Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 11, 2009


Progressive Review - According to a CNN poll, for the first time a majority of Americans - 54% - oppose the Afghan war. This comes at a time when there is increasing talk of raising American troop levels even beyond those even publicly indicated. And here's an irony from CNN Polling Director Keating Holland: "Afghanistan is almost certainly the Obama policy that Republicans like the most. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans support the war in Afghanistan. Three-quarters of Democrats oppose the war." Once again Obama is significantly to the right of even his own constituency.


Anonymous bad boy said...

And if you don't like it you're an ungrateful snit and a racist and a nazi and you've just gone too far. Now you've gotten His Majesty all upset. There'll be no cake and ice cream tonight.

August 11, 2009 2:01 PM  
Anonymous robbie said...

What's sad is that 54% are opposed to it now. They should have been opposed to it on October 7th, 2001.

August 11, 2009 9:19 PM  
Anonymous cabdriver said...

Initially, the military venture into Afghanistan was sold as a quick in&out snatch-and-grab of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership, and the dismantling of the predominantly "Arab Afghan" Al Qaeda training camps.

I thought it made for a lousy chess move- the sort of mistake a rank beginner would make- but at that level, I understood the widespread popular support for the invasion- and, in fact, endorsed that ostensible goal of the operation.

Of course, the other side of the push toward the Afghan incursion was that it was simultaneously hedged by official government spokespeople as an exercise in national reformation and reconstruction. Exactly the sort of "nation-building" that President George W. Bush explicitly stated as opposing, when a candidate for president.

(How soon they forget, eh?)

Those are the sort of double games that get played with the minds of the American people when wars are being sold to them. Psychological warfare.

And now here we are in August of 2009, going on 8 years attempting to occupy a foreign land, and force the inhabitants to live up to "our standards of freedom and human rights." Or something like that.

The Al Qaeda camps are physically dismantled, and many of the international brigade in the training camps have been killed, captured, or dispersed. That's a partial victory. I think it demonstrates a mission that's sufficiently accomplished to justify withdrawal of foreign military forces from Afghanistan. It's probably the last victory that the NATO coalition is likely to get, there.

For around the last seven years, we've been fighting the homeboys, not "Al Qaeda"- the Afghans themselves, with entire regions of the countryside in solidarity to repel the foreign invaders. Unending warfare is a state of affairs that the Afghans have come to regard as normal. The US military presence there hasn't changed the game there. It's merely given the locals more of what they're used to.

And they live there. We don't.

Who has more to lose?

It's the toughest battleground in the world- and at this point the conflict has, by all evidence, simply become a macho contest whereby the Superpower feels utterly obligated to demonstrate its superiority over the locals.

In terms of shifting the goalposts, that's a long way from a "manhunt for bin Laden."

I don't even want to get into the opium business. (But it looks as though lots of other people do! Not just the Taliban, either...)

It's a quagmire, a slow-rolling catastrophe. To mention only the least of the costs, it's sapping US government resources by the billions, year in and year out. It is unfathomable to me how President Obama and his advisers could into the continuation of that game. But there you have it.

And at this point, an eerie sense of deja vu is beginning to settle in among a large percentage of the American people.

August 12, 2009 8:27 PM  

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