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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

GEROGE MCGOVERN TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!

“I’m convinced that war is going to turn sour. I’m convinced we’re not going to prevail there.”
--former senator George McGovern.

Listen up. There's an old dude hanging out in America, in South Dakota, who The Daddy respects to the highest and views as one of his heroes. Why a hero?


1. As a veteran, he won the distinguished Flying Cross award for heroism during World War II;
2. As a legislator in the senate, he proposed bills and supported bills for working people: Increase in the minimum wage, better healthcare for working people, especially for the children and the elderly; and
3. He was the first senator to speak out against the Vietnam war on the floor of the senate. George McGovern was courageous.

Now, he's speaking out again. In Truthdig, an online progressive magazine with some of the best journalists around, McGovern gave this unsolicited advice to President Obama: Get out of Afghanistan. Check it out.

By Narda Zacchino

George McGovern has some advice for President Barack Obama: Get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

“I’m convinced that war is going to turn sour. I’m convinced we’re not going to prevail there,” McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, said Sunday at a Truthdig event in West Los Angeles.

The former U.S. senator from South Dakota noted that “some of the best reporters over there are telling us that the Taliban are getting stronger and we’re getting weaker in the minds of the people, and that you have a corrupt government involved in drugs, involved in just plain old-fashioned stealing and corruption. It’s a lousy government, and it’s very difficult, even for a great country like [the U.S.], to make them look good. So I think we have every reason to withdraw.”

McGovern’s comments came on the heels of a New York Times report that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, on the CIA payroll for nearly eight years, is suspected by many top American officials of being involved in that country’s lucrative and illicit opium trade. President Karzai himself drew criticism after the United Nations declared one-third of his votes in his Aug. 20 re-election to be fraudulent, forcing a runoff with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Karzai’s rival eventually withdrew, saying the runoff would not be any less rigged. The vote was canceled and Karzai was officially declared the winner Monday.

Against this backdrop, and with October the deadliest month yet for U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan with 55 killed, Obama has put off a decision on whether to send thousands more troops to that country as requested by the top U.S. commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

McGovern said Sunday he did not want to see Obama head down the path of Democrat Lyndon Johnson, for whom another quagmire, the Vietnam War, spelled the end to his presidency. The former legislator, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during World War II, noted he was the first member to oppose the Vietnam War on the floor of the Senate.

A historian, McGovern said he would remind Obama that foreign powers have been trying unsuccessfully to prevail in Afghanistan “ever since Alexander the Great. Genghis Khan even made a shot at it. The British throughout the 19th century were in there several times trying to pacify the [country] and finally gave up. The Russians were there for 11 years, 1979 until 1990, they put in 100,000 crack soldiers, 25,000 of them killed ... in Afghanistan, another 25,000 crippled or injured. And the Russian treasury went broke, and some of our best Soviet experts believe that’s what really led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Asked how he would get out of Afghanistan if he were president, McGovern said: “I would say to the Afghan people that ‘we’ve been here for eight years, and we’ve come to the conclusion we can’t resolve your problems. You’ve got the Taliban, you may have al-Qaida, but—our soldiers have fought, died bravely—but it’s my conclusion, as president of the United States, that we can’t resolve the problems here. We’ll do what we can to help you, but we can’t do it with our military forces. As a matter of fact, while we’ve been here, the Taliban have grown stronger, and we don’t know where al-Qaida is—we think they’re in Pakistan—but having our troops in Afghanistan is not going to help that. So it’s our judgment that the best thing for us, and maybe for you, is for you to take over the handling of your own problems.”

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Should we be in Afghanistan? Should we contribute to a war with no end and no certain outcome? What do you think?

11 comments:

MacDaddy said...

AnnaReese: Thanks for becoming a follower of daddyBstrong. Feel free to come back and browse or make comments. They're all welcomed here. Blessings.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I have never seen a war yet that this country(USA)have been involved in the past 40 years that we can justify spilling one red drop of blood.Take it from a person that knows war is hell!

MadMike said...

I agree with BigMac and I also know that "war is hell."

Christopher said...

His "O"-Ness is a young 'un.

Brother Barry doesn't remember Vietnam and he's proven not too keen on revisiting the lessons from history which I predict will be his undoing.

Now, the diff between Iraq and Afghanistan are simple.

Iraq -- three factions, the Kurds, the Shiites and Sunnis are fighting each other.

Afghanistan -- the factions are fighting the Americans.

Sound familiar? These are the same conditions the U.S. faced in Vietnam. Man, were we naive, all the 'Domino Principle' shit and we were had, baby. We got our asses kicked.

If his "O"-Ness makes the same mistake as Johnson, he will be a one termer. The American people are tired -- weary of the endless, protracted mess in Iraq. We want, no, we deserve, a period of peace.

Don't do it, Barry. Tell McCrystal to go to hell. In fact, I would argue McCrystal should be fired ASAP.

Trust me. Afghanistan will be the Obama's undoing.

Anonymous said...

Christopher, You hit the nail on the head.
This is sad and wrong. I think Biden and Kerry may get his attention yet. But we don't have much time!

Vigilante said...

Christopher, I sure as Hell trust in you more than I trust in McChrystal.

MacDaddy said...

Christopher: You said so well. Miss your insights. Come back again.

Great comments everyone.

rainywalker said...

MacDaddy,
You know I support our troops and have been writing the same thing for a year. They have already started doing to our troops what they did to the Russians. Nobody and with millions of soldiers have controlled Afghanistan in over 2000years. Yes we need to keep an eye on the nukes but we will never win a war. This is becoming Vietnam all over and unlike the Viet Cong and NVA they will bring this fight home to us in ways the American people never dreamed of. Mogadishu? Childs play compared to "what, what" has already started to happen in the fight of the 1200.
Rainy

MacDaddy said...

Rainy: I hope Obama begings to move us away from Afghanistan and focus on Pakistan.

Although, this is turning into Obama's war now,none of us should forget that this started out as Bush's war. He sent a small number of soldiers to get Al Queda. They had a good idea where Osama was: in some mountains trying to get out of Afghanistan.

The soldiers were dying to get Bin Laden. But Bush changed course and began sending soldiers and equipment sorely needed by the soldiers in Afghanistan to Iran. So Obama is coming to clean up a this crucial Bush administration strategic miscalculation.

To me, this should make it easier for Obama to begin to exit from the war theater. He can leave a few thousand soldiers to train the Afghan army to fight its own war and move on to provide a greater support for Pakistan, which has the missile and has showed some willingness to fight Al Queda.

Vigilante said...

MacDaddy, time is getting short. BHO will have to show steel, muscle and heart pronto.

POTUS #44 will have to do his job as civilian CIC. Otherwise, General McChrystal will do his job.

On us.

rainywalker said...

MacDaddy,
I hope my comments did not seem like I was blaiming President Obama. We are all on the same page here. A rogue CIA agent and one congressman were supplying Afghanistan about the time Bush came into office. Charlie Wilson was buying off Western Europe, even the Soviets by proxy, Egypt, China and supplying the Mujahideen. But until the Congress got a small taste of guts and gave them the stinger missles and 200 mules/donkeys to carry them nothing was happening. Once they got the stingers and started shooting down the Hind helicopters the Soviets decided to cash in and go home. The Russians, Iranian [government], North Korea and China are now supplying Al Qaeda like we are the Mujahideen. We need to give Afghanistan fighters as many AK-47's, etc. as they need [basic weapons], keep them supplied and get, let them decide what freedom is worth.
We both know that many citizens in the world place a small value on freedon and that includes about 33%of the American population [I have data that will back that up]. I would rather be arming the students in Iran. They are aware of what freedon is and what it's going to cost. The people who really run this country go where the money is. Thats all they are interested in and I'm not at this point talking about the president. He still has three more years to show us what he's got and I'll give any president that.
rainy