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In my view, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Obama for one central idea. An idea so vital to world peace that the prize was not just deserved, but that it was in fact necessary.

That idea that Obama would restore American Morality.

Something that got dreadfully and tragically, and incredibly harmfully lost over the last eight years.

The lack of American Morality is far and away the greatest threat to world peace in the 21st century. Everyone agrees that America is the most powerful nation in the world. When the most powerful nation in the world, a nation that possesses enough firepower to end life on earth, loses it's moral compass, it changes from a force for good to a force for evil.

Evil like...torture.

Or evil like invading a nation for just cause...and then letting the people of that nation and your own soldiers languish ignored in a brutal eight year war/occupation while you go off to fight another war.

Another war not based on a just cause, another invasion of a sovereign nation, but this time not based on ANY cause. To the point where you have to manufacture evidence and lie to the American People and the UN and the world to justify invasion. Another invasion that by no stretch of the imagination has anything to do with keeping America safe.

Even though you had to use the immoral and incredibly ludicrous threat of a mushroom cloud to scare people into going along.

An immoral invasion in which you brutally kill tens of thousands of innocent men women and children....and when asked why you are killing innocent men women and can offer no valid, or even good, reason for doing so.

We Americans view ourselves differently from how the world views us. We view ourselves as just and fair and righteous. As moral. We have to, it is human nature to view oneself as moral. But morality is not based on self-image. It is a SHARED concept, morality is an agreement.

This is right...and this is wrong. We agree that something is moral, or that something is moral. Many many countries have viewed themselves as moral, while the rest of the world has agreed that they are immoral.

The rest of the world, for the past eight years, has viewed us as an immoral military behemoth, projecting our ability to kill men women and children around the world on what amounts to the whim of an unbalance, insensitive and nearly sociopathic religious Crusader.

The rest of humanity sees us as a threat.

The rest of the world, the world that helps define what is moral and what is not for all humans, has been shocked at our descent into immorality. They view us differently than we view ourselves.

They have been forced by our actions under George Bush and The Republican party ... view us as a people who are willing to kill children for no good reason. As capricious bullies and invaders.

As torturers.


And if we look at the events of the past eight years from an objective point of view, or from their the rest of the worlds point of view, or god forbid, from the point of view of an Afghan or Iraqi child whose parents were just killed by an American soldier or a Smart Bomb or an aptly named Predator is damn hard to argue that America did not lose it's morality.

It is immoral to wage Aggressive War, as we did in Iraq:

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil initiate a war of not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."[1] Article 39 of the United Nations Charter provides that the Security Council shall determine the existence of any act of aggression and "shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security".

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court refers to the crime of aggression as one of the "most serious crimes of concern to the international community", and provides that the crime falls within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It is unquestionably immoral to torture, which even though we refuse to meaningfully investigate ourselves for doing, the entire world...and we ourselves...know we did.

It is immoral to invade a country and occupy it. And after eight years, when you are STILL trying to figure out the very meaning and goal of your invasion.....while still killing the people of that country, it is an occupation.

We have no idea of why we are in Afghanistan at this point. We have no idea of what we are trying to accomplish. We have no idea of what goal can be met to allow us to leave...other than trying to immorally dictate to another country and another people what THEY should do to moral enough for us to leave.

Yes, perhaps THAT is what we are doing there. trying to force the Afghans to get to a point where we consider them morally rehabilitated enough to not harbor "terrorists" who MIGHT attack America. Perhaps we are killing them to try to get them to be moral.

As we prop up an immoral corrupt government and as we allowed the reestablishment of the heroin trade, and as we assassinate women and children with Smart Bombs and invisible drones, and as we detain them in the allegedly FORMER torture prison at Bagram...with no rights and no trials.

While admitting that we have no real idea of what our mission and our goals are in that country.

While admitting that it is NOT the people we are killing who are a threat to the USA.

While admitting that our "real" enemies, Al Qaeda, do not even exist in Afghanistan in any real number.

While NEARLY admitting that our reason for being there now has nothing to do with the country we are occupying, but indeed is about an entirely different country, Pakistan.

While in the meantime....

Killing people who are only fighting us...

Because WE invaded their country, and for some unknown reason, they resent that.

By any objective standard, America has indeed acted immorally.

Now Obama is trying to restore America's morality. Thus the Nobel prize.

But since America DID torture, DID illegally invade another country, and continues to occupy yet another country with no clear goal in mind for that occupation, he is trying to restore America's morality while being trapped in the continuing immoral actions "necessary" bring those immoral actions to an end.

Including being politically trapped into not addressing the most immoral act of all, torturing other human beings to death.

In a domestic atmosphere where not only is he being urged to undertake MORE immoral actions, such as escalating the killing in Afghanistan, while a significant number of his constituents are not even aware that America has acted immorally.

The lies, rationalizations and denial of the past eight years have allowed Americans to believe...incredibly enough...that even though they have illegally invaded a nation, tortured people to death, and continue to occupy and kill people in a nation where we have no idea why we are there....that we are still a moral nation.

When under George Bush, America violated nearly every, if not all, moral codes known to mankind.

As Obama struggles to find a moral answer to the problems of Afghanistan, and struggles to find a politically viable way to address the deep immorality of torture....

Even the attempt to rebuild America's morality back from the depths it sank to under George indeed worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The choices he makes in America's current spotlighted moral challenge, who to kill and how to kill them, in Afghanistan will be the foundation that either crumbles the last vestiges of America's morality....or will be the cornerstone on which we begin to build a new American morality for the rest of the 21st century and beyond.

Let's hope that he is worthy of the trust we have placed in him and the award for Peace that he has just received.

Originally posted to buhdydharma on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:43 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do you really think (7+ / 0-)

    a significant number of his constituents are not even aware that America has acted immorally.

    I'm pretty sure that more than 5 in 10 know that things have gone badly wrong, even if they can't put their finger on just what and when.

    God (as you choose to experiance him, her, or it) save us.

    •  Polls on torture (16+ / 0-)

      still show that half of America thinks it is justified.

      I don't know what other conclusion to draw from that except that they are unaware that torture is immoral under any circumstances.

      Iow, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld managed to redefine American morality to INCLUDE torture as being a moral act.

      •  Or they can't judge their own actions (6+ / 0-)

        as they would judge the actions of others.

        •  Which is a measure (12+ / 0-)

          of morality.

          Do unto others is THE basic Human Moral Code.

        •  Just the opposite, IMHO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buhdydharma, condorcet

          Let me put it this way. Two question:

          1. Is torture immoral?
          1. If my daughters were kidnapped, and I had captured you, and I have strong reason to believe that you know where my daughters are, and you're not telling torture immoral?

          I can't answer an unqualified "yes" to number 2. (I'm leaving effectiveness out of this, because we're talking about morality). And, for someone who loves their country as much as I love my daughters (which I most emphatically do not), do you get to question 2? I dunno.

          DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
          "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

          by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:17:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  torture does not bring truth (4+ / 0-)

            under any circumstances.  So torturing your daughter's kidnappers might satisfy your thirst for revenge, but would do nothing to help her.  

            You cannot leave out effectiveness in any approach to anything, but particularly in morals.

            The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

            by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:33:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I was leaving out effectiveness (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Free Spirit

              because, let's face it, the "torture is not effective" part of the equation is NOT understood by most people. In fact, if you wanted to turn around that "5 out of 10 people approve" stuff, you'd work on effectiveness, not morality.

              DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
              "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

              by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:38:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Does it not? (0+ / 0-)

              I have not seen these data, but my first instinct is to think that it will get lies of people who have no useful truth to offer, but that it will also get truth out of people who would not otherwise share it.

              On further thought, I would think that torture is effective under virtually all circumstances. The question is simply what it is effective at, and the extent to which that achieves your goal.

              •  it is effective at terrorizing the victims (0+ / 0-)

                It is effective at satisfying sadistic tendencies in the one doing the torture.

                The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

                by dancewater on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 06:49:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Presumably, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                  Beyond that, if you just want someone to tell you something you want to hear, to justify something you want to do, I think it would be effective at that, too. Since this seems to have been the goal of many of the interrogations, I would not want to start down the road of arguing that the torture was "not effective," because I'm not sure where this road might lead.

                  •  there is no evidence to show it was effective (0+ / 0-)

                    at getting the truth - none at all

                    The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

                    by dancewater on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 09:14:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

                      But I'm not sure the truth is all that widely cherished.

                      Consider a slightly different scenario.  The police "know" that some guy is a "bad guy." They "know" he committed a crime, they just can't prove it. They "know" that, if they can just get a warrant to search his house, they will find the evidence they need. They need probably cause for a search someone who knows the bad guy to tell them that they saw some of the evidence in the bad guy's house. So they torture one of his buddies, who obliging tells them what they want to hear, and they get their search warrant.

                      Seriously, how many Americans do you think would have a serious problem with this? How many do you think would be impressed that the police were able to get the search warrant, and don't care how they got it?

          •  Let's try this (6+ / 0-)

            You are standing in front of this person that you have miraculously captured and miraculously has the key to freeing your daughter.

            First, what would you calculate the odds of that too be?


            What form of torture would you use? Please describe how you would torture them. What lengths of torture will you go to?



            Then...what happens if after you torture them...and they tell you what they think you want to hear to stop the pain it turns out that you were wrong?

            That they didn't know, or that your daughter was already dead, or that his accomplices had moved her because they knew you were torturing him.

            Have you ever been wrong?Of course you have. What happens if you were wrong about this?

            What if your magical scenario doesn't play out like it does on the teevee?

            What happens to your daughter, when his buddies find out you tortured him?

            What happens to the guy you tortured? is he still alive, or did you kill him.

            And....what happens to you, living with torturing someone AND not saving your daughter?

            It is a little more complicated than the version of the "ticking time bomb" theory you propose.

            •  I know it's more complicated (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buhdydharma, condorcet

              but, again, that's effectiveness.

              This is the problem I often have with morality get into all the "what ifs". Boil it down: if we're talking about my daughter, and I (somehow for the sake of argument) KNOW the torture is going to it moral?

              As I said in the response above, I'd actually think you'd have an easier time getting the whatever it is that approve of torture to rethink that if you did harp on the effectiveness. I think it's easier to convince people "This doesn't work" than "This isn't moral". And your post is a whole bunch of "this doesn't work."

              If you have now concluded that I don't see morality, in many cases, in black/white, you would be correct :). You have not convinced me that torturing someone to recover my kidnapped daughter is immoral. YOu have convinced me that it would be ineffective, futile, and may possibly backfire...but I already knew that, and that doesn't equal immoral.

              DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
              "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

              by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:45:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok so go ahead and describe the acts (2+ / 0-)

                and methods of torture that you would use.

                •  You're missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

                  Again, you're poking at the hypothetical. You're adding details, particulars, specifics. Moral questions are abstract. Boil away the specifics. Get down to the abstract:

                  1. If you knew it would work
                  1. If you knew what methods would work
                  1. If it concerned someone like a daughter

         it moral?

                  That's all I'm asking. As I said above, I do not have a good answer to that question.

                  DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                  "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                  by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:39:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As you gouge his eyes out (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ChurchofBruce, TheMomCat

                    Pull out his fingernails

                    Electrocute his genitals


                    And picture yourself in the act of doing so

                    With his screams an blood spurting...

                    It adds a new dimension to the moral equation that is distinctly not abstract.

                    •  Ah, OK, at least now I get your point (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      The unanswered question is: what are his cohorts doing to my daughter?

                      Take a real life example: Jaycee Duggan, that girl who was just recovered after being a captive for 18 years. If I'm her father, and I think pulling out the fingernails and electrocuting his genitals would get my daughter back...I can't say I wouldn't. And if we're talking about someone who has the information, we're talking about someone who was in cahoots with people that kidnapped, raped, and tortured a girl starting when she was 11. Electrocuting the genitals of some scumbag to get her out of that? If she were mine, I can't say I wouldn't.

                      DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                      "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                      by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:38:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Have you ever caused serious ohysical harm (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ChurchofBruce, TheMomCat

                        to another human?

                        Broken someones nose in a fight?

                        Iow, are you sure you are capable of torturing another human?

                        •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Usually I was on the recieving end :). However, I broke someone's wrist with a baseball bat once. Swung for the fences. Why? Because he was my age (14ish at the time) and he beat the crap out of my sister. Who was six years younger, so around 8. So, I swung the bat. I didn't regret it for a minute, and the asshole never laid a hand on my sister ever again.

                          Torture's a considerable amount of steps up from that, but my daughters are a few steps up on the "people I need to protect" list from my sister.

                          Y'see my moral code STARTS with "protect those that belong to me." Which, at this point, only means my daughters (my sister can take care of herself and can probably kick my ass :D) but "protect my daughters" is the first entry in my moral code.

                          Which is why morality is so damn grey :D

                          DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                          "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                          by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:57:55 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The better question is what would you tell the (0+ / 0-)

                            children of the innocent guy you tortured because you were sure he was the right guy (and they had your daughter, so it was no time to doubt your own judgment...)?

                            Taking the situation you started with (your daughter is held captive...), you might legally get a lesser sentence because your torture would be a crime of passion, or, if not a crime of passion strictly speaking, there would be extenuating circumstances. But, it would still be a crime, because it would still be immoral.

                          •  Again, you're missing the point (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bicycle Hussein paladin

                            I am taking all that stuff out of the equation. I know I have the right guy.

                            This is a moral hypothetical, not a real world situation :).

                            I am against torture in the real world and one of the main reasons I am is precisely the kind of situation you describe. I would consider torturing innocent people just about as immoral as it gets.

                            My point was this: if you can think of a situation, even a purely hypothetical one, where torturing someone makes you think about it...then we have entered that great moral grey area. And having someone connected with my daughter's disappearance, where I know the guy I've got is the right guy...would make me think about it.

                            As for crime, sure. But we're talking morality, not legality. The two don't always coincide :)

                            DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                            "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                            by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 06:12:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't seem to be able... (0+ / 0-)

                   address the moral question at all.

                          •  It's immoral. I shouldn't even have to say so. nt (0+ / 0-)
                          •  That's not what I meant. (0+ / 0-)

                            But never mind.

          •  that's completely the wrong way to look at it (3+ / 0-)

            there is no analogy here at all. First of all it the personal case you pretty much know what is going on and what is required. There is one question. Are you being pragmatic or pissed off. You can torture someone for revenge and then you are wrong or you can do it to extract information -- but you have to be able to guage your opponent. I would probably not torture since I have had experience in disarming people and working their better sides. I have much faith in it. On the other hand I might have to induce fear -- maybe.

            The state's use of torture is another matter altogether. It becomes a bureaucratized project subject to all the rewards and penalties of bureaucracy. It dehumanizes the torturer and the tortured -- in short it is violence that is not in any way personal or rarely so. The way it was practiced was arbitrary. Take the Guantanomo prisoners as an example of bureaucratic excess. Most of the prisoners were innocent. They were seized by criminal gangs in Pakistan and Afghanistan and sold to the U.S. forces who wanted bodies -- they didn't care if anyone was innocent -- they needed bodies that's how bureaucracies work and if you know anything about the military you know that it is (before it can even be called a fighting force) a bureaucracy of bureaucracies -- the ultimate of bureaucracies if the truth be known.

            These bodies were shipped to Guantanamo and tortured systematically by people who were more interested in experimenting with how to breakdown human personalities than extracting information. They knew they were going to get false information. They knew that a person in an altered state of consciousness that results from systematic torture will create a skewed reality and in fact live there forever. The massive harm done to human beings both the tortured and the torturers is incalculable and for what?

            I makes you feel more secure?

            That is a security for cowards -- I want no part of that bullshit. You want to live in a society that tortures systematically? How do you know that your daughter will not join a radical campus group that gets rounded up in secret prisons (it's legal and possible) and gets tortured and raped?

            I want my enemies not my government to do such things. To the extent the government does such things it is my enemy.

            •  But, again, like budhydharma (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Free Spirit

              you're piling on.

              This was set up, by budhy, as a moral question. Even "what society do we want to be" questions are piling on. I'm trying to boil this down to the absolute basics, and ask, are the absolute basics moral?

              BTW, I absolutely agree with you that state sponsored torture takes things to a whole nother level, and for the reasons you articulated. I agree with all of that. But that's still not a basic moral evaluation.

              DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
              "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

              by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:42:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm starting to think... (0+ / 0-)

                ...that a lot of people here are not up to a basic moral evaluation. Which would explain a lot.

                •  Well, no, I wouldn't say that (0+ / 0-)

                  This shit gets complex :) and it's something I've thought a lot about because my moral code can be, well, something other than mainstream :).

                  I've got no problem with the moral evaluations of anyone else in this thread. They're just adding things that my point didn't add. The question of the torture of people that might be innocent is a moral one, and I'm in complete agreement with buhdydharma and others about the immorality of that. It's just not the argument I was making, is all.

                  I am a HUGE HUGE fan of talking out moral questions, because, again, I don't think most moral questions are black and white. If they're grey, as I believe they are, they almost require discussion between people of good intentions.

                  DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                  "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                  by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:56:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think you mostly got people arguing... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...with the details of your example rather than actually evaluating the morality of the example you pose.

                    I don't think your example is a very good one for evaluating morality, because you used your daughter in the example. Then it becomes about all about emotion. Someone in that position is not really capable of making a moral or immoral decision, IMO.  A more useful example would be one in which the child is unknown to you.

  •  out of Afghanistan (15+ / 0-)

    Just as fast as we can.

    We are only making the long term prospects worse.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:49:44 AM PDT

  •  but to be clear here (6+ / 0-)
    1. Obama promised repeatedly until Feb 1 (deadline for Nobel votes) that Afghanistan was our "good" war, that Bush didn't bomb and kill enough people commit enough resources to that war in years past, and that he would make sure we make sure we continued to fight that war.
    1. Yet he won the Nobel Peace Prize anyway.  Perhaps the Nobel people really thought that Afghanistan is a good war after all?  Or they think they're going to change Obama's mind on it?  Headscratcher.
    •  Imo (5+ / 0-)

      They HOPE to change his actions by reminding him that war itself is immoral.

      Even if it can be parsed as a 'good war' in contrast to the definitional immorality of Iraq

      •  Simply not true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buhdydharma, condorcet

        war itself is immoral.

        WWII is a perfect example of why that isn't true.

        •  Was it not the immoral acts (6+ / 0-)

          of the Axis that started the war?

          Our response, given the circumstances could be considered moral.

          But the true moral thing to do is to always prevent war. "We" had plenty of chances to prevent war. If we had addressed the immoral acts of the Axis before we were forced to respond with war...that would have been the moral thing to do.

          We are just starting to learn the moral lessons of the past 12,00 years.

          Because now that the planet is 'small' we have to.

          •  But preventing war (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            isn't always possible. Hitler wasn't going to listen to any sort of reason. Nor was the Taliban.

            It's absolutely true that you should only go to war as a last resort, but when you are faced with a war that is impossible to prevent, you then must act as morally as possible in your prosecution of it. In many ways we did that is WWII, with obvious exceptions because war makes it necessarry to turn your enemies into something other than human. That's where the Cheney administration went horribly wrong.

            They didn't make our enemies less than human, they made the entire region our enemy. If we had stayed out of Iraq, committed ourselves to rebuilding Afghanistan while helping the vast majority of innocents in the country and proven ourselves less war mongery and more humane, we would be in a far different place right now.

            Thats why Obama received the Nobel. Because he wanted to change how we do these things as much as what we do.

            •  The Taliban Didn't Attack Us. They Offered to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat, Johnny Q, Dr Marcos

              capture Al Qaeda for us, they just insisted on handing them over to other parties.

              We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

              by Gooserock on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:18:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  yes but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lady Libertine, Johnny Q

              then we get into the next layer.

              Would it have been moral to kill Hitler in say '38?

              And the next layer re Al Qaeda, which I shall try to phrased delicately....what could we have done to avoid the situation by acting more morally to address the moral concerns that they raise as their reasoning for attacking the US?

              Alternatively, what could we have done after the Cole bombing to defuse the sitch?

              •  It *absolutely* would have been (0+ / 0-)

                moral to kill Hitler in '38.

                The minute he got hold of power, it would have been moral for anyone who'd read Mein Kampf to kill him. Absolutely.

                DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
                "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

                by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:43:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Outstanding comment! (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

            by gulfgal98 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:20:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It is true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          Even the WW2 example does not escape the fact that war is the ultimate failure of humanity and the taking of human life is the ultimate sign of immorality.

          "You show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a bloodsucker." - Malcolm X

          by Dr Marcos on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:43:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Two can play that game. (0+ / 0-)

      In honor of your slash, here is a shorter h bridges:

      I support the Taliban.

    •  the prize was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, buhdydharma, Dr Marcos

      to give succor to Obama in his struggle with the most fearsome danger to civilization -- the American fascist right. The Europeans are scared shitless that people to the right of Cheney will take over within the next few years when the economic shit really hits the fan. Afghanistan is irrelevant. They are all willing to slaughter people in that region if it keeps the extreme right in America out of power. That is why the world tolerates the financial shenanigans of Wall Street -- it is only the Wall Street and related factions that keeps the fascists sitting on the sidelines.

      •  Exactly, the World Is Beginning to Treat Us As We (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buhdydharma, banger, Johnny Q, Dr Marcos

        treated dicey regimes for generations, offering us rewards and enticements to act better and even to act less worse.

        As the rest of the world became more powerful, it was inevitable to happen some day. But since the establishment of Reaganocracy, that day was advanced by leaps and bounds.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:20:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are real problems with terrorism (7+ / 0-)

    I think that President Obama is trying to stop extremists from gaining control of Pakistan's nuclear capabilities.

    Let's not underestimate the brutality of the terrorists.

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In one of the most brazen attacks here in recent years, gunmen dressed in military fatigues on Saturday stormed the Pakistani Army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and took more than a dozen security officers hostage, producing a standoff that continued into the evening.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:58:41 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely! (10+ / 0-)

      The moral question do the concerns about Pakistan justify killing Afghanis that we ourselves admit are no threat to the US?

    •  oh, that's funny>>> (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buhdydharma, Johnny Q

      We are not stopping extremists by doing war, we are ENCOURAGING THEM!!!  

      And saying that the terrorists are brutal is the height of hypocrisy, for two reasons.

      1.  we have killed and torture vastly more innocents
      1.  see photo above

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:37:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  look, let's be clear (0+ / 0-)

      Everything in Pakistan/Afghanistan is unclear. We lack good information from the mainstream media on what precisely is going on there and who the so-called terrorists are. If you know anything about politics there you know that ISI, Taliban, the various army factions, the oligarchical families, organized crime, private militias, a dozen intelligence agencies, private contractors, human trafickers, drug lords, confidence men and women etc. etc. are all in the mix. A "terrorist" act could be and independent act by some ridiculous sect but, in a society like that where human connections run very deep (this is why Americans cannot calculate politics in most of the world -- we idolize isolation -- other societies believe in connections) the more likely scenario is some element of the power elite is involved or sanctions almost everything that happens there. The feeble-minded American journalists (essentially spokesmen for the government -- they learned their lesson from the Daniel Pearl incident) give us no good intelligence on what is going on. Occasionally they indicate ISI involvement and collusion with the Taliban -- which is basically what has been and is happening since the Taliban is ultimately a creation of ISI and CIA.

      This is all very, very murky. Rather than just throw up our hands we need to see who benefits and follow the money -- two notions that are all but forbidden on DKOS. If we do that we can begin to analyze the situation in that region. BTW, I didn't even mention India which is a whole other story.

    •  Then he's on a wild goose chase. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radical def, Johnny Q

      Pakistan is not remotely likely to lose any nuclear weapons to extremists. Extremists are hated in Pakistan, by and large. They have parties that run in the elections there, they never win more than a few percentage points of the vote, and that's in the most favorable provinces.

      The fact that our media repeats this myth is depressing, but probably shouldn't come as a surprise. Since the war against Afghanistan has been a back burner compared to Iraq, it's a myth that hasn't been challenged enough.

      If you want more info read some of Juan Cole's posts on Pakistan.

      •  Hey...thanks for your incisive insight, Hussein! (0+ / 0-)

        You bring an objective, informed voice of reason, transcending the unreasonable and uninformed subjectivity of many others.

        I feel compelled to check your Diaries and comments!

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:04:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How can we do that from Afghanistan? (0+ / 0-)

      Did we invade the wrong-stan like we invaded the wrong Ira-

      Not that invading the "right" ones would've been any better.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:45:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for my daily dose of reality check. (7+ / 0-)

    End both wars now. There is no compromising that position.
    As Always...Peace ;-/>

    "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody's giving booze to these goddamn things!"-Hunter S. Thompson ;-)>

    by rogerdaddy on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:06:10 PM PDT

  •  The real problem is the reduction of morality (9+ / 0-)
    to issues that are sexual - the whole of America is up in arms about a Presidential blow job or a pop star flashing a bit of nipple.

    On the othe hand very few of the "USA kicks ass" crowd even think of morality as having anything to do with such issues as bombing the shit out of people.

    When it comes to military action the only question usually raised is that of can and never of ought - you see this in discussions of our continuing presence in Iraq and Afghanistan all the time. You also see this in questions of military intervention being framed exclusively in terms of legality (= if Congress has approved it) as if legality necessarily coincided with morality...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:07:02 PM PDT

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pinko Elephant, Johnny Q

      Our morality is broken on just about every level.

      We rae in a moral crisis as we shift from the previous morality based on Puritanism into a morality relevant to the 21st cen.

      As I just said over at Docudharma...

      I think the cliche applies every crisis their is opportunity.

      We have the opportunity to rebuild our destroyed moral code into something new and better. I hope we seize that opportunity!

      •  I think it's a serious error to conflate... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "We" are NOT what Faux "News" or the Republicans so falsely project us to be.

        Despite a 40 year commercial mass media propaganda blitz, 24/7, on all channels, the American peoples have chosen Obama and a Progressive Caucus majority, based, I think, on a conception of morality far different than the memes promulgated by the pigs.

        Yes, many have been deluded by those totally contrived, false memes...too many for comfort.

        But we can take comfort in the fact that they are nowhere near a majority.

        Conflating the American peoples' considerations, debates and opinions with the monopoly corporate fascist commercial mass media spew is a serious error.

        We are better than that, and the last election proves it.

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:59:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, look, it's my pet peeve! :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, buhdydharma

      The erotica writer (that's me) could go on an hours long rant about just that very subject. With a side trip about how movie ratings make full frontal nudity worse than the graphic description of slaughter.

      But I won't...:)

      DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
      "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

      by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:20:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        after all a bare ass is gravely immoral and dangerous to behold, while babies deformed by our use of depleted uranium (to "bring freedom and democracy" and grab the oil) are just collateral damage.

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:41:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and somehow, about half of them, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buhdydharma, Johnny Q

      see torture as moral.

      And our TVs are full of violence - while our 'news' is full of sexually immature behavior.

      Funny thing about the health care debate - question of can we afford it comes up again and again - but that question is almost never brought up in relation to our military or our wars and occupations.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:44:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Natural Outgrowth Of Big Repub Money Organizing (0+ / 0-)

      the originally apolitical fundamentalists into their voting and ground troop base beginning in the 60's.

      It gets the morality spotlight off the acquisition and conquest activities of the MIC, and onto economically trivial but emotional interpersonal behavior issues they can use to divide the humans.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:28:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We will be in Afghanistan.. (3+ / 0-)

    for as long as Pakistan remains unstable.

    They just don't want to admit that's the real game.

    The whole Afghanistan conflict is a charade at this point for what they are really afraid of..a whacked out theocracy in control of a nuclear arsenal.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:08:00 PM PDT

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  You forgot the end of that (5+ / 0-)

      "a whacked out theocracy in control of a nuclear arsenal...and their most bitter enemy, on the other side, also in control of a nuclear arsenal." One would think the stability of Pakistan is being watched by India VERY closely.

      DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
      "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

      by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:23:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the longer we stay in Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

      the more unstable Pakistan will become.

      And just remember that fact when the 'good' Taliban (the ones the Pakistani military guys like) get a hold of those nuclear bombs.  Every single person who did not strenuously object to the continuation of the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan will be responsible for that outcome.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:46:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not buying that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think the nutjobs who are blowing shit up and taking hostages in Pakistan are all of a sudden going to stop what they're doing if we were to all of a sudden say "we're outta here".

        What evidence or logic do you have to make that claim?

        "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

        by jkay on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:59:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The answer to that may lie in this question... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          WHY are they blowing shit up and taking hostages.

          What do they want?

          •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

            It's as simple as that.

            If it was, I think we would leave.

            "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

            by jkay on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:22:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They engage in terrorism probably in order to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oysterface, buhdydharma, Radical def

              be taken seriously as a political force. The U.S. under Bush basically declared the Taliban unfit to exist. The problem is that the Taliban was the main political organization of many rural Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan, like the Republican Party in the southern U.S. So rather than just being abandoned for greener pastures, the Taliban retreated, regrouped, and continued to fight against the occupier. The logic is that if they show to us that they are capable of doing enough damage, we have to take them seriously as a political force and give them a seat at the table.

              Far and away the best thing to do is to just give them a seat at the table.

            •  I think it is as simple as that. (0+ / 0-)

              and we should get them involved in the political process starting now..... and keep in mind that they may be horrible, but so are the warlords in power right now with Karzai.

              The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

              by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:47:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  what I am saying is that (0+ / 0-)

          the bombing and taking hostages will continue to get worse the longer we are there.... which is what is factually happening right now.

          What evidence do you have to claim otherwise?

          The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

          by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:45:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What evidence do you have that any Taliban (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        would get their hands on nuclear weapons in Pakistan? Are you inferring that the government would give them nukes because they support them in other ways, so it's just a matter of time before they get nukes too? Do you realize how unpopular the Taliban are in Pakistan?

        •  No, I'm not up.. (0+ / 0-)

          on the Gallup poll of Taliban popularity in Pakistan, please inform me.

          Are they as popular as Sarah Palin is here?

          But obviously they have our attention, because if Pakistan were deemed stable I think we'd be pulling up stakes in Afghanistan right now.

          They were able to take over a major army base in Pakistan, do you think an insurgent group in this country could pull of something like that here?

          Not in a million fucking years.

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:31:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pew, not Gallup, also Pakistani elections, and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oysterface, Radical def, jkay

            both polls and elections show that the Taliban and allied parties are way less popular in Pakistan than Sarah Palin is here.

            Pakistan deemed stable by whom is the question. There are people that the Obama administration continues to ask for advice, who were wrong on Iraq, who I'm sure will tell you Pakistan is going to be taken over by Taliban any minute now. Pakistan has taken serious military action, and casualties, driving them out of their positions in the NWFP. These actions are generally supported by the population, even though many civilians were probably killed, and there were thousands of refugees created. The government of Pakistan is not unstable, and the forces of democracy have the upper hand, as evidenced by the restoration of Supreme Court justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

          •  And yes, they have scientific political polling (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oysterface, Radical def

            in Pakistan just like they do here. Does this surprise you?

        •  I don't know how popular the Taliban is (0+ / 0-)

          in Pakistan, but I know enough to know that there are at least two groups of Taliban there - and the Pakistani military has been working with one group against the other group... presumably the group that is blowing up civilians.  The group they are working with will publicly state that they want to get back into Afghanistan to fight the US/NATO invaders.

          The Taliban (not sure which group) have said that they want to get their hands on Pakistan's nukes.  

          There are at least some in the Pakistani government who support at least some of the Taliban.  

          The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

          by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:43:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would make a lot of sense on Pakistan's part (0+ / 0-)

            because Taliban in Afghanistan are more like a political movement of the Pashtuns, and there are also a lot of Pashtuns in Pakistan, so Pakistan would want to support them (or rather, some people in Pakistan would...) in order to increase their influence over Afghanistan. That is a sort of obvious strategic calculation, and it certainly doesn't mean they would give nukes to any Taliban any more than our supporting the Taliban during the Cold War meant we were going to give them nukes.

            And now, according to Juan Cole, almost none of the remaining Taliban are seminary students (where the name "Taliban" comes from) they are more of a Pashtun political group fighting on behalf of a people who are split by a border (imagine having to go through customs from Baltimore to reach your cousin in Boston).

  •  Seems obvious that more troops are not the answer (4+ / 0-)

    If we aren't already, we should be paying locals to NOT side with or aid & abet Al Qaeda - just as we did in Iraq. That was the success that many Americans were misled to believe was 'surge'-related. Cheers.

    Cheney tortured detainees to elicit false justifications for invading Iraq.

    by ericlewis0 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:08:45 PM PDT

    •  Getting locals on our side is the key (4+ / 0-)

      Making our troops into the local police is not going to work.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:11:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hearts and minds (4+ / 0-)

      is the basis for any moral....and thus long lasting and real....solution.

      •  Hmmmmm, hearts and minds, catchy, that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buhdydharma, ericlewis0

        "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:30:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  solution for whose point of view? (0+ / 0-)

        First you have to establish an objective and then find the solution. What is the objective in Afghanistan? I hate to disappoint you but it is not and never will be the stated one.

        If indeed you do mean some kind of self-determination then you have two basic options: 1) leave them the fuck alone!; and 2) nation-building from the ground up -- i.e., guaranteeing civil-liberties, rule of law etc., real elections, schools, roads, economic development etc. In order to do that you would need at least 500,000 troops and police and 100,000 bureaucrats and development experts; in short, a takeover of the entire society by the U.S. or the U.N. and over a period of perhaps 25 years gradually turn over the running of that imposed system to local officials.

        That's it. The current proposals on the table are neither moral or immoral they are stupid and unworkable. All those proposals will fail and the actors know they will fail because similar actions have failed everywhere. Why do they persist? You have to understand Washington politics and hardly anybody on the left has a clue about how it works at this stage of history. People here thinks it's people with different ideas battling to do the "right thing" that's the story they tell to everyone and even the story they all believe. They pull the wool over our eyers and their own eyes as well.

        •  Could Half a Million Occupy That Kind f Geogrphy? (0+ / 0-)

          Is there actually anything at all that can "be done with" Afghanistan by outsiders?

          Other than monitoring and periodic special ops for Al Qaeda type groups?

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:32:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, I think it could be done (0+ / 0-)

            but it would require complete dedication and discipline of the occupiers. Knowing how corrupt the system is -- I don't think it is practically possible. I was speaking theoretically. We should get the fuck out now.

    •  bribery does work.... until they stop doing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      the bribery.  But it is a good approach in the short term.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, it does work (0+ / 0-)

        but it has to be bribery with a plan and with an honest assessment of the political forces there. Bribery was an important cause of success of the Surge in Iraq. Bribery was used quite a lot before but it was out of control and going in all directions. Each agency involved had its own agenda and its own metrics.

        When the bribes were clearly focused in an overall strategy they worked fairly well. As an aside, realize that it wasn't bribery that did much but an agreement between the Saudis (who supported the Sunnis), the Iranians (who supported the shiites) and the Kurds to create ethnic enclaves and guarantee relatively stable spheres of interest within Iraq. The negotiations were an open secret but rarely reported in the U.S. media. The idea that someone waved a magic wand and we achieved "victory" in Iraq is laughable.

  •  Thanks for another excellent diary. I just happen (3+ / 0-)

    to feel that Obama is trying to restore America's moral compass and path to peaceful co-existence. The question is whether he can rollover the well entrenched opposition.

    •  The right in US will not "roll over"... (0+ / 0-)

      They must be purged, and suppressed, democratically, electorally.

      But I agree, that it does seem Obama sincerely wants to reverse policy.

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:45:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because the Taiban were nice guys... (4+ / 0-)

    to their own people.  America can't leave without an peace accord where the Taliban would swear off extremism and lay down their weapons.  Otherwise America pulls out and the Taliban, backed by AQ arms metes out it's revenge on all those who worked with Americans and NATO.  

    I think the delay in announcing new troops is because there is tense negotiating going on with the Afghan Taliban and the US/NATO.  

    Taliban gets amnesty and a seat at the political table (though barred from any high office for the time being), and they lay down their weapons and swear off extremism.

    The sooner they do that, the sooner America could draw down it's troops and focus on AQ in the mountains.  

    You can't leave Afghanistan and allow Afghani's to be butchered in revenge killings.  

    Ivory Soap is a Sell-out - It's only 99 and 44/100% pure!!

    by Jonze on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:09:56 PM PDT

  •  Thank you again, buhdy, (10+ / 0-)

    for keeping it real.

    See, I know what this looks like.  Up close and personal.  I know what my ex brought back with him from the jungles of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam and I know what my son brought home with him from the meat grinder he was stationed at in Iraq.

    All in the name of serving the greater good.

    No matter what we're told, no one assigned the United States the responsibility of playing world police and global hall monitor.  

    Amazingly, in hindsight so many of these decisions appear so garishly predatory and self-serving.

    Gee . . . . who woulda thought???

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:11:35 PM PDT

    •  If we are going to advance peace (6+ / 0-)

      we have to face our own moral hypocrisy.

      Might makes Right, administered from a moral high ground that doesn't exist, just doesn't cut it anymore.

      • guys are ALL missing the real point (0+ / 0-)


        I have commented elsewhere, specific to Afghanistan, eg: this comment just a few minutes ago in another Diary:

        Bring the war home...

        But this is not just about Afghanistan, people...

        Reducing these issues to questions of bourgeois "morality" is not really helpful, especially when it's framed in a context that seeks to obscure and evade the actual real issues that have caused and perpetuated the situation...the real issues to which I see no reference whatsoever, in the Diary, and over 100 comments here!

        Afghanistan, and Pakistan are pawns in a machiavellian game of imperialist posturing for hegemony.  The entire situation is all about encircling and harassing Russia, on general "principles", and in regard to the oil fields in the region, more specifically.

        In the 50's, our CIA directly and deliberately manipulated internal politics in those countries, displacing, suppressing, murdering popular democratic leaders and movements with client right wing reactionary conservative fundamentalist elements, ushering in the chaos that has reigned there ever since.

        Plain and simple, the CIA, and their international imperialist monopoly corporate fascist sponsors in the US and abroad, feared the prospect of democracy in those countries, because that tends to lead to a nation standing up and declaring independence from neo-colonial "ownership" of their national resources, toward asserting their own democratic control of those resources, for their own peoples, rather than selling their asses to the imperialists for a few well-placed bribes to the most dominant warlords.

        The Soviets supported the popular democratic movements...for their own machiavellian purposes, in terms of hegemony, and access to the oil, it's true...

        But that's a deep subject, going all the way back to the founding of the Soviet Union, and the similar ploys of international imperialist monopoly capital, to interfere in Russia's own popular democratic aspirations, ultimately forcing them into a defensive military posture and martial law, to defend themselves, and, of course, international economic, technological and diplomatic boycott and embargo, etc, precipitating the harsh socio-economic conditions we so love to point to as "proof" that communism (ie: democratic national self-determination, rather than neo-colonialsm) is neither viable nor desirable.

        Anyway, it's that rabid, vicious, ruthless anti-communism that has driven US foreign (and domestic) policy these many years, that has led to these conflicts, all over the world, in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

        US foreign policy must be reversed, in virtually all regards, for any prospect of resolution of the conflicts that our own fascist government have deliberately caused.

        The right must be purged from all levers of power in this country, and resolutely suppressed, democratically, electorally.  

        We don't "need" a fascist opposition, to be democratic.

        We now have a Progressive Caucus majority, within a Democratic Majority in the Congress.  But the counter-revoutionary anti-democratic right retains sufficient plurality to block, delay and sabotage motion.

        The correct response to this situation is NOT to demonize "teh Dems", falsely conflating Obama and the Progressive Caucus with the Blue Dogs, DLC, and Republicans, for crying out loud...

        This is not even about Obama, or the present Progressive Caucus.

        This is about establishing a real democracy, such that we can decide, democratically, how to deal with any given issues of justice and peace, to save the planet.

        This not the time for electoral boycott, or to start all over from scratch, to try to build another party, either of which COINTELPRO-inspired "strategy" will ultimately serve only to hand power back to the Republicans, guaranteed.  

        This is the time to seize the power in this country, by calling off the electoral boycott and vote splitting, and mobilizing the masses for an unprecedented, historic interim election turnout, to sweep the anti-democratic traitors into the proverbial dustbin of history, once and for all.

        That will only be accomplished by going all out for a Democratic Party Progressive Caucus super-majority, in Congress, and all down the ladders of power in this country, to the state and local levels, to the greatest extent possible, in 2010 and 2012.

        The real point:  

        The Blue Dogs, and what remains of the Republicans, must be purged, democratically, electorally.

        Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

        Seize the Time!

        All Power to the People!

        Death to monopoly corporate capitalism, and it's moribund form, fascism!

        All Out for 2010 and 2012!


        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:31:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nah, that's not morality, it's obtuseness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It leaves the world to the vilest, and believe it or not that isn't us.  

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:21:50 PM PDT

    •  So we enforce our morality (3+ / 0-)

      on the rest of the world?

      How do we do that?

      Doesn't seem to be working real well.

    •  how do you know we are not the vilest? (5+ / 0-)

      we sell 70% of the world's arms.

      we have hundreds of bases around the world.

      we bomb and attack other countries on a regular basis.

      we torture, including rape.

      we kidnap and call it 'rendition'.

      we built the first atom bombs and we are the only ones so far to use them on civilians.

      we have kill more innocents than nearly everyone (DR Congo has us beat by a large margin) since WW2.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:53:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Questionable Premise. (0+ / 0-)

      It leaves the world to the vilest, and believe it or not that isn't us.  

      I think that's a questionable premise. There are countries where individual dictators and their lackies have taken power who are arguably more vile than "us," but had Bush/Cheney secured that kind of power I can only imagine what "we" would have done under their rule. I am hard pressed to think of any other countries not run by individual dictators that I can point to as being clearly more vile than us. How many Muslim women have the Taliban killed? And us? How many Muslim children? And us?

  •  The CSM had an article (7+ / 0-)

    a year ago about Afghanistan's growing peace movement.

    "People are growing tired of the fighting," says Bakhtar Aminzai of the National Peace Jirga of Afghanistan, an association of students, professors, lawyers, clerics, and others. "We need to pressure the Afghan government and the international community to find a solution without using guns."

    Analysts interviewed say that the majority of Afghans favor some sort of negotiated settlement between the warring sides, but many peace activists are critical of the Saudi talks. "We want reconciliation with the Taliban through a loya jirga," or grand assembly of Afghans, says Fatana Gilani, head of the Afghanistan Women's Council (AWC), a leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) here. "We don't want interference from foreign countries or negotiations behind closed doors," she says.

    And according to Noam Chomsky

    There is a significant peace movement in Afghanistan. Exactly its scale, we don’t know. But it’s enough so that Pamela Constable of the Washington Post, in a recent article in Afghanistan, argued that when the new American troops come, they’re going to face two enemies: the Taliban and public opinion, meaning the peace movement, whose slogan is "Put down the weapons. And we don’t mind if you’re here, but for aid and development. We don’t want any more fighting."

    In fact, we know from Western-run polls that about 75 percent of Afghans are in favor of negotiations among Afghans. Now, that includes the Taliban, who are Afghans. In fact, it even includes the ones in Pakistan. There’s the difference—the really troubled areas, now, are Pashtun areas, which are split by a British-imposed line, artificial line, called the Durand Line,

    It is time to bring home our troops home, and once and for all close the Bush foreign disaster chapter.

    "there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air"

    by Pinko Elephant on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:33:18 PM PDT

    •  And current rumblings have Obama... (4+ / 0-)

      potentially reaching out to the Taliban, to negotiate a peace deal between them where they can have a seat at the table and a say in the future of Afghanistan.  

      Ivory Soap is a Sell-out - It's only 99 and 44/100% pure!!

      by Jonze on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's either that (4+ / 0-)

        or pile up their bodies til they quit fighting

        And the Afghans have never quit fighting.

        •  I agree and I hope it's true... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          by all means negotiate with the Taliban, but not with al Qaeda.

          If the US negotiated peace with the Taliban where they'd have amnesty and have a seat at the democratic table and a say in the future of Afghanistan in return they'd lay down their weapons (not have to surrender them), swear off extremism and accept that they couldn't run for high office for the next while relative peace would come to the nation over night.  

          The issue is that the Taliban has become too intertwined with AQ, and in some cases they cannot be separated.  

          Ivory Soap is a Sell-out - It's only 99 and 44/100% pure!!

          by Jonze on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:57:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But letting the Taliban (0+ / 0-)

        have anything more than a cheese sandwich would be, IMHO, highly immoral. The Taliban wouldn't know "moral" if it bit them on the ass.

        Of course, giving them a seat at the table might be the absolutely right thing to do...from a realpolitik point of view. But not a moral one.

        DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
        "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

        by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:53:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure about this... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, TheMomCat

          Morally how is the Taliban any different than Saudi Arabia or Egypt?


          Ivory Soap is a Sell-out - It's only 99 and 44/100% pure!!

          by Jonze on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:00:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Is only (5+ / 0-)

          our own (professed, but not practiced) morality legitimate?

          If so, how do we force the rest of the world to accept it.....without being immoral while doing so?

          One quarter of the worlds population is Muslim, they have a (slightly) different moral code.

          Catholics (abortion, birth control, death penalty) have a different moral code than Protestants.

          Which moral code do we impose? How doe we impose it?

          By killing everyone we declare immoral, such as the Taliban? Isn't that....immoral?

          •  I didn't say kill them (0+ / 0-)

            I said that giving them "a place at the table" wasn't moral. I interpret "a place at the table" to constitute power in a post US regime. That we give to them. That's not moral. Probably necessary, but not moral.

            My moral code is actually quite loose. But slaughtering people in soccer stadiums and reducing women to virtual slaves is pretty much against it. And most Muslims wouldn't even go that far. (I will refrain from offering my opinions on the morality of organized religion, 'cause that's another diary :)).

            DKos: The left's home for sanctimonious defeatism since 2008.
            "The last time we broke a president, we got Reagan"--Bush Bites

            by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:47:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Taliban that exists now is not the same as (6+ / 0-)

          the Taliban that was around 20 years ago, or the Taliban that sheltered Ossama. Juan Cole has a great post on this.

          Moreover, some of the groups called 'Taliban' in the West aren't even actually seminary students or connected to madrasahs, and are just the same warlord groups that used to fight the Soviet Union and get praised for it by the Evangelicals and by Ronald Reagan in the US. Gulbadin Hikmatyar's Hizb-i Islami and Jalaluddin Haqqani's network are two of the more important such groups, and they would likely be willing to come in from the cold.

          Negotiation with the Taliban is probably the best way to go. They do a lot of things that I disagree with, and some of them have terrible histories, but they are self-interested and rational, they are not the irrational zombie-like dream-come-true for neocons and other people who want to solve everything with violence.

    •  You ignore Afghans, who "don't mind" our presence (0+ / 0-)

      What they are objecting to is the manner in which we have asserted that presence, the priorities and criteria for that presence, our methods.

      That needs to be changed, along the lines articulated in your quotes.  And, indeed, Obama's direct orders to military commanders and the State Dept. have been more or less consistent with with such changes, to a very substantial degree, only recently, and it remains to be seen whether he will be able or willing to make that commitment stick.

      If Obama can't, or won't do that, then, yes, it would be better to get the hell out, rather than to perpetuate the injustices we have deliberately imposed on that nation for over 50 years.

      But it needs to be recognized, that if we do that, if we run for our lives, to save money, what will ensue is civil war in Afghanistan, and the Taliban will seize Kabul within 6 months, or less.

      This will not be good for Afghans, nor for the US, I guarantee.

      The only really "moral" and principled option is to do what the Afghan people are demanding...facilitate real democracy, by turning all support and assistance to the people and programs cited in your quotes...instead of Karzai and his warlords.

      If we do this, Obama's Nobel Prize will prove warranted, and the whole world will stand up and cheer, and pitch in to they will, if, and when, we succeed in compelling Israel to negotiate a just peace with the Palestinians, by the same kind of methods.

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The award was for not being Bush, along with the (0+ / 0-)

    stated reasons. I really don't see the point in making up your own reasons.
    Incidentally, I'm not making up the first reason: since Obama was nominated before Feb. 1, the only conceivable reason was that he is not Bush.
    He had done nothing else at that date.

  •  Whatever. (2+ / 0-)

    The sure stirred up shit storm. I'm pissed as hell at the Nobel Committee. Obama, as far as I can see, has nothing to do with it. Bless him, he was as gracious as possible, in accepting the turd.

  •  It's difficult for me to be hopeful since the (0+ / 0-)

    President has already said he will not reduce troop levels.  Given that position, his only options are to leave the levels the same (unlikely) or escalate (just a matter of how much and how to sell it).

    Even the fact that he's taking time to deliberate, which like most others, I give him credit for, since one shouldn't make snap judgments, does seem to indicate a flaw in the "necessary" argument.  Why?  Because if we really are in imminent danger, swift action would be the answer.

    Regardless, prepare for escalation, it's his only choice.

    In the end, it's Congress's fault.  They should have revoked the war authorization under Bush; they should still revoke it now.  They should never have done it in the first place.  I still believe giving up their war powers was unconstitutional and that act has led to much of the immorality we see.  

    Now one man, in private consultation with a war counsel, is making decisions the people (via their reps in open debate) should make and that is tyranny, no matter how benevolent the leader is.

    "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

    by Battle4Seattle on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:23:02 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary. Recced. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bicycle Hussein paladin
  •  I agree with nearly all you say here, but (0+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see 'just plain ol' "morality" return, period! No particular flavor, just consistent, true and equanimitable among nations. ;-)

    An additional factor, in my mind, back during the Chimpy years, when news reports talked about the declining situation in Afghanistan after the switch to Iraq, was the 'moral obligation' I thought we had to the troops and their families who accomplished their missions and had gained whatever ground they did, to then see their work and sacrifice get thrown away because of the stupidity and greed in the White House at the time, failing them and 'moving-on'!

    I have strong reservations (?) about just leaving one of the messes we created around the world, without having established some kind of lasting benefit or foundation for others to build on.... There are some of those less tangible, more fragile benefits, like the schools, women's programs, etc...

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