View Full Version : A Speech for Endless War


09-02-2010, 10:21 PM
Not a peep out of the Obama apologist crowd??

Lets see, which excuse will it be?

1) 8 years of Bush

2) 8 years of Bush


3) 8 years of Bush

How is perpetuating the war something that people aren't up in arms over?


A Speech for Endless War
by Norman Solomon, September 02, 2010

On the last night of August, the president used an Oval Office speech to boost a policy of perpetual war.

Hours later, the New York Times front page offered a credulous gloss for the end of "the seven-year American combat mission in Iraq." The first sentence of the coverage described the speech as saying "that it is now time to turn to pressing problems at home." The story went on to assert that Obama "used the moment to emphasize that he sees his primary job as addressing the weak economy and other domestic issues and to make clear that he intends to begin disengaging from the war in Afghanistan next summer."

But the speech gave no real indication of a shift in priorities from making war to creating jobs. And the oratory "made clear" only the repetition of vague vows to "begin" disengaging from the Afghanistan war next summer. In fact, top administration officials have been signaling that only token military withdrawals are apt to occur in mid-2011, and Obama said nothing to the contrary.

While now trumpeting the nobility of an Iraq war effort that hed initially disparaged as "dumb," Barack Obama is polishing a halo over the Afghanistan war, which he touts as very smart. In the process, the Oval Office speech declared that every U.S. war no matter how mendacious or horrific is worthy of veneration.

Obama closed the speech with a tribute to "an unbroken line of heroes" stretching "from Khe Sanh to Kandahar Americans who have fought to see that the lives of our children are better than our own." His reference to the famous U.S. military outpost in South Vietnam was a chilling expression of affinity for another march of folly.

With his commitment to war in Afghanistan, President Obama is not only on the wrong side of history. He is also now propagating an exculpatory view of any and all U.S. war efforts as if the immoral can become the magnificent by virtue of patriotic alchemy.

A century ago, William Dean Howells wrote: "What a thing it is to have a country that cant be wrong, but if it is, is right, anyway!"

During the presidency of George W. Bush, "the war on terror" served as a rationale for establishing warfare as a perennial necessity. The Obama administration may have shelved the phrase, but the basic underlying rationales are firmly in place. With American troop levels in Afghanistan near 100,000, top U.S. officials are ramping up rhetoric about "taking the fight to" the evildoers.

The day before the Oval Office speech, presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs talked to reporters about "what this drawdown means to our national security efforts in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia and around the world as we take the fight to al-Qaeda."

The next morning, Obama declared at Fort Bliss: "A lot of families are now being touched in Afghanistan. Weve seen casualties go up because were taking the fight to al-Qaeda and the Taliban and their allies." And, for good measure, Obama added that "now, under the command of Gen. Petraeus, we have the troops who are there in a position to start taking the fight to the terrorists."

If, nine years after 9/11, we are supposed to believe that U.S. forces can now "start" taking the fight to "the terrorists," this is truly war without end. And thats the idea.

Nearly eight years ago, in November 2002, retired U.S. Army Gen. William Odom appeared on C-SPANs "Washington Journal" program and told viewers: "Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. Its a tactic. Its about as sensible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect were going to win that war. Were not going to win the war on terrorism."

With his Aug. 31 speech, Obama became explicit about the relationship between reduced troop levels in Iraq and escalation in Afghanistan. "We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists," he said. "And because of our drawdown in Iraq, we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense." This is the approach of endless war.

While Obama was declaring that "our most urgent task is to restore our economy and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work," I went to a National Priorities Project webpage and looked at cost-of-war counters spinning like odometers in manic overdrive. The figures for the "Cost of War in Afghanistan" already above $329 billion are now spinning much faster than the ones for war in Iraq.

One day in March 1969, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Our government has become preoccupied with death," George Wald said, "with the business of killing and being killed." More than four decades later, how much has really changed?

09-03-2010, 01:42 PM
Oh, there's folks upset alright, but try this on for size, ff and see what you think:


09-03-2010, 07:27 PM
Not a peep out of the Obama apologist crowd??

Lets see, which excuse will it be?

1) 8 years of Bush

2) 8 years of Bush


3) 8 years of Bush

8 years of Bush. Damn right!

09-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Let me guess, you'll be crying this when Barry gets voted out of office...

Will the next President get to use this excuse also? How bout the next 4 or 5 Presidents?

For a guy who was supposed to be so capable at "Change", he seems helpless and hopeless against the worst US President ever. What does that make him???

09-03-2010, 10:04 PM
It wont change until humankind stops glamourising war...Its a trillion dollar buisness making weapons that destroy life..war is a senseless waste of hummanity.....

09-04-2010, 02:19 AM

09-05-2010, 08:07 AM
Great, more war from Bush 2.0.

Enough of this already. We need a President who will say NO to nation building! The Bush excuse is pathetic, which is what his presidency will be if this continues.

US 'likely' to keep troops in Iraq after 2011

by Dan De Luce Dan De Luce – Sat Sep 4, 11:07 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States likely will need to keep thousands of troops in Iraq beyond 2011 to keep a lid on sectarian tensions and to bolster Baghdad's fledgling military, experts and former officers say.

American officials privately acknowledge that the US military presence in Iraq will almost certainly be extended, even though a security agreement in force requires all US forces to depart by the end of 2011.

The US military will be needed not only for technical tasks to keep the Iraqi armed forces afloat, but as a reassuring presence for Iraqis fearing a revival of sectarian and ethnic bloodshed, analysts said.

Baghdad's military remains heavily dependent on US logistical support, air power, equipment and expertise, while most Baghdad politicians are anxious to retain American troops as a peacekeeping force in reserve.

"The more pressing requirement is less teaching them how to use weapons and more providing reassurance to threatened internal communities that they won't be exploited by their erstwhile internal rivals," said Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"What you're trying to do is make the size of the troop presence proportional to the residual fear that the groups feel towards each other," Biddle said.

Delivering technical help while playing a limited peacekeeping role would require a relatively modest number of troops, perhaps as few as three brigades or roughly 10,000 troops, several former military officers said.

"I think it could get down to even less than 10,000 and still be viable," John Ballard, a professor at National Defense University and a retired army officer, told AFP.

Nearly 50,000 US troops are now in Iraq under an "advise and assist" role, after President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared a formal end to the US combat mission.

The White House, keen to wind down the US role in Iraq, has played down the possibility of a large US force. Vice President Joe Biden's national security advisor, Anthony Blinken, has said only "dozens or maybe hundreds" of troops could remain.

But Iraqi army chief of staff General Babaker Zebari told AFP last month that his country's forces would require US support for another decade, while some analysts in Washington argue for keeping about half of the current force after 2011.

Iraq's "leaders are likely to ask that tens of thousands of American troops stay on for an extended period," Richard Haas, a top diplomat during George W. Bush's presidency, wrote Thursday.

Beyond 2011, the US military would be needed to provide badly-needed logistical support for an army that has been designed mainly as a counter-insurgency force.

The United States would provide some fire power, helicopters, fighter jets to defend a country with virtually no air force, naval defenses for ports and coveted intelligence collected from unmanned robotic planes.

The mission likely would include US special forces assisting Iraqis in manhunts of Al-Qaeda figures, according to James Danly of the Institute for the Study of War, who served in Iraq as an officer.

Apart from operational and tactical support, a US force also would have to be prepared for possible worst case scenarios, Danly and other analysts said.

If relations between the country's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds threatened to spiral out of control, or if vital oil or other infrastructure came under threat from within or outside Iraq, Baghdad could turn to the US force for help, he said.

In addition to soldiers in uniform, US officials are planning to employ thousands of private contractors to take up security duties formerly performed by troops.

Any talks on the future of the US presence will have to wait for a new government in Iraq, where politicians have failed to agree a power-sharing deal since parliamentary elections in March.

Forging agreement on a post-2011 US mission would present a delicate political challenge for Iraq, as leaders there privately back a continued presence but are reluctant to publicly endorse it.

"It's going to be very hard for any government in Iraq to negotiate anything sizable or enduring," said Ballard. "This puts us in a difficult situation."

The current security accord signed in 2008 was negotiated under a shroud of secrecy, he said, and a follow-on mission also would have to be agreed discreetly, perhaps without a detailed, long-term agreement.

"There's a need, there's a rationale. But it's going to be difficult to put it in any sort of formal way.