Wednesday December 2, 2009

afghanistan 2 imagesHour One: It's Now Obama's War

Hour Two: Afghanistan troop surge...should we have a draft and a war tax? Dan Gainor

Hour Three: Afghanistan, secret war with Pakistan Jeremy Scahill


Mark (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Yes, it's Obama's war now, but as a "practical" political matter, he had little choice. I suspect that he and the generals were convinced by the example of the troop surge in Iraq, which some people believe was a "success" and giving it a "shot" in Afghanistan is worth a try, if only for reputation and pride's sake. But it's still a mistake, because Afghanistan is far less (and always has been) bureaucratized than Iraq, with government (even by the Taliban) having to make concessions with local tribal leaders and warlords to exert nominal control.

Mark (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Since this is comment page and not a chat room, I'll comment on Ed Schultz's disagreement yesterday with a black female caller who was offended by the idea that the Lakewood police officers should be “deified,” considering how cheaply the lives of people in her community were regarded not just by police, but by white society in general; all-white inquest juries say as much. Although there are exceptions, in general there is a vast disconnection in viewpoints in a society where the business of police is to protect the “haves” against the “have-nots,” largely denoted along racial lines.

But then again, I wouldn’t expect some people to fully comprehend this, living in a world of what they know is what they see in the television news world. The television world doesn’t tell you things like these hard economic times are hitting minorities much harder than whites, and joblessness—especially for blacks—is already at depression levels, and if the past is any example, will have to wait much longer in line than whites.

Food Fascist (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

If the President simultaneously builds a woman friendly. clean renewable energy and small organic farm agronomy economy infrastructure while keeping Al qaeda's hands off the nuclear power- he could be proclaimed a hero just in time for his 2nd term election. He should fund significantly and

Food Fascist (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Research - hydrocarbon law and various countries ie Iraq

Mark (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Since "America's Nightmare" is being featured on this page, here's a comment on Sarah Palin as she continues her book tour. On one stop recently, admirers marveled how she “understood” them, and how “Godly” she was; that may be true only in relation to Palin’s belief in her own “divinity.” It does say a great deal about the people who “identify” with Palin, and who they are (unless, of course, they don’t really know her as much as they think).

How people have forgotten--or have a twisted idea of "godliness." The real Palin, as Troopergate demonstrated, is prone to abuse power for petty personal interest. As her attacks on Obama during the campaign indicated, she is not “above” using racism, fear and paranoia to “advance” her agenda. As her book demonstrates, she is not “above” engaging in dishonest personal attacks, refusing to take personal responsibility, and being incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction. One reviewer of her book noted that she seemed incapable of “introspection,” meaning the inability to rationalize her beliefs, or reflect on her own errors of judgment and correct them (like, say, George Bush); she prefers to blame others for her mistakes and shortcomings. Perhaps because Alaska is so backward and isolated from civilization, only there could someone like Palin advance from a mayor’s office that resembled a “Louisiana bait shop” to the governor’s “mansion” by stepping on numerous toes, making more enemies in her own party than the opposition, and fooling a lot of people.

Obama represents what people can aspire to; Palin represents something altogether different, although what that can be is a matter of debate.
All anyone remembers is the Couric interview, but there was, of course, much more. After a 2007 interview with a Pittsburgh radio station, Tribune-Review columnist Dimitri Vassilaros called Palin the Republican's "beacon of light." He stated that she was "pragmatic" and "principled," and was "the brightest light in the land of the midnight sun." He went to say that Palin regarded the Constitution as her "Bible for governing." The amusing part of this report was that Vassilaros was not jesting. During the interview Palin's response to the repeated question if she was planning to run for president was giggling, laughing nervously, behaving as if a 10-year-old being asked if she has a crush on some boy. She never said yes, but she didn't say no, either. Vassilaros called it "self-deprecation"; it sounded to me more like an embarrassing lack of self-discipline, forthrightness and firmness.

However, radio jockeys in Florida did peg Palin correctly when they exposed her massive ego and lack of common sense when the “President of France”—actually two Canadian pranksters—called in to engage in small chit-chat—the ridiculousness of which Palin utterly failed to catch-on to; she actually believed that the “President of France” would call her on some small-time radio show with a less-than-serious news format.

On the campaign trail, in between the annoying, rude speech mannerisms in the same vein as the gut-churning spectacle of other white people trashing a black man in a demonizing and dehumanizing manner, Palin spoke as if she wasn't aware of media revelations that called into question her "maverick" status. She talked about battling the "good old boys" and ethics reform, yet she was being investigated over unethical actions in the "good old boy" vein in the firing of the public safety commissioner, who had the temerity to not to fire her sister’s ex-husband. She then claimed she stood up to oil companies, yet neglected to mention she is sought to weaken the Endangered Species Act to facilitate drilling in ANWR. More outrageously, she claimed to oppose earmarks, yet media reports say she repeatedly sought--and received--them.

Another reality Palin's "fans" seem to like about her is that like Dick Cheney, Palin really is a rogue operator who believes she is above the law and even her own self-proclaimed "ethics"--especially given her limited “knowledge” of the Constitution. During the vice presidential “debate,” Joe Biden had to correct her belief that the Constitution didn’t apply to her. One might recall as well during that so-called “debate” the moderator tossed out cream puff questions (abortion wasn’t even mentioned) that were easy for Palin to digest, but at least Biden respected the debate format; his opponent behaved as if this was a campaign speech, interrupted occasionally by someone else talking. Palin’s arrogance (and perhaps a tacit confession of incompetence) was on full display when she announced she wasn’t going to answer questions “the way you want me to.” This apparently happened quite frequently, considering the shallowness of her responses throughout when she wasn’t completely off topic. This “maverick,” “agent of change” and “Washington outsider” repeated the same “folksy” clichés, right-wing talking points and fear propaganda we had been force-fed by the Bush administration for eight years.

It is also interesting to note that while Palin felt she had an “obligation” to denounce “radical” black preacher Jeremiah Wright and “expose” the “full extent” of his influence over Obama to frightened white people, the media paid little attention to Palin’s “anointment” by a Kenyan preacher named Thomas Muthee as the future governor of Alaska. Muthee was known as a “witch-hunter” in Kenya, accusing at least one woman of being a “witch,” her possession by the devil causing a car accident. References to Muthee’s “witch-hunting” expertise could be found on the website of Palin’s church, until it was removed after she announced that she was running for governor. Is this the “godly” woman Palin's "fans" are referring to?

Is this what Palin’s “fans” see in themselves?

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

The farming that I saw in Afghanistan was very small scale, oxen-drawn wooden or iron plows, in fields the size that a single ox-human pair could manage. Of course, many of the fields that I saw were fallow because of landmines, some of which date back to the Soviet era, some much more recent. (We had to go through landmine education prior to beintg in country - now I know the difference between a claymore vs. a bouncing betty, for instance, or what to do if you find yourself in a minefield...usually you've found out becuase someone has set one off and become a casualty, and the worst thing to do is rush to help and become a further casualty yourself...)

Anyway, in the market place a couple of days a week in Dashti-Q'aleh was full of organic cauliflower, carrots and other local produce.

I also saw, on the Tajik side of the border - we drove down through Tajikistan having flown into Dushanbe - many abandonded collective farms that have laid fallow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Defund Texas to pay for the war(s) . . .

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

@Mark: Palin-Bachmann 2012

colonel cocoa (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Prof. of behavioral science (University of Chicago) Nicholas Epley recenty did a study with surveys and brain scans, and found that people are egocentric when considering other peoples mindsets. They use their own beliefs as a starting point, which colours thier final conclusions. The same process happens when they try and devine the mind of God. The same parts of the brain are involved. In other words God's beliefs are our own which serves as an echo chamber to validate one's own beliefs. We create God in our own image.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Dan Gainor is my moral compass . . . Whatever he SAYS he believes, the truth is exactly the opposite.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Do Senators even bother to pay attention?

After President Obama's talk last night, we all heard the senior gentleman from Arizona state that while he supported the escalation, he did not support the decision to set an withdrawal date as well. (WHAT??!! You want to wage a war with an EXIT STRATEGY??)

This morning, I received an e-mail from Senator Russ Feingold, one of few people working on Capitol Hill that I have some measure of respect for. In it (and on his web page - Russ stated that he could not support the escalation in the absence of a withdrawal schedule! WTF??

I can only hope that Russ wrote 2 replys to the president's talk, one assuming that he'd set a withdrawal date, the other assuming that he wouldn't, and that a staffer sent and posted the wrong message this morning.

colonel cocoa (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Carl Sagan said in his book, The God Hypothessis, that he concluded theological arguments for the existence of God are not very compelling. They have no satisfactory evidence on their own. It's perfectly reasonalble to conclude that God could have made absolutely clear-cut evidence of His existence.
"There is certainly a lot of order in the universe, but there is also a lot of chaos. The centers of galaxies routinely explode, and if there are inhabited worlds and civilazations there, they are destroyed by the millions, with each explosion of the galatic nucleus or quasar. That does not sound very much like a god who knows what he or she is doing.It sounds more like an apprentice god. Maybe they start out at the centers of galaxies and then after a while, move them on to more important assignments"

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

@mstaggerlee: In McCain's defense, he did graduate near the absolute bottom of his class at West Point. I am sure that his “Strategy” scores were in the crapper.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

@Thom: Thank you for letting us know yesterday that the paramilitary group designed to inflict salvation on unsuspecting masses will NOT be giving toys to poor children who are not carrying sufficient documentation. I am still trying to rap my head around the Salvation Army requiring proof of citizenship to aid poor kids.

I recommend walking by the red buckets this year without dropping coins into the bucket and telling the bell ringers precisely why you won't be donating.

SIDE NOTE: What paramilitary Rapturian group historically excludes gay folk from joining or receiving assistance (Hint: It is not Xe/Blackwater - The answer is above.)?

colonel cocoa (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

In Michael Moores open letter to the president he suggests that if Obama keeps throwing bones to the Republicans, ie; the expansion of the war, it might become clear to his corporate sponsers that he will be a one term preisident and they will abandon him. The corps haven't left yet, but the people who voted for him are turning away in disappointment.

COG (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Palin as was Obama is the products of decades of social programming by the Plutocracy. Content does not matter. As long as Palin continues to authenticate the supercilious illusion of the right she will be our next president.

Rasta (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

SOMALI PIRATES Setup Their Own Pirate Stock Market ... Hilarious!

Somali pirates stock exchange, “we’ve made piracy a community activity”

“Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 ‘maritime companies’ and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking,” Mohammed said.

“The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.”

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

I posted some pictures from Afghanistan on my community page, if anyone wishes to see.

mir (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Was slightly surprised (well....not really) to hear Thom compare Palestinian areas (specially Gaza as that was captured from Egypt but also applies to West Bank, taken from Jordan) to the state of Texas that was captured from Mexico. Couple of problems with that analogy:
1) USA did not drive out thousands of Texans from their homes in the name of security, did not build a wall separating citizens from their farms and other sources of income, nor did they treat all Texans as potential terrorists although there might have been a lot of insurgency in Texas supporting succession.
2) They did not declare citizens of Texas as defacto persona-non-grata, with less rights (actually practically no rights) with no path way to join the national community (like farm cooperative etc that are the lifelines of many areas in Israel). Additionally there are tens of thousands Palestinian refugees living in squalid refugee camps all over the world with no chance of returning back to their rightful homes. I do not see a single Texan refugee living anywhere.

Moreover Texas still has (as any other US state) the right to secede if the citizens want it. I do not see that right given to Palestinians!

There is no comparison! A more balanced comparison might be to compare what happened to the native american tribes living in the USA in the decades after the Europeans started populating this continent and again after the formation of USA.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

I preferred the speech when Lyndon Johnson delivered it . . .

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Lyndon Johnson told the Nation - by Tom Paxton:

Deja Voodoo all over again.

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Well, enough sitting by the computer, getting out to the street today!

Going to participate @ Federal Building - Wilshire Blvd in Westwood, Los Angeles 5:00 p.m.

But first, some comic relief:

Some like it pot...

nora (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

The U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan will NOT lead to stabilizing Pakistan. Just look at what has occurred since the drone attacks by the U.S. in Pakistan -- destabilization leading to hundreds of thousands if not millions of domestic refugees!

Even the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weaponry is due to U.S. involvement, and the desire since Kissinger/Nixon, to box in India and so box in democracy in the South/Southeast Asian area. It is all about containing/STOPPING democracy, really.

THOM, PLEASE READ ABOUT THE Kissinger/Nixon period where the U.S. sided with East and West Pakistan against India before the necessity to create Bangeladesh! Our presence today is a direct line from the U.S. involvement then!

nora (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

That's spelled BANGLADESH. Sorry.

nora (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Thom -- technology like night goggle vision will keep us from successfully nailing pamphlets to trees at night, I'm afraid. Besides, all the domestic spying on our choices and viewpoints have now permitted the Ruling Rogues to classify us in preparation for the round-ups of the dissidents and open-minded intellectuals. It is the formula used in Argentina, it is the formula enacted by those Negroponte Death Squads to whereever they are exported.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago
Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

If this is true, why are we in the Middle East fighting over oil?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

My wife received this information by email from a friend.

U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World

Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this 'mother lode' of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news:We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

- 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia

- 18-times as much oil as Iraq

- 21-times as much oil as Kuwait

- 22-times as much oil as Iran

- 500-times as much oil as Yemen

- and it's all right here in the Western United States .

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

The fighting for oil and natural gas resources will continue forever. How many more people must die for these resources?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

As an average American I feel like I have had the crap beaten out of me by our politicians.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Dan Rather was on the Rachel Maddow’s show on November 30, 2009. He said on the show that the terrain is hostile and a problem in Afghanistan. The jungles in Vietnam had a hostile terrain. Iraq’s desert has the oppressive heat and it is a hostile problem. Thom Hartmann talks of Afghanistan and their villages and Afghanistan is not even a country. The village people in Afghanistan will not take up arms against Afghanis. Plus, we are going there to protect a corrupt government. Why should more people be killed and maimed to protect a corrupt government?

On December 1, 2009 I had a chance to listen and watch the Rachel Maddow show. I do like her reporting style.

If you had a chance to listen and watch her show after Obama’s speech at West Point, we as Americans have accepted the Bush Doctrine in its entire totality. We will attack any nation or group we want to attack whether they are a threat to us or not.

Dr. John Nagl, a specialist in counterinsurgency, was saying on the Rachel Maddow show that we need to increase our military force numbers. Will the return of the military draft be near? Dr. Nagl also mentioned that the increase in military force numbers would help to end the unemployment problems. What he did not say that increasing the military force numbers would keep America on an endless path of more wars with no end in sight.

I did not listen and watch Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, and Ed Schultz for their ideas and thoughts on the expansion of the Afghanistan war. I have opposed the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war from day one and nothing has changed my mind on these wars. We will continue to receive ongoing information on how important and necessary this expansion is but I will still oppose this war and all wars.

The real reason for putting more troops into Afghanistan is for the oil and natural gas resources in the Middle East and Central Asia. America believes that it is her right to control all of the world’s resources in oil and natural gas.

River Wolfe (not verified) 12 years 37 weeks ago

Jason has been whittling away at Thom for weeks. It was evident in his voice that Thom was becoming very impatient with him, and today, finally he put Jason in his place. Thom, you're human, I couldn't have withstood the constant lies and talking points from Jason for as long as you did. Don't take his calls again. Remember, you don't have to engage everybody and not everyone wants to have a dialogue.

Peace & Love,

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
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From Cracking the Code:
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