Tonight on Bill Moyers - Lessons From A Quagmire

Tonight on PBS, Bill Moyers Journal will focus on the LBJ telephone and office tapes created during the escalation in Vietnam, in a program called "Hearing History".

Bill Moyers considers a President's decision to escalate troop levels in a military conflict. Through LBJ's taped phone conversations and his own remembrances, Bill Moyers looks at Johnson's deliberations as he stepped up America's role in Vietnam.

President Lyndon Johnson's taped conversations are a treasure-trove for both historians and current policy makers. On the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers explores the tapes to review Johnson's deliberations as he stepped up America's role in Vietnam. Some of the names on the tape, such as Robert F. Kennedy, will be familiar to Americans young and old -- others less so.

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CPT Matthew Hoh, Bless You For Setting The Pace

Cross-posted at Docudharma, MyDD, Open Left, Firedoglake.

From WaPo, October 27, 2009:

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

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Ike Skelton Pushes For More War in Afghanistan

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, Docudharma, OpenLeft, Show Me Progress, and FDL.
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In today's WaPo, Ike Skelton, Chair of the House Armed Forces Committee, teamed up with everyone's favorite former Democrat, Joe Lieberman, on an op-ed for more war in Afghanistan called Don't Settle for Stalemate in Afghanistan.

The president was right to call the war in Afghanistan "a war of necessity." Now it is time to treat it as such and commit the decisive force that will allow Gen. McChrystal to break the Taliban's momentum as quickly as possible.

And

Here at home, we must stabilize public support by convincing an increasingly skeptical American people that the Afghan war is in fact winnable.

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It comes as no surprise that Ike and Joe are in favor of treating our Armed Forces to more $#!t sandwiches and crap burgers in Afghanistan.  Ike and Joe have been talking it up for quite a while.

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The Cost of War: Eyes Wide Open exhibit on the Ellipse, Oct 3 & 4

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, Docudharma, and Open Left.

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On the weekend of October 3rd and 4th, the American Friends Service Committee, and Military Families Speak Out, are sponsoring the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which will be the first such exhibit showing the cost of war in Afghanistan.

A pair of boots representing each service member who has died as a result of military operations in Afghanistan will be displayed on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., 837 officially identified to date at the Washington Post'sFaces of the Fallen site.  Shoes representing civilian deaths will also be exhibited.

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Wouldya get on a bus with Palin, Rove, Kristol, McCain, Lieberman, and Graham?

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Cross-posted at Dkos and Docudharma
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We can christen this bus the We Want Obama To Ramp It Up In Afghan Straight Talk Express.

Senators McCain, Graham and Lieberman want you to know that

We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.

and

At last, we have the right strategy and the civilian and military leaders on the ground in Afghanistan to carry it out. This is a must-win war. And now is the time to commit the decisive military force necessary to prevail.

And, you TRUST these nice folks, right?

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Sunday is Gold Star Mother's Day

The last Sunday in September, according to federal statute, is Gold Star Mother's Day:

(a) Designation.-- The last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother's Day.
(b) Proclamation.-- The President is requested to issue a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag and hold appropriate meetings at homes, churches, or other suitable places, on Gold Star Mother's Day as a public expression of the love, sorrow, and reverence of the people for Gold Star Mothers.

For those who do not know, a Gold Star mom is one who has lost a son or daughter in military service.

I was reminded of this mostly overlooked solemn occasion when I checked the VFW wall calendar which hangs in my kitchen.

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Arlen Specter Questions Afghan War Necessity

-------- Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Docudharma. --------

Senator Specter addressed the floor yesterday about his letters to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding his concerns about sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan without greater clarification and assurances that an increase in force is "indispensable" to the defeat of al Qaida and homeland security

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McCain-Lieberman-Graham urge Obama for more war in Afghan

Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/9/15/ 782361/-McCain-Lieberman-Graham-urge-Oba ma-for-more-war-in-Afghan

http://www.docudharma.com/diary/16060/mc cainliebermangraham-urge-obama-for-more- war-in-afghan

In the Wall Street Journal on September 13, the two Repubs and one former Democrat wholeheartedly endorsed sending more of our troops to eat $#!t sandwiches in Afghanistan.

We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.

snip

However, we need more than the right team and the right strategy. This team must also have the resources it needs to succeed--including a significant increase in U.S. forces.

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Former CIA Station Chiefs Agree On Afghanistan

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This is a live blog from the front porch at Sen. Dick Durbin's office in Springfield, Illinois. See the last paragraph for details about the location.   

Posted at Daily Kos, Docudharma, and OpenLeft.

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It doesn't matter whether you like or dislike the CIA.  (Personally, I view the professional gathering and analysis of information about military adversaries as a crucial, non-debatable function.)  But a person doesn't become a CIA station chief by some kind of dumb accident. You have to be smart, and very capable.

And here's three former station chiefs who served in Afghanistan and Pakistan who explain why our large scale military occupation in Afghan is dead wrong.

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Questioning the Afghan Premises


It seems that much of the American populace just doesn't even question the premises for staying in Afghanistan and for ramping it up there.

Some say that our occupation of Afghanistan is "THE GOOD WAR".  Dammitall, but I just don't know what they mean, when they say this.  It's a head scratcher. It seems as if a gazillion people heard the words "the good war" said somewhere, and then they assigned a few neurons to that, but haven't checked back to see if the concept actually means something or if it is in working order.

Some say Obama has to keep us in Afghanistan until we GET OBL.  'Course the search for OBL was abandoned under Unitary Executive Humpty Dumpty the First, and Obama hasn't made getting OBL part of the plan. If getting OBL is supposed to be part of Bama's plan, then would someone explain that to Bama, please?

Some say we have to stay there until we DISMANTLE AQ.  But Gen. Petraeus http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/10/P etraeus-Afghanistan-not-Al-Qaida-base/UP I-24461241981450/ seems to think that AQ has been pretty well run out of Afghanistan, no?

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