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Raping the pocketbooks of the rich to give to the poor? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's socialism. The tougher question is this: What is America? Here's the One Thing: America is in a transition period — only no one knows what we are transitioning into. Are we capitalist? Are we socialist? Are we communist? Are we an oligarchy?You want socialism? I'll give you Socialism:
….. After the losses of the past few days, this half-hearted approach has become utterly unsustainable. Britain and indeed the whole of NATO must now decide whether this fiendishly difficult bid to tame a hitherto untamable land is worth all the blood that is being spilt.The obvious answer is that we do not have a Cronkite to take full measure of this Afghanistan project of Obama's and tell us what the score is.
This newspaper’s assessment is that the chance of outright victory in Afghanistan vanished the moment US and British forces went into Iraq. The focus on Afghanistan was lost and the coalition against terror broke up. There is now little prospect of the rest of NATO committing wholeheartedly to the fight against the Taliban. In a war of attrition, such as is presently being fought, victory will not be achieved, but heavy losses will certainly be sustained. Our brave soldiers deserve far better than that.
….. when a military entanglement has no plan, no metrics for success and no end in sight. The Tories are just getting out ahead of the curve.
….. renowned British military historian Correlli Barnett ….. that Britain must unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan.
Why won't an American journalist confront the Obama administration and simply ask them, "How will we know when we've won?" Unless they can answer that in tangible terms, all we're doing is condemning more troops to death…..
Who has the guts to pull out?Simon Jenkins of the Guardian, has an answer:
We should remember, they say, that thanks to the Western occupation, five million Afghan children now go to primary school, compared with one million in 2001. Surely that makes our servicemen's sacrifice worthwhile?
Yet many of us, especially those who have worn the King's or Queen's uniform, or know about our military history, believe it is not the role of the British Armed Forces to fight and die so that foreign children can go to school. Their proper role is, or ought to be, to safeguard the wealth and security of the British people - in short, to defend the British realm.
…. The toppling of the Taliban regime in 2001 has not prevented a string of Al-Qaeda outrages, including Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.
….. the London bombings were perpetrated by British-born Muslims with no direct connection either to the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. The truth is that Al-Qaeda is no longer an organization centered on Afghanistan, but a global franchise.
….. The Duke of Wellington once said that the real test of a general was to know when to retreat and dare to do it. A cool-headed and objective examination of the military and political evidence about the state of play in Afghanistan ought to convince HM Government that Britain must retreat from Afghanistan, and that they must now dare to announce a future date for this.
…..It would take more moral courage on the Government's part to distance Britain from President Obama's positively Bushite pursuit of 'victory' in Afghanistan, and announce a firm date for the final evacuation of British forces.
….. But without such a brave decision, British servicemen and women will go on pointlessly dying, while a more and more disillusioned nation simply wants our troops home - - not in coffins draped with the Union Flag, but marching through cheering crowds.
Britain must tell Obama: the alliance of denial has to end.Dear readers, depending on your age, here's the truth without jokes: we are ensnared in the 2nd costly military quagmire in your lifetime, and the 3rd in my lifetime.
..... Diplomacy, your hour has come. There is no way soldiers will find an exit from Afghanistan. They can deliver defeat or they can deliver bloody stalemate. They cannot deliver victory and every observer knows it. This conflict will end only when the courage being daily demanded of soldiers is also shown by politicians.
..... Obama made a serious error on coming to power. To honour his pledge to disown Iraq he felt obliged to "adopt" Afghanistan. What had begun as a punitive raid on the Taliban for harbouring Osama bin Laden morphed into a neocon campaign of regime change, counter-insurgency and nation-building. Obama rashly identified himself with this crusade and leapt from the frying pan of Iraq into the fire of the Hindu Kush.
..... Terrorism does not need bases. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Germany. The safety of Britain's streets is secured not by boys dying in poppy fields, but by sound intelligence and domestic policing. We learned last week that MI5's former head, Eliza Manningham-Buller, specifically warned the government that British security would be harmed by intervention abroad. Ministers know this. Why do they lie?
..... as it suited Bush to identify the Taliban with al-Qaida, so it should now suit Obama to do the opposite. The Taliban has never shown any interest in international terrorism, only in ridding their country of foreigners. On this truth should some eventual deal be built.
The idea of establishing a western-style democracy is dead. The dreams of Kabul's NGO groupies, to install technocrats or elevate women or eradicate poppies, have vanished in a morass of corruption and aid extravagance.
..... Only colonialists build nations, and the will for empire was never present.
..... The Canadians, who have suffered terrible losses, have shown their sovereignty by signalling their intention to leave in 2011. Why not Britain?
The denouement will come only from negotiation. For British generals and politicians to talk of fighting in Helmand "for decades" is absurd, not least as neither the British public nor the Taliban believe it. Like the Canadians, they should give a date for withdrawal, to stop wasting British lives and to isolate Obama in his wrong-headed policy.
..... Tony Blair's failure to influence Bush over Iraq was humiliating. The mix of political obsequiousness and diplomatic smugness Washington detected in Britain then is being replicated today over Afghanistan .....
Lyndon Johnson said, as he turned off his TV set that night, "If I've lost Walter, I've lost middle America". On March 31st, LBJ announced his withdrawal from his presidential reelection campaign.Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective.
Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities?
I'm not sure.
The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff.
On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the [South] Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won't show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.
We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi's winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that -- negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms.
For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.
To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.
But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.
This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.
Bastille Day, or the Fourteenth of July, is the symbol of the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the Republic. The national holiday is a time when all citizens celebrate their membership to a republican nation. It is because this national holiday is rooted in the history of the birth of the Republic that it has such great significance.To me, this grand anthem communicates a sense of arrival, of self-deliverance from the forces of tyranny. In a sense, in 2009, I feel I'm just short of such a destiny. Here, in America, I feel we are in a state of limbo. We have bit more of a path to navigate. We have walls which still have to be torn down.
… The people of Paris rose up and decided to march on the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the absolutism and arbitrariness of the Ancien Regime.
The storming of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789, immediately became a symbol of historical dimensions; it was proof that power no longer resided in the King or in God, but in the people, in accordance with the theories developed by the Philosophes of the 18th century.
On July 16, the King recognized the tricolor cockade: the Revolution had succeeded.
For all citizens of France, the storming of the Bastille symbolizes, liberty, democracy and the struggle against all forms of oppression.
Naming Palin to the GOP ticket — a top-down choice by McCain — was the most reckless decision any national politician has made in the longest time, and while it certainly says something about McCain, it says even more about his party. It has lost its mind.The reason we need to get to the truth of what happened is that these people nearly took this country off a cliff. They need to be held accountable. They need to be removed from their positions of power. We cannot move on until they are. And John McCain should retire from public life. After that decision, nothing he says can be taken seriously on the national or international stage.
Article 239 — No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.and Article 4 provides that any "infraction" of the succession rules constitutes treason. The rules are so tight because these are terribly serious issues for Honduras, which lived under decades of military rule.
Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.
Old media has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It can't focus on anything for longer than a standard newscycle. Therefore most things fail to change.The blogosphere is now the most vital news source in our country. Rightly or wrongly, I've veered away from the reading of books and magazines. (Those floppy and irksome objects that fold up in your lap when you reach for your coffee or beer).
New media has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It gets hold of something, and just can't let it go. This means that things are more likely to actually change...
The vested interests fighting reform and the past which they represented are very well organised, and the future that they resist is very poorly organized ….
The government tried to control the message, but there were so many people taking pictures with camera phones that they failed …. I'm interested in how technology can be a countervailing force ….
You consume old media sitting on a couch. You consume new media galloping on a horse….
I want to shift the debate from how to save newspapers to how to save journalism….
Data alone is not enough. Data needs to go viral…..
The only thing I ever saw that came close to Objective Journalism was a closed-circuit TV setup that watched shoplifters in the General Store at Woody Creek, Colorado. I always admired that machine, but I noticed that nobody paid any attention to it .... So much for Objective Journalism. Don't bother to look for it here -- not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market quotations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.There are two or more sides to every question. I like a logical fearless presentation of ideas on one side of the question. If I want to examine the other side(s), I know where to go to find them. Reading, viewing, and listening to partisan reporting gives me an opportunity, ultimately, to discern fact from fiction. The passionate interactive interchange of versions of reality to be found on the Internet informs me also of the vitality of fact(s).
.... Unlike Mr. Rumsfeld, McNamara admitted he was wrong. He told President Johnson numerous times that we did not know enough to escalate. It was Johnson’s own desire to look as tough on Communism as Goldwater to politically neutralize the Republicans. The Vietnamese foreign minister was almost right in his accusing McNamara of not knowing history and the final mistake was not learned by McNamara or do our leaders today seem to understand it. Our country was founded in a guerrilla war. We won two major battles, Saratoga and Yorktown. Lost all the others. No standing army in history has ever defeated a guerrilla force. The only exceptions to this is when the military power fought a war of annihilation. That is our choice when fighting unconventional foes. We must make a conscious decision to become genocidal war criminals or get out. There are no other political or military options. I do not know if we would have been better off if Mr. McNamara had decided to get rich and stay at Ford. He saved thousands of lives with safety improvements in a few months .... Sent 58,000 Americans to their deaths and ruined a million more American lives. Cost millions of lives of our enemies. The man worked by numbers and those are his numbers....Robert McNamara does not sit in the first tier of seats of our America's great unindicted war criminals. His incomplete mea culpa, along with LBJ's, places him in a row behind Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith.