The Quest for Truth and Peace: A Conversation with Gareth Porter

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Gary Corseri: I think the most difficult issues to discern the truth about are those that have to do with what is happening between the President of the US and our military leadership—or different factions within the US administration.

This Does Not End Well: Escaping Afghanistan

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John Peeler: An agonizing series of missteps by U.S. troops in Afghanistan show us how precarious is our hold there, reinforcing the idea that we just don’t belong there, that we don’t respect the Afghani people.

Ending the Afghanistan-Pakistan War, Preventing One with Iran

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Tom Hayden: The catastrophic spectacles of American troops urinating on Afghan bodies and burning Korans has provided Obama a new opportunity to cast the Afghanistan war as a hopeless cause.

Time to Leave Afghanistan Now

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Joseph Palermo: At about $10 billion a month, and an increasing number of American casualties in an environment more volatile than ever, the American people need to take long, close look at whether staying in Afghanistan until December 2014 is worth it.

How Presidential War Power Is Made

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Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.

As Afghan Fissures Worsen, Exit Plan Is Proposed

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Tom Hayden: The US military openly opposes the pace of the drawdown, which already is too slow for most Democrats and the peace movement, because the resulting panic in Kabul could cause an implosion if efforts at a diplomatic settlement bog down.

Army Officer’s Leaked Report Rips Afghan War Success Story

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Gareth Porter: “If the public had access to the classified reports,” Davis writes, “they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is true behind the scenes.”

What’s the War in Afghanistan About Again?

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William Blum: It appears that no one seems to remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.

Democratic Caucuses Support Move to End Afghanistan War

Leon Panetta, with President Barack Obama

The chairs of the Veterans Caucus and Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party today praised the Obama Administration’s announcement that the U.S. would end combat operations in the war in Afghanistan in 2013.

The Case for Cutting and Running

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Tina Dupuy: The first thing worth noting is this treatment of war dead is absolutely against the Geneva Convention. The second thing is we threw out the Geneva Convention when we invaded Afghanistan.

The Surge to Withdrawal

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Vijay Prashad: The United States will exit Afghanistan in the next few years. None of its promises of health and well-being, democracy and women’s rights will be realized.

I’m a Liberal, but I Won’t Condemn the Wars

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Julie Driscoll: I promised my son that I would never protest or condemn or belittle this war, that I would never dishonor his service by reducing it to foolishness.

Night Raids Killed over 1,500 Afghan Civilians

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Gareth Porter: U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) killed well over 1,500 civilians in night raids in less than 10 months in 2010 and early 2011, analysis of official statistics on the raids released by the U.S.-NATO command reveals.

U.N. Tally Excluded Most Afghan Civilian Deaths in Night Raids

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Gareth Porter: A July United Nations report asserting that only 30 civilians died in targeted raids in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2011 reflected only a very small fraction of night raids in which civilians were killed.

“Where Soldiers Come From”

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Lauren Steiner: One can listen to anti-war activists and speeches all day long. But nothing is more effective than drawing your own conclusions from the actual stories of these apolitical soldiers who, whether for money, a fully paid education, adventure and/or camaraderie, go to fight and then die.

How Soldiers Die

Morganne McBeth

Jumping out of high-flying aircraft isn’t how most 19-year-old women get their kicks, but for Morganne McBeth that was one of the joyous things in her young life. “She loved it. She’d tell us, ‘You are in a totally different universe,’ and this was fun for her,” her step mother, Sylvia McBeth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, [...]

U.S. Knows Pressure on Pakistan Won’t Change Policy

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Gareth Porter: Even those who had held out hope in the past that pressure on Pakistan could lead to change in its relationship with the Haqqani group have now given up on that possibility.

Kabul Attack Continues Taliban Control of War Narrative

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Gareth Porter: This week’s Taliban attacks on multiple targets in Kabul, including the U.S. Embassy and U.S.-NATO headquarters, are the latest and most spectacular of a long series of operations that have given the insurgents the upper hand in establishing the narrative of the war as perceived by the Afghan population.

Vet Caucus Leader Calls for End to Afghan War

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Rick Reyes: The report Saturday that the crash of a Chinook helicopter killed 30 U.S. troops in Afghanistan is just one more sad reason we need to end operations sooner rather than later in that theatre of war. I’ve been there and we need to get our brothers and sisters home now.

Vet Leader: Afghan War Deaths an “Atrocity,” War Should End

Rick Reyes

Thirty U.S. American troops reported killed Saturday in an Afghanistan helicopter crash emphasizes the need for the U.S. to end operations sooner rather than later in that theatre of war, according to a Iraq/Afghanistan U.S. Marine veteran, who now is chair of the Veterans Caucus of the California Democratic Party.

Ex-PM Says Taliban Offer Talks For Pullout Date

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Gareth Porter: The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister

How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East

Automated Biometric Information System

Tom Englehart: the U.S. military has gathered biometric data—“digital scans of eyes, photographs of the face, and fingerprints”—on 2.2 million Iraqis and 1.5 million Afghans, with an emphasis on men of an age to become insurgents.

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Nixon’s “Decent Interval” Vietnam Strategy Should Give Obama Pause

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Ken Hughes: Forty years ago this month, President Richard Nixon quietly sold South Vietnam down the river for political gain.

CIA: Business As Usual Under Petraeus

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Sherwood Ross: By now substantial majorities the American public, like their European cousins, want all their troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet their elected officials betray the sound instincts of their citizenry.

Don’t Be a Chicken: Go for the Defense Budget!

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Steve Ybarra: Now that Boner blinked, all this talk about the budget got me to thinking, just how much money do we spend on military bases, where are they, and what difference do they make to the average American?

Jumpstarting Returning Veterans into Firefighting Careers

New York Firefighters Rescue in Worst Storm

State legislation that would provide returning Iraq, Afghanistan and other veterans exclusive opportunities to become state-certified firefighters has received the endorsement of the chair of the Veteran’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party.

The Lies That Sold Obama’s Escalation in Afghanistan

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Gareth Porter: The Obama administration has relied heavily, of course, on the widespread impression that the Taliban regime was somehow mixed up with Osama bin Laden’s plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Like Nixon, Obama Will Waste Lives to Get Reelected

President Barack Obama talks with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Photo: Pete Souza)

Ivan Eland: The public could be forgiven for missing the real message of Obama’s Afghanistan speech: “We’ve lost the war, but we are declaring victory anyway and getting out.”

Manipulating Obama: Moving Left

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Anthony Samad: At the end of the day, Obama is going to have to look in the faces of his various bases, not those that voted for him because they didn’t have a better choice (they are already gone), but those who really believed in what he was trying to do.

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Congress to Obama: Bring More Troops Home

Rebecca Griffin: As we gear up to keep the pressure on following President Obama’s disappointing announcement of his plan for a modest withdrawal, we see once again how critical our congressional work has been.

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