Yesterday’s successful Taliban attack on a Chinook CH-47 helicopter that killed 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALS, raises serious questions about the risks of U.S. night raids. Bob Mulholland, a longtime Democratic Party operative and disabled Vietnam veteran, issued a scathing analysis.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
In a major victory for the progressive movement, the AFL-CIO has condemned the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as a “militarization of our foreign policy” and a “costly mistake.” The statement, adopted August 3, is the most forthright in the history of a labor movement marked by pro-war allegiances for many decades. It reflects a deep sentiment among working families, estimated at 80 percent opposition by one longtime labor official in Washington D.C. Much credit goes to the patient bottom-up organizing by U.S. Labor Against the War and others, who solicited endorsements from hundreds of locals and mobilized labor contingents at countless rallies across the country.
Having known Dick Flacks and his wife Mickey since Ann Arbor in the early Sixties, I am struck by the similarities between the angry disenchantment among progressives and radicals towards John and Robert Kennedy in those days and the rising hostility towards Barack Obama today.
The eminent journalist Ahmed Rashid, who originally supported the U.S. war in Afghanistan, is now calling for the U.S. to end its “lethal night raids” as a step towards accelerated dialogue with the Taliban.
David Petraeus, now CIA director, had some gloomy answers in response to a recent New York Times interview with Roger Cohen.
President Obama’s position as a centrist has left him wounded by left and right in the raging deficits debate. In one sense he has succeeded politically by appearing far more rational than a Republican Party tethered to the Tea Party. That should serve him well in the 2012 national election. On the other hand, he has seriously alienated most of the progressive community, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whose strong support he will need in the year ahead.
Breaking a long Congressional silence on Iraq, 93 House members led by representatives Barbara Lee and Walter Jones have released a letter to President Obama calling for a complete military withdrawal by this December, as stipulated in the U.S.-Iraq pact of 2008. Withdrawal of the remaining 47,000 American troops would result in a net taxpayer savings of $50 billion annually.
As the Kabul-based report by Gareth Porter reveals, peace talks with the Taliban are a live option for a U.S. government beset by a worsening situation from Kandahar to Kabul.
The revelation that the armed Christian Crusader Anders Behring Breivik aspires to a “pan-European movement modeled on Tea Party groups in the United States” is another wake-up call for Americans to focus on the domestic threat of right-wing terrorist groups. A first step could be to demand Congressional hearings on the threat from the right.
Our sympathy and solidarity from this side of the sea. While the investigation must proceed, it appears that our worlds our linked by rising fears of immigration in a time of economic stagnation and recession. The result is right-wing armed fundamentalism growing domestically while our governments fight a “war on terrorism” and “war on drugs” against dark-skinned foreigners. Linkages between right-wing extremists, police and the armed forces are little-mentioned in the discourse on terror.