UPDATE II: The hits keep coming;

UPDATE: I love this segment that pulled the ridiculous quotes from the previous administration. BUSTED!

I was going to write a long rant about our president doing the right thing, but I think Seth nailed it;

Another great perspective;

I am so glad to see this. I have a co-worker from SF who went on this tour in Afghanistan, even though he did not belong to this unit, he was called out to help them. He is finally back. Glad to see he made it home safe.

One of my fellow co-workers, who is in the National Guard as a specialist was called up to assist a west river guard unit for a mission in Afghanistan for 13 months, he leaves in 2 days.

I wish him the best. He is a very smart kid with a great future and I know his unit will be successful.


By Michael McConnell, Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee

For OpEdNews: Michael McConnell – Writer • December 3, 2009

If you were head of the U.S. government how would you spend $1 million of tax money?

You could send one soldier to Afghanistan. But that same million dollars could be spent in many other ways. First, it could pay 30 caregiver stipends to family members of severely disabled veterans who have come back from Afghanistan and Iraq, providing them with first-rate care. It could support 70 unemployed people for a year. It could give tax credits to small business to create 77 new jobs. It could provide 102 full college scholarships for a year. It could pay for health insurance for 690 children for a year. Or it could retrofit 1,330 homes with renewal energy.

That $1 million that the government spends to send one soldier to Afghanistan could – and should – be used here to positively impact so many lives. As a nation we are investing more into the war and occupation of two countries than we are into the economic and educational revitalization of our own.

This hemorrhaging of resources contributes to the economic deterioration of the United States. A study by the Institute for Policy Studies indicates that military spending creates fewer jobs than spending in any other sector including tax breaks, education, healthcare, mass transit and construction.

At home, military spending increases the debt, debilitates hundreds of thousands of our vets returning home and hurts our credibility in the rest of the world. It drains our treasury of needed resources that could be applied to solving such security issues as climate change, unemployment, public health and infrastructure repair.

Whenever health care reform, or extension of jobless benefits, or aid to college students surfaces in congressional debate, critics claim that we cannot afford them. Veterans and their families fight unending battles with Congress to secure funding for the basic services they have earned – mental health, education, housing, job training. Yet when the debate on supplementary funding of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars comes up, proponents are silent about how much it will increase the deficit.

No matter where people stand on the morality or effectiveness of the wars, the simple fact remains: We cannot afford them!

We cannot afford the loss of our own young people either to death or to wounded lifetimes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or physical disability. We cannot afford to lose our sympathetic standing internationally, reawakened by the election of Barack Obama. We cannot afford to drive our nation deeper into debt, ignore the decay of our neighborhood schools or the plight of young people forced to drop out of college because they cannot pay for it. We cannot afford to continue to rely on fossil fuels while alternative sources of energy languish due to lack of funding.

Morally, we cannot afford the weight of innocent civilians killed in these wars, for their deaths will haunt not only our dreams but also our attempts at a new foreign policy based not on militarism, but cooperation.

We imagine the United States as a nation of limitless resources. But the fact is that we can no more afford two wars than a homeless man can afford a Caribbean cruise. We simply have to find another way to live in the world.

The war in Afghanistan is neither good nor necessary. The sooner this nation realizes and acts on that fact, the sooner we can apply that million dollars per soldier to rebuilding our economy and creating jobs; taking care of the educational and health needs of our children and our veterans, and forging a foreign policy on humanitarian aid, not civilian destruction.

Michael McConnell, Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee,
Linda Englund, Military Families Speak Out


Jackass of the century, GW Bush (image, Alex Clark)

Olbermann says it best;

As the hawks circle around Obama, drowning out any pacifist voice, Keith wonders why someone like Gen. McChrystal is given so much credence, a question that the Obama administration should have spent some of that “dithering” time contemplating.

General McChrystal has doubtless served his country bravely and honorably and at great risk, but to date his lasting legacy will be as the great facilitator of the obscenity that was transmuting the greatest symbol of this nation’s true patriotism, of its actual willingness to sacrifice, into a distorted circus fun-house mirror version of such selflessness.

Friendly fire killed Pat Tillman.

Mr. McChrystal killed the truth about Pat Tillman.

And that willingness to stand truth on its head on behalf of “selling” a war — or the generic idea of America being at war — to turn a dead hero into a meaningless recruiting poster, should ring essentially relevant right now.

From the very center of a part of our nation that could lie to the public, could lie to his mother, about what really happened to Pat Tillman – from the very man who was at the operational center of that plan – comes the entire series of plans to help us supposedly find the way out of Afghanistan?

We are supposed to believe General McChrystal isn’t lying about Afghanistan?

Didn’t he blow his credibility by lying, so obviously and so painfully, about Pat Tillman?

Why are we believing the McChrystals?

I really think that if we get out of Afghanistan and Iraq as quickly as possible it will actually help the economy. Of all the stupid mistakes Bush made, these wars were at the top of the list. They threw the country into debt, they helped Al queda recruitment and they created enemies we never used to have. It is time to cut and run, while half of us still own our houses and have jobs.