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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