Blue America’s new Afghanistan action on war funding: ‘No Means No!’

(h/t Heather)

Rachel Maddow highlights portions of the ridiculous McChrystal memos that were leaked to try and strong-arm Obama into sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Maddow: Over and over and over again this leaked report raises the specter of failure, of defeat in Afghanistan. Even as it defines what’s going on in Afghanistan right now as I quote, “not a war in the conventional sense.” If it’s not a war but a thing that’s not a war that we could lose….

Of course no one quite understands what it would be to win this not war either, but losing is perhaps politically stronger than the existentially dread of doing something indefinitely that just can’t be won.

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Blue America is taking a stand against an escalation in the Afghanistan war as the military is putting on their propaganda full court press on President Obama to send more troops in. We want to empower the 32 progressives in Congress that voted no to funding the war supplemental last time out and also expand the list so we can block further funding of the war. The American people do not like this war and Congress should represent that fact. C&L honors our troops and makes sure to list the members of the military that have fallen in Iraq Afghanistan every Sunday and although the media for the most part ignores our fallen heroes, we do not. I was happy to see that the President wasn’t immediately bowing to the mighty general and remained cautious in his approach to the Afghanistan situation.

“Until I’m satisfied that we’ve got the right strategy I’m not gonna be sending some young man or woman over there — beyond what we already have,” Obama said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face or, in some way – you know, sending a message that America is here for the duration.”

Howie Klein explains:

Starting today expect to see a concerted attack on the president from the “We-Want-Obama-To-Fail-Right,” making it harder for Democrats to back away from his misguided Afghanistan policies. But none of these games changes the fact this is a pointless and unwinnable war and must be brought to a close as soon as possible. This week Blue America is launching No Means No! a fundraising effort to help bolster members of Congress who already know that and who have been working diligently to end it.

If Obama keeps his pledge to end the Bush-era supplemental funding process, future appropriations for Afghanistan will be part of the budget, which means Pay-Go rules kick in. That leaves Congress with two choices when allocating money for the occupation of Afghanistan: raising taxes or cutting social programs. That’s the next big battle facing Washington.

Here’s the list of the House members who stood tall and refused to be strong-armed by Rahm Emanuel into voting for more war funding. I’ll be having on Alan Grayson Thursday for a live chat on C&L to discuss the unfortunate situation George Bush left President Obama and America to deal with.

Digby lends her sharp perceptions to the latest campaign being waged by the military to hijack another war.

The military is obviously turning up the heat in Washington to get us into a much bigger war in Afghanistan and it’s being done the usual way, with lies and leaks and back stabbing and grandstanding. And the politics are as confused as ever.

For me, this one is easy. Afghanistan is the most unlikely place to win a war on the planet. To apply the lessons learned in Iraq (such as they were) to this country seems insane to me — especially the concept of “counter-insurgency,” so beloved by the McChrystalites, which is being bizarrely misapplied. But more important than that: whenever you hear people saying that the primary purpose in continuing a war is because “to leave would send the wrong message” and declaring that “perceptions” are the reasons for continuing a slaughter, you know you are in Pentagon NeverNever land.

When you realize that we’ve had a hundred thousand more troops in Iraq — which is like a third of the size of Afghanistan geographically — then you really see how insane it is to send in a few more thousand troops into the impossible situation of trying to maintain the peace and defeat an insurgency and Taliban uprising. The Karzai government is also having problems being viewed as a legitimate ruling body by the Afghan people with all the charges of voter fraud.

Rachel Maddow, in the above video clip, goes over McChrystal’s memo in detail and makes some accurate observations. His arguments are silly and really make no sense at all. Kevin Drum writes that even Gen. McChrystal describes the Afghanistan government as corrupt:

“The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials, and ISAF’s own errors, have given Afghans little reason to support their government,” McChrystal says.

The result has been a “crisis of confidence among Afghans,” he writes. “Further, a perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against the insurgents.”

Spreading 28,000 troops throughout a country where we already had 140,000 in place would almost certainly have had no effect. But most of the troops were deployed in Baghdad, where it meant a near doubling of capacity, and that did have an effect. Baghdad was so central to the rest of Iraq that a reduction of violence there had a country-wide effect.

But no such concentration is possible in Afghanistan. Kabul isn’t as important to Afghanistan as Baghdad is to Iraq, and in any case Kabul is already relatively safe. It’s the rest of the country that needs more troops, and it’s hard to think of any single place they could be concentrated enough to have a real impact.

Even though Kevin is uncertain about what will happen, what he outlines is a hopeless situation. How can we win this war, if it is a war and the hand-picked government is corrupt and their people know it? It’s not shocking that Bush turned the country over to a man that seems to have rigged the election.

But let’s face it, Americans don’t like to lose in anything. So using the “we’ll lose if you don’t give me more troops or else” ” strategy can have an impact to some who have not been following the situation closely.

Obviously the Neocon warhawks who helped get us in Iraq and Afghanistan will be given a huge megaphone to attack the president by the media even though they should be shunned. So please join in Blue America’s action, because these bold progressives will be put under tremendous pressure again to vote for more war funding…


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