90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Turmoil In Afghanistan

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker is just out. And he’s talking. Critically. He joins us.

 In this Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 file photo, Afghans burn the U.S. flag in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, during a protest against an anti-Islam film which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman. Islamic militants seek to capitalize on anger over an anti-Islam video that was produced in the United States, saying a suicide bombing that killed a dozen in Afghanistan is revenge and calling for attacks on U.S. diplomats and facilities in North Africa. (AP)

In this Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 file photo, Afghans burn the U.S. flag in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, during a protest against an anti-Islam film which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman.  (AP)

More mayhem in Afghanistan.  Riots over the infamous anti-Islam video.  And worse.  A suicide bomber kills a bus full of foreign workers.  Taliban dressed like US soldiers blow up a half dozen $30 million-a-pop U.S. military jets.  And worst, Afghan security forces – our putative allies – turning their guns, again, on US troops coming to their rescue.

Four dead.  51 NATO troops this year.  Now, the U.S.-led coalition has suspended joint operations with Afghans, the very heart of our turnover strategy.

This hour, On Point:  we ask retiring US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, what’s going on.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matthew Rosenberg, reporter for the New York Times in Kabul.

Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012; ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009; ambassador to Pakistan from 2004 to 2007.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, congressman for New York’s 8th District.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “In a significant blow to a core element of the Western exit strategy from Afghanistan, the American-led military coalition said Tuesday it has temporarily curtailed joint operations with the Afghan Army and police forces.”

Foreign Policy “Revolt is a loaded word, conjuring up images of the Free Syrian Army, the Anbar Awakening, and the Libyan civil war.  In small pockets across eastern Afghanistan, however, farmers, shopkeepers and others are taking the fight to the Taliban over the group’s abusive tendencies.  Though entirely isolated from one another, instances of violent resistance to harsh Taliban rules have spiked this past summer-brought on by school closings in Ghazni, music bans in Nuristan, beheadings in Paktia and murders in Laghman, among other causes.  While a small number of Afghans admire the Taliban, most who support it do so because they are coerced, or believe that the group is less predatory than the government, though that’s hardly an endorsement.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Mike_Card

    This country is a prime candidate for being turned into a sheet of glass.  The world would be improved.

    • northeaster17

      Christainist

      • JobExperience

        I thought Bebe said Israel was the number one “glass country” candidate and that the USA is the number one Candyass. Mike Gravel has  been saying a strike on Iran could become nuclear ping pong because they do have Tel Aviv ranged missiles and Pakistan would not sit on its hands after Israel nukes Tehran. =glass planet?

        • northeaster17

          Those who worship the words of Revelations are waiting for this to happen as much as their Islamist counter parts are waiting for their 72 virgins. You just play into both their hands.

          • JobExperience

            What about those who attend to the cautions of Mike Gravel? He’s the pebble in the pond guy.

    • JobExperience

      This country? Yep, alot of foreigners would agree with Mike Card. (If we had a glass country we’d be carefuller about stone throwing=droning.)

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    How can we allow Pakistan to imprison, for life,  the Dr. who help us get Bin Laden?

      We should withhold all aid until he is released.

    • northeaster17

      What that Dr and his CIA handlers did to the credibility of  health initiatives to help the poorest in the world is a serious blow to those that need the help the most. Prison for life..A bit harsh. But he was playing a very dirty game.

    • Mouse_2012

      Prob the same reasoning the U.S. is using to torture and hold without charge Bradly Manning 

      • William

         Bradly Manning? The traitor? ….with luck he will get life in jail and should be happy to get off that easy.

        • northeaster17

          Manning is a hero who spoke and spread truth despite what the powerful want to hide. We don’t need to worship the secrets of the darkside. We need more light. 

          • JobExperience

            It’s obvious: Let’s trade Brad for the Doc. Let’s trade Assange for WeiWei. It would improve the game.

    • hennorama

      Probably has a wee bit to do with the concept in international law called sovereignty.  You’ve heard of this –  how independent national governments get to control what happens inside their borders - right?

      I realize that the US government does not always act as if this concept exists, such as when we invade other countries, or send in troops to kill people we don’t like, or fire weapons across borders to kill people we don’t like.

      Using the word “allow” is a little bit imperial.

      Believe it or not, the US does not control the world.

  • StilllHere

    Peace Prize work your magic.

    • Jasoturner

      Snark+.  Tip-o-the-hat.

    • Ray in VT

      What?  You mean that Afghanistan isn’t a thriving Western society?  How can that be?  We bestowed democracy on them, and then we sprinkled them with some magic liberty dust.

  • Gregg Smith
    • Mouse_2012

      Still using rightwing hack sites I see. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Is it your view the story is lying and military briefings are still being delivered to an empty chair?

        • Mouse_2012

          I explain my view, 

          you link to rightwing hack sites expecting others to take them seriously. If you wanted anyone to actually believe you, you link to something not so one-sided partisan.

          Amazing you still bring up Clint’s failed “empty chair” speech.

          • Ray in VT
          • Mouse_2012

            lol

          • Ray in VT

            They do some nice work, like the bit about how Bain kept buying the company that this one guy worked for just so they could lay him off.

          • Mouse_2012

            See my romney video on the prior day show 

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6txmM8M9Iw 

            I added another there

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll take that as a yes but I think Obama is being briefed.

          • Mouse_2012

            I bet you will

          • JobExperience

            “Barry likes to re-watch that show where trained seals climb the stairs and snuff old man turban,” reports Mrs. Robison.

        • JobExperience

          by Clint Eastwood.

      • notafeminista

        Wait…what?  The President wasn’t  in Vegas..?

    • northeaster17

      I think the briefings go to the President. The President, as Commander in Chief, does not go to the briefings. Once you understand that, things flow more smoothly.

      • Gregg Smith

        The briefing are just an outline. Face to face meetings with back and forth questions keeps us safer. He was in Vegas partying the day after the terrorist attack. He has seen the light and now agrees.

    • JobExperience

      He can “attend” on iPhone 5 while playing basketball over at the FBI courtyard. It’s not like he pours the Tea, though he may look like a Coolie to you.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Phew. I was worried Obama might ignore a briefing such as “Bin Laden determined to strike in the United States”.

  • NewtonWhale

    A principal rationale for being in Afghanistan is to prevent Pakistani nukes from ending up in the hands of radical jihadists.

    I would like to hear the ambassador tell us if there is a better way of achieving that goal than staying in Afghanistan. 

    • Mouse_2012

      What no nation building or making sure women have equal rights? oh right those were just excused used to stay there. 

      There’s nearly no way radical jihadist are going to get their hands on Pakistani nukes nor with the U.S. get there hands on Pakistani Nukes. Some elements of the ISI and Pakistani may work with tailban type groups because of India.

      • NewtonWhale

        They were never my excuses.
        I want us out. 
        If Bush had finished the job at Tora Bora we could have gotten out years ago.

        I’d just like to hear from someone what we can do about Pakistan’s nukes, because I do not trust them or their military.

        • Mouse_2012

          But Pakistan had nukes before Tora Bora.

          • NewtonWhale

            What’s your point?
            I am saying that controlling PaKistan’s nukes has been suggested as a rationale for remaining in Afghanistan. I am looking for the ambassador’s alternative to refute that rationale.

          • Mouse_2012

            My point is it’s just another excuse for staying since Pakistan is never going to give up it’s Nukes to the U.S. and weaken itself against India. 

            Even if OBL was killed or captured in Tora Bora such rationale could have still be used in staying. 

          • JobExperience

            Then I’m  gonna get me a big old shotgun.

        • William

           If Clinton had taken out Osama when he had several changes to do so none of this would have happened.

          • northeaster17

            I well remember the uproar from the Rethugs when Clinton sent some Cruise Missiles into Afghanistan. The outrage was channeled into the wag the dog theme. If Clinton had really gone after Bin Laden with boots on the ground he probably would have been impeached. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Dude, he bombed an aspirin factory on the day Monica Lewinski testified.

          • Ray in VT

            Not the aspirin factory.  What will the ladies hold between their knees?

          • JobExperience

            Must destroy aspirin. Dropped in coke they produce date rape effect.

          • Ray in VT

            Really?  That’s a scary thought.

          • JobExperience

            NeoCons would have found other fairytales to explain their 9/11. Only the plan for an Oligarch 21st Century remained firm. All else was fluid. Many scenarios were rehearsed. Iraq was first on the shiplist no matter what. When all  the money power is in so few hands they  have their way, no matter how disastrous. (That’s why Obama is now also a war criminal.)

            Ah, if Kissinger and Zbig had never been born. Don’t look back.

          • Don_B1

            It is not so simple as saying Clinton could have given the order and it would have happened.

            Whether the intelligence was accurate is the first problem.

            The second is that on the occasion when Clinton did “pull the trigger” the Navy, instead of following directions to fire the missiles from a submarine so no observation of ships would give warning, sent a surface group close enough to be observed. Clearly it is speculation that bin Laden was warned, but he did leave the training camp only hours before the missiles landed.

          • William

             The CIA agent in charge of “getting Osama” said he gave the White House 3 chances to  kill him but the WH refused each time.
             Some of the clues to the WH decision process might have been destroyed by Clinton’s buddy, Sandy Berger, when he stole classified documents and destroyed them. Who knows what he was trying to hide.

          • Steve__T

             You keep going on about Osama so here is my question  Why didn’t Bush get him?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Don, you’re providing good effort in response to bad faith lying.

            Surely you don’t figure William to cogitate a sentence of over a dozen words which begins with “It’s not so simple”.

          • William

             Just the facts….you don’t have the ability to discuss this issue so you should refrain from making a fool of yourself once again.

          • Steve__T

             It doesn’t seem to stop you.

          • Don_B1

            @Steve__T:disqus 
            Thank you both!

            No I don’t expect a good faith conversation from William, but I want casual visitors here to understand that they shouldn’t either.

          • NewtonWhale

            It must be a nice, cozy little world you on the right have constructed for yourselves. Pleasantly free of annoying facts and inconvenient truths:

            Q: Did Bill Clinton pass up a chance to kill Osama bin Laden?

            A: Probably not, and it would not have mattered anyway as there was no evidence at the time that bin Laden had committed any crimes against American citizens.

            What is clear is that the 9/11 Commission report totally discounts the Sudanese claims. Unless further evidence arises, that has to be the final word.

            Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter. What is not in dispute at all is the fact that, in early 1996, American officials regarded Osama bin Laden as a financier of terrorism and not as a mastermind largely because, at the time, there was no real evidence that bin Laden had harmed American citizens. So even if the Sudanese government really did offer to hand bin Laden over, the U.S. would have had no grounds for detaining him. In fact, the Justice Department did not secure an indictment  against bin Laden until 1998 – at which point Clinton did order a cruise missile attack on an al Qaeda camp in an attempt to kill bin Laden.

            http://www.factcheck.org/2008/01/clinton-passed-on-killing-bin-laden/ 

            Maybe you’ve forgotten all the criticism Clinton got that the attacks on Bin Laden were a “wag the dog” strategy to divert attention from the Lewinsky affair?

            Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) — who said “There’s an obvious issue that will be raised internationally as to whether there is any diversionary motivation”

            — Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-MO) — who said “there is a cloud over this presidency”

            — and Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) — who said: “The president has been consumed with matters regarding his personal life. It raises questions about whether or not he had the time to devote to this issue, or give the kind of judgment that needed to be given to this issue to call for military action.”  

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/react082198.htm

          • William

            http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/11/12/clinton-usatcov.htm

            Clinton got burned on the Somalia disaster so he had cold feet on Osama.

  • Gregg Smith

    The caption under the picture says they are protesting the silly movie. Why is OP still clinging to that notion? Even Jay Carney had to admit is was not so.

    • Mouse_2012

      twit, twit, twit

      • Gregg Smith

        Are you a twit mouse?

        • Mouse_2012

          you save yourself some typing if you put 

          twit,twit, twit since you tend to  chirp alot

          • JobExperience

            A socialist bird with a giant bill,
            Perched on Pianoman’s windowsill.
            He lured it in with a piece of bread, And then he crushed it’s f**kin’ head.
            (As suggested by the Paul Ryan budget, and by Coalition strategy in Af-Pak.)

            Remember in Twin Peaks?: Where I come from the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air. Good news! That gum you like is going  to  come back in style.

          • Gregg Smith

            I was just reminiscing about Grady Lee Howard this morning. I hope he’s well.

          • Gregg Smith

            An update would be nice Gladiola.

    • JobExperience

      Everyone’s a critic…

    • Don_B1

      Did you listen to the Senate testimony on this issue?

      The U.S. is saying that until more is known that cannot be called a certain fact. See the report in this morning’s NPR program.

      All you are doing is trying to establish a talking point as a fact by repetition, not by truth.

      • Gregg Smith

        No, the repetition is by the MSM. They were caught on tape colluding to set the narrative. It was on 9/11 for Pete’s sake!

        http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/19/obama_official_benghazi_was_a_terrorist_attack

        • Don_B1

          Lamer response than your usual lame responses!

          The relevant quote, from YOUR link:

          “It appears that individuals who were certainly well-armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded that evening and into the morning hours of September 12th. We do know that a number of militants in the area, as I mentioned, are well-armed and maintain those arms. What we don’t have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack,” he said.

          That does not support your assertion; it says that that is what they are looking into; it might be true and if it is they will say so, but until they know just how things went down, they are not going to say something that might prove false.

  • Mouse_2012

    Face it counter to what the U.S. Media and U.S. government tells us the majority of the population of Afghanistan don’t like us or support us and see us as occupiers. We complain about elections being rigged in Russia and Iran yet nearly all our top Officals priased the country wide fraud they called a election in Afghanistan. Some claim we must be their to protect women but one of our main allies is Saudi Arabia who practices an more extreme form of Islam than the Taliban. The reasoning to stay their has changed so many times it amazing anyone believe it anymore. Our drone attacks not only increases anti-Americanism it helps the radicals in both countries. 

    Take for example last week as we were talking about the death of 4 Americans at the embassy. Nato killed 8 women and children “mistaken” for top militants and since obama changed the definition of any male 16 years are older these children killed were indeed children.

    • Don_B1

      It shows how the support of the Afghans was lost when George W. Bush turned away from Afghanistan to Iraq; the Afghans perceived that we no longer cared and it has been really difficult and may be impossible to return to that level of support. See the segment by Lara Logan on last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” and this week’s Time Magazine article.

  • responseTwo

    The thing that amazes me with our corporate media are headlines like “Why Muslims are so sensitive to criticisms of their religion”. Can you imagine if someone made a video picturing Christ as a child molester? The Christian religion would be infuriated and our politicians would use it to do a military strike.

    I read an article where the military said it’s the conservative Muslims who give them the hardest time when they break into their home. What would one expect when your home is broken into by armed military in the middle of the night with guns pointing at you and the kids?

    Fair.org is a good website to read and they have a great podcast every week. It would be great to have one of them on NPR.

    • Gregg Smith
      • JobExperience

        So if Christ  came today he’d be a gun-totin’ cowboy, with a theater in  Branson? Gregg, you’re our Art Linkletter.

        • Gregg Smith

          ResponseTwo posed a “what if” scenario and wrote it would result in a military strike. Well, it didn’t. Neither did Piss Christ or Dung Mary. It’s cool to denigrate Christians, no one cares.

          • Ray in VT

            Do you mean cool as in hip or cool as in not gonna blow a building up over it?

          • Gregg Smith

            Both. We even paid for it.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that it’s cool to denigrate any religion or it’s adherents, although I will when I feel that it is justified.

            I must admit that I don’t get most modern or performance art.  I’m fine with a nice painting of a bowl of fruit.  I do think, though, that the NEA serves a useful cultural purpose, even if the result is sometimes offensive or puzzling.

          • Gregg Smith

            As an artist who has been homeless to keep my art alive, I do not support the NEA. Artist are supposed to starve.

          • Ray in VT

            You can die in a pauper’s grave if you like, but I doubt that many will choose that route.  I, personally, would rather stuff a shark and make a fortune.

          • Gregg Smith

            After much sacrifice, I’ve done quite well with my music… without the NEA.Are you really saying if not for the NEA artist would all die paupers?

          • Ray in VT

            No, I don’t think that without the NEA then artists would die as pauper.  Again, see the stuffed shark or Justin Beiber (if you want to call him an artist).

            I just think that there is a role for the government to promote art and culture in society.

          • Gregg Smith

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            See above. Don’t trust Gregg to figure out, apart from what the right wing tells him, what art is denigrating what religion.

          • Ray in VT

            Was that what that was about?  I heard about the outrage, but I never looked into the artist’s perspective or intent.

          • notafeminista

            And your take on the video is what?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You mean a painting combining one African tribe’s sacred fertility symbol of elephant dung, with the European ideal of Mary, mother of God, offended you?

            I’m not kidding.

            Anybody body else but Gregg is invited to look that up.

          • Gregg Smith

            No it didn’t offend me, that’s the point. 

          • Don_B1

            I have some Christian fundamentalist friends who more than care: they get incensed beyond speaking! If there had not been “civilized” by the American law-abiding culture I would not be surprised if they rioted in the streets. They show no sense of humor on these matters.

    • Mouse_2012

      Glenn Greenwald had a great piece on your comment and fresh air(thankfully it wasn’t terry Gross doing the interview) had another about the people’s goal behind the video

      Debunking The ‘Myth Of The Muslim Tide’
      http://www.npr.org/2012/09/19/161168231/debunking-the-myth-of-the-muslim-tide 

      US media angrily marvels at the lack of Muslim gratitude
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/14/egypt-nbc 

      • Don_B1

        I second your recommendation, though I think Terry Gross could have done the interview equally well. But the analysis provided by Doug Saunders in his book should be required reading for everyone. See:

        http://www.npr.org/2012/09/19/161168231/debunking-the-myth-of-the-muslim-tide

        One of the MANY points made:

        “So, yeah, about 47 percent of American Muslims will say, ‘I think of myself as Muslim first and American second,’ but that’s almost exactly the same rate that non-Muslim Americans say, that American Christians say. Just shy of half of American Christians will say, ‘I think of myself as Christian first, and American second.’ So they tend to be loyal to their faith at about the same rate as Christians do in whatever country they arrive in.”

        In other words, as Saunders makes clear elsewhere, Muslims in the West adopt the overall attitudes of their surrounding culture while maintaining a beliefe in Islam that is not what the American fundamentalists would have you believe.

        Americans could do more to help the people of the Middle East deal with their radicals by NOT provoking them as in creating such vile films as the current one. A Time reporter even says that this film is not the worst thing out there. Basically some deluded amongst us are the ones who are our own worst enemies.

    • Mouse_2012

      Wanna see western hyprocrisy look at the laws on the books in the UK about the royal family and what the media cna print or say about them or the pictures of Kate M. and what happen in France, or France laws on denying the holocaust.

      If a video came out from Iran denigrating Jews it would be reported as an Iranian movie that’s Anti-Semitic and  rightfully condemn by the media and U.S. officials but we would also have people saying this is the reason we should bomb Iran (kill Iranians over a video)even if the video had nothing to do with the Iranian government  we and esp Israel would still link the government to it.

      No one talks about the “Israeli Settler” Outrage when they get pissed at their government and randomly start attacking and burning down Palestinian houses (while the IDF often does nothing).

      Remember ”learn to speak teabag”? the guy was flooded with Death Threats.

      The death threats keep coming this fine morning.  I guess the Tea Party crew is determined to have “death panels” one way or another.  The dustup started because of this cartoon: 

      http://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/01/10 

      http://www.markfiore.com/mark-fiore-blog/learn-to-speak-teabag-tea-party-response-to-right-wing-complaints 

      All what Greg would call an “Silly Video”

    • JobExperience

      “Jesus tales” were an industry up until about 400 AD.
      If the  Holy Roman Church had not burned the comic books (majority of texts) we might have found a little Sandusky in the mix. Just recently decoders discovered a Coptic passage about Jesus’ wife which raised some hackles. Even the approved text reveals Christ and his crew as part of the 47%, probably even the 99%.

      If the prospect of a Theocracy really worried us we’d be rendering our TV preachers under the NDAA.

      • notafeminista

        Christ doesn’t see it in terms of 47% or 99%.  Just 100%

        • Don_B1

          JobExperience was not talking about how Jesus views us; it was how we would view Him.

          There has long be the meme of Jesus being rejected if He returned today.

    • notafeminista

      Oh right.  Which military strike was motivated by “Piss Christ” or the piece depicting the Madonna covered in elephant feces.

      If you showed half the contempt for the Muslims that you do for the Christians, your comments would be more credible.

      • responseTwo

        i have no contempt. i am a christian. i taught quite a few Sunday school classes in my days and sang in the choir. it’s the media slant that i’m talking about.

        • notafeminista

          Excellent then.  Exactly which military strike(s) were motivated by either or both of the pieces aforementioned?

  • Yar

    I am sure Crocker can articulate our sordid history in the region, if he is willing and if we listen?
    I want ten minutes of “You can’t handle the truth” from Ryan Crocker.

    • JobExperience

      His handlers handlers can’t handle it.
      Now when was it we were gonna save all those hungry and cold abused women  and children addicted to opium?

      • Mouse_2012

        When enough americans start talking about leaving. Then the “Concern Trolling ” will be out in force.

        • JobExperience

          First we need to send some incubators so they’ll have something to throw babies out of.

  • J__o__h__n

    We should leave and check in with them every century or so and see if they have made any improvements. 

    • JobExperience

      We should last so long…

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    We were attacked on 9/11 by a small group of mostly Saudi terrorists. Yet we never went to Saudi to confront the heart of the operation? We never should have invaded Afghanistan or Iraq. We should have worked covertly in conjuntion with their administrations to find the networks. We should have invaded Saudi, and concentrated on the Wahhabi Islamists who largely orchestrated 9/11. But not only did we not do that, we barely heard about Saudi in the MSM after that horrible day. Because they are a critical ally. The hypocrisy is deafening.

    • Gregg Smith

      This has never been about something as small and petty as revenge. It’s about changing the face of the entire Middle East.

      • JobExperience

        True as to intent… but failure is the result, except for profiteering.

        • Gregg Smith

          Fair, it would take the work of several Presidents over a long period of time. Historically our only Arab allies have been Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Now we have Iraq and Afghanistan but no longer can count on Egypt. Two steps forward one step back.

          • Ray in VT

            I wouldn’t count on either Iraq or Afghanistan to back our play when push came to shove.  Saudi might, maybe even ranging to probably would, given our long history of supporting the House of Saud, which has very tight control on the country.

          • Gregg Smith

            Possibly but we certainly could have counted on them to join the murderous jihad had things been as before.

          • Ray in VT

            and by “had things been as before” you mean what exactly?

          • Gregg Smith

            I mean if Hussein were still running Iraq and the Taliban were still running Afghanistan.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not sure how much they worried about the Taliban.  Some of their ideology is pretty in line with the Wahhabi groups that the Saudis have supported.  Saddam was certainly a threat to them.  There are plenty, though, who view the removal of Saddam, who was probably the biggest pain in the ass that Iran had, and a secular dictator, as having emboldened the Iranian regime.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            The moment we leave Afghanistan, and arguably even now, the Taliban will regroup and nothing will have changed.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            If you call makig Saud an ally, due to oil, even though that have historically the worst kind of Islamic fundamentalism, the worst kind of police state, the worst kind of terrorist funding, a step forward, then I don’t know where we stand.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, the two steps forward were Iraq and Afghanistan. The step back was Egypt.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        They have never cared about bringing Democracy to the Middle East. They were happy to support ruthless dictators. The Arab Spring forced them to support the “freedom fighters”, even if they were happier with a predictable and bought dictator. Don’t be naive. It’s all about special interests. And those interests are rarely the same as those of the people who elect them.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      You do understand the relationship between our inaction in Saudi and the amount of direct and indirect investment between Saudi Arabia and The United States, don’t you? I’m not saying it’s right that we consistently avoid the most valid target, only that the reasons behind that avoidance should be painfully obvious to everyone.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Afghanistan was the base of al Qaeda, and the Taliban government refused to turn over Osama.  We were justified for going into Afghanistan.  Iraq was something else entirely.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        Having some training camps in Afghanistan is not the same as being the base for Al Qaeda. The brain of the operation was in Saud. And even then, there are different approaches to dealing with it. Going up against the Taliban, is NEVER going to solve anything. They just regroup once you leave. Or you stay for decades, spend trillions more, lose tens of thousands more soldiers, and then leave. LOSE LOSE sitaution. Same with Iraq. Same with Iran, if they choose that route. Meanwhile the people at home, who vote these administrations in, are neglected.

    • JobExperience

      WE is a problem concept here.
      Let’s call the operators a cabal.
      The Cabal organized an attack on itself (with collateral damage) in order it initiate a violent reconfiguration in the oil region. The upper echelons in Saud and here have much more in  common with one another than with their mass populations.

      When you equate cabal actions with WE, you’re deceiving yourself. It’s like the high school dropouts in Tuscaloosa who have two rolls of Charmin and a box of Tide in their rear window. The laundromat, not the university, is their destiny.

  • AC

    what do the afghans want? why don’t we just leave them?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      They want the same thing the rest of the world’s ‘powers’ want: Unchallenged support of their beliefs, ideals, and hegemonic goals. Think that answers your second question as well.

    • hennorama

      They want to be left alone.  They have been under foreign military occupation for more than 22 years out of the last almost 33 years.

      Imagine an Afghani born at the end of 1979, the start of the Sovier occupation.  You’ve experienced military occupation for nearly 2/3 of your life.

      The median age there is about 18, which is quite young.  (US median age is about 37).  This low median age is largely due to the short life expectancy, which is roughly 50 years at birth currently.

      • Gregg Smith

        The Taliban ruled with brutal oppressive authority. They destroyed centuries old statues because they considered them blasphemous. The harbored Al Qaida and we were hit hard. By “left alone” do you mean that we leave and let the Taliban regain a foothold?

        • Mouse_2012

          Sound like the Saudi’s.

          When we invading to liberate the women and religous minorities?

          • Gregg Smith

            The humanitarian reasons were certainly huge. We are not safe so long as brutal dictatorships force their people to live in the third century. And in Iraq, if you read Bush’s speech to the UN on September 12, 2002 when he made the case for war to the world, he spent a long time talking about humanitarian efforts before he got to WMD. Most of the time liberals don’t like the idea of institutionalized rape and torture.

          • Mouse_2012

            The Saudi’s are run by a Brutal Dictatorship. One of his princes just so happens to have the biggest stake in NewsCorp which itself owns Fox News.

        • JobExperience

          Should have left the Soviet’s in charge?

        • hennorama

          Please note I did not advocate or denigrate any current or future US action or policy.  I merely answered the question “what do the afghans want?”

          Please also note that I never said anything about what “we” should or should not do, nor about what ANYONE should or should not do.

          If the words “left” and “alone” in combination are no longer in common usage and need to be defined, fine, here ya go:

          “Leave alone” is an idiom, defined as follows: (source: dictionary.com)

          “7. leave alone, a. to allow (someone) to be by himself or herself: Leave him alone—he wants to rest. b. to refrain from annoying or interfering with: The youngsters wouldn’t leave the dog alone, and he finally turned on them.”

          To be clear, and using the words of the above definition above, I meant
          “They (the Afghans) want to be allowed to be by themselves, without annoyance or interference from others.”

          By the way, to ensure all of my words are understood, “idiom” is defined as follows: (source: dictionary.com)

          1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket  or hang one’s head,  or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round  for the round table,  and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics.

          Just FYI.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia
    • JobExperience

      Ryan Crocker has never experienced the stresses to which Sergeant Bales was subjected. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    What I think is missing from the conversation is acceptance that our exit strategy in Afghanistan is designed wholy around cutting our losses and getting out of there. Sure America is pushing the pretense that training continues and that Afghanistan will be left as a stable and sustainable nation-state in 2014 but when it boils down to it we are still leaving and we are leaving the initial job (as laid out when we invaded) of establishing a stable and effective democratic government unfinished. We are not building up this country to the level the general public (in America at least) would consider stable and self sustaining. We are doing just enough so that we can get out and do so without looking like we’re doing so with our tail between our legs. And to be completely honest, as an American who has seen his nation at war for his entire adult life, that is just fine with me. As cold as it may sound we have better things to do as a nation than pursue counterinsurgency and nation building in a nation a lot of Americans can’t even find on a map. We don’t have the time, treasure, and forces to do so.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      The thing is, they never cared about democracy, rebuilding, training, education, the people, etc in the first place.

  • Mouse_2012

    Guess Crocker is going to be serving a turd sandwich today.

    Sad.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Care to be specific?

      • Mouse_2012

        Listen to the show or the callers and it’s quite clear or do you have to wait till 7pm like Gregg does to do so?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          If someone can access the internet to comment while the show is On Air they can just as easily stream the broadcast from WBUR while they’re posting. Just an observation.

          • Mouse_2012

            Justing using the reasoning Gregg provided.I’m well aware of this.

          • Gregg Smith

            I use my computer speakers for other tasks while I’m working. I listen to Diane Rehm or sometimes Glenn Beck in the mornings. Why do you care?

          • Mouse_2012

            No main reason, I thought this might explain why Mr. Camp would be so uniformed while still making comments.

            That’s all.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Clear only to you.  You’re just passing judgement, not providing support for your opinion.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KGN7LUKHCTEFRWWRDRKSIWR4DI S

    Perhaps our government could consider making the following statement:
    “The US government does not favor one religion over another or religion over non-religion.  We do not selectively discriminate against Islam and we view all religions and imaginary friends with equal skepticism and as potential threats to freethought and liberty.  We will respond to all violent acts against humanity and Americans based not on religious convictions, but on reason and secular law.”
    I only wish…..

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      The problem is, they are using reason. Just not the kind that might benefit the people. They follow a gameplan that serves the special interests.

  • Mouse_2012

    Crocker: where doing so great the tailban, etc,etc,etc is on the run.

    Same tune different year.

    • JobExperience

      Our boys are red hot!
      Your team ain’t doodley squat.

      Push ‘em back, push ‘em back, way back.
      (into feudalism)

      Rah Rah Ree,
      Kick ‘em in the knee.
      Rah Rah Rawls,
      Nuke ‘em all!

  • JobExperience

    WE paid for 350K potential backshooters?
    How much per unit?
    $500K?
    Profiteering=Lucrative
    Suicide=Priceless
    And all on a credit card owed to the >1%.

  • Mouse_2012

    Great point but that would require honesty from our officals.

  • nhStrobaffa

    I appreciate the Mr. Crocker’s experience, but I don’t see how soldiers on the ground will ever help the Afghan society figure out how to deal with their own cultural and ideological perspectives.  Until that time, no amount of US soldiers will ever be able to effectively deal with the Taliban or any other group dedicated to destruction and mayhem.

  • repairman_jim

    I am listening to Ambassador Crocker and I’m coming to the conclusion that he is “equivocatin” because he was unaware of the operational suspension of joint operations.  I think that he is “out of the loop”.

  • adks12020

    Does anyone think that, without the emergence of mass protests in the streets of hundreds of thousands, the American people have much of an influence on what we do in Afghanistan? I am really losing hope that we have much influence at all.

    • JobExperience

      Rebellion requires financial actions more than street action. We as a public are so out-gunned that escalation against the police state produces a Syrian result. (Most gun nuts are stove up fatties who need an ATV to check the mailbox.) The problem is that most  Americans are entranced by media (and shopping) and living a fantasy. If we were awake we could boycott and sequester funds. We could refuse to enlist and refuse to vote unless better options are offered. We might even refuse to accept the dollar as payment. My strongest wish is that the creativity required for resistance has not been extinguished. 

      Hey Mitt and Barry: We are entitled to opportunity, and without it you must feed, house and care for us, because you let the Rich  herd us into a corral. No hay means busted fences. Instead you rustle more dependents overseas. Idiots!

      • notafeminista

        Thank FDR.  One of the original one-percenters and sole designer, architect and erector of the corral you describe.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        Even if the entire country were on the same page, which the vast majority are not, I doubt any of your ideas would force them to change.

  • Mouse_2012

    If Crocker is the best we got than I see why our Foreign Policy is not working.

  • curtcpeterson

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that George Bush took us into Afghanistan to “get bin Laden”, who was alleged to be protected by the Taliban. We now know (and probably did then) that bin Laden wasn’t in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, probably was in Pakistan, right under our noses. The Taliban had and has no interest in the U.S. other than to get us out of their country. We have wasted an enormous amount of money and blood (theirs and ours) over this misguided adventure and we should grow up and walk out now.

    • Gregg Smith

      We did not go to Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. We went there to oust the Taliban who harbored Al Qaida. Killing Bin Laden was a good thing and sent a good message but it was symbolic and did not make us safer. 

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        We didn’t care about the Taliban before 9/11. The only logic could be because they allegedly worked with Al Qaeda. You think the plan was to oust the Taliban? From what? To where? They will regroup the moment we pull out. We knew it. They knew it. A ridiculous war.

        • Gregg Smith

          We sure cared about them after 9/11 so we ousted them and installed Karzai. 

          • Steve__T

            Blur history much?

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Gregg, it’s hard to tell if you actually believe the things you’re saying here, or if you just enjoy being a contrarian.

  • Mouse_2012

    Caller Greg and this Caller are far more truthful than what we’re hearing from Crocker

  • Mouse_2012

    As I pointed out below,

    If the fear of “The terrorist are coming” the next thing to do is pull on the “Hearts Strings” of human rights(which the U.S. just so happens to ignore when it’s say Saudi Arabia)

  • William

    Why repeat the same mistakes JFK and LBJ made with their failed efforts of nation building in South Vietnam? Just pull out and let them fight it out. 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    How good a laugh is Russia having at our woes in Afghanistan right now? Anyone remember Charlie Wilson? The callers are right whether we like it or not.

    It’s the same song and dance it’s been for the past forty years: When our roof is leaking and our foundation is crumbling how can we walk over to our neighbors’ house and demand they mow their lawn, slap on a fresh coat of paint, and set up a lemonade stand in their front yard?

  • JobExperience

    Crocker sounds like a Cardinal explaining priest sex abuse, or an oil exec discussing a spill.
    Institutional priorities.
    L’il folks don’t count.

    • Mouse_2012

      And he’s called one of the best.(the best at what would be a better question)

      • JobExperience

        Best whore I guess.
        But he can’t plausibly fake an orgasm (war victory).
        Is this day or is the Moon extra bright tonight?

  • MarkVII88

    I think there are 2 different positions one must consider when thinking about our troops in Afghanistan.

    1. The wellbeing, morale, and performance of our troops.  As John McCain stated during the 2008 campaign regarding pulling troops out of Iraq…he wanted them to finish the job they were sent there to do and return home with Honor.  How much do we care about our troops and which would be worse for them, keeping them in harms way or pulling them out without Honor?

    2.  The sentiment among the American people about our level of responsibility to Afghanistan given the last 11-12 years of our involvement there.  How afraid are Americans in general about what will happen if we leave sooner rather than later?  Do Americans in general really care enough about Afghanistan and its people to keep spending our money there hand over fist…after all, Bin Laden is dead? 

    • JobExperience

      Maybe the USA Elite needs to learn good sportsmanship – how to lose  with grace. Because their heyday is over.

      How can our public care about Af-Pak when they can’t find it on a map and don’t want to learn about it? The only product they get from there is heroin.

      • MarkVII88

         It is my opinion that the USA should not be the unilateral world policeman or nation-builder.  I agree with you when you essentially suggest that there are bigger issues that should be addressed within our own country right now for our citizens to legitimately pay attention to or even care about Afghanistan.  If I’m unemployed and about to lose my home I couldn’t care less about building schools in Afghanistan or indoctrinating their troops to conduct themselves like American troops.  If your own house is a mess, how can you justify being the world’s savior?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Why does it take years and years to train? Because we’re not looking to train, we’re looking to indoctrinate. Indoctrination takes a tad longer than training someone how to effectively use a firearm.

    • Mouse_2012

      Great point,

      Some are just not getting with the program.(Outer Limits)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It’s always been this way – the Soviet empire died in part from trying to hold Afghanistan. Even the Ottoman empire could not absorb Afghanistan. It’s naive to think a decade, some soldiers and money are going to change it.

  • papouyiannionpoint

    Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity.  When Christianity was as old as Islam is now, Christianity was sponsoring the Crusades.  One of the slogans was “Death to the Infidel”  The Pope promised those who engaged in holy war a guaranteed entry to heaven.  Sound familiar.  We need to stand back and see the forest, unlike Ambassador Crocker, who is spouting his own propaganda. Get out of Afghanistan, defend ourselves from afar.  Save lives.  Save money.  Allow Afghanistan to find its own way into the modern era.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that John Oliver did a bit about Islam being an adolescent religion and that one should think about what Christianity did when it was only 1400 years old.

  • Mouse_2012

    By Christopher Hitchens(RIP)

     All this represents an attempt to avoid facing the obvious fact that for months of this year, and with our money, the Afghan people were cheated and betrayed in their hour of most urgent need.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2009/11/first_silence_the_whistleblower.html

    • notafeminista

      Did you read the article?

      • Mouse_2012

        Yes.

        You like?

         I personally don’t agree with everything Hitchen says but used it as an example of U.S. supporting an corrupt government when it suits us and to show Crocker as a Crock

  • Duras

    I think America should teach science and Enlightenment philosophy instead of warfare.  We are currently replacing opium fields with produce, but perhaps we should plant marijuana.  Seriously, fundamentalists religious folk could use a little love-drug. 

  • Markus6

    We are 16 trillion in debt. That number is so big that I think it just washes over people. Even if it was a good idea, we are close to a country of deadbeats and shouldn’t be borrowing from the Chinese and everyone else to rebuild another country – especially one that doesn’t like us all that much. 

    I understand the arguments that if we don’t fight them there, they’ll come over here. But I think we have truly lost our way to even be considering paying more billions to that region. 

  • Gregg Smith

    Ray, We’re getting off track (my fault). Do you recognize the irony of government funded Piss Christ being applauded by the same people who are tacitly excusing the mayhem because of this silly video?  
    It’s striking.

    • JobExperience

      There is a special resonance in the Western subconscious concerning the miraculous nature of Christ and bodily  fluids. Transubstantiation in Catholic Eucharist means after all that partakers of Communion consume real blood and flesh. Urine as a fluid possesses a unique effervescent glow making it a legitimate medium. One could experiment by immersing a variety of objects and trying various lighting schemes. The mythic human-Creator  duality puts nothing God has made off-limits. If wayfarer Christ were on Earth today he might  require a pee jar himself in an urban setting. Irrational repulsion makes the uninitiated critic fear urine as an artistic expression. Have you never tried writing in the snow? That mischief you may have felt is one of those transcendent doors of perception you may be too timid to step through. Somebody has to clean the bathroom, I suppose.

      • Gregg Smith

        Urine is fine, I was talking about irony. 

        You wrote: “One could experiment by immersing a variety of objects and trying various lighting schemes.”

        I’m game, do you know anyone who is an expert in theatrical lighting?

        • Ray in VT

          My brother in law has a degree in technical theater, and he’s pretty good with lighting.  I could give him a ring.

    • Ray in VT

      That’s okay regarding getting off track.  Things sometimes meander here, and I was also thinking that it was somewhat ironic to be sort of discussing what is art on a day when they were also discussing Andy Warhol.

      I think that those two things are entirely different.  One could maybe make a better comparison between the video that you linked to and the Innocence of Muslims, although the production value on the former was video was much better from what I’ve seen.  I saw a bit of the other one, and boy was it bad.  My friends in college made a better one as a theater project.  Also, I thought that the video wasn’t responsible for any outrage or mayhem?  That’s a bit of a joke, by the way.

      Now, I don’t think that I’ve heard anyone really excusing this recent outbreak of violence, regardless of the motivation, and, for the record, I think that this anger that we’re seeing is something that has simmered for decades and occasionally flares up, and that the video gave some the chance to lash out and others the opportunity to fan the flames.

      I’ve heard many people say that they understand the outrage that these sorts of insults against Islam and the Prophet generate, but I don’t see that as excusing the actions of those undertaking the violence.  I think that a lot of people who look at this video are more critical of it because it appears to be intentionally aimed at inciting people, and I think that there would be a difference in perception of the video if it had been a studio production aimed at historical accuracy that ended up also creating protests.  That’s just a guess, and it’s not an excuse for the violence, but that is what I think about the issue.

  • Gregg Smith

    You know what would help? Maybe if Obama sucked up to the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and released the blind sheik.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/eyes_blind_sheik_release_0MFMrnamOFxtIJKJLpTQNL

  • occam24

    I don’t think Crocker was intending to help the GET OUT NOW side, but that’s exactly what he did.  

    Slimy bastard.  If his “logic” is the reason we’re there, it’s even more reason to GET OUT NOW.  Not that we really need any more reason.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    The British, the Russians, and now us. Geez, westerners are slow learners.

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe the Chinese will want to give it a shot next.

  • curtcpeterson

    Gregg Smith: You only have to re-read the papers of the era to see I am being historically accurate about George Bush demanding that the Taliban “turn over bin Laden, or we’re coming in to get him”. The Taliban at the time was competing with al Qaeda for the hearts and souls of the Afghans, not harboring them; the Taliban have a religious strategy and al Qaeda’s is political. Either Bush had another agenda, as he did in Iraq, or he got the usual bum information from our so-called Central Intelligence Agency. I personally feel it was the former. In any case, we have to choose first between continuing to say “we are fighting for our freedom”, which is enormously far-fetched, or we have to grow up and get out of the other kids’ schoolyard like big boys. It’s just too bad we don’t do our research before we let your presidents take us into these misguided wars instead of arguing over motives later when we find out what we’ve actually done. And I speak as a witness of thirty-three years of sinful waste and unAmerican activity in Vietnam, all based on misinformation.

    • Mouse_2012

      Actually at the time the Tailban Government ask the Bush White House for Proof against OBL and they would then work to hand him over. Outraged by the request the Bush Admin decided to Bomb the crap out of them instead. Than decided to ally with the same people the Russians allied with in the past.

      • notafeminista

        Well, sort of.  You really ought to read your own source material.

        • Mouse_2012

          Don’t think you did yourself but that’s expected. The taiban asked for proof and than later switched to what I linked above.

          Feel free to point out where this is not the case?

          “The devil you know” really doesn’t cut it as an argument

    • Gregg Smith

      Bin Laden’s was a target, I could have been more clear, but he was not the reason. The reason was to oust the Taliban who did allow Al Qaida to plot and train for our demise. But even that is the small picture. Changing the face of the entire Middle East was Bush’s goal. He even famously said: (paraphrasing) I don’t spend much time worrying about Bin Laden. 

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        What do you mean here by changing the face of the entire Middle East? Please elaborate.

        • Gregg Smith

          As long as there are brutal theocracies oppressing women, brainwashing their children and amassing WMD with the intent of killing infidels, we are not safe. 

          And if you think it’s impossible then that’s valid but we have no choice because the radical Islamist are doing the same. They are trying to change the face of the West. The Islamic Caliphate is real. They are at war with us.

          We could really use some help from the real Muslims but they will be killed or jailed if they do. 

          • gonkers

             Gregg said, presumably with a straight face: “As long as there are brutal theocracies oppressing women, brainwashing
            their children and amassing WMD with the intent of killing infidels, we
            are not safe.”

            Gee, doesn’t this describe our buddies the Saudis from whom we’ve fought and bled… and our economy depends for oil? How much of what you condemn applies to them?

            Kinda makes you wonder why the GOP was so blind to this they opposed more energy efficiency measures for so long. Where would we be if Reagan hadn’t sabotaged Carter’s energy policy?  

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Sorry Gregg, the US was happy to work with brutal (but dependable) dictators before 9/11, and if it hadn’t been for the Arab Spring, still would be today. They don’t give a damn about the religion, the people, and the WMDs were a sham. Special interests and so-called strategic interests (not the US people’s interests in most cases by the way) are the primary driver for the Middle East invasion. Spreading democracy (what democracy?), nation building, human rights, etc are barely an after thought; a mantra for the MSM to instill in people’s heads. All they want is business as usual. When that is threatened, all they want is to re-establish business as usual as quickly as possible.

    • Mouse_2012

      See.

      New offer on Bin Laden
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/17/afghanistan.terrorism11

      A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.
      For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan’s military leadership said.
      But US officials appear to have dismissed the proposal and are instead hoping to engineer a split within the Taliban leadership.

      • notafeminista

        From the same article: 

        “Now they have agreed to hand him over to a third country without the evidence being presented in advance,” the source close to the military said.
        However, it is unclear whether the Taliban would have the ability to seize Bin Laden and hand him over. ”

        Even stipulating that the US is as stupid and corrupt as you believe it to be, the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.   The Taliban had no incentive to tell the US the truth. 

        • Mouse_2012

          Got it so the Taliban has no incentive to tell the truth but the U.S. does.

          Great thinking, I assume you believe the Obama’s WH line of F&F? or Drone don’t kill civilians

        • Steve__T

           Just like Bush had no incentive to tell America the truth.

    • Steve__T

       Oh how I wish more Americans really knew this, How many actually know that when all American air space was shut down after 911 1 plane left America (I’ll be ridiculed for saying this and call a conspiracy theorist) Osama’s family was on that plane. 

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    Experts and laymans alike know exactly what’s going on. We knew before going in to Afganistan. At some point, we would leave, and as we did so, the Taliban and friends would turn up the juice on our way out. Before settling back into their laregely non-warring lives. There was never any question of winning. It was an emotional cowboy response to 9/11. And all it has done, is fed the US war machine, pissed off the Middle East, costed taxpayers trillions of dollars, and taken the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Congratulations. It was no blunder though. They have some of the best minds in the country working for the Gov and Military. It was a calculated move.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      I should clarify one thing here. They used the anger and fear from 9/11, to engage in a highly calculated move on the Middle East. They knew there was no winning. They knew it wasn’t going to change the Taliban. They knew they weren’t going to invest the billions promised in rebuilding, education, etc They knew it would turn the Middle East even more against the US and provoke attacks. They knew it wasn’t about bring democracy to the people. But hey…. you have to feed the war machine. You have to feed special interests. And the MSM just came along for the ride; as always.

      • Joseph_Wisconsin

         Just liking both of your comments here was not enough, I also had to comment.  Immediately after 9/11 a majority of Americans just wanted to use our massive military to go to the Middle East/Central Asia and kill a bunch of Arab looking Muslims in revenge; kill some “towel heads” it did not matter how connected those killed actually were to  al-Qaeda.  The GW Bush administration exploited that fury just as you stated.  Never mind that Osama bin Laden was actually from Saudi Arabia as were 15 of the total 19 hijackers.  The others were one Egyptian, one Lebanese, and two from the Union of Arab Emirates.  Or that much of the funding for the Wahabi sect of Islam that inspired the al-Qaeda movement came form the Saudis, including the ruling royal dictators there.

        • Steve__T

           Nailed it

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          You got it. If Saud wasn’t a critical strategic ally with the US, they could’ve invaded Saud and followed the money. Instead, they danced around Saud and hit 2 virtually unrelated countried. And hardly any mention of Saud in the MSM. Pure hypocrisy.

  • Mouse_2012

    Unlike Afghan leaders, Obama fights for power of indefinite military detention
    Obama lawyers file a breathless, angry appeal against the court ruling that invalidated the NDAA’s chilling 2011 detention law

    The court was particularly disturbed by the Obama DOJ’s adamant refusal to say, in response to being asked multiple times, that the law could not be used to indefinitely detain the plaintiffs due to their journalistic and political activities.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/18/obama-appeals-ndaa-detention-law

    district court judge Katherine Forrest of the southern district of New York, an Obama appointee, preliminarily barred enforcement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the statute enacted by Congress in December 2011 with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Obama (after he had threatened to veto it).

    • Steve__T

       And I wish he would have vetoed it. But he succumbed to the will of the people.

  • gonkers

    Leaving aside the dubious wisdom of invading landlocked, mountainous, Afghanistan, there was a narrow window from 2001 on where the US might have been able to accomplish its goals there.

    But Bush, driven on by neocon insanity, jumped at the chance to use 911 as a pretense for threatening nations that had nothing to do with 911. He even invaded one of his “Axis Of Evil” nations proving to the other two they’d better get nuclear weapons to protect themselves against a rogue USA. That’s worked out really well, hasn’t it!

    To fight the illegal and unnecessary war against Iraq, Bush had to divert resources away from Afghanistan and let that situation fester as the military got bogged down in Iraq.

    Now that situation in Afghanistan may be out of control. As in Vietnam we’re again dealing with a corrupt government and a large slice of the population that resents us being there. Add to that the religious dimension of a “Christian” nation occupying a Muslim one. The only way to leave without appearing weak is to train the Afghans. But this is Nixon’s failed Vietnamization plan all over again.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      And what were their goals for Afghanistan exactly?
      Don’t be naive. There was never a question of “winning” in Afghanistan.

      • gonkers

        Look who’s being naive.

        If the goals were modest enough, and the commitment sufficient, they could have been accomplished. Which is not to say they were justified. I favored the invasion initially but soon regretted it.

        Bush was gung ho to invade Iraq and left the US Troops in Afghanistan resource-starved.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          They had the surge in Afghanistan. They had plenty of time and resources. The problem is they were never going to erase Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and that’s basically what you’d need to have lasting change there. Forget modest goals. Can you tell me what their goals were? Like I said, it was always going to end a lose lose for the US.
          So why the trillions and huge losses of life? Useless war. Just like Iraq.

  • Mouse_2012

    I missed this in the Crocker interview

    Afghans reject US-favored administrative detention
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ggpHowv0PAy_skdOC1tSR9g1Gx6A?docId=d81b0861a5424214a83b225f63ca647e

    President Hamid Karzai’s office announced in a statement that a top-level judicial panel met earlier in the day and decided that the detention of Afghan citizens without a court trial “has not been foreseen in Afghan laws” and therefore could not be used.The U.S. government has long held Afghans captured in operations inside the country without trial, arguing that they are enemy combatants and therefore can be detained for as long as their release might pose a danger to the international coalition.

    • Mouse_2012

      “On the very same day that the Obama DOJ fights vigorously in US courts for the right to imprison people without charges, the Afghan government fights just as vigorously for basic due process.”

      Greenwald

      • Gregg Smith

        Despite the lies there was never a chance Obama would close Gitmo, end indefinite detention or military tribunals. Most of us knew it at the time. The rest believed the messiah.

        • Mouse_2012

          According to notafeminista the U.S. government in this case Obama White House has no incentive to lie

          Since the Obama White House is Corrupt it’s better to have 4 more years “The devil you know” than a New president.

          Using NAF logic of course.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t think that was her logic.

          • Mouse_2012

            Yet she presented it in such Fashion.

          • Gregg Smith

            Did you believe Obama would close Gitmo and end indefinite detention as he promised?

      • notafeminista

        Again, from the same article, “But the United States has also argued that it cannot risk the release of some high-value detainees to the notoriously corrupt Afghan court system. Even though the deadline for the handover passed on Sept. 10, the Americans are still holding more than 600 Afghans in their custody.”

        The same corrupt system Hitchens described.   Again, even stipulating the US is as stupid and corrupt as you believe it to be, the devil you know is always better then the devil you don’t.

        • Mouse_2012

          Cool thanks got it,

          No due process for afghans

          As Gleen puts it and I agree


          “Civil rights” — meaning trials — don’t conflict with “the practicalities of establishing whether or not a certain person presented a potent threat to the lives of innocent people.”

          They are how we determine whether someone does — at least that’s how it is in a society that lives under the rule of law.
          That’s pretty
          much been recognized in the west to be true for, oh, say, eight centuries or so.
          Three comments in and already someone pops up to explain why Rational Adults accept that we can’t have due process any more. ”

          Thanks for playing try again :P

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L45CLR2KR562OJ2XGWPYG356CQ porter

    Pathetic remnant that he is, Crocker nevertheless is still able to fill up his time with the blather that passes as inarguable fact but is merely a printout of boilerplate gobbledygook. A loyal company man. You can tell by his weary tone that he’s just going through the motions. No wonder he got a DUI. I can imagine what T.E. Lawrence might say about him.

  • Mike_Card

    What is Nadler’s military service record?  He seems to consider himself an expert.

    • Gregg Smith

      I’ve never liked Nadler, still don’t but I thought he was reasonable. I respect his view but I respect Crocker’s more.

  • nj_v2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

    Randy Newman - Political Science

    (Oops, meant to be posted under Mr. Card’s disturbing comment, previous.)

    • Gregg Smith

      I’m surpassed you didn’t post his latest. It has a sick theme.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t think that there’s anything remotely sick about the idea that some people in this country would never vote for a non-white president.  The Klan is alive, sort of, and there’s always the skinheads or the Christian Identity.  I mean, it’s not like the dude really hates short people.  He just writes really whacky songs.

        • Gregg Smith

          I reject the notion the majority (or a significant amount) of dissatisfaction with President Obama is because he’s half black. He is a horrible President, that’s what matters. I think it’s a cop out, it’s stupid, it’s shallow, it’s disgusting, it’s sick. And it pisses me the hell off big time to be constantly be called a racist (not that you did). IT’S SICK AS HELL. We have problems, big problems. Obama has made them worse, big time. For his despicable incompetent self to hide behind race shows his low regard for the public. He thinks we are dumb-asses. Race has nothing to do with squat. Randy Newman hasn’t a leg to stand and on. 

          Now, you wrote: “… some people in this country would never vote for a non-white president”.  Well Duh! It means nothing. They are insignificant. There are just as many  (and I believe many many more) who voted for Obama just because he is black. By default that means they did not vote for McCain because he’s white. It’s racist as hell and I don’t like it. Race has no place in any decision. Period, no exceptions but Democrats see everything through the lens of race. It’s beyond ignorant.

          I’ve always appreciated the talent and style of Randy Newman and I still love the Dixie Chicks but I’m done with Newman. He’s a freakin’ idiot. That goes for anyone who excuses Obama’s historically awful Presidency because he’s black. I don’t expect less from him because of his race but many do. “Poor black man, he’s a victim”. IT’S SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BlackIceBuc steven ellershaw

          To start I’d just like to say that I’m not one to get involved in politics mostly because I don’t quite understand them yet. However, I’ve practically grown up with the War on Terror for more than half my life (yes I am young) and it seems as if no one has a sure fire solution to the problem. Truthfully, I don’t believe there is a sure fire solution to it. No matter what, there will always be someone who disagrees with and hates the U.S. Plain and simple. We can only deter people from taking action against us. So keeping that in mind, what I’d say is the best course of action is as follows.

          The problem I see with our current tactics is that we are spreading our forces thin allowing terrorist organizations to out maneuver us. They can hide in cities and towns while our forces mingle around them. Then once our guard is down they attack. It’s like picking weeds. Once you devote your attention to weeding one section of a vegetable patch, another section is bound to grow weeds and the time put into it will be endless. Get more people to help weeding and the weeds will disappear without the chance of them popping up elsewhere. Plus, the work is light for all parties. What this means is that if we keep going the way we’re going we will occupy the Middle East for ages. And if we pull our forces out now the “weeds”will return and they will come after us again.      Personally, I’d make a clean sweep of the entire country. Mass a force large enough to walk over anyone who opposes us and intimidate the few hundred that are left. Show them that it is pointless to attack so many. That no matter what they will never sway us. By no means will this solve our problem forever. But it may deter any future attacks for at least some time. They’ll remember the time we decided to finally put our foot down.       I know this will be extremely costly to the U.S. and we will lose more american soldiers, something I’m not comfortable with by any means, but if we withdraw now we will need to go back and start over costing us more money and even more lives. If we continue the present tactics, the war will nickel and dime us to death and the loss of lives will be far to great. If we decide to do a sweep we may need to return but it will most likely be farther down the road.     As I pointed out earlier I am no expert at this and I have much to learn but this is what I see as the most effective action.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment