Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Obama’s Second Stimulus and Election 2010

HOWARD MEGDAL: On Friday morning, President Obama displayed more than just the strong grasp of the facts involved regarding the critical issues in American life today. He made it clear, in language crisper than previously deployed, that there is a strong case for keeping the House and Senate in Democratic hands.

CHRIS PUMMER: While the electoral math might be a simple as bad economy = kick the incumbent bums out, it might give a lot of independent voters pause if they aren’t sure that swallowing the bitter medicine the GOP is offering won’t really cure the illness — and might just make it worse. Continue reading

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Obama Oval Office Speech Reaction

HOWARD MEGDAL: In a speech with much discussion of the war in Iraq and the economy, it is three paragraphs about Afghanistan that I think provides the real news of the night.

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: A promise kept, Pres. Obama said in his speech to the nation about the Iraq war. Continue reading

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Facebook Photo Tagging Etiquette

NAVA BRAHE: One of the downsides to the Internet is the old “TMI” conundrum. In this age of, everything -you-say- and-do can-be-documented-whether- you- like- it-or- not, what constitutes too much information?

HOWARD MEGDAL: What it comes down to for me is this: if I am posting a picture to my Facebook account, it is because I like that person. So if that person doesn’t want a photo up, since I like that person… I am happy to comply.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’m not on Facebook…to my knowledge. I say this because while I don’t have an account, many if not most of my friends do. And some of them are friends I hang out with regularly; friends I am happy to pose for pictures with. It is possible that some of those pictures have been posted on the Facebook accounts of said friends without my knowledge, and that I have been positively identified in those photos. Continue reading

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Afghanistan: What Comes Next

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: Sen. John Kerry would oppose sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, even if Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the NATO effort there, would request reinforcements.

Instead, Kerry proposes getting more countries involved, as if that’s the solution to Afghanistan’s situation. At best, his is a throw-up-your-hands suggestion and at worst, it’s empty talk and way too late.

HOWARD MEGDAL: While much of Barack Obama’s remaining domestic agenda hangs in the balance of the 2010 midterm elections, his only hope for further funding of the war in Afghanistan may come from a GOP landslide. Continue reading

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The Time Afghanistan Cover

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: Time magazine goes for the stunning, heartbreaking cover image of a brutalized Afghan woman and presents her a symbol of a clear moral choice. It’s a slick journalism move but an inaccurate portrayal of the consequences of choices in Afghanistan.

AKIE BERMISS: The last time I read Time Magazine and thought of it as a critical and probing source for news and news commentary, I’m pretty sure I was in 8th grade and doing a project on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I thought it was just awesome how Time could whittle the complexities of the situation down to a few crucial pillars of disagreement. How they singled out the key players (Arafat, Rabin, and Clinton) who would resolve it. I’d had a Time subscription for a couple of year at the point and I pretty much felt I had a complete grasp of what was going on in the world.

Trouble is, convenient as that was for a 14 year-old boy in Brooklyn, it was pretty much a fairy-tale.

ALLISON REILLY: The only problem that I have with this magazine cover is the implication that the horrific treatment of women only happens in Afghanistan and only is performed by members of the Taliban. Absolutely not true. Women are gang raped and children are kidnapped from their homes in the Darfur region and the United States has done nothing about it. Our country supports Israel, whose army destroys Palestinian homes and families, preventing these people from living a normal life. Native American and Alaskan Native women never see their rape cases brought to justice, and these people are American citizens, living within our own borders. Continue reading

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HOWARD MEGDAL: So we’ve established that the guru of COIN, Stanley McChrystal, couldn’t sell it to his own troops, let alone to the Afghans. It is stated by our own CIA Director that there are “maybe 50-100″ al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Getting military cooperation from would-be allies is proving to be impossible due to the belief that the United States will begin to withdraw next year- which, given the lack of political will for this war, we almost certainly will be.

So I must say, I come away from this feeling like for all of his successes, the decision to re-double efforts in Afghanistan has to rank among Obama’s failures so far. And by delaying exit until July 2011 or beyond, rather than acknowledging that the circumstances have changed and beginning the withdrawal process immediately, he is only exacerbating this failure.

AKIE BERMISS: I never really felt one way or another about General McChrystal but I have been extremely skeptical about the whole COIN conceptology. I am slightly less dubious about Obama’s intentions regarding the war in Afghanistan… but I am still very conflicted about it. I understand, however, that withdrawal is a delicate operation. If Obama had taken office and just said, “Ok — war’s over. Let’s go.” He’d never have recovered from the perceived weakness and lack of gravitas it would have bred. And so that leaves us with two certains: 1. we need to get the hell out of Afghanistan and 2. we can’t just up and leave. The trouble is that the strategies for leaving have often sounded like strategies for trying to rush a win now that the clock is running out.. Like its sudden death, or something. Continue reading

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Afghanistan: Does Obama Have a Left-Flank Problem?

HOWARD MEGDAL: While Barack Obama currently enjoys enough popularity among the left to keep the American presence in Afghanistan going, and even add troops, events could transpire to create difficulties in the near future.

CHRIS PUMMER: Of all the problems President Obama finds himself contending with, losing lefty voters because of his Afghanistan policy isn’t one of them. Continue reading

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