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Health Care & Environment

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 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

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]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

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 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

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.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

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]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

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 Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

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

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

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 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

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?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

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  Country Joe, Kenny Rogers and Obama
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Country Joe, Kenny Rogers and Obama

by Dave Lindorff
Originally published in This Can't Be Happening yesterday, 2 November 2009

What are we fighting for in Afghanistan? Don't ask me. I don't give a damn. And neither do most Americans.

Country Joe McDonald said it best in his iconic "Fixin' to Die" Rag: "Oh, it's one, two, three, what are we fightin' for? Don't ask me. I don't give a damn." In fact, we were fighting for nothing in Vietnam. It was a war that started out because the US didn't want the Commies to win a battle in the so-called Cold War, and even though it was on the farthest side of the world, in a poor nation of peasants, even though they had been struggling to throw off colonialism for years and we had simply become the new colonists, no president dared to admit the obvious--we had no business being there, and all the killing and dying had no point.

Afghanistan is the same thing all over again.

We "got in" surreptitiously for the same reason. Russia had helped organize a coup to take over what passed for a "central government" and had found itself mired in a brutal war of occupation, and the US had begun, back in the '70s, organizing and providing arms to the forces fighting the Russians, not because Afghanistan--a country even more remote and meaningless in terms of US interests or security than Vietnam--had any importance but because it was a way to "stick it to" the Russians in the waning days of the Cold War. But things have a way of coming back to bite you, and the folks we armed turned out not to like us very much either. So when we helped set up the foreign fighters--mostly Arab volunteers--in Afghanistan, we set up a force of people who saw us, in their home countries, as the oppressor and backer of vile and corrupt regimes back home. It was only a matter of time before they began turning their attentions to us. When 9-11 happened, we went after these people in Afghanistan, and the government of the Taliban, which we had formerly helped to power. In short order, what we managed to do was substitute ourselves for the Russians.

What are we fighting for in Afghanistan? Don't ask me. I don't give a damn. And neither do most Americans. For a while, Afghanistan was the "good war" in many Americans' minds, because they bought the lie that conquering Afghanistan was necessary to defend the US from terrorism. Of course that was silly. Terrorists don't need countries. They are as mobile as a nuclear submarine or a flu virus. But once you put large numbers of troops in a foreign country and have them storming around shooting up the place, and once you start bombing the crap out of villages and killing people indiscriminately, you create a new situation where you become the occupier. So here we are, fighting another war that makes no sense, has no purpose, and has no end. Good war? Necessary war? What a joke!

What are we fighting for in Afghanistan? Don't ask us. We don't give a damn. And yet President Obama is now on track to add more troops--maybe 20,000, maybe 40,000. Hell his general on the ground, Gen. Stanley McCrystal, is asking for as much as 80,000, which would put the total up to what it is in Iraq, where we're still bogged down in an occupation quagmire.

That's where Kenny Rogers song "The Gambler" comes in. "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run."

We had a chance to walk away from Afghanistan back in 2001. The Al Qaeda forces had been routed, the Taliban government had collapsed, and people in much of the country of Afghanistan, who had been largely spared any violence during the American attacks, were largely grateful at having the yoke of fundamentalism lifted off their backs. But the US didn't leave. A low-level war continued. More and more innocent people were killed, or arrested and stuffed into a concentration camp and torture hell-hole at Bagram Airbase outside Kabul, or shipped off to the other hell-holes in Guantanamo Bay or other CIA secret sites. And the Taliban were able to regroup and reposition themselves as saviors of the nation. Now the US is cast as the occupier. We can't just "walk away" anymore. We have to "fold 'em" and "run."

Will Obama have the sense of a gambler with a bad hand? So far the signs are not good that he will. We are now in the position of having 70,000 US troops, soon to be closer to 100,000 troops, fighting, killing and dying in a country run by a corrupt, vote-stealing leader whose brother has long been known to be a leading profiteer in the global opium/heroin trade, in which Afghanistan has become the world leader (80-90 percent of the market) and, according to the New York Times, for eight years and counting a paid CIA asset in charge of a nation-wide death squad that is working on contract for The Agency. Polls show that most Afghanis, understandably, want the US out of their country. Wouldn't you?

A hand doesn't get much worse than that.

It's time to fold and run.

If we don't get the hell out of Afghanistan, then we'll all be singing Country Joe's song, but with modified lyrics (which I just premiered at a solo performance at a fund-raising dinner last week in Philadelphia for the local chapter of Veterans for Peace):

CountryJoe @ Woodstock
Country Joe McDonald at Woodstock Nation: "What are we fightin' for?"

Come on all you young women and men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself into a terrible jam,
Way off yonder in Afghanistan.
You ain't got a job, so pick up a gun!
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun!

All you folks in the National Guard,
You won't be protecting your back yard.
We may have floods and hurricanes here,
But you'll be dodging bullets in the desert there.
But if that's not what you signed up for,
We'll send you there a few times more!

General McCrystal, jump right in!
Your big chance has come again.
The VC whupped us back in '74,
But now you can show some Muslims what-for,
And maybe even earn you a medal or three,
Sittin' at your desk in DC.

Chorus:
Oh it's one, two, three what are we fightin' for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn.
Next stop's Afghanistan.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the Pearly Gates.
Ain't no time to wonder why.
Whoopee! We're all bound to die!

Come on mothers, here's the plan,
Send your son off to Afghanistan.
Come on fathers, it's all cool,
Send a daughter off to Ka-Bool.
And if they die, they come home free,
And nobody has to see.

chorus

Okay Wall Street, here's the deal:
Middle East oil is yours to steal.
Afghani blood, American too, is being shed now
Just for you!
And you can charge whatever you dare,
Cuz Washington don't care.

chorus

Bush and Obama, you've done your best,
You've made the Middle East into one sweet mess!
But that's okay, there's still a plan:
To divert attention just bomb Iran!
And if that seems a bit unwise,
Well hell, you've got the Nobel Prize!

Chorus:
And it's one, two, three, what are we fightin' for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop's...
Pakistan?


Dave Lindorff in Washington

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.



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This story was published on November 3, 2009.
 

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