Vanda Felbab-Brown: “It’s All or Nothing in Afghanistan”

Vanda Felbab-Brown has written an excellent piece on the situation as it stands in Afghanistan.

She is less in favor of the “golden path” in the middle between war-hawking and peace-doving than I myself am but I see well the point she has made in this article and where it conflicts with my own views on the situation.

We should not delude ourselves that the middle is the golden path. Instead, we need to decide how much we care about the stakes and whether we are willing to resource the mission properly to achieve them.

In the Afghanistan strategy debate, two basic options have crystallized: a militarily beefed-up counterinsurgency or limited counterterrorism through selective strikes, many from the air and offshore. Public support seems limited for the former. Given the importance of the on-ground human intelligence, the effectiveness of the latter is questionable and, anyway, narrow counterterrorism was essentially the U.S. policy in Afghanistan until 2005 while the Taliban grew and al Qaeda regrouped. Hence strategists are proposing options that lie seductively “in the middle.” But these are unlikely to reverse the deteriorating security and produce a self-sufficient Afghan government.

My point here is simply that counterterrorism strategies need time in order to work, if they are going to have any positive effect at all, and that the true measuring bars of success in the region being brought into a more realistic framework is a step in the right direction. What remains to be seen is if these recent strategic changes will impact the situation for the better, so we might exit the region sometime before I have grandchildren, or if these new solutions have only further aggravated the situation in Afghanistan.

Should all our efforts prove fruitless and our options only include massive counterinsurgency troop build-ups with no clear exit in sight that we should then consider the complete withdrawal as the only reasonable option and to dismiss or diminish the need to seek a workable solution in Afghanistan or start realistically considering complete withdrawal. Just as Vanda put it: “we need to decide how much we care about the stakes and whether we are willing to resource the mission properly to achieve them.”

The O’Reilly Half-Apology for Tiller Murder

O’Reilly: “I would say we have covered this story passionately.”
O’Reilly: “Now if something happens to this Oklahoma rapist guy, they are going to try to blame us for it.”

Geraldo: “You mean like the Tiller thing.”

Geraldo: “If this guy [child rapist] was found on the side of the road I wouldn’t shed one tear.”

O’Reilly: “When someone does something like the person who killed Tiller and engages in vigilante violence they commit just as immoral an act as this rapist in Oklahoma.”

I finally agree with Bill O’Reilly on something and have lost a good deal of respect for Geraldo Rivera.

Bill O’Reilly brought this up as a chance to defend himself and I think he made his case well. I still think he engaged in irresponsible broadcasting in the past but not tonight.

Tonight the mantle of Irresponsible Broadcaster of FOX Cable News is: Geraldo Rivera.

I think he is pretty deluded to think that denouncing vigilantism and eluding to it in the same statement is anything but ironic and sad.

Passionate reporting is one thing, and making vague statements about people being killed or otherwise harmed is very possibly why someone like me might declare The O’Reilly Factor as inciting domestic terrorism.

I wouldn’t shed one tear if Mark Sanford is found on the side of the road.

Freedom of speech.

As if I care to defend rapists. I only seek to point out that vigilantes exactly as immoral as the ones they wish to kill.

And we only hear this little bit of sanity from Bill O’Reilly well after the fact he crusades against all liberals and against Dr. Tiller.

I still thank him for it. Let his minions absorb this deep into their minds.

That they are no more than child molesters when they go and ’save some babies’ with a gun.

 

 

Exception to Torture

18 US Code 2340 — Exception to Torture

“Torture means an act of a person acting under color of law to inflict severe physical and mental pain other than pain and suffering to lawful sanctions upon another person under lawful physical custody or control.”

This statute combined with the Justice Department memos seeking to define ‘enhanced interrogation’ as legal sanction are the method by which the Bush administration violated the US Constitution through the approval of cruel and unusual punishment on military detainees as part of lawful sanctions.

Many who use the word ‘torture’ on both sides of the argument fail to recognize this statute in it’s existence. I do not. Those who committed acts of torture as defined by US Legal Code should face prosecution for their acts no matter if they belong to an agency of US origin or not. The Nuremberg Defense is invalid. If your commanding officer orders you to commit torture you are bound by law to resign rather than accept the orders.

The US Supreme Court has rejected the argument that holding military detainees indefinitely is constitutional, stating that habeas corpus (the right to speedy trial) must be granted to terrorism suspects.

The United States Constitution applies as to persons and not exclusively to citizens nor exclusively within our borders. Wherever America goes, the Constitution follows.

Ours was the nation that defined specifically waterboarding as torture to be banned by the Geneva Convention, we proposed that their were to be no exceptions under the law for this method of interrogation to be lawful sanction. This nation once stood against the tactics of the communists who oppress freedom of opinion with fear and propaganda. When politically expedient such a review of history is rejected for the failed logic of ’enhanced interrogation’ being successful and vital to national security. All available credible information on the matter says otherwise and the FBI has warned of a ’blow-back factor’ from using such tactics from the beginning.

Not only do tactics like waterboarding endanger national security but they degrade our ability to conduct ourselves as a credible nation to other nations whom engage in human rights violations and nuclear proliferation. We have no weight in our stance while we allow illegalities to go unpunished within our own government and our own military.

Now somehow in these dark days we have a portion of the country who believe in using the very tactics of the communists that we rallied against so many years ago in a new battle where following this ideology will undoubtedly lead to yet another terrorist attack on the homeland and further the goals of global terrorism abroad. I contend if we listen to the perspective of former Vice-President Richard Cheney on the matter that we will provoke the national security situation to an irreparable state.

 

Bill O’Reilly versus Joan Walsh

YouTube Video of The Debate

“This Tiller thing is bogus. And I think you know it‘s bogus. And if not I‘m gonna show you a sound byte that‘s gonna prove it to you.”

How many sound bytes do you have to show people to fix what they read in textbooks and newspapers?

If it’s in the Constitution, he has a sound byte for that. No need to read it yourself.

If it’s the truth of ideology that he claims to hold and only perverts and twists to his own ends, he has a sound byte for that. No need to speak to the people involved.

If he promotes domestic terrorism via lies about Americans and invasions of privacy in his ‘just crusade,’ he has a sound byte for that. No need to look at reality.

He has a sound byte ready for the day he starts getting right down to it and promoting violence against liberals and terrorism on the city of San Francisco. And another one ready as they fit him for an orange jumpsuit.

All of it to carefully explain away why he is not at fault, ever, and has nothing to do with anything except the so-called ‘truth.’ All it to make sure nobody in his audience ever actually reads anything except what he tells them to.

To me, this is proof of what I’ve always said about Bill O’Reilly:

This man cares nothing for facts and only for own personal set of biases.

 

The O’Reilly Tactic of Dirty Pool Debate revealed one of his trademark spin artist moves in the opening moments of this clip.

Bill’O brings up as a side-line, and states himself very quickly, in mentioning what Joan wrote on her website was “unconscionable” and then says he is going to “stick to it” by addressing the matter at hand.

This is classic Dirty Pool Debate. You slander your opponent and before they get a chance to respond then quickly you move to the ’real issue at hand.’ The whole point of Dirty Pool Debate is to demean the character of your opponent instead of argue the point with them.

Bill O’Reilly is a master at doing just this. Keeping the truth of a real debate away from his audience and helping them maintain narrow-minded thinking while feeling like they are ‘learning’ about politics, media and the nation.

Just screaming like an idiot into the camera and refusing the recognize the damage he does to society at large with this brand of partisan hate and untruthful propaganda on serious social issues in America.

Joan: “You crusaded against him.”

Bill: “You bet!”

Joan: “He had been shot twice already.”

Bill: “And I‘m sorry about that.”

Well if he was so sorry why didn’t he stop slandering and misusing his platform to spread lies about Americans that ultimately lead to domestic terrorism incidents?

Because that would have hurt his ratings. Oh, the precious ratings.

He should be sorry. He is the one with blood on his hands, after all.

What Bill O’Reilly does on television is wrong. It is a brutal set of lies and conjecture that provides no benefit to the nation whatsoever. FOX Broadcasting Studios should be ashamed to have their name attached to such a disreputable and dishonest man.

 

The need to scream over all that disagrees with your mentality is a clear example of partisanship and intolerance for the opinions of others.

The need to call everyone not aligned with you as “far left“is a clear example of a need to marginalize your opponent because you feel your own position is weak or lacking against theirs.

Considering conservatives are on the wrong side of history in every debate over social issues I can see why Bill O’Reilly is so threatened to use such shallow and childish tactics.

Joan is absolutely right about Bill O’Reilly being a vile man. A vile and lowly man who loves his ideologies more than he loves other humans.

He disrespects the nation and the intelligence of his audience with his so-called ‘facts’ and his so-called ‘reporting.’

Time and time again it is the true patriots who must stand up against the charlatans and propagandists who seek to destroy this nation in violence and ignorance.

Let our voices be heard, loud.

A domestic terrorist is in our amidst: Bill O’Reilly. A man who promotes vigilantism and misinformation that gets Americans killed.

Panetta versus Cheney

leon_panetta_informal_photo

CIA Director Leon Panetta is quoted as saying in regards to the recent Cheney media appearances:

“It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

dick-cheney

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney has responded by saying he hopes Panetta was misquoted in claiming his wish for an attack.

Panetta is absolutely right. The shameful, hawkish media-tour to promote torture policy and degrade the Obama presidency should be met with even more harsh words than these of Panetta’s. But they will do for the time being.

Cheney Deserves His Day in Court

“When just one single piece of information could prevent a nuclear-armed terrorist [we can‘t take any chances.]”

Former-Vice President Dick Cheney continues to spread the myth that inhumane torture tactics, mislabeled as ’enhanced interrogation,’ are necessary to protect the nation from extremist violence. His continued use of fear-tactics by insinuation of nuclear attack on American soil is a throw-back to the selling of the Iraq War to the American People, which ultimately was proven to be based on bad intelligence. The use of these tactics will only produce more bad intelligence and not to mention legal ramifications of using techniques that are clearly ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

I could only speculate if he is a man bereft of all humanity or simply a man of very strong and very flawed convictions, but the fact remains that putting our nation in danger and violating the US Constitution are all that is accomplished in following this destructive version of course of action proposed by both Cheney and Bush.

I continue to advocate investigation and prosecution based on any evidence gathered that can meet the standards of a courtroom. If sufficient evidence to convict Dick Cheney of war crimes exists then, we the American people, deserve to hear the facts out before a jury of his peers.