Monday, December 27, 2010

Can the US get out of a hopeless corner?

Winston Churchill is said to have preached “Blood, Sweat and Tears” though the recorded quote is slightly different then the way it’s remembered. Obama, just as inspiring an orator, preaches “Hope”. Both started out equally successful in inspiring people.

This threat was extremely grim back when Churchill inspired. We have different dangers. Manufacturing jobs are gone. The Internet prefers hiring from the lower or lowest paid parts of the world. On the Internet there are no unions or worker’s protests to make working condition better. Telephoning, bookkeeping, and some secretarial work and many security guards and quality control experts, can be replaced by TV monitors being viewed from across the ocean. The whole developed Western world is in stress, and one of the exceptions is ominous. The Australian economy is booming but with very high unemployment.

Somehow we have to set our sights on economic survival, rather than hope for the prosperous America we once knew returning any time soon. Obama constantly dances and negotiates to stop a steep decline. His input in the begriming slowed the decline considerably, though some thinkers think only delayed it. Recently a two-year tax cut exception for the well off in exchange for an economic stimulus for 13 months, means he is losing ground.

More and more people are wanting and voting for quick fixes, not only the no taxes for the rich crowd that wants the US to boom the way Australia is. Ron Paul says our problems are caused by the Fed. He is important because he is one of the few people talking about the decline seriously, besides those advocating hoarding guns supplies and/or gold. If the Fed is the problem then why are countries without a Federal Reserve System also hurting which doesn’t necessarily mean ending the Federal Reserve System might not be an improvement.

He also says we got to stay out of the world’s problems. An example of what would happen if we did this is to note where this was done. President Bush decided not to attack pirates in Somalia, after Bin Laden threatened suicide-bombs if we did. Piracy got out of hand, Italy finally took charge sending out the gunboats to capture pirates. Then a US ship captain ended up in a lifeboat with pirates, after one of the passengers stabbed a pirate. They phoned in their ransom demands from the lifeboat which weren’t being met. When it seemed they were about to kill him, US special forces shot the pirates. No one would say the US shouldn’t have saved the hostage’s life. But now the US is back in the pirate fighting like we were in the 17th century. In one incident, paratroopers in phone contact with the crew swooped down and arrested the pirates without anyone getting hurt, far more expensive than the Italian method of fighting them. If somehow the US end its involvement in the Afghan War, and let the Afghan Government and the Taliban negotiate or fight as they will, there will similar situations like with the pirates that could easily get us involved again. The financial drain ending if a cut off date is firmly announced is not the end of the story.

The US has almost no involvement since 2004 in stopping al Qaeda in North East Africa sent money or special forces to fight al Qaeda in Northeast Africa in Mali. When French citizens were held for ransom, France decided to attack instead of paying. Bin Laden threatened huge attacks of France, which has yet to happen. Google “France Declares War against al Qaeda”. Even if al Qaeda did succeed at say destroying the Eiffel Tower, or even parliament, France wouldn’t start aiding bin Laden’s effort to bankrupt the West.

Al Qaeda has killed far more Sufi Muslims than they did Americans on 9/11. All the lives of the Awakening Council, those Sunnis that changed sides to fight with the Americans in Iraq, are in grave danger. Somehow we got to figure out the right way to be involved, not how to stop being involved. If we leave in a hurry without a peace treaty some will try to flee including those women in Kabul who took off the burka. Probably far less dead bodies then year after year of war, but the press will be focused on any show trials, not all the lives saved in the long run. And there will be future provocations from al Qaeda such as the rest of the world is experiencing, with many Americans more angry at the President if he didn’t respond to the provocation than if US troops were still there. We need different responses to threats and crises.

I am going to risk going back to President Bush overthrowing Saddam. Vietnam likewise overthrew Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge bloodbath in Cambodia and no one is complaining. Vietnam had no more right to do this than the US with Saddam. But Vietnam didn’t engage in “shock and awe” and nation building. Karzai may be corrupt but not below international standards, so the US has no business acting like we are in charge of him.

I would like to see France or Russia mediate the dispute between the US and the Taliban. Afghan President Karzai already begged the Saudis, Iran and China to do so.

The above is off the subject except those claiming Obama is bought off by the military or part of a plot by the rich not to set a firm cutoff date to withdraw, totally misses the difficulties involved and helps people to fall for such theories as ending taxes will end the economic slump.

People need to get involved more with solving the economic crisis, like ordinary individuals involved with fighting global warming.

The following are suggestions that might get people thinking about getting involved in more ways than stopping the fed, demonstrating, or hoarding.

Since money not circulating is part of the cause of economic stagnation or downturn, one partial solution would be for the rich to be taxed less when they spend their money then when they save it. This is already part of the theory behind tax deductions, but talking about it might improve the process. If some of the rich insist on working toward no taxes for the rich, than rather than tax cut extensions, it would be better for more deduction even 100% deductions for money spent on charity or employee intensive projects. Perhaps Congress could junk the tax compromise bill in favor of real job stimulus tax laws.

Come on everyone join me! We are like a family riding a car with bald tires with most of the family trying not to think about it. One wanting to switch to bicycles, another to stop and stay where they are, but the rest of the family resigned to continue the drive without anyone managing to get new tires.

Now for some more suggestions to fight the drift toward collapse. Iceland is being bailed out by Europe, but it has the lowest business taxes in the world, therefore many companies make their corporate headquarters there. Raising the business tax could made be a condition for more aid. Then the US and Europe together raise the business tax to stop capital flight to where the taxes are lowest. Next the US and Europe could get together to end the loophole of offshore banking.

There were efforts with some state governments to get prescriptions filled in Canada and elsewhere. This can save a lot of money on medical costs, perhaps even individuals can get 5% kick back from insurance, or medicare if they get refills on the Internet. Maybe everyone’s second and future monthly repeated prescription purchases could be bought on the Internet and mailed to patients, by their insurance company, medicare, and perhaps even welfare officials. This, providing there is a way of making sure what they get is quality medicine. Of course that is a big if.

The US embargo on Cuba is hurting the US economically and the more it succeeds the more Cubans in this country send foreign aid back to their relatives in Cuba. Some Americans took their Social Security check to Mexico where everything is cheaper and the US saved money on medicare and medicaid, but crime is getting in the way of new arrivals. Crime-free Cuba would be a perfect place to retire and no more medicare costs and if red tape is cut close enough for easy visits back to the US.

If the US would grant 10% of Medicare, Medicaid, SSI and welfare benefits to those going overseas, Americans in Cuba would make money from the US whenever they got sick until Cuba changed its laws to charge that amount to foreigners seeking medical care in otherwise free health care Cuba. Then the 10% adjusted up and down to the lowest point Americans would seek and get medical care overseas. Some hospitals in the US, on an experimental effort, are trying to get robots to give bedridden patients baths and to feed them, with alarms temporarily to call a human nurse if the patient starts to resist or argue with each other. It would be far more humane for sick persons to seek medical nursing care where it’s cheap rather than a future in the US where machines, not people, treat the convalescent. One way or another, a lot of money is being saved by having medical procedures done in other countries of the world, see “medical tourism” also “online pharmacies Wikipedia”, and,

Perhaps others could join me in suggestions to have a campaign against economic depression, like the campaign against global warming. As with picking up litter, many citizens and many employers could agree to hire, one new neighbor or employee to do one hour’s more worth of work for them, with an ad campaign similar to the pick up litter campaign. If it wasn’t for the spirit generated by the ecology movement, picking up liter or planting a tree for a healthy environment might seem ridiculous. If we get in the spirit of hiring a friend for one hour more of work will start us feeling we are doing something. And if it gets in the way of people jumping at the straw that tax cuts, for the well off, will save the economy it will at least stop things from getting worse in a hurry. Let’s get together to save our economic world. Post your own suggestions here or post this to sites those making other suggestions.

By Richard Kane

Maybe off the subject, I for one was really mad at what I saw as the conniving ruthlessness of the first George Bush and President Reagan, and felt that the son’s bugling around gave progressive change some breathing room. In my mind we were far closer to a dictatorship under Reagan than since. The last President Bush reached out to Muslims to join his faith-based initiatives, and constantly praised the King of Jordan and the Saudis. Anyway I have trouble seeing a scenario where Obama would be replaced by someone better, and think it more likely, if replaced, it will be by someone far worse than the second George Bush. I for one supported Obama, but far from worshiped him, expecting him to fail, by being sabotaged the way Jimmy Carter was.

But Obama’s term isn’t over. I expect him at some point to salvage some of the situation by calling for blood, sweat and tears. If Obama is replaced will likely be replaced by someone who plays on hatred of immigrants and other polarizing trends.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can Armageddon be Stopped ie the Collapse of the West Prevented

Desperate Economy, Let’s Discuss options not Preach Solutions.

The debt is huge, manufacturing jobs are gone, the Internet hires a lot from the lower, sometimes the lowest paid parts of the world, telephoning, bookkeeping, even more than half the on site security guards can be replaced by security camera’s monitored on the other side of the world. Meanwhile as Obama slows things from getting worse people become furious at his claims that things are going to get better. Promises by those who already tried to make things better are less appealing then promises of voices that never had a change to be in charge.

Is there any site, or article other than this one that actually discusses the problem looking for answers from combining a variety of ideological perspectives, rather than preaching at each other?

Most Americans avoid dealing with the possibility of the West collapsing except those hoarding food and guns, and those with a strong ideological focus like Ron Paul who says we must learn to mind our own business in order not to go bankrupt. He also condemns the Federal Reserve, not noting that countries are in financial trouble and close to meltdown status without a Federal Reserve in their country. Others want revolution, noting how fast the rich keep getting richer, which not only hurts the rest of us but money not circulating due to those who save, not spend, interferes with the ability of commerce to circulate making it harder for people to get jobs or sell anything. Those that don’t hoard or have an idiotical axe to grind just hope ignoring the danger will make it go away.

I have several suggestions from a number of ideological perspectives which I will detail later on in this article. However one point, since money not circulating is part of the cause of economic stagnation or worse, one partial solution would be for the rich to be taxed less when they spend their money then when they save it. This is already part of the theory behind tax deductions, but talking about it might improve the process.

Come on everyone join me! We are like a family riding a car with bald tires with most of the family trying not to think about it. One wanting to switch to bicycles, another to stop and stay where they are, but the rest of the family resigned to continue the drive without anyone managing to get new tires.

Ron Paul’s desire to end involvement with other nations can be examined by looking at a place the US decided not to be involved, as in the issue of piracy. President Bush decided not to fight pirates after bin Laden’s threatened to join them in retaliation if Bush sent troops after pirates in Somalia. The result was piracy kept getting worse, but Italy did send out gun boats to capture pirates, so the example doesn’t prove whether the US shouldn’t be involved or should be involved.

Then under Obama, a US ship captain ended up in a lifeboat with the pirates, after a passenger took matters into his own hands and stabbed a pirate. The ship captain was held as a hostage for their demands, as they began to get extremely frustrated, US special forces killed the pirates at perhaps the last moment to save the hostage. Now the US is back in the pirate fighting business. In one incident, American troops in close phone contact with the crew swooped down from the sky and arrested the pirates without anyone getting hurt. A perfect conclusion except we are now closer to bankruptcy. Italy didn’t risk bankrupting their countries economy with huge expense. Later on in this essay I will point out that France got involved with fighting al Qaeda in North Africa without risking bankrupting France; but with the US it is all or nothing.

According to some, the worst crime the US did was overthrowing Saddam. However, the world cheered when Vietnam likewise overthrew the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot’s bloodbath in Cambodia. But Vietnam didn’t engage in shock and awe or nation building. The reason Saddam shouldn’t have been overthrown is that he kept the Shiites and Sunnis from fighting with each other, not that other nations had no business interfering in the domestic affairs of another regardless of how cruel their government is. However Karzai in Afghanistan is only corrupt. It is not US’s business to stop government corruption in Afghanistan. But the US believes in all or nothing.

A bit of good news concerning the possibility of the total collapse of the West is that the economies of Norway and New Zealand are soaring. Following reporting the good news might be a good place in this essay to post positive ideas in various directions that could set the ball moving toward improving things.

Iceland is being bailed out by Europe, but it has the lowest business taxes in the world, therefore many companies make their corporate headquarters there. Raising the business tax could be a condition for more aid. Then the US and Europe together raise the business tax to stop capital flight to where the taxes are lowest. Next the US and Europe could get together to end the loophole of offshore banking.

There were efforts with some state governments to get prescriptions filled in Canada and elsewhere. This can save a lot of money on medical costs, perhaps even individuals can get 5% kick back from insurance, or medicare and medicate if they get refills on the Internet. Maybe everyone’s second and future monthly prescription purchases could be bought on the Internet and mailed to patients, by their insurance company, medicare, medicare and perhaps even welfare officials. This, providing there is a way of making sure what they get is quality medicine. Of course that is a big if.

The US embargo on Cuba is hurting the US economically and the more it succeeds the more Cubans in this country send foreign aid back to their relatives in Cuba. Some Americans took their Social Security check to Mexico where everything is cheaper and the US saved money on medicare and medicaid, but crime is getting in the way of new arrivals. Crime-free Cuba would be a perfect place to retire and no more medicare costs, and if red tape is cut, close enough for easy visits back to the US.

If the US would grant 10% of Medicare, Medicaid, SSI and welfare benefits to those going overseas, Americans in Cuba would make money from the US whenever they got sick until Cuba changed its laws to charge that amount to foreigners seeking medical care in otherwise free health care Cuba. Then the 10% adjusted up and down to the lowest point Americans would seek and get medical care overseas. Some hospitals in the US, on an experimental effort, are trying to get robots to give bedridden patients baths and to feed them, with alarms temporarily to call a human nurse if the patient starts to resist or argue with each other. It would be far more humane for sick persons to seek medical nursing care where it’s cheap rather than a future in the US where machines, not people, treat the convalescent. One way or another, a lot of money is being saved by having medical procedures done in other countries of the world, see medical tourism also online pharmacies Wikipedia, and,

Perhaps others could join me in suggestions to improve things that are not ideologically pure, and post them here or post my suggestions to their suggestions.

One thing glaringly missing so far in this essay is those who say simply end military spending and bankruptcy would go away. In North Africa in and around Mali there is an al Qaeda splinter that the US has yet to get involved in fighting. One can google “France declares war on al Qaeda” France refused to pay ransom and attacked instead, the war of words escalated until bin Laden himself threatening major attacks on France. So far no attacks. France’s involvement in resisting al Qaeda in North Africa might have slowed US trying to deal with that al Qaeda group there. Even if al Qaeda did make a major terror attack against France. France isn’t about to start bankrupting itself with major military expenditure or spar with non-al Qaeda Muslims, the way the US responds to an al Qaeda attack by calling Hamas a terror group.

In Afghanistan if the US leaves without a peace treaty, some women will try to flee Kabul and some of those fighting with the US might want to flee similar to when the US exited the Vietnam War. Of course nothing like when the Soviets left and the deaths went up from war lords fighting, but just as with the good news that Obama stopped or postponed a total financial collapse, the American people will be unaware of the good news if a few people die after the US leaves, despite the endless carnage if the US stays. And the President will have to deal with future provocations similar to the kidnapings of French citizens for ransom, and some in American crying for vengeance much more intensely then if US troops were still in Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda fights with a lot of people the Awakening Council of Iraq and Sufis in Pakistan have many more killed by al Qaeda then the US on 9/11. The very worse exit scenario would be US troops leaving Afghanistan as the dollar is collapsing. The peace movement’s claims that there are no al Qaeda troops in Afghanistan, but they don’t count al Qaeda connected suicide bombers. An exuberant al Qaeda might even try to seize US weapons as we leave and suicide-bomb to help them do it. Unfortunately, I believe fighting until a set withdrawal date is a poor second, but this is the main demand of the US peace movement. I wish people would instead demand that the US accept immediate arbitration if the Taliban would accept, by France, Saudi Arabia or any nation willing to mediate. Even if no nation is willing to do so, demanding this would change the spirit of the situation. At the moment every time the Afghan Karzai government has a peace Jirga the drone war gets more intense. The peace movement needs to note that during a peace gathering is not the time for drone attacks.

I realize that some of my suggestions like Internet prescription refills puts US pharmacists out of work and I would be happy to withdraw the proposal if a better mix is suggested, but any suggestion to end the path toward bankruptcy causes problems especially the supposed cost free means of saving money, simply quickly exiting the war. However, I believe if we all spread the word that our country is driving on bald tires, we will find a way to get new tires. Let’s try to have a discussion rather than a shouting match. I also realize that the Tea Parties idea of no earmarks is part of the solution not the problem, and needs to be factored into a comprehensive effort to stop the plunge toward western collapse.

Please others, add sites and links that deal with the subject of an economic meltdown in a non-ideological way. Or post these suggestions on other such sites.

he following are other articles on the subject, hope someone posts more,

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Democrats Saying ‘NO', good news if

Nancy Pelosi hasn’t backed down. The tax reduction for the rich isn't stimulus, but what amounts to pork for the rich. The rebellious Democrats I think might end up good news even for Obama. Obama over the years has put a lot of time in trying to be an unbiased arbitrator even as he ran for President. So progressives shouldn’t be surprised that he doesn’t fight hard for what most think he believes. There are a lot of Lame Duck Representatives that should be particular appealed to, to vote against the tax-cut smorgasbord. Particularly locally Joe Sestak.

President Obama’s problems are similar to a teacher or professor who has a friend or a relative in class, and when mediating a dispute between students, the friend kept saying “yes” to suggested compromises and the other student or students keep saying “not enough”, giving the appearance of always deciding in favor of those who have no relation to the teacher.

Some Democrats destructively challenging the anger was another problem. If a child, husband or wife is too obedient, it’s not healthy, neither has been Democrats obeying the President. In some families. the people argue only when they get angry and hate each other, screaming such things as you are the worse parents. There is no reason for progressives to condemn the President just quietly refuse to compromise what you believe, at least as much as Republicans do.

Thanks to Reagan, et al, the good manufacturing jobs are all gone. Thanks to the Internet people can work from anywhere ignoring US minimum wage laws. Obama should have promised in the last election to prevent things from getting worse in a hurry. The wild promises by the Republicans to make things better made more sense than Obama claiming he could improve things faster in two more years than he did in his first two.

This tax legislation for the unemployed ends in 13 months but for the rich two years creating a unbalance for future debates over stimulus. The non-Rich lobbying in the future with less and less cards on the table. It’s urgent to insist on a equal length of stimulus even if unemployment checks get cut 20%.

Srorter version ends here at this link

I wonder if Obama is actually inadvertently giving tough-love to the progressives, somewhat similar to the way Rep. Charles Rangel wanted to restore the draft to force young people to think of conscience, like young people did during Vietnam. If so, it’s important for progressives to return tough-love to the President, rather than add to the hate the President campaign started by racists.

Please fellow activist’s don’t join the conservatives in pouring hate on Obama. Just learn how to calmly say “no” By offering this bone to Republicans the START Treaty is way on its way toward being passed. There is good reason to believe that Obama’s mediating style stopped or postponed another great depression. The fires of the first depression flamed by nations enacting giant tariff walls against each other. Obama so far prevented war with Iran while at the same time preventing the kind of nuclear arms race between Shiite and Sunni countries much like the nuclear race between India and Pakistan.

Obama really cares about foreign policy; and somehow, despite the midterm disaster is continuing to lead internationally. When it comes to Afghanistan critics may be right but they are also unfair. As things now stand if the US decided to just get out, like progressives want, al Qaeda can suicide-bomb, the withdrawing US troops, to make sure they stay and continue the warring world bin Laden craves. The al Qaeda splinter that sent the package bombs is now happily announcing how little they spent on the parts making those bombs compared to the millions the US spent in response.

I think Obama should publicly say concerning the war that he realizes that some woman will be crying that they don’t want to have to wear the burka again and al Qaeda will symbolically attack but we should get out anyway. People who want to troops to come home don’t even mention those who will be begging to come with us. We are fixated with 9/11 but if you google “Awakening Council”, those Sunni’s in Iraq who sided with the Americans one can note many others have more to fear from al Qaeda than the US has. Also, if you google Sufi with al Qaeda you will see a lot of attacks against Sufis. Imam Abdul Rauf’s Sufi mosque project in downtown NY is somehow seen by some as a monument to those militant Muslims who tend to hate Sufis. Sorry I changed the subject from the upcoming bill but we need to put ourselves in Obama’s shoes, even as we more often need to say, “not enough” to his proposals.

Let’s lobby Specter and Sestak. Cheering Barney Frank from far away has been a poor use of local resources. Pennsylvania has its role in the conflict between the rich and the non-rich of the rich constantly having more cards to play at the table. When talking to Specter and Sestak, you will not get them mad at Obama.

Problems getting out of the war,


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Peace leaders killed in Afghanistan because the Taliban thought they smelled a trick

As an American who was hopeful about Afghan President Karzai’s call for an all-inclusive Afghan Peace Jirga, (peace conference) with western participation mixed in, I have to convey some grim news, peace advocates have been killed. On the Internet, I recently urged that more westerners join in supporting Hamid Kazai’s efforts. Unfortunately, the Taliban considers the peace conference a trick. Somehow every time Karzai talks peace the drone attacks get more intense.

In places where the Taliban is strong, several tribal leaders were assassinated for promoting this peace effort. This includes Abdul Rahm in April and Rahman Gul along with his two brothers on May 16. It saddens me and troubles me that western peace activists pay so little attention to the deaths of fellow peace activists in Afghanistan,
I guess it is possible that by speaking out for peace these two tribal leaders thought they could go further in defying some al Qaeda directive, if so it’s still bad news.

In response to General McChrystal’s efforts to win the Afghan’s hearts and minds, Mullah Omar issued a new Taliban code of ethics, to do likewise, by trying to fight with less mayhem and collateral damage, and better PR. Besides ordering that girls schools should not be subject to attack, he urges fighters under his control to try to warn people to quit helping the Americans before subjecting them to assassination sometimes beating them up as a last warning. Even if this is still in effect it meant that Abdul Rahm and Rahman Gul were put in an impossible corner between what the Americans suddenly getting very involved where they lived, and demanded things of them and what the Taliban demanded. Administration officials keep talking about showing strength. After he shows enough strength Obama claims he can start negotiations but most Muslims think partly of economic strength, even non-militants proud that they don’t charge interest or borrow much, and have an overinflated idea of the inevitability of Western currency collapse which obviously would lead to a quick US withdrawal. Talking peace while Muslim militants morn the death of a Muslim leader by a drone attack just won’t work. The peace process could, I believe, be salvaged if Hamid Karzai could get the power to condemn the drone war, without the US in response trying to quickly kick him out of office.

Before I continue an article that may be too full of doom and gloom to finish reading, I would like to say I have a proposal of a dream at the end of this essay that since India and Pakistan are now temporarily friendlier to each other than in the past, perhaps they, along with Iran could broker a real peace in that sad part of the world.

An area where I am reluctant to go, but I hope others explore, is the possibility that the Afghan War is more hopeless than a “Catch 22". As I already begun to mention, when the Soviets left, massive carnage and confusion followed as the warlords fought among themselves. Today the more General McChrystal avoids civilian deaths the more tolerable endless war will be. This, as I already began to allude to, especially if Mullah Omar keeps responding with a strict code of ethics, of his own, often individually warning people to specifically stop cooperating with the Americans on a specific project before attacking them, and never attacking open markets and other civilian gatherings. People employed as a soldier or guard no matter what side, can become afraid of not finding work if peace comes. Even some in the Taliban may worry about no longer being able to steal supplies if the US leaves. More than the US military-industrial complex involves an addition to war.
A few women sadly putting back on the burqa while crying that the US or Obama or Kucinich betrayed them will spread the image of betrayal nearly as much as many people shouting betrayal as the death rate climbs from fighters continuing to find work, with various warlords. Those warlords that fought with the US will be free, if the US leaves, from having to avoid civilian casualties.
If the US stays temporarily in Afghanistan, while a new order is being established as Gilbuddin Hekmatyar a, until recently, Taliban supporting warlord tried to arrange, with a power sharing government with President Karzai, instead of cheering the lack of bloodbath, the American public will be incensed if a woman after a short trial is whipped for not wearing a burqa where the US troops are maintaining order or if a traitor to the Taliban is executed while the US troops watch. No matter which scenario happens the American people will be disgusted with the results. Someone please explore the beyond “Catch 22" angle to what the US should do or not do in trying to leave Afghanistan.

For a link to the above bad news insight without connecting it to the larger article click on,

Now back to the article I want to write where there are great roadblocks but some hope for a solution. It should be clear, and unfortunately may soon be very clear, that international monetary collapse and confusion, not al Qaeda’s dreams of non-western values no longer being picked on and ridiculed, (due to overwhelming al Qaeda violence) is the biggest danger to us all. There are various ways to get pride in non-Western culture besides al Qaida’s dreams of mayhem. Palestinians clinging to land despite bulldozers moving forward, if they actually got to stay in the rubble and rebuild would make al Qaeda’s grim tactics then seem to make no sense. Iran’s defiance also offers a hopeful alterative for many in contrast to al Qaeda’s pro-collateral damage mayhem. Google al-Qaeda declares war on Iran to see how much bin Laden doesn’t like Iran.

To make a long story short, the worse way for the war to end would be a severe US depression accompanying a hasty US withdrawal, followed by a restructuring of what it means to be an American such as occurred in the restructuring of what it means to be a Russian, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since militant Muslims believe they are responsible for this, and are proud of it, it has led to endless terror attacks by Muslim extremists, inspired by the belief that they changed Russian history.

Whatever the US does, if done by the US alone, that sad part of the world may end up in misery for many years to come.

The US peace movement has an illusion that the number of Representatives voting to set a firm future date for war funding to end will gradually increase. However, as arbitrary date comes close there would be good reason for several Representatives to get scared and change their mind. Twice when a power sharing cease-fire seemed close, peace groups were flooded with “Don’t betray Afghan Women in the name of peace”. A usually firmly antiwar peace group, the Institute for Policy Studies, when there seemed to be a likelihood of a power-sharing agreement between the pro-Taliban warlord Gilbuddin Hekmatyar and Afghan President Karzai, it suddenly had an article, “fpif, Afghanistan: Should we stay or should we go?” which was an evenhanded debate on whether or not the US should leave. Then later when the imminent peace scare was no longer in the news, it went back to wanting to set a firm future date to stop war funding.

Thus if a clear funds cut off date came near, several Congressional representatives would likely get cold feet. This tendency for an ever changing final date could be solved if Dennis Kucinich’s antiwar funding bill had a preamble that funds should be cut even if Women in Kabul are Forced to Wear Burqas, and even if fighting over who is in charge takes place. However if the war ends due to a depression followed by a restructuring of what it means to be an American, the war may never be over like with the Russians and militant Muslims.

No American in the 2012 election cycle will want to spend money on an endless war, even if the US economy doesn’t fail. Nixon tried carpet bombing North Vietnam and invading Cambodia and Laos, and when that didn’t work “nuke Vietnam” placards decorated the fewer and fewer pro-war events. It is likely that if a Democratic challenger to Obama fails to get the nomination probably because he is considered a hypocrite due to past hedging statements on the war, a Republican might win claiming he will suggest what he considers generous peace terms and the US taking off the gloves and fighting tough if the other side doesn’t accept, leading to more than carpet bombing and the entire Muslim world mad at the US the way they were the Soviet Union, during its Afghan War.

Politically in this country it is perceived that Republicans support big business and the war, while Democrats half support big business and many Democrats are wishy-washy on the war, leading to some of the electorate to be inspired by one or more conservative, and the rest of the voters disgusted with politics, and all kinds of talk about Obama being a coward toward the Military-Industrial-Complex. Instead there should be a sober discussion of why we should get out despite the possibility it could be bad temporary news for the Afghans.

As for what to do, Iran has done things that lesson US problems over there and can do more. There are several things Iran is doing that the US hasn’t acknowledged as being helpful. In Iraq, Iran has urged that Sunnis be part of the government, which lessons the sectarian strife the US may end up again trying to deal with. In Afghanistan Iran encourages, especially Shiite Afghans to come and work in Iran’s oil industry. The money sent home a source of economic stimulus that makes Iraqis more tolerant of the US supported government. Plus Iran looking strong, gives pride to Muslim subject to extremism, which challenges the pride in al Qaeda’s ability to create mayhem, and Ahmadinejad’s lavish praise of Karzai also makes Iraqis proud. The US people wouldn’t let both Bush and Obama actually bow to the King of Jordan and the Saudi King to make up for Muslims bowing to US culture every time a Muslim man puts on a suit or a Muslim woman, wears a dress. If the US would stop pressuring Iran they might be willing to provide the salaries that would keep Afghan fighters from continuing their trade if peace ever gets declared.

The world economic climate is so bad that Australia actually decided to help guarantee the Greek debt. Before Obama risks offering US help to Greece, Obama could end the economic blockade of Cuba and the upcoming sanctions on Iran which would give the world an economic shot in the arm, and Obama could also give the world currency system another economic boast by declaring the war over with Iran paying the fighters to stop fighting. In the near future Iran, Cuba and Venezuela can work with the rest of the world for a more perfect world or in the near future it may be a barter only (without currency) world with people far from farm land resorting to cannibalism in order try to survive.

I know however my solution faces great roadblocks. Al Qaeda is proud of the Muslim belief against usury and thus has an exaggerate belief in the inevitably of the west descending into bankruptcy and currency collapse. I’m sure the professional not amateur terrorists like bin Laden are aware that a volunteer army is expensive and I think bin Laden while contemplating a second terror attack would not want to do anything that might restart a draft and allow the US to fight in a cheaper manner. However, if the future looks like it will be peace, not bankruptcy, bin Laden would be determined to try to do something drastic. Also Israel, or even Turkey or China might not appreciate a peace that they are not part of.

According to Robert Dreyfuss efforts for talks between the Taliban and the Karzai government are still going strong. But how could peace advocates be killed by the same people who want to talk to the Karzai government?
Does the Taliban consist of different people with different outlooks all claiming to represent one organization? Or is Robert Dreyfuss grasping a straws? Whatever is going on I am troubled that western peace groups mostly don't not the deaths of non-western peace leaders. Possibly the al Qaeda loves trouble even though they respect the fact that Mullah Obama has been far more successful at persuasion then they have. It’s not part of this article but I suspect that Mullah Obama won't denounce bin Laden the way Hekmatyar did because since Mullah Omar has real differences with bin Laden, bin Laden is more likely to get even against Mullah Omar if Omar were to follow Hekmatyar's example and denounce al Qaeda. It may be that the new tension between Karzai and US officials may make the Taliban more sympathetic to Karzai then they were last week.

One might conclude that the above essay is a rambling way of conveying that the peace jirga won’t work unless Hamid Karzai has much more freedom to criticize the US. However, anyone conveying bad news needs to somehow have a hopeful carrot attached to it. I hope I have inspired others to write similar pieces, maybe with an email link as a comment to this article, even on the subject of the economy which I also know is a subject of choosing between grim choices and/or a few far away utopian solutions, war and war spending and the economy overlapping issues.

There is somehow a primitive desire to look strong not weak that encompasses every American President that makes sense when it comes to al Qaeda, but not Karzai and I believe not Iran or Mullah Omar. Both Karzai and Mullah Omar never embraced the random mayhem many warlords specialized in, and since he initiated a Taliban code of ethics he would be a better ruler then most Afghans. Let’s give him the power and prestige to control the soldiers from finding employment in the only profession they ever knew. Anyway, without criticizing Obama I want to urge him to temporally stop the drone war and give Afghan President Karzai’s peace efforts as the reason why.

For supporting links, scan this somewhat similar essays,
Richard Kane is retired in Philladelphia PA

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Peacemaker Afghan Pres Karzai needs our help, Peace "Jirag" is May 2

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been doing a lot of peace efforts, and needs urgent support for his May 2, 2010, peace gathering, or jirga. Karzai actually met with the local elders in Kandahar and agreed to stop the latest offensive, the US trying to get around it with a slow buildup,

Somehow circumstances made it hard to honor his many peace efforts. When the Soviets left Afghanistan the world didn’t want to admit that a bloodbath was taking place over rebels fighting over who was in charge, thus Karzai’s peace efforts were ignored. He was arrested in 1994 while trying to mediate a cease-fire. Unfortunately instead of Karzai a peacemaker, one has to google "CIA prisoner believed to have rescued Karzai" for the details. His many calls to the Taliban for peace negotiations were usually met with "We won’t negotiate with a traitor" so praising these efforts would convey the idea that the Taliban didn’t want peace, something peace activists would not want to do. Finally the top Taliban supporting warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar agreed to comprehensive peace negotiations. Most would prefer that Mullah Omar would be in charge of power sharing. Mullah Omar refused to unequivocally denounce and agree to never to harbor al Qaeda like Hekmatyar agreed to, which is a key US demand and a key Saudi demand, Saudi Arabia somehow involved. Omar has spoke up against al Qaeda tactics with his strict code of ethics, (Google Taliban code of ethics with the NY Times), but Omar won’t specifically denounce bin Laden fearing an attack on shopping bazaars and mosques by al Qaeda getting even, like they are doing in Iraq with the on-going attacks against those Sunnis who ending up changing sides and joined with the Americans. Mullah Omar has been so careful to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties that when the central Afghan bank was failed to be penetrated, the suicide-vested bombers didn’t blow up on the crowded street, instead retreated to the shopping bazaar complex next door, and ordered everyone out instead of shooting at shoppers, holing up for hours, google it with the NY Times for some reluctant praise.

In 2007 Hamid Karzai first urged that the US avoid civilian casualties,

General McChrystal is bragging about less civilian casualties, Hamid Karzai and Mullah Omar are on the same wavelength. The US troops would be more brutal if while wandering around they would be snipped at instead of only in the heat of battle, or while chasing the Taliban.

The US peace movement is fixated on Vietnam War history comparing Karzai with Diem, read their biographies in Wikipedia for their vast differences. Karzai married a women working with Afghan refuges, and definitely doesn’t treat her like a slave. Ngo Dinh Diem represented the small Vietnamese Catholic community, while Karzai represented those who wanted the king to return, the largest anti-Taliban group. Diem wanted to fight with Ho Chi Minh opposing Ho’s Marxist atheism, but ended up attacking Buddhists as well. Karzai preferred to compromise not fight ever since the Russians left. Diem more brutal, not less brutal than his US supporters. Karzai’s recent attempts to compromise a little, with Taliban ethics, is in pursuit of peace. Karzai’s father and one brother was killed by the Taliban for supporting the idea of the king returning. He has as much reason to be full of hate as other Afghans instead he is a sea of if not

Incidentally I won’t let pass, the accusation that Karzai’s brother is an evil drug dealing warlord. Karzai rented property to the CIA and then paid the local Taliban not to attack it, paid them not to attack polling places in the last election etc. Basically the US poured money at him, which he partly gave to the local Taliban to not attack. How drugs fit into the picture I don’t know but we can all see what happens such as in Mexico when no one is throwing money around urging dealers and the police to be less violent, with themselves and each other.

Incidentally I left out how both India and Pakistan both want peace and get in the way of peace while they squabble over whether Afghanistan should be partial to India or Pakistan. However trying to avoid destructive gossip is why other peace sites end up avoiding talking about Hamid Karzai’s peace efforts,

If President Obama listened to the shill parts of the peace movement and just left, and infighting over who was in charge shattered the relative peace civilians are now experiencing with Omar, McChrystal, and Karzai avoiding mayhem, it will be bad news indeed. If the peace movements would help Karzai make peace, it might get Obama back on track of working for a more peaceful world for us all.

Please google, "Western Peace Activists Ignore Real Afghan Peace Efforts"and click on,
By Richard Kane,

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US Peace Activists Ignore Real Afghan Peace Efforts

Afghan President Karzai is organizing a large peace Jamboree, conference and jirga starting May 2. He has rejected an assult on Kandahar first like the US wanted after he met with elders there. However, US officials are hinting of a slow buildup instead. Karzai has made some peace breakthroughs especially with former top Taliban supporting warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In several ways the attack on Kandahar would be a major escalation of the war. Alert peace activist reporting could slow this until after Karzai tries to obtain peace

Rep. Kucinich's peace lobby is totally ignoring anything that might distract from setting a firm future end date for war funding seemingly oblivious to the fact that a negotiated settlement may be in the wind, especially if the US peace movement got on board. Congress won't end war funding any time soon unless there is an unrelated crisis during the vote such as an economic collapse in Greece, economic brinkmanship by China or unexpected bad domestic news at the same time as the vote. If Kucinich started demanding that the invasion of Kandahar be postponed or stopped until after the peace conference, real peace might be at hand. Of course Obama is already accused of being a softy by the Vice President Cheney crowd so if the US Peace Movement lobbied the European Peace Movement especially in Germany and England to lobby their countries to leave Afghanistan unless the assault on Kandahar is delayed or stopped, peace may be even more likely. At the moment the European peace movement is lobbying their countries to just leave. But if they got involved in the politics real peace could be more successfully be achieved. Anyway, people in Kandahar would really appreciate this. For comprehensive details google, "Peace Activists Betray Afghan President Karzai"

We in the West think non-Westerners can't be peace activists since we seem to have begun to forget about Gandhi's nonviolent revolution in India.

However, there have been circumstantial reasons why Hamid Karzai's many peace efforts have not been acknowledged. In 1994 he was arrested by Afghan police as he tried to negotiate an end to the bloodbath from rebel infighting. The rest of the world refused to look at this bloodbath because acknowledging a bloodbath occurred after the Russians left might make the Russians look good,

Karzai became head of Afghanistan at the international conference on Afghanistan in Germany in 2001. He was the leader of the faction that wanted the king to return. He made numerous attempts to negotiate peace with the Taliban whose usual answer was that he was a traitor not worth negotiating with. Again the western peace movement didn't note Karzai's peace efforts since they didn't want to spread the idea that the Taliban doesn't want peace.

Hamid Karzai asked Saudi Arabia to be the mediator, but they answered not until Mullah Omar first renounces bin Laden and promises never to harbor al Qaeda. Omar renounces al Qaeda's brutal tactics but won't renounce al Qaeda because he doesn't want al Qaeda to attack him like they did the Sunnis in Iraq who quit fighting the Americans. After al Qaeda attacked them those Sunnis ended up fighting along side the Americans. To this day, al Qaeda in Iraq is scheduling brutal revenge attacks against those Sunnis who sided with the Americans.

In January the UN asked that the Taliban be taken off the terrorist list to facilitate the backdoor meetings they were having with the Taliban,
The US complied partly by taking four retired Taliban officials off the list, who made benchmark negotiations or comments depending on whose interpretation, such as no night raids in return for no road bombs. This stopped when Pakistan arrested a top Mullah Omar aid Mullah Baradar. Afghan President Karzai complained bitterly that arresting Baradar got in the way of the back door peace feelers Baradar was making to Saudi Arabia. Pakistan refused to return Mullah Baradar to Afghanistan like President Karzai demanded.

Finally top Taliban siding warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar entered into comprehensive peace negations with Karzai and Karzai thought the war might soon be over. Hekmatyar controlled territory in northern Afghanistan is far from any al Qaeda members so his vow to arrest any al Qaeda members who came there doesn't mean much. Al Qaeda bloggers instead of calling Hekmatyar a despicable traitor mentioned that he changed sides frequently and mused that he will probably be on al Qaeda's side again as circumstances change. Unfortunately this doesn't mean that Omar who has philosophical differences with al Qaeda disagreeing with bin Laden's brutal tactics can go on to totally denounce al Qaeda without being attacked by them. If he repeated Hekmatyar's anti al Qaeda comments, if al Qaeda couldn't reach him they might attack mosques, bazaars and funerals like al Qaeda liked to do in Iraq.

Peace organizations seem to have two jobs, one is raising money, and one is promoting peace. Dealing with convoluted intertwined Afghan peace efforts won't bring in funds the way trying to set a firm Afghan war funding cut off date will.

There is some good news that may end up bad news in the end. The US really is killing far less civilians than it did in Iraq, and as I noted above there are no tit-for-tat ethnic reprisals between Sunnis and Shiites today in Afghanistan that used to happen in Iraq, (note the Taliban used to be brutal toward Sunnis).

Israel's last incursion into Palestine shows what not avoiding civilian casualties looks like, no one had praised Israel for restraint in earlier wars. Recent wars in Africa led to even greater civilian bloodbaths. This isn't occurring in Afghanistan because we hear General McChrystal carefully avoids civilian casualties. But Karzai also avoids civilian casualties and constantly complains that the US isn't doing enough, and Mullah Omar also has a strict code of ethics. The most noted example being when the Central Afghan bank wasn't successfully penetrated the suicide-vested attackers didn't blow themselves up on the crowded street in front of the bank but retreated next door to the shopping bazaar complex, ordering everyone out and holding up for hours, not even blowing the bazaar up.

However mass civilian deaths like in other wars could occur if Karzai dies or is out of power, if Omar dies, maybe if Omar does renounce al Qaeda and al Qaeda responds by attacking mosques and bazaars, or there is economic turmoil in the US meaning a firm cut off date and the US leaving without any agreement on what will come next.

Somehow the NY Times ignored Karzai's praise of Iran and Ahmadinejad speaking before the Afghan Parliament until much later when Karzai entered into peace negotiations with Taliban supporting warlord Hekmatyar. Suddenly when negotiations with Hekmatyar started State Department officials began complaining about corruption again in an election system that is so flawed that even UN observers refused to note that husbands were casting their wives' votes.

Peace will likely come and President Obama will be back on the peace track if Dennis Kucinich acknowledges that Hamid Karzai is a peace activist, or if the European peace movement instead of demanding that German and British troops just get out, that they instead get out the moment the US defy's President Karzai again.

There is important Vietnam war history that historians and activists avoid talking about, such as, as the Vietnam War lingered, frustrated hawks began calling for "Nuke Vietnam", these picket signs were at pro-war rallies toward the end of the Vietnam War. In the end, Paul Harvey News came out with "Win or Get Out" which became very popular with the former pro-war circle. Frank Ford, the husband of the former Philadelphia DA, lead the "win or get out" movement locally. Today, as time goes on, less and less people will favor Obama emptying our treasury on the Afghan War. Hawks will say stop worrying about civilian casualties as doves urge that the US get out. By the 2012 election Hawks will demand that the US carpet bomb Afghanistan ever more angry at General McChrystal, Afghan President Karzai and Obama for avoiding civilian casualties. Doves will win out unless a terror attack leads to a George Wallace type more shrill than Glenn Beck seeking the White House. Thought that George Wallace substitute probably won't get elected. If the US leaves Afghanistan without a comprehensive peace treaty and revenge killings follow some voters may hold those voting for the Kucinich resolution responsible. If the European peace movement suddenly became interested in negotiations not a quick exit of their country's troops, they might be able to get the world and Obama back on track again. The Afghan War may be like a roach glue trap where there is no way to win anything and no way to get out. Karzai comes from an intellectual background. He married his wife a fellow intellectual not a slave. He has a lot of political skill. I trust he is more likely to know what's best in relation to what is possible than anyone else.

Hamad Karzai's father and brother were killed by the Taliban. He has as much reason to be angry as most Afghans, under the circumstances he is truly a man of peace. Whatever deal he can work out with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Omar is probably the best deal available for his country.

For a different version perspectives see,
"Peace Movement Betrays President Karzai",

by Richard Kane

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Peace Movement Betrays Afghan Pres Hamid Karzai

Some in the peace movement have been critical of Afghan President Karzai, and so have some who support the war. Hamid Karzai has made persistent calls for peace and for face to face peace negotiations with the Taliban especially for the past year.

The Taliban's traditional response even early in Karzai's presidency was that he was a traitor not worth negotiating with. If Western antiwar leaders had dwelt on Karzai's comments, it would have tended to convey an idea they wouldn't want to express, that the Taliban is unreasonable. Suddenly top Taliban supporting warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has made peace proposals with Karzai, who was very disappointed that Washington wasn't taken it seriously. The discussion in the US media and among some State Department and Defense officials rather quickly mostly changed to corruption and future election procedure as it always coincidentally does when a US client does something the US doesn't like. Karzai had heaped lavish praise on such countries as Saudi Arabia and Iran, trying to get their help to end the war. Saudi Arabia firmly said it wouldn't mediate between Karzai and Mullah Omar unless Mullah Omar first renounced bin Laden. Karzai's lavish praise of Iran and inviting Ahmadinejad to speak before a joint session of the Afghan Parliament at first received no mention in the US media. But as soon as peace talks with Hekmatyar became concrete proposals, the NY Times lashed out at Karzai for being too close to Iran, dwelling on Ahmadinejad's comments while in Afghanistan. Karzai responded, to all this, that the US is beginning to become occupiers and even suggested that he might have to eventually side with the Taliban if the US clearly became an occupier.

There is an US native American Indian proverb about walking a mile in someone else's shoes, and I think the peace movement's joining of the criticism of Karzai for being undemocratic wouldn't occur if the peace movement would do so.

Karzai came to power at the international conference on Afghanistan in Germany in 2001. He was the leader of the faction that wanted the king to return. He has always been either for peace or a less violent or less vengeful response than those around him. Karzai's brother and father were killed by the Taliban for trying to get the king to return. Karzai's first attempt at peace was in 1994 when the Afghan rebels first began fighting with each other after the Russians left. The following link is hard to follow but clearly indicates that Karzai has consistently gone out of his way in pursuit of peace,

When the UN tried to get all of the Taliban off the terror list to facilitate the hush-hush negotiations the UN had been conducting with the Taliban, the US response was to take four retired Taliban leaders off the list. And they conducted mostly benchmark negotiations or suggestions such as no night raids in exchange for no road bombs. These talks or comments ended when a top Taliban leader Mullah Baradar was arrested by Pakistan, some say because he was trying to meet the Saudis conditions to be the mediator that the Taliban first renounce al Qaeda. Al Jazeera News says Pakistan was afraid of India getting too close to Afghanistan, and wanted any possible peace negotiations channeled through Pakistan. Karzai was extremely disappointed in Mullah Baradar's arrest, which made him extra elated when Hekmatyar got interested in negotiations.

In Iraq al Qaeda is vowing to get even with the former al Qaeda supporting Sunnis who changed sides and joined with the Americans and have continued to have brutal revenge killings against Sunnis who changed sides in Iraq. This is why Mullah Omar hasn't agreed to renounce al Qaeda despite the fact that Omar shuns the mayhem violence al Qaeda specializes in. However, instead of calling Hekmatyar a despicable traitor, al Qaeda internet bloggers suggest that since Hekmatyar has a habit of changing sides he will probably be on al Qaeda's side again as circumstances change.

US ex-Ambassador to Afghanistan Peter Galbraith suggested that Karzai was unstable and may be on drugs. However Karzai has a right to be angry and frustrated at the way the Afghan government seems so powerless to in any way direct what is going on in its name. The sudden US pressure against election fraud is not what it seems. When it comes to fair elections in Afghanistan even the UN slipped up by not complaining of men voting for their wives. Almost every political figure on both sides of the war actually represents his one sub-tribal neighborhood or a warlord representing himself. This except for Mullah Omar who represents the Taliban's longing for tradition and Hamid Karzai who represented those longing for the king and the good old days when Afghans didn't have to be fighting with each other all the time.

If the NY Times and others didn't like the head of Iran speaking before the Afghan legislator why didn't they write and complain at the time instead of just when a peace attempt was taking place? Al Qaeda in Iraq made a concerted effort to blow up the Iranian Embassy. Iran is an important source of hard cash in Afghanistan since Shiite Afghans working in Iran, in the oil industry, and sending some of the money back home to relatives is the only important source of money that Afghans have other than drugs or being in the US supported or Taliban army. Al Qaeda loves to attack Shiite religious sites and religious processions. If one googles, "al Qaeda declares war on Iran", one would note many skirmishes and threats from al Qaeda against Iran. Al Qaeda clearly believes Iranian economic policies and even political policies are getting in the way of the world al Qaeda wants. Al Qaeda wants any Muslim who feels abused and insulted by the West, and that Western culture is overwhelming the world to believe al Qaeda's brutal policies is the only hope to change things.

If anyone notices, the tit-for-tat revenge horror stories that we heard in Iraq haven't occurred in Afghanistan, especially not recently. The war in Afghanistan is being fought differently than other wars. We hear there is a lot less civilian deaths and atrocities in Afghanistan because of General McChrystal and his efforts to avoid civilian casualties. But actually General McChrystal, President Karzai, and Mullah Omar are all going out of their way to avoid collateral damage. Karzai frequently lectures the US to be more careful against civilian causalities, instead of like in Iraq, when US troops had to be on their best behavior following the Abu Ghraib exposes, US interrogators could always turn over suspects to the locals to be roughed up.

When the warlord Hekmatyar proposed comprehensive peace talks he noted that when the Russians left the deaths drastically increased due to the infighting between rebel factions. Hekmatyar wants the Afghan army to remain intact and slowly merge with the Taliban militia as the US leaves to avoid the power vacuum that led to internal warfare and confusion. It would be considered unhelpful for a peace site to mention the possibility of a fast US withdrawal leading to revenge attacks against those the Americans supported and possibly even a lot of infighting over which rebel leader should be in charge. However I'm sure Obama knows this is possible and dreads not only the US being blamed but that he in his own mind might feel some responsibility for such results. I also think certain accusations that Obama doesn't believe, such as that the US is mainly interested in oil and other resources, when confronted with, "Why are you fighting a war for oil and other resources?" leads Obama to have less respect for those lobbying for an end to the war, making him less likely to change course. If somehow the US actually accepts a coalition government between Hekmatyar and Karzai in the name of pursuing peace and the results turn out differently, such as Hekmatyar ending up trying to be totally in charge, and war does break out between rebel leaders wanting to be in charge, it will be an Afghanistan decision not something to hold the US responsible for. Muslim terrorists are fascinated that the Soviet Union fell apart soon after the Afghan war and they believe they were the cause. This inspires militants in places like Chechnya to believe they can defeat Moscow again by getting a lot of Russians killed. Muslim terrorists know that if they attack the US like they did to Russia and Indonesia and earlier London and Madrid, the draft would be back and the US wouldn't be paying a fortune in military recruitment. A worst case withdrawal scenario like happened to the Soviet Union is impossible with the US, but some scenarios are better than others. If Kucinich succeeds at introducing an Afghan cut off date bill at the very moment there is some severe international economic crisis such as Greece goes into total collapse, or the unemployment rate in the US suddenly and unexpectedly going up sharply or there is a severe run on the dollar because of something China did and due to its timing Kucinich's firm war end date bill passes, and the US gets out abruptly. And revenge killings of US supporting Afghans or worse follows, at the very least those who supported the war ending resolution bill wouldn't look good in the next election and al Qaeda might seem to offer more hope to desperate people who believe they are being insulted and abused by the Western world. Karzai is a man of peace far more so than someone who is working on an arbitrary peace date, oblivious to current events in that part of the world.

A few hawks like Dick Cheney aren't interested in what happens to the Afghans, but just thinks the issue is really a handy opportunity to make what he considers import changes in the US. Actually, most Americans kind of hope for similar result over there such as at least have a fleeting desire that women over there not being forced to or even wanting to wear burkas, and that the desperate of the world not seeing something inspiring in bin Laden, and we would all like a reasonable way out of the war, and we are all at least a little worried that the overwhelming drain on the US treasury will be in the long run extremely harmful to the people of the US. During the Vietnam War some thought North Vietnam was a wonderful country where such things as woman's rights were respected, while other Americans thought North Vietnam was a grim dictatorship. In Afghanistan most Americans only argue whether the US is inadvertently making a bad situation much worse, than if we stopped being involved.

To change the subject only a little, who is the real peace activist is sometimes hard to tell. Everyone agrees that General Musharraf was a harsh dictator in Pakistan. However in 2001 after the bombing of the Indian Parliament by Muslim extremists, who were getting (or once had been getting) aid from Pakistan, skirmishes broke out in between Indian and Pakistani troops that were escalating. Pakistan suddenly pulled its troops back away from the border and the potential for, an up to even nuclear war between India and Pakistan was averted. Not much was publicly mentioned of this until the 2006 US election when then Secretary of State Powell began praising President Bush for his involvement in this event. One peace group since then, the Transnational Foundation met with Musharraf on several peace discussions.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar clearly was an evil monster during his youth and during several periods in his life. However he reminds me of a few vowed racists in the US like Elwin Hope Wilson who in old age recanted their past and tried to make amends. Being 61 is very old by harsh Afghan political standards. Hekmatyar's peace proposal makes a lot of sense. He is right that there is a real chance that Afghans will be killing and dying after the US leaves Afghanistan. If Hekmatyar received half the praise that Elwin Wilson and a few other vowed racists that recanted did, the world we live in might be a better place to live in. Hekmatyar once made a determined attempt to assassinate Karzai. Hamid Karzai has as much reason to not trust Hekmatyar as anyone else does. And Karzai has more knowledge on whether this peace proposal can work than the US State Department officials have. Let's again sing "Give Peace a Chance" and let's sing it with our eyes open.

by Richard Kane,

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Afghan Peace Fever Grips Karzai

The Afghan capitol is in the midst of peace fever. After many years of asking the Talian to join peace negotions, only to be told that the Taliban doesn't negotiate with traitors, the top Taliban supporting warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar entered into peace negotiations with the Karzai government. Some in Kabul fear of such things as the having to wear the veil in public again as President Karzai works together for a comprehensive peace plan with 60-year-old Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Al Qaeda telling the Internet that Hekmatyar has a habit of changing sides and urging the rest of the Taliban supporters to consider he only represents himself.

War coverage unlike in past wars has been limited so for detains google "Peace Negotiation Breakthrough in the Afghan War", then Insurgent Faction Presents Afghan Peace Plan,

President Obama, just returning from visiting Afghanistan, when I began writing this essay, partly pulled the rug out from under Karzai when Obama scolded Karzai about corruption. This, since Hekmatyar the top al Qaeda supporting warlord who Karzai is negotiating toward power sharing with is clearly corrupt. Every Afghan political official came to office through corruption and/or through being a warlord with the exception of Karzai, who used to be a top Northern Alliance official living off his brother's income, but not directives. In the US almost everyone including so-called experts are fixated with Vietnam War history. The UN peace negotiating experts are very much involved in the negotiations. UN peace experts know that peace overwhelmingly comes, or fails, through negotiations, never because legislators set a date for cutting off funds. The Vietnam War probably ended sooner because Congress quietly avoided funding the last war supplemental spending bill, not by announcing a cut off date where they publicly pledged to do so. Kucinich's peace movement is on the wrong track. Senator Specter makes far more sense, except some interpret his statements that we keep fighting al Qaeda in the wrong place as meaning sending troops to Yemen. If UN peace negotiators had been in charge, "Negotiate Now" would be the peace rallying cry. The US peace movement is betraying peace, and pulling the rug out from under Karzai, a peace-oriented Afghan official who constantly pressures the US to avoid civilian deaths.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is spreading some valuable information. President Bush constantly warnrd of a bloodbath if the US left Iraq as a tit-for-tat bloodbath was occurring between Shiites and Sunnis. Hekmatyar reported a bloodbath after the Soviets left as warlords and others fought over who should be in charge. Hakmatyaar thus wants the Afghan army to stay intact while power sharing was being arranged and the US leaves Afghanistan. If Kucinich musters the support to cut off funding and US troops leave, followed by a bloodbath, Kucinich's supporters will have nothing to brag about during the next election cycle. Both General McChrystal and Mullah Omar are clean fighters without bloodbaths. No massacres, no shopping bazaars being blown up by a 7-year-old remotely detonated suicide bomber like in Iraq. When the central bank of Afghanistan wasn't penetrated, the suicide-vested bombers retreated to the shopping bazaar complex next to it, holding up for hours without blowing themselves or the shopping complex or killing the shoppers. Google "Taliban code of ethics" for comprehensive detail google with "NY Times" Hekmatyar is right, chaos again would increase the casualties.

Bin Laden is intrigued that the US spends several hundred thousand dollars to keep each soldier equipped as safely as possible, including follow up medical care. He knows that turning the US into a bloody mess such as bombing shopping bazaars, police and soldier funerals, and religious sites and public transit like in Russia, London and Spain would mean a draft and maybe less than five or ten thousand dollar back up per GI. Al Qaeda is confident that the US will bankrupt itself though military spending and I think teases us to spend more. Expecting that the American people in a US currency-less world will have to desperately barter for goods and services, where almost no food is grown close to where the people who are bartering are. Usually al Qaeda, all over the world, has back ups on terror attacks. None on the Christmas Day “underpants” bomb might have meant it was intended to not blow up the plane only scare us to spend more money, and screw up air travel. An al Qaeda operative telling an unsympathetic relative, his father, “You will never see me again”, goes against al Qaeda’s usual intense secrecy. Even if al Qaeda is wrong about US future bankruptcy, it still means that as long as the war continues Obama’s health and job’s programs will be 20% less successful than it would be had the war ended. And the Democrats will have around 20% less representatives in the next election cycle. And if the Republican Party continues shifting to the right, US culture at least 20% more to bin Laden’s liking.

Let’s back Karzai’s showing independence of Washington for his own good as well as ours.

Maybe I should end this article here, and I was banned from Daily Kos because my add-ons were called repeat submissions of the same article. Washington always gives an inch toward Karzai's constant attempts to negotiate with everyone, and his efforts to keep some independence. If Washington ever gave a firm "No!", the US peace movement would come to Karzai's defense. The UN asked that the Taliban be taken off the terror list to facilitate its back door peace negotiations with the Taliban. The US response was to take four retired officials off the terror list, who immediately got busy on a benchmark approach. "No night raids, in return for no roads being blown up". So there was no public UN complaints against the US dragging it's feet. Mullah Omar kept denying that negotiations were going on.

Kai Eide, a Swedish UN Afghan special envoy after he retired or quit lashed out of Pakistan arresting Mullah Omar's second in command Mullah Abdul Baradar, according to Eide just as back door negotiations were going on. Al Jazeera News reporting that Pakistan arrested Mullah Baradar to prevent him from going to the Saudis because they didn't want a Saudi rather than Pakistan brokered peace that might leave Afghanistan not dominated by Pakistan and possibly too close to India.

US doves are letting the Afghan negotiators down by not supporting them and since reality is weird and most US hawks hope for a better Afghanistan. in the long run, US hawks are letting the negotiators down as well.

America ends up with two goals that often overlap. One is as some kind of police force dealing with bin Laden’s dream of Islam as a permanent warfare state as long as there is a religiously divided world. The other is promoting Western values. Mullah Omar goes against most of bin Laden’s practices but won’t officially oppose him because he doesn’t want a new war between him and al Qaeda. Hekmatyar doesn’t mind condemning bin Laden’s desire for war without end but not on the social values of what society should look like. I long for a way of not requiring Mullah Omar to condemn al Qaeda, and take advantage of Omar’s strict code of ethics against excessive vengeance that makes life far more bearable for the Afghans. Perhaps the Hekmatyar could become the unintended catalysts in this direction.

I'm from a peace tradition but got peace activists upset by not crying out against the drone war. However if one googles "Kandahar Becomes Battlefield Even Before a U.S. Offensive" one will note farmers digging ditches killed by drone attacks. The drones could take pictures of what's being dug instead of shooting and when it comes to some real goons hiding in Pakistan some brave heroes could try to capture them with stun guns, especially if the US ends capital punishment. This may seem ridiculous to most, but the Kucinich's and Cindy Sheehan blanketly condemning drone attacks as immoral and trying to Congressionally mandate a fund cutoff date in no way makes the war end any sooner. Kucinich has some good ideas especially when it comes to standing up to the monopolies and big business, but we desperately need a more mature peace movement. We should look to UN peace keeping officials for guidance.

NEWS FLASH: Finally there is an article that should show the Kucinich’s and Cindy Sheehan’s that Karzai is no puppet and is really for peace and allow the US peace movement to help peace efforts on the ground in Afghanistan. Google “Afghan leader is seen to flout influence of U.S.”
By Richard Kane

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peace Negotiation Breakthrough in Afghan War

Pakistan President Karzai’s attempts to negotiate with the entire Taliban and the US’s desire to woo low level fighters to change sides combined. The war may soon be over or totally transformed.

Now the top Taliban supporting warlord, and third most powerful Taliban leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar entered peace negotiations with the Karzai’s Afghanistan government. He and Karzai are working in the direction of power sharing. Google, Insurgent Faction Presents Afghan Peace Plan

The Afghan War may be at last finally almost over, or else in the future the Afghan government may be opposed to both civil liberties and al Qaeda with Hekmatyar faction being just one more warlord under the Afghan government control but with the Afghan government pressured to not go along with Western values from within and without, becoming more brutal toward woman’s and civil liberties issues, since Hekmatyar who once threw acid in a non-burkhared woman’s face, has no pretension in the direction of civil liberties.

If this was any other war or any other year it would be top headlines. But many months of hints of secret negotiations and denials by Mullah Omar that peace negotiations were taking place, an angry UN Afghan UN special negotiator Kai Eide quitting than later angrily denouncing the arrest of second in Taliban command Mullah Abdul Baradar, as happening in just the moment that peace negotiations were bearing fruit, hasn’t given much for the US peace movement to get a handle on. However events on the ground are far more important to the future than Dennis Kucinich getting ever so slowly one and two more Congressional Representatives to sign on some future arbitrary date to cut funds for the war.

Bin Laden is confident that he will bankrupt the US, and Obama’s lavishly expensive victory in the thinly populated cocaine farming area of Marjah near the Pakistan border hasn’t lessened bin Laden’s hopes. With a severe US depression, al Qaeda could show off attacking the withdrawing US troops. This is just one possibility for the future. Another is a brutal government in Afghanistan with Hekmatyar as one of it’s leaders, condemning and even helping chase after bin Laden’s henchmen without in any way tolerating secular values.

Hopefully the war is over especially if I or others can get the US peace movement excited. But sadly the pursuit of a more just society over there with Hekmatyar’s help is most likely over as well. However, all of us in the US that don’t want to barter in a dollar-less world better start trying to cheer a peace possibility for our own sake.

There is another possibility that one can do little more than dream of.

General McChrystal efforts to fight very careful of civilian casualties made a real difference in Iraq. In Afghanistan the least violent of Taliban leaders Mullah Omar after urging fellow Taliban and al Qaeda fighters to stop attacking Pakistanis, and other Muslims, won Pakistan’s favor with shelter, becoming the dominant Taliban leader. He kept forming a more and more strict Taliban code of ethics. No more attacking school girls going to school. No more ransoms. When the Central Bank of Afghanistan wasn’t breached, the Taliban, or was it even al Qaeda suicide fighters under Omar’s command, didn’t blow themselves up on the crowded street in front of the bank, but ran to the shopping bazaar complex next door and holed up for hours never blowing anything up. Then there were several attacks where US soldiers were only wounded. Which led the bragging that the Taliban lost their punch instead of praise of their minimum use of force.

Afghan President Karzai begged Saudi Arabia to mediate between him and Mullah Omar but the Saudi’s said, “no!” unless Omar renounced bin Laden which he refuses to do because it could snowball into him fighting with al Qaeda which he, unlike Hekmatyar, he is not willing to do. Anyway if the US would just say it would get out with only the condition that women won’t be forced to wear veils the war could be quickly over. Of course with Hekmatyar’s help the war could also be possibly quickly over with most Taliban fighters condemning, and even agreeing to ban, bin Laden, and the people of Afghanistan living in a totally non-secular state like Hekmatyar envisions. Of course on the other hand, the US not forcing a condemnation of bin Laden, conceivably could mean bin Laden’s henchmen continuing to cause trouble around the world, not necessarily the best outcome either.

Anyway, let’s us Americans whether hawks or doves stop being ostriches when dealing with the world around us.

Let’s not forget that a really harsh depression, in a US currency less world, would kill many more Americans than any sort of non economic terror attack could possibly kill.

Please see or Google,
With Barack Obama Winning Means Losing
Remembering the Past Can Predict and I hope Change the Future
Peace may be a handshake away

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Peace may be Inches Away

Peace in Afghanistan may be at hand if peace activists pay attention. Afghan president Karzai against the advice of the US begged Saudi Arabia to mediate peace negotiations between Afghanistan and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Pakistan doesn't want to be left out of the loop if peace negotions began. How does them wanting to arrest one Taliban leader but no Omar relate to this. It all can click together.

The Saudi's said to Karzai they would help out only if Omar first renounced bin Laden. Pakistan doesn't want to arrest Omar because he many times urged al Qaeda and an Taliban fighters to stop attacking Pakistan, insisting that the US is the enemy not Pakistan. Nevertheless, they didn't mind arresting Mullah Baradar Omar's second in command after he was reported to try to set up negotiations with Saudi Arabia. This could mean he was willing to renounce al Qaeda, and Pakistan who doesn't particularly like Saudi Government feared being let out of the loop, arrested him.

If the US took over custody of Baradar from Pakistan then wined and dined him like a visiting diplomat the war would soon be over. This is providing that all sides found the Saudis peace or negotiating conditions to be acceptable. Note the middle of the NY Times article, "Taliban Arrest May Be Crucial for Pakistanis", and Google, the Green Room Pakistan,

Note my earlier comments by Googling "Back Obama not the War" on how the US peace
Before Obama's serge message at West Point many were asking him to go along with Vice President Biden's call to hunker down, not serge, however "Negotiations Now" can lead to real peace. Let's urge that Baradar be negotiated with not imprisoned. Obama must stand up to Dick Cheney, and Baradar with the Saudi's help will be more likely to stand up to bin Laden.
Contact Richard Kane,

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back Obama, Not the War

The following is a plea to try to stop a downward spiral. Somehow many who want things to be better have cornered Obama into being less able to make the changes that are needed.

News flash the bottom half of the NY Times article on the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar notes he is the Taliban leader most interested in negotiating peace, and may have been arrested by Pakistan while trying to arrange for peace talks with the US. If clicking on US doesn't work Google NY Times and Pakistan Arrest may be Critical For Pakistanis.

Both US doves and hawks putting everyone the US is up against in the same mold is a disaster that can only get worse unless we stop doing this. If any American is capable of not doing this, I dream it would be Obama.

History can repeat itself. Before the "Blame President Johnson for not Ending the Vietnam War Movement" was a "Negotiate Now" Movement that I was part of. Back in 1965, WILF, Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom, asked people to send a newspaper clipping of a well-reasoned argument to negotiate an end to Vietnam War to President Johnson.

The following is a 1965 patition letter to Johnson urging him to end the war that has a similar spirit to those urging Obama to accept Vice President Biden's suggestions before his surge speach that gives a sense of idential history which could end identically with a new Richard Nixon and a new Secret Plan remember Nixon's ended up including esculating to Laos and Cambodia.,2477653

I wonder if there continued to be peace movement efforts to persuade for negotiations, rather than condemn and resist the war, or if there were a two-track antiwar movement that the war might have actually ended before Nixon and this time before the next Republican President's secret plan includes war in Iran and essewhere in the Muslim World.

Today the frustrated peace movement is forgetting the good things Obama has done just like earlier it forgot the good things about Johnson's civil rights and great society improvements.

Obama stopped an economic meltdown. A touch of a libertarian policy as Europe bandaged at saving jobs and the banks, would have led Europe to think Bush caused the meltdown and now Obama wanted Europe to pay for it, which would have caused them to want to retaliate not work with the US. People are mad that Obama is not cracking down on the corporations. It would have been almost impossible for the US to crack down hard on the corporations, by itself. However it might work if there could be a joint effort on the part of Western nations, that Obama could be part of, to put corporations back under control of nations again. But undercutting Obama's integrity in no way is a step in that direction. When it came to Iran, Bush saw two choices: bomb Iran or else allow nuclear arms race in the middle east where countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia would seek nukes. Today Iran slowly inches in the direction of being able to make nukes in a moment's notice if they so wish, as Obama got Russia to participate in sanctions against Iran. Meaning the rapid spread of nuclear weapons has been curtailed, but no one is cheering Obama's more than partial success. There have been no plans by anyone to actually stop all spread of nuclear weapons from now on forth. It would be almost a miracle if this, actually were to happen.

When it comes to foreign wars the US has an obligation toward those who sided with the US not to be imprisoned or slaughtered, but the US is not as it was with Vietnam willing to let them pour into the US, bringing their relatives interested in a better life with them. Obama actually got the Shiites to refrain from tit-for-tat violence and for the time being the US could actually leave Iraq without a bloodbath. I have my fingers crossed that this opportunity will continue.

When it comes to al Qaeda, if the US actually tried to avoid conflict, it wouldn't soon lead to peace. As long as al Qaeda believes that war is a natural state in a religiously divided world they will be fighting with someone. If the US managed to get out of the way, peace wouldn't result. Google, "Al Qaeda declares war", then Google again, and add in separate goggles "Al Qaeda declares war" "on Iran", "Hezbollah", "Hamas", "China", "Russia" etc., and sites concerning tension, threats and bloodshed will result. Nevertheless, the US facing bankruptcy and the American people having to try to barter in a US dollar-less world is a danger of the policy of any US President. I wish Obama would do something different but Vice President Biden's suggestion to hunker down into secure areas of Afghanistan would have enticed al Qaeda to lose their confidence that they will bankrupt us, thus encourage an attack. And if the "underpants bombing" was attempted anyway, Cheney and Co. would be organizing condemnation of the administration for supposedly inviting an attack.

Many protesters somehow think the more you condemn Obama the better world you will have. Some sites like"Blacks for Obama" see him never doing wrong and never making a mistake. There seems to be no organized niche for "critical support". Let all of us like-minded people get together, and offer our critical, and somewhat conditional support.

A Greek Tragedy horror, is something that I want insight on how to avoid. What can I or anyone else do to avoid the Greek Tragedy syndrome?

A group of Democrats and Republicans are planning to finally push to end the travel ban to Cuba, which would give many thousands of visiting Americans a more picturesque image of communism, and thus straighten up to a certain extent US policies as well, whether or not Obama gets any blame or credit for this happening.

Maybe there can be third party effort to try to make it Green or Libertarians against Democrats instead of the only choice when you are mad at Democrats is to vote Republican, but in Massachusetts, the Libertarian, Joe Kennedy, refused to be as critical of Scott Brown the Republican as he was of the Democrat, throwing away his potentially double digit vote. And the Tea Party movement is busy betraying Ron Paul who first reenacted the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor that got the tea party its name. Sadly Ron Paul who could never in the past be compromised doesn't want to condemn too hard the tea party members who are supporting his son running for office.

The Greens seem to want to condemn Obama as much as they condemn Republicans. I wish they would campaign the way Mike Huckabee campaigned as the Libertarian Candidate for President spending all his time condemning the Republicans.

The best possibility for a sane US future would be the end to the Afghan War. One problem is the US peace movement is not paying enough attention to what is happening on the ground. In February 2009 there was a cease-fire in the Swat Valley but the US peace movement condemned the fact that it included modified Shiria Law. There was in January 2010 a UN peace conference in Prague, (that the US peace movement ignored) that asked that the Taliban be taken off the terror list. The four retired Taliban leaders who were taken of the terror list are now trying to negotiate peace lately working on the benchmark approach. Pakistan tried recently to organize peace with the entire Taliban but the western peace movement has a habit of not praising Pakistan. Likewise the US peace movement has an aversion to praising Afghan President Karzai who several times tried to negotiate peace with the entire Taliban. He begged Saudi Arabia to mediate but they said they wouldn't until Mullah Omar denounced the al Qaeda. Related Links in Pakistan wants to end the war

The US under General McChrystal has a strict policy of avoiding collateral damage to try to repeat events in Iraq where almost all Iraqis got disgusted with al Qaeda's bloodthirsty mayhem. But in Afghanistan, Mullah Omar announced a strict code of conduct for the Taliban, and actually managed to insist that any al Qaeda members assigned to Afghanistan abide by it. When five suicide vested bombers failed to gain entry to the Bank of Afghanistan in Kabul to blow it up the four remaining attackers didn't blow themselves up in front of the bank, instead retreated to the shopping mall next door and ordered everyone out holed up for hours two being shot and two shot themselves never blowing up the shopping center up. Then came other incidents where more attackers died then any victims attacked. In the February 2010 US attack south central Afghanistan to try to take and hold a strip almost permanently instead of a few days as in the past, the many more numerous less-protected Afghan government troops took few casualties as if the Taliban are planning to brow-beat and strong-arm the Afghan administrators sent to take charge instead of killing them. All this means less mayhem in Afghanistan as compared to Iraq. But one thing remains the same, the US keeps increasing costs on ever more incredibly expensive smart weapons and ever heavier more expensive armor.

Anyway, I believe that if the peace movement paid attention to events on the ground and stopped calling Obama hopelessly subservient to the generals, or a trick to fool Americans with, we will have a chance to end the war before the next Republican spreads it into Iran and beyond. Just as not every historic change is an improvement on what has gone before, not every change in tactic by the peace movement because the old methods don't seem to be accomplishing much is an improvement.

I hope the above is spread all around the Internet and even into print. If it's a little too convoluted which it probably is, I hope a like-minded person will write a more punchy version of the above.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Obama gets us to fight less with each other But Ends Up Taking the Heat

There is less hatred in this country not only between blacks and whites, against Hispanics the Iranians, Israel and even the homeless. I wonder if mostly unintentionally Obama is getting people mad at him rather than at each other.

I have been getting lonely being an Obama supporter but suddenly an important writer seemed at first to be filling the void, with his “Obamanomics”. It started out with to me an exciting statement in support of Obama,
“Obamanomics suffers from a misunderstanding of what the President is trying to achieve and what he's up against. Into the breach come Republicans, Tea Partiers, nay-sayers, deficit vultures, and Raging-Dog Democrats, all viewing Obamanomics as more taxes and more spending. That's nonsense. . . . ”
but the rest of the article was less impressive, which was especially disappointing because I have seen so little supporting Obama as of late.

Robert Reich’s Obmanomics, from my point of view supports of Obama for partly the wrong reasons, and the snide empty criticism of Obama’s opponents did Obama no favor. How does the following make peace activists want to support him again? “left wing Democrats angry at what they see as lily-livered Democrats in Washington”.

I used to be irritated by what I considered too much positive thinking. However, not negativity seems to be in charge. Can’t one of us Obama supporters do a better job then Robert Reich did?

Robert Reich likes to emphasizes economics. However, the war is an overwhelming economic problem that somehow he manages to ignore. The US has some kind of responsibility to those who chose to side with us. Unlike in Vietnam, we are not willing to let them pour into the US, taking every relative looking for a better life with them. Obama preformed a miracle in Iraq. The Shiites no longer participating in tit-for-tat reprisals, in return for US troops staying out of the cities. Obama almost muffed it, when 600 Sunni politicians were temporarily forbidden to ever run for office, and Obama may still miff it if he waits almost to the date he says the US will leave to finally get out. However, if Obama suddenly announces we will be out of Iraq as soon as we can get our equipment out, and al Qaeda tries to seize some of our supplies, even continued to suicide-bomb, killing some Americans, then any Iraqi who doesn’t have a mind-set that their life will end as a martyr, will be mad at al Qaeda for not letting the US leave. By the way, the peace movement's demand to set a firm date is ridiculous, al Qaeda will just try to show off near the last minute. The war in Vietnam ended soon after Congress quietly stopped appropriating supplemental funds, not by publicly announcing a date they would do so.

The lack of a second depression was another Obama miracle. The Euro-American world decided to stop the bleeding by throwing money at it. If Europe had gone one way and the US another direction, the world economy would have continued to collapse. There probably were solutions besides throwing money around, but Europe and the US would have had to have the same policy. If the US was heading in a slightly libertarian direction, while Europe was throwing money at the banks and at keeping jobs, Europe would be angry. If miracle of miracles, Ron Paul was President, there would be a worldwide economic war against the US for trying to make them pay for the mess Bush caused.

Elsewhere if “Obamanomics", instead of insulting the tea party folk, would have pointed out that the Tea Party leadership is now supporting Ron Paul’s opponent in the primary, despite Ron Paul actually having dumped tea in Boston harbor, and starting the term “tea party”, it would have helped destroy some of their base.

Afghan President Karzai keeps defying the US by trying to negotiate with the entire Taliban. The non-paying attention peace movement never noticed that corruption and drug money is the way every Afghan politician operates. The American press was suddenly informed that Karzai was corrupt because State Department officials wanted him replaced by someone who would listen more to the US, but al Qaeda attacks on polling places cooled any desire to have a runoff election. Pakistan is also trying to negotiate with Mullah Omar to the chagrin of the US State Department. Again the US peace movement has a mind-set against praising Pakistan like it has against praising Karzai. By the way Karzai begged Saudi Arabia to serve as a mediator, but Saudi Arabia refused until Omar renounces al Qaeda first,
Googleing Gareth Porter is the best way to keep track of negotiations, although on Common Dreams, he neglected to note that Karzai defied the US in the past making it look like Kazai was changing direction.

I see something really strange that no one has also noticed on the Internet or in print (Though I could have missed something posted somewhere). After vowing to die for the cause (staying alive only until an assignment is chosen for them) al Qaeda fanatics tend to stop valuing their friend’s lives as well, causing all kinds of collateral damage and mayhem such as destroying Sunni holly sites and funerals to create tit-for-tat reprisals. This shocks most who aren’t vowing to, no matter what, die for a cause. However Mullah Omar preformed something amazing, he got al Qaeda madmen to follow his strict code of ethics. When they failed to sneak into the central bank to blow it up, suicide bombers ran into the market next door ordered everyone out and holed up for hours without ever blowing themselves and the market up. Two were shot and two shot themselves.

Mullah Omar spent a lot of effort urging al Qaeda to stop attacking Pakistan, therefore Pakistan is reluctant to attack him when Americans not Pakistanis are mad at him. Ominously, if Mullah Omar is assassinated instead of being negotiated with, he will be a larger than life martyr for years to come. Maybe Mullah Omar could get all of al Qaeda to pledge to abide by his strict code of ethics in return for amnesty, including for bin Laden. Unfortunately Obama would be impeached if he went along with it. Perhaps the best thing would be like in the Swat Valley where Shria Law was accepted in return for a cease-fire and almost all Americans were incensed that Obama didn’t complain. But in the end it allowed Pakistan to retaliate with a vengeance when they violated the cease-fire by heading troops toward the capital of Pakistan.

I guess the best scenario would be for Obama to accept any Omar offers to have al Qaeda behave better in return for amnesty, and for al Qaeda to end up violating the agreement before Obama gets impeached.

To change the subject for a moment almost no American feels that what we decide about the war is our overwhelming problem to dwell on at least eight hours a day. To most, such subjects as health care even, for some, sports is of almost equal interest, or of time spent thinking about, while al Qaeda pays very close attention. Almost no one who supports the war believes that we should skimp on the many thousands of dollars we spend on each soldier to keep the death rates down. Al Qaeda clearly expects the US to go bankrupt leading Americans to try to barter in a US currency-less world, and many of their actions are designed to help hasten US bankruptcy. Bin Laden was disappointed on how little the collapsing of the center of business, the World Trade Center hurt the US economy. It is more than possible that he wants to avoid anything that will make the average American so fearful of being the center of an attack that they are no longer interested in spending exorbitant funds to keep each soldier in the field as safe as possible, if they and the rest of us are also in danger here at home. Therefore it occurred to me that although it is possible that both the shoes and underwear bombers were armatures, without direct input by bin Laden, it is also possible that they were intended to make the US spend a lot more money on security, and make air travel expensive and inconvenient with no intention of the bombs actually going off, since killing a lot of people might have encouraged the US to send a lot more troops with less fancy body armor and less of a huge medical back up.

At any rate, if al Qaeda wanted a thousand or more Americans dead as much they wanted the five top CIA analysts in one place in order to blow them up, there would have been several more 9/11's by now. As for 9/11, it is possible that bin Laden actually wanted Afghanistan occupied for a while to get Muslims to stop dwelling on the Taliban’s excessive, knowing that the Northern Alliance would have been firmly in control of Afghanistan by now if it wasn’t for 9/11.

Back to the present, every time Obama performs a miracle it seems to evaporate. Bush had a problem, “Without bombing Iran, how could he stop an arms race in the middle east where even Saudi Arabia and Jordan would seek nukes. Obama solved the problem by having China and Russia join in sanction against Iran. Thus Obama is criticized for accomplishing nothing as Iran ever so slowly inches toward nuclear weapons potential in the face of growing worldwide sanctions, while Saudi Arabia and other non-nuclear countries slow down on any desire on their part to try to get some nuclear armaments. As I alluded to at the beginning of this article, a year and a half ago I was upset about what I considered too much positive thinking but now negativity must not be allowed to overwhelm us.

The only way anyone can seem to make Obama go a little more in the direction they want is by kicking him in the shins making Obama a punching bag for all sides to attack. Obama will create world peace if he can manage to survive the attacks from all sides, long enough to do so.

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