Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Maddow Explains the Bush, uh.... Obama Doctrine

Not nearly enough mention (none) of the huge growth of the size of our private contractor forces - about 80,000 of whom the Department of Defense cannot even keep track of - under the Obama administration, or about the secret war going on, led by Fundamentalist Christian, Erik Prince, in Uzbekistan, and who knows where else.

Update - Thursday 7:30 a.m: More on "who knows where else" and Erik Prince.


Yusef Asabiyah said...

Obama's policy here is the dumbest imaginable. There is no room for this to not work out disastrously.

Afghans can't side with the Americans if the Americans are going to leave. Siding with the Americans and having the Americans leave is to sign a death sentence for oneself and one's family.

The only way it would not be a death sentence would be if the Americans succeeded in eradicating all traces of the Taliban and all of the social and economic preconditions for the Taliban in the first place.

No one can believe Obama's policies,as announced so far, will bring us significantly closer to that objective. If what Obama is announcing so far is just the beginning of a serious escalation, Obama should not have told us about a withdrawal timetable, because that's a lie. If Obama hoped what he's announced so far would be successful, the last thing he should have done was mention a withdrawal timetable.

Yusef Asabiyah said...

General Jones,the NSA director, quotes a figure here--less than 100Al Qaeda presently in Afghanistan. Wow.

Where is Al Qaeda now? In Pakistan.

How can the US escalate in Afghanistan without moving the war into Pakistan?

Obama is using a "wedge" strategy of at-first gradual escalation to get the US public to acquiesce to major escalations in the future.

One question: where will additional troops come from? Is a draft forthcoming?

Polarbear said...

Yusef - the only question of yours that I can answer is where the additional troops will come from. Currently Army recruiting is meeting goals for fully qualified applicants. My understanding is that Army acceptance of candidates who do not meet stated qualifications has ended - they are now getting sufficient qualified candidates. I imagine the recession has quite a bit to do with all that. All that translates to no draft, I believe.

Regarding your posting name, Yusef, and your personal history. Should we conclude that your comments come from direct experience overseas? In central Asia?

harpboyAK said...

Yep, that's the old Repugnican strategy... Make sure that you have enough jobless folks that are willing to risk their life to fight wars for the rich and powerful.

This is the stupidest thing Obama could have done. After blowing off most of the independents that voted for him by caving in to Big Banking, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance on bailouts and health care reform, he now continues to blow off the rest of his (now former) base by putting MORE troops overseas instead of bringing them home. Why in hell is he repeating Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam mistake?

As the 90 year old Pete Seeger continues to sing, "Bring 'em home, bring 'em home, bring 'em home". I'll bet Pete's beginning to regret singing at the Inaugural.

Polarbear said...

harpboyAK: Amen. We would be better off in all our foreign relations if Pete Seeger was our ambassador-at-large.

I was hoping for direct action against Al Qaeda from Obama. If your sister gets beat up by Bob, down the hallway, then you do not go to the other end of the hallway and beat up Dave to fix the problem. Regardless of how complicated such action might be, the real problem is living in caves in NE Pakistan. Even if we thrash the Taliban to vapor and leave Afghanistan in July, 2011, the real problem is still there, in Pakistan. Effectively we are allowing the Pakistanis to pressure us, when just the reverse should be true. Go get them where they live, and get it over with.

Philip Munger said...

FWIW, I did an instructional unit in one of my classes last week featuring Pete Seeger's stepmom, composer Ruth Crawford.

Polarbear said...

Phillip: You are rounding out my engineering education - did not know about Ruth Crawford Seeger, just his birth mother, who was a violinist, I believe? I would much rather know more about Crawford Seeger than any more foreign policy.