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Cole writes: "If you slam Mitt on Afghanistan policy, you have to explain why your Afghanistan 'surge' was not a failure."

Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)
Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)

Dear Democrats: If you do That you have to do This

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

08 September 12


ear Democratic Party:

If you bring Gabby Giffords to say the Pledge of Allegiance, you have to bring up the issue of gun control somewhere in your speeches or platform.

If you slam Republicans for foreign policy naivete, you have to explain why you just pissed off 1.5 billion Muslims by giving away all of Jerusalem to Israel as its capital.

If you boast of taking out Osama Bin Laden by saying if someone kills innocent Americans we will follow them to the ends of the earth, you have to explain why it is all right to kill innocent civilians in Yemen with drone strikes when there is no legal framework for US attacks on Yemen.

If you slam Mitt on Afghanistan policy, you have to explain why your Afghanistan "surge" was not a failure.

If you keep invoking the 'scripture' and 'God' you have to explain why we shouldn't just let the Republican evangelicals run things.

If you say you care about global warming and the rising seas, you have to explain why you are praising more oil and gas drilling.

If you praise the Arab masses' striving for rights, you have to explain why you continued in force the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act here at home through 2014, which allows warrantless surveillance of Americans of the sort deployed by Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi on their populations. your social media marketing partner


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+26 # Activista 2012-09-08 11:11
Exactly - populism of Democrats will win them the election - but year after the USA will collapse - waste on militarism and war on Iran will be final act.
Clinton/AIPAC rules ...
+21 # rertel 2012-09-08 12:53
Actually, I often doubt any of these things will matter much in the long run. When I think of the effects of global warming and the likelihood that people will get their act together in time to do much about it, I think of that famous line when Butch and Sundance are pinned on a cliff with a river below; Sundance doesn't want to jump because he can't swim. Butch bursts out laughing and replies, "Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you!"

Meanwhile, in the room, the posters come and go talking of Clinton/AIPAC rules . . .

+8 # Activista 2012-09-08 15:40
Explain please all the military spending - going up - under Clinton/AIPAC rule last 4 years (Obama is puppet - as was GWBush).
Did you see Gore or Carter at the Democrats convention? Actually big depression would help environment - less consumerism, less greed, less carbon pollution.
+3 # Linda 2012-09-08 22:27
Actually yes ! Carter was on video giving his support for Obama ! Gore wasn't because he doesn't like Obama's energy plan ,neither do I like drilling for oil and gas but the alternative is Romney who would do far worse !
Obama may not be perfect but he isn't bad either ! Those who want Romney to win this election will all be out posting articles or in the media trying to diminish Obama's bump after the DNC !
-1 # Activista 2012-09-09 18:40
Those who want Romney to win? With our NOT very democratic presidential election system the president will be determined by couple of swing states - and MONEY of special interest - the parties will spend billions on media propaganda.
I live in WA - very blue state - and will be comfortable to vote against establishment (Democrats, Republicans) as I did in 2008 (voted for Cynthia McKinney - Green Party - she did not betray her voters as Obama did).
0 # RLF 2012-09-10 06:45
You forgot that we've heard a lot about no innovation in industry in the US. Can't innovate if you have had no training to use your imagination. Did you hear anything about the arts from any Democrat? That is because the aren't real Democrats anymore. They are Republican light. Fix the economy with the same failed Chicago school/ Supply side policies that got us in this mess? Obama is all about conventional wisdom...guess he needed more art classes too!
-17 # Duster 2012-09-08 20:30
One of the more disturbing things I see in the political arena is the bipartisan confidence that "humans can" and "humans are responsible for" just about amnything you can. One thing there is absolutely no scientific grounds for - mathematics and mathematical models are not science, just tools - is the "effect of global warming." Scientifically - as in the science of geology - the planet has seen many times the present level of atmospheric CO2. We are not living on Venus. Worse, green plants cease productivity (i.e. fixing carbon) when CO2 levels drop to 140 ppm. That is, if we reduce current levels by half, we'll be between 190 and 200 ppm. That would no be a "good" thing, not at all.

Worry about water pollution, worry about toxic air pollutants like H2SO4. Leave the frigging CO2 alone. We NEED it where it is or higher.

Obama vs Romney is a bad vs worse, far more critical choice, than good vs bad. I'ld say Obama might be bad, Romney worse.
+7 # Activista 2012-09-08 22:07
Duster - please tell us your credentials (. I have good statistical and mathematical background - studied climatology on graduate level - Global warming is Real and is caused by humans burning fossil fuel.
Problem is that we have God, lawyers and economists deciding on data that they do not understand.
+1 # coach777b 2012-09-09 18:21
[quote name="Duster"]O ne thing there is absolutely no scientific grounds for - mathematics and mathematical models are not science, just tools - is the "effect of global warming."
Are you serious? As an engineer, retired, I cannot believe you would post such crap. Mathematical models are scientific tools that simulate a real world situation. If you go back to the universities where you earned your credentials and make this argument you will be embarassed, humiliated and they may ask for you to return your academic credentials.
+18 # ericlipps 2012-09-08 13:24
Quoting Activista:
Exactly - populism of Democrats will win them the election - but year after the USA will collapse - waste on militarism and war on Iran will be final act.
Clinton/AIPAC rules ...

Well, not the year after that, but we're on a bad track. The thing is, it's likely to be even worse if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins along with a fresh wave of tea-dyed congresscreatur es.
+13 # tahoevalleylines 2012-09-08 14:47
On a bad vector might be more descriptive; America demolished 2/3 rail mileage after WWII, lured away from rail-based economic model by very cheap Middle East Oil...

Juan Cole and Noam Chomsky would give us a better Middle East narrative if they could make a little time and effort to read George Grant's "The Blood Of The Moon".

Prof. Cole's remark about 1.5 Billion Muslims is chronologically off, because Islam's primary mission since a bloody beginning has centered on removal of Jews & Christians from the planet. Trust the Qur'an: they will be pissed off even if they control every inch of Jerusalem, and Israel disappears too...

The letter to the Democrats would have been more useful with inclusion/discu ssion of the primary strategic reason America has been in the Middle East since WWII: America use a rubber tire based economic model, ever since Truman & Eisenhhower realized cheap oil was entre' to job creation. Cheap oil is gone, does anyone here comprehend what this means?? James H. Kunstler, Boone Pickens, Robert L. Hirsch, and Lionel Badel can tell you-

If Mssrs. Chomsky & Cole would/could simply grasp the fact we cannot deal with either climate change or the Military Industrial Complex while striving to maintain happy motoring, their writings would increase in usefulness. Dear profs, could you please have a long lunch with Richard Heinberg?
+6 # Activista 2012-09-08 15:35
Interesting - OIL cost up when Israel (with US help) starts new war. Remember reason fro first oil embargo (that destroyed Carter - who understood the problem).
I did bot modeling on dependence on oil - Club of Rome - explain why price per barre; was $18 before ALL these wars started? NOw is $100 and going up as Israel is pushing US to war against Iran.
+40 # rertel 2012-09-08 11:41
I don't like these things much either, Professor Cole, but Democrats need to win the elections this fall and I'm afraid this is the politics of winning. Fortunately or unfortunately, the liberal left has no institution like organized religion from which to influence the party en masse or splinter off into a sub-party that drinks tea made from Astro Turf. It also thankfully lacks the will and ability to parlay fear of "the other" into voting against one's own interest. So, Dems are left to pander in just the ways you point out. I don't like it, but I get it.

Beyond these comments, I'd say that the shift in Afghanistan policy has been a de facto admission that the surge failed. Troops are coming home in 2014. Many of us would like them to come home now, but they are coming home. What would Mitt Romney do? I don't think even he knows that answer and if he did give one now, it would be subject to change based on market conditions. But it's your role to raise these issues and I applaud you for it.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 14:43
He wouldn't bring them home he would send them to Israel...

Where will the troops come from to continue doing these Wars...I do not see Mitt Family allowing their sons to serve Now so when will they?

I would like to see a draft in place with No t Political, Religious, Rich/Poor. I think we got to shake them up, then let's see who Screams the Loudest. Certainly won't be the poor or middle class Their Children always are sacrificed.

I am tired of all the Peaceniks....wh en in fact, they do not care as long as it is not their kids. When we marched against War we were berated and chastised saying we had no respect for troops. My friends died in Nam or when they came home. I can count on one hand those who served and are ok today. But the Kewl People, they say they want Peace but Freedom isn't Free.

Sorry Juan...where were you 20 or so years ago when this Mess was allowed to start under false pretenses. I mean War, Jobs, and all the rest of the bs that came with it?

Where are the Churches...good Question I know this Bible everyone talks about and the other Holy Books like Koran says 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' That is only one of the Commandments I see some problems with but definitely the biggest one. Covetting thy neighbors goods well, right now Israel seems to be ignoring that with USA. Pass the Collection Plate and we will ignore All Sins??
+1 # kalpal 2012-09-08 15:18
I doubt that Israel would permit American trops to move into Israel and the great potential for the Americans being bombarded by the clients of Iran is to great a risk. It is also unlikely that any Palestinian leadership will try to persuade their people that Israel should be allowed to exist and thrive as well as become the ecnomic engine that would clearly demonstrate that Arab leadership sucks big time. So long as ignorant Islamic cleric assert that no jews ever existed in the middle east and the Moses was actually a Muslim even though islam did not exist nor were Egyptians even remotely Arabs. Lies will keep the area roiling and boiling but the USA will not sit there. Just one rocket from Gaza landing in their camp would create a cry to eradicate hamas or hizbullah. Such an attempt would create an oil embargo. Just not going to work.
+6 # Activista 2012-09-08 15:46
US is sending over $100 million per day to Israel - check IFamericansknew - Israel is US "kept" - reselling US arms for profit.
+15 # Mouna 2012-09-08 11:43
+25 # Kauai John 2012-09-08 12:04
The surge was not a failure (I did not say it was a success) because it wasn't suppose to change the outcomes in Afghanistan but to show that the Generals who kept claiming they could win with just a few more resources were lying lunatics.

I recall that when the surge was announced, it was immediately (if not concurrently) followed by a withdrawal date. Had Obama withdrawn immediately, the Generals (and Republicans) would now be wailing about how Obama had lost the war in Afghanistan. No, it was the Generals who lost it.

The sad thing is, there was never any way of winning. Even worse, Obama knew that when he authorized the surge. But he has only limited resources and couldn't get bogged down in that fight too.

I'm not saying the surge was the right thing to do. And I could be mistaken about Obama's thinking on the subject. Or the reason may even have been more sinister -- such as the cut in war spending would have pushed the US economy into an even deeper recession.

Or it could have been both of these reasons, plus something else.
+7 # Activista 2012-09-08 15:49
cut in war spending would have pushed the US economy into an even deeper recession?
Like drug addict when they take drugs away - depression follows.
The militarism paid by debt keeps US going - pathetic.
+24 # hbheinze 2012-09-08 12:06
Right on! These are the hard questions that the Democratic party really really needs to address, to satisfy my long-standing curiosity, to claim some semblance of the "high ground," and to show all of us why we need to vote Democratic. Don't get me wrong--I'm "severely" Liberal--I just wish the Democratic party would be more diametrically opposed to Repub. policies.
+3 # dbriz 2012-09-08 12:10
Careful Juan, you are close to heresy here.

The Obamabots will be all over you soon. You have failed to read the day's bullet points.

Now repeat after me, it's all the fault of obstructionist Pubs.

What's the poor guy to do, he's trying his best. Even when he had control of Congress there were those damn blue dog infiltrators to contend with.

Don't you realize you are playing into the hands of those troglodyte Pubs when you make these kinds of comments?

Hey Juan, the more I think about it, the more you are pissing me off! He's our guy, do you think we have any other choice? What the hell's wrong with you anyway?

Anyone can nitpick about this or that and ignore the positive.

So Mr Smartypants, I bet you won't mention Dear Leaders great democratic achievement, it takes the truly jaded, recidivist reactionary editors of Taki to point it out, "...we finally have a nation where people of all colors, genders, sexual orientations and creeds can be imprisoned for life without trial".
+39 # Kauai John 2012-09-08 12:13
Obama has to praise and gas drilling because Americans are too stupid to understand Global Warming.

Obama has to praise God to give Stupid Americans the comfort of knowing he too believes in the myth.

Obama has to continue to enforce the PATRIOT act because the agencies that run it are too powerful to control and would not hesitate to "take Obama out".

Its "OK" to kill Yemenis because Americans are too stupid to know what that means. They think all Muslims are terrorists. (see the comments on God)

Jerusalem has to be the capital of Israel to keep the Israelis from Nuking Iran, and because Americans are too stupid to understand that it isn't already.

Obama cannot talk gun control because Americans are too stupid to understand what a "well regulated militia" is.

Governance through hypocrisy has been a staple of America. It was why the Civil war was fought. Doesn't make it right, but doesn't mean the Democrats have to do anything but what they are doing.

Stupid Americans get the government they deserve.
-3 # Smokey 2012-09-08 15:20
Sad but true for every point... Although I kinda like God talk and I know that it will be around for a long time.... "God" can be whatever you like. Mitt Romney has a very interesting interpretation of "God" that may actually appeal to some progressives... The atheists are doing fine with Ayn Rand. She may be the most popular atheist in American history and she has a huge following among young people.
+3 # mdhome 2012-09-08 15:42
I am in agreement , I dare say most of the wars and troubles are directly a result of the "god" myth. Stupid is as stupid does.
+24 # Christopher Warren 2012-09-08 12:15
The consequences of a Romney Presidency and the presence of ALL of the disasterous deluded neo-cons as his PRE-ELECTION ADVISORS on foreign policy, leaves one little doubt that the rest of the first team of EMPIRE for America are lurking in the election shadows dreaming of the riches to come as the spoils of the demise of our Democratic Republic.
Brown Shirts for EVERYBODY!
So, I'll hold my nose and vote for "Status Quobama" and try to shame my state Federal Legislators into fighting the Military Empire status quo and being DEMOCRATS!
+22 # engelbach 2012-09-08 12:26
The GOP is the party of being non-apologetic about the predation of the ruling class.

The Dems are the party of populist rhetoric but action that favors the ruling class.

Your demands are correct, but the party you are addressing doesn't exist.

Labor Party 2016.
+13 # charsjcca 2012-09-08 12:26
I attended the Peoples Convention in Charlotte on Tuesday September 4th. We talked about what is needed in America. The Coca Cola Convention downtown never spoke of the need for a Domestic Marshall Plan to bring all of America back. As Barbara Bush remarked in 2005 after visiting New Orleans, "These folks are deprived and have always been." That is why the late Whitney M. Young, then president of the National Urban League, in the 1960s urged America to do for America what we had done for England, France and Germany following WWII.

There was nothing stated in the message from the Coca Cola Convention that touched on what ails Americans, collectively. We are not all middle-class and have never been.
+2 # vgirl1 2012-09-08 20:51
Did you hear anything close to talking about helping anyone that was not rich and powerful from the Convention Center in Tampa that housed the RNC convention?

Thought not, but all one chooses to whine about is the DNC convention.

Wonder why that is?
+14 # Erdajean 2012-09-08 12:31
My sentiments precisely,Mr. Cole. Thank you for your clear and forthright take on common sense truth.
Democrats, you cannot have it BOTH ways -- You cannot talk the GOOD GUY talk while walking the BAD GUY walk -- and thousands of us have been telling you this for years.
But apparently EVERYTHING is "image" -- as advertising teaches. Bomb innocents, assassinate and imprison our own, while you scourge other demons for doing the same.
Make unimpeachable royalty of the rich, while thumping your chest for "democracy," and pretending the Bad Guys beat you down, when you speak up (in such a wee small voice!) for our poor. Elevate Israel to Boss of the World -- and make SURE they have the arms and funds to maintain their power. AND, show your willingness to drag us into another war WE don't want, but THEY do.
Then yell at our Progressives that if we do not send YOU our children's milk money, WE will be the cause of losing an election -- the failures of YOUR integrity have nothing to do with it. So YOU say.
Believe me, not all of us who are moved to go and vote for your man on election day are deceived -- or approving. The other choice is just too vile to swallow.
0 # MidwestTom 2012-09-08 12:37
An interesting video was recently brought to my attention addressing why we never have a third party challenge to the two main parties. It is available on Youtube under the name SPOILER; I highly recommend that you watch at least the first 15 minutes. It is not for or against either party. Enjoy it this weekend.
+8 # charsjcca 2012-09-08 13:01
Our Congress funds these two conventions. Not even the Tea Party Republicans have complained, let alone boycotted the events. They are on board with this process. They would NEVER vote to fund a third party and provide a level playing field. The alternative would be to not fund the two parties and have them cease to be welfare queens and kings. That would be asking too much of the agents of "K" Street.
-3 # Vern Radul 2012-09-08 14:36
A James Jaeger Film featuring CHUCK BALDWIN, Radio Host-Pastor; PAT BUCHANAN, Author/Politica l Analyst; G. EDWARD GRIFFIN, Author/Producer ; NELSON HULTBERG, Political Strategist, PETER LILLBACK, Author/Theologi an; JOHN McMANUS, President John Birch Society; EDWIN VIEIRA, Author/Constitu tional Attorney and JOHN WILLIAMS, Economist-Stati stician with guest appearances by JACK ROONEY, Senatorial Candidate and RON PAUL, Congressman/Pre sidential Candidate.

Produced by Matrixx Productions in association with the Foundation for the Advancement of Free-market Thinking - Produced by EDWIN VIEIRA - HENRIETTA M. JAEGER, Executive Producer ANTHONY WILE, Associate Producers DIANA ZOPPA - DAN HAPPEL - ELIAS ALIAS . Written & Directed by JAMES JAEGER

Inspired by Ayn Rand...
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 14:49
We actually did have a challenger to two parties and we dropped the ball in 80 John Meyers.
People need to fight, easier doing so with just two sides. Third and Fourth come in and both descend on them.

Personally I believe People should not need a President and federal agencies. We should regulate our States and Convene at Assemblies. This is just another Sport, we are the ones losing
+8 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-08 12:42
Being in Pennsylvania, while watching the Republican Convention I can take a little comfort that Governor Corbett Pennsylvania’s slash and burn Governor was too much an embarrassment to be allowed to speak. The Democratic Convention was a lot better until Mayor Nutter, Philadelphia's slash and burn Mayor was the honored guest. So when I try to cheer the Democratic Contention, Obama clearly better on foreign policy (no Romney flip flops on foreign policy) I have to figure out how to do it without cheering Mayor Nutter fining people for feeding the homeless, avoid cheering Philadelphia public unions under attack, avoid cheering public space near the art Museum, that was public space from before Pennsylvania joined the Constitution being fenced off for private pay only concerts with expensive beer and snacks but a crime to bring beer or even food from the outside
The Democratic and Republican Parties are two haves of a magnet. The Tea Party pulled the Republican Party back in one direction, and somehow the Green Party has to be powerful enough to pull in the other. I live in Pennsylvania where Obama is ahead by over 6% So I can have my Savvy Voter campaign urging all I meed to vote for Gill Stein and Philadelphia's local hero Cheri Honkala. I urge those in overwhelmingly Romney country to make a future by voting for Stein as well, or if you are too Conservative also stand up for peace by voting Libertarian.
+15 # rertel 2012-09-08 13:20
I'd love to have the luxury of living in a solidly blue state, but I live in Ohio where my vote actually counts (if Mr. Husted lets it). Maybe that's why I can cut the Dems some slack here. If many Dems in Ohio suddenly decided to vote Green, it might send a message, but I doubt President Romney would read it.

I'm concerned that you feel confident of the outcome in PA. Polling and Romney spending aside, voter suppression tactics still worry me. I saw first hand the games a GOP-controlled state can play with votes. Remember 2004? Ken Blackwell ring a bell?
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 15:01
Pa is a RED State, do not go there with is thoughts. I have lived here for 50 years and believe me the slight blue tinge we get is far and few...that is why the third party doesnot work here
People are too uppity, and the dyed in Political Party People laugh at the others.
Sure let the townships, cities have the concerned citizen group, the independent but they are Not Growing in number. I have been waiting since John Meyer ran back in 1980
Ohio...I hope you take back your state

Mitt is hoping all the snivelers vote green, independent , liberal even KKK He is counting on it. Shame on those who do this year...may as well stay home or move to Canada
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 14:57
When in the futile voting Romney wins...who will feed the masses?

Sorry did have faith in others but they are taking votes away from what is a better candidate, OB than Nazism in USA

Corbet et al GOP in Pa should choke on Fracking. Nut the Democrats did not fight when they should have And the phony Dems4change are glittered TPers around the NorthEastern Tier. Too uppity to go door to door in depressed counties. Sure they are not getting ids for the people or planning to bus them...GOP do and make sure we see it.

I do not know where Dems are and I see Casey swung outside the cage and not towards the betterment of the People or Environment or Animals. So we do need strength in other Parties but I got sucked in over 25 years ago and the Yuppies still aren't organized. So guess I will stay and Independent Democrat who votes for the person to hopefully keep us free
0 # Activista 2012-09-08 15:56
Did you see Gore or Carter at democratic convention? Why not? Instead we saw AIPAC Clinton populism.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 18:18
Let's admit it we insulted Carter. Rereading posts over the year or so I see no good opinions on Carter.
He was a good man, good men should be respected leaders.
Gore, perhaps he is tired of the sell out.
Get them in then business as usual.
Gore should have contested, he did not.
But he like Nader are enjoyable people who want to do good for environment without destroying jobs. Industry does not want this anymore.
I do not believe either will endorse either. I believe they have detached themselves. Or maybe like myself they wonder where is the democratic party. Have a good day. I am looking at for petition. Then I must pick my words just right. Later
+13 # lisamoskow 2012-09-08 13:06

Makes it hard to support Obama. Except the hope that he would change things more in his second term....
+2 # seeuingoa 2012-09-08 13:15
don´t vote Romney for millions of obvious reasons

don´t vote Obama!
How can you vote for someone who has a
kill list and has signed indefinite

and don´t talk about Congress, everything
signed by Obama was signed without a gun
to his head.

Vote Green, Alternative, third party,
we need a totally new system without
money in politics.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 15:05
You are naivete. You couldn't pull it together since `1991 when you first started coming have no momentum now So vote for others, and you will destroy America.

First get Greens together on one subject, than make yourselves known in each State\

You cannot win, you have not won. What you have established is still stuck in the Mud. Sorry, I will vote Green, Independent etc for Senate, Congress to get them established but never for President. Do you realize that they would have a worse time than OB just did. Get educated...get the Greens in Office making a difference in every State before Preaching to us to Vote them in a National Campaign
+4 # mdhome 2012-09-08 15:53
Good thinking.
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 18:23
I have worked with organizations for forty years, in the past twenty I have seen too many scrambling on who to serve.
Sierra Club during the past 4 took sizable money from Fracking. But I get no notice from Greens on their Stance. I get notifications on this old hog daily from at least sixty organizations if someone is sneezing.
What I have seen at meetings, see at House is you have to have some Power to wield. Not bad power, but you have to have your sea legs. These third choices have less say on the floor in large assemblies than a slug or snail.
Heck the Democrats haven't supported their own they aren't going to support a different toy this late in the season.

Have a good week We will have to make the changes, we always did.
-2 # Activista 2012-09-09 18:47
In 2012 US PRESIDENTIAL election in swing states ONLY - hold your nose and vote for Obama.
In other states - vote your conscience - vote Greens.
+12 # Sweet Pea 2012-09-08 13:32
I guess that many others along with my family will again have to vote for Obama-
another election of voting for the lesser of two evils.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 15:07
No you don't but if you want Nazism than go vote for the unrecognized third parties.

They will have no connections to get anything done. First they must build a base before they can launch the ship

Vote for OB and then get out an Petition him to do what is Right. That means you got to get off of here and actually organize people or join with groups to get what we all want
-2 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-08 23:02
[quote name="Kittatiny Hawk"]No you don't but if you want Nazism than go vote for the unrecognized third parties.

They will have no connections to get anything done. First they must build a base before they can launch the ship

I live in Pennsylvania where Cheri Honkala fought hard for local office.

I think Jill is as well known in Massachusetts

In Romney states I will be overjoyed if the Libertarian peace votes makes makes the election results go past midnight. I wish Jill would stop condemning Obama just say, why vote for a crumb when you can vote for a whole loaf of better ideas.

PS If it wasn't for Foreign Policy, I would take my chances and vote for flip flop if I lived in a close state
+4 # Vern Radul 2012-09-08 14:12
By the end of 2012 he'll have twice as many troops in Afghanistan as there were there on the day he was inaugurated (while telling people he's reducing troop levels)....
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 15:10
Not buying it, just another research poll paid by someone to give negative thoughts,

Sorry they will come home to what? But if Romney gets in, they will be shipped to Israel against Iran so I think I will pray for the ships to bring them home in 2014, let A take care of itself, it won't but there is always a chance.

You see if you want Freedom You have to fight for it Yourself. Something Americans are forgetting right here at home.
0 # Vern Radul 2012-09-09 07:47
No, no poll involved.

Just a graph showing actual US troop levels in Afghanistan from 2002 through 2009, and then the giant upward increase from 32,800 at the time of Obama's inauguration to 98,000 in September 2010, and showing the small decrease that to 65,000 by the end of 2012 that Obama has decided on.

Obama's widely hailed "withdrawal" of troops from Afghanistan will be a reduction to from 98,000 to 65,000 at the end of 2012 - about twice the 32,800 troops in Afghanistan when he was inaugurated, and far more than George Bush ever had there.

The graph is made from numbers supplied by the March 2011 Congressional Research Service paper "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11" by Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget Amy Belasco. ( )

If you had followed the link I gave you, you'd have known this.
+1 # Activista 2012-09-09 18:52
"reduction to from 98,000 to 65,000 at the end of 2012" - this is on paper - no actual withdraw is taking place in 2012 ... just opposite we signed the treaty with Karzai to protect his rule forever ...
+1 # Vern Radul 2012-09-09 20:58
Yes. And further...

There is no U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

We are ordinary Afghans wishing for peace, and we have eyes and ears and feelings of love and despair, so please read on.

The Washington Post, in reporting the recent signing of the "U.S. Afghan Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement", stated ( ) that U.S. trainers and Special Operations troops that remain beyond 2014 will live on Afghan bases.”

U.S. citizens should understand that there will not be a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014, whether Obama or Romney wins. As Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote in ‘Every President is a war President’( ), There is no Democratic or Republican Party. There is only the war party.”

By The Afghan Peace Volunteers
+1 # Activista 2012-09-10 19:55
"U.S. trainers and Special Operations troops that remain beyond 2014 will live on Afghan bases." - The same in Iraq - US occupying troops were moved down to Kuwait - hours drive from Baghdad.
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 15:23
Sorry Juan....but where were you organizing when ReaGun was in Office?

You want to look up History...did you see how the Puritans ran things. If people do not wise up the Evangelical/Mor mon/Nazis will be just as bad with the witch burnings...righ t now they are filthy mouthed, actually bombing free clinics and killing people. They allow Killing although God didnot We have enough Religion to make us all want to avow Atheism. We have Religious Cults always did.

Global Warming.I thing people are wising up. But for right now, I am environmentalis t believe we have more to fight for. I think I want to remain free, with medical, own my home and land.
I do not see this with Mitt Crew

War...I am against any killing, here in the streets, overseas. I hate people who are right now killing innocent animals on the earth, air or sea. Man has to kill everything. Watch out because after the Wolves, Buffalo, Fish and Birds are gone they are coming after you animals then your family.
War..I do not believe that from the first man killing man there has ever been an exemption to allow this. Not by hand, gun, drone or poison What is the difference, when did it start making a difference? White Man has been Killing Heathens since beginning. They Sanction themselves using God,Country, Children but it has always been the same risk game for Control of the World.
Funny thing is we will never Control the World.
+5 # Archie1954 2012-09-08 17:20
What you are really saying is "don't trust your military advisors to tell you the truth in the middle of a war"!
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-08 18:11
I wouldn't allow them to get me into a War without lots of advice, and we could have lots of advice.

Brass is out to save its ass! Do you realize what these people make, how they live while the service people are fighting and dying for us.

Always Question Authority.
+2 # Vern Radul 2012-09-08 17:24
Full Show: Challenging Power, Changing Politics - with Moyers, Sanders, Stein, Honkala
+2 # BobbyLip 2012-09-09 05:18
If you expect coherency and consistency, you are looking for something never seen before among humans. But if you vote for the lesser of two evils, you get less evil.
What is your point, Mr. Cole? Vote Green? Vote Romney? That'll teach the Dems a lesson? Yeah, that'll teach us all a lesson, won't it?
-1 # vgirl1 2012-09-09 06:50
Any Democrat, progresive, liberal, whatever you want to call yourself who votes for anyone other than Obama is by default casting a vote for Romney. That other you vote for cannot win, but your vote sets up advantage Romney, the votes he gets from his supporterst plus the ones you denied Obama. Think about that when you complain about the very notion of Romney as President. An Obama win is not assured in any state if people are ignorant enough to choose that path. Vote Obama or run the risk of helping to ensure a Romney victory. (By the way: NOT voting results in the same scenario).
0 # 2012-09-09 07:25
In direct response to the article: No. We don't.
-3 # RobinMcM 2012-09-09 10:09
Black-white, either-or thinking is one of the biggest reasons why our political process is stalled. Disliking the policies of one group doesn't necessarily require endorsing the policies of the other.

I daresay most Democrats are unhappy with many aspects of the current administration' s Mideast policy. Still, no new wars have begun since January, 2009.

Shades of gray matter.
-1 # Activista 2012-09-09 12:19
no new wars have begun since January, 2009?
NATO bombing of Libya = war on Africa was intensified ..
Sending terrorist to Syria - proxy war on Iran is new - add Yemen, drones on Pakistan.
Read: readersupported n2/287-124/1328 4-why-america-a nd-israel-are-t he-greatest-thr eats-to-peace
+1 # Activista 2012-09-09 10:10
Afghanistan "surge" - there is more US troops/trainers in Afghanistan and growing ($1 million/year per person) - the results:
"The decade-long War in Afghanistan (2001–present) has caused the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians directly from insurgent and foreign military action, as well as the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of Afghan civilians indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war. The war, launched by the United States as "Operation Enduring Freedom" in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed ...
+1 # kjp 2012-09-09 11:15
I appreciate Juan Cole's liturgical list pointing to the overt inconsistencies in Democratic Convention Actions and daily deeds of the party/ Admin, yet I think some of the Convention events he points out suggest more complex response that comes from being under siege. Gabby Gifford's presence brings up the necessity of gun control without providing a rhetorical target for Right Wing repubs' verbal ammunition drenching. Historically, this, the work of poetry & song has done much to put forward revolutionary change where overt word or action is likely to be silenced by death. To me, Cole's list says more about where we are, as a nation, than where the Democrats are as a party--and that is a scarier prospect too, as several comments above suggest...
0 # billeeboy 2012-09-09 21:54
Think Supreme Court, hold your nose and vote Obama!
0 # teineitalia 2012-09-12 00:51
thank you,billeeboy, for one of the most compelling reasons for voting for an Obama second term: the Supremes are lifetime apointees, and Obama will do better than Mittens (who is the tool of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist) in this department. He already HAS done better and remember, we are stuck with the Supreme Court until they um...expire. BTW....I don't have to hold my nose to vote Obama. I believe a second term will give him the freedom and strength to do some of the good things he was constrained from doing in a first term. He has broken new ground, created a new path, and we never seem to give him credit for that. As a nation of pioneers, we have not given him his due, but have spent precious energy whining about his imperfections. He is not FDR. He is not JFK or MLK....He is who he is, and I'll take him over a RepubliNazi or a third party candidate who can NEVER win ... any day. p.s. I wish Jill Stein would run for a House seat, where she could do some real, positive good. We need smart, progressive women like her in the House and Senate more than ever.

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