Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]
07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]
07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]
07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]
07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]
07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]
07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]
07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]
07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]
07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]
High Crimes vs. Human Rights
07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]
07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]
07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]
07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]
07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]
07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]
07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]
Wake Up Obama: Afghanistan is No Threat to America
Monday, 26 January 2009
Instead of another ''surge'' to enlarge our military occupation, if we offered aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan contingent upon their taking serious action to eliminate Al Qaeda, we would quickly see these foreign intruders in both countries driven out.American foreign policy is moving from the absurd to the ludicrous.
Back in 2002, President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney managed to snooker the people of the United States, or at least a large number of us, into believing that Iraq, a pathetic Third World country ruled by a corrupt tin-pot dictator, was a grave danger to America, akin to Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1940. We learned how absurd that claim was when two hundred thousand American troops backed by the mightiest air force the world has ever seen, slammed into the country in March, 2003, and the Iraqi military simply folded up, and the Saddam regime along with it.
Now, President Obama appears ready to make an even more absurd claim, namely that the gravest threat facing this nation is posed by the country of Afghanistan. Now I’ll grant that Afghanistan, with a population of 33 million, is at third bigger than Iraq, which had a population of 24 million, at least until the US invasion and occupation led to the death of over a million of Iraqis. But aside from that, Afghanistan, a land-locked nation that lies between Iran and Pakistan, is far weaker and more primitive even than Iraq.
By any measure except population, Afghanistan suffers in comparison to Iraq. It has no air force at all. It barely has an army. Most of its people are illiterate and live in rural areas. Its people are extremely poor—among the poorest in the world. In many ways, Afghanistan is actually less a country than a region populated by a variety of feuding tribes—tribes that have different languages and cultures and even different racial backgrounds.
Do we really believe that this desperately poor and war-torn nation poses an existential threat—or any threat at all—to the US?
Okay, we know that there is a gang of mostly Arab terrorists going by the name of Al Qaeda that is hiding out in eastern Afghanistan, and that its leaders have allied this organization with the Taliban—the ousted rulers of Afghanistan who were pushed out of the capital of Kabul by US forces in 2001 following the 9-11 attacks. But since that relatively easy military incursion, all the US and its 34,000 troops in Afghanistan have managed to accomplish, besides installing a crooked puppet regime in the capital city, has been to create more and more hatred for the US as an occupying power, by killing large numbers of Afghan civilians through brutal raids on villages and by use of overwhelming and inherently indiscriminate airpower and remote-controlled missile-equipped drone aircraft.
Based upon the ludicrous premise that Afghanistan is the biggest military threat facing the US today, our new president, Barack Obama, is preparing to send another 30,000 US troops to that country, effectively doubling the number of American soldiers already there. Inevitably, this will mean more killing and more anger towards America among the local population.
Al Qaeda members, meanwhile, have largely moved away from the battle to Pakistan, a much larger nation to the east of Afghanistan, which raises the question: What the hell are we trying to do in Afghanistan?
Let’s get it straight. No Afghan has ever, to my knowledge, harmed the United States. I’m not sure most Afghanis, if they could scrape together the money to go to the US, would even know where this country is. (Okay, most Americans probably couldn’t tell you where Afghanistan is, either, but at least we have libraries, and computers, which the geographically challenged can turn to in order to locate the place. That’s not true for the people of Afghanistan, who have neither.)
For eight years, America has been attacking and destroying a country that is about as dangerous a threat to America as is Mali, or Haiti, or the Comoros Islands. If Obama follows through and doubles the number of troops fighting over there, it will just make this whole policy twice as stupid.
I’m sorry. I know Al Qaeda is a nasty gang, well funded by sources in Saudi Arabia, and well trained in the fine arts of terrorism by the CIA, which back in the day saw the group as a good proxy for harassing Soviet troops that were occupying Afghanistan. But if eight years of constant war by US troops in Afghanistan has been unable to stop or even seriously undermine Al Qaeda, I cannot understand the logic of doubling down on the bad bet.
If the US wants to defeat Al Qaeda, it needs to enlist the support of the governments of the countries where Al Qaeda is operating, and it needs to eliminate the outside financial support for Al Qaeda. The first prong of this strategy would require convincing the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to get serious about driving out Al Qaeda. That should not be difficult. If we stopped killing Afghanis, and if we stopped firing rockets into the sovereign nation of Pakistan, killing innocent Pakistanis in the process, and massively insulting the government of Pakistan, and if we instead offered aid to both countries, contingent upon their taking serious action to eliminate Al Qaeda, we would quickly see these foreign intruders in both countries driven out. As to the second prong, why is the US continuing to treat Saudi Arabia as a valued ally if it continues to allow wealthy Saudis to send financial support to Al Qaeda? Yes Saudi Arabia is a major provider of oil to the US, but the US is the major supplier of arms to the government of Saudi Arabia. It’s easy to see where the US could tighten the screws to end the flow of money to terrorists.
And then there is this: The Vietnam War destroyed the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. The Iraq War destroyed the presidency of George Bush. Obama, if he orders an expansion of the war in Afghanistan, and thus takes ownership of that conflict, will be well on the way to destroying his own presidency.
About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on January 26, 2009.
Public Service Ads: