Blog Archives

Some Predictions for the Fall…

1. Joe Manchin will be the next West Virginia Senator. He ran the field in the Saturday Democratic Primary and I see no reason why he won’t take the Senate in the same measure that he took the Governorship.

2. Karzai and U.S. are heading to a major fallout. This week Karzai fired the major corruption attorney which we placed in the Afghanistan government because he was getting too close. How long can this last?

3. Christmas Sales will fall flat this year… jobs won’t pick up enough. If only America would realize how many unemployed sixty-plus-year-olds are willing to apply their experience at much lower pay than they had been getting, we could really get out of a lot of this.

War Fatigue

Obama and Company are gearing up for an explanation tour of our goals in the Middle East… that we are there to keep Al Qaeda out, to stop the Taliban from returning to Afghanistan, and to WIN (whatever that means).

Trying to build a Democratic state in a Medieval mess is just not working out. Keeping the corrupt Karzai government afloat is a form of creeping suicide for our troops, which we have expanded in Afghanistan as we have cut them in Iraq.

In the last funding bill for the troops and additional 70 Congressfolk added their names to the non-funders. Next time, the funds just may be voted down. What then?

The people…us… the voting folks… are just getting tired of it all. It is costing us and killing us for no apparent reward. It is making us continuously less popular around the world. And, although we are warned that the terrorists will come back to get us if we don’t fight them over there, they are getting arrested over here for potential terrorist attacks anyway. The war does not effectively end terrorism.

Can we get over the concept that if we don’t win we lose? Somehow, we have to.

A Quote for the Day – I don’t think the Afghans agree with our strategy.

“We always have long meetings and many arguments. We always try to teach our foreign partners how to deal with a situation like this. We Afghans know better than you.”

-a senior Afghan official present at Pres. Karzai’s meeting with Gen. Petraeus.

Before we fired McChrystal the press told us how well he got along with Karzai. Now, pushing the plan McChrystal started, to get Afghan citizens to become soldiers against the Taliban and Al Q’aida, Petraeus doesn’t seem to have the arrangement nailed down.

Read more about it HERE.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – couldn’t decide between these two…

Tom Oliphant in the Boston Globe:

Even Minorities don’t want Steele…

– and –

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Trust. What a concept.

Is Karzai really going to turn to the Taliban? Should we care?

Fred Kaplan has written a very good article in Slate. Here’s a clip… but go in and read the whole thing:
clipped from www.slate.com

Has Karzai Gone Crazy?What matters is whether he’s a reliable partner.
What is to be done about Hamid Karzai? The short answer is: not much.
These past few years, since the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, the U.S. military has learned much about “asymmetrical conflicts,” in which an ostensibly powerful nation (e.g., the United States) finds itself outmaneuvered by considerably weaker adversaries (e.g., al-Qaida, the Taliban) who have figured out how to tap our vulnerabilities.

Hamid Karzai. Click image to expand.
It seems that the president of Afghanistan has been learning his own lessons about how to play this game.
Karzai’s regime—its sovereignty, budget, army, police, even his personal security—depends entirely on the United States, NATO, and a handful of other foreign allies.
It’s like the old joke: If you owe the bank $1 million, the bank owns you; if you owe the bank $1 billion, you own the bank.
We’re the bank, and Karzai’s the one in unfathomably deep debt
  blog it

Sunday News shows focused on troops to Afghanistan…

and both Rahm Emanuel and Senator Kerry (who was in Kabul at the time) were critical of the apparently fraudulent reelection of Karzai and what would come along as a new vote or some other way to solve the problem.

This from McClatchy (only a clip… there’s a lot more):

clipped from www.mcclatchydc.com
As two commissions reviewing the allegations of fraud in Afghanistan’s August 20 presidential election haggled in Kabul Sunday, a top Obama administration official and a senior Senate Democrat publicly turned up the heat on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to find a credible end to the electoral dispute.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on CNN that President Barack Obama wouldn’t make a decision on his military commanders’ request for as many as 80,000 additional American troops in Afghanistan until the administration is convinced that the country has a credible central government.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who’s visiting Afghanistan, told CNN that, “It would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more troops to this country when we don’t even have an election finished.”
  blog it

Cartoon of the Week

Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate:

KARZAI AFGHAN ELECTIONWhy do we get involved with these guys?