Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.
Randy Shaw: President Obama spent nearly his entire first year playing “bipartisanship” with those out to destroy him. As much as many of us cheered Obama’s election and still admire many of his skills, the sad reality is that his failure to aggressively push for change in 2009 is the chief cause of the celebrated enthusiasm gap.
Ivan Eland: If it weren’t for the latest salacious bureau-gossip, the book would be rather boring—and tragic. Boring, not because the issues are uninteresting or because Woodward is a bad writer, but because the author records a dysfunctional White House internal decision-making process in which meeting after meeting features the same reasonable questions about the U.S. war in Afghanistan but in which nobody ever has very good answers to them.
Joseph Palermo: Our political spectrum, as refracted through the lens of corporate media, runs from center-right to far-right. No wonder the conventional wisdom in Washington holds, without evidence, that the United States is a “center-right” country. Those making that argument might not be real, informed commentators — but they play them on TV.
Ann Wright: On the eve of the beginning of the tenth year (October 7) of the U.S war in Afghanistan, Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s War” about presidential decision making on the war in Afghanistan is pretty scary reading. It sounds to me like folk singer Peter Seeger’s song about the Vietnam war “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” describes the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?
John Peeler: Obama appears determined that the wars not overwhelm his domestic agenda, even as, pragmatically, he cannot walk away from either without exposing himself to withering political attacks. If Bush saw himself as a war president, Obama wants to be a reformer with two wars to manage.
Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.
Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.
Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.
Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.
Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.