Friday, April 10, 2009

Hope for opponents of "Af-Pak" war


So the U.S. is blundering into more war in Afghanistan -- and apparently our generals intend to push into Pakistan without Pakistani permission. We used to call that sort of thing aggression -- but only when it was done by somebody else.

Meanwhile there are a few faint smidgens of sanity on the horizon. Some of our better Congresscritters are asking questions:

CPC chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)--"I don't think we should be going there"--Jim McGovern (D-MA)--"I just have this sinking feeling that we're getting deeper and deeper into a war that has no end"--and John Conyers (D-MI), who had the harshest words for the President of all. He called the strategy, such as it is, in Afghanistan "embarrassingly naive," saying that though Obama may be "the smartest man in American politics today...he occasionally gets bad advice and makes mistakes. This is one of those instances."

TPM

These are outliers from the usual chorus of pugnacious Democratic posturers proving their imperial chops, but any movement against more war needs these to come out first, and they are beginning to.

And some interesting ideas are bubbling up. Donald Cohen of the Center on Policy Initiatives suggests we commit to paying for our wars as they are undertaken. How novel!

We need an entirely new approach of sending our troops to battle that ensures the wars we wage [are] truly in our national interest, that we actually have the resources we need and that taps into an enduring American tradition of shared sacrifice when needed and when asked.

We should simply modify the War Powers Act so that every commitment of 50,000 US troops or more would automatically - without legislative action - trigger a broad, progressively levied surtax to pay for the costs of war. ...

An automatic war-tax ... would cause us all to think a little harder about why and when we should go to a war.

Huffington Post

Good idea. How about extending it to cover the establishment and maintenance of bases outside our borders as well? That would hamper imperial overstretch considerably.

Actually, lots of good ideas about how to push back against Obama's "Af-pak" adventure are out there. See the April 27 Nation for 10 useful suggestions.

4 comments:

Darlene said...

Obama is getting bad advice on the AF-Pak war and on the bailout. I hope he not only listens to those who have his ear, but reads what the dissidents say.

We need to search for ways to achieve peace and not more war.

Tina said...

Maybe if an American movement had asked for compensation to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia after the horrors committed against the humans and the land, no American government would have ventured going abroad again killing people and destroying countries. Was it 2.5 million Vietnamese killed? Now maybe it is not too late to ask... By the way, is anyone asking for compensation for the Iraqis?

Rebecca Gordon said...

Tina is right, of course. And the proper term is not even compensation, but "reparations" for harm done.

janinsanfran said...

Depressingly -- there was a pretty good sized movement of folks asking for reparations for Iraqis for the horrible consequences of sanctions in the 1990s before the current war and occupation.

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