Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jim Webb and Russ Feingold on Afghanistan

by Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 8/31/09

Directly after the invasion of Iraq I attended an anti-war rally in Montpelier, Vermont. But I knew any efforts then would be useless because the invasion brought out the same anti-war crowd that had been waiting for this moment since Vietnam. And when I was told at a party for Wes Clark by one of his state administrators in his run here for President that the enthusiasm she felt for Clark was “ . . . just like the George McGovern days,” I knew our plight was hopeless.

A few of us brought a new approach, claiming a states rights defense against Dick Cheney, which seems to be catching on now in other areas.

It didn’t need to be like that. There were disciplined, discriminate and outspoken voices, strong enough to build a new, focused movement on: Wes Clark’s, Jim Webb’s, Russ Feingold’s, Robert C. Byrd’s, Gary Hart’s. Some had been there before, some not. The venerable senator from West Virginia, Robert C. Byrd, was a solitary voice in the Senate and his vote against Iraq was a pure pilgrim’s progress. He had voted for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution as a young man. He knew better than to vote for this one.

But most in the Senate – Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry included - voted for the invasion. They should today be held accountable. They waited for the moment to yield; for the moment when enthusiasm for the war in the heartland, a naturally occurring vengeance in response to the tragedies of 9/11, began to flag to turn the tide on the president. But it was this weakness of character and tragically expedient political maneuvering which enabled Bush, Cheney, Rove and company in the first place. Liberal appeasement was tantamount to Cheney strength. It was the Bush administration’s primary tool of war. They knew they could depend on it.

This past week on The News Hour, Jim Webb, who just returned from Burma where he had conversations with the reclusive leader, General Than Shwe, and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, was asked about the war in Afghanistan by Margaret Warner. Did Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran, see any comparisons with Vietnam? Entirely different situations, he said, but he felt the Afghanistan incursion had even less of a planned future.

“The challenge in both,” he said, “is to clearly articulate your strategy so that you will have an end point that you are working toward. Quite frankly, I see that as less visible in Afghanistan than I did during the Vietnam War.”

This week Russ Feingold, the senator from Wisconsin, also spoke up as August, 2009, becomes the deadliest month for U.S. troops.

“I am saddened by reports that for the second consecutive month, we’ve seen a record number of deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan,” he said. “This grim milestone comes ahead of a potential request for even more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. The current troop increase in Afghanistan could push members of the Taliban and other militants into Pakistan, further destabilizing a nuclear power. After nearly eight years in Afghanistan, we continue to risk further loss of American lives and increased resentment among the Afghan people – all without a clearly focused mission. It is time we discuss a flexible timetable for withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan, along with a clear public strategy for achieving our counterterrorism and regional stability goals.”

Obama’s first error was in rewarding those – Biden and Clinton in particular – who failed the first leadership test of the Iraq vote and took the path of expediency at that time. He should follow the moral compasses now of Webb and Feingold as they go against the general direction of their own party leadership. He should have in the first place. They should now be cultivated as party leaders because they were brave when they needed to be brave and not a year or so later when the winds changed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
might , probably very interested to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may commense to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
AimTrust represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices around the world.
Do you want to become an affluent person?
That`s your choice That`s what you desire!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to take up income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to choose a proper partner utilizes your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I take now up to 2G every day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://akyqewej.1accesshost.com/gapalo.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to get rid of nastiness of the life

Anonymous said...

Good day, sun shines!
There have been times of troubles when I didn't know about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright pessimistic person.
I have never thought that there weren't any need in big initial investment.
Now, I feel good, I started to get real money.
It gets down to choose a correct partner who uses your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, parts and divides the income with me.

You may ask, if there are such firms? I have to tell the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them:
http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

somebody said...

酒店經紀人,菲梵酒店經紀,酒店經紀,禮服酒店上班,酒店小姐,便服酒店經紀,酒店打工,酒店寒假打工,酒店經紀,酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工經紀,制服酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工,酒店經紀,制服酒店經紀,酒店經紀
酒店經紀