Posts Tagged ‘afghanistan’
By listening to the current political debates in this country, one would believe that America has turned into a forest of wolves. Should we have a public healthcare option, should we send more troops to Afghanistan, should we curb executive compensation, etc. These questions, unfortunately, seem to hinge on the idea that America is a democracy. The democratic form of government is a complex creature. It is regarded today as the American form of government, which the rest of the world should strive to emulate. However, this form of government touted as civilization’s greatest accomplishment by our leaders today was despised by those who founded our country.
True liberty activists describe democracy as the worst form of government imaginable for one major reason: the majority always gets their way. The American system of governance was formed to keep government under control. Congress was given the power to vote on specific issues, and the rest were left up to the states or the people to decide. Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution lists 18 powers on which Congress has the authority to legislate. There are only 18 powers because the founders did not want a government that could vote on anything they wished. However, due to deceptive propaganda, most Americans believe our government to be ruled by majority vote, and that Congress has the authority to vote on anything the majority finds necessary.
Coming off the heels of the 8-year anniversary of 9/11, now insidiously dubbed “Patriots Day,” I think it important for Americans to seriously question our outlook on terrorism. Indeed, September 11, 2001 was a tragic day for our nation’s history. However, I believe we as a nation should look to the acts committed on 9/11 as a way to connect with the rest of the world, which seems to bare the brunt of all atrocious acts we hear about on a daily basis.
I would first like to point out that I believe it takes a skeptical mind to tackle the true definition of terrorism. Relatively speaking, one person could view a violent act as terrorism while another could view it as honorable. So it is important to understand the motive behind any violent act if we have any hope of entering a peaceful world.
Not too long ago, Republicans were fervently trying to convince Americans that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were necessary to preserve the safety of our country. Their arguments, however, began carrying less and less weight as Americans finally began expressing their dissatisfaction in ever-increasing numbers. In the former anti-neoconservative America, it seemed Republicans were wondering how to justify two useless and illegal wars. Little did they know the best argument they could create to drum up support for their crimes against humanity was a peace-preaching, closet pro-war democrat named Barack Obama. With a democrat now in the White House, the former anti-war liberals have shown their true colors and gone silent. After all, Obama was for peace, right?
Those under this “peace candidate” assumption had little clue as to Obama’s history on Iraq, not to mention his horrible record on civil liberties. After all, Obama voted to instate warterboarding supporter Michael Chertoff as Secretary of Homeland Security, voted for bills providing billions of dollars in nuclear weapons producing activities, and voted for the Defense Authorization Act’s increase of funds to prolong the wars in 2005. He even voted to commend the armed services that murdered innocent women and children in an attack that supposedly killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a man who had already been reported killed three times previously. Obama also voted against the Kerry Amendment in 2006, which would have withdrawn the troops from Iraq, and voted for a bill giving Bush another $120 billion to prolong the war in 2007. He also voted for the Patriot Act twice, the FISA legislation, and now supports the State’s Secrets privilege of the Bush Administration, giving him a civil liberties record the crows could feed off of for years.
More than half a year after Bush left office, our country still finds itself involved with two wars. Barack Obama flew into the White House with a message of change. So far he has kept Bush’s policies of bailing out failed companies with taxpayer money, continues to support State’s Secrets, has called for the creation of internment style prison systems, supports the denial of habeas corpus to prisoners in Bagram airbase, and has escalated Bush’s side-war in Afghanistan.
I am failing to see the change that Obama promised us. Turns out I’m not alone. There might be a few of us who remember Cindy Sheehan. She was the woman who courageously protested against the War in Iraq outside of Bush’s Texas ranch. Well unlike most people of today, she understands that there still is a war going on in the Middle East even though Obama has taken office. She is now protesting Obama’s wars in the Middle East, actually calling his policies “worse” than Bush’s. Not surprisingly, the Left who once supported her and her negativity toward Bush, are not so happy with her anti-Obama rhetoric. Go here to read her words on how quickly the Left has ‘left’ her side (pun intended).
I have been called a “racist” from the so-called left. In these people’s opinion, I was totally justified in protesting Bush, but I am a racist for protesting the same policies under Obama…There are many people in this country who oppose Obama because they’re racist, but I am not one of them. I oppose Obama’s policies because they are wrong…
Due to the negative press the US has gotten over its military reports concerning the air strikes in the Farah Province in Afghanistan and their “possible” murder of 86 innocent civilians, General McChrystal has issued a tough new order for his troops: don’t fight so close to innocent people.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who took command of international forces in Afghanistan this month, has said his measure of effectiveness will be the “number of Afghans shielded from violence,” and not the number of militants killed.
Of course, the problem could be the simple ignorance of the rules of engagement with total impunity. However, It seems Gen. McChrystal may be on to something. Perhaps, his new goal of low civilian exposure to violence will be best achieved by simply leaving Afghanistan. I believe then the civilians there would be under no threat of violence from US forces whatsoever. You want less violence and less death Gen. McChrystal? How about stop bombing (and torturing) the world.
It has been nearly three months since the Obama Administration took control of the White House. He rode in high on promises of change. Admittedly, he has made a few positive steps. However, it seems for every step forward he makes, he is content with taking two steps backward. Seeing as how the American mainstream media will not do their job, I wanted to bring to light Obama’s actions on civil liberties, which are currently mirroring those of George W. Bush.
Let’s start off with Obama’s executive order to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. This was a positive step for human rights. Obama opposed the denial of rights to the prisoners kept at Guantanamo. He also supported the verdict of Boumediene v Bush, which stated the denial of Habeas Corpus rights to the prisoners at Guantanamo was unconstitutional. After this ruling dealt a blow to the Bush Administration, Bush still did not stop imprisoning people without charges. He simply began shipping them to our prison camp at Bagram, Afghanistan. Bush asserted that the prisoners at Bagram had no rights of any kind.
Justin Raimondo wonders, too. I always thought that most liberals who opposed the Iraq war were anti-Bush more than they were anti-war. After all, I never saw liberals flooding the streets opposing Clinton’s wars. And the liberal criticism of Obama’s warmongering is scant. Surely liberals aren’t big, fat liars, are they?
Read Raimondo’s article here.
I have read several letters to the editor regarding the importance of honoring the victims of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I could not agree more, we need to view these fallen soldiers as human beings, not as casualties or statistics. However, the men and women who have died during the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and during the brief overthrow of said governments, deserve more than just a brief “moment of silence” every day. They deserve more than words, flags, patriotism, memorials, and parades. They deserve our respect. There is a difference between “supporting the troops” and supporting the unethical, unconstitutional, and unwinnable foreign policy of our government. We ALL support the troops. The difference is between those who support the human beings in uniform and those who support the foreign policy of our government at the expense of those in uniform.
What we are subjecting our military personnel to is sickening. They deserve better. According to the Department of Defense, 35% of Iraq veterans seek psychological counseling within a year of coming home. While overseas, our soldiers are pressured to bottle up their psychological illnesses and fight their way through it. Upon their return to reality, the bottle explodes and many lose the ability to live life as a civilian without anti-depressants. The next time you find yourself saying, “someone has got to do it” or “they volunteered for the job”, take a moment to think about the damage being done to these young men and women, as well as their friends and families. Then take a moment to think about whether their lives, limbs, and mental health, are worth the continued occupation of nations that no longer desire our presence. Then write your State Representative and tell him or her your thoughts.