Praying for More, Sooner


(Ted Rall’s blog)

From the Washington Post, via Greg Sargent:

President Obama will announce Wednesday his decision on how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan next month, concluding a process of consultation with his advisers and commanders that will set the military course for the rest of the war.
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Administration officials said final numbers, while still to be determined, will chart the glide path for further withdrawals between now and the end of 2012, a period when Obama will face a reelection fight. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe the nearly decade-old war is no longer worth fighting.
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The announcement will set a withdrawal schedule for the 33,000 “surge” troops Obama sent to Afghanistan early last year as part of an escalation that his commanders say has succeeded in clearing Taliban fighters from key areas in southern Afghanistan. […]
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Obama has been under conflicting pressure on the pace of withdrawals from his own advisers, some of whom think that the broad civil-military campaign in Afghanistan has overreached and have argued that the killing last month of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has greatly weakened al-Qaeda.
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Outside the White House, lawmakers and a war-weary public have voiced their own opinions about what the president should do. In a resolution passed Monday in Baltimore at its annual conference, the U.S. Conference of Mayors urged Congress to quickly end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and spend the money — about $112 billion this year in Afghanistan alone — on jobs at home.






52 replies
  1. 1

    Since OBL is no longer a factor, i would like to see a faster draw down than this, but for now, the basic news is good news. And from what I read, we have already withdrawn from some of Afghans hottest combat spots, like the Korengal Valley, as well as other high combat areas.

    This disengagement also needs to occur with the drone attacks, stopping, or reducing the screwups like happened the other day getting a bunch of civilians killed.

  2. 2
    alwhite says:

    Oh no, we can’t waste that precious $112Billion on government projects, we HAVE to give it out as tax breaks. They always pay for themselves and are the only way to create jobs don’t you know.

  3. 3
    D. Mason says:

    The cynicism of this timetable makes me want to vomit.

  4. 4
    geg6 says:

    I can’t wait until they are all out, but I’ll take what I can get. Any drawdown is a good drawdown.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Fewer troops means more drones. Finally letting the COIN myth die, the alternative will be many more drone strikes.

  6. 6
    dr. bloor says:

    The cynicism of this timetable makes me want to vomit.

    Look at it this way: without elections, they’d be there forever.

  7. 7
    D.N. Nation says:

    A note to Ted Rall: You can’t be a revolutionary cartoonist and roll with “NEWS ITEM:” design. Sowwy.

  8. 8
    boss bitch says:

    Any money saved is not going to jobs.

  9. 9
    gypsy howell says:

    Look at it this way: without elections, they’d be there forever.

    Except after the 2012 election, magically, they will need to be there until the end of 2016. Fool me once, fool me… can’t get fooled again.

  10. 10
    Captain Haddock says:

    Yay! That’s $112 billion we can spend dropping bombs on Libya!

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    The cynicism of this timetable makes me want to vomit.

    huh?

    they’ve been saying for years that the drawdown would begin July 2011:

    President Obama will announce on Tuesday night that he will begin to draw American forces out of Afghanistan in July 2011, even after sending some 30,000 more United States troops there to reverse the momentum of Taliban insurgents, the White House said.
    — December 1, 2009

    i still maintain a “believe it when i see it” attitude about how much of a drawdown they’ll actually do, but they’ve always said it was going to happen next month.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Except after the 2012 election, magically, they will need to be there until the end of 2016. Fool me once, fool me… can’t get fooled again.

    If anyone is wondering why John went all defensive for Obama yesterday…

    Does anyone not remember him removing troops (not all, I know) from Iraq? Remember how he did this on the schedule he thought was correct, not based on polls?

  13. 13
    forked tongue says:

    Gaaahhh, Ted Rall–even when he’s not wrong, he’s just so–oh, never mind.

  14. 14
    AAA Bonds says:

    2014! Well!

    If you’re not one of the dead between now and then, hoo-wee! Good news!

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    he’s just so

    unfunny, unclever, hamfisted

  16. 16
    burnspbesq says:

    Unclear why anyone would see linkage between a withdrawal from Afghanistan and cuts in defense spending. When those troops come home, they will go back to their bases and do what they do when not deployed. And the captains, majors, and colonels will spend endless hours in conference rooms trying to figure out how to do it better next time. Which ultimately won’t help much, because one thing that seems certain in the new age of asymmetrical warfare is that every war will be unique.

  17. 17
    D. Mason says:

    they’ve been saying for years that the drawdown would begin July 2011

    It’s the end, not the beginning of the timetable which makes the bile rise up.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @D. Mason:

    “The cynicism of this timetable makes me want to vomit.”

    Umm, I kinda doubt that any of the troops who will be coming home care very much about the cynicism of the timetable. But hey, do what you have to.

  19. 19
    cleek says:

    It’s the end, not the beginning of the timetable which makes the bile rise up.

    aside from going back in time, what would be an acceptable date ?

  20. 20
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    The announcement will set a withdrawal schedule for the 33,000 “surge” troops Obama sent to Afghanistan early last year…

    So basically, Obama has taken the troop levels UP 33,000 and then might take them DOWN 33,000 which will leave troop levels…right where they were when he took over.

    Let me be the first on this thread to say that Obama is a lying motherfucker douchebag tool of the MIC and anyone who seriously doubts that is willfully blind as a motherfucking bat.

    That is all. Carry on my wayward sons and daughters.

  21. 21
    askew says:

    30,000 troops by the end of 2012 is absurd IMO. 30,000 by the end of 2011 with the rest of coming out in 2012 is what Obama needs to announce. Ending hostilities in 2014? There are no words for that nonsense.

  22. 22

    In a resolution passed Monday in Baltimore at its annual conference, the U.S. Conference of Mayors urged Congress to quickly end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and spend the money — about $112 billion this year in Afghanistan alone — on jobs at home.

    Aw. They’re so cute.

    Don’t they understand that spending 112 billion domestically to build things is soshalism.

    It’ll go to the next Freedom spreadin’ operation overseas. There’s Syria, Iran, Libya (need boots on the ground there, after all), Yemen, and (if you’re a betting man) there’s the second tier of Pakistan, Mexico (They’re burning our forests and supplying our drugs, you know), and Venezuela.

  23. 23
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @Stuck comment #1:

    Since OBL is no longer a factor, i would like to see a faster draw down than this, but for now, the basic news is good news. And from what I read, we have already withdrawn from some of Afghans hottest combat spots, like the Korengal Valley, as well as other high combat areas.

    My god, you are a raving Obotiotic tool.

    (BTW, Stuck, you (as in your constant fan-boy use of the word “we” when referring to the actions of the U.S. military), haven’t done a fucking thing except sit on your presumably expansive ass and type on this blog. When are you going to join up and help fight these necessary and valuable wars for peace?

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    So basically, Obama has taken the troop levels UP 33,000 and then might take them DOWN 33,000 which will leave troop levels…right where they were when he took over.

    they haven’t actually released any numbers yet.

    but i guess details are not as important as being angry at Obama.

  25. 25
    Crusty Dem says:

    Ted Rall. The pure embodiment of ultra-liberal trolling, I would assume he has some big fans here, among the most raving of the anti-Obamaites. I think he’s converted more liberals to conservatism than Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly combined. Ted Rall challenge: Read 10 random strips and 3 random blog posts and see if you don’t feel yourself leaning to the right just to make more room between yourself and him. He’s that big an asshole.

  26. 26
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Yes, clearly, what is most wrong with the United States is that marginalized cartoonist and blogger Ted Rall is shrill and uncivil.

    God knows we can’t have such untidy persons telling inconvenient truths that make afternoon tea so…awkward.

  27. 27
    RP says:

    I went to college with Ted Rall. He really is that big an asshole.

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tim F.:

    Er, I believe Stuck is a Vietnam-era veteran. So perhaps you could cut him some slack for “time served.”

  29. 29
    jonas says:

    Keep in mind, this is just a drawdown of the “surge”. After that, we’re just back to a standard occupation force. For which there is no end date in sight. Check back in a 2 or 3 Friedmans for an update on how leaving the job unfinished at that point will be so very risky.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    but i guess details are not as important as being angry at Obama.

    Forget it, he’s rolling.

  31. 31
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    So perhaps you could cut him some slack for “time served.”

    hmmm…why would I accept as fact anything anyone claims on the Internet?

    However, even if that were the case, makes no difference to the idiocy of his comments. Actually, the fact that he did not make use of the other side of the Canadian border speaks to another level of stupidity.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Forget it, he’s rolling.

    Care to share with me some counter-“facts?” I referenced the article which was the basis of this post.

    If you have insidery information about a massive, upcoming complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, please share with the group or shut the fuck up.

  34. 34

    (BTW, Stuck, you (as in your constant fan-boy use of the word “we” when referring to the actions of the U.S. military),

    I use the word “we” concerning our military’s actions at the behest of a president I support in general, because I am an American and am ultimately responsible albeit in a tiny way of what my country does around the world. Whether I specifically approve or not of any particular action.

    Now go fuckyerself, you festering hemorrhoid

  35. 35
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    the drawdown has already started, and since the Kill Squad every returning soldier gets PTSD couselling.
    this makes me ill everytime i look at it.
    cost of war

    Bush put our troops into an unwinnable meatginder for NOTHING.
    Sufis don’t believe in jesushumper cartoon hell, but if hell exists I hope there is a special place there for Bush.

  36. 36
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    I use the word “we” concerning our military’s actions at the behest of a president I support in general, because I am an American and am ultimately responsible albeit in a tiny way of what my country does around the world.

    Only you could make such a desperate, tiny, little, weaselly claim to relevance sound so pompous.

    Now go fuckyerself, you festering hemorrhoid

    I have no need of self-fucking, thank you. I get all I can handle as it is. And, blessedly, my love chute remains pristine and lesion free. Unlike your brain.

  37. 37

    And, blessedly, my love chute remains pristine and lesion free.

    Wow, thanks for sharing. Now who brought the brane bleach?

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    Care to share with me some counter-”facts?” I referenced the article which was the basis of this post.

    You mean the article with unconfirmed anonymous quotes? Yes, clearly anonymous sources always give 100 percent of the truth and always have the whole story. Especially anonymous sources that indicate that the commanders want a slower drawdown than the president does.

    In fact, I’m sure that Obama won’t even bother giving his speech now since the anonymous sources gave us the complete story.

    If you have insidery information about a massive, upcoming complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, please share with the group or shut the fuck up.

    Hey, don’t blame me because you didn’t realize that the story is full of anonymous sources and isn’t the president’s real speech with actual facts and details in it. I know you prefer to live in your fantasy world and hearing the actual speech tomorrow will only be a let-down for you.

  39. 39
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    …at the behest of a president…

    Really, Stuck? Glorious Leader urgently prompted, or better yet, ordered you to use the word “we” concerning your support of the U.S. military? Do you have a shiny red phone to the Oval Orifice too? (No, not your crusted asshole, the one where GL starts wars from.)

    Your faltering use of two dollar phrases to express your value-free thoughts is at least a tad entertaining.

  40. 40

    Tim, Interrupted

    Are we gonna have to use the tranquillizer gun on you today?

  41. 41

    Mnemosyne

    It would be sweet to hear Obama come out even more aggressive on drawing down our forces in Afghanistan. He went against the mil establishment just to set a timetable for withdrawal in the first place. fingers crossed.

  42. 42
    Trurl says:

    Let me be the first on this thread to say that Obama is a lying motherfucker douchebag tool of the MIC and anyone who seriously doubts that is willfully blind as a motherfucking bat.

    That.

    Here’s what’s going to happen. Obama will pursue his famous “moderate path” and announce a number that is larger than what the Pentagon wanted but smaller than what everyone else wanted. There will be the usual fine print that no one pays attention to – i.e. “as future circumstances permit”, mercenaries not included in the numbers, etc. The bots will cite this announcement as proof he’s “gradually ending the war”.

    And in 2016, Andrew Cuomo will campaign for the presidency on a platform of removing from Afghanistan the at least 50,000+ occupying troops who are still there.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    Obama will pursue his famous “moderate path” and announce a number that is larger than what the Pentagon wanted but smaller than what everyone else wanted. There will be the usual fine print that no one pays attention to – i.e. “as future circumstances permit”, mercenaries not included in the numbers, etc. The bots will cite this announcement as proof he’s “gradually ending the war”.

    Ah, yes, the famous toddler’s construction that if Mommy doesn’t give them a cookie instantaneously, not only does Mommy’s promise that you’ll get a cookie after dinner not count, it’s proof — proof, I tell you! — that it will never happen at all. Because reducing the number the troops in Afghanistan is exactly the same as not reducing the number at all.

  44. 44
    Trurl says:

    the famous toddler’s construction that if Mommy doesn’t give them a cookie instantaneously

    The war is 10 years old.

    The toddler has grown up, left home, and is now buying his own cookies.

  45. 45
    Trurl says:

    What matters isn’t how many troops Obama withdraws this year, or next. It’s how the drawdown supports Taliban peace talks, the only real ticket out of the war. … if Obama’s Wednesday speech doesn’t explain how the drawdown supports a political strategy for ending the war, it’ll mean one thing: he has no idea how to get out of Afghanistan.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroo.....ly-matter/

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    The toddler has grown up, left home, and is now buying his own cookies.

    Based on the toddler’s posts here, it’s pretty clear that the toddler is still living in mommy’s basement eating Cheetos and wondering why the pony that the president totally promised him hasn’t shown up yet.

    What matters isn’t how many troops Obama withdraws this year, or next. It’s how the drawdown supports Taliban peace talks, the only real ticket out of the war.

    Ah, yes, the classic moving of the goalposts. “I didn’t mean that a drawdown was exactly the same as staying there even though I said a drawdown was exactly the same as staying there! I totally meant something completely different!”

  47. 47
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Are we gonna have to use the tranquillizer gun on you today?

    There’s that ever-present “WE” again.

    Stuck, you have such a cute but pathetically desperate need to feel included as part of…something…anything, I suppose.

    If you try hard, you’ll find it’s not so difficult to speak only for yourself. And also, try not pretending to be a meaningful part of acts being performed by other human beings.

    Thanks. Carry on.

  48. 48
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Ah, yes, the famous toddler’s construction that if Mommy doesn’t give them a cookie instantaneously, not only does Mommy’s promise that you’ll get a cookie after dinner not count, it’s proof—proof, I tell you!—that it will never happen at all. Because reducing the number the troops in Afghanistan is exactly the same as not reducing the number at all.

    If you had any shame I’d suggest you activate it. The United States has been in Afghanistan for TEN FUCKING YEARS, and you’re still playing meaningless number games. By your logic, if the U.S. still has 100,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2020 and withdraws ten of them the following year, that will be meaningful progress.

    You are either a ratfucker, a paid troll, intellectually dishonest, or mentally disabled. All four?

    But at least you’re a serious, “mature” observer, not a “toddler.” yes, you have that.

  49. 49
    d. john says:

    Trurl,

    The war is 10 years old.

    The toddler has grown up, left home, and is now buying his own cookies.

    lulz d00t.

    Best comment of teh thread, so far, IMNSHO…

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    The United States has been in Afghanistan for TEN FUCKING YEARS, and you’re still playing meaningless number games.

    I realize that this may come as a shock to you, Timmy, but the guy who’s in charge right now is not actually the one who sent the troops there in the first place. He wasn’t even in Congress at that point and did not vote to send them there.

    I know, I know, all this time you’ve been thinking that Obama sent the troops there in 2001, and now you have to re-adjust your thinking to realize that it was a completely different president who did it.

    Once you understand that Bush and Obama are actually two different people and not the same guy in different makeup, you might realize that they could have different policies and take different actions.

    I realize this is all very confusing for you, though, since you thought that the president we have in 2011 is the same president we had in 2001, so maybe you should just let Mommy give you that cookie and let the adults discuss the issues.

    You are either a ratfucker, a paid troll, intellectually dishonest, or mentally disabled. All four?

    Hmm, which one of us doesn’t know which president sent the troops to Afghanistan in the first place? I think I’ll be kind and assume it’s some mental disability on your part to be unable to tell the difference between Bush and Obama.

  51. 51
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Memnosyne, when you have to start making up bullshit to place in your opponent’s mouth, it might be time to consider that your argument is weak.

    Obama has prolonged both of Bush’s wars for three years now, with no end in sight. Just as the military industrial corporate banking complex wishes it to be. And yes, PAID MERCENARIES count too!

    But then again, it IS hard to tell Bush and Obama apart in many respects, now that you mention it…

  52. 52
    LanceThruster says:

    My friend’s son was with Marines 1/5 for the fall of Baghdad and now has PTSD. I asked him does he get care from the VA. He said he didn’t because they determined the percentage of his disability is lower than what they cover.

    WTF!?!?!

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