Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama's War

PBS will air a Frontline Special on October 13, titled Obama's War
Warning: This video contains graphic language and imagery

Breaking News: CONGRESS APPROVED $681 BILLION in military appropriations for the 2010 fiscal year.

A little history;

The truth is, the problem began with US intervention many years ago--
The mujahideen were significantly financed and armed (and are alleged to have been trained) by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Carter and Reagan administrations.

Under Reagan, US support for the mujahideen evolved into an official U.S. foreign policy, known as the Reagan Doctrine, which included U.S. support for anti-Soviet resistance movements in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

Mujahideen forces found themselves always on the winning hand against the Soviets, and consistently, the Mujahideen won when the soviet union because of their heavy losses inflicted upon them by the Muslim-warriors pulled troops out of Afghanistan in 1989, when they overtook many of Afghanistans cities from the Federal Government, followed by the fall of the Mohammad Najibullah regime in 1992.
However, the mujahideen did not establish a united government, and many of the larger mujahideen groups began to fight each other over the power in Kabul. After several years of devastating infighting, a village mullah organized a new armed movement with the backing of Pakistan. This movement became known as the Taliban, meaning "students of Islam", and referring to the Saudi-backed religious schools known for producing extremism. Veteran mujahideen were confronted by this radical splinter group in 1996.
By 1996, with backing from the Pakistani ISI and Military of Pakistan, as well as al-Qaeda, the Taliban had largely defeated the militias and controlled most of the country. The opposition factions allied themselves together again and became known as the Northern Alliance. Since 2001, with US-NATO intervention, the Taliban were ousted from power and a new Afghan government was formed. Men of the former mujahideen gradually were incorporated into the new Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.
At present the term "mujahideen" is sometimes used to describe insurgents groups (including Taliban and al-Qaeda) who are fighting NATO troops and the Military of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Fran said...

Granted, President Obama inherited the Iraq and Afghansitan wars. He did not start them, and he was handed a whole host of major problems when the shrub left office.
I understand you can't fix everything all at once, and I do respect that we need to have some patience. The economy was in crisis and he had to deal with that.
But all along, in the primaries, he kept announcing that he would be escalating war in Afghanistan. The intention is good- to stop the ruthless Taliban from taking over the region.

The mujahideen, trained and armed by the US, morphed in the Taliban, and now we are involved in a war fighting them!

Can anyone else see that this full circle of warring has come back to kick ourselves in the ass?

I still think the worthy Dr. Martin Luther King jr. nailed it when he made his "A time to break violence" speech.

Although it was written 42 years ago... all we have to do is substitute the names of the countries...
Iraq and Afghanistan for the name Vietnam, and it rings hauntingly true.....

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The "tide in the affairs of men" does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out deperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on..." We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

Fran said...

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

So just for a little reality check- 40 years later

What is THE largest line item in the US budget?

Military spending

What are we currently fighting for?

Single payer health care

So while we are having this major health care debate, and lamenting how could we possibly pay for it.... all the money is going to not one- but two wars- and has even spilled over into the Pakistan border. Two wars in three countries.

Dr. King's words ring true...

D.K. Raed said...

It always amazes me how much of a prophet MLK was. His words are true, hate is too great a burden to bear.

Much as I wish the Taliban and similar repressive religious groups did not exist, I don't want to keep looting our coffers and losing lives to defeat them (if they even could be defeated by us rather than driven out by an antagonistic indigenous population). As Richard Engle pointed out the other day, for us to use the Surge Tactic in Afghanistan, we would have make a deal with the Taliban. That ain't gonna happen, ergo any surge will fail.

I've set the DVR for Frontline. Thanks for the reminder.

Fran said...

This airs TONIGHT- Tuesday.
We need to see & understand the dynamics of what is going on in Afghanistan, the more you know, the less being there makes sense.

Distributorcap said...

681 billion for war
not a nickel for health care