Friday, September 25, 2009

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY): Decide Why We are In Afghanistan Before Deciding Military or Another Approach

All the experts are worried more about what happens in Pakistan than Afghanistan. Steve Coll gives us some pertinent history about what actually happened in Afghanistan and also a good read.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 [BARGAIN PRICE] (Hardcover)

by Steve Coll (Author) "IT WAS A SMALL RIOT in a year of upheavals, a passing thunderclap disgorged by racing skies..."

President Obama is cautious in domestic policies when "she" should be more aggressive while "he" seems to be aggressive in foreign policies when he should be cautious. I believe he should determine the best policy for the American people and her nation, but trying to toe the line between the Democrats and Republicans is a failed policy. Do what is right as Rep. Eric Massa is doing.

Obama seems to forget that Afghanistan is chiefly a tribal country with tribal loyalty. The Pashtuns heavily populate both Southern Afghanistan and Western Pakistan with about double the number in Pakistan. Why are we so much against the Taliban, but are for Saudi Arabia which also has just as conservative religious policies towards women? Sure the latter started a coed school as a show piece, but the religious community still reigns.

Even Bush was willing to accommodate the Taliban until they gave the oil/gas pipeline deal to Argentina instead of the USA. We threatened (diplomat) to bomb them if we did not get a pipeline. Of course Bush punished Argentina by bringing back our dollars and led to the economic destruction often blamed on just the Argentinians. Why don't we concentrate on Pakistan, if our true purpose is to destroy Al Qaeda? We cannot afford Nation Building!

Jim Kawakami, Tags: President Obama, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), Pashtuns, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban, Saudi Arabia
Sept 5, 2009,

Wikipedia: Pashtuns
... Pashtun society consists of many tribes and clans which were rarely politically united,[14] until the rise of the Durrani Empire in 1747.[3] Pashtuns played a vital role during the Great Game as they were caught between the imperialist designs of the British and Russian empires. For over 250 years, they reigned as the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan. More recently, the Pashtuns gained worldwide attention after theSoviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and with the rise and fall of the Taliban, since they are the main ethnic contingent in the movement. Pashtuns are also an important community in Pakistan, where they are prominently represented in the military and are the second-largest ethnic group.[15]
The Pashtuns are the world's largest (patriarchal) segmentary lineage ethnic group.[16] The total population of the group is estimated to be around 42 million, but an accurate count remains elusive due to the lack of an official census in Afghanistan since 1979.[17] There are an estimated 60 major Pashtun tribes and more than 400 sub-clans.[18] ...
Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY): Decide Why We are In Afghanistan Before Deciding Military or Another Approach ... But as Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), our No Means No guest today, asked me this morning, "What is the job?"
Blue America's friendship with Eric Massa goes back to the very beginning of our PAC and he was one of the first candidates we ever supported. Ultimately it was his character that moved us to endorse him, although his championing of issues impacting the real lives of working families (like "fair trade" over so-called "free trade"), his dogged support of single-payer health care, and his spot-on analysis of the war in Iraq based on experience as a Naval officer are what first drew us to him. He came close in 2006 and he triumphed in 2008-- in one of the only districts in New York that Obama didn't win! Obama tool 48% in NY-29 while Massa scooped up 51% against a multimillionaire incumbent and Bush tool.
In June, Eric was one of only 32 Democrats to vote against the supplemental war budget -- of the 90 who had pledged to vote no. It was an incredibly courageous political act, particularly in a district with a daunting R+5.48 PVI (one of the most Republican districts in the country represented by a progressive Democrat). This morning Eric told me in no uncertain terms that he would "continue to vote against any supplemental."

We're not going to fund any wars in a way that no one knows about. The Republicans gave the wealthiest Americans the largest tax cut in history and then launched two wars without any idea of how to pay for them. It was the most fiscally irresponsible action they could take-- and they took it. ...

For instance, is this about fighting the Taliban or fighting al-Qaeda -- two distinctly different groups -- or is it about creating a democracy, or is it about protecting the Afghan people? These are very different missions that require very different resources. And until we know what we're doing, we cannot begin to get it done. The first thing a military officer asks is 'What is the mission?' And as of right now, that is a very legitimate question." ...

As progressives and men and women of common sense, we should demand a strategy that turns the destiny of Afghanistan over to the Afghans so we can get out of there as soon as possible. If the condition of our departure is creating a Jeffersonian democracy, then we are on a fool's errand. ...

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