicken.

After all you preach the talk about your distrust of religion - yet you are willing to let a (hard Core) fundamentalist religion culture (terrorist) dictate to the world on who we should bow too, is rather funny, coming from you.

As for the Korean conflict and Vietnam.
We all know that was about the expansion of Communism and atrocities.

Anyway.
We lost one and drew a draw on the other.
You can look at South Korea and then look at North Korea and decide for yourself, which people are better off.
Posted by: Ben Dover

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/27/10 12:26 AM

I think the "Saudi Arabia" of lithium is bigger than Wikileaks.

Iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium that are essential to modern industry have a lot more gravity than war crimes, corruption, incompetence, etc. It just takes more money to smooth things over. So yeah, there's nowhere to go but down the shaft.

Ed

BTW: For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.8 billion. Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense range from $216 billion and $361 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $880 billion and $1.03 trillion in fiscal year 2010.

OK, so the entire world ( including U.S. ) spent $1.53T in military spending in 2009, so the 2010 U.S. expenditure is a little over 1/2 to 2/3 of the total world expenditure. China was second craziest in 2009 with $100B, France $64B, UK $58B, mighty scary Russia $53B. It's a nice racket for the U.S. military-industrial complex. The machine's falling apart, though, like other institutions.

OK, so with the non-NATO rest of the world probably at $300B or less, and with the results these guys have been getting, you would think these guys would clue in that war don't work no more. It don't frickin work no more. It's probably a way to lose, bigtime. Bigtime fail.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 07/27/10 05:39 AM

I bow to no religion. That a 13 story mosque using Saudi extremist religion money is being built at the World Trade Center is a concern. It's being built tax free because we allow it.

Your way: allow all religions to do anything they want tax free while spending ourselves into oblivion (see bendover's numbers) while we invade and kill people doing nothing but creating terrorists.

Do you think the invasion of Iraq was a smart thing to do? Did we find terrorists there? Was the invasion of Afghanistan the smart thing to do? Did we have any effect on actual terrorist organizations except to swell their ranks?

Your mindless vengeance and lets kill the terrorists with drones and bombs does nothing but create more terrorists.

I agree with General Patreus's opinion of Afghanistan. We will not win with bombs but with education. Same with the entire war on terrorism. Bombs just make more terrorists while education removes the terrorists biggest ally, ignorance. Get rid of ignorance you get rid of terrorism. Get rid of ignorance and we might even get rid of religion.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 08/01/10 03:17 PM

Frank Rich agrees with me. The Pentagon Papers and the wikileaks do not have anything we did not already know. But they say it in the military voice of the Pentagon.

I think the most damning chunk of news which really was not common knowledge is that we send billions of our American tax dollars to Pakistan. Pakistan then funnels it to the Taliban which then uses the money to kill American soldiers.

As for Lithium, we can always buy the Lithium for our Apple laptops batteries from the Taliban. At least if we were out of there we would not be killing our soldiers by using a laptop.

Kiss this War Goodbye Mr. Obama. Your support for this is quickly unraveling and when it comes down to it who gives a flying fsck what comes out of the mouth of John McCain.

You lost 102 Democrats in the House wanting to deny funding but more importantly you lost 12 Republicans. And that's just not Ron Paul but a couple Georgians and Tennessee. Kiss the War Goodbye. I am never going to forgive you if a friend of mine is killed before you figure it out.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: WikiLeaks ends War in Afghanistan - 08/03/10 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: DLC
Maybe I should have been a little more clear...
I don't think you can truly achieve any 100% ...

yes make drugs legal, but then you have addiction to deal with... is that truly a "win" ?
I think there are many drugs that should be sold OTC and taxed to death, but are you going to sell crack and heroin ? acid ? I don't think that'll be as successful as you think.

Portugal has legalized all drugs and, surprise, it works.

I will give you the war on poverty. Poverty should be fought forever. Legalizing all drugs is no longer just a wild Libertarian idea. It works.