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Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning dramatic and documentary filmmaker whose previous film WHY WE FIGHT won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER, won the 2002 Amnesty International Award. In addition to his work in film, Jarecki is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Eisenhower Project, an academic public policy group, dedicated in the spirit of Dwight D. Eisenhower, to studying the forces that shape American foreign policy.

But the good news is that recently thousands marched across the country calling for an end to the occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. They demonstrated to keep the pressure on the Obama administration. In Washington DC demonstrators marched across the memorial bridge carrying mock coffins which they laid at the Lockheed Martin courtyard in Arlington, Va.

I'm hoping that the "Voter's Uprising", talked about by Don Hazen of Alternet.org is actually going to take off at some point.

There were a lot of people who urged everyone to rally behind Obama (on this blog and elsewhere), and I hope those same people have now put their energy behind pushing Obama to actually come through with the vision he put forth.

Originally posted to SteveAnderson on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 07:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What vision is that? (8+ / 0-)

    He's consistently advocated his Iraq drawdown and Afghanistan increase.  Remember, he's not against all wars, just dumb ones.

    •  True, Calchala, but.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dancewater

      True that Obama advocatged an Afghanistan increase.  But you provide no analysis or background for this and no analysis of what war there will mean.  As Jarecki in the clip notes, the democrats (then JFK) were the ones accusing the Republicans (Eisenhower and Nixon) of being responsible for a "missle gap" in 1960.  That allowed them:  1)  to curry to the military industrial complex and 2) to use this argument in the election to show how "hawkish" they were.

      Obama did exactly the same thing in 2008.  His opponent was a noted war hero and experienced while he had minimal experience in government (really only 2 years as a senator, the other 2 were spent campaining).  So Obama took a leaf from JFK and called for an expansion of the war in Afghanistan for the very same reasons JFK did.

      You write, "he's not against all wars, just dumb ones."  Do you really think Afghanistan is a "smart" war?  Every fly over that country?  I have.  Its full of mountains:  very difficult terrain (as was Vietnam) to fight in.  It will be our next Vietnam.  And you fail to ask, why exactly is it that Obama wants to fight in Afghanistan?  What is the strategic purpose?  The Taliban are NOT a threat to the US.  They are not AQ which is based more in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  So this is a very stupid war.

      Note also, Calchala, that Obama has changed NOTHING as regards our foreign policy.  His position on Iraq is the same as George W's; his position on Afghanistan is the same as W's.  EVEN his Defense Secretary is the same.  For a man who promised change, there has been NO CHANGE in foreign policy because the drive toward empire is the same, maybe even more intense, under Obama.  Please tell us why Afghanistan is not a "dumb one".... We're waiting.  I's going to cost billions of dollars and thousands of more young American lives, and the lives of countless civilians in Afghanistan.  

      •  Afghanistan (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA
        Hidden by:
        fflambeau

        may or may not be a "stupid war" but Obama has, from day one, supported it and so have the majority of his advisors.  The goal, in Afghanistan, is to keep the country stable enough it doesn't help further destabilize its neighbor with nukes and make sure the moment we get on the last plane AQ doesn't show up with their sleeping bags and kegs of, errr, AK-74s.  How we go about that is up to debate.  But simply citing the costs doesn't eliminate these legitimate and important policy goals.

        •  Afghanistan destabilize neighbors with nukes? (0+ / 0-)

          First of this I've ever heard.  Link please?  You do realize that Afghanistan is a poverty stricken country?  It is the former USSR countries that have loose nukes, not Afghanistan.  AQ 9-11 attackers came from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan.  Please get your facts straight.  There is NO strategic reason at all for the war in Afghanistan.  

        •  iRobert: you will have blood on your hands (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          TheCid

          Both iRobert & Calchala:  you will both have blood on your hands (along with other bots supporting this stupid escalation of the war in Afghanistan by Obama).  Just as George W. Bush needed cheerleaders for his war policies in Iraq, you are providing the cheerleading for Obama's war.  Without such support, there would be no escalation in Afghanistan.  Please rethink this.  

      •  Yes, Iraq has changed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leevank

        It's very facetious to say it's different than Bush.  Bush invaded Iraq.  Obama didn't.  Obama is ending the war, regardless of what babble you argue about in the timelines.  It is happening.  Period.

        •  The oil has been captured by private co.s (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dancewater

          Finally, the oil deal is done.

          We can leave now.

          Afghanistan?  Is suspect the Russians can't stop chuckling over their Vodka.  It bankrupted them.  Would they like to see us tank?  I don't know, really.  I some level, I think they might.

          Somehow, I imagine we can capture any digital communications coming out of Al Queda.

          I did hear they are going back to the old ways.  People talking to people, leaving no digital trail.  That is scary.

          But I don't see how being IN Afghanistan will thwart the bad guys.

          Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

          by War on Error on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 08:02:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is ESCALATING the war in Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

          By all accounts, Calchala.  You also fail to reply to any of the points I raised above in a lengthy post.  Why?  There is NO strategic reason for Obama's war in Afghanistan.  It's going to turn into another Vietnam.  Afghanistan was the deathbed of two empires:  the British, and the USSR.  I don't think we will fare any better.

  •  Thanks SteveAnderson for posting this clip (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    Thanks for posting this YouTube of Eugene Jarecki.  I had not known of him and he is thoughtful and articulate.  To bad the clip is marred by the overly pompous and overly talkative interviewer who doesn't realize the interview is NOT about him but about Jarecki's views.  

    One point Jarecki made is telling today.  He mentions it was not Eisenhowever and the Republicans who were so much pushing expansion and rearming in the early 60's, it was the Democrats and their so-called "missle gap".  That was JFK (not mentioned outright by Jarecki) who provided a formula for Obama in the recent election:  JFK attacked the republicans for being weak on the soviets MUCH THE SAME WAY Obama kept pushing the envelope on Afghanistan in 2008.  The first comment in this diary is correct about that but wrong in overall analysis because Afghanistan is going to be just like Vietnam.  The head British General there told the BBC on an interview in their Panorama program about 3 months ago that a military solution there is not possible.  Obama wants to be "tough" on Afghanistan the same way Kennedy wanted to be tough on Cuba and Vietnam:  look at where that led.

    Another point.  Jarecki is not a pioneer in this analysis.  If you want to look at the intellectual foundations of the study of American expansion and empire, please look at the historian William Appleman Williams' work.  While at Wisconsin, he wrote a very influential book, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, that lays bare our country's drive toward empire.  Gore Vidal is one who paid lavish tribute to Williams in his American Empire series and so has Noam Chomsky.  

  •  Must-see speech (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    YouTube is down as I write this, but when it comes back, be sure to watch this speech, given by 8th-grade Sarah O'Neal at the SF demo:

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News

    by elishastephens on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 07:41:09 PM PDT

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