Finally, the worst option is for the government to run the presses and print money. Wars tend to cause inflation, and printing money makes things worse.
Now, paying off the opposition does seem to have calmed things down in parts of Iraq (recent Baghdad bombings notwithstanding), and thereby provided us with an opening to carry through with the agreement we made with the Iraqi government to get our troops out of there. Maybe it can work in Afghanistan too.
We won’t solve Afghanistan’s social or political problems by continuing to wage a cruel and apparently endless war. Our soldiers will never be able to change Afghanistan’s social behavior or end tribal customs that go back thousands of years. They are too busy defending their own bases from angry Afghans and it’s time to leave them alone.
If the U.S. gives up fighting such ill-advised wars of choice and concomitant occupations, Rumsfeld’s concept of fewer ground forces and a heavier reliance on airpower can be viable. The concept is not the problem, but it’s not going to work if the United States continues such drawn-out imperial quagmires.
To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. The March of Folly, by historian Barbara Tuchman, is a chilling assessment of how very smart people in power can do very stupid things – how [...]
Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations. Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death [...]
While additional American troops are being deployed to Afghanistan, George W. Bush’s misdeeds continue to handicap combat effectiveness there. Past disrespect to the country must be reversed by an immediate apology to the Afghan people and new orders to field commanders to follow the Geneva Conventions on the battlefield. The U.S. war in Afghanistan began [...]
As the 111th Congress was being sworn in on Tuesday, a seemingly endless line of figures dressed all in black with stark white masks slowly marched single-file around Capitol Hill. Each wore a placard bearing the name of someone who had died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, their age, and the date [...]
by Ann Wright – On the news today of the death of Harold Pinter, the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, I remembered hearing his Nobel Laureate lecture/acceptable speech. I was in London in December 2005 speaking at the annual “Stop the War” conference when Pinter delivered his speech—not in Oslo, as Pinter [...]
by Brian R. Robertson With several public commentators and scholars comparing President-elect Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, it has surprised me that there has been little attempt to compare Obama’s election with Richard M. Nixon’s election, exactly forty years ago. Both inherited divisive wars from the previous administration and both campaigns [...]
by Charley James – Since neither the Pentagon nor the Veterans Administration seems to show much real interest in the plight of returning Afghan and Iraqi vets beyond a few discredited talking points spouted during interviews, organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are taking the lead.
Dick Price: The Iraq-Afghan War has taken on a sad new face as stories of shoddy health care given returning veterans began surfacing lately. Newsweek brought us up short with its coverage last month of the Minnesota veteran suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts whose runaround at the local Veterans Administration hospital ended only when he managed to hang himself.