Categories
politics

One Million Dollars Per Soldier Per Year

Reducing human bodies to a sum of financial calculations is perhaps part of a cynical equation to end the war, but our society values debating costs for items as mundane as Hollywood films, so why not? How much is a 19 year old from Yazoo City, Mississippi or Rantoul, Illinois worth anyway?

2^2^2^2^2

The budget implications of President Obama’s decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan are adding pressure to limit the commitment, officials say.

The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said.

Even if fewer troops are sent, or their mission is modified, the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant. [Click to continue reading High Costs Weigh on Troop Debate for Afghan War]

The thing is, the soldiers themselves are not earning but a fraction of that – so where is the rest of the $1,000,000 going? To KBR? To Boeing? Seems outrageously expensive, doesn’t it? For a legacy war?

And this tidbit is horrifying:

And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the Bush administration.

Ten percent higher of a Pentagon budget than the budget created by war-monger Republicans? Scary. Obama had better not listen to his military advisors then, if he wants a second term in office. Aren’t there more important items we could spend money on besides the Pentagon?

Seven Memories

Categories
politics

Peace Movement Invisible

Bring them Home

Dan Froomkin asks a good question:

A healthy majority of the American public now opposes the war in Afghanistan. More and more Democrats, some leading Republicans, and even members of the military are calling for, if not outright withdrawal, at least an exit strategy.

So where’s the peace movement?

Where are, if not the massive peace marches, at least the quiet peace vigils? Where are the letters to the editor, and the sermons, and the city council resolutions?

[Click to continue reading Watchdog Blog » Blog Archive » Where’s the Peace Movement?]

I don’t know if there are peace demonstrations being held, and not being reported, or if there just isn’t enough public engagement on the issue, yet.

Tunnel Vision is Underrated

Mr. Froomkin wants journalists1 to dig a little deeper:

Nevertheless, it’s astonishing how little public expression there is of such a dominant public sentiment.

Or is it that the media just aren’t paying attention?

So here are my questions to my fellow journalists: Where is the peace movement? Where is the coverage of the peace movement? And is the absence of the latter actually contributing to the absence of the former?

Footnotes:
  1. and readers too, presumedly []
Categories
politics

Sibel Edmonds claims bin Laden worked with US right up to 9-11

No wonder Sibel Edmonds got fired, and silenced, the Bush-ites would have been very embarrassed if this allegation had been made in the election of 2004, for instance.

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audio, partial transcript).

In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

[Click to continue reading Daily Kos: State of the Nation]

Despite all sorts of pressure from the federal government, Ms. Edmonds refuses to fade away, she continues to try to get her understanding of the truth out.

Such as:

Last year, Sibel came up with a brilliant idea to expose some of the criminal activity that she is forbidden to speak about: she published eighteen photos, titled “Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery,” of people involved the operations that she has been trying to expose. One of those people is Anwar Yusuf Turani, the so-called ‘President-in-exile’ of East Turkistan (Xinjiang). This so-called ‘government-in-exile’ was ‘established‘ on Capitol Hill in September, 2004, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.

Also featured in Sibel’s Rogues Gallery was ‘former’ spook Graham Fuller, who was instrumental in the establishment of Turani’s ‘government-in-exile’ of East Turkistan. Fuller has written extensively on Xinjiang, and his “Xinjiang Project” for Rand Corp is apparentlythe blueprint for Turani’s government-in-exile. Sibel has openly stated her contempt for Mr. Fuller.

from the Brad Friedman interview:

Sibel Edmonds: (interrupts) I have to jump in here and say that I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban – those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.

I know you are going to say ‘Oh my God, we went there and bombed the medical factory in the 1990s during Clinton, we declared him Most Wanted’ and what I’m telling you is, with those groups, we had operations in Central Asia, and that relationship – using them as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict – we used them all the way until September 11.

[Click to continue reading Let Sibel Edmonds Speak: Sibel Edmonds on Mike Malloy]

Categories
politics

Obama and 9-11

Steel, Ice and death

More like this please! From prepared remarks Obama delivered June 18th, 2008 on the topic of Detainees and Afghanistan.

I have made the same arguments as Republicans like Arlen Specter, countless Generals and national security experts, and the largely Republican-appointed Supreme Court of the United States of America – which is that we need not throw away 200 years of American jurisprudence while we fight terrorism. We do not need to choose between our most deeply held values, and keeping this nation safe. That’s a false choice, and I completely reject it.

Now in their attempt to distort my position, Senator McCain’s campaign has said I want to pursue a law enforcement approach to terrorism. This is demonstrably false, since I have laid out a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy that includes military force, intelligence operations, financial sanctions and diplomatic action. But the fact that I want to abide by the United States Constitution, they say, shows that I have a “pre-9/11 mindset.”

Well I refuse to be lectured on national security by people who are responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States. The other side likes to use 9/11 as a political bludgeon. Well, let’s talk about 9/11.

The people who were responsible for murdering 3,000 Americans on 9/11 have not been brought to justice. They are Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and their sponsors – the Taliban. They were in Afghanistan. And yet George Bush and John McCain decided in 2002 that we should take our eye off of Afghanistan so that we could invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The case for war in Iraq was so thin that George Bush and John McCain had to hype the threat of Saddam Hussein, and make false promises that we’d be greeted as liberators. They misled the American people, and took us into a misguided war.

Here are the results of their policy. Osama bin Laden and his top leadership – the people who murdered 3000 Americans – have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world. That’s the result of the Bush-McCain approach to the war on terrorism.

[From Obama Remarks on Detainees and Afghanistan – June 18, 2008]

McCain is most vulnerable to this attack: an attack on the 8 years of failed policies of the Bushites, especially as regards to terrorism. McCain will continue the same failed policies in the unlikely event he’s elected.

Click here to read the rest of the speech in its entirety.