Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.
Rebecca Griffin: Unfortunately, the president’s plan allows the war to last indefinitely and leaves in place almost twice as many troops as when he came in office. The American and Afghan people will pay the price for prolonging this disastrous policy.
Sherwood Ross: It’s been estimated the Iraq war, besides making that country pretty much unlivable, will flush $3 trillion in U.S. taxpayer dollars down the Pentagon drain.
Walter Brasch: Slagheap World Airlines announced that in the spirit of national cost cutting, it would cut back its cockpit crew to one pilot and eliminate flight attendants, meals, and life rafts. “This way,” said the president, “we won’t have to penalize our loyal stockholders by lowering our return on investment.”
Tom Hayden: Since there is no Peace Lobby capable of negotiating or delivering a peace vote in the old-time electoral manner, millions of individuals will are capable of evaluating, changing their minds, and withholding their votes right up to the November 2012 election.
Marcy Winograd: I proudly stand with Veterans For Peace-LA in signing the organization’s Declaration to defund the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, except to bring our troops home safely.
Tom Hayden: Any “new deal” will have to satisfy the power agenda of al-Sadr and his allies in Iran, or risk a renewal of fighting against the retention of the smallest contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003.
Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.
William Lorenz Katz: Was not Martin Luther King, Jr. reaching beyond Vietnam when he warned of “approaching spiritual death” and called for “a significant and profound change in American life and policy” and insisted “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.” Was he only speaking of Vietnam when he said, “War is not the answer?”
Sherwood Ross: While it is doubtful the Pentagon actually wants a war with China over Taiwan, there are arms manufacturers here who will profit handsomely from this escalating arms race and who march in lockstep with the Pentagon.
T. Christian Miller and Daniel Zwerdling: Traumatic brain injury is considered the “signature wound” of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Official military statistics show that more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries since the wars began. Shock waves from roadside bombs can ripple through soldiers’ brains, causing damage that sometimes leaves no visible scars but may cause lasting mental and physical harm.
Sherwood Ross: Pockets of poverty, like the sores of some malignant disease, are spreading across America, as its states and cities go broke and bankrupt.
Tom Hayden: Sweden’s issuing of arrest warrants for Julian Assange yesterday seems designed to further defame the WikiLeaks whistleblower whose network has released embarrassing secret documents on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.