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Capitalism cure

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by The Rock, Oct 22, 2009.

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  1. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Australian cartoon I guess they have actual news reporting in that country.


  2. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    NW PA
    Why credit this as coming from Australia? If this is "from Australia", why is the copyright notice from "REDSTATE.COM"? If you take a few seconds to check, RedState.com appears to be a republican sponsored web site or at least one put out under the banner of Republicans. It simply comes across as republican propaganda designed along the same general lines as that put out by the democratic propagandists cartooning gun owners (or similar).

    To borrow a phrase from a different list, these kind of things are simply put out be=y the republican noise machine or the democrat noise machine.
  3. bocephus

    bocephus Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I don't care where it came from, it is quite factual....
  4. DadPlus4

    DadPlus4 Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    plenty of folks in redstate voted for this .....
  5. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Here, this isn't from "Australia".

    "Obama's Minions Are Ingrates
    The Bush administration did leave a plan for Afghanistan.
    by Stephen F. Hayes
    11/02/2009, Volume 015, Issue 07

    On October 18, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows and, in the process of answering questions about Barack Obama's strategy on Afghanistan, accused the Bush administration of failing to ask the most basic questions about that country and our war there.

    "The president is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side, and the strategic side. What is the impact on the region? What can the Afghan government do or not do? Where are we on the police training? Who would be better doing the police training? Could that be something the Europeans do? Should we take the military side? Those are the questions that have not been asked. And before you commit troops??.??.??.??before you make that decision, there's a set of questions that have to have answers that have never been asked. And it's clear after eight years of war, that's basically starting from the beginning, and those questions never got asked."

    Then, after former vice president Dick Cheney used a speech on October 22 to accuse the Obama administration of "dithering" on Afghanistan, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded by claiming that the Bush administration did not care about U.S. troops.

    "What Vice President Cheney calls 'dithering,' President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public," said Gibbs. "I think we've all seen what happens when somebody doesn't take that responsibility seriously." Gibbs went on, calling Cheney's comments "curious" and claiming that a request for troops from General David McKiernan during the final year of the Bush administration "sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president's, for more than eight months."

    So there are two separate and very serious charges that Obama White House officials are making about their predecessors. First, that the Bush administration had no real Afghanistan policy and failed for eight years to ask the important questions about the war there. And second, that the Bush administration ignored requests from commanders on the ground to increase troops in Afghanistan.

    Bush administration officials were furious.

    "The idea that we just sat on our f--ing asses--it's really a slander," says one senior Bush administration official. "It's just not credible that we didn't take this seriously."

    In fact, the Bush administration did ask those questions. From mid-September to mid-November 2008, a National Security Council team, under the direction of General Doug Lute, conducted an exhaustive review of Afghanistan policy. The interagency group included high-ranking officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the office of the director of national intelligence, the office of the vice president, the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its objective was to assess U.S. -policy on Afghanistan, integrating a simultaneous military review being conducted by CENTCOM, so as to present President Bush with a series of recommendations on how best to turn around the deteriorating situation there. The Lute group met often--sometimes twice daily--in a secure conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (The group used the room so frequently that other national security working groups that had been meeting there were required to find other space including, occasionally, the White House Situation Room.)

    The Lute review asked many questions and provided exhaustive answers not only to President Bush, but also to the Obama transition team before the inauguration. "General Jones was briefed on the results of the Lute review, and that review answered many of the questions that Rahm Emanuel says were never asked," says Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley. Jones and Hadley discussed the review, and Lute gave Jones a detailed PowerPoint presentation on his findings. Among the recommendations: a civilian surge of diplomats and other non-military personnel to the country, expedited training for the Afghan National Army, a strong emphasis on governance and credible elections, and, most important, a fully resourced counterinsurgency strategy.

    Jones asked Hadley not to release the results of the Lute review so that his boss would have more flexibility when it came time to provide direction for the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Bush officials reasoned that Obama was more likely to heed their advice if he could simply adopt their recommendations without having to acknowledge that they came from the Bush White House. So Hadley agreed.

    "Mr. Emanuel either did not know about our review or chose to lie about it," says Eliot Cohen, who served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and was one of the principal participants in the Lute review. Virtually nobody believes Emanuel is clueless. In any case, the author of the review, Doug Lute, remains a senior Afghanistan adviser in the Obama White House.

    Perhaps more infuriating for Bush veterans was the suggestion by Gibbs that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops. It's nonsense, they say. McKiernan wanted more troops--he asked for three additional brigades in the summer of 2008--but he understood that he could have them only when they became available. "McKiernan was making requests down the line," says a Pentagon official, "and late in 2008 we did have the ability to commit more forces. So we did." Indeed, Bush sent nearly 7,000 additional troops to Afghanistan before he left office, including one brigade that had been repurposed from Iraq.

    One Bush veteran asks, "If it's true that the Bush administration sat on these troop requests for eight months, is the White House suggesting that the Pentagon was incompetent or negligent or both? That would be a good question to put to the defense secretary--and President Obama is in a position to make him talk."

    I couldn't reach Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but I did talk to a senior defense official who serves with him. This person stressed that Gates has gone to great lengths to avoid being dragged into political fights between administrations. Nonetheless, he offered a strong rebuke to the present White House political team.

    "There was no request on anyone's desk for eight months," said the defense official. "There was not a request that went to the White House because we didn't have forces to commit. So on the facts, they're wrong."

    When Obama took office, he ordered an Afghanistan review of his own. Led by former CIA official Bruce Riedel, the Obama review team looked at Afghanistan and made its recommendations. On March 27, the president announced his new Afghanistan strategy--one that included many of the recommendations of the Bush administration's review. And that is another indignity. Not only did the Obama administration understand full well that the Bush administration had conducted a comprehensive assessment of Afghanistan, and not only had Jim Jones asked that the Bush review be withheld from the public--but Obama's "new" strategy bore an uncanny resemblance to that prescribed by the Lute review.

    Says Eliot Cohen, "My challenge to the Obama administration is: Why don't you declassify both documents--the Bush administration's Afghanistan review and your own."

    Not surprisingly, Republicans were among the most outspoken supporters of Obama's strategy announced in March. And while Democrats on Capitol Hill did not, for the most part, voice their opposition in public, they registered their concerns in private conversations with White House officials.

    They had a receptive audience. Several top White House officials, including Emanuel, Jones, David Axelrod, and Joe Biden, remain skeptical of escalating U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan. And according to the man who conducted the Afghanistan review for the Obama White House, Bruce Riedel, politics is at the center of those concerns.

    "I think a big part of it is, the vice president's reading of the Democratic party is this is not sustainable," Riedel told the New York Times. "That's a part of the process that's a legitimate question for a president--if I do this, can I sustain it with political support at home? That was the argument the vice president was making back in the winter."

    It is a legitimate question for a president. Why then, as Obama again nears a decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, would Rahm Emanuel pick a fight with Republicans--the very people who gave the president his most ardent backing the last time he announced a new strategy?

    Could it be that Emanuel hopes to foreclose one of Obama's options--the one Emanuel opposes--before the president makes his decision?"

    ???? Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
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